News Archive

Friday, September 22nd 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
NAS
Networking

Vertagear SL5000 Gaming Chair

Vertagear's SL5000 gaming chair sports a fancy design and good build quality. Its steel frame allows it to support up to 150 kg, and it offers a wide range of adjustability to provide its users with the best possible comfort for even the longest gaming sessions.

MSI to Launch New Custom Version of GTX 1080 Ti - The Gaming X Trio

While we're still waiting to see AMD's Vega graphics cards undergo a proper custom treatment from the company's AIB partners (MSI included), Micro-Star International has announced at the Tokyo Game Show that they'll be launching yet another version of NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. This new design revision picks up the triple fan design that has been the staple of MSI's Lightining series of graphics cards, and applies it to the Gaming X brand. The MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio will thus feature 3x of the company's Torx 2.0 fans. The card features a 2.5-slot design that exhausts the hot air to the inside of your case (a minor inconvenience, since MSI's graphics cooling designs are generally considered some of the best out there), and features MSI's Mystic Light RGB tech.

Intel Core i7 8700K Reportedly Reaches 4.8 GHz Easily, 5 GHz+ Requires Delid

A report out of Expreview says that users should expect Intel's 8700K 6-core processor to easily clock up to 4.8 GHz with conventional cooling methods. Apparently, the chip doesn't even need that much voltage to achieve this feat either; however, thermal constraints are quickly hit when pushing Intel's latest (upcoming) leader for the mainstream desktop parts. Expreview says that due to the much increased temperatures, users who want to eke out the most performance from their CPU purchase will likely have to try and resort to delidding of their 8700K. While that likely wouldn't have been necessary with Intel's 7700K processors, remember that here we have two extra CPU cores drawing power and producing waste heat, so it makes sense that thermals will be a bigger problem.

This is understandable: Intel is still using their much chagrined (and divisive) TIM as a heat conductor between the CPU die and the CPU's IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader), which has been proven to be a less than adequate way of conducting said heat. However, we all knew this would be the case; remember that Intel's HEDT HCC processors also feature this TIM, and in that case, we're talking of up to 18-core processors that can cost up to $1,999 - if Intel couldn't be bothered to spend the extra cents for actual solder as an interface material there, they certainly wouldn't do so here. As with almost all peeks at as of yet unreleased products, take this report (particularly when it comes to frequencies, as each CPU overclocks differently) with a grain of salt, please.

Source: Expreview

G.Skill Releases AMD Ryzen-optimized Trident Z RGB DDR4 Memory

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, announces a new lineup of Trident Z RGB DDR4 memory kits with enhanced compatibility on the latest AMD platforms. Specifically designed for AMD Ryzen and Ryzen Threadripper platforms, now there are vibrant options up to the popular DDR4-3200MHz CL14 or the massive 128GB (8x16GB) kits at up to 2933MHz. For a full range of memory kit capacity options, the new Trident Z RGB memory kit models are available at DDR4-2400MHz in 2-, 4-, and 8-module kit configurations with 8GB and 16GB modules, which allows for 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB memory kits for your AMD system.

AMD currently has two platform offerings, where Ryzen supports dual-channel with 2 or 4 memory modules and Threadripper supports quad-channel memory with 4 or 8 memory modules. To give a boost in memory performance to AMD number-crunching workstations and high-end graphic rendering systems, G.SKILL offers several selections for each AMD platform, including memory speeds of up to DDR4-2933MHz or ultra-high capacity at 128GB (8x16GB).

Enermax Releases Their Equilence Tempered Glass PC Case

After showing it off some months ago, Enermax is finally releasing their Equilence mid-tower PC case for the masses. Their Equilence is focused on providing ultra silent operation of the internal components, while keeping the tempered glass side window users are so fond off, and further fleshes out Enermax's case chops. This is done through the usage of high density, noise dampening foam on the top, front and left side of the case, leaving the tempered glass and breathing holes the only places where sound might escape through.

The top part of the foam can be removed for users to install extra fans or an up to 360 mm radiator, though that will, of course, reduce the sound dampening capabilites of the case. The left side panel uses 4 mm thick tinted panoramic glass, with dampening mechanisms on its mounting screws for reduced vibration. Users can mount a 360 mm, 240 mm or 120 mm radiator at the front of the unit, and a side wall offers room for an extra 240 mm or 120 mm radiator.

Rambus Has DDR5 Memory Working in Its Labs, Gears for 2019 Market Release

DDR5, the natural successor to today's DDR4 memory that brings with double the bandwidth and density versus current generation DDR4. along with delivering improved channel efficiency, is expected to be available in the market starting 2019. JEDEC, the standards body responsible for the DDR specifications, says that base DDR5 frequencies should be at around DDR5-4800 - more than double that of base DDR4's 2133, but a stone throw away from today's fastest (and uber, kidney-like-expensive) 4600 MHz memory kits from the likes of G.Skill and Corsair.

DDR5 is expected to support data rates up to 6.4 Gb/s delivering 51.2 GB/s max, up from 3.2 Gb/s and 25.6 GB/s for today's DDR4. The new version will push the 64-bit link down to 1.1V and burst lengths to 16 bits from 1.2V and 8 bits. In addition, DDR5 lets voltage regulators ride on the memory card rather than the motherboard. CPU vendors are also expected to expand the number of DDR channels on their processors from 12 to 16, which could drive main memory sizes to 128 GB from 64 GB today. Whether this will be good for end-users in relation to DDR5 memory prices remains open for debate; however, considering the rampant memory prices this side of 2017, chances are it won't be unless supply increases considerably.

Web Mining, Part Two: Adblock Plus Now Blocks Web Mining Efforts a la TPB

We here at TPU wrote an extensive editorial on the issue of web mining possibly becoming the revenue model of the future. The Pirate Bay may not have been the first site to adopt Coinhive's javascript code for mining purposes when users access its pages, but it was the highest-profile one to be caught, since the performance hogging was enough that users started seeing diminished responsiveness on their systems when visiting the torrent site. On that editorial piece, we talked about the issues of web mining, and compared it to the advent of ad-based revenue models for websites. A piece of our argument revolved around human nature and the pursuit of higher and higher revenue, in a system that would typically reward abuse with higher amounts of mining-generated money - and how users, browsers, and ad-blocking would evolve to also block these mining efforts.

Well, Adblock Plus has gone and done it, adding a filter for Coinhive-based web mining, filtering the mining script. This will likely ignite a cat and mouse game between web mining providers, users, and the browsers and extensions we use to protect ourselves, but it isn't something we hadn't mentioned before. The Adblock Plus extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Android. Look after the break for instructions on how to add these filters to your Adblock Plus-enabled browser of choice.

Possible GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Specifications Surface

It turns out that NVIDIA is giving the GeForce GTX 1070 more than a minor refresh. The new performance-segment SKU, which is slated to come out just before Holiday 2017, could perform very very close to the GTX 1080, although sufficiently spaced out from the GTX 1080 refresh (featuring 11 Gbps memory). According to specifications leaked by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, NVIDIA will give this SKU the coveted "Ti" moniker after all, and carve it out from the "GP104" silicon.

According to the report, the GTX 1070 Ti will be carved out of the "GP104" silicon by disabling just 1 out of 20 streaming multiprocessors, compared to the GTX 1070 desktop, which has 5 out of 20 disabled. This results in a CUDA core count of 2,432, which is just 128 fewer than that of the GTX 1080. The clock speeds of the GTX 1070 Ti are higher than the GTX 1070, too. It comes with a core clock of 1607 MHz, 1683 MHz GPU Boost, and an untouched 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory clock. Interestingly, the TDP of this chip is 180W, which is the same as the GTX 1080. NVIDIA will reportedly launch the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti in early-November, 2017, at a price that's 12.5 percent cheaper than the GTX 1080.

Tunai Announces the DRUM Audiophile-grade in-ear Headphones

TUNAI Creative has once again come to the technology forefront with the development of their new product, DRUM. They are known for bringing to the world products such as FIREFLY, which is the tiniest Bluetooth music receiver that allows for easy upgrade your car and home audio systems and CLIP, the award-winning Bluetooth headphone amplifier that upgrades any wired headset into a wireless headset. With the successes of FIREFLY and CLIP, there has been a demand for TUNAI to create a compatible headphone that is small and with great sound which is how the in-ear headphone DRUM was created.

DRUM is a high-resolution bass enhanced audiophile earphone that is engineered to deliver well-rounded sound throughout the audio spectrum including clear, high-end, rich mid-range and powerful bass. It is designed to meet the latest high-quality audio standards established by Japan Audio Society (JAS). Unlike regular in-ear headphone designs using small to medium size drivers DRUM has been modified to use a larger 13mm dynamic driver for richer, more powerful bass and wider soundstage.

EVGA Announces GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE Graphics Card

The EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 ELITE cards are now available with 12 GHz of GDDR5X memory, giving it 528 GB/s of memory bandwidth! These cards are available with either the ELITE Black or White shroud, and of course comes with EVGA's exclusive iCX technology, giving you 9 thermal sensors, onboard thermal LED indicators and incredible cooling with quiet operation.

Features
  • Includes EVGA iCX Technology
  • 12 GHz GDDR5X Memory
  • 528 GB/s of Memory Bandwidth
  • Available in ELITE Black and White Colors
Thursday, September 21st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Processors
SSD

AMD CrossFireX Scaling is Actually Pretty Terrible with Mixed RX Vega

Yes, this is the third post today about AMD introducing multi GPU support for RX Vega with their Crimson ReLive 17.9.2 beta drivers but it had to be made. First up, the caveats- we were only able to test the driver on a CrossFire setup involving one RX Vega 64 and one RX Vega 56 GPU so results with two of the same may differ. Secondly, these are beta drivers so there is a level of lenience here I am willing to afford to AMD. That said, the driver which came with its own announcement and internal results had to show something good and this means showing good scaling across multiple games.

The driver allows CrossFire to be enabled with a mix of the two Vega 10 SKUs, and we set about testing a few games from our GPU benchmark suite using the same testing methodology as always. Tests were done at 4K to minimize a CPU bottleneck of any kind, and the games tested include some of the most popular games today including some that AMD themselves used in the announcement. However, after a few hours of testing, we can simply not recommend using the driver for CrossFire- at least for a mixed setup as we did. More on this after the break.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 Drivers

First AMD announced they were releasing it, but now they actually have. Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 drivers brings with it CrossFire support for two RX Vega 64 or 56. AMD claims to have over 80% scaling with two RX Vega 64 cards in CrossFire in a few games as we saw before, and now they get to also support multi-GPU game profiles in addition to single GPU ones. In that regards, we have a multi-GPU profile included here for Project Cars 2 which drops in a few hours on Steam.

AMD has also fixed an issue with the installer as well as Hearts of Iron IV, but those looking for a solution to the flickering issues in games including Overwatch will still have to wait unfortunately. There is a list of known issues provided at well, which you can take a look at after the break. As always, you can download the installer right here via the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.9.2 Beta

MSI RX Vega 64 Air Boost Edition Pictured, Not the Custom Card we Want

MSI's "custom" take on AMD's RX Vega graphics card has made an appearance in front of the camera. Dubbed Air Boost edition, this is really a glorified, MSI-branded reference edition Vega, with the same blower-type cooler that AMD seems to have used since forever. It keeps to MSI's Gaming X color scheme (and AMD's own at that) with black and red colors, and breathes custom innovation in the increased breathing space on the I/O port's second slot, since all 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI connectors have been moved to the first slot. As recent reports peg AMD's AIB's custom cards as coming only towards the second half of October, it seems that for now, this is the most "custom" edition of a Vega graphics card we're going to get.

Source: Videocardz

NVIDIA Releases the GeForce 385.69 Game Ready Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA today released the latest version of their GeForce graphics drivers. Version 385.69 of their drivers is a Game Ready, WHQL-certified release that brings official support for Project Cars 2 and Total War: WARHAMMER II which are both coming out in a matter of days. Simultaneously, this release also optimizes performance in the open beta for Call of Duty: WWII, EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone, FIFA 18, Forza Motorsport 7, From Other Suns' open beta, Raiders of the Broken Planet, as well as Star Wars Battlefront 2's open beta.

This release also features a security update for specific driver components that went unnoticed until now, and also identifies and fixes multiple bugs. A full list of changes and updates can be found here, whereas NVIDIA have also created a page to go over the salient features for the aforementioned games here. As always, you can grab the drivers right here on TechPowerUp by following the link below, and a summarized changelog is provided after the break.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 385.69 Game Ready Drivers

AMD Enables Vega CrossFire with Upcoming 17.9.2 Drivers, Over 80% Scaling

AMD announced today they are bringing multi-GPU support for RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 with their upcoming Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.2 drivers. This CrossFire support is for two GPUs only, so it appears AMD is going on the same path as NVIDIA in not having official support for three or more GPUs, which by itself is a point of discussion. Note that these drivers are not out yet, and this announcement serves to alert the user base to what is coming up.

AMD also provided a (low resolution, we are working on a suitable replacement) internal result chart comparing gaming performance with average FPS as the metric, for two RX Vega 64 cards relative to one. We see very impressive scaling in some games such as Far Cry Primal, Metro Last Night Redux, Sniper Elite 4, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt a performance increase of more than 80 percent compared to the single GPU performance. As usual, take these numbers as an indication of how things go since we do not have more details available on the testing methodology at this point either. Lastly, no word yet on what else has changed with these drivers but hopefully AMD have addressed the ongoing bugs with Overwatch at the very least.

ASUS Intros ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out its latest socket LGA2066 motherboard under its Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix brand, the ROG Strix X299-XE, hinting at "readiness" for 18-core i9-7980XE processors, which Intel plans to launch before the end of this year. This board is 99.999% identical to the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, except for one difference that should make it to the "Spot the Difference" puzzle of your favorite tabloid - the VRM heatsink.

ASUS has given the X299-XE Gaming a slightly heavier CPU VRM heatsink, and has rigorously tested the VRM to not run into thermal throttling issues, especially when powering high core-count Core i9 processors. The Core X socket LGA2066 platform has already been criticized by professional overclockers as being "a VRM disaster." As we mentioned earlier, the Strix X299-XE is otherwise identical to the Strix X299-E, and it would be disappointing if ASUS attaches a premium for a few extra grams of aluminium and quality-control that should have been done for the Strix X299-E in the first place.

