News Archive

Friday, August 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
Processors
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage

Tesoro Tuned In-Ear Pro

The Tesoro Tuned In Ear Pro headset aims to deliver gaming quality sound, which - as the name suggests - is a soundscape tuned to fit such a scenario best. With a few interesting features, like the aluminum housing or the magnets to hold them together, it will be interesting to "hear" (pun intended) whether they manage to sound better than the competition in the price segment.

Thermaltake Introduces the View 71 Tempered Glass Edition Full Tower Chassis

Designed to expand the legacy of the View Series lineup, the View 71 Tempered Glass Edition Full Tower Chassis features unrivaled cooling support and expandability surrounded in tempered glass for a one of a kind view. Swing open full window tempered glass panels for easy access with all panels properly spaced for optimal airflow. Preinstalled with two 140mm Riing Blue fans, Vertical GPU mount and 3-Way radiator support for today's PC hardware demands, the only limitation is your imagination.

Four-Sided 5mm Thick Tempered Glass Panels with Swing Door Design
Premium-quality 5mm thick tempered glass guarantees the durability of the window and adds overall strength to the chassis. Swing Doors on either side allows users to demonstrate their DIY spirit and enjoy the ultimate internal component visibility. Take on easy to install building with a fully modular design and easy removal of swing door for full access.

EK Water Blocks Releases Monoblock for Gigabyte Aorus X299 Lineup

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is still dictating the pace as they are releasing their third LGA-2066 socket based monoblock made to fit several GIGABYTE X299 motherboards. The EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock has an integrated 3-pin Digital RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock
This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for five GIGABYTE Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE motherboards:
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 3 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 7 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Ultra Gaming (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 UD4 (rev.1.0)

Sharkoon Announces the TG5 ATX PC Case with Transparent Glass Front

With the TG5 ATX PC case, Sharkoon introduces a gaudy Midi tower with the front and one side panel made from tempered glass, which is available in four different color versions and pre-installed with color matching 120 mm LED fans from the factory.

With the cable management system and cable terminals, all cabling can be concealed between the mainboard and the non-window side panel. The power supply as well as up to three 3.5" hard drives can be installed within the tunnel, which contains ventilation slots, on the bottom of the case.

Tech Community Mourns Tom's Hardware's Bruno Gulotta, Victim in Barcelona

Recent events in Barcelona have brought the world's attention to that Spanish city known for Gaudí's masterpieces. It's not uncommon for us to process information on an event like this, mourn in the moment, and quickly forget that something happened. This is normal, human behavior - our own empathy can only take and handle so much. If it were not so, if we were nothing else but a sponge to suffering and empathy and the world's injustices, we'd have no way to cope with the reality we live in. However, we usually need only a slight link to an event for it to be that much real for us.

This time, the life of one of our own technology news community has been taken, alongside at least 13 others. Bruno Gulotta, Marketing and Sales Manager for Tom's Hardware, fell victim to the crime, leaving behind his companion, Martina, and two sons. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Barcelona's tourist focal point Las Ramblas, at least 100 other people were left injured. While we here at TechPowerUp didn't know Bruno Gulotta personally, we don't need to. This event is sufficiently real for us, as a technology news community, to feel it hitting close to home. When anonymity is removed, empathy is given permission to thrive, and empathy is one of the only ways we have of honoring the loss of life. Our mournful sorrow goes to Bruno Gulotta's family and friends, as well as Tom's Hardware. If you wish to lift the veil on Bruno, and keep him from the anonimity of being a number on a terrorist attack, go on to Tom's Hardware's beautifully written article, celebrating the life and contributions of a dear colleague.

Colorful Adds Four Cards Into Its iGame Vulcan X Family

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, introduced iGame GTX1080Ti Vulcan X OC in May, and got much more attentions from both China and aboard. Then COLORFUL adds four new modules into iGame Vulcan X series including of GTX1080Ti, GTX1080, GTX1070 and GTX1060 chips, taking the same design shape with the flagship iGame GTX1080Ti Vulcan X OC that also equips with iGame-Status Monitor.

iGame Vulcan X series cards feature iGame-Status Monitor which indicates GPU load automatically, and shows fan speed, core frequency, core temperature as well as memory usage. The load line on its top shows memory usage and load by three colors spaces the same as car's dashboard.
Thursday, August 17th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

Corsair K68 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The Corsair K68 is a full size mechanical keyboard featuring genuine Cherry MX Red switches, full keyboard backlighting, support for their powerful Corsair Utility Engine software driver, and IP32 rated dust and spill resistance - all at a sub-$100 price point.

Alphacool Intros HDX5 Cooled M.2 RAID Add-on Card

The Alphacool HDX-5 is a combination of a RAID controller card and a massive cooler. It has two slots for M.2 SATA SSDs and two additional SATA slots, allowing you to set up a RAID 0 or 1 group. The PCI-Express 3.0 x4 card also provides a bandwidth of up to 3900 MB/s.

The new generation of HDX coolers from Alphacool is getting another addition. The HDX-5 is not just a cooler, but also lets you run a RAID 0 or 1 group. It boasts two M.2 SATA SSD slots and two classic SATA slots. The combination possibilities are considerable, since you can set up a RAID group over one M.2 SATA SSD and one normal SATA drive, or connect just the M.2 slots to form a RAID group. That leaves the classic SATA slots free to be used for normal connections.

Ashes of the Singularity Update Adds Vulkan Support with Latest Beta

Ashes of the Singularity is one of those games that has always been in the forefront of the latest graphics technologies. One of the first games to support Microsoft's DX12 and async compute, and in receiving a Ryzen-optimized performance patch, the game is routinely used as a benchmark tool not only for graphics solutions, but also CPU benchmarks.

Now, Oxide Games has announced Ashes of The Singularity will feature support for the Vulkan renderer, which will be welcome news for users who don't want to upgrade to Windows 10, but don't want to live without low-level performance optimization in their games. The new Vulkan render path is still a beta feature, which you must enable through your Steam account. Just right click Ashes of the Singularity on your Steam library, hit "Properties", and activate the 2.4 opt-in in the beta features tab.

Source: Guru 3D

Intel to Launch B360 Motherboard Chipset Following AMD Coup on B350

Naming schemes are pretty interesting nowadays, with AMD firing some warning shots across Intel's bow with their X399 HEDT chipset (thus superseding Intel's X299 by a whole hundred.) This may seem like nothing, and it actually should be nothing; naming schemes are not to be considered indicative of actual performance, especially in regards to competing companies' products. However, as we all know, there is power in numbers. Namely, there is power in bigger numbers, as an i7 will be above an i5, and a Ryzen 7 will be above a Ryzen 3.

AMD threw a curve ball towards Intel with their B350 chipset, which stands in the way of Intel's own historical nomenclature (after the B150 and B250 chipsets from Intel, a B350 would surely follow.) Now, reports say Intel will be upping AMD by releasing a B360 chipset, thus regaining footing in the "bigger is better" battle of wits over consumer's hearts. My Drivers, the source of the information, goes on to say that these chipsets won't be released in 2017 (only Intel's Z370 chipset is expected this year), and that despite using the same socket, Intel's Coffee Lake won't be a drop-in upgrade for Z170 and Z270 platforms, since Intel "changed the alignment of the design." This information had already been advanced by a motherboard maker's social media channel as well.

Sources: My Drivers, via Videocardz

GALAX HOF Extreme Limited Edition Chrome-Plated DDR4 Modules Now Available

GALAX has seemingly found itself in a profitable market position with its products marketed for the premium enthusiast, with their (perspective depending) bold good looks and out of the ordinary propositions for new products. Now, the company has announced an extremely limited edition kit (really; there are just 50 of these) of DDR4 memory, aptly named the HOF Extreme Limited Edition. The "Extreme Performance" engraving on the aluminum heat spreaders serves as a psychological reminder for the kits that they just "gotta go fast", and should put to rest concerns regarding memory performance.

Under the heatspreaders rest handpicked Samsung B-die chips, which should guarantee better performance and stability compared to other memory dies (particularly in the AMD Ryzen platform). The modules are available for direct purchase from the GALAX store, and the company is currently offering a 20% discount for users who have previously acquired one of the company's GALAX GTX 1080Ti OC Lab Edition. The kits are available in 16 GB (2x 8GB) dual-channel pairs, and orders will receive free shipping with an estimated shipping date towards the end of the month. The kits run at particularly impressive speeds of 4133MHz, with CL 19-21-21-41 timings, at 1.35V. Pricing is slightly less limited in this product, though; a dual-channel kit will set you back some $368 (around $294 if you have previously bought the OC Lab Edition GTX 1080 Ti.)

Sources: ETeknix, GALAX Store

MSI Announces Availability of Their "Infinite A" Gaming Desktop

The previously announced Infinite A gaming desktop from MSI is now officially shipping to consumers, retailers and etailers worldwide, with a wide choice of configuration being available for users who know exactly what they want (from MSI's portfolio of products, naturally.) The desktop is built around a custom-designed chassis by MSI, which incorporates RGB LED elements (controlled by MSI's Mystic Light RGB software), along with a standoffish, tempered glass side panel.

MSI says the Infinite A is infinitely upgradeable, which I guess is true of most ATX cases. The vertical GPU mount is surely a distinguishing feature, though MSI seems to have found that the perfect solution for correct cooling of the graphics card was the usage of standoffs in the tempered glass panel, which seem a little impractical in dusty environments. There goes the benefit of all those dust filters in your case! The Infinite A desktop is available now directly from MSI and other etailers; luckily, pricing isn't infinite, as the base Infinite A starts at $1,299 and goes up to $1,999 according to the chosen configuration.

Source: ETeknix

Alphacool Presents the Eisblock Flatboy Waterblock for Socket TR4 Systems

Alphacool has been growing their product portfolio immensely as of late, and now, the company is teasing the Eisblock Flatboy, the company's specifically-designed waterblock for AMD's Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. Threadripper CPUs have one of the biggest surface areas ever encountered in a consumer processor; because of that, not all cooling solutions are appropriate to cool the up-to 16 cores and 32 threads monsters, with a higher surface area than normal being needed.

Still in the prototype phase, the Eisblock Flatboy integrates a reverse, silent flow pump system, like the company has already introduced on their Eiswolf product. The prototype as is seems to obstruct clearance for the rightmost DIMM slot to the left of the CPU socket, which shouldn't pose a problem for some people, but would be an extremely sore point for prospective buyers should that design decision overflow towards the final version.

Source: ETeknix

Scythe Announces Kaze Flex 120 Premium Fan Series

Japanese cooling expert Scythe adds the new premium-grade Kaze Flex 120 mm case fan series to its portfolio. The Kaze Flex PWM fan had its debut with the award-winning Mugen 5 CPU Cooler followed by today's release of a whole line-up of 5 models. The new line-up is featuring two PWM models with a dynamic fan speed range as well as three regular models with constant speeds. Thanks to the unique Sealed Precision FDB bearing, all Kaze Flex 120 mm case fans assure excellent quietness and very long life span of 120.000 hours. The fans are equipped with an integrated anti-vibration system, which is made of shock absorbing rubber pads in the corners of the frame in order to prevent the transfer of vibration. It is thanks to these advantages, that Kaze Flex 120 series is well suited to be used as either a reliable case fan or versatile companion for a CPU Cooler.

Scythe offers two Kaze Flex 120 PWM models with a dynamic fan speed range, which can be controlled using the motherboards PWM fan controller. The model SU1225FD12M-RHP suits the most purposes thanks to its wide fan speed range from 300 to 1.200 RPM. It is the exact same model as the one supplied with the award-winning Mugen 5 CPU Cooler. Users seeking a reliable and really silent fan are going to love the model SU1225FD12L-RDP due to its narrow PWM bandwidth of 300 to 800 RPM, which allows it to operate at incredibly low noise levels from 4 to 14,5 dBA. The regular Kaze Flex 120 mm case fans are divided into 3 models and tweaked for different fields of application. Maximum airflow for power-users reaching 89,04 CFM (151 m³/h) at 2.000 RPM is assured by the SU1225FD12H-RP model, whereas steady airflow at almost inaudible 14,5 dBA is covered by the 800 RPM model (SU1225FD12L-RD). In between these two versions is the all-rounder SU1225FD12M-RH, which runs at 1.200 RPM.

XILENCE Announces the Performance X Series Power Supplies

Xilence, specialist in cooling, power supply and noise reduction of PCs and notebooks, is introducing its all-new Performance X power supply series. The new series features everything a demanding gamer would expect from a reliable power supply. Available in four models ranging from 550 watts to 850 watts, Performance X boasts high efficiency, stable output, a silent and durable fan design and a full suite of protection circuits, all at low purchase cost.

Performance X reaches extremely stable voltage on all rails thanks to its DC/DC technology. This method transforms alternating current into 12-volt direct current, generating the required 5-volt and 3.3-volt rails, and resulting in stable output values even under cross load conditions. An LLC resonant converter is also built in to further boost efficiency, especially at high output power levels while significantly reducing switching loss. Thanks to its cutting-edge technologies, Performance X reaches an efficiency factor of up to 92 percent and an 80PLUS Gold 230V EU rating. The power supply series meets all ErP2014 standards, including stand-by power of under 0.25 watts and an ecoPSU rating of 91 points, suggesting extremely economical operations that well exceed European targets.

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Lineup Specs Confirmed in Leaked Distributor Event

Intel recently concluded an event intended for local distributors in China, a key presentation slide of which was snapped and posted online. The slide confirms the company's product-stack for the mainstream desktop platform, and its augmentation with the first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" SKUs. The slide also confirms that Intel will be replacing current Core i7 4-core/8-thread SKUs with Core i7 6-core/12-thread ones; Core i5 4-core/4-thread SKUs with 6-core/6-thread ones, and Core i3 2-core/4-thread SKUs with 4-core/4-thread ones, marking the biggest fundamental update to the product stack since the Core MSDT family started out a decade ago, with the Core "Lynnfield" and "Clarkdale" processors.

The slide further describes per-core performance increases ranging between 11-29 percent owing to higher clock-speeds and a slightly newer micro-architecture, and 51-65 percent increases in multi-threaded performance owing to the increasing core-counts across the board. While these SKUs are expected to logically replace the various Core "Kaby Lake" SKUs from their current price-points, there could be a tiny price increase, across the board, which Intel could justify using the higher core-counts.

Shuttle Announces 3-litre PC with Slot for PCIe x16 Expansion Cards

The first 3-litre PC from Shuttle with a fully-fledged PCI Express x16 3.0 slot virtually spells the end of limitations. This is because almost any expansion card can now be fitted in the Mini-PC, which is only around 7 cm high. Computing power is delivered by new Intel Core processors of the 7th generation and the latest of storage and drive technology.

The XH110G model from the XPC slim category is a compact barebones PC in a 25 x 20 x 7.85 cm (DWH) format. Its mainboard with an Intel H110 chipset can accommodate up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory and Intel processors (LGA1151) with up to 65 W of TDP. Two M.2 slots, one being M.2-2280 and one M.2-2230, may for example accommodate an NVMe SSD and a WLAN module - or also lots of other commercially available M.2 add-on cards.

Noctua Introduces Automotive-compliant 24V IndustrialPPC Fans

Noctua today updated its range of ruggedised 24V industrialPPC fans. Using the novel NE-FD4 motor driver IC that complies with the Automotive Electronics Council's highly rigorous AEC-Q100 failure-mechanism-based stress test qualification, the new Q100 revision NF-F12 (120mm) and NF-A14 (140mm) models complement the industrialPPC line's signature rigidity and IP67 ingress protection with extreme electrical robustness and sophisticated inrush current suppression. This makes them ideal not only for automotive applications but also for use in hostile or sensitive electronic environments.

"With its highly rigid polyamide construction and IP67-class water and dust protection, the industrialPPC line has opened up a wealth of new industrial markets for us since its introduction in 2014," explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "True to the industrialPPC's tagline of 'Protected Performance Cooling', we have now also toughened up these fans from an electronics point of view so that they are equally well protected against environmental and electrical hazards."
Wednesday, August 16th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD

Alphacool Intros AMD Socket TR4 Retention Brackets

Alphacool will soon be offering brackets fitted for the Alphacool Eisblock XPX and the Alphacool Eisbaer CPU AIO series. Both coolers were designed for large DIE surfaces from the beginning and provide an ideal foundation for a water cooling system on the new AMD Threadripper CPUs.

Additionally, Alphacool plans to release a special cooler later this year that is specifically made for CPUs with an extremely large DIE surface and multiple cores: The Alphacool Eisblock Flatboy. This extremely flat CPU cooler was originally designed for server systems. Because of this, it has connection points not just on its surface, but also on its sides. The side connections make the Flatboy very flat, making it easy to install in the flat casing of a 19" server rack.

