News Archive

Thursday, July 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Corsair Share to be Sold to Private Investor (Again)

News agency Reuters recently reported that hardware giant Corsair was in talks with middle market private equity firm EagleTree Capital for acquisition of the company in its entirety. The deal was reported by Reuters as being valued at close to $500 million. Part of the Corsair brand is, and continues to be, owned by Corsair founder and Chief Executive Andy Paul, who founded the company in 1994. Another part of it, however, is currently owned by Francisco Partners, an American private equity firm focused exclusively on investments in technology and technology-enabled services. In 2013, Francisco Partners made a $75 million investment in the company, after Corsair scrapped its IPO plans.

However, an industry source has shed some more light on the matter. The source (singular, since we couldn't verify this through multiple channels) told TPU that it isn't the entirety of Corsair that's for sale; only the share previously acquired by Francisco Partners. It's this particular stake that's being eyed by Eagletree Capital - probably at a much higher valuation than the initial $75 million investment. As always, you should take this current information with a grain of salt.

Source: Reuters

Thermaltake Intros View 21 Tempered Glass Edition Case

Thermaltake today introduced the View 21 Tempered Glass Edition case. A variant of the View 21, this ATX mid-tower comes with 4 mm-thick tempered glass panels along both its sides, and front. The case features a contemporary horizontally partitioned layout. The larger top compartment holds the motherboard tray, with room for add-on cards as long as 42 cm, and CPU coolers as tall as 16 cm.

Storage options include two 2.5-inch mounts along the partition between the two compartments, two 2.5-inch and two 3.5-inch bays behind the motherboard tray. Cooling includes three 120 mm front intakes, a 120 mm bottom intake, one 140 mm top exhaust, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Measuring 208 mm x 471 mm x 492 mm (WxDxH), the case weighs a little over 8 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.

i-Rocks Releases the K70E RGB Capacitive Gaming Keyboard

i-Rocks, a technology leading company in PC peripherals, announces the K70E RGB Wired Capacitive Keyboard. This high-ended keyboard has been crafted for both professional PC users and gaming enthusiasts who demand stable key feedback, highly customizable appearance and extremely reliable typing experience. The K70E RGB is packed with non-contact electro capacitive technology developed by i-Rocks, two actuation force options of 45g and 60g, MX-compatible double shot keycaps, swappable top panel and additional rubber ring to ensure lower typing noise. Engineered for the best gaming performance, the K70E also provides onboard memory, on-the-fly macro recording, dedicated G-mode gaming profile and switchable actuation depths for faster key command response.

Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

If you're a standard Windows user, you probably find Windows updates something of a pain - especially when they force you to reboot your PC after they're installed. But imagine you own a business that constantly has its machines up and running, but also requires the latest security upgrades; each minute of downtime for installing such updates is lost revenue. Because of that issue, which companies brought to Microsoft's attention over the years, the company is streamlining its update process, decreasing the amount of update steps that need to be taken offline (which means less time waiting for the machines to become available to use following an update.)

Demand for EUV Fabrication Systems Increasing; ASML Sees 25% Revenue Growth

Dutch company ASML may not be very known to us mortal users, but it has one of the greatest aces up its sleeve: it specializes in what are some of the most complex machines currently made by mankind. Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Systems (EUV) are the kind of machines that make you look in wonder and amazement at man's ingenuity - ASMl, which specializes in this type of systems, has a production capability for 2017 that numbers just 12 of these. That means on average, they take a whole month putting one of these together. That really goes to show the complexity inherent to these systems. And it shows: EUV machines are about the size of a city bus, and typically cost more than 100 million euros ($115.3 million) each.

The revenue growth forecast is spurred by an additional 8 EUV systems being ordered by ASML's clients, which include Intel, Samsung, and TSMC - some of the biggest players in the semiconductor business. The new orders brought the company's order backlog to 27 machines - more than double their current annual output. ASML is taking steps to to ensure an increase in production capability to keep up with the multi million-dollar demand: the company is set to expand its system production capability to 24 in 2018, before reaching an expected capacity of around 40 systems in 2019. Third-quarter revenue will be about 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion), the Veldhoven, Netherlands-based maker of chip-making machines predicts. The company's stock valuation has increased some 30% over the past year - the company's valuation currently stands at around €53 billion ($61 billion.)

Sources: Bloomberg, Tweakers.net, Thanks @ P4-630!

GEIL Announces EVO Spear Series of DDR4 Memory Kits

GEIL's EVO Spear joins the company's DDR4 memory line-up with some inconspicuous looks and lack of LED lighting. The new series from GEIL also features something that's not all that common nowadays - a standard DIMM-sized heat spreader, which doesn't add much volume to the parts. This means these kits shouldn't pose many clearance problems (if any), which is a good thing in some smaller form-factor builds.

The new Kits from GEIL are available in both Intel and AMD-compatibility kits, and the new series is fully compatible with the Intel X299 HEDT platofrm (it remains to be see if the AMD-compatible parts will have the same compatibility towards the company's X399 Threadripper platform.). GEIL offers the module in speeds of 2133MHz up to 3466MHz, in single, dual or quad-channel kits. GEIL didn't release pricing information as of yet, but says that "EVO Spear Series is designed for PC gamers looking for well-performed standard-height gaming memory without high price tag." This probably means these kits will sell for less than comparable GEIL kits from other series. Expect these to hit the streets this July.

Sources: GEIL, via ETeknix
Wednesday, July 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

CRYORIG A40

The A40 by CRYORIG is the company's entry level offering in their all-in-one hybrid liquid CPU cooler lineup. It lacks the size of the A80 and the radiator thickness of the A40 Ultimate. However, unlike the others, it offers a more affordable price point with all the same features.

AMD Confirms its Platform Security Processor Code will Remain Closed-Source

Since the launch of AMD Ryzen, a small piece of hardware that handles basic memory initialization as well as many security functions has been the center of some controversy. Called the Platform Security Processor (the "PSP" for short) it is essentially an arm core with complete access to the entire system. Its actions can be considered "above root" level and are for the most part invisible to the OS. It is similar in this regard to Intel's Management Engine, but is in some ways even more powerful.

Why is this a bad thing? Well, let's play a theoretical. What happens if a bug is discovered in the PSP, and malware takes control of it? How would you remove it (Answer: you couldn't). How would you know you needed to remove it? (answer, unless it made itself obvious, you also wouldn't). This scenario is obviously not a good one, and is a concern for many who asked AMD to open-source the PSPs code for general community auditing.

Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

As part of its new "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft elected to provide users with a guaranteed, steady stream of updates with virtually no clear, hard-defined EOL. However, Microsoft took refuge, as well it should, from an increasingly difficult support for different hardware sets: a little footnote, saying that you are eligible for Windows 10 for the "supported lifetime of the device." Yes, it's true you now don't have to purchase a new Windows version. But that also means that you devices potentially won't be supported for Microsoft's previous 5 + 5 policy (meaning, 5 years of feature and security updates, and 5 extra years for security updates only.)

The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, they are currently blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703 - the "Creators Update." Attempts to install result in a message saying that "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." The problem is that each Windows 10 update receives security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018 - after which they'll cease to receive any patches at all.

Intel Quietly Reveals 12-core i9-7920X 2.9 GHz Base Core Clock

Intel has quietly revealed base clocks for their upcoming 12-core, 24-thread Core i9-7920X processor. This particular Intel model materializes (at least for now) the only 12-core processor in Intel's X299 HEDT platform line-up on the LGA 2066 socket. A report from Videocardz pegs the new 12-core processor as having a base clock of 2.9 GHz, a full 400 MHz slower than the company's 10-core, 20-thread i9-7900X. The L3 cache amount appears as well, though it's an expected 16.5 MB (which amounts to around 1.375 MB per core.)

The chip also brought a pricing confirmation for $1,189 in tray quantities (which means final consumer prices will be higher.) On paper, this doesn't trade favorably with the competition's 12-core Threadripper offering, where AMD will be offering the same amount of cores and threads for $799 (final consumer pricing at launch) with a much more impressive 3.5 GHz base clock. Consumers will say whether a $400 price difference for going Intel over AMD is worth it for the same number of cores and threads, though it remains to be seen whether AMD's frequency advantage will translate to performance while maintaining power consumption at acceptable levels (which, from what we've seen from AMD's Ryzen, should, in theory, be true.)

Source: Videocardz

Arctic Confirms Support for Ryzen Threadripper with Liquid Freezer Series Cooler

Arctic today confirmed that its Liquid Freezer line of all-in-one closed-loop liquid CPU coolers support AMD's upcoming Ryzen Threadripper processors. The lineup includes the Liquid Freezer 120 with a 120 mm radiator; the Liquid Freezer 240 with a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator; and the range topping Liquid Freezer 360 cooler with a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator. AMD is expected to launch its enthusiast-segment 12-core and 16-core Ryzen Threadripper processors before 10th August, 2017.

Alphacool Intros Eisblock HDX 2 and HDX 3 M.2 SSD Coolers

After developing the compact, very successful Alphacool HDX M.2 SSD cooler, Alphacool is now expanding its product range with the Eisblock HDX-2 and HDX-3 coolers. Both coolers come with a 4x PCIe card, on which the cooler and SSD are mounted. This has many advantages over mounting directly to the motherboard.

Cooling can be difficult on a motherboard due to space constraints and the location of the graphics card, which is often mounted directly above or beside the motherboard. A PCIe card and cooler give you lots of room to set up a good cooling solution. But why do you need to cool your M.2 SSD? When an M.2 SSD is used continuously and for substantial data transfers, it can heat up so strongly that the drive slows itself down and decreases its performance significantly. This can happen after even a few seconds. The only way to solve this problem is with a good cooling solution.

AMD's RX Vega Low Key Budapest Event: Vega Pitted Against GTX 1080

On the first stop in AMD's two-continent spanning RX Vega tour (which really only counts with three locations), the company pitted their upcoming RX Vega graphics card (we expect this to be their flagship offering) against NVIDIA's GTX 1080 graphics card. The event itself was pretty subdued, and there was not much to see when it comes to the RX Vega graphics card - literally. Both it and the GTX 1080 were enclosed inside PC towers, with the event-goers not being allowed to even catch a glimpse of the piece of AMD hardware that has most approximated a unicorn in recent times.

The Vega-powered system also made use of a Ryzen 7 processor, and the cards were running Battlefield 1 (or Sniper Elite 4; there's lots of discussion going on about that, but the first image below does show a first-person view) with non-descript monitors, one supporting FreeSync, the other G-Sync. The monitor's models were covered by cloth so that users weren't able to tell which system was running which graphics card, though due to ASUS' partnership in the event, both were (probably) of ASUS make. The resolution used was 3440 x 1440, which should mean over 60 FPS on the GTX 1080 on Ultra. It has been reported by users that attended the event that one of the systems lagged slightly in one portion of the demo, though we can't confirm which one (and I'd say that was AMD's intention.)

BenQ Announces SW271 Monitor for Professional Photographers

BenQ, internationally renowned provider of digital lifestyle devices, introduced today SW271, a 4K UHD 27" monitor offering industry-standard HDR10 support and advanced color performance for photographers. Covering 99% of Adobe RGB, and 100% of both sRGB and Rec. 709, SW271 delivers the ultimate color accuracy of Delta E≦2 performance with its 10-bit IPS panel and advanced 14-bit 3D lookup table (LUT). "We are proud to present SW271, which joins our full line of professional monitors purpose-engineered for photographers," said Conway Lee, President of BenQ Corporation. "SW271 brings photo enthusiasts professional-grade performance, specialized tools, and advanced calibration for color-critical applications."

To display each color across its broad color gamut with perfect accuracy, SW271 utilizes an advanced 14-bit 3D LUT to achieve Delta E values of two or better. Technicolor Color Certified to meet strict color accuracy standards used in Hollywood and entertainment media, SW271's 10-bit 27" IPS panel delivers authentic colors as envisioned by content creators. Producing intense photographic realism and color depth by expanding the dynamic range between true darkness and high brightness, SW271 clearly displays high-resolution images from sophisticated DSLRs and other HDR source devices.
Tuesday, July 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Speakers
SSD
Storage

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a phenomenal-looking, customizable wireless headset equipped with high-quality 40-millimeter audio drivers capable of delivering stereo and DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound. It also offers mind-boggling wireless range and battery life as well as a couple extremely useful features you won't find elsewhere.

ECS LIVA Z Plus

The ECS LIVA Z Plus is a powerful, upgraded LIVA Z, offering the same small footprint and base design with a huge boost in terms of specifications. Packed with an Intel Core i5-7300U and a 128 GB SSD, it can do everything the LIVA Z can and more.

Maingear Announces the R2 Razer Edition Gaming PC

MAINGEAR continues its partnership with RAZER, today announcing the launch of the MAINGEAR R2 | RAZER Edition gaming desktop. Built for compact performance with award-winning craftsmanship, the R2 pushes the boundaries of small form factor gaming. The R2 | RAZER Edition features a much smaller, radically engineered design that is more than fifty percent smaller than the original R1 case. Performance is uncompromised, as the R2 comes with the latest gaming components to drive 4K quality graphics. The R2 is available with the latest NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards along with the fastest processors on the market: Intel's Core i7 and i9, and AMD Ryzen.

Harnessing the newest SSDs and huge 10 TB HDDs, gamers will have fast and reliable storage along with support for up to 32 GB of premium DDR4 memory. MAINGEAR's eSports and VR-ready configurations take the guesswork out of building a system. Livestreamers who demand quiet systems will appreciate the R2's quiet open loop cooling system that is able to run virtually silent at ultra-settings for most games. "MAINGEAR and RAZER have a joint vision to develop ground breaking products designed specifically for gamers," says Wallace Santos, MAINGEAR CEO. "No matter your needs, our combined culture of obsessively pushing ourselves to create the best performing hardware possible is a core part of the R2's DNA."

EK Releases RGB Monoblocks for MSI X299 Gaming Pro Carbon

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is maintaining its market leadership by releasing the world's first LGA-2066 socket based monoblock tailor made for MSI X299 motherboards. The EK-FB MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with MSI Mystic Light, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for three MSI Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following MSI motherboards:
  • MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
  • MSI X299 GAMING PRO CARBON
  • MSI X299 GAMING M7 ACK

ADATA Launches ISSS314 Industrial-Grade SSDs in 3D MLC and 3D TLC NAND Versions

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched industrial-grade ISSS314 solid state drives in 3D MLC and 3D TLC versions. All models can withstand a wide temperature range, extreme shocks and vibrations, as well as humidity to meet the needs of industrial users. Using hardened and carefully sorted components, ISSS314 SSDs consume just 2.5W to lower operating costs while providing speedy 560 MB/s read and 520 MB/s write. They are offered in 3D MLC and 3D TLC NAND plus capacities ranging from 32GB to 512 GB in order to better cover and serve as many budgets and needs as possible.