Toshiba Responds to SanDisk's Call for International Arbitration

Western Digital Corporation's subsidiary SanDisk LLC (SanDisk) and certain of its subsidiaries, through their attorneys, have notified Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502)(Toshiba) and Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba, that they have initiated arbitration regarding TMC's planned investments for additional BiCS capacity at TMC's Yokkaichi Operations, including at its Fab 6 building. Although Toshiba has not yet received a formal copy of the arbitration request, and is therefore not in a position to comment regarding its substance, Toshiba is disappointed by Western Digital's initiation of additional arbitration at this important time for the parties' collaboration.

As previously announced, production at Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to BiCS FLASH, Toshiba's premiere 3D Flash memory product. Phase-1 of the fab is scheduled for completion in summer 2018, and will be a unilateral investment by Toshiba following SanDisk's unwillingness to agree to reasonable commercial terms.

Steam Adds Historical Review Data for Games to Counter Review Bombing

You've probably heard about the recent issues regarding PewDiePie (handle of one of the most popular gaming YouTubers, Felix Kjellberg) and Campo Santo (Firewatch). The company issued a copyright strike for the YouTuber's streaming of their game, where Kjellberg used racist terms which Campo Santo didn't feel they should be in any way associated with. YouTube accepted the copyright strike, taking the video down. Legally, Campo Santo (and any video game company for that matter) can do such a thing. Kjellberg, however, is particularly worried because, as he said, "It's a pretty big deal. If I get more than three of them, my channel will shut down." As a response, users started review bombing Firewatch on Steam - id est, posting negative review after negative review, or changing their positive reviews for negative ones, so as to diminish the game's score in the light of what they see as a reprimandable action from Campo Santo.

Jonsbo Announces the VF-1 Graphics Card Cooler

Jonsbo has introduced a somewhat strange product to its lineup - a companion cooler to your graphics card. This cooler isn't meant to be installed directly on your graphics card, as some other aftermarket coolers like the Arctic Cooling Accelero series are; instead, this one is meant to be installed in an expansion slot (and a PCIe x16 at that, of all things) below your graphics card, providing additional cooling to your card's reference or custom cooler.

The VF-1 has an anodized aluminum magnesium alloy enclosure, which features a LED lighting accent towards your side window, and features 3x 80 mm cooling fans that blow air towards your graphics card.The VF-1 apparently operates at 18 dBA with the fans at their maximum 1500 RPM, and uses a SATA power connector instead of a fan header. The VF-1 measures 134 x 270 mm and is 20 mm thick, while the aluminum shroud material itself is 1.2 mm thick. It weighs 372 grams, and for all this, Jonsbo is quoting a 5ºC improvement in your graphics card's operating temperatures, which is... pretty underwhelming.

Source: ETeknix

Toshiba Elects Bain Capital as Preferred Bidder for its Entire Memory Business

The light is being seen at the end of the tunnel for one of the tech world's most recent debacles. A series of questionable investments and accounting scandals saw Toshiba facing losses in the billions of dollars and see its stock pricing plummet by more than 40%. As such, to staunch the bleeding, the company was looking to only spin-off a 20% stake in its memory business; however, as its finances continued to take a turn to the worse, it then decided on selling a majority, 60% stake to the highest bidder. That would seemingly still not be enough, however, as the company will now sell 100% of its memory semiconductor business to investment consortium Bain Capital.

Intel Delays 10nm "Cannon Lake" to Late-2018

Intel is reportedly delaying the roll-out of its first processors built on its 10 nanometer silicon fabrication process, codenamed "Cannon Lake" for the third time since its inception. The first products based on the silicon will now come out only by late-2018. In the meantime, Intel could continue to ride on its new 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors, including the augmentation of an 8-core mainstream desktop (MSDT) part in the second-half of 2018.

Notebook manufacturers are less than enthusiastic about "Cannon Lake," and plan to skip it altogether for its successor, codenamed "Ice Lake," which could come out in 2019. It won't be the first time OEMs have done this, as Intel's 5th generation Core "Broadwell" architecture was mostly skipped over in the notebook and MSDT segments.

Sources: Electronics Weekly, DigiTimes

Seasonic Presents the PRIME Ultra Power Supplies

With the introduction of the PRIME Titanium Series last year Seasonic started rolling out an incredible product line that caught the attention of end-users and media alike. The PRIME Series has won the prestigious Power Supply of the Year 2017 European Hardware Award. The PRIME power supply family entails some of the best performing analog power supplies reviewers have ever tested and it includes a wide range of 80 PLUS Titanium-, Platinum-, and Gold-rated units to offer consumers wide-ranging choices for different levels of output and efficiency. Almost a year has passed, and our engineers have yet again come up with new solutions to improve our flagship series to introduce the PRIME Ultra Series.

As graphics cards and motherboards become more efficient, their ever-decreasing power consumption has called for a new power rating variant. The introduction of the PRIME Ultra 550 W Platinum- and Gold-rated units is an answer to these current market trends where most users need high-end, high-efficiency, yet mid-range power capacity power supplies. The PRIME Ultra 550 W in many cases will even provide high enough power to reserve some headroom for future expansion.

Tesla Motors Develops Semi-custom AI Chip with AMD

Tesla Motors, which arguably brought electric vehicles to the luxury-mainstream, is investing big in self-driving cars. Despite its leader Elon Musk's fears and reservations on just how much one must allow artificial intelligence (AI) to develop, the company realized that a true self-driving car cannot be made without giving the car a degree of machine learning and AI, so it can learn its surroundings in real-time, and maneuver itself with some agility. To that extent, Tesla is designing its own AI processor. This SoC (system on chip) will be a semi-custom development, in collaboration with the reigning king of semi-custom chips, AMD.

AMD has with it a clear GPGPU performance advantage over NVIDIA, despite the latter's heavy investments in deep-learning. AMD is probably also banking on good pricing, greater freedom over the IP thanks to open standards, and a vast semi-custom track-record, having developed semi-custom chips with technology giants such as Sony and Microsoft. Musk confirmed that the first car in which you can simply get in, fall asleep, and wake up at your destination, will roll out within two years, hinting at a 2019 rollout. This would mean a bulk of the chip's development is done.

Source: CNBC
Wednesday, September 20th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Processors

iKBC F108 RGB Keyboard

The iKBC F108 RGB is a full size keyboard with 16.8M RGB backlighting from a group of enthusiasts in Taiwan who had good build quality and value for money in mind. The keyboard features thick backlit doubleshot PBT keycaps, two colors, and four genuine Cherry MX switches to choose from, as well as driver-less controls with on-board storage.

SanDisk Initiates New Arbitration Proceedings Against Toshiba In the ICC

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that several of its SanDisk subsidiaries have filed an additional Request for Arbitration with the ICC International Court of Arbitration related to three NAND flash-memory joint ventures ("JVs") operated with Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba").

On Aug. 3, 2017, Toshiba announced that it would unilaterally invest in manufacturing equipment for the Fab 6 clean room at the JV operations in Yokkaichi, Japan. The arbitration demand seeks, among other things, a permanent injunction preventing Toshiba from making unilateral investments in manufacturing equipment for Fab 6 without first giving SanDisk the opportunity to make a comparable investment in expansions and conversions of JV capacity for BiCS 3D NAND flash memory.

Western Digital commented: It is unfortunate that SanDisk is forced to initiate binding arbitration to remedy Toshiba's retaliatory breach of the JV agreement entered into by both SanDisk and Toshiba.

AOC Announces Retail Availability of AGON Curved QHD Gaming Monitor

AOC, a worldwide leader in monitor display technology, today announces the newest member of the Agon monitor collection, the premium line of AOC gaming monitors. The AG322QCX is a curved 32-inch, QHD gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 144Hz, 4ms response time and AMD FreeSync technology. This monitor is made for enthusiast and competitive esports gamers, like AOC partner, Team Liquid, allowing them to race through games without stutter, screen tearing and motion blur. The AG322QCX will be available at Microcenter for $429.99 MSRP.

The 32-inch monitor features a 2560x1440 QHD screen with a 1800R curve. The curved VA panel offers vibrant colors for a more exciting and immersive visual experience to be enjoyed while gaming. The AG322QCX's curve conforms to the way the eye sees and helps reduce eye fatigue. Team Liquid, winners of The International Dota 2 Tournament, use AOC monitors to prepare for competitions, as they compete at the highest level of esports.

AMD to Build 2nd Gen. Ryzen and Radeon Vega on GloFo 12nm

Not to be held back by silicon fabrication process limitations like in the past, AMD will build its second-generation Ryzen CPUs and Radeon Vega GPUs on the new 12 nanometer LP (low power) FinFET process by GlobalFoundries. From the looks of it, "2nd generation Ryzen" doesn't seem to be the same as "Zen2" (a micro-architectural advancement due to be built on the 7 nm process), and is more likely an optical shrink of existing 14 nm IP to the 12 nm process, giving AMD the headroom to increase yields, and clock speeds across the board. The 12 nm switch allows AMD to roll out a new "generation" of Ryzen processors as early as the first half of 2018.

The "Vega 10" silicon could be another key piece of AMD IP on the receiving end of an optical shrink to 12 nm, which will give AMD much needed power savings, letting it increase clock speeds, and probably implement faster standards of HBM2 memory, such as 2.00 GT/s. AMD will likely label this shrunk down silicon "Vega 20." There's also the possibility of AMD building a bigger new GPUs altogether. In 2019, the company will give its CPU and GPU lineups major micro-architectural upgrades, and the switch to the 7 nm node. The new "Zen2" micro-architecture with IPC increases and new ISA instruction-sets, will be launched on the CPU side, and the new "Navi" graphics architecture will take center-stage.

Source: WCCFTech

Asetek Loses Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Cooler Master

Asetek, a company known for designing water-cooling solutions for PC hardware that it sometimes licenses to other manufacturers, has lost a patent infringement lawsuit it had levied against Cooler Master. The lawsuit, which looked to impede the sale of Cooler Master products Nepton 120XL, Nepton 240M and Seidoen 120 V v.2, stated that Cooler Master was infringing on Asetek's European EP 1 923 771 patent, which describes a water cooling mechanism. This Asetek patent, filed in November 2004 and finally approved in May 2015, is in itself based on Asetek's older, US-bound patents.

However, The Hague's court has accepted Cooler Master's argument that they too have a similar patent to Asetek's, through a so-called "utility model" that already exists in China, which describes (and patents really show their problems here) the "operation of a water pumping engine device with chamber". The The Hague judge also invalidated Asetek's patent lawsuit on the basis that there was not enough inventiveness to it. Asetek and Cooler Master's legal battles aren't anything new; in 2015, a US-based court ordered Cooler Master to pay Asetek $600,000 for patent infringement. This time, it's the other way around, even though it was still Asetek that started the legal battle: the company now has to pay Cooler Master for their legal expenses, which amount to around €113,000 (~$134,204)

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

Sharkoon Announces the AI7000 Case

Sharkoon expands their range of cases and, with the AI7000 Silent, introduce for the first time a robust ATX Midi tower with pre-installed damping mats. These damping mats effectively reduce the operating noise of the PC, without affecting the airflow inside the case. The case is especially suitable for silent PCs.

The Sharkoon AI7000 Silent is equipped with damping mats on both side panels, top panel and front panel. Sufficient space inside the case allows installation of a wide range of components: Install the power supply and up to three 3.5" hard drives decoupled within the tunnel on the case bottom. The AI7000 Silent also comes with two mounts for 2.5" drives behind the mainboard. Thanks to numerous openings, the mainboard can be discreetly cabled. CPU coolers up to a height of 17.5 cm can be installed thanks to a practical mainboard tray cutout.

Noctua Announces Two AM4-compatible Low-profile Coolers

Noctua today presented two updates to its range of quiet low-profile CPU coolers. Successors to the award-winning NH-L9a and NH-L12, the new NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L12S models now support the AM4 socket of AMD's Ryzen processors. Whereas the NH-L9a-AM4 stands a mere 37mm tall, which makes it ideal for use in compact HTPCs or Small Form Factor cases that offer minimum clearance for CPU coolers, the slightly bigger NH-L12S comes equipped with the new NF-A12x15 PWM fan and combines excellent compatibility, surprising efficiency and remarkable flexibility.

"AMD has made a big impact on the market with its Ryzen architecture and the platform will become even more interesting for compact HTPC builds when the first Ryzen-based APUs are introduced next year," says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). "We're thus updating two of our award-winning low-profile models to support Ryzen's AM4 socket."

In Win Intros Polaris Silent Case Fans

In Win today rolled out its Polaris Silent case fans. These 120 mm fans come in three key variants, the Polaris LED, which features a single-color LED illumination (and comes in sub-variants of red, blue, and green); the Polaris RGB, which comes with RGB multi-color LEDs; and the Polaris RGB Premium, which come with anodized aluminium frames, besides RGB LED lighting. The In Win Polaris is a 120 mm fan, with a circular frame. The mounts on the corners of the frame are rubberized to dampen vibration, and on the RGB-equipped variants, feature LED daisy-chaining headers, which let you connect up to three fans in a daisy-chain, and control them from a single fan that's plugged into a standard RGB header on your motherboard. The fan supports most modern RGB LED software standards, such as ASUS Aura Sync RGB, MSI Mystic Light, and GIGABYTE RGB Fusion.

As a fan, the Polaris series features high temperature-range PBT plastic making up the impellers, and polycarbonate frames for the Polaris LED and Polaris RGB variants; and aluminium making up the frames on the Polaris RGB Premium. Its motor features 35,000-hour rated sleeve bearing. The fans take in 4-pin PWM input, spinning between 500 to 1,280 RPM, pushing up to 43.31 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 20.2 dBA. The fans will be sold in single-unit and two-unit packs.