ViewSonic Announces VP2785-4K 27-inch Ultra HD Monitor

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solution products, introduces the VP2785-4K, a 27-inch 4K UHD (3840x2160) monitor that delivers precise and consistent color representation and performance to ensure incredible image quality. Built to deliver unmatched color accuracy for professional color-critical applications, the ViewSonic VP2785-4K ensures vibrant and intense color reproduction, making this monitor the perfect display solution for photographers, video and content producers and editors.

The ViewSonic VP2785-4K offers 4K UHD resolution, a wide color gamut and consistent performance with 99 percent Adobe RGB and 98 percent DCI-P3 colors and factory calibration to achieve Delta E <2 across multiple color spaces. Hardware calibration capability allows users to ensure best-in-class color accuracy, while the built-in uniformity function guarantees screen consistency. With USB 3.1 Type C, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort, Mini DisplayPort 2.1 connectivity options, the VP2785-4K can be used with a variety of external devices. The HDCP 2.2 input provides content protection for 4K content playback, streaming and gaming.

Alphacool Intros Eiswolf GPX-Pro ATI RX Vega and the NexXxoS GPX for RX Vega

ATI RX Vega cooler, Alphacool has the perfect cooling solutions for the start of the new AMD Vega graphics card generation. The NexXxoS GPX Vega Version now offers an improved backplate with a side shield to cover the PCB. This also improves its cooling performance, since heat is distributed more evenly over the front connection. If you use a graphics card with a NexXxoS GPX cooler and want to switch over to an AMD Vega, you'll be happy to hear about the corresponding upgrade kits for your cooler.

The Eiswolf GPX-Pro will still be an AIO solution, and will still come pre-filled with an integrated pump built around new "reverse flow" technology for whisper-quiet operation. The pure copper radiator from the well-known NexXxoS series with 120mm and a thickness of 45mm provides outstanding cooling performance.

IBM Research Achieves Breakthrough in Magnetic Storage: Enabling a 330TB Tape

IBM Research scientists have achieved a new world record in tape storage - their fifth since 2006. The new record of 201 Gb/in2 (gigabits per square inch) in areal density was achieved on a prototype sputtered magnetic tape developed by Sony Storage Media Solutions. The scientists presented the achievement today at the 28th Magnetic Recording Conference (TMRC 2017) here.

Tape storage is currently the most secure, energy efficient and cost-effective solution for storing enormous amounts of back-up and archival data, as well as for new applications such as Big Data and cloud computing. This new record areal recording density is more than 20 times the areal density used in current state of the art commercial tape drives such as the IBM TS1155 enterprise tape drive, and it enables the potential to record up to about 330 terabytes (TB) of uncompressed data on a single tape cartridge that would fit in the palm of your hand. 330 terabytes of data are comparable to the text of 330 million books, which would fill a bookshelf that stretches slightly beyond the northeastern to the southwestern most tips of Japan.

Phanteks Announces Enthoo Evolv ITX Tempered Glass Edition

Phanteks introduces the latest variant to the EVOLV Series, the EVOLV ITX Tempered Glass Edition. Big on features and small in size, the EVOLV ITX is a budget oriented chassis that uses a metal exterior, complemented with a tempered glass side panel to showcase all your hardware components.

The case introduces innovative features for a convenient installation experience in an ITX enclosure, such as a unique bracket solution for mounting a radiator on top and a multifunctional bracket for reservoir, pump, and SSD/HDD. Available in Black, Black/Red and White.

Graphics Memory Prices Surge 30% in August, Could Affect Graphics Card Prices

The DRAM industry is experiencing an acute shortage of various classes of GDDR memory (graphics DDR), which could affect graphics card prices come Holiday. Supplier quotes for various graphics memory components have risen by as much as 30.8% in August, from an average of USD $6.50 in July, to $8.50. Top graphics memory suppliers Samsung and SK Hynix have committed a bulk of their inventories to manufacturers of servers and mobile handsets, which triggered the price rally. Samsung is the largest supplier of graphics memory, with a 55 percent market-share, followed by SK Hynix at 35 percent, and Micron Technology at 10 percent.

Source: DigiTimes

GALAX Announces GPU Overclocking Products - Power Board and LN2 Memory Pot

GALAX is apparently on the verge of launching two GPU overclocking-specific products, materialized in the HOF Power Board and an LN2 memory pot kit. Built to increase overclockability in your graphics card of choice, the GALAX power board will allow you to feed the GPU with way more power than it is designed to receive - provided you have decent cooling for the increased temperatures and operating voltages. And with the caveat of whether or not your GPU manufacturer of choice allows such changes in voltage.

Silicon Motion Expands its Portfolio of PCIe NVMe SSD Controller Solutions

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation, a global leader in designing and marketing NAND flash controllers for solid-state storage devices, announced the availability of the industry's broadest portfolio of merchant turnkey SSD (solid state disk) controller solutions, including the new ultra-high speed SM2262EN and SM2262 for client, the SM2263 for mainstream and the SM2263XT DRAM-less controller, which supports the BGA form factor.

With the new SM2262 and SM2263 series, Silicon Motion provides PCIe G3 x 4 Lanes NVMe 1.3 controllers while supporting the latest 3D NAND from the main flash manufacturers. The SM2262EN, an ultra-high performance SSD controller solution, delivers peak sequential read and write transfer speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and 3,000 MB/s, respectively, and random read and write IOPS of up to 370,000 and 300,000. The SM2263 is targeted at mainstream client applications and features sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s and 1,700 MB/s respectively. The SM2263XT, a DRAM-less controller solution, reduces BOM cost and form factor without compromising performance while enabling 11.5mmx13mm BGA SSDs ideally suited for 2-in-1 systems, chromebooks and mobile devices.

Razer Launches the Atheris Wireless Notebook Mouse

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Atheris, the ultimate wireless notebook mouse with the world's longest-lasting battery life and lag-free wireless gaming-grade performance. Designed for mobile work and play to outlast any competition, the Razer Atheris offers up to 350 hours of continuous use on a single pair of AA batteries, providing power for even the most enduring boardroom meetings or intense gaming sessions.

The Razer Atheris is equipped with Razer's proprietary wireless Adaptive Frequency Technology (AFT) providing industry-leading transmission for the most reliable, stable connection. AFT is enabled through a compact USB dongle that stores away conveniently in the mouse, and Bluetooth LE connectivity is also available for devices without a USB port.

AMD Releases Beta Driver Specifically Geared for Blockchain Compute

Paraphrasing our own VSG, "So, this happened". AMD has gone out and done it: they've released a Beta driver specifically geared towards blockchain-based workloads, which should improve the company's GPU performance in generating money for miners. The driver is compatible with close to the entirety of AMD's GCN lineup - all the way from hot-from-the-foundry Vega to AMD's HD 7900 series. As AMD puts it, this is a driver solely purposed towards blockchain workloads - no gaming or graphics workloads (read, what graphics cards were originally meant to do) are officially supported in this release.

Apparently, AMD took it upon themselves to release this driver due to AMD's well documented DAG performance decrease for Ethereum mining hashrates. Specifically, according to Legit Reviews, the Radeon RX 480 went from an expected 14.8 MH/s at DAG #199 (down from 24.6 MH/s at DAG #130) to a prospective 24.8 MH/s DAG #199 performance according to Claymore's benchmark script. Performance improvements from the non-blockchain-geared driver release seem to stand at around 10-15%, which isn't too shabby from a single, Beta driver release.

Lian Li Announces PC-Q39 Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower

Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is delighted to present the new PC-Q39 WX Mini-ITX mini tower chassis. The PC-Q39 is an evolution of the PC-Q37 and allows the use of ATX power supplies as well as triple slot graphics cards in a mini-ITX chassis. Internally, dedicated grommets for liquid cooling tubing have been placed in order to move reservoir and pumps to the wider secondary chamber. This enables motherboard, graphics card, and other main components to shine behind the tempered glass panel. Furthermore, the front panel has been upgraded and now features an USB 3.1 Type-C connector.

The PC-Q39 continues the traditional Lian Li design with dual chambers for extremely clean builds. The main compartment houses the Mini-ITX motherboard and graphics cards up to 320mm in length, while the second compartment has a tool-less drive rack for two 3.5" and one 2.5" drives, there is another one 2.5"in the back, and one on the motherboard tray, totally three 2.5" drives. An ATX PSU up to 160mm in length and optional liquid cooling reservoir or pump. Two grommet holes in the motherboard allow liquid cooling tubing to pass between chambers. Five holes in the motherboard tray allow cabling to pass from the main to the secondary chamber for clean designs.

SteelSeries Announces Apex M750 Gaming Keyboard

SteelSeries announced the APEX M750, the 'complete package' mechanical keyboard, delivering durability in a beautifully simplified package. The M750 brings new QX2 mechanical switches, per key RGB lighting and SteelSeries Engine Apps to gamers, giving them the ultimate combination of beauty, performance, and customization.

The APEX M750 features SteelSeries' QX2 linear mechanical gaming switches to deliver ultra-fast and consistent gameplay. Their low-force, linear actuation point also deliver a whisper-quiet response and have a guaranteed lifespan of 50 million key presses. The keyboard was designed with an aerospace aluminum core for durability, stability and a sleek, modern look.
Tuesday, August 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

Cooler Master MasterPulse MH320

By releasing the MasterPulse MH320, their least-expensive gaming headset to date, Cooler Master tries to grab the attention of gamers on a very tight budget. Even though it costs a mere $40, it offers a dual-headband design, a foldable bi-directional boom microphone, and a few other interesting features.

Samsung Announces Portable SSD T5

Samsung Electronics America, Inc. today announced the introduction of the Samsung Portable SSD T5 - the newest portable solid state drive (PSSD) that raises the bar for the performance of external memory products. The T5, built with Samsung's latest 64-layer V-NAND technology, delivers industry-leading transfer speeds with encrypted data security in a compact and durable design, making it easier than ever for consumers to access their most valuable data anywhere, at any time.

"Samsung has been pushing the envelope of what is possible in portable storage and solid state drives for years, and the Portable SSD T5 continues our legacy of leadership and innovation," said Un-Soo Kim, Senior Vice President of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. "We are confident that the T5 will exceed consumers' expectations for external storage by offering faster speeds and a solid design that is lightweight and conveniently pocket-sized. It is the ideal portable storage product for consumers and professionals who are in search of a fast, durable and secure device."

AMD's RX Vega Launch Prices Might be Just Smoke and Mirrors

Overclockers UK staff member Gibbo, who posted the renowned British company's Vega stocks and deals for the red team's graphics cards, has just come out with something that might put our inner buyers to attention. Apparently, AMD has allowed launch prices to be as they currently are ($499 for the Vega 64 and $399 for the Vega 56 in the Americas; £549 for the Vega 64 in the UK) through rebates and other offers to retailers, who, according to Gibbo, couldn't keep those prices at all if that was not the case. According to the Overclockers UK staffer, " (...) the good news is AMD are rebating early launch sales to allow us to hit £449.99 on the stand alone black card which has no games. This is a launch only price which AMD at present are saying will be withdrawn in the near future, when if it happens is unknown, but remember do not be shocked if the price jumps nearly £100 in a few days. This time around there is no early adopter tax, quite the opposite on the stand alone black card, so do be quick."

Intel Officially Reveals What's Coming After Coffee Lake: The 10 nm Ice Lake

A pretty underwhelming post on Intel's official page has pulled the curtains of the company's architecture name post their 8th generation processors. Actually, it's a little more puzzling than that, since Intel is actually detailing the codename of an architecture that's supposed to come right after their 8th generation - read, Coffee Lake - processors. Keep in mind that Coffee Lake, whilst being supposed to bring a reorganization of Intel's product stack in response to AMD's Ryzen success, will still be in the 14 nm++ process - the third such architecture in the same process, after Skylake (14 nm) and Kaby Lake (14 nm+) before it. Cannon Lake, however, is supposed to be the company's first tick into the 10 nm process.

Intel has moved over from their famed tick-tock (where tick is a process shrink and tock is a new architecture on the same process) cadence, and are now telling customers to expect at least three "tocks" per process. It's expected that Intel will launch mobile processors on the 10 nm process before any desktop parts are launched on the same process; this could stem from the fact that mobile parts are typically lower-power, smaller-sized dies, which are easier and cheaper to produce out of a still maturing 10 nm process, which usually implies lower than ideal yields.

Sources: Intel Codename Decoder, Intel's Ice Lake Page, via AnandTech

Alphacool Announces the Eisbaer 420 - The World's Biggest AIO solution

What is it?
The Alphacool Eisbaer is an expandable, refillable CPU all-in-one watercooler with a pure copper radiator. The Eisbaer can be expanded with additional Eisbaer Ready products such as the Eiswolf GPX-Pro graphics card cooler, among others.

With the Eisbaer 420mm, Alphacool presents what is currently the largest and most powerful AIO water cooler in the world. With its mighty 420mm pure copper radiator and three 140mm Eiswind fans, the ability to cool any current CPU is more than just guaranteed. The quick connectors mean you can add any Eisbaer Ready products or custom water cooling gear to the cooling loop. The cooling performance of the mighty 420mm pure copper radiator is enough to add more than one graphics card to the loop, or any other components that will be cooled with water. The 420mm pure copper radiator and the included Eiswind fans can easily provide the necessary cooling power.

SilverStone Adds Tempered Glass to Redline Case Series

SilverStone has just announced availability of their Redline chassis lineup. Aimed towards a more budget-conscious consumer, the Redline offers a standard ATX support and seven expansion slots in black and red or white and black color schemes (yes, you physics pundits are right when you say that black or white aren't colors... Let's let that one slide now, shall we?)

The RL06-G and RL06-GP cases are able to accommodate CPU coolers 158 mm tall, full-length graphics cards up to 348 mm, and power supplies up to 200 mm. Both chassis have mounting locations for 3x 3.5" hard disks (trays located in front of the PSU) and 2x 2.5" solid state drives (behind the motherboard tray.) The latest additions to the Redline series come standard with a full length power supply shroud that covers both the PSU and the three 3.5" trays.

GELID Announces the Phantom Series CPU Coolers

GELID today introduced its Phantom series CPU coolers. Available in two variants, the Phantom (model: CC-Phantom-01-A), featuring a clear chrome finish with all-black fans; and the Phantom Black (model: CC-Phantom-Black-01-A), featuring a black nickel-plating on the aluminium fins and copper heat pipes; the Phantom is a "D-type" dual fin-stack heatsink cooler. From a copper base, seven nickel-plated copper heat-pipes pass, with aluminium fin-stacks along their two ends. The cooler is designed for thermal loads of up to 200W.

The innovation here is in the thickness of these heat pipes. Three of these are 8 mm-thick, and four are 6 mm-thick. The thicker heat pipes pass through the center of the base, while two of the thinner ones pass through the edges, and two of the thinner ones layer up on top of the central heat pipe. The cooler can mount up to three 120 mm fans, although two are included. The included fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spin between 750-1,600 RPM, with a static pressure of up to 2.18 mmAq, and a noise output of 12-26.7 dBA. Measuring 120 mm x 126 mm x 160 mm (WxDxH, minus fans), the cooler weighs a little over 1 kg. Among the CPU sockets it supports are AM4, LGA2066, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing but mentioned that the coolers will be backed by a 5-year warranty.

Cooler Master Announces MasterPulse MH320 Gaming Headset

Cooler Master, a Taipei-based leader in designing and manufacturing computer components and peripherals releases a new closed-back ear cup gaming headset, the MasterPulse MH320. Whether you're a marathon gamer looking for versatile sound options or a casual gamer looking for an all-around headset, the MasterPulse MH320 is the perfect gaming companion.

"We designed this headset with gaming in mind so we made the headset lightweight to ensure comfort for hours on end, coming in at only 280 grams. We didn't make any compromises on quality though and the MH320 has a self-adjusting headband with a steel support structure," says Bram Rongen, Peripheral Product Marketing Manager.

ASRock Introduces the X10 IoT Router for Smart Homes

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce is pleased to announce the X10 IoT router, a unique next generation smart IoT hub that is designed as an integral part of a smart home environment and essential part a secure domicile. As an IoT router, the ASrock X10 is well equipped to control various "Smart Home" devices, including light systems like smart lighting devices, smart locks, smart water meters, television, air-conditioning units and much more without requiring any additional hubs thanks to its ZigBee controller and advances mesh networking technology.

"We believe a qualified digital l ife is built on a well-connected and user-friendly environment, that's why ASRock created the X10, an all-round Wi-Fi router that integrates IR and ZigBee functions." says Jason Chou, vice president of the ASRock R&D division. "The ASRock X10 will serve your simple and smart life perfectly."

GIGABYTE Announces MA10-ST0 with Top-end Atom C3000 SoC

GIGABYTE today announced its latest motherboard based on Intel's 'Denverton' architecture. This new CPU architecture offers a whole new level of performance efficiency in the cold storage and enterprise network space. This motherboard is the first in the product series and adopts the top-end SKU of Intel's next generation Atom(R) Processor C3000 Product Family - the C3958 - and addresses the cold-storage and network-edge needs of efficiency-conscious users . The major development in this platform is around the core count, performance/power leadership and flexible, highly-integrated I/O. These enable performance improvements of up to 2.5x generation-on-generation which support light, low-cost storage and scale-out applications.