The increased durability and power efficiency of stacked NAND Flash compared to older planar NAND offers very appealing advantages in applications that require non-stop and long term use. The ISSS314 range has an MTBF of 2 million hours, which is 25% more than comparable 2D NAND drives. At the same time, they consume just 2.5W per drive while reaching 512 GB in capacity. Modest power draw translates into major electricity savings over the life of the drive, especially in large installations where many units are needed. Across the range, ISSS314 drives reach 560 MB/s read and 520 MB/s write.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches Pugio Gaming Mouse

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) is excited to launch Pugio, an ambidextrous gaming mouse that offers ultimate customizability to meet the needs of most hardcore gamers. Its configurable side buttons let you decide on your own side button layout, while exclusive push-fit switch sockets offer variable click resistance. The push-fit design makes it easy to replace worn out switches to extend the lifespan of the mouse. The Pugio features stunning, aggressive aesthetics to match its performance - including angular ASUS Aura RGB light channels with Aura Sync support.

Ambidextrous mice with side buttons usually feature a mirrored button layout to accommodate both right- and left-handed gamers. The drawback of this design is that it often results in side button misclicks. Even with the buttons disabled, they can still be distracting. With the ROG Pugio, there's no need to change your grip style to avoid the buttons. The Pugio has configurable magnetic side buttons on both flanks to give you a truly ambidextrous and ergonomic gaming mouse. Simply swap the buttons out and replace them with the side button covers: use four, two, or no side buttons - the options are all yours.

Benchmarks Find Intel Core i7-7700K Better Than i7-7800X for Gaming

Over at Techspot, Steven Walton managed to get a hold of Intel's new six-core, 12-thread Core i7-7800X CPU, and chose to take it for a spin over a levy of gaming benchmarks. The results don't bode particularly well for Intel's new top i7 offering, though: it is soundly beat by its smaller, svelter brother in virtually all gaming tasks.

Out-of-the-box results are somewhat in line with what we would expect: the Core i7-7700K does bring about a base clock increased by 700 MHz compared to the i7-7800X (4.2 GHz vs 3.5 GHz), and has a higher boost clock to boot (4.5 GHz vs 4 GHz.) And as we've seen over and over again, including with Intel rival AMD's Ryzen offerings, frequency usually trumps core count when it comes to performance when applications are exposed more than four cores. And this leads to Walton's results: the Core i7 7700K is still king in pure FPS terms, coming in with a much more attractive proposition than the 7800X in both minimum and maximum FPS, as well as power consumption.

Liquid-cooled AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition Power Draw Tested

The liquid-cooled variant of AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has some very lofty power requirements. Although it draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, which along with the PCI-Express slot total a power output of 375W, the card was tested by PC Perspective, to be overdrawing power from the power connectors, with a peak power draw of a staggering 440W, with its power limit raised by 25% to stabilize a 7% overclock. At its stock clock speeds, however, the card remains well under the 375W limit, drawing around 350W of power.

The liquid-cooled Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition has its TDP rated at 375W, compared to 300W of the air-cooled variant. Given its performance being somewhere between the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti, these figures don't bode particularly well for the upcoming Radeon RX Vega family of consumer graphics cards, unless AMD pulls a rabbit out of its hat with pricing. The RX Vega series is expected to be announced on July 27.

Source: PC Perspective

BenQ announces ZOWIE XL 2546 PC e-Sports Monitor with DyAc

Since its release in Dec. 2016, the XL2540 has become the monitor of choice for tournaments such as ESL Pro League Season 5, ESL ONE Cologne, PGL, DreamHack Open Series and other tournaments with competitive FPS titles. The new XL2546 has the same increased smoothness that was introduced in the XL2540 and the addition of DyAc provides increased movement clarity in-game. Actions with vigorous screen movement, such as spraying of weapons will benefit most from DyAc as being able to see more clearly can help with recoil control.

Like the XL2540, the benefits of the XL2546 and its native 240Hz refresh rate can be fully activated when the computer generates over 240 frames per second(FPS). As such, one should make certain their PC performance is up to par before considering either monitor. The ZOWIE XL 2546 with DyAc will make its tournament debut at DreamHack Atlanta 2017 where it has been selected as the official monitor.

HyperX Unveils HyperX Alloy Elite and TKL HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Gaming Keyboards

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today introduced two new additions to its award winning lineup of gaming keyboards used by eSports athletes worldwide - the HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Pro Gaming Keyboard and Alloy Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. HyperX delivers all the components needed for the best competitive gaming set up, and the new HyperX Alloy Keyboards boasts Cherry MX Mechanical switches, lighting effects, 100 percent anti-ghosting, and solid-steel frames for the tactile feedback and performance gamers expect from HyperX gear.

"Further raising the bar for personalization and comfort, HyperX is excited to reveal the new Alloy Elite Keyboard with Cherry MX Mechanical switches, detachable palm rest and custom lighting features. For TKL keyboard fans, the new Alloy FPS Pro was designed in our HyperX labs specifically for them," said Marcus Hermann, senior business manager, HyperX. "Ensuring that gamers connect and play immediately, keyboard customization options can be accessed without the assistance of software via keyboard functions."

Samsung Increases Production of 8 GB HBM2 Memory

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it is increasing the production volume of its 8-gigabyte (GB) High Bandwidth Memory-2 (HBM2) to meet growing market needs across a wide range of applications including artificial intelligence, HPC (high-performance computing), advanced graphics, network systems and enterprise servers.

"By increasing production of the industry's only 8GB HBM2 solution now available, we are aiming to ensure that global IT system manufacturers have sufficient supply for timely development of new and upgraded systems," said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president, Memory Sales & Marketing team at Samsung Electronics. "We will continue to deliver more advanced HBM2 line-ups, while closely cooperating with our global IT customers."
Monday, July 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
Speakers
SSD

Evoluent Reduced Reach Right Handed Keyboard

The Evoluent Reduced Reach keyboard for right-handed users aims to optimize the standard full-size keyboard by moving the Num Pad to the left. Combined with a minimized arrow-key column, this keyboard offers reduced reach to the nearby mouse, to help minimize joint pains over the long run.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #10

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.

In this release, we have several new betas, mostly all consisting of fresh AGESA 1.0.0.6a code.

The VRM Odyssey: ASUS Redesigns VRM Heatsink for X299 ROG Rampage VI Apex

You certainly remember the whole controversy surrounding Intel's X299 platform VRM "disaster". As a surmise, this refers to what basically amounts to inadequate engineering in the VRM cooling components of some motherboards (from varied manufacturers) for Intel's latest HEDT X299 platform. The issue has been discussed frequently, and one of the most recognized voices initially calling out to this issue was overclocker prodigy Der8auer.

Intel to Launch Multiple Six-core CPUs on Coffee Lake Architecture, i5 Lineup

In what could be a decisive response from Intel towards AMD's recent Ryzen success and core count democratization, reports are making the rounds that Intel is preparing for a shakedown of sorts of its i7 and i5 CPU line-up under the upcoming Coffee Lake architecture. We recently saw (and continue to see) AMD deliver much more interesting propositions than Intel in a pure power/performance/core ratio. And Intel seems to know that its lineup is in dire need of revision, if it wants to stop its market dominant position from bleeding too much.

A report from Canard PC claims that Intel will thoroughly revise its CPU lineup for the Coffee Lake architecture, with an i7-8700K six-core, 12-thread processor being the top offering. This 8700K is reported to deliver its 12 threads at a 3.7 GHz base clock, and a 95 W TDP. These are comparable to AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X processor, which ships with the same six cores and 12 threads under the same TDP, though it has 100 MHz less in base clock speed. However, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X does retail for about $249 - and you can go even lower to Ryzen 5 1600's $219 - which probably won't happen with Intel's top of the line i7 offering. A slight mention towards the Ryzen 7's 95 W TDP - the same as this reported i7 8700K - even though it has 2 more physical cores, and 4 extra threads.

Sharkoon Announces the SilentStorm Icewind Power Supply Series

A new wind blows from Sharkoon and their range of PC power supplies expands with a new series: The Sharkoon SilentStorm Icewind power supply series is now available in two editions, black or white, in either 550, 650, and 750 Watt. The Sharkoon SilentStorm Icewind, in a white edition, is deliberately kept in line with the colors snow white and ice blue and is aimed at users who, in addition to the technical details, also attach importance to the design of their components and their cabling. Naturally, the textile braided cable also fits perfectly into the color scheme.

Modular cables and cable combs ensure the PC stays tidy. The cables can be secured with practical cable combs and are kept intentionally modular, except for the firmly soldered 24-pin mainboard cable and 4+4-pin CPU cable. This ensures that only the immediately needed cables are used. In addition to the firmly soldered cables, a cable with three 4-pin IDE connectors as well as three cables with three SATA connectors are included; an extra two PCIe cables with a 6+2-pin connector is provided in the 550 Watt version. The 650 and 750 Watt versions connect via its two PCIe cables, each with two 6+2-pin connector. The unused cables can be easily stored in the included cable bag. Thanks to the used DC-to-DC technology, the SilentStorm Icewind benefits from increased voltage stability since the other voltages are not affected by load changes of the 12 V rail. The power supply is effectively cooled via its 135 mm fan.

AMD to Include AIO Liquid Coolers with Ryzen Threadripper Processors

In a move that could drown out the value proposition of competing Core X processors even further, AMD is reportedly including all-in-one liquid CPU coolers with its two upcoming Ryzen Threadripper processor models, the 12-core/24-thread 1920X and the 16-core/32-thread 1950X. While in its recent reveal of its first two Ryzen Threadripper SKUs besides Ryzen 3 series, the company did not specify the TDP of its Threadripper chips, older rumors pin the TDP of the 12-core part at 125W, and the 16-core part at 155W, both of which could run comfortably under liquid cooling. This won't be the first time AMD is bundling stock liquid-cooling solutions with its processors. The company bundled liquid coolers with certain high-TDP SKUs of its FX-series 8-core processors (pictured below).

This, combined by the dearth of compatibility announcements by third-party CPU cooler manufacturers for its TR4 socket, could be forcing AMD to take steps to ensure that the first Threadripper owners aren't left without a cooler, more so in maturing markets. Intel's new LGA2066 socket, on which its Core X processors are based, didn't face this problem, as it shares its mount-hole spacing with older LGA2011v3 socket. According to the source, Threadripper could be available in Japan on the 10th of August. This could mean availability in the US from 9th August.

Sources: Hermitage Akihabara, HotHardware

Acer Notebooks Among First to Feature Core "Coffee Lake" Processors

PC major Acer will be among the first manufacturers to deploy Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors on its products. The company's Swift 3 notebook, which is already open to pre-orders on Amazon, has one of its CPU options as Intel Core i5-8250U, as discovered by LaptopMedia, in an article. It goes on to describe the i5-8250U as a quad-core chip clocked at 1.60 GHz with up to 3.40 GHz boost, with 6 MB of L3 cache. This is particularly big for the ultra-slim notebook segment as the i5-8250U is among the first quad-core "ultra low power" ("U" suffix) SKUs based on a high performance core, by Intel. The listing doesn't reveal when the notebook will ship.

Source: LaptopMedia

RMA Fraud on Amazon Targeting AMD Ryzen Buyers

Amazon inventory of AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors seem to be suffering from RMA fraud, if several reddit reports and a general article from WCCFtech are to be believed. The RMA fraud appears to consist of a scheme in which an unknown party has been buying up quantities of Ryzen 7 or 5 series CPUs, and RMAing them back to Amazon with a fake CPU inside. The fake CPU appears to be an older Intel-based LGA packaged model, ironically.

The RMA gets by because the heatspreader is relabeled with an authentic looking AMD Ryzen label, which is presumably enough to fool a very PC-knowledge limited Amazon RMA check-in employee. This means the product gets sold again as an open-box item, as usually happens with RMAs.

Intel Adds New Core CPUs to Its Desktop, Laptop Lineups

Intel has recently updated documentation on their available list of processors based on the 7th generation of the Core Family. These new Kaby Lake-based CPUs will further flesh-out Intel's offerings in both the desktop, laptop, and professional segments with new entries in the Core i3, Kaby Lake-U, and Xeon E3 lines of processors.

The new Core i3 processors make use of the S-0 stepping, instead of the B-0 stepping of previously-released processors. The additions are comprised of the i3-7340 (4.2 GHz, 4 MB cache, 51 W TDP); i3-7320T (3.6 GHz, 4MB cache, 35 W TDP); i3-7120 (4 GHz, 3 MB cache, 51 W TDP); and the i3-7120T (3.5 GHz, 3 MB cache, 35 W TDP.) On the laptop side of the equation, Intel is introducing four new processors: the Core i3-7007U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.1 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i3-7110U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.6 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i5-7210U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.5 GHz base, 3.3 GHz Turbo, 3 MB cache); and the Core i7-7510U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.7 GHz base, 3.7 GHz Turbo, 4 MB cache.) Lastly, Intel is adding the new E3-1285 v6 Xeon to its lineup. This one brings increased clock speeds (4.1 GHz base, 4.5 GHz Turbo) with Intel's HD P630 integrated graphics, increasing the TDP by 19 W ( to 91 W) compared to the already existing Xeon E3-1275 v6 - for a 300 MHz clock speed increase. This Xeon should be the new highest-end processor for the iMac, which should place its pricing above the $612 mark previously held by the Xeon E3-1280 v6.

Sources: Intel, via AnandTech

GIGABYTE Intros H110-D3A Motherboard for Mining Rigs

GIGABYTE today rolled out the H110-D3A, a low-cost socket LGA1151 motherboard for crypto-currency mining builds, based on Intel H110 Express chipset. Built in the ATX form-factor, this board is characterized by five PCI-Express x1 slots, besides an x16 slot, and "Ultra Durable" components, which GIGABYTE claims, have been tested for prolonged operation. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and two optional 4-pin Molex inputs, conditioning power for the CPU with a simple 5-phase VRM.

The CPU is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Storage connectivity includes a 32 Gbps M.2 slot, and four SATA 6 Gbps ports. There's a host of legacy connectivity, including LPT and COM ports, separate PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports, and D-Sub display output. Four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by headers), gigabit Ethernet, and 6-channel HD audio make for the rest of it. Expect a sub-$70 pricing.