DeepCool Intros White Captain 360 EX RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

After whitewashing the Captain 240 EX RGB cooler, DeepCool turned its brush to its bigger sibling, the Captain 360 EX RGB, equipped with a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator. The new DeepCool GamerStorm Captain 360 EX White features an RGB LED element in the pump-block, and even as the radiator frame is white, the cooler features contrasting black highlights in the form of the radiator fins, coolant tubes, and the impellers of the three included Silent TF-120 fans. Besides power, the cooler takes in standardized RGB LED input, so you can control its lighting with popular software such as ASUS Aura Sync, MSI Mystic Light, or GIGABYTE RGB Fusion. The cooler supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2066, LGA2011(v3), and LGA115x, with a notable exception of socket TR4. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Intel 8-core LGA1151 Processor will be 14 nm "Coffee Lake" Based

The 8-core processor Intel is planning to launch in the second half of 2018 will be based on the current 14 nanometer "Coffee Lake" micro-architecture, according to leaked XTU errata log. A curious looking change-log entry reads "[CFL] Added support for 8,2 core," where "CFL" is the three-letter contraction of "Coffee Lake," just as "KBL" stands for "Kaby Lake" and "HSW" for "Haswell."

This hints at the two directions in which Intel is expanding its 8th generation mainstream desktop lineup. On the upper-end of the spectrum, one can expect the augmentation of 8-core/16-thread parts, while at the lower end, one can expect dual-core parts, likely branded under the Pentium and Celeron brands. Intel's MSDT lineup will be led by 6-core parts under the Core i5 and Core i7 extensions, and quad-core parts under the Core i3 extension; with 6-core/12-thread Core i7 SKUs leading the pack till the second-half of 2018.

Sources: BenchLife.info, ComputerBase.de

Intel's 10 nm Technology Bound for FPGAs First; Wafer Showcased

Intel is undoubtedly at the forefront of silicon processing technology these days, and has been for a long time. Being a fully integrated company from the bottom up, through the design and actual production of its silicon semiconductors, really does have a way of either paying of tremendously (as has been the case with Intel), or not at all (as was the case with AMD). That fabrication processes' nm ratings don't mean much in thhe industry right now has been the case for a while now; different companies use different calculations towards achieving a 22 nm or 14 nm claim, with some components in the same nm process having almost double the size of the same components in a competitor's equivalent. Intel has always been one of the more adamant defenders of an industry-wide categorization, both to avoid confusion and - naturally - put into perspective their process leadership.

More Details Emerge on Gigabyte X399 Designare EX

The X399 Designare EX, to which we were privy to a sneak peek already, stands to be Gigabyte's flagship X399 motherboard for AMD's Threadripper platform. Gigabyte, however, seem to have taken a little too much inspiration from their own AORUS X399 Gaming 7, since even the PCB color has been appropriated form that board. Changes are mostly aesthetic: black heatsinks have turned silver, with some added bluish bling that would make any Halo fan smile, and the backplate has a premium feel to it. Overall, I quite like the design accents in this board, though again, this seems to be a case of a slight redressing of an already existing product - with an accompanying increase to its price-tag. If the AORUS Gaming 7 retails for $389, you should see this one crossing the $400 threshold easily.

Source: AnandTech

Intel's 18-core Core i9-7980XE Benchmarks Surface

A user on Coolenjoy has apparently gotten his hands on Intel's upcoming i9-7980XE silicon, putting it through its paces on Cinebench and a number of other benchmarks. The 18-core, 36-thread Core i9-7980XE is set to be Intel's most advanced HEDT processor of all time by a wide margin - both in number of cores and pricing. It seems that even in the face of a competitive AMD, that puts value towards core counts with its $999 Threadripper 1950X 16-core, 32-thread CPU, Intel still sees it fit to charge an arm, a leg, and both of your kidneys for a 2-core advantage. Intel's XE processors have become more synonymous of eXtremely Expensive and less about being eXtreme Edition over the years, and the i9-7980XE, with its $1999 price-tag, does nothing to alleviate the issue. This is a halo product, though - the most advanced HEDT processor in the world. And with it being as niche a product as it is, it actually makes some kind of sense for it to be so expensive - an immoral, "where has the world gone" kind of sense, but still, some measure of it.

Aqua Computer Intros cuplex kryos NEXT TR4 Water Block for Ryzen Threadripper

Aqua Computer rolled out the cuplex kryos NEXT TR4, a variant of their cuplex kryos NEXT flagship CPU water block with support for AMD socket TR4, designed for Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processors. Available in all the variants the cuplex kryos NEXT normally comes in, we have options with a copper, nickel-plated copper, and even silver cold plate variants with POM acetal, acrylic, and metal tops. The blocks feature a dense copper micro-fin lattice with 200 μm spacing between fins, standard G 1/4 threading. These new blocks come with factory-fitted socket TR4 retention modules, and include a tube of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut thermal compound. Available now, the exposed-copper cold plate variant is priced at 59.90€, and the nickel-plated copper variant at 64.90€ with other variants priced as can be seen on the Aqua Computer web shop. Aqua Computer also mentioned that given the lack of sales of the X399 platform, they are not looking into making a new design to match the larger CPU IHS at this time.

Custom-design Radeon RX Vega Cards by Mid-October

Still reeling under supply issues and overpricing, AMD's Radeon RX Vega line of graphics cards may finally be available in custom-design products from the company's AIB (add-in board) partners by mid-October, according to a Hardware.fr report. ASUS was the first to announce custom-design RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56 graphics cards under its ROG Strix series, back in August. The cards were, however, nowhere to be found in the markets.

AIB partners will begin announcing their custom-design RX Vega series products in the coming weeks, with retail availability slated for mid-October. Radeon RX Vega 64 is currently available in three AMD-reference design SKUs, the standard reference-design, the premium "silver" air-cooled reference-design, which features a brushed aluminium cooler shroud and LED ornaments; and a more premium AIO liquid-cooled variant with higher clocks. The RX Vega 56 is available in vanilla standard reference-design.

Source: Hardware.fr

Thermaltake Intros Versa H18 Window Micro Case

Thermaltake today rolled out the Versa H18 Window Micro case. Characterized by a wide body and a front bezel dominated by mesh, this micro-ATX case is made of SECC steel and ABS plastic, with a prominent clear-acrylic side-panel window. Front panel connectivity includes one USB 3.0 type-A port, two USB 2.0/1.1 ports, and HDA jacks. Cooling features include support for either three 120 mm or two 140 mm fans along the front; one 140 mm or 120 mm fan on the top, and a 120 mm rear exhaust. Although you can mount three 120 mm fans, there's only enough space to mount a 240 mm x 120 mm or 280 mm x 140 mm radiator along the front panel.

Under the hood, the Versa H18 Window Micro features a horizontal dual-compartment layout, with the bottom compartment housing the PSU and two 3.5-inch drive bays. There are two other 2.5-inch drive mounts along the motherboard tray. The top compartment can hold micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, with clearance for graphics cards up to 350 mm in length, and CPU coolers up to 155 mm in height. Measuring 390 mm x 205 mm x 380 mm (HxWxD), the case weighs about 4.5 kg. The case is expected to be priced around $50.
Tuesday, September 19th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Processors
SSD

HyperX Cloud Revolver S

The HyperX Cloud Revolver S is the most expensive headset this renowned manufacturer has to offer. Its feature list is strong, promising excellent build quality, class-leading sound performance, and Dolby Headset 7.1 Surround Sound, but expectations are very high as well. Does it have what it takes to justify its £140/$150/€170 price point?

GeIL Intros Super Luce RGB Lite DDR4 Memory

GeIL today introduced the Super Luce RGB Lite DDR4 memory series. These modules are practically identical to the Super Luce RGB Sync, which the company launched earlier this month, with a few key differences. The Super Luce RGB Lite lacks software-based RGB LED management, and has a preset combination of multi-color lighting that's put out from its diffuser. It lacks any cabling to the RGB header of your motherboard or RGB controller. This is in contrast to the Super Luce RGB Sync, which comes with a thin RGB cable, and supports software such as ASUS Aura Sync, giving you control over the lighting.

Under the illuminated heatspreaders, however, the Super Luce RGB Lite is identical to its sibling. Available in speeds ranging from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3000, these modules come in densities of 4 GB, 8 GB, and 16 GB, making up single-module and dual-channel kits of 4 GB, 8 GB (2x 4 GB), 16 GB (2x 8 GB), and 32 GB (2x 16 GB). There are also AMD Edition variants of these modules, which are individually tested by GeIL to work at their advertised speeds with AMD Ryzen processors. The modules are backed by lifetime warranties, and are expected to be about 10 to 15 percent cheaper than comparable Super Luce RGB Sync kits.

BIOSTAR Announces Racing B350 Motherboards and Radeon RX Vega 56 Graphics Card

BIOSTAR recently released the RADEON RX VEGA 56, which is a must-have for miners with the ability to crank out crazy hash rates for mining, while gamers can expect high performance graphics processor power with the same graphics card. Combined with the BIOSTAR RACING B350 series, which continues to be popular amongst gamers with its price-performance and gaming features, these make up for a great solution for mining during the day and gaming at night.

The Vega 56 has hash rate/power draw ratio that puts it in a class by its own, surpassing that of the RX 580, which was previously the graphics card of choice for mining. With the hype surrounding its mining capabilities, lets not forget that Vega 56 is a top-of-the-line graphics card that includes 56 compute units, 21/10.5 TFLOPS with 8GB of 2048-bit High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2) for performance gaming that gives you the best graphics possible.

PNY Announces GeForce GTX 1070 XLR8 OC Graphics Card

Make every gaming session an immersive and thrilling experience with PNY GTX 1070 XLR8 Gaming Overclocked Edition. PNY Technologies (PNY) considered one of the worldwide leaders in consumer electronics market and flash memory products, has launched the GeForce GTX 1070 8GB XLR8 graphics card that transforms your PC into a super-charged gaming computer.

Designed specifically to support next-generation PC games, the GeForce provides real-time 4K graphics powered by the new NVIDIA Pascal architecture. The GeForce GTX 1070 is built with 8 GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 8 Gbps with data transfer rate of 256 GB/s and 256-bit wide memory bus which provides ultra-graphics settings for an outstanding performance and gaming experience. Enjoy smooth gameplay while playing the most challenging, graphics-intensive games without any interruption or glitches.

I-Rocks Intros New K60M PLUS RGB Illuminated Mechanical Keyboard

i-rocks, a Taiwanese manufacturer of PC peripherals, has released K60M PLUS, a rock-solid RGB backlit mechanical keyboard for dedicated gamers. The K60M PLUS is a keyboard with sleek, frameless aluminum design. It offers genuine Cherry MX switches, per-key LED backlight radiating over 16.7 million colors, durable keycaps, on-the-fly macro system, anti-ghosting function and an intuitive software configurator.

The K60M PLUS features dual layer PCB and genuine Cherry MX switches capable of withstanding up to 50 million keystrokes. Double-shot keycaps and laser-etched secondary function legends ensure every character on the keyboard won't wear out after years of service, even if you're a hardcore gamer or heavy typist. Non-slip rubber feet stands keep the keyboard firm and steady during intense gaming session.

Philips Readying 328P6AU and 328P6VU 31,5" Professional Monitors

Philips is preparing to launch another two monitors to its lineup. These are more geared towards the professional market due to their feature-set and absence of adaptive sync technologies (cue NVIDIA's G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync), but offer pretty interesting capabilities other than that. The 328P6AU offers a QHD (2560 x 1440) resolution on its 31.5" IPS-ADS panel. It can hit 400 nits of brightness (which AMD says is enough for FreeSync 2 HDR-ready panels and other manufacturers are touting as HDR capable as well). It can reproduce 98% of the AdobeRGB color gamut (thus, it can likely cover 100% of the sRGB color space). Refresh rate should be at 60 Hz.

AMD's James Prior Clarifies Threadripper's "Dummy Dies"

Much has been said regarding AMD's Threadripper CPUs, particularly when it comes to how they are manufactured. At first, we thought Threadripper was actually EPYC in disguise, due it having what appeared to be four full-fledged 8-core modules - the same design as AMD's server-bound 32-core EPYC chips. The presence of gold-plating under all four dies seemed to confirm that these were in fact four full Threadripper dies, instead of two dies and two spacers (as AMD's statements led us to believe) for even IHS pressure on the four dies, instead of the uneven pressure that would result from the chip only having two physical dies present.

Raijintek Intros Iris 12 Rainbow RGB Fans

Raijintek today introduced the Iris 12 Rainbow RGB 120 mm case-fans. Taking in 4-pin PWM input, these fans spin between 800 to 1,800 RPM, pushing up to 42.17 CFM of air, with a noise output of up to 26.5 dBA. The fans feature hydraulic bearings, and are rated for 40,000 hours of operation. With its vital specs out of the way, the centerpiece is the RGB LED lighting. The inner wall of the fan's frame acts as a diffuser for the 15 RGB LEDs it's studded with. The LEDs in the Iris 12 can make up to 256 colors, each. The fan features a standard 4-pin RGB input. The fan comes in single piece, two-pack, and three-pack SKUs, with the latter two including an RGB LED control hub, that comes with an IR remote control. The company didn't reveal pricing.

7th Gen Core "Kaby Lake" Won't Work on 300-series Chipset Motherboards

The upcoming Intel 300-series chipset, and LGA1151 socket continues to be a source of chaos for PC builders. While the 100-series and 200-series chipset based motherboards support both 6th generation Core "Skylake," and 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors, they will not support the upcoming 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" chips. What's more, the upcoming 300-series chipset motherboards, which were earlier believed to feature backwards-compatibility for "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" chips, will not support them, according to a Hardware.info report.

The LGA1151 socket between the two platforms remains unchanged, down to the package notches, which are designed to prevent you from installing a processor on an incompatible motherboard (eg: LGA1150 processors on LGA1151 motherboards). This isn't even a case like the incompatibility between LGA2011 and LGA2011v3, where the latter features DDR4 memory I/O, compared to the former's DDR3. Platform segmentation, and synthetically keeping up with a product development cycle, by forcing people to upgrade motherboards every two generations, appears to be Intel's primary motivation. The Hardware.info report, however, doesn't rule out the possibility of 300-series chipset motherboards getting support for older LGA1151 processors in the future, through BIOS updates.