ADATA Releases the XPG SX9000 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the XPG SX9000, its fastest consumer SSD yet. The SX9000 caters to gamers and PC overclockers. It arrives in an M.2 2280 form factor and uses the PCIe3x4 interface to deliver up to 2800MB/s read and 1450 MB/s write. ADATA has selected a new Marvell controller to ensure consistently optimized performance, while in-house ADATA manufacturing, assembly, and quality control result in up to a 1000TB terabytes/total bytes written (TBW) rating. The SX9000 uses MLC NAND Flash and ships in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities.

The SX9000 goes even beyond the XPG SX8000 thanks to balanced ADATA design and the integration of a new Marvell controller. It reaches 2800MB/s read and 1450 MB/s write, leveraging the PCI Express Gen 3x4 interface and the NVMe 1.2 protocol. A compact M.2 2280 drive, the SX9000 also manages 310K/140K IOPS random 4K read/write. For fast boot, reduced cross-drive transfer times, shorter game loads, and quicker in-game asset delivery, the SX9000 offers an excellent foundation.

BYKSKI Intros Water Blocks for AMD Radeon RX Vega Series

Bykski, known as one of the biggest water block provider in China, releases the water blocks A-VEGA-FE-X for AMD latest Vega series graphics cards, including Vega Frontier Edition, RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56.

The Bykski A-VEGA-FE-X is made of cooper of the base and designed as a full cover water block, and all the cooper is nickel plated with anti-oxidation treatment. The full cover design allows the water block provides direct cooling for both GPU and RAM. Bykski new logo is used on the A-VEGA-FE-X, and users can see the 0.5 mm micro water flow fins trough the lucid PMMA material cover.
Monday, August 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
SSD
Storage

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8 GB

Our AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 review confirms that the company achieved major performance improvements over their last-generation Polaris and Fiji cards: Vega is faster than the GTX 1080. We tested six different performance configurations of the Vega 64, with surprising results.

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8 GB

Radeon RX Vega 56 is the second AMD Vega card launched today. It comes at an affordable $399 price point, with a slightly reduced shader count that actually improves things greatly. For example, power efficiency now trades blows with some Pascal cards, which means less heat and noise, too.

MSI Announces X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC, world's fastest microATX X299 motherboard. Built on the Intel LGA Socket 2066 means it offers up to 44 PCIe lanes and Quad Channel DDR4 memory support. This model is specifically designed for Intel Skylake-X processors to ensure a flawless operation of any heavy gaming rig during long gaming sessions. The new X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC is future-proof, ready for the upcoming 12,14,16 and 18-core Intel Core-X Series CPUs.

By adding a 16 GB Intel Optane Memory device on the 2 new OPT BOOST motherboards, MSI not only delivers support for the latest Intel technology, besides this you get an added value of $50,-. Optimize your computer by delivering a responsive computer experience with short boot times, fast application launches, extraordinary gaming, and responsive browsing. Gamers can now enjoy SSD levels of high performance and have a large storage capacity at the same time.

AMD Releases the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 Beta 6 Drivers for Vega

AMD today has made available for early adopters the Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 drivers. Users of other AMD graphics cards other than the newly released RX Vega 64 beware: these drivers are for exclusive use on those graphics cards.

For those early adopters who have a Vega 64 on their hands already, these drivers are for you. If you're currently on the fence on whether or not to make the plunge to a new red-powered graphics card, make sure to read our own resident W1zzard's reviews of AMD's latest foray into the high performance graphics processing market for both the RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards. You might be surprised. Download the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson Relive Edition Radeon RX Vega Series Driver​Source: AMD

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 385.28 Game Ready WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce drivers, which enable your green-powered card to run smoothly and without issues. This latest driver release is a Game-Ready WHQL one, which aims to enable the smoothest possible experience on recently-released game titles. The focus for this 38.28 version of NVIDIA's GeForce drivers was on Agents of Mayhem, Crossout and Killing Floor: Incursion, while also introducing a number of fixes. You can grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.28 WHQL Game-Ready Drivers

480 Hz True Refresh Rate Monitor Spotted, Heralding a New Wave of Display Tech

A prototype true 480 Hz monitor has found its way to the hands of Blur Busters, who aptly tested whether or not that feature made their blur busting name irrelevant at some point in the future. The verdict? While 480 Hz refresh rates do offer a visible difference in step distances and blur reduction, things can be improved further. But we're talking about a refresh rate where most high-end monitors typically achieve 144 Hz - so 480 Hz is a totally different beast.

While display tech has seen some interesting evolutions as of late (mainly the introduction of OLED displays and HDR technology (which seems to be facing some delays of its own), refresh rates have somewhat stagnated in recent times. A true 480 Hz refresh rate will surely get some users drooling over it, and justify yet another round of upgrades to your entire system - though of course, the usability of such a high refresh-rate monitor begins to dwindle as resolution increases (and frame rates necessarily decrease.) Let's see where this goes.

Sources: Blur Busters, via HotHardware

Gigabyte Announces Its RX Vega 56 Reference Model Graphics Card

In a slightly anemic post on their website, Gigabyte has been the first of AMD's AIB partners to showcase a reference design RX Vega 56 graphics card. This was a silent addition to their website; no press releases have been sent out as of yet. There is only so much a company can say about their reference design graphics cards, though, absent of coming up with interesting phrases to sell the card's capabilities. Specifically, Gigabyte praised:

Next Gen Compute Units
These revamped nCUs (1 nCU = 64 stream processors) are designed to operate at incredible clock speeds and deliver extreme gaming experiences with the newest high resolution and high refresh rate monitors.

Prototype AMD Vega RX 56 Triple-Fan Graphics Card Pictured

Trying to keep our community entertained and distracted from the growing pains and expectations of waiting for the death of AMD's imposed NDAs on Vega reviews is one of our missions. As such, while we know what you want are actual performance numbers, price/performance charts, and an in-depth, independent review, you'll not find such answers in this post. You will find, however, some interesting tidbits on AMD RX Vega designs. In this case, a triple-fan cooling solution for AMD's RX Vega 56 (the smaller Vega).

Colorful Announces the iGame Z270 Ymir U Motherboard - Designed for Gamers

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, officially produces its latest addition to the iGame series of motherboards with powerful Intel Z270 chipset -the most powerful model which debuted in COMPUTEX, the iGame Z270 Ymir U which can provide stable platform for better game experience without the internet speed, heating value and other performance.

Metal Armor
iGame Z270 Ymir U features Metal Overlap Armor including of metal armor, dual colors overlap, and GamerVoice2.0 Audio system. After a level-up to 2.0 version, RGB lighting of GamerVoice will dance according to the music, then you can adjust the mode in BIOS. GamerVoice features independent audio card and alternative audio chip, so that customers can change more professional chip instead. Advanced audio circuit segmentation technology and the costly material can drive headphones with 600Ωresistance.

iBUYPOWER Announces the XPG SPECTRIX D40 DDR4 RGB Memory Module

iBUYPOWER is pleased to announce the arrival of the XPG SPECTRIX D40 DD4 RGB Memory Module by ADATA. Configured exclusively at iBUYPOWER, the SPECTRIX D40 is the first DDR4 RGB Memory produced by XPG and integrates stunning performance and visual, luminous beauty into a compact memory module.

A memory module built for the most avid gamers and performance PC enthusiasts alike, the XPG SPECTRIX D40 features:
  • Mesmerizing RGB lighting - fully customizable and supported by ASUS AURA Sync
  • Armor-inspired design fashioned with a bright RGB LED Strip
  • Can be overclocked to over 4000 MHz without a special cooling system
  • SPD configuration that defaults to speed of 2666MHz on the new Intel X299 platform
  • Compatible with the AMD AM4 platform and Ryzen processors
Saturday, August 12th 2017

XSPC Announces Raystorm Neo Threadripper CPU Water Block

XSPC has announced their cooling solution for AMD's TR4 socket Ryzen Threadripper CPUs. The Raystorm Neo Threadripper has a massive cold plate measuring 80 x 66.5 mm which is the largest of any CPU block announced for Threadripper so far. Accompanying this is a machined fin stack that covers all four dies- two active, two dummy- to where it also appears to be very optimized for the platform as well.

The Raystorm Neo comes with a chrome or black chrome plated solid aluminum mounting bracket with an acrylic top to see the coolant flowing through the copper cold plate underneath. The coolant does not come in contact with the aluminum mounting bracket. XSPC also bundles in an RGB controller with two RGB LEDs, with the controller supporting some breathing modes and static lighting effects to toggle between.
Friday, August 11th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Bitfenix Nova TG

The Bitfenix Nova TG is aiming to be an interesting choice for the entry level. While the original Nova, launched nearly two years ago, managed to sport a US$30 price tag, this also meant sacrificing functionality and layout when it came to the interior. The Nova TG does not only come with a tempered glass side panel, but upgraded internals and a splash of color. Is it worth the higher price tag of US$50?

Razer to Introduce New Color Options for Their Peripherals Lineup

Razer has announced that they will be offering two different color schemes for some of their peripherals, deviating from the black and green color scheme the company has made its hallmark. The new colors will be mercury white or gunmetal grey, as the company puts them (just white or grey wouldn't do, as you surely understand.) The new color schemes will be available at first on their Blackwidow X Chroma mechanical keyboard, Kraken 7.1 headset, Lancehead TE mouse, and Invicta mousepad. The sleeved cables for each peripheral will also sport the appropriate color change.

This difference will be purely cosmetic, in no way impacting the MSRP of the differently-colored peripherals. The Invicta mousepad, however, might offer some decreased performance in its new mercury white color scheme, since mice sensors typically work best on dark surfaces. The Razer Blackwidow X Chroma gunmetal grey and mercury white color schemes are only available for the US layout so far.

Source: ETeknix

BitFenix Launches Nova TG Chassis

(Editor's Note: You can read TPU's review of the Nova TG Chassis here. The press release follows.)

With the BitFenix Nova TG, the classic Nova receives a major upgrade. Keeping the simplistic design of the front panel, the new Nova TG is now equipped with a 4mm tempered glass panel, a redesigned body and two pre-installed 120mm fans. As a finishing touch, the signature mesh for the air inlets received a color-upgrade, matching the black version with red mesh and the white version with black mesh.

Equipped with 7 extension slots, the Nova TG is designed to house ATX, Micro ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards. With a maximum CPU cooler height of 160mm and a maximum graphics card length of 280mm, it supports most standard gaming and multimedia setups. Taking the classical look of the Nova to the next level, the new Nova TG is now equipped with a tinted 4mm tempered glass panel, allowing a peek into today's illuminated components, RGB fans and RGB strips.

Intel and Microsoft Collaborate to Deliver Industry-First Enterprise Blockchain

Today, Microsoft announced a new framework that enables businesses to adopt blockchain technology for increased enterprise privacy and security, and named Intel as a key hardware and software development partner. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft, Intel and other blockchain technology leaders will build a new enterprise-targeted blockchain framework - called the Coco Framework - that integrates Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX) to deliver improved transaction speed, scale and data confidentiality to enterprises. This first-of-its-kind innovation accelerates the enterprise readiness of blockchain technology, allowing developers to create flexible and more secure enterprise blockchain applications that can be easily managed by businesses.

Sapphire Announces RX Vega 64 Graphics Card Lineup

SAPPHIRE Technology has announced the launch of the much-anticipated SAPPHIRE Radeon Vega 64 enthusiast graphics cards. The Vega architecture boasts significant improvements focused on maximizing the performance. Vega cards are designed for enthusiasts seeking top-of-the-chart framerates in games of today and tomorrow - in Ultra details and VR.

SAPPHIRE Technology is introducing three Vega-powered models:
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 Liquid Cooled
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB HBM2 Limited Edition

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Second Quarter Fiscal 2018

NVIDIA today reported record revenue for the second quarter ended July 30, 2017, of $2.23 billion, up 56 percent from $1.43 billion a year earlier, and up 15 percent from $1.94 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Record revenue of $2.23 billion, up 56 percent from a year ago
  • GAAP EPS of $0.92, up 124 percent from a year ago
  • Non-GAAP EPS of $1.01, up 91 percent from a year ago
  • Broad growth across all platforms
  • GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $0.92, up 124 percent from $0.41 a year ago and up 16 percent from $0.79 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.01, up 91 percent from $0.53 a year earlier and up 19 percent from $0.85 in the previous quarter.

EVGA Announces SC17 1080 Gaming Laptop

The EVGA SC17 1080 G-SYNC Gaming Laptop has arrived. Featuring a 4K-ready IPS panel with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology, this high performance laptop was meticulously crafted from the ground up for hardcore gamers, performance enthusiasts, and overclockers alike. Breaking away from the conventional brick form factor, a unique in-house EVGA designed power supply delivers up to 240 watts of power when needed, without sacrificing function or aesthetics.

The SC17 1080 pairs an unlocked Intel Core i7 7820HK CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 capable of being overclocked to offer the performance you always wanted from a gaming laptop. With performance and overclocking in mind, the EVGA SC17 1080 G-SYNC Gaming Laptop features a BIOS with mouse function to give you complete control over all aspects of performance, voltage and advanced settings to customize your gaming machine. A Clear CMOS button directly on the chassis helps you recover from an unstable overclock, and custom fan curve control keeps your laptop cool and quiet. This is the world's first TRUE overclocking laptop.

G.SKILL Announces New DDR4 Specifications for AMD Ryzen Threadripper

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces all-new DDR4 specifications and expanding the Flare X series, designed for AMD processors and platforms. Compatible with the new Ryzen Threadripper processors and AMD X399 chipset motherboards, these new DDR4 specifications are designed to achieve high frequency at DDR4-3600 MHz 32GB (8GBx4), as well as a massive total capacity at DDR4-2933 MHz 128GB (16GBx8). Included in the mix of new quad-channel DDR4 memory kits are DDR4-3200 MHz CL14 32GB (8GBx4) and DDR4-3466 MHz CL16 32GB (8GBx4).

With improved overclocking performance on the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors on the X399 chipset, G.SKILL is announcing the DDR4-3600 MHz CL16-18-18-38 with 32GB (8GBx4) total capacity running in quad-channel mode, under the Flare X series. Tested for maximum stability, this kit's frequency speed marks the fastest memory kit ever released thus far for an AMD platform.

AMD Asks Reviewers to Prioritize Vega 56 over Vega 64

It seems that AMD's RX Vega lineup won't be too far away from the norm, it seems. Street knowledge almost always says that it's the runner-up to the highest performing graphics card that is the more interesting in a price-performance ratio, and it seems that AMD knows this as well. Steve Burke from Gamer's Nexus has reported on AMD's NDA dates and the company's indications to reviewers on changing up the game leading up to reviews: they're asking that publications focus on the Vega 56 ahead of the halo Vega 64.

This might be somewhat bad news for those who wanted to see the Vega 64 compete in favorable terms with the GTX 1080; this decision by AMD is obviously geared towards making the best impact on the company's product line and image. The fact that AMD can offer a more compelling argument over the Vega 64 means that Vega 56 will probably have an easier battle in the $400 camp (if you can find it at those prices on launch, that is.)

EK Water Blocks Announces Ryzen Threadripper Supremacy EVO Series

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer sets an example once again, by announcing a dedicated EK-Supremacy EVO water block that covers the entire IHS of the newly released HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor. With AMD releasing their new X399 chipset based HEDT processors, came the need for a water block with a larger cold plate contact surface. The primary goal in designing the new EK-Supremacy EVO Threadripper Edition water block was to cover the entire IHS of the newly released HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor.

With a dense micro-fin structure that counts 52 grooves with a spacing of 0.25mm apart, the EK-Supremacy EVO Threadripper Edition water block offers the best possible cooling performance! The water block uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine with specialized jet insert and jet plate combination to ensure best possible cooling for X399 chipset based CPUs.

Synology Introduces DiskStation DS418j NAS

Synology Inc. today launched the new DiskStation DS418j, a budget-friendly 4-bay NAS server designed to help home and individual users to manage, protect and share data effectively. DS418j is powered by a brand-new 64-bit dual-core CPU and delivers an outstanding encrypted file transfer performance at over 112 MB/s reading and 87 MB/s writing under a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment. Coming with a 1 GB DDR4 memory, which is twice the size of its predecessor, and over 40 TB single volume raw capacity support, DS418j brings flexible storage management with excellent operation experience.

"In the digital era, photos, videos, and digital assets are being generated faster than ever. For home and individual users, it is essential to have a private storage solution that can satisfy the needs for both large storage capacity and secure data sharing," said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. "Combining hardware innovations and rich applications, the 4-bay DS418j allows users to enjoy cloud synchronization and multimedia streaming at a competitive price."