EA Incentivizes Pre-orders with Exclusive Graphics Effects

Electronics Arts announced that pre-ordered copies of its upcoming flagship motorsport simulator "Need for Speed: Payback" will feature exclusive graphics effects not found on copies bought after its release. The pre-order page for the game lists out benefits for paying for the game before reading or watching a single review from a neutral source; including "the platinum car pack," a selection of exclusive vehicles, and a curious-looking "exclusive tire smoke."

While giving away bonus content, a tiny headstart in the game with more in-game currency or items, isn't new to pre-orders, this is one of the first times that a big production title is presenting exclusive graphics effects, the tire smoke color in this case, that otherwise won't be available even on machines with the most powerful hardware, or the most powerful consoles. If successful, this model could lure more gamers toward pre-orders of untested and unproven games.

Source: EB Games (Australian retailer)
Friday, July 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Monitors
Motherboards
SSD
Storage

Windows 10 Process-Termination Bug Slows Down Mighty 24-Core System to a Crawl

So, you work for Google. Awesome, right? Yeah. You know what else is awesome? Your 24-Core, 48-thread Intel build system with 64 GBs of ram and a nice SSD. Life is good man. So, you've done your code work for the day on Chrome, because that's what you do, remember? (Yeah, that's right, it's awesome). Before you go off to collect your google-check, you click "compile" and expect a speedy result from your wicked fast system.

Only you don't get it... Instead, your system comes grinding to a lurching halt, and mouse movement becomes difficult. Fighting against what appears to be an impending system crash, you hit your trusty "CTRL-ALT-DELETE" and bring up task manager... to find only 50% CPU/RAM utilization. Why then, was everything stopping?

If you would throw up your arms and walk out of the office, this is why you don't work for Google. For Google programmer Bruce Dawson, there was only one logical way to handle this: "So I did what I always do - I grabbed an ETW trace and analyzed it. The result was the discovery of a serious process-destruction performance bug in Windows 10."

Colorful Intros a Trio of Budget SSDs

Colorful today rolled out a trio of budget SSD lines. These include the CN600 series, the CN500 series, and the SL500 series. The CN600 series is built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x2 wiring, and is characterized by a heatspreader over the controller and NAND flash chips; the CN500 is also built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, but features SATA 6 Gbps wiring; whereas the SL500 is a conventional 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch drive with SATA 6 Gbps interface. All three drives are available in 240 GB capacities.

The CN600 series drives combine a Realtek RTS5760 controller with TLC NAND flash memory, and offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 800 MB/s, with up to 700 MB/s writes, and up to 50,000 IOPS random reads, with up to 100,000 IOPS random writes. The CN500 series drives, on the other hand, pair a Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller with MLC NAND flash, offering up to 530 MB/s reads, with up to 250 MB/s writes, and up to 70,000 IOPS random reads, with up to 60,000 IOPS random writes. Lastly, there's the SL500 series, which combine Silicon Motion SM2256 controllers with TLC NAND flash, serving up 530 MB/s reads, with up to 450 MB/s writes, and up to 80,000 IOPS random access. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

Liquid Cooled AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition Now on Sale for $1,489.99

The liquid cooled version of AMD's latest graphics card meant for the "pioneering crowd" of prosumers has been made available over at SabrePC. It sports the exact same GPU you'd find on the air-cooled version, featuring all the same 4096 Stream Processors and 16 GB of HBM2 memory. The only differences are, and you guessed it, the higher cooling capacity afforded by the AIO solution, and the therefore increased TDP from the 300 W of the air-cooled version to a eyebrow-raising 375 W. That increase in TDP must come partially from the employed cooling solution, but also from an (for now, anecdotal) ability for the card to more easily sustain higher clocks, closer to its AMD-rated 1,630 MHz peak core clock.

You can nab one right now in that rather striking gold and blue color scheme, and have it shipped to you in 24H. Hit the source link for the SabrePC page.

Sources: SabrePC, Computerbase.de

PNY Announces the Budget-friendly CS1311 SSD

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has introduce PNY CS1311 2.5 " SATA III SSD, the consumer-level solid state drives and the ideal replacement for users looking to upgrade from their normal HDD drive to their very first SSD without burning a hole in their wallet. The CS1311 drive is designed for an easy and cost-effective HDD replacement in the existing PC system to help realize faster boot times, quicker application launches and better overall system performance.

The CS1311 operates 20 times faster than traditional HDD drives and offers a combination of features well-suited for your desktops or laptops. Powered with TLC NAND Technologies, PNY CS1311 is a 7 mm 2.5" form factor SATA 6 Gb/s SSD and is available in four capacities ranging from 120 GB to a massive space of 960 GB. It delivers read and write speed up to 550 MB/s to 520 MB/s and random IOPS read and write of up to 90, 000 IOPS.

Cybenetics Announces New Program to Identify Best PSUs for Mining

Mining is highly popular lately (again) thanks to Ethereum and besides suitable GPUs you will also need the proper power supply (PSU) for the job. The PSU has to be highly efficient, in order to keep the electricity cost as low as possible, and reliable as well since it will have to operate 24/7 under highly stressful conditions. For mining purposes, the PSU's noise isn't among the top priorities since most crypto-currency farming facilities operate in dedicated spaces where the operators don't have to stay long; even home miners should install their mining systems in isolated rooms, where noise won't be a problem. As a matter of fact, in PSUs used for mining purposes the fan is expected to operate close to its full speed most of the time, given the high load output, effectively cooling down sensitive components. This way the PSU's reliability is dramatically improved.

Our purpose for this program isn't to torture test each and every PSU that a manufacturer sends for certification since we already do this in our 10-110% load tests (part of the ETA Certification) during which we overload the PSU with the ambient temperature exceeding 45°C, but mostly to examine closely its components in order to find out whether it will survive on the (very) long run. For example, a PSU with a bulk cap which is rated at 85°C will have a significantly shorter lifetime compared to a PSU with a 105°C rated bulk cap under hard operating conditions. The same applies to the filtering capacitors on the secondary side. A PSU that uses low quality filtering capacitors with 1-3,000 hours lifetime under 105°C won't last as long as a PSU that uses 6-10,000 hours caps rated at the same temperature. Another important factor is the cooling fan, since if the fan breaks down then the PSU will most likely follow immediately, especially if it doesn't have Over Temperature Protection.
Thursday, July 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

Ballistix Elite 3466 MHz DDR4

Ballistix Elite DDR4 sticks have been granted a speed bump all the way up to 3466 MHz. We take the 8 GB DIMMs for a spin on Intel's Z270 platform because these sticks are still too Elite for AMD systems.

MSI Announces the Immerse GH70 Gaming Headset

MSI is extremely proud to launch the Immerse GH70 Gaming Headset as the latest addition to its Gaming Gear line of peripherals. The Immerse GH70 is a gorgeous gaming headset that features driver unit with Hi-Res certification for incredibly detailed sound quality and virtual 7.1 audio for precise positioning. Fitting in seamlessly with the latest MSI high-end gaming products, Mystic Light RGB delivers brilliant lighting effects to let gamers light up the battlefield in the style of their choice.

Using 50 mm Neodymium driver units with Hi-Res certification, the Immerse GH70 provides highly detailed and crystal clear sound. Whether you're trying to hear the enemy's slightest movements or just looking to enjoy your favorite music in all its glory. Virtual 7.1 channel surround sound puts you right in the middle of the action and creates a 360 degrees soundscape where accurate positional audio allows you to pinpoint your opponent's exact location.

AMD CEO Talks Ryzen Threadripper and Ryzen 3 Series in Latest Company Video

In a video presentation posted on the company's official YouTube channel, AMD CEO Lisa Su talked at length about the two new lines of Ryzen desktop processors the company plans to launch later this month. This includes the Ryzen Threadripper HEDT socket TR4 processor at the higher-end of the lineup, and the new Ryzen 3 series socket AM4 processors at the lower-end. AMD is announcing market-availability of two SKUs for each of the two brands. To begin with, AMD will launch two quad-core SKUs in the Ryzen 3 series, beginning with the Ryzen 3 1200 and the Ryzen 3 1300X. Both of these are quad-core parts which lack SMT, leaving them with just four threads. AMD is expected to price them on par with Intel's dual-core "Kaby Lake" Core i3 SKUs.

The Ryzen 3 1200 is clocked at 3.10 GHz, with 3.40 GHz boost, the 1300X is clocked higher, at 3.50 GHz, with 3.70 GHz boost, and XFR (extended frequency range) enabling higher clocks depending on the efficacy of your cooling. Both parts will be available worldwide on July 27. The Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor lineup is designed to take Intel's Core X series head-on, and will launch with two SKUs, initially. This includes the 12-core Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, and the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 1950X. Both parts further feature SMT and XFR. The 12-core/24-thread 1920X features clock speeds of 3.50 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost; while the 16-core/32-thread 1950X ticks at 3.40 GHz, with 4.00 GHz boost. AMD also ran live demos of the Threadripper chips, in which the 12-core 1920X was shown to beat 10-core Intel Core i9-7900X at Cinebench R15 multi-threaded benchmark. The 16-core 1950X was shown to be close to 50% faster than the i9-7900X. The company also confirmed pricing.

MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning X and Z Now Available on Newegg- $859/869

MSI's flagship Lightning series made a comeback to the green side with the NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti GPU, and they are now available for purchase on Newegg.com in the USA. In a relatively pleasant surprise, they are also selling for a lot lower than what we were originally told by MSI, and at $869.99 for the top-of-the-line Lightning Z, it comes in at $170 more than what the NVIDIA reference (no more Founders Edition price hike, if you may recall) is listed for.

We took a detailed look at the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z earlier this week and were quite impressed with the overall build quality and cooler: "MSI's GTX 1080 Ti Lightning is huge, having three slots, taking up 32 cm in length and 14 cm in height - make sure your case has room for it. As expected, a powerful thermal solution is included, which seems to be the best cooler I've seen in a long time. Temperatures are outstanding and better than any other GTX 1080 Ti, even with the overclock out of the box, which is higher than any other GTX 1080 Ti. At the same time, fan noise also matches the quietest GTX 1080 Tis (33 dBA), which clearly adds up to 'best cooler'."

ASUS Intros TUF X299 Mark 2 Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out its second socket LGA2066 motherboard in its extra-durable TUF (The Ultimate Force) series, the TUF X299 Mark 2. The company had shown off this board at the 2017 Computex. A slimmer variant of the TUF X299 Mark 1, the Mark 2 lacks innovations such as the add-on card reinforcement brace the company introduced with the Mark 1. It does retain most of the durability-enhancing component loadout which makes for the TUF moniker.

Built in the ATX form-factor, the TUF X299 Mark 2 draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors. It conditions power for the CPU using an 8-phase VRM made of durable, high-current chokes and driverMOSFETs. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, from which two are full x16 capable and feature reinforcement braces, and a third slot is x8 capable subject to a 44-lane CPU. An open-ended x4 slot and two x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion area.

ADATA Releases the SE730H External SSD with 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Type-C

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the SE730H external solid state drive, an update of the best-selling SE730. The SE730H performs at 500 MB/s read and write, and moves to 3D TLC NAND for increased durability and longevity, while remaining one of the most compact external SSDs worldwide.

It has a reversible USB-C connector for greater convenience, and a stylish metallic design. Data transfers use USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps). Importantly, the SE730H meets IEC IP68 dust and water proof requirements, as well as military-grade shock mitigation standards. Available in 256GB and 512GB, the SE730H is Windows, Mac OS, and Android compatible for seamless cross-platform usage.

TechPowerUp and Patriot Memory 4th of July Giveaway: The Winners!

TechPowerUp and Patriot Memory brought you the 4th of July Giveaway to celebrate America's 241st Independence Day. Up for grabs were three of Patriot's finest Viper Gaming peripherals, including the latest Viper Gaming V770 gaming keyboard, V570 gaming mouse, V370 gaming headset, V530 gaming mouse, and V361 gaming headset with stand. Open to residents of the US and Canada, the giveaway concluded today, and without further ado, here are the winners:
  • 1st prize - Sam from Worcester MA: Wins a Viper Gaming V770 keyboard + Viper V570 mouse + Viper V370 headset
  • 2nd prize - Colton from Pittston PA: Wins a Viper V361 headset with headset stand and USB 3.0 hub
  • 3rd prize - Victor from Machias ME: Wins a Viper V530 mouse
A huge congrats to you guys! TechPowerUp and Patriot Memory Viper Gaming will return with more such interesting giveaways!

Where's My Storage? Viking Technology Begins Shipping 25 TB, 50 TB 3.5" MLC SSDs

If there's one thing enthusiasts usually complain regarding SSDs is that here doesn't seem to exist any viable alternatives to a good old high-capacity platter-based drives. Where are my 2 TB SSDs for 200$? How can I possibly save my entire music library in this puny 512 GB SSD that has already cost me my arms and legs?

Well, those answers might not be coming anytime soon (even though the advent of QLC NAND might change that.) In the meantime, we can put our eyes on Viking Technology, so as to see that a halo SSD product can achieve amazing storage capacity in a standard form factor. The company has just started selling their UHC (Ultra High Capacity) Silo Series, which leverage SK Hynix's MLC NAND (if the capacity doesn't put your $ klaxons running, the use of MLC should.) The SSDs leverage a 6 GB/s SAS interface, and deliver 500 MB/s read and 350 MB/s write speeds. The manufacturer says these can sustain up to 60,000 IOPS on random reads, and 15,000 IOPS on random writes. These may sound low in high-performance terms (and they sort of are), but remember these are products geared for the enterprise market. Pricing wasn't (maybe smartly) disclosed. I believe I'd laugh maniacally should I know how much they cost. However, if you must have a high-capacity SSD, you know where to look for.

Sources: Tweakers.net, Thanks @ P4-630!

Logitech Acquires ASTRO Gaming for $85 million

In a move that is sure to increase Logitech's portfolio and cadre of available designs for its products, the Switzerland-based company has snagged up ASTRO Gaming for a cool $85 million. That both ASTRO and Logitech both have some of their more recognizable strengths in the same market - the headset one - didn't seem to faze Logitech's board. This probably means the company is looking to further lock-in the headset market through overwhelming quality and attractiveness of its headsets.