Source: Hardware.info
Monday, September 18th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac

ASRock's entry-level Intel X299 motherboard is the X299 Killer SLI/ac, which we review today. With built-in Wi-Fi and a digital CPU VRM design, ASRock continues its solid stance on reliable Intel X299 motherboards, and perhaps just kills the competition.

Intel Invests $1 Billion in the AI Ecosystem

The following is an opinion editorial provided by Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corporation. At Intel, we have an optimistic and pragmatic view of artificial intelligence's (AI) impact on society, jobs and daily life that will mimic other profound transformations - from the industrial to the PC revolutions. Our belief is that AI will bring significant new opportunities to transform business - from retail to healthcare to manufacturing - and have an immensely positive impact on society.

AI will make the impossible possible: advancing research on cancer, Parkinson's disease and brain disorders; helping to find missing children; and furthering scientific efforts in climate change, space exploration and oceanic research. To drive AI innovation, Intel is making strategic investments spanning technology, R&D and partnerships with business, government, academia and community groups. We are deeply committed to unlocking the promise of AI: conducting research on neuromorphic computing, exploring new architectures and learning paradigms. We have also invested in startups like Mighty AI, Data Robot and Lumiata through our Intel Capital portfolio and have invested more than $1 billion in companies that are helping to advance artificial intelligence.

EVGA Intros EPOWER V - 12+2 Phase Extreme Power VRM Board

The EVGA "Untouchables" EPOWER V card is a standalone VRM board that provides additional power for target devices, such as graphics cards or motherboards. The board is designed to provide two fully-independent voltage outputs, and features a built-in EVBot MKII to allow voltage control on the fly. Take your benching experience to the very limits of your hardware's capability with the EVGA EPOWER V.

The EPOWER V board is powered by the three 6-pin PCI-E power connectors. The input is fed through a 12+2 phase design to provide substantially more VCORE and VMEM to your graphics card, allowing it to break through any limits holding it back.

Secretlab Announces UK Launch for Gaming Chairs

Secretlab, makers of racing-seat inspired chairs with a business and comfort orientated design, is pleased to announce their UK launch. Since the company launched in Singapore in 2015, Secretlab has expanded across the globe moving from Asia into Australia and across the pond to the US in 2017. Each expansion has been based on customer demand and with over 80% of sales coming from overseas Secretlab will now cater for UK gamers. Secretlab currently boasts three product lines which have each been met with critical acclaim due to their combination of high quality, affordable cost and customer care.

The average person spends nine hours a day sitting down and the average gamer spending even more time seated. So, the Secretlab founders, both being former Starcraft II pro players were all too familiar with the rigours and demands of spending long hours in front of their computers and were dissatisfied with the offerings of the gaming chair market- finding it impossible to source a chair made from quality materials at an affordable price. Prices are lowered by only dealing direct, reducing the unnecessary markups caused by middleman costs such as retail and distributor margins.

Pirate Bay Mines Coins in Your Browser - Revenue Model of the Future?

It has come into the limelight that popular torrenting website The Pirate Bay (TPB) has been running additional code on their site, which helped enable them to make use of a visitor's CPU in mining Monero (XMR, a cryptocurrency with added layers of anonymity when compared to Bitcoin). Now, I realize Torrenting (in particular, of copyright-protected material) is in itself a subject open to heated debate - but let's leave that discussion for another day. Today, I thought I'd focus on this mining act itself, on how TPB was secretly using your computing resources to stealthily mine cryptocurrency which they could then turn into additional revenue.

That this was done without the users' consent is clearly wrong. We as users are entitled to know what to expect from our system and from its usage of our resources - as seldom as we can claim that ability nowadays. That a site we are visiting is using our computing resources to generate additional revenue than the one it obtains from ads without, at the very least, being forthcoming about it (with the increased electricity costs that implies, however small) can be considered, at a minimum, distasteful. However, the discussion becomes much more interesting if we wonder what would have happened if users had, in fact, been warned. What does this mean for the future of web browsing, for revenue models - and for those pesky, flashy, little (or not so little) ads?
To our forum-lurkers: this article is marked as an Editorial

Intel to Bring 8-core/16-thread CPUs to the Mainstream Desktop Platform in 2018

Having hit a wall with fab process-assisted micro-architecture advancements, and facing an unexpectedly competitive AMD, there's only one direction left for Intel's product development over generations, core-counts. The company is on the verge of introducing 6-core/12-thread "Coffee Lake" processors to the mainstream-desktop (MSDT) platform in a few weeks from now; and if leaks by a popular BTO desktop-replacement/mobile-workstation manufacturer Eurocom is to be believed, the company could increase the core counts a second time in 2018, by introducing an 8-core/16-thread MSDT part.

A Eurocom representative, posting on NotebookReview forums, hinted at the possibility that the upcoming Intel Z390 Express chipset, which hits motherboards in 2018, could exclusively support 8-core/16-thread processors, which come out in the second half of 2018. The representative revealed this in context of the company skipping the Z370 Express chipset, as it lacks support for those upcoming 8-core/16-thread chips. In addition to support for new processors and possibly next-generation "Ice Lake" processors, the Z390 chipset adds several new features over the Z370, including a better onboard audio solution, integrated WLAN, and SDIO controller.

Sources: NotebookReview, VideoCardz

Piriform Hacked, CCleaner August Versions (v5.33.6162) Injected, Compromised

In another large-scale attack that's bound to increase users' awareness on their systems' security, news have broken out that Piriform, creators of the popular CCleaner software tool (estimated to be instaled in some 130 million devices), have suffered a hack on their servers that compromised some installer packages of the software. Piriform, which was purchased by popular security software company Avast last July, was hacked last August, and the changes to the installer packages could potentially allow hackers to control the devices of more than two million users, the company and independent researchers said on Monday.

EK Intros Monoblocks for ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme and Apex

A special motherboard requires a special water block, so the tradition with monoblocks for ASUS ROG RAMPAGE series motherboards continues. EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing new LGA-2066 socket based monoblocks made to fit ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI Extreme and Apex motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS ROG R6E RGB Monoblocks have integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

Seagate and Baidu Sign Strategic Cooperation Agreement for Big Data Analysis

Seagate Technology plc., a world leader in storage solutions, today announced the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU), the leading Chinese language internet search provider, covering the fields of information technology, big data analysis and advanced storage system development and implementation.

The pact renews an existing agreement between the two firms signed in September 2014, under which Baidu would give priority to Seagate when selecting storage products and solutions, and Seagate would give advanced access to products, services and support to Baidu, as well as assign a dedicated team of engineers to the company.

The cooperation between the two parties builds on this, with Seagate providing double the amount of technical cooperation, and closer links to Baidu for its business needs. With regard to new products, Baidu will be at the forefront of Internet users in China implementing Seagate's new storage products, and also the two sides will jointly develop customized systems to meet Baidu business needs. In addition, the procurement model for both companies will be further upgraded to save costs for each side.

Synology Unveils New XS, Plus, and Value Series NAS

ynology Inc. announced the official launch of new product lineup featuring: XS-series DS3018xs: Synology's first 6-bay tower NAS with optional 10GbE and M.2 SATA SSD supports; Plus-series DS918+, DS718+, and DS218+: Greater performance and data resiliency for intensive workloads; and Value-series DS418: Introduction of 4K online transcoding capability.

To allow for ultra-high performance using SSD cache without occupying internal drive bays, DS3018xs features a PCIe slot, which can be installed with a dual M.2 SATA SSD adapter card (M2D17). DS918+ comes with dedicated dual M.2 NVMe slots at the bottom where you can directly install M.2 NVMe SSDs. DS418 features 10-bit H.265 4K video transcoding.
Sunday, September 17th 2017

ENERMAX Launches World's Most Compact 1200W PSU

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.
Friday, September 15th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Game Controllers
Graphics Cards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Processors
SSD
Storage

AOC AGON AG271QG 144-165 Hz

The AOC AGON AG271QG is one of the least expensive 27" high-end gaming monitors on the market. Your money will buy you an AHVA (IPS-type) 1440p panel with a refresh rate that goes all the way up to 165 Hz, as well as a G-Sync module for sublime smoothness of in-game action.

Phanteks Expands its Glacier Series Fittings

Phanteks, has expanded their water cooling products. Designed to complement and work seamlessly with their water blocks, Phanteks is excited to announce new additions to the Glacier Fittings Series. The new fittings include T-Splitters, GPU extenders, male to male extenders, and 16 mm hard tube adapters. These new fittings brings more options for users to create their own custom water loops.

The fittings are made from premium materials according to the finest standards of craftsmanship from Phanteks. The Glacier Fittings are CNC-machined from solid brass and precisely engineered to create a high flow design for extreme water cooling performance. VITON sealing from the Automotive and Aerospace Industries ensure the best reliability and longevity.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper MCM De-lidded and De-packaged

PC enthusiast Der8auer, with access to a Ryzen Threadripper processor, took it completely apart for science. It won't be the first time that a Threadripper HEDT processor was de-lidded (its integrated heatspreader removed), revealing that it has four "Zeppelin" 8-core dies, making it practically identical to AMD's 32-core Epyc processors; however, it's the first time that someone completely removed the dies from the package.

Ryzen Threadripper processors are built by completely disabling two out of four "Zeppelin" dies on an Epyc multi-chip module (MCM). Two diagonally opposite dies are disabled. The disabled dies can't be reenabled, at least not on an X399 chipset motherboard, as the Threadripper HEDT platform lacks DRAM, PCIe, and possibly even power wiring for the disabled dies.

Source: Der8auer

Gigabyte Announces AORUS H5 Gaming Headset with 50 mm Beryllium Drivers

Gigabyte's AORUS branding is becoming closer and closer to ASUS' ROG in the scope and market of their products. Not letting itself be shadowed by ASUS' headset offerings, Gigabyte has just announced impending availability of their H5 Gaming headset, which brings beryllium to what is usually a neodymium fight. Beryllium is considered to be generally superior to neodymium-based drivers, and AORUS is banking on that as the main differentiator for improved acoustics. Like all AORUS products these das, there's support for RGB lighting and control through software suites, and an increased concern with ergonomics, so that this headset can be used through long gaming sessions with the least amount of fatigue possible. That is one of the reasons it comes in at 285 g.

ASUS ROG Announces ROG Strix Fusion 300 Headset

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) announced Strix Fusion 300, the first gaming headset in the brand-new ROG Strix Fusion series. Featuring an exclusive, airtight chamber design, 50mm ASUS Essence drivers, built-in virtual 7.1-channel surround sound and ROG Hybrid ear cushions.

Strix Fusion 300 lets users enjoy fully immersive gaming experiences with uncompromising comfort and sound quality. Strix Fusion 300 is compact and lightweight to provide maximum comfort during marathon gaming sessions, and features a futuristic, metallic design accented by stylish lighting effects. Compatible with a wide range of devices - including PC, Mac, game consoles and smartphones - Strix Fusion 300 delivers immersive gaming and media enjoyment at home or on the go.

Kingston DCP1000 NVMe PCIe SSD Now Generally Available in EMEA Region

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the general availability (GA) of its DCP1000 NVMe PCIe SSD in the European marketplace. The company will demonstrate the performance capabilities of the DCP1000, the industry's fastest NVMe SSD for the Half Height Half Length PCIe form factor, at the 2017 International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), working with multiple partner vendors, featuring the solid-state solution in a variety of configurations.

These include accelerating the complete Adobe Creative Cloud 2017 Suite of applications; a 60 frame-per-second (FPS) 4K streaming video demonstration with Bluefish444; real-time color grading with 4K resolution video and higher with demonstration partners Eizo and Marquis Technologies; and several other deployments showcasing the consistent, industry-leading data acceleration capabilities of the Kingston DCP1000, regardless of use case.

ADATA Launches ISDD336 and IUDD336 Industrial-Grade SD Cards

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched industrial-grade ISDD336 SD cards and IUDD336 microSD cards. Diversifying ADATA offerings for industrial storage, all models feature wide temperature tolerance as well as shock, vibration, and humidity resistance well beyond consumer product ratings. ISDD336 and IUDD336 cards utilize durable and long-lasting 3D MLC NAND Flash, and are fully compliant with SD 3.0/SPI specifications, making them reliable choices for embedded systems. Performance across the board reaches 95MB/s read and 90MB/s write. Customers can choose ISDD336 SD cards in 16GB to 256GB capacities, and IUDD336 microSD cards in 16GB to 128GB capacities.

ADATA continues to increase its focus on industrial-grade products, with more offerings for users. As the SD standard has clear advantages for industrial customers thanks to its compact form factor, durability, and low power requirements, ADATA strives to provide more choice in the SD space. Thus, ISDD336 cards arrive in SD form factor while IUDD336 cards deliver the same quality and performance in microSD.

EKWB Releases ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock for ASUS X299 Motherboards

EK-FB ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for four ASUS Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 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 PRIME X299 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.

Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

HP has gone and done it once again: they've re-issued a firmware update that locks printing for users who make use of non-original HP ink cartridges. This move by the company isn't new; in September 2016, they did just that, through a seemingly dormant "time bomb" implemented in new printers' firmware that stopped their operation should a non-original ink cartridge be detected. Businesses who were looking to save some money on expendables that are usually more expensive than liquid gold and who had started using non-original ink cartridges for their printers saw their activities on hold - and that likely costed them more than original cartridges ever would.

Later on, in October 2016, and facing considerable backlash due to its actions, HP reversed the built-in firmware lock with a software update that forced users to look up the appropriate software manually on HP's website and then install it on their printers. Original cartridge authentication is done through an original HP security chip, which is checked against security systems embedded on the printer so as to confirm the cartridge's authenticity. The company itself admitted that "A cloned product with an original HP security chip will work," and that "HP's dynamic security recognizes refilled and remanufactured supplies that contain the original HP security chip." HP apologized, at the time, for what it called "miscommunication" on their part. Their apology, however, has been thrown at the weeds by now; we here at TPU did say that users should "(...) remain wary of any eventual future update that might break non-original cartridge compatibility - again."