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Review Sample Unboxed

The folks at Techgage have already put out some unboxing pictures on AMD's RX Vega 64 review sample. There's not much more new information here - however, it's an opportunity to see how lavish AMD has become with their review sampling. Gone are the times of cardboard boxes, it seems. AMD may be spending more on packaging and presentation for the review samples than for actual R&D on the graphics cards (I kid, obviously.)

ASUS ROG STRIX X399-E Smiles for The Camera

X399 motherboards are still a relatively scarce commodity, and most available models right now are the top-of-the-line, eye-wateringly-expensive models with more bells and whistles than most users know what to do with. The ASUS ROG STRIX X339-E is poised to enter the market at a more affordable price-tag than most other X399 motherboards currently available, eschewing features that some users might call superfluous for a good computing experience.

The ASUS ROG STRIX X339-ET is equipped with an Intel Gigabit I211-AT network chipset, 802.11AC wireless capabilities, and the ALC S1220A audio chipset from Realtek. 4x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 1x PCIe 4x and 1x PCIe 1x round the expansion slots, while the 2x M.2 slots, 1x U.2 and 6x SATA 6 GB/s should be more than enough for your average storage needs. Expect this motherboard to hit retail sometime between August and September.

Sources: PCLab, via Videocardz
Thursday, August 10th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Monitors
Mouse
Mousepads
Notebooks
Processors
Storage

Dream Machines DM PAD L & XL Soft Gaming Mouse Pad

The DM PAD L and XL are the first mouse pads from Dream Machines. Competing with such well-known large mouse pads as the Steelseries Qck+ and Zowie G-SR, they do so while being very competitively priced for large mouse mats - only costing $14 / $22.

CORSAIR Launches the Neutron NX500 NVMe PCIe AIC SSD

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware, and PC components, today announced the launch of the CORSAIR Neutron NX500 NVMe PCIe SSD AIC. The NX500 boasts performance up to five times faster than traditional SATA 3.0 SSDs, connecting to your system via an available PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot. Achieving up to 3,000MB/sec sequential read and 2,400 MB/sec sequential write speeds, or 300K/270K IOPS random read/write, the NX500 is the fastest SSD CORSAIR has ever produced.

Available in 400GB, 800GB and 1,600GB* capacities, and clad in a custom-designed high-surface-area heat sink, the NX500 is engineered for speed and all-but eliminates performance thermal throttling thanks to temperatures up to 20°C lower than m.2 PCI Express NVMe SSDs. Whether you're editing video, transferring files or loading the latest games, the NX500 has the cooling, style and performance and to make sure both you and your system never fall behind.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper "Summit Ridge" Dies are Heavily Binned

AMD revealed that the pair of 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies that make up the Ryzen Threadripper multi-chip module are heavily binned. AMD hand-selects the top-5% highest performing "Summit Ridge" dies for Ryzen Threadripper manufacturing, which makes these chips of a higher grade than even what AMD sets aside for Ryzen 7-series socket AM4 chips.

AMD requires the highest grade "Summit Ridge" dies to use in Threadripper chips, to keep electrical leakage to the minimum, so the chips can run as cool as possible, with the least power-draw. Choosing the best dies could also ensure that Threadripper chips have the highest overclocking-headroom taking into account other electrical and thermal constraints. A 7-series chip such as the 1800X could still achieve higher clocks than a Threadripper chip, in that sense.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Memory and PCIe Detailed: What an MCM Entails

AMD built its Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (high-end desktop) processor as a multi-chip module (MCM) of two 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies, each with its own dual-channel memory controller, and PCI-Express interface. This is unlike the competing Core "Skylake-X" from Intel, which is a monolithic 18-core die with a quad-channel DDR4 interface and 44-lane PCIe on one die. AMD has devised some innovative methods of overcoming the latency issues inherent to an MCM arrangement like the Ryzen Threadripper, by tapping into its nUMA technology innovation.

To the hardware, four 8 GB DDR4 memory modules populating the four memory channels of a Ryzen Threadripper chip is seen as 16 GB controlled by each of the two "Summit Ridge" dies. To the software, it is a seamless block of 32 GB. Blindly interleaving the four 8 GB memory modules for four times the bandwidth of a single module isn't as straightforward as it is on the Core X, and is fraught with latency issues. A thread being processed by a core on die-A, having half of its memory allocation on memory controlled by a different die, is hit with latency. AMD is overcoming this by treating memory on a Ryzen Threadripper machine like a 2-socket machine, in which each socket has its own memory.

ADATA Launches the IM2S3338 and IM2S3334 Industrial-Grade M.2 SSDs

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade IM2S3338 M.2 2280 and IM2S3334 M.2 2242 SATA 6Gbps solid state drives. Both utilize the compact M.2 form factor for an easy fit in various installations and transfer data at up to 560MB/s read and 525MB/s write. They use durable and long-lasting 3D NAND, MLC/TLC for the IM2S3334 and TLC on the IM2S3338. The two drives are carefully tested for survivability in extreme temperatures and humidity as well as resistance to shocks and vibration. ADATA integrates LDPC error correction to promote data integrity plus DRAM and SLC caching to help sustain peak performance on both model ranges.

ADATA continues to place an emphasis on serving industrial and commercial applications such as manufacturing, surveillance, retail, transportation, and medical care. The IM2S3338 and IM2S3334 provide additional options, this time in the M.2 form factor. The IM2S3338 uses 3D TLC in capacities from 128GB to 1TB. It delivers 560MB/s read and 520MB/s write. The IM2S3334 carries highly durable 3D MLC NAND in 120GB to 512GB, and 3D TLC in 128GB to 512GB, and runs at up to 560 MB/s read and 525 MB/s write. Users therefore get a comprehensive range of models to choose from based on required capacity and planned budget.

Arctic Announces FREEZER 33 TR Cooler for AMD Ryzen Threadripper

Update: Corrected socket compatibility. This is a specially-designed cooler by Arctic for AMD's HEDT platform, As such, it offers limited compatibility with CPUs of lower die sizes, which means it's only compatible with TR4, AM4, LLGA2011(v3) and LGA2066 sockets.

Arctic announced the Freezer 33 TR, a tower-type CPU air cooler, designed for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with out of the box support for AMD socket TR4/SP3r2. The cooler comes in two variants based on color - black with red accents, and black with silver accents. The cooler features a conventional tower-type design, in which four 6 mm-thick copper heat-pipes, which make direct contact with the CPU at the base, pass through an aluminium fin-stack, which is ventilated by an included fan.

Compared to other Freezer 33 variants, the TR variant features an elongated base, for higher coverage of the Threadripper integrated heatspreader (IHS). The aluminium fins and heat-pipes feature matte-black nickel-plating. The included fan takes in 4-pin (PWM) input, spinning between 200 to 1,800 RPM. The cooler can cope with thermal loads of up to 320W, which makes it good for CPU TDP rating up to 200W, according to Arctic. Besides socket TR4, the cooler also supports AMD's AM4 socket, while Intel support stands at their LGA2011(v3), LGA2066. Available now, and backed by a generous 10-year warranty, the Freezer 33 TR is priced at 47.99€.

Thermaltake Announces Floe Riing RGB TT Premium Edition Coolers

Thermaltake is thrilled today to launch the next generation of all-in-one liquid cooling solution - the Floe Riing RGB TT Premium Edition Series. Available in 240mm, 280mm and 360mm, the Floe Riing RGB is the world's first 16.8 million colors liquid CPU cooler series with extraordinary performance, superior quality and addressable LEDs design. The large surface radiator plus high-performance waterblock and pump delivers the ultimate CPU cooling for gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

The waterblock and fans are manufactured with multiple addressable LEDs that can be controlled by the Riing Plus RGB Software. Functions within the software also allow users to monitor fan performance and track CPU temperature. Most importantly, this brand-new cooler series supports all the latest Intel and AMD CPU socket, including Intel LGA2066 and AMD AM4. Thermaltake Floe Riing Plus RGB TT Premium Edition Series is now available for purchase on the TT Premium online shop.

Corsair Summer Sale Open Until August 12th

Corsair has announced that they'll be having a Summer Sale as well, not being content to let Steam have all the headlines on that matter. The sale will be open until August 12th, and you can bet that you'll be able to find some pretty reasonable discounts to some of that Corsair hardware you've been oggling up to now.

Some of the standout deals are Corsair's H100i Extreme Performance CPU Liquid Cooling AIO, going for $99 (down from $129), the GPU version of the same AIO (down to the same $99 from $129), and Corsair's Lapdog control center (down to $69 from $119) for your couch-related gaming needs. There's also a selection of gaming mice, rodent pads, mechanical keyboards, and even a special edition, liquid-cooled GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. Hit the source link for some Corsair goodness (though remember, if you're not USA/CA based, you apparently have to tough it up sans discounts...)

Source: Corsair

Acer, ASUS Delaying Their 4K, 144 Hz G-Sync HDR Displays to 2018

It's confirmed: no 144 Hz 4K gaming with HDR in 2017 for NVIDIA gamers who want to make use of G-Sync t avoid screen tearing in their games. Acer last week announced that its 4K HDR Predator X27 gaming display would be delayed to Q1 2018 (meaning, no such thing below your Christmas tree or on your fireplace sock, sadly.) But it isn't Acer's fault, apparently: ASUS's ROG Swift PG27UQ, which features virtually the same specifications, has also been delayed to 2018. Both these monitors are based of an NVIDIA reference design showcased at Computex 2017 (you may remember a slight foul play there as well.)

The Acer Predator X27 and the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ are based on AU Optronics' M270QAN02.2 AHVA panel, which offers a 3840×2160 resolution and can reach a 144 Hz refresh rate. Something that really should make these monitors shine is the usage of a direct LED backlighting system with 384 zones, which can be individually dimmed or brightened as needed, which allows the panel to deliver much higher levels of contrast, needed for true HDR display. At least until OLED panels make their way to high-performance gaming monitors, these are expected to be the best of the crop.

Noctua Stocks Up Threadripper-compatible NH-U14S Coolers

Noctua is stocking up inventories of its AMD Ryzen Threadripper-compatible NH-U14S-TR4-SP3 tower-type CPU cooler. A variant of the NH-U14S (pictured below), the cooler will be available from 12th August in the United States, through Noctua's eBay store. Other retailers will have stocks by the end of August. Noctua believes the NH-U14S features sufficient muscle to cope with the 180W TDP Threadripper processors, some of the lower variants come with 140W TDP. The TR4-SP3 variant comes with a slightly enlarged base, for better coverage of the large integrated heatspreaders of the Threadripper chips. The other Threadripper-compatible coolers in Noctua's lineup are the NH-U12S-TR4-SP3, and NH-U9-TR4-SP3.

Source: Reddit

In Win Announces Availability of Their Aurora RGB LED Fans

In Win has finally announced availability of their Aurora RGB LED fans. We've seen tome a couple of times before - one of them on Computex. Only now are these innovative, daisy-chainable and remote-controlled fans being put up for sale, though.

The Aurora RGB LED fans are first to support multi-unit daisy-chaining, so one fan's power input and control can be shared with multiple fans. This way, you can control each of your multiple fan configurations (say, three fans on the front panel of your case, plus the three fans for your GPU's radiator, plus two fans for your CPU AIO) by simply pointing the remote at them.

Thermaltake Announces Ryzen Threadripper Support for Water 3.0 Riing AIO Coolers

Thermaltake today announced that five of its Water 3.0 Riing series all-in-one, closed-loop, liquid CPU cooler models support AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors in the new TR4 package. Among the supporting models are the Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360, Water 3.0 Riing RGB 240, Water 3.0 Riing RGB 120, Water 3.0 Riing RGB Extreme, and Water 3.0 Riing RGB Ultimate. The five coolers include brackets for socket TR4, although the company didn't mention if the circular blocks of the Water 3.0 Riing RGB series provides 100% coverage of the processors' integrated heatspreader.

Samsung Readies 970 and 980 Series NVMe SSDs

At its Flash Memory Summit booth, Samsung revealed plans to launch new consumer-segment SSDs which succeed its current 960 EVO and 960 Pro series. Over 2017-18, the company is expected to launch the new 970 series and 980 series NVMe SSDs. Tom's Hardware predicts that Samsung could dispose of the "EVO" and "Pro" brand extensions to a static model number (such as 960 or 950). Samsung could tap into its current 3-bit per cell (TLC) 64-layer 3D V-NAND flash memory for the 970 and 980 series. With the company busy capacity-building for 4-bit per cell (QLC), the new SSD lines may not feature it, although Samsung is capable of surprising with aggressive launch cycles. As drives supporting the NVMe protocol, the 970 and 980 series could ship in modern form-factors, such as M.2 and U.2.

Source: Tom's Hardware
Wednesday, August 9th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Memory
NAS
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

Fractal Design Meshify C

The Meshify C utilizes the same frame as the Define C, but targets a more gamer- and enthusiast-based crowd. It replaces understated looks with an edgy design and adds full glass panels - all while offering nearly the same feature set as its Define C counterpart.

Phanteks Announces Enthoo PRO M Special Edition

Phanteks introduces the latest variant to the Enthoo PRO M Series, the Special Edition PRO M. The PRO M Special Edition delivers great design without compromising any features. The Special Edition offers striking style with the white interior, plus two Halos RGB fan frames to complement the case.

The new special edition PRO M has the same great features found throughout the PRO M lineup including the open interior layout and a modular HDD system that allows you to utilize the space to your needs. The case will be watercooling ready with the integrated radiator bracket, reservoir mounts, and pump slots. Stylish, compact and featured packed, the PRO M Special Edition will offer enthusiasts a way to unleash their creativity and showcase their build. The included Halos RGB fan complements any system build with ambient illumination and style.

DeepCool Announce White Variant of the Captain 240EX RGB AIO

DeepCool have come forward to announce a slight variation on their Captain 240EX RGB AIO solution, which we've covered in the past. The new version offers the exact same features as the 240EX RGB (non white) version, such as software control of the RGB lighting (ASUS' Aura Sync, MSI's Mystic Light and Gigabyte's RGB Fusion), or through an included wired controller. All variants of the Captain 240EX RGB also come bundled with an additional LED strip for your case; it can be plugged in to the available RGB LED header, synchronizing the LED behavior via the motherboard (an in-line RGB LED controller is also bundled for users who don't have a LED header.)

The white variant of the Captain 240EX RGB AIO is compatible with all modern processors from AMD (including AM4) and Intel (including LGA2011-v3 and LGA1151), with both parts being rated for the same 150 W TDP. Tubing length comes in at 310~315 mm, and the fans are rated for 500 RPM at the lowest end (±200 RPM) to 1800 RPM on max speed (±10% RPM). The noise profile oscillates between a 17.6 dBA minimum and a 31.3 dBA maximum. The white version of the Captain 240EX RGB will be available starting September 2017. It will be the same price as the regular non-white Captain 240EX RGB at $129.99 USD.

Source: ETeknix

Phanteks Announces Halos Series RGB Fan Frames

Phanteks released today their latest products, the Halos and Halos LUX RGB fan frames. Announced at Computex 2017, the Halos are RGB LED embedded fan frames that disperse light evenly across any fan blades. The Halos RGB fan frames bring elegance and style to your system without compromising performance.

The Phanteks' Halos RGB fan frames complements any system build with ambient illumination. Using high density LEDs, the Halos can illuminate different varieties of fans including high performance fans made from PBT material. The Halos can be daisy-chained to all of Phanteks RGB products and synchronized with Phanteks case or third-party motherboards using our RGB motherboard adapter (*PH-CB_RGB4P).

Six Million Marvell-powered Kingston SSDs Ship, Companies Collaborate Further

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced over 6 million SSD units between the Kingston and HyperX lines have shipped worldwide featuring Marvell controllers. The feat was accomplished in just over two years as the HyperX Predator PCIe SSD in February 2015 was the company's first SSD to ship utilizing a Marvell controller. Marvell's 88SS9293 controller provides lightning fast, next generation SSD performance making HyperX Predator PCIe SSD a must have for system-builders and enthusiasts.

Wanting to offer users of all levels the benefits of high performance from an SSD, Kingston released UV400, powered by Marvell's 88SS1074 four-channel controller in May of 2016. As the product family evolves later this year, Kingston will launch the UV500 series, its first 3D NAND-enabled SSD utilizing Marvell's newest 88SS1074 full turnkey (FTK) solution. UV500 will be available in 2.5", M.2 and mSATA form factors providing solutions for any consumer and system builder SSD needs. It is designed for mainstream client use but also has 256-bit AES encryption and TCG Opal 2.0 enabled for enterprise users as well.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X Overclocked to 4.1 GHz With Liquid Cooling

Redditor "callingthewolf" has posted what is an awe-inspiring result for AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X (that's an interesting username for sure; let's hope that's the only similarity to the boy who cried wolf.) The 16-core, 32-thread processor stands as the likely taker for the HEDT performance crown (at least until Intel's 14-core plus HEDT CPUs make their debut on the X299 platform.) With that many cores, highly thread-aware applications naturally look to see tremendous increases in performance from any frequency increase. In this case, the 1950X's base 3.4 GHz were upped to a whopping 4.0 GHz (@ 1.25 V core) and 4.1 GHz (at 1.4 V core; personally, I'd stick with the 4.0 GHz and call it a day.)