Super Talent Releases New TwoDrive Flash Drives with Lightning and USB 3.0

Super Talent Technology, a leading manufacturer of NAND Flash storage solutions and DRAM memory modules, unveils its new TwoDrive with Lightning and USB 3.0 connectors. Super Talents TwoDrive is a high-speed flash drive with Lightning and USB 3.0 dual end connectors to quickly and easily transfer files between devices, and works with use of free STT Mobile Manager app from App Store. The TwoDrive flash drive features a rotational connector design to allow user to swing the Lightning plug while the plug is in use.
Wednesday, July 12th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z 11 GB

Lightning is MSI's flagship card for the GTX 1080 Ti Series. Our review of the Lightning Z, which is the highest-clocked variant, confirms it has the best cooler of all GTX 1080 Tis; delivering lowest temperatures and lowest noise at the same time. The Lightning Z is also the fastest GTX 1080 Ti we ever tested, but it isn't exactly cheap at $999.

ID-Cooling Announces Frostflow Plus Series AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

ID-COOLING a cooling solution provider focusing on thermal dissipation and fan technology research and production for over 10 years, announced FROSTFLOW+ Series AIO water cooler, featuring classic black and white theme design, high performance pump and new radiator design. The pump is designed with a simple C character with an improved light diffuser which can provide smooth and even lighting effect. Pump header has white LED lighting.

Copper base contacts CPU to help the heat transfer. Micro fin submerged design increases the heat dissipation surface. The dimension of the whole water block is ⌀65 × 43 mm. Solid connectors are used on both ends of the premium sleeved tubing, more reliable & performance efficient. Inside the tubing is self-contained highly efficient and eco-friendly liquid coolant.

ASUS Intros VP28UQG 28-inch 4K UHD Gaming Monitor

ASUS rolled out the VP28UQG, a 28-inch gaming-grade monitor with 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) native resolution. Adding to its gaming credentials are 1 ms (GTG) response time, support for AMD FreeSync adaptive v-sync technology, and ASUS GamePlus, a collection of gamer-friendly features such as OSD crosshairs, frame-rate counter, and game genre-specific display presets. The monitor also features TÜV Rheinland Certification for flicker-free brightness control, and blue-light reduction.

The VP28UQG features a TN-film display panel with 170°/160° (H/V) viewing angles, 3840 x 2160 pixels native resolution, 1 ms response time (GTG), 10-bit (1.07 billion colors) palette, 300 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 1000:1 static contrast-ratio with dynamic mega-contrast ratio. Display inputs include one DisplayPort 1.2a, and two HDMI 2.0 connectors. The monitor features an audio DAC that puts out audio from the HDMI/DP input (your graphics card) to a 3.5 mm analog headphones jack. The company didn't reveal pricing.

QNAP Launches TS-x73U NAS with AMD R-Series Quad-core CPU

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the new business-class AMD-powered TS-x73U series NAS; available in 8, 12 and 16-bay models with single and redundant power supply options. With a high-performance AMD Embedded R-Series RX-421ND quad-core CPU (2.1 GHz base, 3.4 GHz boost), a pre-installed dual-port 10GbE SFP+ network card, and two M.2 SATA 6Gb/s SSD slots (for empowering SSD caching to realize optimized storage efficiency with Qtier technology), the rack-mountable TS-x73U series is ideal for business organizations looking for a secure private cloud and efficient IT infrastructure for 10GbE networks.

With a dual 10GbE configuration, the TS-x73U series is capable of delivering up to 1,567 MB/s throughput, while the accelerated encryption engine with AES-NI enables unmatched encryption performance of up to 1,244 MB/s to boost system performance. Coupled with high scalability, the 10GbE-ready TS-x73U series satisfies virtualization and fast backup/restoration requirements for an ever-growing amount of data that demands higher bandwidth, and facilitates day-to-day operations with greater productivity.

VIA Labs VL820 becomes the World's First USB-IF Certified USB 3.1 Gen 2 Hub

VIA Labs, Inc., a leading supplier of SuperSpeed USB and USB Power Delivery Controllers, today announced that the VIA Labs VL820 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Hub Controller has achieved SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps certification from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). The VIA Labs VL820 is the world's first USB-IF Certified USB 3.1 Gen 2 Hub.

The VIA Labs VL820 features one upstream port and four downstream ports, each capable of supporting SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps devices, while providing backward compatibility for previous generation USB devices. The VIA Labs VL820 was designed with USB-C in mind, integrating an optionally configurable USB Billboard Device for Alternate Mode applications such as Thunderbolt 3 peripherals or DisplayPort over USB-C multi-function dongles.

Intel Says AMD EPYC Processors "Glued-together" in Official Slide Deck

So, yes, Intel, I think the AMD engineers who have developed the Zen architecture from the ground-up would take issue with that. Especially when AMD's "Glued-together" dies actually wipe the proverbial floor with the blue company's chips in power-performance ratios, and deliver much better multi-threaded performance than Intel's offerings. Not bad for a "Glued-together" solution, I'd say.

Our resident W1zzard had this to say regarding AMD's latest CPUs: "The SenseMi power-management system seems to be working well in idle, with the 8-core machine drawing the same amount of power as Intel's quad-core "Kaby Lake" machine." And "At stock speeds, the energy-efficiency of Ryzen is truly phenomenal. Prime95 loads all cores and threads on the chip, and the Ryzen ends up with as much power draw as the quad-core Intel i7-7700K. The high power draw result of the overclocked chip is due to the increased voltage needed to achieve stable operation." And let's not forget this: This is epic. We're assuming you've sifted through our game-test results before seeing this page, and so you'll find that the gaming power draw of the 8-core Ryzen makes Intel's quad-core i7-7700K look bad. Power draw is as much as 30W lesser! Ryzen is hands down the most energy-efficient performance CPU AMD ever made, and easily outclasses Intel's 14 nm "leadership." Good show."

GIGABYTE Releases First Wave Of Products Based On Skylake Purley Architecture

GIGABYTE today announced its latest generation of servers based on Intel's Skylake Purley architecture. This new generation brings a wealth of new options in scalability - across compute, network and storage - to deliver solutions for any application, from the enterprise to the data center to HPC. (Jump ahead to system introductions).

This server series adopts Intel's new product family - officially named the 'Intel Xeon Scalable family' and utilizes its ability to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of the industry, from entry-level HPC to large scale clusters.. The major development in this platform is around the improved features and functionality at both the host and fabric levels. These enable performance improvements - both natively on chip and for future extensibility through compute, network and storage peripherals. In practical terms, these new CPUs will offer up to 28 cores, and 48 PCIe lanes per socket.

ADATA Confirms XPG SPECTRIX D40 RGB DDR4 With ASUS AURA Sync Support

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today announced that its upcoming XPG SPECTRIX D40 RGB DDR4 has been certified compatible with ASUS AURA Sync software. This allows users of ASUS motherboards to personalize the RGB lighting elements built into D40 modules with choice of color range, lighting sequence, and more. SPECTRIX D40 modules have been optimized for the Intel X299 platform with a starting speed of 2666MHz. They are also compatible with AMD AM4 motherboards. Designed for gamers, overclockers, and case modders, SPECTRIX D40 DDR4 modules provide more options and customization features and support the trend towards builds that incorporate sophisticated RGB and LED.

Kaspersky Lab Accused of Close Links to FSB, Removed From USG's GSA Listing

Yesterday, Bloomberg ran a story entitled "Kaspersky Lab Has Been Working With Russian Intelligence", in which the editors said that "Emails show the security-software maker developed products for the FSB and accompanied agents on raids." Eugene Kaspersky, Kaspersky CEO, naturally responded by saying that claims about Kaspersky Lab's ties to the Kremlin are "unfounded conspiracy theories" and "total BS." Bloomberg Businessweek even goes so far as to say that Kaspersky Lab has "maintained a much closer working relationship with Russia's main intelligence agency, the FSB, than it has publicly admitted. It has developed security technology at the spy agency's behest and worked on joint projects the CEO knew would be embarrassing if made public."

In the same article, Bloomberg's editors go on to say that "The U.S. government hasn't identified any evidence connecting Kaspersky Lab to Russia's spy agencies (...) In June, FBI agents visited a number of the company's U.S. employees at their homes, asking to whom they reported and how much guidance they received from Kaspersky's Moscow headquarters. And a bill was introduced in Congress that would ban the U.S. military from using any Kaspersky products (...)", with one senator calling ties between the company and the Kremlin "very alarming."

Here Be AMD RX Vega Model's Codenames: Vega XTX, Vega XT, Vega XL

Videocardz is running a story where some of their sources have seemingly confirmed the Radeon RX Vega model's codenames according to the particular GPU that's being run, with some juicy extra tidbits for your consumption pleasure. Naturally, as Videocardz themselves put it, codenames be codenames, and are always subject to change.

However, what is arguably more interesting is the supposed segregation between models. Apparently, the RX Vega XTX is the same GPU that ticks inside AMD's Vega Frontier Edition, only with a reference water cooling solution attached to it. They report that the board should pull in 375 W of power, with the GPU pulling in 300 W of those. The Vega XT will reportedly be a more mundane air-cooled version of the graphics card, as are the until-now launched Frontier Edition versions of it (with a reduced 285 W board power, with the ASIC now pulling 220 of those watts.) The most interesting point, though, is the Vega XL. Videocardz is reporting that this will be a cut-down version of the Vega XTX and Vega XT's 4096 Stream Processors, down to 3584 Stream Processors, and that it will be sold exclusively in custom variants designed by AMD's AIB partners. Board power and ASIC power are the same as the Vega XT version, though, which seems strange, considering the not insignificant cut down in graphics processing resources. It is unclear as of yet the amount of HBM 2 memory the AIB-exclusive Vega XL will carry, but the Vega XTX and Vega XT should both deliver 8 GB of it.

Source: Videocardz

RX Vega is On the Road: AMD Showcases Their Latest on a Road Trip

In a bid to increase interest and feed the Radeon rebels with hope for their latest high-performance GPU architecture, AMD is beginning a celebration of sorts, a road trip that will span two continents. Now this community tour won't be a non-stop travel and showcase - it's really only going to stop in two places. Still, AMD will be giving those lucky enough to be in attendance a chance to visit their Radeon RX Vega Experience area, where you'll be able to game on the upcoming graphics card and take in the experience, trade-show-style.

The first stop is in the old continent: the Radeon Experience will be setting up shop in the Akvárium Klub in Budapest, Hungary, from 2 to 7 CET. Then, the Radeon team will travel across the pond towards the USA, more specifically, towards PDXLAN in Portland, from July 21st to July 23rd. Finally, the last stop is one we knew about already: SIGGRAPH in the City of Angels. As we knew, they confirm that "Details on the Radeon RX Vega are coming during SIGGRAPH 2017, so you'll want to pay attention to what's happening during this technology summit taking place in the last week of July." So now you know. Are you going to go out of your way to attend?

Sources: Radeon RX Community, Thanks @ Steevo!

Colorful Announces the iGame GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Neptune W Graphics Card

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, officially debuts the international name for its liquid-cooled GPUs with the announcement of the Neptune series of graphics cards, starting off with the most powerful model which debuted in COMPUTEX, the iGame GTX 1080 Ti Neptune W.

The iGame GTX 1080 Ti Neptune W ships with 3584 CUDA cores, and runs at a base clock frequency of 1594 MHz while the GPU Boost clock speed can go up to 1708 MHz. To improve the performance even further, the iGame GTX 1080 Ti Neptune W has also been outfitted with GDDR5X memory module running at 11 Gbps that bring gamers more powerful game performance.

Cryorig Offers C7 Cu Cooler for Taku Kickstarter Edition Backers

Cryorig sweetened the deal for backing its upcoming compact chassis, the Taku, on Kickstarter, by including what it calls the "best ITX-ready CPU air-cooler." The company is including a C7 Cu low-profile CPU cooler for free with each Taku Kickstarter Edition case bound for its backers (by backing the project with at least $299). The C7 Cu is valued at $50.

The C7 Cu is a variant of the C7 low-profile top-flow CPU cooler, which features copper fins instead of aluminium. The cooler can cope with slightly higher thermal loads than its aluminium sibling. The company first showed off the cooler at the 2017 Computex. In addition to this deal, Cryorig lowered the cost of backing two Taku cases down to $260 per unit (at least $520), which includes two C7 Cu coolers.
Tuesday, July 11th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
Sound Cards
SSD

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450

The Turtle Beach Stealth 450 is a wireless gaming headset with great sound quality, an impressive wireless range, and long battery life. Its microphone isn't capable of delivering the performance needed for streaming or voiceovers, but with a price of $85, the Stealth 450 provides excellent value for the money regardless.

Patriot Announces Memory Compatibility with AMD Ryzen and AM4 Platforms

Patriot, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions, announces the compatibility of its Viper 4, Viper Elite and Signature Line DDR4 with the new AMD Ryzen and AM4 platforms. After extensive compatibility testing on X370 and B350 chipsets, using the AMD Ryzen R5 and R7 processors, and in partnership with key motherboard vendors, Patriot has developed a list of Ryzen compatible DDR4 parts.

"After working closely with our motherboard partners, these compatible kits will deliver maximum performance at factory-tested speeds," said Victor Chiu, DRAM Product Manager for Patriot. Offering compatible dual, quad and single configurations, with capacities ranging from 4GB to 64GB and speeds between 2133MHz and 3400MHz, Patriot Viper Elite, Viper 4 and Signature Line DDR4 Memory will provide both the every-day consumer as well as the PC enthusiast looking to upgrade their system to the new AMD Ryzen platform with reliable, award-winning, memory.

MSI Intros the GK-701 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

MSI today introduced the GK-701 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. Built with a standard 104-keyset, the GK701 RGB features Cherry MX Speed Silver mechanical switches with RGB LED lighting, which can be controlled using MSI Mystic Light RGB software. You get hotkeys that set LED lighting and color from across a 16.7 million color palette on-the-fly, as well as some groovy lighting effect presets. The keyboard also offers multimedia hotkeys, and macro keys. The keyboard is rated for up to 50 million key presses per key. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel Unveils Powerful Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel today launched its new Intel Xeon Scalable processors, providing businesses with breakthrough performance to handle compute-hungry tasks including real-time analytics, virtualized infrastructure and high-performance computing. Today's launch marks the greatest set of data center and network processor advancements in a decade.

"Data center and network infrastructure is undergoing massive transformations to support emerging use cases like precision medicine, artificial intelligence and agile network services paving the path to 5G," said Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Intel Data Center Group. "Intel Xeon Scalable processors represent the biggest data center advancement in a decade."