Western Digital Ships 12 TB WD Gold Hard Drives

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ: WDC), a global data storage technology and solutions leader, has expanded its WD Gold hard drive lineup to include a 12 TB capacity model, designed to address demanding Big Data workloads. The new high-capacity hard drives provide for increased storage density in a range of enterprise and cloud storage applications. Whether data comes in the form of confidential consumer data, healthcare records or business intelligence, WD Gold hard drives provide a no-compromise storage solution that modern day IT managers need.

"As data growth continues unabated, retaining more of that data and generating meaningful insight from it becomes increasingly important," said Brendan Collins, vice president, Devices business unit, Western Digital. "Businesses that most effectively extract value from operational data are able to make smarter decisions, improve business outcomes and ultimately gain a competitive advantage."
Thursday, September 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Memory
Motherboards
Mousepads
Notebooks
PSUs
Speakers
SSD
Storage

Crucial BX300 480 GB

Crucial's new BX300 SSD is not only affordable, but also impresses with excellent performance that's right up there with the best SATA drives in our test group. The secret sauce is clearly the use of MLC flash, which offers better write performance than TLC, lasts longer, and is trusted by users.

AMD Raven Ridge Ryzen 5 2500U with Vega Graphics APU Geekbench Scores Surface

A Geekbench page has just surfaced for AMD's upcoming Raven Ridge APUs, which bring both Vega graphics and Ryzen CPU cores to AMD's old "the future is Fusion" mantra. The APU in question is being tagged as AMD's Raven Ridge-based Ryzen 5 2500U, which leverages 4 Zen cores and 8 threads (via SMT) running at 2.0 GHz with AMD's Vega graphics.

According to Geekbench, the Ryzen APU scores 3,561 points in the single-core score, and 9,421 points in the multi-core score. Compared to AMD's A12-9800, which also leverages 4 cores (albeit being limited to 4 threads) running at almost double the frequency of this Ryzen 5 2500U (3.8 GHz vs the Ryzen's 2 GHz), that's 36% better single-core performance and 48% better multi-core performance. These results are really fantastic, and just show how much AMD has managed to improve their CPU (and in this case, APU) design over their Bulldozer-based iterations.

Source: Guru3D

MSI's Z370 Motherboard Lineup Leaked via NCIX

After we've had a slight, unofficial teaser for MSI's awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, wallet fear-mongering highest end MSI Z370 GODLIKE Gaming, now is the time for some information on the rest of MSI's Z370 motherboard lineup. There's even some tentative pricing information here, so you can start planning your budgetary constraints on a jump to Intel's newste platform, which brings some caffeine to their Lake code names, and an added two extra cores and four extra threads to their top-end, mainstream desktop Core i7-8700 parts.

The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon will come in two variants (AC and non-AC), whose basic difference is the inclusion of (you guesed it) a Wi-Fi expansion card. It features three Pcie x16 ports (two of them reinforced), two M.2 connectors and 1x Gigabit Ethernet. The MSI Z370 Gaming 5, on the other hand, will add to this a slight change in aesthetics and connectors placement, as well as the addition of a post error code LED. Next up is the MSI Z370M GAMING PRO AC, which stands as an interesting offer considering it's the only mATX motherboard in this lineup leak. It also features a Wi-Fi AC module, though there are some cuts on PCIe and M.2 connectors, due to the size constraints.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update to Bring Privacy Enhancements

Do you remember those times where your privacy wasn't such a concern? Where you could freely navigate through the world, and not have to worry if your apps, browsers, extensions, or operating systems weren't collecting way more data than you wanted them to? It seems eons behind us, now, but it's the world we've been living in - and the world we've been building up to with our choices as consumers. Now, consumers have to fight for almost every last scrap of privacy dignity we can expect to achieve.

Microsoft, through a blog post, has stated that they are continuing to assess and address privacy concerns users might have regarding how and when the operating system which is being hailed as the last major Microsoft OS release collects user information. Specifically, Microsoft states that "Continuing with our commitment to privacy and data control, today we're announcing privacy enhancements coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for consumers and commercial customers that further increase your access to information and provides you more control over what information is collected."

Space Heater Concept Reinvented: Qarnot's House Warming Computing Ft. Intel, AMD

Update: Qarnot has updated their page with AMD Ryzen 7 support for its 3 computing units, so it's not limited to Intel offerings. You can see the before and after screenshots on the bottom of this article.

In a move that is sure to bring the cozy, homely warm feeling back towards the space heater concept of yore - who doesn't remember AMD's mocking videos of NVIDIA's Fermi architecture - french company Qarnot has announced their third-generation iteration of a product which is sure to change the Kelvin and Celsius degrees in the computing space. The French company has decided to not let go to waste the (until now) waste heat generated by computing hardware on execution of workloads, and has instead decided to capitalize on those "wasted", byproduct degrees as means of reducing company's and users' heat bills. Their Q.rad concept takes what is usually seen as a drawback in hardware (the amount of waste heat it generates) and turns it into a net positive, by making sure that the heat generated is put to good use in increasing the otherwise chilly temperatures you might be facing.

Corsair Announces Vengeance LPX DDR4-4600 16GB Memory

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC components high-performance gaming hardware and enthusiast memory, today announced its fastest ever kit of DDR4 memory, VENGEANCE LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 4,600MHz. Co-developed with leading motherboard manufacturer ASRock and its X299 OC Formula motherboard, this latest addition to the CORSAIR range of VENGEANCE LPX memory takes Intel XMP 2.0 performance on the Intel X299 platform and Intel Core X-Series Processors to new heights, able to achieve 4,600MHz with just a single setting.

Built using hand-sorted industry-leading Samsung B-die IC's and running performance timings of CL19-26-26-46 at 1.5V, VENGEANCE LPX 4,600MHz is ready for enthusiasts, overclockers or those who simply demand the very fastest components, to push their system's performance to the limit. High-speed memory doesn't stop at 16GB and CORSAIR also leads the way when it comes to high-speed DDR4 at a wide range of capacities. With more Intel XMP certified kits than every other DRAM manufacturer combined, you'll find record setting kits of VENGEANCE LPX at 32GB (4x8GB) 4,133MHz, 64GB (8x8GB) at 4,200MHz, 32GB (2x16GB) at 4,000MHz and for those who need the maximum in speed and capacity, 128GB (8x16GB) at 3,800MHz.

Enermax Announces MaxTytan 1050W and 1250W 80 Plus Titanium PSUs

ENERMAX announces the launch of MaxTytan 1250 and 1050W, the very best of ENERMAX power supply. The full modular kilowatt-class lineup is 80 PLUS Titanium certified, incorporating several high-end features, including: Dust Free Rotation (DFR) technology, Semi-fanless control, Wattage Meter, and COOLERGENIE. Furthermore, Wattage Meter is a digital panel revealing the real-time power consumption. Adopting the advanced full-bridge topology, DC-to-DC conversion circuit, and durable components, MaxTytan kilowatt models provide maximum switching efficiency and outstanding stability, which makes MaxTytan PSU undoubtedly an excellent choice for high-end gaming systems, heavy-duty multi-GPU workstations, or power-hungry mining rigs.

Lian Li Introduces New Series of All-aluminum Convertible Tower and HTPC Cases

Lian Li Industrial Co. Ltd is proud to present the new range of all-Aluminium PC chassis, the PC-Q50, PC-V320, and PC-V720. In a time of tempered glass and RGB lighting, Lian Li's new cases offer a return to classic PC chassis, crafted with high-quality materials and offering a spacious solution to high-performance builds for regular desktop and HTPC use. Despite their classic looks, the PC-Q50, PC-V320, and PC-V720 are all equipped with, and ready for the latest PC technology, this includes a USB 3.1 Type-C connector on the front panel. All three models will be available in a bare Aluminium or Black and come equipped with in take and exhaust fan (depending on the model) in an already well-vented chassis. With models sized for Mini-ITX, MicroATX and ATX motherboards, PC enthusiast looking for a luxurious case to adorn their desk or home entertainment center have a freedom of choice.

NVIDIA Readying a GeForce GTX 1070 Refresh; GTX 1070 Ti

NVIDIA is readying a new GeForce GTX 1070 refresh graphics card, according to well-placed sources. Positioned between the current GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080 11 Gbps in performance, the refreshed GTX 1070 could at least displace the current GTX 1070 from its price-point, if not replace it. NVIDIA could carve the new chip out of the latest stepping of the GP104 silicon, and give it more CUDA cores, likely 2,048 (on par with GTX 1070 Mobile), if not higher. It could also get faster memory, likely 9 Gbps GDDR5 or even 10 Gbps GDDR5X. Its core and GPU Boost clock speeds could even be dialed up a little.

NVIDIA's objective here appears to be convincingly outperforming AMD Radeon RX Vega 56, at a lower power-draw. There's a 20 percent performance gap between the current desktop GTX 1070 and GTX 1080, and the new GTX 1070 refresh could find a price-performance equation somewhere in the middle. As NVIDIA's product-stack currently stands, the GTX 1080, which was refreshed with faster 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory, has a wider performance gap with the GTX 1070, creating room for a GTX 1070 refresh SKU somewhere in the middle, which could perform within the 90th percentile of the original GTX 1080 with 10 Gbps memory. What NVIDIA could name the SKU is anybody's guess. Historically, NVIDIA has updated SKU specifications without changing the name. The GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 6 GB were refreshed with faster memory, by simply prominently mentioning the memory clock below the SKU branding, there's also the remote possibility of the GTX 1070 Ti branding to combat the "grandeur" of AMD's RX Vega branding. NVIDIA could have the new GeForce GTX 1070 refresh SKU out in time for Holiday.

ZOTAC Announces ZBOX MAGNUS EK and ER Series Compact Gaming Desktops

ZOTAC International, a Hong Kong based and a global manufacturer of innovation which created the first-ever Mini Gaming PC, continues to push the MAGNUS Series to a previously impossible level. With the all-new MAGNUS EK and ER Series powered by high-performance Intel or AMD Ryzen processors with a ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070/1060 Series graphics card, ZOTAC is showcasing the first Mini PC series ever built with desktop sized graphics cards. Packing the punch that rivals full-size desktop rigs twice their weight, they are solid choices even for demanding pro gamers.

ZOTAC takes the unprecedented step of packing the best-performing desktop graphics card into the small footprint of the Gaming Mini PC paired with a next-generation processor. MAGNUS EK Series features a 7th Gen Intel Core quad-core processor based on the Kaby Lake architecture to deliver higher frequencies in speeds for a powerful gaming experience. Plus it adds the revolutionary new Intel Optane Memory that enables quick access times while allowing for larger storage capacities.
Wednesday, September 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Networking
PSUs
SSD

Silverstone Kublai KL07

The Silverstone Kublai KL07 aims to excel at sound dampening while offering both the space and features sought after by professionals and enthusiasts alike. Utilizing signature features of the brand, including a positive air pressure interior, USB Type C port, and thick sound dampening materials, the KL07 achieves a great score in our review.

Arctic Announces BioniX Gaming Fans and Freezer 33 eSports Edition

The new BioniX gaming case fans as well as the powerful Freezer 33 eSports Edition supplement our cooling product range. With the new appealing design and the extremely silent 3-phase motor, the new products are specifically tailored to gamer needs. Both the BioniX and the Freezer 33 eSports Edition are available now in four colour variations.

Thanks to optimizations such as the improved fan design, the BioniX achieve an excellent airflow-noise ratio and guarantee high pressure and best ventilation for the case. "The newly developed, whisper-quiet 3-phase motor guarantees long gaming sessions without annoying noise. Due to the low coil temperature, the service life of the BioniX case fans is four times longer and we extend the warranty to 10 years", says Magnus Huber, CEO of ARCTIC.

Toshiba Updates on the Sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation

Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) (Toshiba) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bain Capital Private Equity LP (Bain), the lead member of a consortium currently bidding to acquire Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), memorializing the parties' intent to negotiate a mutually satisfactory definitive agreement for the sale of TMC by the end of this month. The decision to enter into the MOU was made by Toshiba's Board of Directors at its meeting today.

As Toshiba stated in its August 31 announcement, "Update on the Sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation," Toshiba has been in continuing negotiations with three consortia of potential purchasers of TMC: a consortium that includes the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Bain and Development Bank of Japan; a consortium that includes Western Digital; and a consortium that includes Hon Hai. In the course of these negotiations Bain has come forward with a new proposal. Toshiba's Board of Directors has determined to continue negotiations with the Bain-led consortium on the basis of this new proposal, and the company will work to expedite the conclusion of a stock purchase agreement by the end of September. Toshiba hereby announces that it has accordingly entered into a non-binding MOU with Bain. The signing of this MOU does not eliminate the possibility of negotiations with other consortia.

WD Comments on Toshiba's Statement Regarding NAND Flash-Memory JV

Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today commented on Toshiba Corporation's ("Toshiba") statement regarding the transfer of its interests in its NAND flash-memory joint ventures operated with Western Digital's SanDisk subsidiaries ("JVs"):

"We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action despite Western Digital's tireless efforts to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders. Throughout our ongoing dialogue with Toshiba, we have been flexible, constructive and have submitted numerous proposals to specifically address Toshiba's stated concerns. Our goal has been - and remains - to reach a mutually beneficial outcome that satisfies the needs of Toshiba and its stakeholders, and most importantly, ensures the longevity and continued success of the JVs.

Furthermore, it is surprising that Toshiba would continue to pursue a transaction with a consortium led by Korea-based SK Hynix Inc. and Bain Capital Japan without SanDisk's consent, as the language in the relevant JV agreements is unambiguous, and multiple courts have ruled in favor of protecting SanDisk's contractual rights. We remain confident in our ability to protect our JV interests and consent rights."

Team Group Launches L5 LITE-3D Series SSD

Targeting consumer's growing demand for computer storage capacity and higher performance, the world's leading memory brand, Team Group today announces the launch of the L5 LITE-3D SSD with all new 3D NAND technology. The latest generation of 3D NAND flash memory has overcome the technical barrier of 2D NAND. Featuring great durability and low energy consumption, it has become the mainstream memory of choice for the latest generation, enhancing overall capacity of solid state drives along with performance and reliability. It not only provides better performance and endurance, but also breaks through the technical and capacity limitations of planar chips.