The feat was achieved under a Thermaltake Water 3.0 liquid cooler, on a non-specified ASRock motherboard with all DIMM channels populated with 8 x 8 GB 3066 MHz DIMMs. At 4.0 GHz, the Threadripper 1950X achieves a 3337 points score on Cinebench R15. And at 4.1GHz, the big chip that can (we can't really call it small now can we?) manages to score 58391 points in Geekbench 3. While those scores are certainly impressive, I would just like to point out the fact that this is a 16-core CPU that overclocks as well as (and in some cases, even better than) AMD's 8-core Ryzen 7 CPUs. The frequency potential of this Threadripper part is in the same ballpark of AMD's 8-core dies, which speaks to either an architecture limit or a manufacturing one at around 4 GHz. The Threadripper 1950X is, by all measurements, an impressively "glued together" piece of silicon.

Sources: Reddit user @ callingthewolf, via WCCFTech

Samsung Introduces Far-reaching V-NAND Memory Solutions

Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, has announced new V-NAND (Vertical NAND) memory solutions and technology that will address the pressing requirements of next-generation data processing and storage systems. With the rapid increase of data-intensive applications across many industries using artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the role of flash memory has become extremely critical in accelerating the speed at which information can be extracted for real-time analysis.

At the inaugural Samsung Tech Day and this year's Flash Memory Summit, Samsung is showcasing solutions to address next-generation data processing challenges centered around the company's latest V-NAND technology and an array of solid state drives (SSDs). These solutions will be at the forefront of enabling today's most data-intensive tasks such as high-performance computing, machine learning, real-time analytics and parallel computing.

More Details Surface on Coffee Lake Lineup: i3-8350K, i3-8100 Specs Leaked Again

It appears that Intel's response to AMD's Ryzen desktop processors will be quite a departure from the norm for the blue company. That Ryzen CPUs with their price points are a disruptive piece of silicon is a well-known fact by now. However much we knew that, though, it appears that Intel really is giving a bold (some might say necessary) response to Ryzen's threat to their immutable (for so many years) CPU lineup.

There has already been a leak for the i3-8350K and i3-8100 CPUs for Coffee Lake; this second one comes more as a confirmation of what image was already forming in our minds. And it seems that Intel really is relegating their four-core, four-thread processors to the i3 tier, thus dropping its entire lineup by a rung. Some questions remain regarding Intel's i5 lineup: likely, entry-level processors of this tier ship with four cores and HyperThreading enabled. It's expected that some i5 models will carry six physical cores (absent of HyperThreading), though. This means Intel's clean segmentation, which started with Nehalem almost a decade ago (on the 45 nm process; do you remember that?) has been brought to an end. It also means my puny i5 will now be relegated to i3 territory, but that's... Life.

Sources: PTT, via Videocardz
Tuesday, August 8th 2017

Today's Reviews

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

Aerocool Project 7 PSU 650 W

Aerocool collaborated with TPU in order to build an ultra-reliable high-performance PSU. The P7-650W Platinum is one of the best power supplies we ever tested, featuring full modularity, high efficiency, and a dead-silent operation even under tough conditions. It is also equipped with Japanese caps and a quality fan.

Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice: Performance Analysis

Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice is one of the best-looking titles released in recent times. Its facial animations look stunning, and the game's visual fidelity is excellent, too, but comes at a performance cost. We tested this highly demanding game on a wide selection of graphics cards at full HD, 1440p, and 4K.

ENERMAX Launches LIQTECH TR4 AIO Liquid Cooler for AMD Threadripper

ENERMAX, the designer and manufacturer of high-end PSU and CPU coolers, announces the launch of LIQTECH TR4, the closed-loop liquid coolers that are custom-designed especially for the top-end enthusiast Threadripper CPUs. The LIQTECH TR4's base plate can cover the entire Threadripper's IHS (integrated heat spreader) to deliver greater heat transfer efficiency and faster dissipation. Furthermore, with the innovative high-flow-rate pump and patented Shunt-Channel-Technology (SCT) coldplate design, LIQTECH TR4 can deliver extremely high cooling capacity of 500W+TDP for heavily overclocked CPUs and demanding HEDT systems.

Update 10/8: ENERMAX Updated the MSRP. The LIQTECH TR4 240 is priced at USD $129.99, and the LIQTECH TR4 360 at $149.99.

Intel to Debut 8th Generation Core Family on August 21

On Aug. 21, Intel will unveil the 8th Generation Intel Core processor family on Facebook Live. Watch as two exciting moments align: the Great American Solar Eclipse and the unveiling of Intel's most powerful family of processors for the next era of computing. Hear from those who are at the center of creating this technology and from creators who are using the power of 8th Gen Intel Core technology in new and exciting ways.

Micron Announces 9200 Series PCIe NVMe SSDs

Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) today introduced Micron 9200 Series of NVMe SSDs, the company's latest flagship performance solid-state storage family. The innovative architecture and industry leading performance of Micron 9200 SSDs allows organizations to access data faster and stay one step ahead of the growing diversity of business-critical workloads and surging data demands.

The new Micron 9200 SSD combines the cost-effective capacity of 3D NAND with the proven throughput and response time of the NVM Express (NVMe) protocol. Built from the ground up to remove legacy layers of hard drive interfaces, Micron's second generation of NVMe drives unleashes the speed of solid state nonvolatile memory to maximize data center efficiency for optimal total cost of ownership (TCO).

Intel Core i3-8350K and Core i3-8100 "Coffee Lake" Detailed

It turns out that the Core i3-8300 isn't the only upcoming quad-core processor bearing the value-segment Core i3 badge; with Intel planning two other quad-core SKUs, according to leaked company documents that surfaced on the forumscape. The two other SKUs are the Core i3-8350K and the Core i3-8100. While the specs-sheet puts out only a limited number of specifications, it confirms that both the SKUs are quad-core, and that the i3-8350K features an unlocked multiplier. It also confirms that Core i3 quad-core chips (including the i3-8300) lack HyperThreading.

The Core i3-8100 could position itself at the lower-end of the value-segment, below the Core i3-8300. The Core i3-8350K could be a logical successor to the unlocked i3-7350K, which is being sold at $189. One can expect a pricing overlap between this unlocked quad-core SKU, and the cheapest "locked" six-core SKU bearing the Core i5 badge, such as the Core i5-8400. The i3-8350K is clocked at 4.00 GHz out of the box, and the i3-8300 at 3.60 GHz. Both chips lack Turbo Boost. The i3-8350K has a TDP rated at 91W, which is marginally below the 95W rating of its six-core siblings. The i3-8100 has its TDP rated at 65W.

Source: Anandtech Forums

TrendForce Reports 4.6% Sequential Monthly Gain for ACP of PC DRAM Modules

DRAM prices began to rise in the second half of 2016 and have maintained a strong upward momentum through the first half of 2017, according to data from DRAMeXchange, a division of TrendForce. The average contract price of PC DRAM modules rose by nearly 40% sequentially in the first quarter to US$24 and then by more than 10% sequentially in the second quarter to US$27. Furthermore, the average contract price of PC DRAM modules increased by about 4.6% between this June and July. DRAMeXchange's price forecast for this year's second half indicates and steady and incremental gains as the general trend in the DRAM market.

BYKSKI Showcases First Water Blocks for Ryzen Threadripper

Chinese liquid-cooling manufacturer BYKSKY has showcased what are as of yet the first waterblocks specifically engineered for AMD's HEDT X399 platform. The company has showcased a grand total of four variants for their liquid-cooling solutions, which come with accents in either Red, Silver, Red + RGB Lighting, or Silver + RGB Lighting.

Sans RGB, the blocks are expected to retail for about $58; adding a light spectacle to your water blocks, however, will seemingly increase pricing to a still very appealing $63. Even though these specific Threadripper waterblocks are for now only listed in China, expect availability to expand in the coming weeks.

Source: Videocardz

Toshiba Announces SG6 Series SATA Client SSD Utilizing 64-Layer 3D Flash

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced the launch of the SG6 series, a new line-up of SATA client SSDs utilizing Toshiba Memory Corporation's cutting-edge 64-layer, 3-bit-per-cell (TLC) BiCS FLASH. Sample shipments to PC OEM customers start today in limited quantities, and Toshiba Memory Corporation will gradually increase shipments from the fourth calendar quarter of this year.

The new SG6 series SSDs features a SATA Revision 3.3, 6.0Gbit/s interface, and delivers performance of up to 550MB/s sequential read and 535MB/s sequential write. Thanks to improved flash memory management and performance, active power consumption is cut by approximately 40% compared to previous generation products. This improvement can extend battery life, a plus for many applications including mobile computing.

Thermaltake Intros Pacific W4 Plus CPU Water Block

Thermaltake today introduced the Pacific W4 Plus CPU water block, a step-up from its Pacific W4 RGB block launched in January. While the underlying block hasn't changed, Thermaltake updated its top to feature 12 RGB LED elements, with support for 16.8 million colors. The older Pacific W4 RGB only supports 256 colors, put out from fewer diodes.

The Pacific W4 Plus features a standardized RGB LED header, and the company is including the Riing Plus RGB software to let you control the color, brightness, and lighting patterns of the LEDs. What's more, the Pacific W4 Plus also includes socket AM4 retention modules, in addition to socket LGA2011/2066, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Noctua's Alleged Manufacturing Discrepancies Put to the Test, Found Lacking

A recent maelstrom has hit Noctua in social forums due to a then unverified, reported issue with manufacturing differences between fans of the company that have been built on Taiwan or China factories. The issue, first brought about by Reddit user Kendalf, left open some questions on cooling and noise deltas between Taiwan and China-made Noctua fans, while admitting that the issue could be with a particular batch/testing conditions/other unidentified variables. But the Internet is fantastic, and what was posted as a legitimate question was quickly turned into a pitchfork-handling mob crying "Noctua never again" and "Down to Noctua" (which really are one of the most innovative companies in the cooling space...)

AMD Confirms Ryzen Marginality Performance Issue Under Linux, TR and EPYC Clear

An issue on AMD's Ryzen performance under certain Linux workloads, which caused segmentation faults in very heavy, continuous workloads on the Ryzen silicon (parallel compilation workloads in particular) has been confirmed by AMD. Tests like Phoronix's Test Suite's stress run quickly bring the Ryzen processors to their knees with multiple segmentation faults. While this problem is easy to cause under very heavy workloads, the issue is virtually absent under normal Linux desktop workloads and benchmarking,

AMD also confirmed this issue is not present in EPYC or Threadripper processors, but are isolated to early Ryzen samples under Linux (AMD's testing under Windows has found no such behavior.) AMD's analysis has also found that these Ryzen segmentation faults aren't isolated to a particular motherboard vendor, but are problems with the processors themselves. AMD encourages Ryzen customers who believe to be affected by the problem to contact AMD Customer Care. Some of those who have contacted customer care about the segmentation faults have in turn been affected by thermal, power, or other problems, but AMD says they are committed to working with those encountering this performance marginality issue under Linux. AMD will also be stepping up their Linux testing/QA for future consumer products.

Sources: Phoronix, AMD Confirms Ryzen Issue - Phoronix

Fractal Design Adds X299, X399 Support to Celsius AIO Lineup

Like many other manufacturers, Fractal Design isn't sleeping under the proverbial palm tree with their products. They too have sought to keep after the most promising high performance platforms for their Celsius AIOs, and have announced compatibility with Intel's latest X299 platform and AMD's X399. The S24 is one of the best 240 mm AIO coolers out there, apparently; models of this lineup feature a 12 V ceramic bearing water pump equipped with a copper cold plate. The Celsius line of coolers also come equipped with an integrated fan hub that allows end users to plug the cooler fans directly into the radiator instead of the motherboard - leaving those fan headers free for other pieces of hardware.

The compatibility will be achieved, as usual, through a separate bracket. AMD Threadripper users will be able to rest assured, since their purchase of a Threadripper CPU will already come with a Asetek retention kit inside the box (compatible with Fractal Design's coolers, naturally.) Intel X299 users will find full compatibility for the socket via the included 2011-v3 kit inside the Fractal Design Celsius AIO packaging.

Sources: Tom's Hardware, Guru 3D

Intel Coffee Lake-S Features Similar Uncore Components to Kaby Lake

Intel 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream desktop processors could work on older socket LGA1151 motherboards based on Intel 200-series chipset, after all. A recent motherboard BIOS update by ASUS alters the name-string of a system device to read "Intel Kaby Lake/Coffee Lake-S Host Bridge/DRAM Controller," reinforcing the theory that Coffee Lake and its companion 300-series chipset make up the Kaby Lake "Refresh" platform.

Responding to a customer question, motherboard maker ASRock had recently commented that "Coffee Lake" processors won't be supported by current motherboards based on the 200-series chipset, dashing hopes of current platform users to upgrade to newer 6-core processors without having to unnecessarily buy a new motherboard and reinstall software. This development shouldn't necessarily raise hopes. Although Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake have a lot of architectural similarities, particularly with their uncore components, revised electrical requirements of the new chips could be behind the lack of backwards platform-compatibility. It remains to be seen if you can use your current "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" processors on upcoming 300-series chipset motherboards.

Source: Taurusaurus (Reddit User)

ENERMAX Launches Platimax D.F. 1200W Power Supply

ENERMAX announces the launch of new Platinum-rated power supply series, Platimax D.F. 1200W/1050W/850W/750W. The new lineup is 80 PLUS Platinum certified power supply with fully modular cable design. In addition to the DFR self-cleaning technology, new Platimax D.F. incorporates a D.F. switch for users to manually activate the self-cleaning function anytime during operation. Moreover, the series features smart semi-fanless control which ensures absolute quiet operation at lower loads. With rock-solid stability and superior performance, Platimax D.F. is without doubt a perfect solution for high-resolution gaming rigs or multi-GPU systems.

Built with high-density PCB design, Platimax D.F. supports Max. 1200W with only 160mm in depth gives enthusiasts greater flexibility in case selection. Current power supplies over 1000W on the market are generally larger, many of them measuring 180mm to 225mm in depth. The larger dimensions necessitate a PC case with a lot of interior space, which decreases a builder's freedom in selecting a chassis. Platimax D.F. 1200W is the smallest of its kind.
Monday, August 7th 2017

Today's Reviews

Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Notebooks
Storage

Matias Quiet Pro Mechanical Keyboard

The Matias Quiet Pro keyboard features improved Alps-inspired Quiet Click switches with reduced wobble, while still keeping them quiet and with good tactile feedback. The keyboard also has a polycarbonate casing, three spare USB ports, and dedicated media buttons and aims to improve the typing experience of office workers everywhere.

Intel Further Delivers on Storage Transformation with New SSD Form Factor

Today, Intel announces major data center storage advances, reiterating Intel's memory technology leadership. The new technologies advance data center storage and deliver innovative solutions to meet the challenges presented by the growing reliance on data. They include:
  • "Ruler" form factor for Intel SSDs, an all-new solid state drive form factor enabling up to 1PB of storage in a 1U server rack in the future.
  • The world's most advanced dual port portfolio: Intel Optane technology dual port SSDs and Intel 3D NAND dual port SSDs for mission-critical applications.
  • An updated SATA family of SSDs for data center, targeted at HDD replacement.
"We are in the midst of an era of major data center transformation, driven by Intel. These new "ruler" form factor SSDs and dual port SSDs are the latest in a long line of innovations we've brought to market to make storing and accessing data easier and faster, while delivering more value to customers," said Bill Leszinske, Intel vice president, Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group (NSG), and director, strategic planning, marketing and business development. "Data drives everything we do - from financial decisions to virtual reality gaming, and from autonomous driving to machine learning - and Intel storage innovations like these ensure incredibly quick, reliable access to that data."

Where's My Bitcoin? "Cerber" Ransomware Starts Stealing Cryptocurrency Wallets

"Where's my Bitcoin?" is a question no miner, investor or mere user in the cryptocurrency ever wants to have to ask. There's always someone willing to take advantage of someone else's hard work or subjection to risk in order to increase their own value; and if there's something years of cyber security have told us, is that hackers seldom lag in picking up new sources of undeserved revenue. So it was only a matter of time before general purpose ransomware started seeing updates so as to take advantage of the newer trends in valuable assets. Enter cryptocurrency. And you can probably guess the rest of this piece.