AMD AIB Partners' RX Vega Manufacturing, BIOS Release Schedule Leaked

Disclaimer things first: take this with a grain of salt, since this hasn't seen the amount of confirmations we'd like. 3D Center has come out with a table that supposedly demonstrates the schedule of RX Vega manufacturing and integration work from AMD's add-in-board partners (which includes the likes of Sapphire, XFX, PowerColor, and others.) Remember that manufacturers receive a suggested reference design from AMD as to how to incorporate their GPUs into an actually operable graphics card, with varying degrees of customization according to the particular partner we're talking about. And this process takes time.

According to the leaked schedule, the BOM (Bill Of Materials) for the required parts to properly manufacture an RX Vega graphics card was to be released sometime in June, with engineering validation tests going through the end of June towards the beginning of this month (July.) Actual working samples from AIB partners are scheduled to be available in the middle of this month, with product validation tests (PVT) stretching towards the beginning of August (you'll remember AMD has confirmed they'll be formally announcing the RX Vega graphics card(s) at SIGGRAPH 2017, which stretches through July 30th and August 3rd.)

Toshiba and WD Power Struggle Continues - WD Bid for Toshiba's Business 6 Times

You must remember the ongoing house of horrors that is Toshiba's financial situation. Granted, it isn't that bad - the company is still managing to push the envelope on its semiconductor production business. Still, I'm sure the company would have liked to not be on the verge of selling out 20% of its memory business production stake - which is one of the company's most profitable divisions to begin with.

ADATA Releases XPG GAMMIX Line with S10 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD and D10 DDR4

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched its XPG GAMMIX product series, first shown at Computex 2017. The debut consists of the GAMMIX S10 PCIe3x4 NVMe 1.2 M.2 2280 SSD, capable of 1800 MB/s read and 850MB/s write thanks to premium 3D NAND in up to 1TB capacity. The S10 features a stylish heatsink for expedited heat dissipation. It is joined by GAMMIX D10 DDR4 memory modules, which likewise boast a custom heatshield to ensure lower temperatures and more stable performance. They are offed in black and red colors, and in up to 3000 MHz factory speeds with a starting speed of 2666MHz on new Intel X299 motherboards. The GAMMIX line provides gamers, PC DIY enthusiasts, and overclockers with additional options that combine performance and design, stemming from the core XPG mission statement of ensuring better experiences.

MSI Announces X299 XPOWER Gaming AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce its newest X299 flagship motherboard, the X299 XPOWER GAMING AC. Designed for PC enthusiasts and overclockers who love sheer performance, the new XPOWER features an incredible 14 phase (12+1+1) DigitALL premium power design with Loadline Calibration to harness even the most powerful Intel Core X-Series processors. With the addition of MSI's Turbo Socket and External Clock Gen, powered by top quality components from Military Class 6, such as Titanium Choke II for higher efficiency and power delivery, even the most demanding overclockers are being challenged to push the new XPOWER to its limits.

Corsair Neutron NX500 SSD on Newegg; Available in 400 GB and 800 GB

Corsair has quietly added a new SSD to its portfolio which is currently available on Newegg. The new Neutron NX500 SSDs come in somewhat unusual 400 GB and 800 GB capacities, which likely means an overly increased over provisioning so as to ensure top endurance and performance. The Neutron NX500 SSDs come in the add-in NVMe card form factor, with a beefy heatsink to top it all up. That heatsink serves to cool not only the NAND chips, but also the Phison E7 controller that's lurking underneath.

Interestingly, and even though 3D TLC NAND is all the rage these days due to increased density on the same footprint, without bringing any serious, real-world problems related to endurance, as we've seen, the Neutron NX500 appears to pack MLC memory. Do you even remember that? That's part of the reason why performance is rated so high: there's 3,000 MB/s read, 2,400 MB/s writes, 300,000 IOPS in random read, and 270,000 IOPS on random write workloads. Though you will have to pay a pretty penny for this kind of performance: the 400 GB Corsair Neutron NX500 is currently retailing for $319.99, while the 800 GB version won't give you any benefits from the economy of scale: it retails for $699.99.

Source: Tom's Hardware

Toshiba Develops World's First 3D Flash Memory with TSV Technology

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced development of the world's first BiCS FLASH three-dimensional (3D) flash memory utilizing Through Silicon Via (TSV) technology with 3-bit-per-cell (triple-level cell, TLC) technology. Shipments of prototypes for development purposes started in June, and product samples are scheduled for release in the second half of 2017. The prototype of this groundbreaking device will be showcased at the 2017 Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California, United States, from August 7-10.

Devices fabricated with TSV technology have vertical electrodes and vias that pass through silicon dies to provide connections, an architecture that realizes high speed data input and output while reducing power consumption. Real-world performance has been proven previously, with the introduction of Toshiba's 2D NAND Flash memory.

Team Group Announces T-FORCE DELTA RGB Luminous Memory Modules

TEAMGROUP's gaming brand T-FORCE has once again shined with the launch of the all-new luminous DDR4 memory module: the DELTA RGB. Making its debut at COMPUTEX 2017, the DELTA RGB has captured everyone's attention during the exhibition with its dazzling ultra wide angle and full-range spectrum lighting effect. The DELTA RGB memory module features black or white heat spreaders, created by the TEAMGROUP design team with all new concepts. The heat spreaders are made with improved, high-quality metal that creates better dissipation and now are lighter and thinner than anything before it. The R on the DELTA RGB represents not only RGB but also revolution which symbolizes the company's creative concept with uncompromised spirit. To further highlight this symbolism, the effect of R is also amazingly showcasing the excellent illumination of DELTA RGB.

The DELTA RGB's unibody, geometric design gives the metal heat spreader a simple yet aggressive look. The embossed lines on the surface not only increase the heat dissipation area and also effectively enhance cooling of the memory module, so the quality of the operation can be finely stabilized. DELTA RGB is using full color, dazzling ultra wide angle RGB LED lighting with Force Flow effect. Moreover, the full range, 120° ultra wide angle luminous area at the top emits colorful bright light. It offers a vibrant array of colors that dazzle onlookers. Like a beam saber, it's a weapon to cut through the gaming world wielded by the player.
Monday, July 10th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors
SSD
Storage

Aqua Computer cuplex kryos NEXT CPU Water Block

The cuplex kryos NEXT from Aqua Computer is an extremely customizable water block with features including an integrated display with a 32-bit ARM MCU, the ability to fit the block to your particular CPU, an industry-first physical vapor deposited titanium coating, and excellent performance overall to choose from. With over 90 different configurations ranging from $60 to $260, there is something to suit everyone.

GIGABYTE Intros the Aorus ATC 700 CPU Cooler

GIGABYTE today rolled out the Aorus ATC 700 tower-type CPU cooler. The company had first exhibited this cooler at the 2017 Computex event. Its design involves a large yet conventional tower-type aluminium fin-stack heatsink, to which heat drawn by three 10 mm-thick copper heat pipes, is conveyed to the fin-stack, which is ventilated by a pair of 120 mm fans in push-pull configuration. The heat pipes make direct contact with the CPU at the base.

The topmost aluminium fin is topped off by an ABS shroud with a glowing Aorus logo, which has an RGB LED element that can be controlled using GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software. Each of the two fans takes in 4-pin PWM power input, features double ball-bearings, spins between 500 to 1,700 RPM, with 14 to 53 CFM of air-flow, and noise output proportionately ranging between 12 to 31 dBA. The cooler supports most modern CPU sockets, including AM4, LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA115x, LGA1366, and LGA775. The company didn't reveal pricing.

EVGA Intros GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID Graphics Card

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID w/ iCX Technology combines the cooling advancements of the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid cooler with EVGA's exclusive iCX Technology. Featuring a total of 11 global patents, iCX is the very definition of Interactive Cooling. With EVGA's iCX Technology, users will have a better understanding of their graphics card's operation. This includes temperature monitoring on key components (not just GPU) and targeted cooling, which provides better overclocking capabilities.

On top of that, we took our award-winning HYBRID solution and cranked it up a notch by including a dedicated memory cooling plate that makes direct contact with the cooling block. The VRM area of the card is covered by a dedicated heatsink/fan that keeps the power areas of the card cool, even during a long gaming session. Of course, the HYBRID water cooling solution gives you unbelievable GPU temperatures, sometimes cutting your GPU load temperatures in half! Best of all? The water cooler is completely self-contained, with an included 120mm radiator and fan, no filling, no custom tubing, and no maintenance. Just plug and play! All backed by EVGA's legendary Warranty. The choice is simple: EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 HYBRID is truly water-cooled domination.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.1 Beta Drivers

AMD today released the latest version of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition graphics drivers. Version 17.7.1 Beta adds support for new crypto-currency mining SKUs based on Radeon RX 460 and RX 470; and RX 550 and RX 560. It fixes a"Tekken 7" application crash seen on R9 380 graphics cards; and crashes noticed on "FFXIV" and "Little Nightmares" on Radeon 300-series SKUs. In addition, it addresses graphics corruption issues seen on "Rainbow Six Siege" when MSAA is enabled; borderless-fullscrreen incompatibility with FreeSync on some applications; and stuttering on some FreeSync setups running Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and World of Warcraft. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.1 BetaImage Credit: Beyond the Routine
The change-log follows.

Intel Pentium G4560 Cannibalizing Core i3 Sales, Company Effectively Kills it

Intel Pentium G4560 dual-core socket LGA1151 processor is too good for Intel's comfort. For the past two generations, Intel has enabled HyperThreading on Pentium dual-core chips, and expanded L3 cache amount from 2 MB to 3 MB; which had been the two key differentiators for the company's Core i3 desktop lineup from Pentium. HyperThreading was warranted by an increasing number of games and applications which wouldn't work without at least 4 logical CPUs. The G4560 is a formidable part at its USD $64 price - 2 cores, 4 threads, the latest "Kaby Lake" micro-architecture, 3 MB L3 cache, and 3.50 GHz clock speeds. On the flip side, it makes buying Core i3 dual-core parts close to double its price a dumb option. Intel's solution? Effectively kill it.

According to a DigiWorthy report, Intel has decided to scale down production of the Pentium G4560 in a bid to cripple its availability, and force consumers to opt for pricier 7th generation Core i3 parts. The cheapest part, the Core i3-7100, is priced almost double that of the G4560, at $117. You get the same two "Kaby Lake" cores, 4 threads enabled by HyperThreading, the same 3 MB L3 cache, but slightly higher clock speeds of 3.90 GHz, and a faster integrated graphics core, if you use one. Does the extra 400 MHz warrant double the price? Not even in the case of Intel's priciest Core i7 SKUs. All prices are Intel's "recommended customer price" for 1000-unit tray quantities.

Source: DigiWorthy

Oculus Rift, Touch VR on Sale: Grab Yours While it Lasts

One of the hottest pieces of tech in the last few years, Oculus' Rift and Touch VR add-on, have entered a sale of sorts, which bring the pricing on these pieces of kit down to more humane, tenable values. If you are living over in the Great Britain side of the pond, you can grab your Rift+ Oculus Touch VR kit for a reasonable (for the tech) £399, for a limited time only. Scan.uk has you covered. On the other side of the pond (that means you, US), you can grab the same kit for an even more reasonable $399 (Newegg pricing at time of writing.)

These deals are being touted as limited to supply, and of a short duration. So if you think the hardware is at a point you're comfortable with, and that the platform and software ecosystem have matured enough for you to take the plunge, now might be the best time in a while to do so.

Sources: Reddit, Newegg, Scan

No End to GPU Supply Woes: Germany Supplier Hit by Shortage, Pulls Cards

There seems to be no end in sight for current high-performance, discrete graphics cards' supply constraints. If you've been looking for a specialized graphics processing unit to push eye-candy on your favored 3D experiences to the max, you've probably been having trouble for a while now. It all stems from a crazy, dizzying wave of cryptocurrency mining. And the fact that this mining spree has already taken global mining power consumption to levels close to a 17 million population country, as one of our editors puts it, kind of has a human problem. And it would seem that not even NVIDIA and AMD's partners' attempts to sate current miners' appetite for profit-generating graphics cards has put a dent on demand.

Colorful Launches the iGame X299 Vulcan X Motherboard

Colorful today launched its flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the iGame X299 Vulcan X, which it showcased earlier at the 2017 Computex. The board is available in two variants based on their color-schemes, white and black. The white model features a white PCB, I/O shroud, and white PCH and VRM heatsinks, while the black variant is almost completely black. Both variants have an identical feature-set. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 6-pin PCIe power connectors, and uses a 10-phase VRM to power the CPU. The CPU is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

Storage options include a 32 Gb/s M.2-22110 slot, a 32 Gb/s M.2-2280 slot, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (one each type-A and type-C), six USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel and two by headers); and two special USB 2.0 ports on the rear panel which are optimized for gaming input devices, with additional electrical stabilization. Of its two gigabit Ethernet connections, one is driven by an Intel i211-AT controller, and the other by Realtek DragonLAN 8118AS. Audio includes a Realtek ALC1220 CODEC with 120 dBA SNR; a headphones amp, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The board features dual-BIOS with manual switching, and a host of overclocking features. The company didn't reveal EU pricing.

MIT, Stanford Partner Towards Making CPU-Memory BUSes Obsolete

Graphene has been hailed for some time now as the next natural successor to silicon, today's most used medium for semiconductor technology. However, even before such more exotic solutions to current semiconductor technology are employed (and we are still way off that future, at least when it comes to mass production), engineers and researchers seem to be increasing their focus in one specific part of computing: internal communication between components.

Typically, communication between a computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a system's memory (usually DRAM) have occurred through a bus, which is essentially a communication highway between data stored in the DRAM, and the data that the CPU needs to process/has just finished processing. The fastest CPU and RAM is still only as fast as the bus, and recent workloads have been increasing the amount of data to be processed (and thus transferred) by orders of magnitude. As such, engineers have been trying to figure out ways of increasing communication speed between the CPU and the memory subsystem, as it is looking increasingly likely that the next bottlenecks in HPC will come not through lack of CPU speed or memory throughput, but from a bottleneck in communication between those two.

Razer's Hong Kong IPO: Raising $600m

Razer is apparently looking towards raising some more liquidity towards its coffers. Remember that Razer is the company that recently acquired certification-experts THX. Even though having a THX certification today doesn't have the same weight as it did some years ago, Razer has started taking the first steps towards integration of the certification with its products, in a bid to have yet another selling badge to appeal to customers. These $600m are being destined to future growth (particularly in Asian markets), as well as an attempt to "Broaden the appeal of [Razer's] brand; (...) continue to introduce innovative, category-defining experiences; and deepen global market penetration."