The L5 LITE-3D solid state drive is 4 times faster than traditional hard drives. Its excellent performance and read/write speed not only allow fast boot/shutdown time, but also speeds up the response time of all application, so consumers can enjoy the high speed performance immediately after the upgrade. It is lightweight and has an industry-standard 2.5-inch form factor and is only 7 mm in thickness, making it best suited for Ultrabooks on the market. Whether it is for a laptop or desktop, the upgrade can be done quickly. It uses a SATA III 6Gbps interface and capacities are available in 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, etc. The read speed performance is above 470 MB/s which offers the best performance-to-price ratio in the market right now.

Raja Koduri On a Sabbatical from RTG till December, AMD CEO Takes Over

Raja Koduri, chief of AMD's Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), has reportedly taken an extended leave from the company, running up to December 2017. Ryan Shrout, editor of PC Perspective stated that he got confirmation from the company about this development. Company CEO Lisa Su has taken direct control over RTG in the meantime.

Formed in 2015 after a major internal reorganization, RTG handles a bulk of AMD's graphics IP, developing and marketing products under the Radeon brand, including Radeon RX series consumer graphics chips, Radeon Pro series professional graphics chips, and Radeon Instinct line of GPGPU accelerators. This move is of particular significance as Q4 tends to be the biggest revenue quarter, as sales rally on account of Holiday.

Tuesday, September 12th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Speakers

FSP Windale 4

FSP looks to break into the entry level cooling market with the Windale 4. This simple tower cooler may appear bland, but don't let it fool you: It packs a huge punch in terms of price to performance.

SilentiumPC Announces Regnum RG4 in Four Variants

Next level value for money meets maximum airflow in the classic Regnum RG4 chassis. Based on dual-chamber internal layout this model offers functionality and solutions for all modern system requirements, supports up to 380 mm long graphics cards and up to 159 mm tall CPU coolers. To ensure proper cooling properties Regnum RG4 comes equipped with three quiet 120mm fans and full range of intake dust filters. The system can be extended to up to five fans in total and can be controlled via built-in fan controller. Liquid cooling enthusiasts will appreciate radiator mounting spots at the top (120/240) and front (120/240/360) for either various AIO solutions or fully custom loops.

Four different variants are available. Choose from classic, solid side panel (RG4, RG4F) or trendy tempered-glass for showing all your precious hardware (RG4T and RG4TF). Our regular Pure Black color has now a fresh alternative, Frosty White.

Newegg, Rosewill Partner in Bringing Miners the PSUs They Deserve

Mining is a billion unit business by any metric you use: be it in hardware components sold, dollars generated for miners, and energy consumption, mining is one of the most florescent businesses in recent years. Mining around the globe consumes more power than many countries by themselves would; moves huge amounts of hardware through both sea and air; and is one of the more divisive technological developments of the decade, with proponents claiming it's the reinvention of the economic wheel, and others defining it as a hoax, a purposeless, virtual fallacy with no added value other than that which can be attributed to a pyramid scheme. However, no matter which side of the fence you stand in, there's one thing both miners and users usher in: enough PSU power to enable them to attain their particular use cases with both high-efficiency and peace of mind.

Toshiba to Sell Memory Production Sector to WD-led Consortium for $18.3 billion

It's been an interesting time if you're an avid reader of memory-related news pieces. Between increasing prices, Toshiba's debacle and subsequent spin-off of their memory division, to Toshiba and Western Digital butting heads regarding acquisition of said spin-off, and today's news, little was left to thread. Now, reports are surfacing that place Western Digital's consortium as being the (as of yet unofficial) winner in the bid for Toshiba's partial spin-off of their memory division. The deal is being valued at $18.3 billion, Japanese news outlet Nikkan Kogyo says, with Toshiba planning to make a formal decision on Wednesday, with the signing of an agreement to come on Sept. 20.

TechPowerUp and Rosewill Announce the Orbit Z1 RGB Giveaway

A while ago we had the opportunity to review Rosewill's new Orbit Z1 RGB chassis, which has good looks, a great layout, at an even better price, making it an all-round package for those wanting to build good-looking gaming rigs. We are giving away three of these cases in our latest Giveaway. To participate, simply fill up a short form that helps us get back to you, if you've been randomly picked the winner. The giveaway is open from today (12th Sep) till the 26th of September, and open to participants world-wide. Good luck!
For more information, and to participate, visit this page.

Microsoft Acknowledges Gaming Performance Issues Under Win 10 Creators Update

Microsoft made considerable noise on their vaulted Game Mode, a Windows feature which made its appearance in their latest Creators Update version of Windows 10. Game Mode was one of the foremost features in the latest Windows update, which was supposed to deliver improved performance in gaming or other full-screen 3D applications, by enabling more of the available CPU and GPU resources to be tapped into by specific applications. Specific CPU (through winding down of non-crucial processes) and GPU (through prioritization of game-related graphics memory allocation) improvements were baked into this latest version; supposedly, only performance improvements should result from this effort on Microsoft's part.

Tiny App Checks NVIDIA Driver Updates

A tiny open-source app named simply "TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker" by "ElPumpo" could make GeForce Experience look bulky and redundant, if all you use it for is keep up with driver updates. With practically each new AAA game release, NVIDIA and AMD tend to put out graphics driver updates. Among several useful features such as optimizing your game settings or making them portable, the GeForce Experience app keeps your GeForce drivers up to date. On the downside, it has drawn criticism over its user privacy, the need to register as a user and log-on at each system startup; and for its unnecessarily big memory footprint as the app keeps running in the background.

The open-source app, along with its source-code and a pre-compiled binary, are available on GitHub. It's a little rough on the edges, but could be worth it for its tiny memory footprint. On the flip-side, this app doesn't run on in the background, and you have to manually run it to look up updates, something you might as well look up online in your browser. The API that makes this app work could be pulled by NVIDIA any time, as it looks to promote GeForce Experience. Alternatively, you can subscribe to E-Mail notifications by TechPowerUp by clicking on the "Get Notified" button in our download pages, for your favorite driver updates. We're completely web-based and you won't need to trust apps to look up your driver updates.
DOWNLOAD: TinyNvidiaUpdateChecker by ElPumpo

Intel Core i7-8700K Put Through Cinebench R15

Intel's upcoming Core i7-8700K six-core mainstream desktop processor was put through Cinebench R15, where it was seen trading blows with much higher high-end desktop (HEDT) processors, thanks to its core-count and relatively high clock speeds. Unlike HEDT processors, the i7-8700K doesn't carry a bulky uncore, keeping its TDP low at 95W, enabling high clock speeds. This reflects in its single-threaded performance, where it was significantly faster than older chips, some of which are even HEDT, but since the "Coffee Lake" architecture is essentially a refresh of the "Kaby Lake" architecture, the chip could lose out on single-threaded performance to the Core i7-7700K on account of slightly lower clock speeds.

The multi-threaded test is where the action is. Bolstered by two more cores, four more threads, and 4 MB more L3 cache, the i7-8700K is proportionately faster than the quad-core chips it succeeds, and is even faster than older 6-core HEDT chips thanks to higher clock speeds, and a newer micro-architecture. The i7-8700K features 6 cores, 12 threads enabled by HyperThreading, Intel's newest Turbo Boost Max 3.0 technology introduced with its Core X family, and 12 MB of L3 cache. It launches on the 5th of October, at an expected price of around USD $380, if not more.
A video presentation by YouTuber Karl - MrTechQc, who tested the chip, follows
Monday, September 11th 2017

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Sound Cards
Speakers
SSD

Cougar Armor Gaming Chair

Cougar decided to enter the gaming chair market with the help of pro gamers, which led to the creation of their Armor gaming chair. Its mid-range price of $250 and automobile seat bucket design make this chair a tempting proposition.

Colorful Intros a Non-standard Motherboard with Eight PCIe x16 Slots

Colorful today introduced an non-standard form-factor socket LGA1151 motherboard for crypto-currency mining builds, the C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20. This board is 485 mm in length, and 195 mm in width, and probably won't fit in even HPTX cases for its intended use, but is suited for custom rack-type setups. It only includes the most bare-essential features to set up a mining rig with up to eight graphics cards, with 2-slot spacing between each card. The board lacks a 24-pin power input, so you can share your high-wattage PSU with multiple machines based on this board.

It features two 4-pin ATX power inputs for the CPU, and sixteen PCIe power inputs, of which eight can be populated at any given time to supply power to the PCIe slots, optionally all sixteen can be plugged in. The topmost x16 slot is gen 3.0 x16, and wired to the CPU, the remaining seven are gen 3.0 x1, and wired to the Intel B250 Express PCH. The CPU is wired to just one DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, since system memory isn't that big a bottleneck with GPU mining. The board's connectivity, too, is bare-essential, with just a couple of USB ports, an HDMI display output, and a single 1 GbE network connection. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Toshiba Announces New 1TB Hard Disk Drive for Mobile Client Storage

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC), a committed technology leader, today announces its new MQ04 Series 1 TB HDD, which is compatible with notebook PCs, game systems, all-in-one slim-line desktop systems, set-top box appliances, and other applications requiring high capacity and durability storage.

The MQ04 Series single-disk model delivers 1 TB of data storage capacity in an ultra-compact 2.5-inch, 7mm height form factor. The drive's 6 Gbit/s SATA interface and 5,400 rotational speed combined with a large 128 MiB buffer and consistent seek performance, result in a 34 percent higher internal transfer rate performance when compared to the previous 1TB MQ01 Series models. The new model is also quieter and weighs less than prior generations.

Intel Launches New "Dawson Canyon" NUC Chassis, Boards

Intel has launched their new NUC chassis and board alternatives for fanless systems. Previously named "Dawson Canyon", the new, revised NUCs include Intel's 7th Gen Core i3 ( 7100U, 3 MB cache, up to 2.4 GHz) or Core i5 (7300U, 3 MB cache, up to 3.5 GHz) low-power processors (15 W), and are available in chassis or board-only options. The Dawson Canyon NUC is an industrial-grade solution, offering TPM 2.0 and vPro-enabled Intel solutions.

Specifications-wise, we're looking at an UCFF board (4" x 4") with a soldered-down BGA package, up to 32 GB DDR4 2133 1.2V SO-DIMM (x2 DIMM support), up to 4 USB ports (2x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0), 2x full-size HDMI 2.0. Networking is taken care off by Intel's i219-LM 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet chip as well as an Intel Wireless-AC 8265 (IEEE 802.11ac 2x2) solution. There's support for M.2 solutions (PCIe x4: M.2 22x80 [key M] slot PCIe x1: M.2 22x30 [key E] slot) as well as Intel's Optane, should you opt for increased storage amount with an HDD but with improved speeds through Intel's caching technology. Expect fanless solutions to hit the market based on this platform soon, and due to the availability of these Dawson Canyon NUCs in board-state only, expect some standalone chassis to crop up as well.

Sources: Intel NUC Kit 1, Intel NUC Kit 2, via FanlessTech, via SimplyNUC

Philips to Launch 492P8 Monitor: 49", 32:9, 3840 x 1080, 1800R, sub-$1,100

Philips is following in ASUS' footsteps in introducing an uber-wide 32:9 monitor with a 49" VA panel diagonal. Philips is picking up the same panel that Samsung is using on their CH90, DFHD (Double Full HD) monitor. Philips, however, is shaving some of the technologies that make its Samsung counterpart more expensive - but also much more interesting for the gamer inside you. While Samsung is including their QLED technology in the CH90, as well as support for AMD's FreeSync 2 technology, Philips shaves those, which will allow the company to reach a sub $1,100 price-tag. It keeps the 1800R curvature, however, which really, is likely mandatory in such a wide panel.

The panel offers an ultra-wide aspect ratio with its 32:9 ratio (good luck on finding many games that support that out-of-the-box), but it features a somewhat low vertical resolution of just 1080 pixels. Brightness is being reported at a maximum 600 cd/m², and contrast at up to 5000:1. Connectivity-wise, the Philips 492P8 features 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB Type-C input, 1x D-Sub connector, as well as built-in dual-port USB 3.0 and an Ethernet hub (the USB-C acts like an upstream port). 2x 3.5-mm audio connectors for headphones and a microphone. Philips plans to bring the 492P8 to the market sometime in Q2 next year and intends to sell the unit for about €899 ($1077). However, considering the time interval between now and launch, MSRP and specifications may be subject to change in the meantime.

Source: AnandTech

MicroCenter Starts Limiting GPU Orders per Customer

Taking a distinct approach towards the whole GPU availability and stock issues that we've been seeing in the past few months - mainly due to the cryptomining craze, partly due to low yields on particular GPUs, MicroCenter has started implementation of hard limits on the amount of graphics cards a single user can purchase. According to the new policy, users can buy up to two graphics cards for the base pricing (varying on model) as-is, but orders including more than two units show each additional graphics card coming in at a staggering $10,000 online. This is true for both NVIDIA and AMD-based graphics cards.

In practice however, things are not as harsh as the pricing here leads one to believe. This is a deterrent to people wanting to purchase more than two GPUs, with a senior level employee needed to be able to add three or more cards for each customers. Once approved, you get to buy the graphics cards at prices that remain between the store and the customer depending on the number of units available and required but the local Microcenter here told TechPowerUp that it is certainly not $10,000/card. Microcenter has made this policy known in person, where most of their sales tend to happen. As such, it is their attempt at limiting access to GPUs for mining conglomerates or particularly affluent individual miners, which would otherwise - as has been the case - buy up the entire inventory. It also marks a particularly strong position from MicroCenter, since usually, for retailers and e-tailers as well as for AMD, a sale is a sale, independent of use or buyer case. The company is likely missing out on some additional orders from miners by going this route, and the fact that they are willing to do so really speaks to how strong their vision is for how the market should be behaving. Likely, it isn't that difficult to circumvent this imposed restriction - but the simple fact that it exists is of note. And while this isn't a new approach (we've seen some retailers do the same around RX Vega 64's launch), this might make it more likely for other retailers to follow suit.

Update: The story initially mentioned that the $10,000 per card from three cards and up was an actual store policy, and it has been updated to reflect its nature as a deterrent instead.