The new, updated Cerber ransomware routine now not only encrypts a user's files, it also looks for some specific, known Bitcoin wallet applications (namely, and as of time of writing, Bitcoin Core, Electrum, and Multibit), copies them to an external server controlled by the hackers, and proceeds to delete them from the user's PC. Naturally, Cerber also has a routine that handles copying passwords that are stored in your browser of choice. The wallet stealing and copying isn't much of a concern per se; there are additional security measures in any given wallet before the hackers can access their potential treasure trove of cryptocurrency. However, many people also keep files with passwords or some such on their computers; and could be doing a disfavor to themselves by not keeping another copy of their wallets on a secure, non-internet connected hardware wallet, or even USB pen. Naturally, a user who kept the password for their wallet on their system is vulnerable to the entire "ransomware" portion of the Cerber malware; and if someone doesn't even have another copy of their wallet but keeps an ungodly amount of value in it, could very well be facing losses towards the entirety of their wallet. Definitely not a good place to be.

Sources: Trend Micro Cerber Ransomware Removal Tool, Trend Micro, Trend Micro on Cerber Ransomware, via HotHardware, Picture Source

GALAX to Launch Updated Gamer III DDR4 Memory With RGB LEDs

Around one year ago, GALAX introduced their Gamer DDR4 memory kits, which counted with LED illumination - these were not RGB parts, mind you, and instead, you had to choose between either Red, Green or Blue LEDs with matching color lid. But the times, they are a-changing, and nowadays, pure LED illumination isn't enough: gamers want permanent customization ability, so they can keep cycling kaleidoscopic colors around them at a whim.What the GALAX Gamer III line-up does well is that their RGB prowess comes absent of any unsightly extra cables for separate RGB power; like the G.Skill Trident Z, these make do without any extra wiring. However, where these fall short is on frequency and timings. It's almost as if the added LEDs reduce DRAM performance, since these kits will (at least for now) only be available in 2666 MHz frequency kits with CL 15... Which, for a company such as GALAX, with its over the top GPUs, seems slightly anemic. GALAX has yet to announce which motherboard manufacturers will support RGB controls, pricing, or actual availability dates (so, all the important bits.)

Source: ETeknix

Toshiba Introduces World's First Enterprise-Class SSDs with 64-Layer 3D Flash Me

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), a committed technology leader, today unveiled the development of two new flagship enterprise solid state drive (SSD) solutions, the TMC PM5 12 Gbit/s SAS series and the CM5 NVM Express (NVMe) series. Development is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter. Both product lines are built with TMC's latest 64 layer, 3-bit-per-cell enterprise-class TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH2, making it possible for today's demanding storage environments to expand the use of flash with cost-optimized 3D flash memory. With all-new, advanced features, the innovative CM5 and PM5 series raise the bar in performance capabilities and create new opportunities for businesses to leverage the power of flash storage.

Offering up to 30.72TB in a 2.5-inch form factor, the TMC PM5 series introduces a full range of endurance and capacity SAS SSDs enabling data centers to effectively address big data demands while streamlining storage deployments. With the industry's first MultiLink SAS architecture, the PM5 series is able to deliver the fastest performance the market has seen from a SAS-based SSD with up to 3,350 MB/s of sequential read and 2,720 MB/s of sequential write6 in MultiLink mode and up to 400,000 random read IOPS in narrow or MultiLink mode. The PM5 series' 4-port MultiLink design is an additional technology to achieve high performance, close to PCI EXPRESS (PCIe)8 SSDs, enabling legacy infrastructures to increase productivity without having to be re-architected from the ground up. Furthermore, PM5 SSDs support multi-stream write technology, a feature that intelligently manages and groups data types to minimize write amplification and minimize garbage collection, translating into reduced latency, improved endurance, increased performance and Quality of Service (QoS).

Intel Unveils Full Intel Core X-series Processor Family Specs; 14- to 18-Core

Today, Intel is releasing the specifications for the 12- to 18-core processors: Intel Core i9-7920X, Intel Core i9-7940X, Intel Core i9-7960X and the Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-7980XE processors. Announced at Computex 2017, the Intel Core X-series processor family is the most powerful, scalable and accessible high-end desktop platform offered by Intel, designed to deliver the performance needed to meet extreme computing demands for virtual reality (VR), content creation, gaming and overclocking.

The new X-series processor family is the ultimate platform for content creators and gamers. Multitasking becomes extreme mega-tasking with simultaneous, compute-intensive, multithreaded workloads aligned in purpose, powered by up to 18 cores and 36 threads. And, with up to 68 PCIe 3.0 lanes on the platform, people have the ability to expand their systems with fast SSDs, up to four discrete GFX cards and ultrafast Thunderbolt 3 solutions.

Unnanounced AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920 Rears Head on Motherboard Support Lists

An unnanounced AMD HEDT Ryzen Threadripper processor has cropped up on some of the most well known motherboard vendors' support lists. Following AMD's product stacking for the Ryzen line of processors, the Threadripper 1920 comes with the same 12 cores and 24 threads as the 1920X, although it runs at lower frequencies (3.2 GHz base, 3.8 GHz Boost on the 1920, against 3.5 GHz and 4.0 GHz on the 1920X). The lower frequency threshold means the 1920 also comes with a lower, 140 W TDP rating (the 1920X has a higher value at 180 W).

These news come courtesy of CPU support lists for the ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme, ASRock X399 Professional Gaming/X399 Taichi as well as GIGABYTE X399-Gaming 7. Expect the new Threadripper to become the sweet spot for the 12-core, 24-thread CPUs of our time, since its performance and pricing will situate it below the 1920X's $799, but above the already announced 8-core Threadripper 1900X, which will come in at $549. Remember that all AMD Zen-based processors come unlocked out of the box for your frequency-increase-through-overclocking pleasure, so it should be relatively simple to extract as much performance from the 1920 as the 1920X can deliver.

Sources: Hexus, via AnandTech

HyperX Announces FPS and MOBA Gaming Keycaps Upgrade Kits

HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the release of the HyperX FPS and MOBA Gaming Keycaps Upgrade Kit. The kit offers gaming keycaps for popular FPS and MOBA gaming configurations. Whether you are king of the MOBA games such as League of Legends, or a renowned CS:GO AWPer, the keys are designed for gamers looking to dominate their respective arena. The HyperX FPS and MOBA Gaming Keycaps Upgrade Kit offer gamers the option to customize their battle stations for added visibility and style.

Available in striking red or titanium colours, the HyperX keycap upgrade kit incorporates a textured grip and is coated for durability while also serving as focus keys for a tactical advantage. Gamers looking to get the most out of these enhancements should pair the keycap kits with any HyperX gaming keyboard, including the newly announced HyperX FPS Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. Keycap upgrade kits are Cherry MX compatible and come with a convenient keycap removal tool.

Cooler Master Announces Support for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Socket TR4

Cooler Master has announced support for AMD Ryzen Threadripper and Socket TR4 for its AIO liquid CPU coolers through the usage of a mounting kit (RL-TR4B-MLLS-R1). The list of compatible coolers includes the MasterLiquid 240 and 120, MasterLiquid 240L RGB, MasterLiquid 120L RGB, Lite 240 and Lite 120.

AMD's latest HEDT CPUs offers up to 16 cores and 32 threads which reaches up to 180 watt TDP with the flagship 1950X. Cooler master says AMD's Threadripper CPUs will require top notch cooling, and that Cooler Master's dual chamber cooling presents itself as a perfect option made possible through "the unique cooling process which isolates the heated coolant from the cooled to maximize the results of the cooling of the processor."

Source: Cooler Master

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Gaming Motherboard for Kaby Lake-X Processors

Intel created quad-core "Kaby Lake-X" processors for its latest HEDT platform as they provide an affordable entry to the segment, with a potential to upgrade to larger 6-core, 8-core, 10-core, 12-core, 16-core, and even 18-core processors. The two "Kaby Lake-X" SKUs launched are merely adaptations of the Core i7-7700K and i5-7600K for the LGA2066 socket, as they feature just 256 KB of L2 cache per core (and not 1 MB per core of "Skylake-X"), just a dual-channel DDR4 controller, even though the socket supports quad-channel memory; and just a 16-lane PCIe (while the platform supports up to 44 lanes). While the Core i7-7740X and i5-7640X are priced more or less on par with their LGA1151 twins, motherboards on this platform aren't cheap, with the cheapest LGA2066 motherboard priced a little over $200. GIGABYTE senses an opportunity in all this, in launching the Aorus X299 Gaming. This LGA2066 motherboard only supports the i7-7740X and i5-7640X, and no other LGA2066 Core i7 or Core i9 chip.

Built in the ATX form-factor, you could be mistaken for thinking the Aorus X299 Gaming to be a mainstream-desktop motherboard based on the Z270 chipset, were it not for the unmistakable LGA2066 socket. The board features four DDR4 DIMM slots, all towards the east of the socket, and so it only supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory. On boards with four DDR4 slots, yet quad-channel memory support, you typically find the memory slots split in groups of two, on either sides of the CPU socket. This "Kaby Lake-X" specificity carries over to even the PCI-Express slots, where there's only one slot with full x16 wiring, the second slot only features x8 wiring, while the third slot is x4. You can use up to two graphics cards in multi-GPU, where the first and second x16 slots configure as electrical x8/x8.

Intel Core i3-8300 Detailed - First Quad-Core i3

Intel Core i3-8300 could be the company's first quad-core processor to bear the Core i3 badge. Based on the 14 nm "Coffee Lake-S" silicon, This SKU could be priced in the upper-band of the Core i3 lineup (around the USD $150 mark), offering four cores. As if that isn't surprising enough, this quad-core chip even reportedly features HyperThreading, enabling 8 logical CPUs for the OS to deal with.

For the first time, a Core i3 part will have more logical CPUs than a Core i5 part, which lacks HyperThreading. Such a feature disparity won't be new, as current Core i3 dual-core SKUs feature HyperThreading, which Core i5 quad-core parts lack. The i3-8300, however, will lack Turbo Boost, which Core i5 SKUs will feature. The chip reportedly features a clock speed of 4.00 GHz. The L3 cache amount and TDP of this chip remain unknown at this point. Intel could launch Core i3 "Coffee Lake" processors only by late-2017 or early-2018.

Source: PCEva Forums

Alienware Area 51 Ryzen Threadripper System Benchmarked

LinusTechTips has received an Alienware Area 51, the boutique system which Alienware has developed through its exclusive partnership with AMD for the 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper CPUs.

The system was tested using a proprietary Dell/Alienware motherboard, as well as 32 GB (4x 8 GB) of 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM. Graphics were handled by a Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti, and storage was etched on a SanDisk A400 256 GB NVME drive (Up to 2050/700 MB/s Sequential Read/Write). The nature of the benchmarked systems, with their myriad of hardware parts, means that the benchmarks are not 100% representative of CPU performance deltas between the tested processors; however, they do put out some interesting numbers. The other HEDT system to be tested was an Intel-based X299 system with a stock Intel Core i9-7900X (10 cores, 20 threads) on an ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe, 4x 8 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, the same GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, and a 512 GB Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Platform Detailed - 24 PCIe Lanes from the Chipset

Intel seems to be addressing key platform limitations with its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream desktop platform. The first Core i7 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors will launch later this year, alongside motherboards based on the Intel Z370 Express chipset. Leaked company slides detailing this chipset make an interesting revelation, that the chipset itself puts out 24 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes, that's not counting the 16 lanes the processor puts out for up to two PEG (PCI-Express Graphics) slots.

The PCI-Express lane budget of "Coffee Lake" platform is a huge step-up from the 8-12 general purpose lanes put out by previous-generation Intel chipsets, and will enable motherboard designers to cram their products with multiple M.2 and U.2 storage options, besides bandwidth-heavy onboard devices such as additional USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt controllers. The chipset itself integrates a multitude of bandwidth-hungry connectivity options. It integrates a 10-port USB 3.1 controller, from which six ports run at 10 Gbps, and four at 5 Gbps.
Friday, August 4th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
SSD

MSI X299 SLI PLUS

MSI has gone and stripped "GAMING" and "X-POWER" from its motherboard, and what's left is what we've got to look at today. MSI's X299 SLI PLUS is exactly what its name says it is and not much more... or is it more than anyone could have hoped for?

ErgoDox EZ now Available with 6 New Switch Options!

ErgoDox EZ is a startup company that sells a pre-assembled ErgoDox, two-piece ergonomic keyboard. We took a look at the "Shine" variant earlier this year, and were left impressed by it despite the high price tag. At the time, the only switch options came from Gateron since Cherry was not able to satisfy the needs of smaller companies and Kailh still had a question mark regarding quality control. Six months on, things have changed drastically to where they now offer switch options of only Cherry and Kailh including the (still rare) Cherry MX Silent Red and the new Kailh Speed switches- a direct response to the Cherry MX Speed (silver) but with their own unique take on them.

The new Kailh Speed switches come in four options named Copper, Silver, Gold and Thick Gold with shorter actuation distances as expected but now with the option of tactile and clicky switches as well. In fact, the Kailh Thick Gold also offers a clicky feedback on the downstroke as well as upstroke. You can get more information via Ergodox EZ themselves here. Pricing is the same irrespective of the switch chosen.

Source: Ergodox EZ

AMD X399 Platform Lacks NVMe RAID Booting Support

AMD's connectivity-rich Ryzen Threadripper HEDT platform may have an Achilles's heel after all, with reports emerging that it lacks support for booting from NVMe RAID. You can still have bootable NVMe RAID volumes using NVMe RAID HBAs installed as PCI-Express add-on cards. Threadripper processors feature 64-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complexes, which allow you to run at least two graphics cards at full x16 bandwidth, and drop in other bandwidth-hungry devices such as multiple PCI-Express NVMe SSDs. Unfortunately for those planning on striping multiple NVMe SSDs in RAID; the platform lacks NVMe RAID booting support. You should still be able to build soft-RAID arrays striping multiple NVMe SSDs, just not boot from them. Pro-sumers will still be able to dump their heavy data-sets onto such soft-arrays. This limitation is probably due to PCI-Express lanes emerging from different dies on the Threadripper MCM, which could present problems to the system BIOS to boot from.

Ryzen Threadripper is a multi-chip module (MCM) of two 8-core "Summit Ridge" dies. Each 14 nm "Summit Ridge" die features 32 PCI-Express lanes. On a socket AM4 machine, 4 of those 32 lanes are used as chipset-bus, leaving 28 for the rest of the machine. 16 of those head to up to two PEG (PCI-Express Graphics) ports (either one x16 or two x8 slots); and the remaining 12 lanes are spread among M.2 slots, and other onboard devices. On a Threadripper MCM, one of the two "Summit Ridge" dies has chipset-bus access; 16 lanes from each die head to PEG (a total of four PEG ports, either as two x16 or four x8 slots); while the remaining are general purpose; driving high-bandwidth devices such as USB 3.1 controllers, 10 GbE interfaces, and several M.2 and U.2 ports.

EK Intros RGB Monoblock for ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer sets the bar even higher by releasing their second LGA-2066 socket based monoblock tailor made for the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming motherboard. The EK-FB ASUS Strix X299-E RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience. This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for ASUS ROG Strix X299-E Gaming motherboard that supports new Intel Core X-series LGA2066 socket processors.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools Intel LGA-2066 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 ASUS Strix X299-E RGB features high flow design and this monoblock can be easily used with weaker and silent water pump settings as well. This kind of efficient VRM cooling on an X299 platform additionally brings down the CPU temperatures compared to the traditional CPU water block and stock VRM heatsink cooling solution.

ASUS Intros the ROG Rampage VI Apex X299 Motherboard

ASUS today introduced its flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard for Intel Core X processors, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Rampage VI Apex. Originally announced alongside the Rampage VI Extreme, the Apex is positioned above it in the company's product stack; and is targeted at professional overclockers chasing down CPU and VGA performance records. Although built in the ATX form-factor, the PCB of the Rampage VI Apex features an asymmetric polygonal design. It draws power from a large number of connectors to stabilize each of its power domains; these include the 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, a 4-pin ATX, and a 6-pin PCIe power.

Power is conditioned for the CPU using a high-current VRM, which is cooled not just by the VRM heatsink, but also a secondary heatsink block under the I/O shroud, to which heat is conveyed by a heat-pipe. The board may not be as heavy as the Rampage VI Extreme in expansion, in featuring just four DDR4 DIMM slots (one per channel), for example; but makes up for with higher overclocking headroom. It features a plethora of overclocker-friendly features, including onboard buttons for key OC functions, voltage measurement hard-points for every voltage domain around the board, and diagnostic LEDs all around. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability.

AMD RX Vega Mining Performance Reportedly Doubled With Driver Updates

Disclaimer: take this post with a bucket of salt. However, the information here, if true, could heavily impact AMD's RX Vega cards' stock at launch and in the subsequent days, so, we're sharing this so our readers can decide on whether they want to pull the trigger for a Vega card at launch, as soon as possible, or risk what would seem like the equivalent of a mining Black Friday crowd gobbling up AMD's RX Vega models' stock. Remember that AMD has already justified delays for increased stock so as to limit the impact of miners on the available supply.