Razer's recent financial filings indicate Razer operated at a $20m profit in 2012-2013, but ran a loss of ~$70m in 2015-2016 because of multiple acquisitions as well as a tripling in R&D activities. These increased spendings weren't accompanied by an equivalent increase in revenue, however, hence why 2015-2016 ended up in the red. This doesn't mean the company is in bad shape, though: it's just that R&D, as well as an increasing presence in physical stores, all take up money in the short term, while arguably having more effects in the long term.

Sources: HK Hex News, AnandTech

Intel Core i9 7900X Overclocked to 6.01 GHz Under LN2 - Beats HWBOT World Record

HWBOT user sofos1990 took an Intel Core i9 CPU to party like it was the nineties, straddling it under a LN2 cooling chamber to achieve the enormous 6.01 GHz overclocked frequency (82.3% over stock clocks). The achieved score, at 12189.52 points, settles this run as the highest-scoring 10-core score ever, and also becomes the highest single-processor system score ever achieved in the platform. This was done under an extremely crispy 1.6 V processor vCore, though, so it definitely wasn't for the faint of heart.
Friday, July 7th 2017

Today's Reviews

Desktop PC
Game Controllers
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Networking
Processors
SSD
Storage

ASRock X299 Taichi

The ASRock X299 Taichi comes with a fresh look that's still familiar. Boasting support for Intel's latest Skylake-X processors, the board features dual LAN, integrated Wifi, three M.2 ports and outstanding audio performance. Yet again ASRock manages to impress!

Originative SABER68 Keyboard

The SABER68 from Originative Co. is a 65% form-factor keyboard with functionality similar to a TKL keyboard. Originative added its own tweaks to this project in the form of dye sublimated PBT keycaps and exclusive MOD linear and tactile switches that aim to offer options many have asked for and not received from Cherry.

AMD Threadripper 1950X 16-core Appears on Geekbench and SiSoft Sandra

With AMD's Threadripper family just a few weeks away from launch, it appears we are already getting some preliminary benchmark results in via both Geekbench and SiSoft Sandra benchmarks. This latest set of leaks isn't the first bench of the flagship 1950X, but it is the newest and thus should give us a more accurate picture of present optimizations.

Interestingly, the single core performance dropped a bit on GeekBench, from 4216 to 4074. It made up for it in multi-threading however, where the chip posted a result of 26768, up from 24723. Sadly, these numbers still pale in comparison to the 10-core i9-7900X, in both single threaded and multi-threaded figures. As the 1950X ships with significantly lower clocks compared to the i9-7900X's clocks (with boost considered, anyway), I suppose it truly will come down to whether these CPUs can close the gap via overclocking, or optimizations towards launch and beyond. Either way, it seems there may be a bit of a hill to climb to get there. Whether or not it is surmountable remains to be seen.

On Cryptocoins: I think I know why Satoshi Nakamoto Hides

To all you out there wondering why you can't get a GPU for gaming at a reasonable rate, or why we are using record numbers in energy usage to mint so called "toy money," depleting our planets energy in the process, I have a bit of a statement to make as a former miner and "part of the problem" so to speak.

I'm sorry, it wasn't supposed to be this way. None of it was supposed to go down like this.

That probably requires some justification, yes? I mean mining is an inherently energy expensive operation, right? Well, yes and no, respectively. Yes, it requires justification, and that's precisely because mining is NOT an inherently energy expensive operation, despite public perception. It has become that way due to human greed, and nearly everything bad to come from cryptocurrency has decidedly come from that group: humans. Cryptocurrency is not inherently responsible. The inventors, pioneers, and early miners such as myself never anticipated what was to come, and we did not intend it to be this way. Bitcoin was intended to do good, and in the end, it wasn't cryptocurrency that screwed it all up, it was humans. Human greed, particularly.

ID-Cooling Intros the Hunter Duet II CPU+VGA AIO Liquid Cooler

ID-Cooling introduced the second edition of its Hunter Duet dual-block CPU + VGA closed-loop cooler. The new Hunter Duet II features improvements to the CPU and VGA pump-blocks that increase coolant pressure, and 50% higher heat dissipation thanks to the larger 360 mm x 120 mm radiator, compared to its predecessor's 240 mm x 120 mm. Like its predecessor, the design of the Hunter Duet II includes two pump blocks - a conventional block over the CPU, and one over the GPU. The GPU component features a cooler shroud with a fan which ventilates aluminium heatsinks over the memory and VRM.

The two blocks are attached in serial, while the heat is dissipated by the radiator, ventilated by three included 120 mm fans. The cooler has a combined thermal capacity of 500W. The Hunter Duet II supports newer CPU socket types, including AM4, LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), LGA115x, AM3(+), and FM2(+). Its VGA component supports most GPUs with mount-hole spacing of 58.4 mm and 53.3 mm. Its blocks feature ceramic bearings. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

Cryptocurrency Mining Consumes More Power Than 17M Population Country

So, yes, the headline is accurate. We all know that cryptocurrency mining has now reached an all time high, which has affected availability and pricing of most graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA. Who doesn't want to make a quick buck here and there? So long as it's profitable, right?

Well, that kind of thinking has already brought the global mining power consumption to unprecedented levels (some might also say demented.) The two top cryptocurrencies right now (by market-cap), Bitcoin and Ethereum, are each responsible for 14.54 TWh and 4.69 TWh power consumption figures. As of now, Ethereum consumes almost as much power as the 120th most power-consuming country, Moldova, which has a population of around 3 million. Bitcoin, on the other hand, stands at 81st on the list, in-between Mozambique and Turkmenistan, the latter of which has a population estimated at 5.17 million people. Combined, Ethereum and Bitcoin consume more power than Syria, which had an estimated 2014 population above 17 million.

Steam Survey Update: It's All About Quad-cores, NVIDIA and Windows 10

An update to the Steam survey results is always worth noting, especially with the added, tremendous growth Valve's online store service has seen recently. And it seems that in the Steam gaming world at least, quad-core CPUs, NVIDIA graphics cards, and Windows 10 reign supreme.

Windows 10 64-bit is the most used operating system, with 50.33% of the survey. That the second most used Windows OS is the steady, hallmark Windows 7 shouldn't come as a surprise, though it does have just 32.05% of the market now. OS X has a measly 2.95% of the grand total, while Linux comes in at an even lower 0.72%. While AMD processor submits may have increased in other software, it seems that at least in Steam, those numbers aren't reflected, since AMD's processor market share in the survey has decreased from 21.89% in February to just 19.01% as of June, even though the company's Ryzen line of CPUs has been selling like hotcakes. Quad-core CPUs are the most used at time of the survey, at 52.06%, while the next highest percentage is still the dual-core CPU, with 42.23%.

A Steamroller Among PC Games Stores: Steam Increases Growth, Updates Incoming

In an internal presentation, Valve, the company which simply won't give us Half Life 3, made a pretty interesting presentation on its growth and plans for the future. During the independent games showcase Indigo 2017, which took place in the Netherlands this past June, Steam revealed it had achieved a record 14 million concurrent users, up from a 2015 peak of (comparatively) just 8.4 million. Some other interesting statistics include an average of 33 million daily active players; 67 million monthly active players; and around 26 million gamers who made new purchases since January 2016.

North America seems to represent the bulk of Steam sales, with around 34% of sales through the market occurring way over that side of the ocean. Next comes Western Europe, with 29% of the sales pie, followed by Asia, which achieves a grand total of 17%. Next come the Russian Territories, Oceania and Latin America, which account for 5%, 4%, and 3% respectively. We'll just assume the remaining 8% come from Eastern Europe, the African Continent, and those researchers in Antarctica. Jokes aside, this shows monumental growth for the company, which should only increase provided the continued growth of the PC gaming market. Steam certainly has features games appreciate already - the growth speaks strongly for this. So now Valve only has to not ruin it, and keep on adding incremental features.

MSI Releases Special Motherboard BIOSes for Crypto-currency Mining

With the rise of bitcoin/ethereum mining, AMD graphics cards once again became one of the top-selling graphics card series in the market. However, it is relatively harder to acquire the economic mining motherboard due to the fact that Intel slowly discontinued the H81 and B85 chipset, and this caused the shortage of mining motherboards in the market. Users found a new way out along with the release of the 100-series chipset, yet many of them found that when they attached 6 AMD graphics cards on the 100-series motherboard, even though the board successfully recognized 6 graphics cards, there were always exclamation marks on 3 or 4 graphics cards within device manager in the OS. And, of course, the cards with exclamation marks would not function properly during mining. MSI consistently heard such inquiries from customers.

Hence, MSI does a series of tests for its products and picked a couple motherboards including Z170-A PRO, Z170A SLI PLUS, Z170 KRAIT GAMING, Z170A KRAIT GAMING, Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X, Z270-A PRO, H270-A PRO which fit the purpose of mining. There are few things that need to be done before mining and it will be explained in the paragraph below using MSI Z270-A PRO as example.
DOWNLOAD: MSI Motherboard BIOS Update for Mining Builds

Alphacool Intros AlphaCord and Eiskamm Cable-management Accessories

The AlphaCool AlphaCord Sleeve gives you the ability to style your PC all around. It has a fabulous appearance due to its narrow and opaque fabric (Paracord). Furthermore, it is perfect for "shrinklees sleeving" and is more supple than plastic sleeve. To put the whole thing perfectly in scene, we offer the perfect accessory with the Alphacool Eiskamm Cable Combs. Made of aluminum and in 4 colors anodized, the sleeving is perfect for a professional look.
Video presentation follows.
Thursday, July 6th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.2.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of TechPowerUp GPU-Z. Version 2.2.0 adds support for new GPUs, and adds new advanced features. To begin with, GPU-Z can now display graphics memory timings for AMD Radeon GPUs, in the advanced panel. The driver version field in the main tab now displays driver date in a tool-tip. Sensor data display mode (current/minimum/maximum/average) can now be set in preferences, so you don't have to manually set them on each start-up. It's now easier to copy data from the advanced panel, with a new context menu.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.2.0 also comes with under the hood changes. The overall start-up speed of GPU-Z has been improved on slower systems; immediate clean-up of "Query_External" files from the temp directory; a fix for missing sensors in graphics sub-systems with shared memory; the order of OpenCL properties has been improved in the advanced panel. Support is added for EVGA iCX fan monitoring. Among the new GPUs supported are NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030, 810M, Mining P104, P106; and Quadro P3000; Intel Iris Plus 640 & 650, GMA600; and improved support for AMD Radeon RX 560.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.2.0

The change-log follows.

Shuttle Upgrades XPC Nano Models with Kaby Lake Processors

As the third generation of the "XPC nano" series, which was originally introduced in 2015, four new models are now being added to the product range. The seventh generation of Intel Core processors (Kaby Lake) boosts the level of performance while simultaneously reducing the energy consumption once again. The core components supplied with the NC03 barebone models are the chassis, mainboard, cooling system and the power supply unit. Choosing a model will also determine the particular processor, which is already soldered on the mainboard - either a Celeron, Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7. The base model NC03U features an Intel Celeron 3865U dual-core processor clocked at 2x 1.8 GHz. The tried-and-tested 14 nm architecture and power consumption of just 5 Watt in idle mode represent a particularly high level of energy efficiency.

Like the previous range of NC02 models, the chassis dimensions here are 141 x 141 x 42 mm and can accommodate one 2.5-inch drive with a maximum height of 15 mm. When undoing the two screws of the covers of the black chassis, space for the above mentioned 2.5-inch drive in the form of a high-capacity hard disk or SSD comes to light. Two SO-DIMM sockets can be fitted with up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory in total. In addition, one free M.2 expansion slot is available and, thanks to it being PCIe, it supports fast NVMe cards with a length of 80 mm. A second M.2 slot is already equipped with a WLAN module.

Micron DRAM Production Facility Closed Due to Contamination

If you didn't already know, semiconductor production plants are some of the most aseptic locations you can usually find deployed around the world (remember those pictures of engineers wearing full-body suits and face masks?) As is often the case with cutting edge technology, there is usually no place for variable conditions; precision-level manufacturing requires the most stable, predictable working and manufacturing conditions that can possibly be achieved. When something goes wrong, say, when the nitrogen gas dispensing system of a major semiconductor manufacturing facility acts up and releases uncalibrated amounts of gas, things can go very wrong, very quickly.

That is exactly what happened with Micron's Fab 2 in Taiwan. Fab 2 was a result of Micron's Inotera acquisition, and production from this fab accounts for around 5.5% of the global DRAM supply (125,000 wafers per month) Due to the nitrogen gas dispenser malfunction, both wafers and equipment were contaminated, which Trendforce says reduced Inotera's production capability by 60,000 wafers. Now, granted, Micron has already officially come out and say that this was all a "minor accident" which "had no impact" on business. However, one has to consider that Fab 2 mainly specializes in production of LPDDR4 memory, which is essentially used in mobile phone environments - Apple being the company's biggest consumer of DRAM chips. With iPhone 8 production supposedly in full swing, if I were Micron, I would certainly prefer to take a bite out of my DRAM supplies than admit production capacity reduction and shortages to such a partner. If Apple were to take its business elsewhere, Micron would be hard-pressed to find another customer of that caliber.

Sources: Trendforce, Reuters

Sk Hynix Begins Mass Production of 72-Layer 3D NAND

After announcing their intention to begin mass production of their latest 72-Layer 3D NAND Flash back in April, SK Hynix has now confirmed that it has entered mass production of the high density NAND modules. Apparently, SK Hynix has already achieved the much sought-after "golden yield" ratios, where the semiconductor yield is now at such a level that it is advantageous to finally enter mass production. Apparently, SK Hynix's leadership was fearful of not being able to achieve the golden yield in a timely manner after their announcement of the technology only three months ago; however, after its "management team and engineers repeatedly spent nights doing research, yield went up vertically and has become comparable to Samsung Electronics'" own yield - and as you know, Samsung is kind of the golden standard when it comes to NAND technology.

According to industry sources, SK Hynix is already mass-producing SSDs (Solid State Drives) with the company's own controllers and firmware which leverage this new 72-layer 256Gb NAND flash memory. This is a welcome change for the company which should allow it to increase revenue, since this is the first time controllers are developed in-house. The company is also said to be already producing eMMC (embedded Multimedia Card) for mobile devices based on this technology, with supply already arriving to its customers.