Sources: MicroCenter, via ETeknix

Toshiba Announces Availability of the 8 TB, 7200 RPM TX 300 HDD for $260

Toshiba has announced immediate availability of their new 8 TB solution for you storage-mongers out there. The TX 300 brings an 8 TB, 7200 RPM HDD to an interesting $260 price-point. Yes, we know everyone would love to have that amount of storage even in a good, old SATA III SSD for about the same price - but now is not the time to daydream. For the foreseeable future, the best option for cheap storage in such quantities lies with our old and (somewhat) trusty platter-based storage tech.

Storage options are available at 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB with 128 MB cache. These drives feature perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR), which allows for higher areal density than traditional (now seldom used) longitudinal recording. Additional security and reliability features have been baked in on these particular models - the motors are attached to both the top and bottom of the unit and there is an increased attention to shock and vibration dampening. These drives are available now, and the 8 TB option will set you back the aforementioned $260. I'll save you from whipping up the old calculator, because at this storage capacity and pricing, price per GB stands at a mere $0.0318.

Source: AnandTech

Samsung Announces 11nm LPP and 7nm LPP With EUV Technology

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced it has added 11-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology (11LPP, Low Power Plus) to its advanced foundry process portfolio, offering customers with an even wider range of options for their next-generation products. Through further scaling from the earlier 14LPP process, 11LPP delivers up to 15 percent higher performance and up to 10 percent chip area reduction with the same power consumption.

In addition to the 10nm FinFET process for mobile processors in premium flagship smartphones, the company expects its 11nm process to bring differentiated value to mid- to high-end smartphones. The new process technology is scheduled to be ready for production in the first half of 2018. Samsung also confirmed that development of 7LPP with EUV (extreme ultra violet) lithography technology is on schedule, targeting its initial production in the second half of 2018.

Since 2014, Samsung has processed close to 200,000 wafers with EUV lithography technology and, building on its experience, has recently seen visible results in process development such as achieving 80 percent yield for 256 megabit (Mb) SRAM (static random-access memory).

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Germany Prices Revealed - Price Increases Marginal

Prices of 8th generation Intel Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processors are expected to be higher than their 7th generation "Kaby Lake" counterparts, owing to increased core counts and L3 cache, but the price increases don't scale linearly. According to prices leaked by German online retailer LambdaTek, the prices increases are noticeable, although marginal.

The flagship Core i7-8700K is priced at 389€ (including VAT), followed by the i7-8700 at 327€. On the same store, the current i7-7700K is priced at 349€, and the i7-7700 (non-K) at 313€. The new Core i5-8600K is priced at 273€, and the i5-8400 at 192€. Here, too, the price increases between generations is only marginal, given that the Core i5-7600K is priced at 236€, and the i5-7400 at 182€.

Retail Core i7-8700K Surfaces on Geekbench Database

As Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors inch closer to their 5th October launch, those with early access to the retail chips are putting them through their paces. One such test landed on Geekbench database. A top-end Core i7-8700K six-core chip running on an EVGA-made, Z370 chipset-based motherboard (model code: 121-KS-E375).

Running at its standard (out of the box) clock speeds, the Core i7-8700K scored 5,773 points in the single-threaded bench, which is higher than the 4,900-ish scores one can expect from the Ryzen 7 1800X. In the multi-threaded test, it scored 24,260 points, which is lower than the 28,000-ish points typical machines with Ryzen 7 1800X score, due to the two extra cores it packs compared to the i7-8700K.

Source: Geekbench Database

Jonsbo Intros the TW Series AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

Jonsbo rolled out the TW-120 and TW-240 all-in-one, closed-loop, liquid CPU coolers. The two are differentiated by radiator sizes - 120 mm x 120 mm, and 240 mm x 120 mm, respectively; and characterized by a rather tall hexagonal pump-block that's illuminated by RGB LEDs. The included 120 mm fans feature RGB LED diodes along fan-frames as well, and lighting on the fans and the block are kept in sync.

You can control the RGB LED color, brightness, and lighting patterns by either plugging the cooler into a standard 4-pin RGB header on your motherboard (and using software such as ASUS Aura Sync or MSI Mystic Light); or use an included module to switch between 7 color presets. The LEDs otherwise support 16.8 million colors. The TW series coolers support most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, AM3(+), FM2(+), LGA2011(v3), LGA2066, and LGA115x. The company didn't reveal pricing.
Sunday, September 10th 2017

8th Gen Core i3 Part of Intel's First "Coffee Lake" Wave

It was initially believed that Intel will launch its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processor lineup with only 6-core SKUs in the Core i5 and Core i7 extensions, priced well above $200; with Core i3 SKUs joining in Q1-2018. A popular retailer confirmed to us that the first wave will include two Core i3 SKUs, namely the Core i3-8100 and Core i3-8350K. Both these chips are quad-core, and lack both HyperThreading and Turbo Boost, but feature rather high clock speeds.

The Core i3-8350K is a particularly interesting SKU. This 4-core/4-thread chip features an unlocked base-clock multiplier, and 8 MB of L3 cache, as opposed to 6 MB on the i3-8100. Just as Intel previously differentiated its Core i3-x1xx SKUs from i3-x3xx SKUs by giving the latter 33.33% more L3 cache, the trend is continuing with the 8th generation, except that both the core-count and L3 cache amount has doubled over the 7th generation. The prices could be noticeably higher, too. The six SKUs Intel will launch for the retail channel on the 5th of October, are tabled below.

GIGABYTE Aorus Z370 Motherboard Series Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of GIGABYTE's Aorus branded Z370 series motherboards. The lineup begins with the Aorus Z370 Gaming 3 and Aorus Z370 Gaming K3. These two boards are nearly identical to each other, and differ with only their onboard gigabit Ethernet controller, with the Gaming K3 featuring the latest Killer E2500 controller, while the Gaming 3 features Intel i219-V. Both boards feature just the one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot wired to the CPU, with the second slot being electrical x4 and wired to the PCH. GIGABYTE has been traditionally generous with its onboard audio solutions, and these boards are no exception. You get a Realtek ALC1220 (120 dBA SNR) CODEC strapped to a single headphones amp circuit, ground-layer isolation, and audio-grade capacitors.

Moving slightly up the ladder is the Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming, pictured below. You get a similar CPU VRM implementation to the Gaming K3, but with two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated) wired to the CPU, for multi-GPU setups. You also get a stylish I/O shroud. Positioned above the Ultra Gaming, is the Aorus Z370 Gaming 5. This board features a stronger CPU VRM, three M.2 slots as opposed to two on the Ultra Gaming, a higher grade onboard audio with a high-grade OPAMP, more USB 3.1 ports, 802.11 ac + Bluetooth WLAN; and a full-length I/O shroud. Leading the pack (for now) is the Aorus Z370 Gaming 7. Positioned further above the Gaming 5, this board features the highest-grade onboard audio solution from GIGABYTE, with an ESS Sabre AMP; M.2 SSD heatsinks, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces (Intel + Killer), and reinforcement braces around even more slots. These boards are expected to launch on the 5th of October, 2017.

Source: VideoCardz

Intel Intros Core i9-7920X HEDT Processor

Intel today announced availability of its Core i9-7920X high-end desktop (HEDT) processor in the LGA2066 package, designed for motherboards based on the Intel X299 Express chipset. The chip is priced at USD $1,199 in the retail market, a $200 premium over its previous flagship part, the i9-7900X. The new i9-7920X is a 12-core/24-thread processor based on 14 nm "Skylake-X" silicon, and has a rated TDP of 140W.

The Core i9-7920X features a nominal clock speed of 2.90 GHz, with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 4.30 GHz, and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency of 4.40 GHz. It features 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 16.50 MB of shared L3 cache. The chip features the full 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex available on the silicon, and its quad-channel DDR4 integrated memory interface, supporting up to 128 GB of memory.
Friday, September 8th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
SSD

AMD To Change Suppliers for Vega 20 GPUs on 7nm, HBM2 Packaging for Vega 11

AMD's RX Vega supply has seen exceedingly limited quantities available since launch. This has been due to a number of reasons, though the two foremost that have been reported are: increased demand from cryptocurrency miners, who are looking towards maximizing their single node hashrate density through Vega's promising mining capabilities; and yield issues with AMD's Vega 10 HBM2 packaging partner, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE). It's expected that chip yield for Vega 10 is also lower per se, due to it having a 484 mm² die, which is more prone to defects than a smaller one, thus reducing the amount of fully-enabled GPUs.

AMD's production partner, GlobalFoundries, has historically been at the center of considerations on AMD's yield problems. That GlobalFoundries is seemingly doing a good job with Ryzen may not be much to say: those chips have incredibly small die sizes (192 mm²) for their number of cores. It seems that Global Foundries only hits problems with increased die sizes and complexity (which is, unfortunately for AMD, where it matters most).

Western Digital Looking Towards Apple for Additional Funds in Toshiba Bid

The partial spin-off of Toshiba's memory production business, which should see the company shed around 20% of its memory business production stake, still has a lot of water to run under the bridge. Reports said that Toshiba would be suing Western Digital, which Toshiba said tried to continuously interfere with the bidding process, it seems that Western Digital isn't looking to back down any time soon. Reuters is reporting that Western digital is now looking to Apple to bolster its bidding position by another 50 billion Yen (around $464 million) to increase the likelihood of acceptance.

Granted, that is somewhat of a fraction of Western Digital's $17 to $18 billion bid for the chip business, but any increased amount of investment is likely to only sway the decision towards WD, who has a joint venture with Toshiba towards furthering memory semiconductor technology. Even though Toshiba has already elected a preferred bidder, nothing is closed as of yet. That Western Digital is looking towards Apple is slightly surprising, but begins to look less so the more you think about it: Apple is one of the foremost buyers of memory semiconductors in the industry; pricing for both flash and DDR memory has seen price hikes in the past due to increased production of iPhones, after all. It's in Apple's best interests to have an amenable partner in the memory production business, which is why an Apple aid for Western Digital might turn out advantageous for the company. Toshiba executives, fearing that WD might be angling to eventually take over the chip business (which isn't unreasonable), are demanding that the U.S. company promise to limit the size of its stake in the company. Toshiba's board is now aiming to reach a final agreement with the consortium by Sept. 13.

Source: Reuters

Raptr Shutting Down this Month

Remember Raptr? It was a downloadable client for Windows, touted as a social-networking application for gamers, and supported communication via Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Xfire while also tracking gameplay across Steam, XBOX Live and PlayStation Network accounts. It was a dinosaur that no one used even a few years ago, and only really got some traction among PC gaming enthusiasts when AMD bundled it as part of their "Gaming Evolved" application to offer their user base a screen capture and game optimization tool similar to what NVIDIA was doing with their (then new) GeForce Experience application.

Just about every service now offers what Raptr used to and, aside from being able to track gameplay across multiple services, often better too. No one seemed to really use it, or even like it I dare say, even when they offered points for simply gaming that could then be used on a rewards store. When AMD dropped support for Raptr in Q4 2016, and then launched their own Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition drivers for gameplay capture, it was probably the final nail in the coffin. To no surprise then, this week Raptr, Inc. announced that the service is completing shutting down at the end of this month. Farewell and adieu to you, Raptr, we shalt not miss thee!

Source: Raptr

Philips Outs the 27" 276E8FJAB QHD Monitor With Ultra-Wide Color

Philips has announced a new 27", QHD (2560 x 1440) monitor to their lineup, the 276E8FJAB, which boasts of a 60 Hz, 4 ms IPS panel with the company's Ultra-Wide Color feature which should improve the available color spectrum (Philips are quoting 114% NTSC and 132% sRGB color coverage) for eye-popping colors and graphics. The usual 178º viewing angles of an IPS panel make their appearance here, as do some ultra thin bezels which should improve user experience.

The display comes with other Philips technologies including Flicker-free technology, SmartContrast and SmartImage Lite. Flicker-free is pretty self explanatory, regulating brightness differences between scenes and reducing flicker to relieve eye fatigue and provide more comfortable viewing. SmartContrast detects the content on the display and automatically adjusts colors and backlight intensity to dynamically enhance contrast, while SmartImage Lite "analyzes the content of the screen and dynamically enhances the contrast, color saturation and sharpness for improved display performance". These technologies are a bit hit or miss, though; usually they do little to enhance image quality, and sometimes even hold back the image reproduction quality while introducing increased lag. Connectivity-wise, the Philips 276E8FJAB features 1x VGA, 1xDisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 1.4, 1x Audio in and 1x Audio out. The Philips 276E8FJAB is now available for $349.99 (MSRP).

Sources: Philips website, via ETeknix

Silicon Power Releases DDR4 UDIMM With Heatsink Jacket

Silicon Power releases its DDR 4 UDIMM memory module with a newly designed heatsink jacket. The memory module DDR4 Unbuffered DIMM is compatible with the Intel Haswell-E platform and X99 series motherboards as well as with the Intel Skylake platform and 100 series motherboards. It is made for gamers and multimedia professionals who rely on fast data transfer rates that ensure smooth gaming or work sessions with 17GB/s of bandwidth.

The new heatsink element provides effective cooling for a reliably running system while adding fierce design to top off the user experience. The DDR4 UDIMM is made of selected original memory modules and is 100% factory-tested to guarantee high stability, durability, and compatibility. Backed by lifetime warranty, it comes with complete service and technical support.

G.SKILL Announces New DDR4-4600 MHz Extreme Performance Trident Z Memory Kit

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is excited to announce a new extreme speed DDR4 memory kits at DDR4-4600MHz CL19! Built with hand-selected, high-quality Samsung B-die IC components, this new addition to the flagship Trident Z series will be available in two color variations: silver aluminum body with white accent bar and black aluminum body with black accent bar.

Intel Readies Higher Z390 Chipset for 2018 Launch

It turns out that Z370 Express won't be the highest-end desktop motherboard chipset for Intel's 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream-desktop processors, with the company planning a higher Z390 Express chipset for the second half of 2018, according to a leaked company roadmap on 300-series chipset roll-out. Intel is launching its first Core "Coffee Lake" processors this October, along with the Z370 Express chipset. The mid-range B360 Express, H370 Express; and entry-level H310 Express chipsets could launch in Q1-2018, which is also the time when Intel launches the Q370 and Q360 chipsets for corporate desktops.