The information has been put out by two different sources already. The first source we encountered (and which has been covered by some media outlets solo) has been one post from one of OC UK's staff, Gibbo, who in a forum post, said "Seems the hash rate on VEGA is 70-100 per card, which is insanely good. Trying to devise some kind of plan so gamers can get them at MSRP without the miners wiping all the stock out within 5 minutes of product going live."

Razer Takes Chroma Lighting Beyond Peripherals with the Hardware Development Kit

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Chroma Hardware Development Kit (HDK), the world's most advanced modular lighting system for PC gamers and enthusiasts. Integrated within the Razer Chroma ecosystem, the Chroma HDK offers all-in-one color customization with precise control down to the individual LED.

Users can shape and bend the LED strips to fit virtually any surface to light up an entire room, home or office for total game immersion. The individually controllable lights are integrated into Razer Synapse 3, and are powered by Razer Chroma technology, which unlocks customizable lighting features that can be synced across devices.

Colorful iGame GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Kudan Breaks 3DMark Records

Colorful announced that its flagship graphics card, the iGame GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Kudan, broke several 3DMark records. The company revealed that the GTX 1080 Ti ASIC driving each Kudan graphics card is binned in a "best of 100" lot (the best performing ASIC from 100 are picked out for the Kudan SKU, leaving the rest for other SKUs by the company). Colorful ran the card at an out of the box OC of 2050 MHz core, yielding 3DMark graphics scores of 30,328 points (graphics score) in Firestrike, 14,858 points (graphics score) in Firestrike Extreme, 7,406 points (graphics score) in Firestrike Ultra, and 10,445 points (graphics score) in Timespy.

Corsair One Updated with GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and NVMe SSD Storage

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, today announced three powerful new configurations of its multi-award-winning CORSAIR ONE performance PC. Hailed by press as "the new benchmark for small-form-factor gaming systems*" and "a triumph in both performance and design," CORSAIR ONE has redefined what gamers, content creators and power-users can expect from a small-form factor PC.

Now CORSAIR takes CORSAIR ONE even further, with three new configurations pushing the limits of PC performance. Equipped with a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-7700K CPU, Intel 200 Series motherboard and iconic bead-blasted aluminum casing, CORSAIR ONE PRO is now available with NVIDIA's most powerful GeForce GPU, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti in top-end models, high-speed M.2 NVMe SSD storage, and up to 32GB of CORSAIR DDR4 memory. Incredibly small and unbelievably quiet, CORSAIR ONE is now available fully loaded to master the most advanced games and demanding workloads. It's the fastest ONE yet.

COUGAR Introduces the Immersa Pro Gaming Headset

COUGAR is proud to announce the arrival of its most powerful gaming headset ever. Endowed with immersive 7.1 Virtual Surround audio, a flexible microphone, and a cool ergonomic design with RGB backlight, this headset unites performance and style to provide everything a serious gamer could ask for.

Immersa Pro's integrated sound card brings you the best audio technology
Immersa Pro's 7.1 Virtual Surround capabilities are a massive improvement to your gaming experience. This technology allows you to know the direction from which a sound comes, generating a more immersive atmosphere and, in online games, dramatically increases your performance. Hear your rivals as they come to meet their defeat!

GeIL Announces EVO Spear DDR4 Memory for AMD Ryzen

Golden Emperor International Ltd. - one of the world's leading PC components & peripheral manufacturers announced the latest DDR4 hardcore gaming memory modules, EVO SPEAR Series, and EVO SPEAR AMD Edition Series. Available as single modules and kits up to 64GB, runs as low as 1.2V and at max 1.35V resulting in less power consumption and higher reliability. Featuring a stylish and stealthy standard-height heat spreader, EVO SPEAR Series modules can be used in most case designs including SFF (Small Form Factor) systems and full-sized gaming PCs. The EVO SPEAR Series and EVO SPEAR AMD Edition Series are available in black with a black PCB and are perfect for gamers and enthusiasts who want a cost-efficient upgrade for faster gaming, video editing, and 3D rendering.

EK is Releasing Full Cover Water Blocks for AMD Radeon RX Vega

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer has proven its market leadership once again by presenting Full Cover water blocks for the long awaited AMD Radeon Vega architecture based high-end graphics cards. Customers will be able to transform their GPU into a stunningly beautiful single slot graphics card and the water cooling block will allow it to reach higher frequencies, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks.

EK-FC Radeon Vega
This water block directly cools the GPU, HBM2 memory, and VRM (voltage regulation module) as water flows directly over these critical areas thus allowing the graphics card and it's VRM to remain stable under high overclocks. EK-FC Radeon Vega water block features a central inlet split-flow cooling engine design for best possible cooling performance, which also works flawlessly with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. This kind of efficient cooling will allow your high-end graphics card to reach higher boost clocks, thus providing more performance during gaming or other GPU intense tasks. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.

Cherry Expands Sales into the UK Market

CHERRY, the specialist in computer input devices, expands its sales network in the United Kingdom through close cooperation with the leading IT distributor Westcoast. As the official trade partner, Westcoast will strengthen future sales in the region to achieve a greater market presence and a bigger reach. Focus products mainly fall into the categories "Office", "Industrial" and "Security", also allowing CHERRY to expand its successful B2B activities in the UK.

CHERRY Business Development Manager Stefan Lutter has full confidence in a close cooperation with its sales partner. "We are exceptionally pleased to form a new collaboration with Westcoast to help grow our brand of high-quality computer peripherals. With Westcoast's experience and reputation in the market, coupled with their vast array of contacts and highly skilled and knowledgeable staff, their appointment was an easy decision and we look forward to a long and prosperous relationship over the coming years."

Westcoast Accessories Commercial Director, Ashley Watts said: "This partnership gives Westcoast a much wider range of high-quality peripherals predominantly targeted to our growing public sector reseller base. CHERRY has been a driving force and an innovator in public sector accessories."
Thursday, August 3rd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Input Devices
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
Speakers
Storage

AUDIOCASE Portable Speaker

AUDIOCASE is a Danish startup offering a portable speaker with more oomph than usual. Their speaker design bundles Bluetooth 4.2 with a serious driver setup consisting of two woofers, two tweeter, and two passive radiators. As the name suggests, the drivers are packed in a briefcase-type enclosure, which makes it easy to take with you.

Bykski FOUR Founders GTX 1080 GPU Waterblock

The Bykski FR-N-GTX1080 is a full-cover water block component from Bykski's high-end FOUR series. It features an anodized aluminum top cover over an acrylic top, nickel-plated copper cold plate with split flow design, an included anodized aluminum back plate, and multiple color options for customizing your build.

Intel Coffee Lake CPUs Will Require New Motherboards

A motherboard maker's official Twitter feed has just confirmed what we all had an inkling to believe already: Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake architecture, which promises the first major change in Intel's line-up strategy, won't be compatible with existing motherboards and chipsets. Now, granted, companies' official Twitter feeds may sometimes be open to failures or miscommunication from the account operator at the time of writing, but still, the company hasn't doubled back on the original posting.

This does make slightly more sense than other times where Intel didn't offer support for a new generation of its processors in a past chipset. However, this does confirm that Intel users are again left without an upgrade path for the top-of-the-line Intel solutions they may have acquired already. If you purchased an i7-7700K and were expecting to upgrade to an Intel six-core next round, you'll have to rethink that strategy, and your budget, to include a new motherboard with a new chipset (expectedly, Z370.)

Source: via Tom's Hardware

AMD Ryzen Threadripper Review Kit Unboxing Leaked

The team at Sweclockers have already received their Threadripper review kit. We know this because there was a short-lived video uploaded by the team, unboxing and perusing the contents of one of AMD's delicious Threadripper review kits. Videocardz, however, managed to snag some screenshots of the act, and that content is what we are bringing to you now. Also, kudos for that Dinklebot shirt - that wizzard might have come from the moon, but ours certainly hasn't.

AMD Publishes List of Threadripper Compatible Coolers

AMD has published a list of coolers that are officially compatible with their upcoming Threadripper CPUs. It's no surprise there needs to be a compatibility list - the new CPUs top out at 16-core, 32-thread monsters which have never before graced the HEDT space, with an accompanying large CPU die size and heatsink. The socket being an entirely new affair, a new retention kit must also be made available by cooler manufacturers.

AMD itself will be offering an Asetek retention kit for AIO cooling solutions on their Threadripper retail packaging, which should make most Asetek-built AIOs to be compatible with the TR4 socket. These coolers are automatically added to the list. However, there may be some other coolers that are compatible with the newest socket that are not listed on AMD's site as of yet. For those cases, AMD reminds us all that we should check with our cooling solution manufacturer whether an adapter is available or not, and whether our current cooling solution is sufficient for the task at hand. Other coolers are now receiving mid-production updates after a certain date to include the compatible mounting hardware. Check the source link for the AMD compatibility page, and the below image for the current state of affairs.

Sources: Community @ AMD, AMD Threadripper Compatible Coolers List

AMD RX Vega 56 Benchmarks Leaked - An (Unverified) GTX 1070 Killer

TweakTown has put forth an article wherein they claim to have received info from industry insiders regarding the upcoming Vega 56's performance. Remember that Vega 56 is the slightly cut-down version of the flagship Vega 64, counting with 56 next-generation compute units (NGCUs) instead of Vega 64's, well, 64. This means that while the Vega 64 has the full complement of 4,096 Stream processors, 256 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 2048-bit wide 8 GB HBM2 memory pool offering 484 GB/s of bandwidth, Vega 56 makes do with 3,548 Stream processors,192 TMUs, 64 ROPs, the same 8 GB of HBM2 memory and a slightly lower memory bandwidth at 410 GB/s.

The Vega 56 has been announced to retail for about $399, or $499 with one of AMD's new (famous or infamous, depends on your mileage) Radeon Packs. The RX Vega 56 card was running on a system configured with an Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2GHz, 16 GB of DDR4-3000 MHz RAM, and Windows 10 at 2560 x 1440 resolution.

Noctua Presents CPU Coolers for AMD's Threadripper (X399) and EPYC Platforms

Noctua today presented three high-end heatsinks for the TR4 and SP3 sockets of AMD's latest Ryzen Threadripper (X399) and Epyc platforms. The new TR4-SP3 versions of the award-winning NH-U14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9 coolers are tailored custom models that feature a larger contact surface as well as a SecuFirm2 mounting system for TR4/SP3. Supplied with Noctua's renowned NF-A15, NF-F12 and NF-A9 premium fans, the new coolers combine outstanding cooling performance with exceptional quietness of operation.

"A high-end platform usually calls for high-end cooling solutions and that's precisely the case with AMD's new Epyc and upcoming Ryzen Threadripper ecosystems", explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "We have therefore customized our award-winning NH-U14S, NH-U12S and NH-U9 coolers so that users can enjoy the performance and quietness of these proven premium heatsinks on the new AMD platforms."
Wednesday, August 2nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
SSD
Storage

Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 Mini 8 GB

The GTX 1080 Mini from Zotac is a highly compact, ITX-sized graphics card powerhouse that delivers excellent framerates while still fitting into most small-form-factor cases. Zotac even included an overclock out of the box, and the thermal solution ensures there is no throttling due to high temperatures.

Fractal Design Announces the Define C TG, Define Mini C TG Cases

So many cases on the market today are made to be all things to all people. However, for many this results in a chassis full of empty bays, unused mounts and excess bulk. Created for those who demand a flexible platform for a powerful ATX or Micro ATX build that wastes no space, the Define C TG Series is the perfect solution to satisfy this balance of capacity and efficiency while opening up the side thanks to a full tempered glass side panel.

Smaller than the usual ATX and Micro ATX case, the Define C TG and Define Mini C TG with its optimized interior provides the perfect base for users. The open air design offers unobstructed airflow across your core components with high performance and silent computing in mind at every step.

CRYORIG and TechPowerUp CRYO-RGB Giveaway - The Winners!

TechPowerUp and CRYORIG brought you the CRYO-RGB Giveaway, in which four lucky winners, chosen at random from around the world, stood a chance to win a CRYORIG H1 Quad Lumi CPU cooler with RGB LED lighting. As the giveaway draws to a close, we have four winners, who will receive one of CRYORIG's finest CPU air-coolers, to squeeze the most out of their CPUs. Without further ado, the winners:
  • Flávio from Portugal
  • Josip from Croatia
  • Pui from Canada
  • Grant from the United States
A huge Congratulations to you all! TechPowerUp and CRYORIG will return with more such interesting giveaways!

Intel "Gemini Lake" SoC Graphics Supports 10-bit VP9 Hardware Decoding

Intel's upcoming Celeron and Pentium "Gemini Lake" SoCs feature not just faster CPU cores, but also a more feature-updated integrated graphics core. In a change-log entry made by Intel for a Linux kernel patch; the company describes hardware decoding support for 10-bit (1.07 billion-color) video formats, such as VP9. The integrated graphics now supports hardware decoding of VP9 10-bit Profile2. Its predecessor, "Apollo Lake," only supported hardware decoding up to VP9 8-bit Profile0. The change-log entry reads "Add support for Gemini Lake (aka. GLK) - Decoding: H.264/MPEG-2/VC-1/JPEG/VP8/HEVC/HEVC 10-bit/VP9/VP9 10-bit."

Source: 01.org

FSP Announces Hydro PTM Series 80 Plus Platinum Power Supplies

FSP Group has just released their new Hydro PTM power supply series that are going to revitalize the glory of computer gaming. There are 3 different power output options to choose from 550W, 650W and 750W, all certified with an 80 PLUS Platinum energy efficiency. The DC-DC circuit design assures a stable power output and a tight voltage regulation. The voltage regulation factor changes within +/- 1% also further ensures a stable performance. The Hydro PTM series use Japanese industrial-grade electrolytic capacitors and are the best choice for those who are looking for a high-quality and exceptional performance.

The Hydro PTM series come with ribbon cables which provide the best wiring flexibility when cabling in a computer. They are also equipped with a 135mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) fan that offers superb ventilation while being extremely quiet. Rated at 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, the Hydro PTM series have a great energy conversion rate at 92%. The series adopted an LLC resonant half bridge design and DC-DC regulator circuit design to deliver a stable output voltage. A +12V single rail output design allows limitless add-on customization options. The advanced 750W model comes with two sets of 4+4 pin connectors, which allows users to pair them with the latest high-end X299 platform for the best performance ever.

Microsoft Adding Eye Control Capabilities to Windows, Improve Accessibility

People with disabilities typically find themselves in an uphill battle in a world that simply isn't geared for them. In everything, the economies of scale dominate, the cost/benefit ratios are weighed... And even though the disabled segment of the population is a significant one, measures to cope with their difficulties are seldom implemented due to that same economic cost/benefit ratio - though this has been steadily improving over the years (at great credit for humanity, I might say.)

Microsoft has now announced that it has partnered with Tobii (best known for their gaming-oriented eye-tracking products), in a bid to increase accessibility in its Windows OS. The work has gone towards implementing eye-tracking technology that can be used by people with motor disabilities to control a mice and keyboard on-screen. Available in the latest Insider Preview builds, Eye Control currently requires a specific piece of Tobii hardware (like the Tobii 4C, though support will definitely extend to other Tobii products in time), which unlocks access to the Windows operating system to be able to do the tasks one could previously accomplish with a physical mouse and keyboard.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper TDP and Cache Sizes Confirmed

AMD maybe have shaken up the HEDT (high-end desktop) processor market with three Ryzen Threadripper SKU announcements early this week; but the two specifications that eluded us were their rated TDP and cache amounts. The first Ryzen Threadripper models will be available in the market from the 10th of August, and will include the 12-core/24-thread 1920X and the flagship 16-core/32-thread 1950X. Both models will feature the full 32 MB of L3 cache available from a pair of 14 nm "Summit Ridge" dies, which work out to "total cache" (L2+L3) amounts of 38 MB for the 1920X and 40 MB for the 1950X. The TDP of the 1920X and 1950X is rated at 180W. The TDP and cache configuration of the 8-core/16-thread 1900X remains unknown, for now.

Source: VideoCardz

Tt eSports Announces Revised Version of the Level 10 M Mouse

The Level 10 M mouse from Tt eSports has already lived through an update before; and instead of releasing a new, different-branded mouse, Tt eSports is looking to build up the Level 10 M brand by updating the design while keeping the name recognizable. This seems a sensible option - most companies already offer enough different gaming mice for a person to keep track of without an Excel sheet, and some of the differences don't really usually warrant a different name.

AMD Says Vega Delays Necessary to Increase Stock for Gamers

In an interview, AMD's Chris Hook justified Vega's delayed release due to a wish to increase available stock for gamers who want to purchase the new high-performance architecture by AMD. In an interview with HardOCP, Chris Hook had this to say:

"Part of the reason it's taken us a little longer to launch Vega - and I'll be honest about that - is that we wanted to make sure we were launching with good volume. (...) Obviously we've got to compensate for things like coin-miners, they're going to want to get their hands on these. We believe we're launching with a volume that will ensure that gamers can get their hands on them, and that's what's important to us."