Source: English ET News

AMD RX Vega Reportedly Beats GTX 1080; 5% Performance Improvement per Month

New benchmarks of an RX Vega engineering sample video card have surfaced. There have been quite a few benchmarks for this card already, which manifests with the 687F:C1 identifier. The new, GTX 1080 beating benchmark (Gaming X version, so a factory overclocked one) comes courtesy of 3D Mark 11, with the 687F:C1 RX Vega delivering 31,873 points in its latest appearance (versus 27,890 in its first). Since the clock speed of the 687F:C1 RX Vega has remained the same throughout this benchmark history, I think it's fair to say these improvements have come out purely at the behest of driver and/or firmware level performance improvements.

Colorful Intros H81A-BTC V20 Motherboard for Cryptocurrency Mining

Quite a few motherboard manufacturers are designing boards for crypto-currency mining rigs. The idea behind these boards is to serve up as many PCI-Express add-on card slots as possible, so miners can wire those slots out through risers, and drive way more than 7 GPU/ASIC cards. This makes for a better investment than building additional machines for more than 7 cards. Crypto-currency mining isn't bandwidth-heavy, and so even PCI-Express x1 provides sufficient connectivity for mining cards. The H81A-BTC V20 from Colorful is a socket LGA1150 motherboard, which takes in old "Haswell" and "Broadwell" CPUs, a pair of DDR3 memory modules, and puts out seven PCI-Express slots, of which one is x16, and the rest x1. The board draws power from 6-pin PCIe and 4-pin Molex, besides 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX, to cope with add-on cards that don't have their own power sources.
Wednesday, July 5th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Intel Skulltrail vs. Intel Skull Canyon

A battle of the ages - can the biggest and baddest setup from 2008 beat out the pocket-sized NUC? We ran each through a large variety of tests, from professional applications to gaming, to see just how far Intel's technology has come.

Creative Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 Keyboard

The Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 is the first keyboard from Creative and features OMRON mechanical switches, full 16.8M RGB backlighting, dedicated media and macro buttons, and a USB pass-through port. The hardware is supported by their Sound Blaster Connect software driver for lighting customization and performance tweaking.

Update on the Intel X299 Platform "VRM Disaster"

We have some updated information on the X299 Platforms VRM issues from the same overclocker who initially discovered the issue, renowned overclocker der8auer. In an updated YouTube video, der8auer first updated his viewers with new information on his testing techniques, and basically concluded that all issues initially detected (throttling included) are still is an issue even after extensive testing, only in some instances it is difficult to detect not only if you are throttling, but even specifics such as what precisely is throttling. He goes into extensive detail, but a brief summary of the videos main points can be found below for your consumption.

Samsung's New $13B V-NAND Factory Begins Production

Samsung is one of the top tech players in the world, with tendrils extending through almost all conceivable markets. That position, and the varied sources of income the company has at its disposal, gives it enough leeway to make investments that echo throughout the industry, Now, after a 15 trillion won investment (something like $13 billion), the company's latest V-NAND fab has started production in Pyeongtaek.

The fab will produce the firm's latest three-dimensional, 64-layer 256Gb V-NAND chips. Here's hoping the expected influx of higher quantities of NAND memory will allows us poor users to see a stop to the NAND pricing increase we've been seeing of late. Not everybody needs all the NAND available in smartphones.

Source: ZD Net

NVIDIA Laying Groundwork for Multi-Chip-Module GPUs

Multi-Chip-Module accelerators are nothing new, really. Though there are earlier implementations, when it comes to recognizable hardware most of us has already heard of, these solutions harken back to Intel's Kentsfield and Yorkfield quad-core processors (built on the 65 nm process for the LGA 775 package.) However, a singular issue with this kind of approach is having a powerful, performant-enough interconnect that allows the different cores in each module to really "talk" to each other and work perfectly in tandem. More recently, AMD has demonstrated the advantages of a true MCM (Multi-Chip-Module) approach with its Ryzen CPUs. These result from the development of a modular CPU architecture with a powerful interconnect (Infinity Fabric), which has allowed AMD to keep die size to a minimum (as it relates to a true 8-core design, at least), while enabling the company to profitably scale up to 16-cores (2 MCMs) with Threadripper, and 4 MCMs with Epyc (32 cores.)

AMD has already given hints in that its still long-coming Navi architecture (I mean, we're still waiting for Vega) will bring a true MCM design to GPUs. Vega already supports AMD's Infinity Fabric interconnect as well, paving the way for future APU designs from the company, but also MCM GPU ones, leveraging the same technology. And NVIDIA itself seems to be making strides towards an MCM-enabled future, looking to abandon the monolithic die design approach it has been taking for a long time now.

EK Water Blocks Intros M.2 NGFF SSD Heatsink

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing a passive heatsink for M.2 NVMe Next Generation Form Factor SSDs. Although it's not a water cooling part, it is a much needed aesthetical and functional heatsink for many PC owners. It is not a secret that M.2 NVMe SSDs can overheat very easily and be subdued to thermal throttling, thus losing performance. The heatsink brings 8-11°C improvement in SSDs temperatures, or even more with sufficient air flow.

The unique design of the heatsink ensures that it is easy to install, it is low profile, easily reusable and aesthetically not intrusive. Simple clips ensure that the heatsink is very easy to install and to re-use if the SSDs is upgraded. Ribbed heatsink acts as a very effective passive cooler as well as aesthetic cover. Its simple design ensures a sleek, non-intrusive look that can be easily combined with any aesthetical requirement of the user. The compact design makes it highly compatible so that it does not interfere with other components. EK Water Blocks are offering the new EK-M.2 NVMe Heatsink in black and nickel variants.

AMD Reportedly Rebranding RX 460 to RX 560D

In a bid to better make use of what could be a respectable stock of RX 460 graphics cards, AMD is reportedly rebranding these to the RX 500 series under the RX 560D name. Apparently, this is a straight rebrand, with no increased clocks or other revisions to the GPU die whatsoever. As such, this RX 560D would bring a lesser performance level than the current RX 560 already offers. Remember that the RX 560 is currently a rebrand of the RX 460 already, only with that card's full stream processor count (1,024) unlocked, whereas the original RX 460 only enabled 896 of the total 1,024 stream processors available on-die.

AMD already toyed with this additional "D" in the nomenclature in the past, with its RX 470 / RX 470D graphics cards, of which we've heard some rumblings lately. Considering that the RX 470D was a relatively limited release, only really being seen in the wild towards the Asian market, it is likely a safe bet that this RX 560D will follow the same path. Another option for the unwary miners to pick up?

Source: Videocardz

NVIDIA Rolls Out GeForce 384.80 Hotfix with Watch_Dogs 2 Startup Crash Fix

NVIDIA rolled out the GeForce 384.80 Hotfix drivers. These drivers address an application crash noticed when trying to start up "Watch_Dogs 2," after updating to the GeForce 384.76 WHQL drivers, which were released earlier this month. The rest of its feature-set is consistent with the 384.76 WHQL driver release. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 384.80 Hotfix

MSI Announces the OPTIX Line of Gaming Monitors

MSI unveiled some of its first gaming monitors, under the MSI OPTIX brand. These include two models, the 27-inch OPTIX G27C, and the 24-inch OPTIX G24C. Both models feature Samsung-made TN-film display panels with 1800R curvature, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, 144 Hz refresh-rate, 4 ms (GTG) response time, 178°/178° viewing-angles, and support for AMD FreeSync technology. Display inputs on both include DisplayPort 1.2a, HDMI 1.4a, and DVI. The 24-incher features a simpler design with a stand that allows basic height adjustment, while the 27-incher allows tilt adjustments. The company didn't reveal pricing.

EK Water Blocks Expands Fluid Gaming Portfolio

EK Water Blocks, the market leader in PC custom liquid cooling, is announcing the first expansion of its new brand created for PC gamers called EK Fluid Gaming. Bringing the best price/performance ratio imaginable, EK Fluid Gaming is already becoming a number one choice for many gamers who want to join the ultimate liquid cooling club in the world.

Following the release of EK Fluid Gaming kits, many of you have asked us about the availability of separate aluminum parts. You can rest assured, we are officially announcing the first expansion of the EK Fluid Gaming lineup today! And more will follow in the near future.
Tuesday, July 4th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Input Devices
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD

Eurocom Sky X9E3 (GTX 1080 SLI)

Eurocom looks to stand at the peak of notebook performance with the Sky X9E3. Featuring NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphics cards in SLI along with an Intel Core i7-7700k, it offers desktop performance in a far more portable form factor, if you can handle the price.

NVIDIA GeForce 384 Series Driver Removes Need for New CPUs for 4K Netflix

NVIDIA's GeForce 384 series drivers seem to have quite a few secrets, beginning with DirectX 12 API support on 5-plus year old GeForce "Fermi" GPUs, and now 4K Ultra HD support for Netflix UWP app without the need of new-generation CPUs (namely Intel "Kaby Lake," AMD "Summit Ridge," and AMD "Bristol Ridge."). The new-generation CPUs feature a host of hardware-level DRM features which the Netflix app needs to playback 4K Ultra HD content. The new GeForce 384 series drivers let you circumvent that requirement.

Reddit user aethervisor discovered that the Windows Store (UWP platform) app of Netflix could play back content at full 4K Ultra HD resolution on their machine with an older CPU and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. New-generation CPUs had become a requirement for this to happen, besides the latest Windows 10 version, an HDCP 2.2-compliant 4K display (and no active secondary displays that don't satisfy HDCP 2.2), a powerful enough GPU, and either the UWP app or the Netflix website on Microsoft's Edge web-browser. NVIDIA struck down a big requirement that opens up Netflix 4K to a much wider user-base.

Source: Reddit

BIOSTAR Intros VA47D5RV42 Mining Graphics Card with "RX 470D" GPU

BIOSTAR posted technical specifications of its first graphics card designed for crypto-currency mining, bearing the model number "VA47D5RV42." This card, which is based on the design of its RX 470/480 graphics cards; is built around the Radeon RX 470D chip, and endowed with 4 GB of GDDR5 memory. The RX 470D is a "lite edition" or LE variant of the Polaris 10 silicon, which never made it to the DIY channel market, but occasionally reared its head in the pre-built OEM market. It features fewer stream processors than the RX 470, at 1,792 vs. 2,048. The chip is clocked at 1200 MHz (boost), with 7.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Interestingly, unlike most "mining" graphics cards we've seen so far, this card appears to feature a full complement of display outputs, which includes three DisplayPorts and one each of HDMI and DVI. The company didn't reveal pricing.

TechPowerUp and Patriot Viper Gaming Announce 4th of July Giveaway

To celebrate America's 241st Independence Day, TechPowerUp, in partnership with Patriot Memory and Patriot Viper Gaming bring you the 4th of July Giveaway. Up for grabs are some of Patriot's very best gaming peripherals. The First Prize is a combo of Patriot Viper V770 mechanical gaming keyboard, Viper V570 gaming mouse, and Viper V370 gaming headset. The Second Prize is a Viper V361 gaming headset, with a Viper headset stand and USB 3.0 hub. The Third Prize is a Viper V530 gaming mouse. The giveaway is open to readers from the United States, Canadians are welcome, too. To win, simply fill out a form that lets us get back to you if you win. The giveaway closes on the 12th of July.

For more information, and to participate, visit this page. Good Luck!

Toshiba's 768 Gb 3D QLC NAND Flash to Match TLC's Program/Erase Cycles

Not all news coming out of Toshiba is bad or somewhat bad. The Japanese giant still is one of the biggest players in the NAND semiconductor business, no matter the recent woes. Even more recently, though, Toshiba announced they had developed quadruple level cell NAND memory, which should improve density and, therefore, reduce the price/GB ratio on future consumer products, such as SSDs. However, each increase in the number of cell levels bring concerns regarding not only performance, but especially durability, since a higher number of states per cell increases the voltage steps that are applied to it (SLC NAND dealt with two voltage states, MLC with four, TLC with eight voltage states, and QLC will handle 16 of these.) This tends to make errors more common, and the cell's longevity to be compromised due to the amount of variation in its states, which means more powerful error correction techniques must be employed.
According to Toshiba, its 3D QLC NAND targets around ~1000 program/erase cycles, which is close to TLC NAND flash. This is considerably higher than the amount of P/E cycles (100 - 150) expected for QLC by the industry, which means the company has achieved what many thought difficult. Toshiba has begun sampling of its 3D QLC NAND memory devices earlier this month. everything points to mass production on late 2018, early 2019, though, which means we still have a long way to go until we see this technology implemented. This won't be the one to save us from escalating NAND prices; we'll have to look to other, more market and supply-and-demand based factors instead.Source: Anandtech

AMD RTG Hires Hardware.fr GPU Editor Damien Triolet

Hardware.fr, part of the global network of tech-oriented sites that strive to bring you the latest and greatest coverage of hardware and related news, has announced that their GPU contributor Damien Triolet is leaving the site. Damien Triolet has been described by our very own W1zzard as one of the world's best GPU tech editors, and leaves the French hardware site after a 14-year-long stint delivering high-quality coverage to French readers.

The folks at Hardware.fr naturally wished Damien all the best, though they do know it will be hard to properly replace him, due to all the years of accumulated knowledge. But that must've been what caught AMD's Radeon Technologies Group's eye as well, which resulted in this hire. Damien commented that "This change, however, is a continuation for me, since after so many years of criticizing the GPU manufacturers, I will finally go and see what exactly happens on the other side of the fence, and discover first-hand what future graphics technologies hold for us. (...) After a long reflection I made the decision to join AMD and the Radeon Technologies Group." (translated from French by the editor.) We here at TPU wish Damien all the best!

Source: Hardware.fr

Adesso TechPowerUp Giveaway: The Winners

TechPowerUp and Adesso brought you a chance to win an Adesso EasyTouch 636 Typewriter-styled mechanical keyboard, two EasyTouch 635 conventional mechanical keyboard, and three iMouse E10 wireless ergonomic mice, that's six chances to win a piece of Adesso engineering. The draws are in, and here are the winners:
  • Joel from San Diego, United States - Wins an EasyTouch 636 Retro Typewriter-style Mechanical Keyboard
  • Elias from Piteå, Sweden - Wins an EasyTouch 635 Mechanical Keyboard
  • David from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Wins an Easy Touch 635 Mechanical Keyboard
  • Husseyin from Izmir, Turkey - Wins iMouse E10 wireless ergonomic mouse
  • Peyman from San Jose, United States - Wins iMouse E10 wireless ergonomic mouse
  • Gary from Bridgwater, United Kingdom - Wins iMouse E10 wireless ergonomic mouse
A huge congratulations to you six! TechPowerUp and Adesso will return with more such interesting giveaways!

Apacer Intros AS350 Panther Entry-Level SATA SSD

Apacer introduced the AS350 Panther solid-state drive, beginning (we hope) with a 120 GB variant. Built in the 7 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor with SATA 6 Gb/s interface, the drive features 120 GB of TLC NAND flash memory. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 440 MB/s reads, with up to 125 MB/s writes, and 4K random access performance of up to 26,000 IOPS. The drive could take up an entry-level price-point, and is backed by a 3-year warranty.

Thermaltake Announces Toughpower iRGB PLUS 1250W PSU

Thermaltake, as the first in the world to incorporate RGB lights into its products, has brought RGB-lit PSU to the next level with its new Toughpower iRGB PLUS 1250W Titanium Power Supply Unit - TT Premium Edition. Coming with high-quality components, this fully modular member is equipped with the patented ultra-silent, 16.8 million colors Riing 14 RGB fan and 12 controllable single LEDs, featuring seven lighting modes (Full lighted, Flow, RGB Spectrum, Ripple, Blink, Pulse and Wave), and each lighting mode features three color modes (RGB, Single and Off mode) and four light speed options (Slow, Normal, Fast and So Fast).

The 80 PLUS Titanium certified PSU also supports three of Thermaltake's intelligent platforms - DPS G PC APP 2.0, DPS G Smart Power Management (SPM) Cloud 1.0, and DPS G Mobile APP 1.0 - to help users monitor smart power supply units, save energy and stay green, and supports DPS G Riing RGB Mobile App, allowing users to customize the RGB lighting for their power supply fan, and even let the LED dance in sync with the beat.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #9

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.

In this release, we have several betas graduating to final release, mostly all consisting of AGESA 1.0.0.6 code.

PNY to Launch XLR8 Series Gaming Hardware in Asian Markets from 2H-2017

PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, is ready to take on the gaming industry by storm with the launch of the Gaming Series to Asia market. The PNY Gaming Series offers best-in-class PC components to deliver gaming performance ranging from affordable to the most intense for die-hard gamers. Scheduled to be released in the 2nd half of 2017, the product categories will include gaming grade graphics cards, SSDs, and PC memory products that promise to deliver the competitive edge advantage in PC gaming.
Monday, July 3rd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Storage

be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900

The be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 represents the company's largest and most advanced chassis. It aims to deliver utmost flexibility, space, and functionality without breaking the bank. This is a lofty goal set forth by many case manufacturers, so it will be interesting to see if the Dark Base Pro 900 manages to deliver.

Passmark Stats Indicate AMD Gaining Market Share vs Intel Thanks to Ryzen

It seems AMD finally producing a competitive architecture to Intel may be showing in more than just words, but also in market share, if the recent Passmark benchmark reports are anything to go by. Passmark is a system benchmark used by builders and buyers to gauge a systems overall performance, so while it is not a complete market analysis, it is a good market indicator.

AMD market share has been historically decreasing for years relative to Intel since the launch of Intel's massively succesful "core" series of CPUs. To demonstrate this and the subsequent turnaround, Passmark has assembled the following neat little "Red vs Blue" graph below, showing historic and present market figures:
If we examine the above graph, we find the most recent trend of AMD market gains has not been mirrored since about 2005-2006, which certainly is a positive indicator for the market perception of AMD's product performance. It would seem for once AMD is not only competitive in words, but also where it matters: In the hearts and minds of system builders.Source: Passmark

AMD Readies Radeon Pro WX 9100: Vega for Professionals

After releasing the Vega Frontier Edition, AMD's take on a "prosumer" GPU which straddles the line between a professional and gaming graphics card, with somewhat mixed results, AMD is apparently now working on the fully professional version of the Vega silicon. Identified as the Radeon Pro WX 9100 (which is in line with AMD's current professional nomenclature), this professional graphics card will look to fully accelerate professional workloads, with a driver specifically crafted for such.

Recently rearing its head on CompuBench, the GPU features a low 1200 MHz clock speed, which is around 402 MHz lower than the Frontier Edition, and supposedly lower still than the Gaming RX Vega variant of the GPU. The Vega-based WX 9100 joins the Polaris-based WX 7100, WX 5100 and WX 4100 professional graphics cards, thus apparently topping out AMD's professional line-up for the year.

Source: Videocardz

EVGA Confirms Release Date for GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid FTW3: July 10th

EVGA's product manager Jacob Freeman has just confirmed the launch day of EVGA's upcoming end-all-be-all GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid FTW3 video card: it's now a relatively set in stone July 10th. Expect immediate availability for the video card on that day, though for now, not even Freeman has an idea if it will be available for ordering outside of EVGA's own online website.

The GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid FTW3 makes use of a hybrid, air and water-cooling solution. The GPU die itself is cooled by an Asetek all-in-one closed-loop liquid cooler, while memory and VRM make do with a traditional heatsink and fan combination. This provides the benefit of liquid cooling on the GPU core without the added expense of a full-cover waterblock, thus bringing the pricing a little lower than full-coverage waterblocks, but with increased performance over a purely air-cooled part. The GTX 1080 Ti HYBRID FTW3 shares the same specs as the 1080 Ti SC2 HYBRID, Hydro Copper, and Hydro Copper SC2 graphics cards, with a 1,556 MHz base and 1,670 MHz boost clock, 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory and 2x 8-pin power connectors. Pricing or overclocking headroom weren't detailed at all.

Source: Tom's Hardware

New DDR4 Record on AMD Ryzen Platform: DDR4-4079.2 MHz

A new DDR4 overclocking record was achieved by Australian overclocker "newlife", breathing new life towards Ryzen's memory frequency support. Don't just count your fireworks right now, though: while impressive the result came with some caveats in the form of the user's Ryzen 5 1400 CPU: it was down-locked to a paltry, performance-murdering 800 MHz.

After shipping with what could be considered by some as broken DDR4 memory support, AMD's Ryzen platform has in the meantime received the proper amount of care such a pivoting product for AMD should. A series of AGESA updates which improved AMD's performance in gaming, as well as DDR4 memory support have been under distribution since the platform's launch, and those updates have surely worked towards achieving this record today. The score was achieved with a single 8 GB G.Skill Trident Z E-die memory kit, which is usually rated for 3600 MHz frequencies (F4-3600C17-4GTZ), using 18-20-20-58-93-1 timings. This module was seated on a GIGABYTE AORUS AX370-Gaming K7 motherboard (F4 BIOS).

Source: HW Bot

AMD Raja Koduri Confirms RX Vega Die Size at 484 mm²

AMD's Raja Koduri, leader of the company's Radeon Technologies Group, has somewhat informally confirmed on Twitter the overall die size of AMD's Vega chips. After PC Perspective updated their prognosis regarding Vega's die-size to a beefier 512 mm², Twitter users plied Raja Koduri with questions regarding this subject. Koduri declined to answer directly, actually opting for a somewhat cryptic response, in that " (...) the answer [to Vega's die-size] is the closest perfect square number actually:)".

For the math-savvy around here (or even just for those of you who have read the headline), that particular equation should solve towards a perfect 484 mm² die area. Good news for AMD: this isn't the company's biggest die-size in consumer GPUs ever. That dubious honor goes to the company's Fiji XT silicon which powered the company's R9 Fury X, coming in at a staggering 596 mm² in the 28 nm process. For comparison, AMD's current Polaris 20 XTX-based RX 580 chip comes in at slightly less than half the confirmed RX Vega's die-size, at a much more yield-friendly 232 mm². NVIDIA's current top-of-the-line Titan Xp comes in at a slightly smaller 471 mm² die-size.

Source: Raja Koduri @ Twitter

AMD Confirms Radeon RX Vega is Launching at SIGGRAPH 2017

In a series of tweets, the official Radeon RX Twitter (and AMD employees) have confirmed what we were already told: that the gaming version of the company's Vega architecture would make its debut at this year's SIGGRAPH. Also, when asked about the Frontier Edition's (lacking) gaming chops, AMD's Jason Evangelho has come out with the warning that we all expected, and that we ourselves conveyed here: "it's premature to worry about a product's gaming performance by judging a different product NOT optimized for gaming."

We've waited a long time already, why not just a few more days? SIGGRAPH will take place between July 30th and August 3rd.

Sources: Radeon RX Twitter, SIGGRAPH

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus GeForce GTX 1080 Ti WaterForce Xtreme

GIGABYTE, which had two variants of its flagship GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card, the air-cooled Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition, and the WaterForce WB Xtreme Edition, that comes with a factory-fitted full-coverage water-block; introduced a third variant, the WaterForce Xtreme Edition. Unlike the WaterForce WB Xtreme Edition, which you plumb to your own water-cooling loop, this card comes with a self-contained AIO liquid-cooling loop. The cooling solution consists of an pump-block base which makes contact with the GPU and a base-plate that draws heat from the VRM and memory; and a 120 mm radiator with an included 120 mm fan. The cooler-shroud features some groovy acrylic windows, and RGB LED lighting controlled by GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software.

The card is based on the same exact PCB as its two other siblings, with the same clock speeds of 1607 MHz core, 1721 MHz GPU Boost, and 11.2 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory out of the box, against NVIDIA-reference clocks of 1480 MHz core, 1582 MHz GPU Boost, and 11.00 GHz memory. The software-enabled "OC mode" runs the card at 1632 MHz core, 1746 MHz GPU Boost, and 11.44 GHz memory. The card draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, three HDMI ports (two on the rear panel, one internal HDMI port for VR headsets); and a dual-link DVI connector. The company didn't reveal pricing.

NVIDIA Adds DirectX 12 Support to GeForce "Fermi" Architecture

With its latest GeForce 384 series graphics drivers, NVIDIA quietly added DirectX 12 API support for GPUs based on its "Fermi" architecture, as discovered by keen-eyed users on the Guru3D Forums. These include the GeForce 400-series and 500-series graphics cards. The support appears to be sufficient to run today's Direct3D feature-level 12_0 games or applications, and completes WDDM 2.2 compliance for GeForce "Fermi" graphics cards on Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703), which could be NVIDIA's motivation for extending DirectX 12 support to these 5+ year old chips. Whether they meet your games' minimum system requirements is an entirely different matter.

Source: Guru3D Forums

Cherry Intros the MX Board 1.0 TKL Keyboard

Cherry, makers of the popular Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches, which also sells its own line of gaming keyboards under the MX Board brand, introduced the MX Board 1.0 TKL (tenkeyless). The keyboard is further available in three variants based on switch model (MX Red, MX Blue, and MX Brown); and two sub-variants based on switch type (linear-push, and pressure-point). The MX Board 1.0 TKL features a compact design, with a matte black ABS body, measuring 370 mm x 150 mm x 25 mm (WxDxH), weighing 730 g. It features an 87-keyset, and as a tenkeyless keyboard, it lacks the NUM pad. The keys feature white LED illumination. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Apacer Intros the PT920 Commando PCIe NVMe SSD

Apacer introduced the PT920 Commando, a PCI-Express SSD built in the add-on card form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. The drive is characterized by a plastic shroud shaped like the top of an M4 or M16 assault rifle. Available in 240 GB and 480 GB capacities, the drive takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol. The company didn't reveal controller or NAND flash manufacturers.

The drives offer sequential reads of up to 2,500 MB/s, with up to 1,300 MB/s sequential writes for the 480 GB model, and up to 860 MB/s sequential writes for the 240 GB model. 4K random write performance is rated at up to 175,000 IOPS for the 480 GB model, and up to 160,000 IOPS for the 240 GB model. The drive feature most common SSD features such as ECC, NCQ, and TRIM. The company didn't reveal pricing, although it backs the drives with 3-year warranties.
Sunday, July 2nd 2017

Swiftech Intros Apogee SKF Heirloom Series Limited Edition CPU Block

Swiftech introduced the limited edition Apogee SKF Heirloom Series CPU water blocks, which come in unique collectable colors, and which can be accessorized using mods and inserts. The block is predominantly made of copper with an anodized aluminium top, and comes in five color variants - Black Chrome, White Chrome, Solid Gold, Matte Gold, and Rose Gold. The top features an acrylic cutout over the block's main dissipation area. This is where an insert goes in; available in six colors. The Swiftech logo on the metallic portion of the top holds a second color insert, which comes in six colors. The retention bracket comes in two colors - black and chrome. Under the hood, the block features hundreds of 125 micron-thick copper fins for effective heat dissipation. Available now, the Apogee SKF Heirloom Series is priced at $94.95, and includes one choice of inserts, each. For $5 more, you can laser-engrave a phrase on the top.

EK Water Blocks Intros RGB AM4 Monoblock for GIGABYTE X370 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is maintaining its market leadership by releasing a new AM4 socket based monoblock tailor made for GIGABYTE X370 motherboards. The EK-FB GA AX370 Gaming RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience. This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for several GIGABYTE AMD X370 Chipset AM4 socket based motherboards that support the latest generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with GIGABYTE, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools AMD AM4 socket type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Like with every EK monoblock, EK-FB GA AX370 Gaming RGB features high flow design and this monoblock can be easily used with the system using a weaker water pump as well.
Friday, June 30th 2017

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Cooler Master MasterKeys L PBT

Cooler Master has listened to consumer feedback, and with their MasterKeys PBT series, they have thick PBT plastic keycaps out of the box on all the switches. The keyboard also includes onboard support for multiple OS and typing layouts, macro recording, and an option for the rare Cherry MX Green switches; all for less than $100.

ASUS Intros BE27AQLB Business-grade 27-inch Monitor

ASUS today introduced the BE27AQLB, a 27-inch business-grade monitor designed for ergonomics and eye-comfort for protracted hours of business-usage. The monitor features a frame-less bezel design, with a stand that allows 90° rotation, height, tilt, and swivel adjustments, besides featuring a VESA mount on the stand, not just the main panel. The monitor uses a rheostat control for its illumination, and boasts of TÜV Rheinland Certification for flicker-free back-lighting. It also features a low-blue light illumination.

The BE27AQLB features an IPS panel, with WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, 178°/178° viewing angles, 5 ms (GTG) response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and dynamic mega-contrast ratio. Inputs include both a standard and mini-DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, and dual-link DVI. Other features include 2W stereo speakers, and a 4-port USB 3.0 hub. The monitor features a typical power-draw of less than 18.82 W. Measuring 615 mm x (382~532 mm) x 226 mm, it weighs 7.7 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.