It appears that AMD tried their best to increase production and stock volumes so as to mitigate price fluctuations upon Vega's entry to the market due to above normal demand from cryptocurrency miners. The jury is still out on whether Vega will be an option for mining due to its exquisite architecture, however. Still, this sounds as good a reason as any to delay Vega for as long as it has been already. Just a few more days until we see what AMD managed with this one, folks. Check the video after the break.

Tesoro Intros Gram SE Spectrum Gaming Keyboard

Tesoro today launched the Gram SE Spectrum mechanical gaming keyboard. The company had unveiled the keyboard at the 2017 Computex, earlier this year. Available in black and white body color options, the keyboard features a standard 104-keyset with Tesoro's in-house Optical Switches, which offer faster response time and higher durability than conventional mechanical switches.

It's not just the keycaps, even the switches of the Gram SE Spectrum are hot-swappable. The underlying electronics are driven by an ARM SoC, with 512 KB of native storage for macro layouts and lighting customization, and full N-key rollover and anti-ghosting. The keyboard earns its "Spectrum" moniker from 16.7 million-color RGB LED lighting. The keyboard is also spill-proof, featuring IP56 certification. Measuring 447 mm x 136 mm x 33 mm (WxDxH), the keyboard weighs about 1.19 kg. Available now, both color options of the Tesoro Gram SE Spectrum are priced at USD $119.

Apple Reports Third Quarter Results

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 third quarter ended July 1, 2017. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $45.4 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.67. These results compare to revenue of $42.4 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.42 in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 61 percent of the quarter's revenue.

"With revenue up 7 percent year-over-year, we're happy to report our third consecutive quarter of accelerating growth and an all-time quarterly record for Services revenue," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We hosted an incredibly successful Worldwide Developers Conference in June, and we're very excited about the advances in iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS coming this fall."

"We reported unit and revenue growth in all our product categories in the June quarter, driving 17 percent growth in earnings per share," said Luca Maestri, Apple's CFO. "We also returned $11.7 billion to investors during the quarter, bringing cumulative capital returns under our program to almost $223 billion."
Tuesday, August 1st 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Desktop PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Storage

Corsair T1 Race Gaming Chair

Corsair decided to enter the gaming chairs market, and their first attempt is the T1 Race chair. It definitely isn't a high-end product and targets gamers who don't want or simply cannot spend a fortune on a decent chair. PU leather is used to keep its cost down, and there are five different color combinations to choose from.

Aukey KM-G4 RGB Mechanical Keyboard

The Aukey KM-G4 RGB mechanical keyboard is an improvement in almost every way over the previous iteration, the KM-G3, which itself was of fantastic value for the money. Featuring software driver control, onboard storage, hardware control over full 16.8M RGB backlighting, smooth Outemu Brown tactile switches, and an aluminum frame, the KM-G4 is a keyboard to strongly consider in the sub-$75 market.

Razer Unveils Tenkeyless Chroma V2 Keyboard

Razer is launching an updated, TKL (Tenkeyless) version of the Chroma V2 keyboard, which we covered back in January. The keyboard's actual product name is "Razer BlackWidow Tournament Edition Chroma V2". Like the Chroma V2, it's available with Razer's three desktop switches (Yellow, Orange, or Green), and boasts a detachable USB cable and likewise detachable wrist rest.

Unchanged BlackWidow features on this Chroma V2 version include Razer's Chroma lighting (which boasts individually backlit keys at 16.8 million colors per key), with Chroma effects powered by Razer's Synapse software. 10 key roll-over anti-ghosting and fully programmable keys with on-the-fly macro recording options are present, with the keyboard featuring 1000 Hz polling, a braided USB cable, a USB pass-through and a 3.5 mm 4-pole audio pass-through jack.

Thermaltake Intros Riing Plus 12 LED RGB Radiator Fan

Thermaltake today introduced the Riing Plus 12 LED RGB fan, a premium 120 mm case-fan. Sold in single-unit, two-pack, and three-pack SKUs targeted at users of liquid-cooling radiators, these fans are characterized by 12 individual RGB LED lining the inner walls of the frame, fronted by a diffuser, which gives it smoother color transition effects. The LEDs support 16.7 million colors, and can be controlled through the proprietary Riing Plus RGB software. The two-pack and three-pack SKUs include an speed + RGB LED controller module, which lets you plug in up to three fans, drawing power from a 4-pin Molex, and taking input from USB, to interface with the software. As a fan, the Riing Plus 12 LED RGB takes 4-pin PWM input, spins between 500 to 1,400 RPM, pushing up to 48.34 CFM of air, with a noise output of 24.7 dBA. It features hydraulic bearing, and its 25 mm-thick frame features rubberized mounts to dampen vibration.

Developers on the Move: NVIDIA Partners Working on External GPU Solutions

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA announced it is working with a number of partners towards the development of external graphics enclosures that can power - and increase mobility - of their professional-geared GPU solutions. Namely, NVIDIA has announced external GPU solutions featuring the powerful Titan Xp and Quadro graphics cards. These external GPU solutions are meant to upgrade the capability of notebooks to support new workflows such as video editing, interactive rendering, VR content creation, AI development and more. Such has been enabled by the latest, high-bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 protocol. For the Quadro eGPU program specifically, Nvidia is working with established manufacturers like Sonnet, Magma, Akiti, and Bizon. The company says there are more to come.

Pricing information has not been revealed for now, but Titan Xp can already be ordered, while the Quadro solutions will see availability in a few weeks.

Sources: NextPowerUp, Tom's Hardware

NVIDIA Announces OptiX 5.0 SDK - AI-Enhanced Ray Tracing

At SIGGRAPH 2017, NVIDIA introduced the latest version of their AI-based, GPU-enabled ray-tracing OptiX API. The company has been at the forefront of GPU-powered AI endeavors in a number of areas, including facial animation, anti-aliasing, denoising, and light transport. OptiX 5.0 brings a renewed focus on AI-based denoising.

AI training is still a brute-force scenario with finesse applied at the end: basically, NVIDIA took tens of thousands of image pairs of rendered images with one sample per pixel and a companion image of the same render with 4,000 rays per pixel, and used that to train the AI to predict what a denoised image looks like. Basically (and picking up the numbers NVIDIA used for its AI training), this means that in theory, users deploying OptiX 5.0 only need to render one sample per pixel of a given image, instead of the 4,000 rays per pixel that would be needed for its final presentation. Based on its learning, the AI will then be able to fill in the blanks towards finalizing the image, saving the need to render all that extra data. NVIDIA quotes a 157x improvement in render time using a DGX station with Optix 5.0 deployed against the same render on a CPU-based platform (2 x E5-2699 v4 @ 2.20GHz). The Optix 5.0 release also includes provisions for GPU-accelerated motion blur, which should do away with the need to render a frame multiple times and then applying a blur filter through a collage of the different frames. NVIDIA said OptiX 5.0 will be available in November. Check the press release after the break.

Lian Li DK-05 Motorized Adjustable Desk PC Now Available

Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is proud to present the new DK-05 motorized computer desk chassis. The DK-05 combines the ergonomics of a motorized desk with an incredibly customizable dual-PC chassis. The desk can be heightened to 118cm for standing work, and down to 69cm desk height for a sitting position. With a gorgeous tempered glass cover, the all-Aluminium DK-05 offers the comforts of a motorized standing desk, trusted Lian Li build quality, and flexibility of two XL-ATX computers in one chassis. The DK-05 features a front Panel HDMI connector for VR Headsets as well as an USB Type-C connector for the latest USB 3.1 enabled devices.

The DK-05 contains two Extended ATX (305x276)motherboard trays that allows you to build an incredibly versatile workstation without the need for a bulky computer chassis on or under your desk. This allows content creators and developers to have a rich, uncluttered desk with space for a multitude of monitors and the freedom to develop or game standing or sitting. Each Tray can fit a motherboard, up to 8 PCI & PCI express cards, a power supply and two 2.5" drives.

NVIDIA Unlocks Certain Professional Features for TITAN Xp Through Driver Update

In a bid to preempt sales of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition, and the Pro WX 9100, NVIDIA expanded the feature-set of its consumer-segment TITAN Xp graphics card, with certain features reserved for its Quadro family of graphics cards, through a driver update. NVIDIA is rolling out its latest GeForce software update, which adds professional features for applications such as Maya, unlocking "3X more performance" for the software.

Priced at USD $1,199, the TITAN Xp packs a full-featured "GP102" graphics processor, with 3,840 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs, 96 ROPs, and 12 GB of GDDR5X memory across the chip's 384-bit wide memory interface. At its given memory clock of 11.4 GHz (GDDR5X-effective), the card has a memory bandwidth of 547.6 GB/s, which is higher than the 484 GB/s of the Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.12 for TITAN XpSource: NVIDIA

Ethereum Takes Literal Flight; Mining Conglomerates Rent Airplanes for Transport

Ethereum is a strange little thing. When you open up your Blockfolio to look at how much you're valued right now, it can be as a fine bit of coffee in the morning, perking you up for the entire day, or a wrecking ball to your capitalist, speculative heart. However, even if you don't believe in the technology, there are many people who do believe: at least, in the future value of it. They believe it so much, really, that they're willing to rent entire airplanes to transport mining equipment (read graphics cards). And we're talking Boeing 747 here, not your average private jet (handy infographic on the pictures below, by the way.)

Ethereum's price fluctuations notwithstanding, which saw the currency soar from $10 at the beginning of the year to a historical high of $400 in mid-June, seems to have somehow settled around a $200 support level. At that value, it's still profitable to mine - even with the increased difficulty of the myriad of miners, dedicated or not, who have flooded towards the GPU-based workloads that support the cryptocurrency's POW (Proof of Work) design. And faith - or expectation of future value is so high, that mining conglomerates (the ones with the greatest running costs, but also pretty scalable profits - aren't willing to waste more idle time than they possibly can. Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, told Quartz that "Time is critical, very critical. For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity."

AMD Giving Up on CrossFire with RX Vega

AMD is reportedly scaling down efforts on its end to support and promote multi-GPU technologies such as CrossFire, and not in favor of open-standards such as DirectX 12 native multi-GPU, either. Speaking to GamersNexus, an AMD representative confirmed that while the new Radeon RX Vega family of graphics cards support CrossFire, the company may not allocate as many resources as it used to with older GPU launches, in promoting or supporting it.

This is keeping up with trends in the industry moving away from multi-GPU configurations, and aligns with NVIDIA's decision to dial-down investment in SLI. This also more or less confirms that AMD won't build a Radeon RX series consumer graphics product based on two "Vega 10" ASICs. At best, one can expect dual-GPU cards for the professional or GPU-compute markets, such as the Radeon Pro or Radeon Instinct brands.

Source: GamersNexus.net

Intel Readies Four 6-core "Coffee Lake" SKUs, Including Two Core i5

Intel is beginning to feel the pinch of AMD Ryzen 7-series, and the upper-end of the Ryzen 5-series, which offer better multi-threaded performance than similarly-priced quad-core Intel Core i7 and Core i5 "Kaby Lake" processors, and reasonably good single-thread performance, and platform costs. The company is responding in force with four new six-core SKUs, and for the first time since "Nehalem," the company isn't changing the socket with the introduction of its third mainstream-desktop micro-architecture on a given process. The 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream-desktop processors will be built in the existing LGA1151 package, and will hopefully support existing motherboards through BIOS updates, even though Intel plans a new 300-series chipset to go with these chips.

The six-core "Coffee Lake" processor lineup addresses not just the higher-end of the lineup with Core i7 SKUs, but also the mid-range of it, with Core i5 SKUs. One of these could even scrape the sub-$200 price-point. Of the four confirmed SKUs are the top-dog Core i7-8700K, its slightly cheaper sibling, the Core i7-8700 (non-K); and the Core i5-8600K, with its cheaper sibling, the Core i5-8400. Of these the i7-8700K and i5-8600K are unlocked. The Core i7 parts feature HyperThreading enabling 12 logical CPUs for the OS to deal with, and 12 MB of shared L3 cache; while the Core i5 parts lack HyperThreading, and only feature 9 MB of L3 cache. The clock speeds and other features are tabled below. The company plans to launch these four either by the end of Q3 (late-September) or some time in Q4, before Holiday.

Source: Anandtech Forums

NZXT Confirms Ryzen Threadripper Compatibility for Kraken Series Coolers

NZXT in a statement today confirmed that its Kraken X61, Kraken X52, and Kraken X62 all-in-one closed-loop liquid CPU coolers support AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors in the TR4 package. The company announced that compatible retention brackets for socket TR4, which work on most Asetek-sourced liquid CPU coolers, will be included in the PIB (processor in a box) package of Ryzen Threadripper processors, by AMD. The company reckons that its Kraken X61, Kraken X52, and Kraken X62 coolers provide sufficient cooling to tame the HEDT beasts by AMD.

Khronos Releases OpenGL 4.6 with SPIR-V Support

The Khronos Group, an open consortium of leading hardware and software companies, announces from the SIGGRAPH 2017 Conference the immediate public availability of the OpenGL 4.6 specification. OpenGL 4.6 integrates the functionality of numerous ARB and EXT extensions created by Khronos members AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA into core, including the capability to ingest SPIR-V shaders.

SPIR-V is a Khronos-defined standard intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics, which enables content creators to simplify their shader authoring and management pipelines while providing significant source shading language flexibility. OpenGL 4.6 adds support for ingesting SPIR-V shaders to the core specification, guaranteeing that SPIR-V shaders will be widely supported by OpenGL implementations.

SteelSeries Intros the Sensei 310 and Rival 310 Gaming Mice

SteelSeries today introduced the Sensei 310 and Rival 310 gaming mice (pictured in that order). The two feature a revamed optical sensor and electronics to offer true "1-to-1 tracking," which the company describes as matching the mouse movement exactly with movement on the screen, regardless of the CPI setting. The Sensei 310 is what the company describes as the "rebirth of an eSports legend." The ambidextrous mouse features a TrueMove 3 sensor with a 12,000 CPI resolution, eight buttons with Omron-made 50 million click-rated switches under the main buttons; a static weight of 92.1 g, and RGB LED lighting under the scroll-wheel and the illuminated company logo.

The Rival 310 is its sibling with two fewer buttons. The right-oriented mouse features 1-to-1 tracking technology, with the same TrueMove 3 12,000 CPI sensor, and "split trigger" main buttons, backed by Omron-made 50 million-click rated switches. The mouse features six buttons, and 2-zone RGB LED lighting under the scroll-wheel, and the company logo. Available now, both the Rival 310 and Sensei 310 are priced at USD $59.99.
Monday, July 31st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Processors
Speakers
SSD

AMD Vega Microarchitecture Technical Overview

At the dawn of its Radeon RX Vega family launch, we visit its underlying GPU architecture, which AMD touts as the most advanced and future-ready, in a bid to find out if the company has overcome its longstanding architectural weaknesses while building on its strengths.

AMD Radeon RX Vega Preview

AMD has finally unveiled the curtain off their RX Vega enthusiast gaming hardware. With two versions having 4096 and 3584 next gen compute units, and priced at $499 and $399 respectively, AMD aims to appease the needs of the end user waiting for a single-card solution capable of providing a good gaming experience at WQHD and UHD resolutions. Backed by FreeSync, Enhanced Sync, and new Radeon Software features, we may finally have a contender for NVIDIA's Pascal-based GPUs in the sub-$500 market.

GIGABYTE Launches the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 Motherboard

GIGABYTE today formally launched its only socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the Aorus X399 Gaming 7. Packed to the brim with features, the board is built in the ATX form-factor, and is halfway between the ATX and E-ATX form-factors in width. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 14-phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

Storage connectivity on the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots covered by aluminium heatsinks; and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (both on the rear panel, including a type-C port, two by headers), and ten USB 3.0 ports. Networking is care of a WLAN card with 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2; and a gigabit Ethernet interface driven by a Killer E2500 gigabit Ethernet controller. The board is peppered with RGB LEDs controlled by GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software. Available from 10th August, the board is expected to be priced around $300.

ASRock Announces X399 Taichi and Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming Motherboards

ASRock's Fatal1ty X399 Professional Gaming board is ideal for high end gamers and other power users. This board gets the utmost from the modern high-speed networking environment with features like AQUANTIA 10Gb/s LAN - ideal for ultra-responsive lag-free online gaming, and for SOHO systems as well. The board's 1 x U.2 connector and 3 x Ultra M.2 sockets easily support high-end SSDs for lightning fast startup and game level loading. This board features IR3555M DrMOS and premium 60A power chokes, it is optimized for monitoring current and temperature to maintain stable power and flawless performance, even at peak loads and during overclocking.

Producing some of the smoothest and most lifelike graphics ever seen from the most powerful cards the industry has to offer, ASRock's X399 motherboards supports 4-Way operation for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. All the PCIe lanes are supported directly from the CPU without using an additional bridge controller, to ensure unhindered graphics performance.