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Desktop Processors Launch Date Revealed

Intel could launch the first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processors in the retail channel, on the 5th of October, 2017. It's also becoming ominous that with increasing core counts across the lineup, Intel is also raising prices by anywhere between 12.5 to 25 percent. For example, the Core i7-8700K, which logically succeeds the $339 Core i7-7700K, could be priced upwards of $400. The i5-8600K, which succeeds the $249 i5-7600K, could be priced a little over $300. One can expect similar price-hikes across the board for other Core i5 six-core and Core i3 quad-core SKUs.

The first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processor launches could be limited to certain overclocker-specific Core i7 and Core i5 SKUs. It is also launching just one compatible motherboard chipset option with this first wave, the Z370 Express, which supports CPU overclocking. Among the SKUs to look out for, are the top-dog Core i7-8700K six-core processor with HyperThreading enabling 12 threads, 12 MB of L3 cache; and the Core i5-8600K, which is also a six-core part but lacks HyperThreading, and comes with 9 MB of L3 cache.

Source: io-Tech.fi

ASRock Announces X299 OC Formula Motherboard

Unlike other motherboards that are designed by engineers who don't have adequate experience in extreme overclocking or have never participated in an OC event, X299 OC Formula is the only motherboard in the market that is designed by a genuine overclocker, Nick Shih, who is hands down one of the most talented overclockers alive. ASRock is confident to say that X299 OC Formula is ideally focused on overclocking exclusively, without any other useless features, designs or gimmicks.

Take full control of your system. Hardware components are incredibly the most important. There're plenty of attractive sweeteners to make the newborn X299 OC Formula a more enticing upgrade. A rock-solid CPU VRM design which boasts a whopping 13 power phase to offer unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature. An additional 2 power phase that ensure memory area's stability. Dr. MOS solution that is optimized for monitoring current and temperature of each phase, thus delivering neater and smoother power to the system. An integrated Hyper BCLK Engine III controller that provides a wider range of frequency and more precise clock waveforms. XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink/Heatpipe design that effectively take away heat from the MOSFET, thus allowing this mainboard to support up to 450W CPU with airflow condition.
Thursday, September 7th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD

Bloody B820R Light Strike Keyboard

The Bloody B820R is a sub-$100 keyboard featuring their LK2 Blue and Red optical switches. The keyboard also gets a brushed aluminum top cover, doubleshot injected legends, multiple RGB animations, and backlighting effects to choose from with or without software driver control, and dust and spill resistance round off a good feature set.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.1 Drivers

AMD has been on a roll when it comes to consistent driver updates, be it beta or WHQL certified, and with the ninth month of the year comes the release of their Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.1 drivers. Given that the last beta driver brought with it game support already, this is more of the usual with bug fixes recognized from last time but also note this has a few bugs of its own discovered during the process. One of the more noteworthy bugs that were fixed with this update is the unresponsiveness of an RX Vega-driven system when woken up from sleep and then playing back videos, which was noted by multiple end users only recently, so it was a quick fix on AMD's part and credit must be given there. Grab the drivers from the download link below, and read on for the full change log.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.9.1 Drivers

BIOSTAR Announces the H110M-BTC Micro-ATX Motherboard for Mining Builds

BIOSTAR releases the H110M-BTC, the first Intel H110 chipset micro ATX motherboard dedicated for crypto mining systems; a great choice for newbies. Even with a compact design, the engineers at BIOSTAR have managed to squeeze 6 x PCI-E native support (1 x PCI-E x16 3.0, 5 x PCI-E x1 2.0) onto the H110M-BTC, while most motherboards normally provide up to 3-4 PCI-E slots. The H110M-BTC also supports all the essentials in optimizing your mining rig: 7th generation Intel Core processors, 2-DIMM DDR4-2400/ 2133/ 1866 up to 32 GB, HDMI and USB 3.0.

The BIOSTAR H110M-BTC is built from the ground up for mining, be eliminating features that are not enhanced for mining performance. It focuses on providing a high return on investment in making sure there is native support for up to 6 X PCI-E. The 4-pin 12V AUX power connector ensures enough power to keep up to 6 graphics card running stable. And it has 100% solid capacitors making the motherboard extremely durable. The monitor output supports HDMI KVM for easy management of multi-mining setups or D-Sub KVM for more conventional multi-monitor setups. All these power packed features on a micro ATX design, makes this a great choice for compact mining rigs.

MSI Z370 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of MSI's flagship socket LGA1151(v2) motherboard for 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors, the Z370 GODLIKE Gaming. The board features the latest design theme by MSI for its top-tier Enthusiast Gaming series. It will be the company's most feature-rich motherboard for the platform. Drawing power from a 6-pin PCIe power connector, besides 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX; the board conditions it using an 18-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to reinforced DRAM and PCI-Express slots.

The Z370 GODLIKE Gaming from MSI appears to feature a plethora of onboard overclocking controls, and top-grade connectivity, which could include Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, a staggering five M.2 slots (two of which come from a riser), the company's highest-grade next-generation onboard audio solution, a large number of USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, metallic I/O shroud elements, besides the chipset and VRM heatsinks. The board lights up like a Christmas tree with RGB LEDs all over, and features several RGB LED headers. The Z370 GODLIKE Gaming could be among the first wave of socket LGA1151(v2) motherboards by the company, which could launch a littler later in Q3-2017.

Source: VideoCardz

GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX Socket TR4 Motherboard Pictured

It looks like the Aorus X399 Gaming 7 won't be the only socket TR4 motherboard GIGABYTE has in store for those looking to build Ryzen Threadripper high-end desktops. The first picture of its flagship motherboard for this platform, the X399 Designare EX surfaced thanks to VideoCardz. This board is based on the same exact PCB as the Aorus X399 Gaming 7, including its black PCB color uncharacteristic of the Designare moniker in recent times.

All that's changed is that GIGABYTE swapped out the black colored heatsinks over the chipset and VRM for silver colored ones, and the I/O shroud running the length of the motherboard now comes in silver, and now includes a detachable integrated I/O shield; as well as the M.2 SSD heatsinks. Aorus branding around the board has been swapped for Designare branding. The rest of the board appears to be identical overall. Something still tells us that GIGABYTE could ask a small premium for this board over the Aorus X399 Gaming 7, for its exclusivity and better suitability for white-themed builds.

Source: VideoCardz

On The Story of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Product Development

In a Forbes interview conducted by Anthony Leather, AMD officials Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Marketing John Taylor, Sarah Youngbauer of AMD's communications team, and James Prior, AMD's Senior Product Manager, have shed some light on the development process for AMD's equivalent of a flash hit - their HEDT, HCC Threadripper chips. Threadripper, which leverages AMD's Zen architecture used in their Ryzen and EPYC processors, makes use of an MCM design with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, with AMD's svelte Zen, 8-core base units linked through the company's high speed interconnect Infinity Fabric.

This has allowed the company to scale designs from four core processors with Ryzen 3, all the way towards the current cream of the crop Threadripper 1950X. It's an extremely scalable design, which brings with it improved yields and some pretty significant cost savings for AMD due to smaller dies. This, in turn, means the company is able to more agressively price their Ryzen and Threadripper processors compared to the competition, at least when it comes to high core and thread counts for the same price bracket - and the success of that business decision is showing.

For our forum lurkers, this article is marked as an editorial.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0 Released

TechPowerUp today posted a quick update to GPU-Z in the wake of some controversy surrounding the reported shader counts of some Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics cards by version 2.3.0, which we released earlier this week. The new TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0 comprehensively updates stream processor count detection of AMD Radeon RX Vega series graphics cards, which means the stream processor and TMU counts of the RX Vega 56 graphics cards, including those that have been flashed with RX Vega 64 video BIOS, should be correctly displayed. In addition, v2.4.0 corrects OpenCL detection on Radeon graphics cards running on certain older drivers.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.4.0

The change-log follows.

Raijintek Intros the Coeus EVO Chassis

Raijintek today introduced the Coeus EVO mid-tower chassis. Characterized by 4 mm-thick clear tempered glass panels along both its sides, the front, and top panels; this case features a cyberpunk design with SECC steel making up the main frame and motherboard tray, along which the glass panels are bolted on. Internally, the case features a conventional horizontal dual-compartment layout, with the larger top compartment holding the motherboard tray, and the enclosed bottom one holding the PSU and a few drive bays.

The Coeus EVO offers room for graphics cards as long as 350 mm, CPU coolers as tall as 175 mm, and PSUs as long as 200 mm. Storage options include four 3.5-inch and two 2.5-inch drive bays. Its fan mounts include either three 120 mm or two 140 mm front intakes; two 140/120 mm top exhausts; and a 120 mm rear exhaust. You can mount 360 mm x 120 mm or 280 mm x 140 mm radiators along the front, and 240 mm x 120 mm radiators along the top. Front panel connectivity includes one USB 3.0/3.1 type-C port, two USB 3.0/3.1 type-A ports, and HDA audio jacks. Measuring 235 mm x 444 mm x 544 mm (WxDxH), the case weighs about 12.2 kg. The company didn't reveal pricing.

PSA: Flashing RX Vega 56 with RX Vega 64 BIOS Does Not Unlock Shaders

When TechPowerUp released GPU-Z v2.3.0 earlier this week, AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 users who had flashed their graphics cards with the video BIOS of the higher RX Vega 64, discovered that their stream processor count had shot up from 3,584 to higher counts under 4,096. Some of these users felt it more or less explained the performance jump experienced after the BIOS flash. Some users even saw wrong stream processor-counts of their untouched RX Vega 56 reference-design cards. TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.3.0 incorrectly reports the stream processor count of flashed RX Vega 56 graphics cards, and some RX Vega 56 graphics cards out of the box; due to some under-the-hood bug in the way it reads the registers of AMD's new GPUs. We are working on an update to GPU-Z, which will fix this bug.

As we explained in our older article, flashing your RX Vega 56 with the BIOS of RX Vega 64 does not unlock stream processors, and the performance jump can be explained with the increased clock speeds. RX Vega 64 BIOS runs your RX Vega 56 reference-design graphics card at the higher reference clock speeds of 1247 MHz core, 1546 MHz boost, and 945 MHz memory; compared to the 1156/1471/800 MHz reference clocks of the RX Vega 56. This significant increase in clock speed is sufficient to explain the increased performance. Since the TMU count is tied to the number of GCN compute units visible to GPU-Z, the TMU count of certain RX Vega 56 cards is being incorrectly displayed. The upcoming update of GPU-Z addresses this as well.

ASUS Intros ROG Horus GK2000 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

ASUS today rolled out the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Horus GK2000 RGB mechanical gaming keyboard. A revision of the Horus GK2000 the company launched back in early-2016 with red LED lighting, the Horus GK2000 RGB, as its name suggests, updates the original with RGB LED lighting. The lighting can be controlled by ASUS Aura Sync RGB software, with which you can set color, brightness, and lighting patterns for each individual key. The keyboard features Cherry MX RGB series switches, with 16.8 million-color RGB diodes. ASUS bumped up the keyboard's onboard storage to 8 MB, to locally store not just your macros, but also your lighting settings. Available now, the ASUS ROG Horus GK2000 RGB is expected to be priced at USD $199.

Do Inflated AMD Radeon GPU Prices Have an Official Sanction?

Over the past couple of months, inflation in AMD Radeon GPU prices, in part fueled by silicon shortages, and in part by non-gamers (read: crypto-currency miners) buying up graphics cards, have impacted the AMD Radeon brand in the eyes of its target audience - PC gamers and graphics professionals. It was initially believed that market forces are driving the inflation, and that AMD had little to do with the price inflation. We then uncovered a clue that not just end-users, but even retailers are being sold AMD Radeon graphics cards at prices way above AMD's launch SEP. A Tweet by an official AMD Twitter handle shows that inflated AMD Radeon graphics card prices has the company's official sanction.

"@AMDGaming," a verified Twitter handle held by AMD, which promotes the company's products targeted at gamers, such as AMD Radeon graphics cards, and Ryzen processors; posted a promotion in which an XFX branded Radeon RX 570 graphics card, which is being sold at USD $279, including a free coupon for a "Quake Champions" pack free, was made to appear as if at its price, it's a great deal. The RX 570 was launched at USD $169 for the 4 GB variant, and $199 for the 8 GB variant. The XFX Radeon RX 570 4 GB RS (the card being marketed in the Tweet) was launched at $179. The Tweet was met with angry reactions for how blatantly AMD was marketing price-inflated Radeon graphics cards, without actually doing something about taming the prices.

ZOTAC Announces its ZBOX M-series and P-series Mini PCs

ZOTAC International, a Hong Kong based and a global manufacturer of innovation, today announced two groundbreaking releases from the acclaimed ZBOX M series and P series Mini PCs. More customized to contemporary users' needs, yet equipped with future fast technologies. The ZBOX MI553 has a refreshing all-new minimal and elegant design with future fast technologies permeating all of the Mini PC, while the ZBOX PI225 tops world rankings in being the smallest and thinnest Mini PC ever.

"Both ZBOX MI553 and PI225 inherit the defining features of their predecessors, and perhaps employ the most ambitious designs and features yet in a Mini PC. We want to make sure users can enjoy a simple and fast computing experience," said Chinny Chuang, ZOTAC Global Director of Marketing. Future Fast - The all-new ZBOX MI553 introduces the largest surface-area of ventilation ever that with future fast technologies that brings speeding performance to the forefront. It features a 7th Gen Intel Core processor based on the Kaby Lake architecture, a revolutionary Optane Memory technology, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen2, and the fast lanes to support a NVMe M.2 SSD. Professionally dressed for the office and casually comfortable for the home, the all new ZBOX MI553 is the multi-functional do it all Mini PC.
Wednesday, September 6th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD

MSI Announces Availability of X370 GAMING M7 ACK Motherboard

MSI is proud to announce the on-shelf availability of its latest high-end AM4 motherboard - the X370 GAMING M7 ACK. To satisfy even the most demanding gamers who are looking for the best performance and style, the new AM4 Enthusiast GAMING flagship, X370 GAMING M7 ACK, is in stores now and ready to cater to any type of gamer, PC enthusiast, or case modder. The X370 GAMING M7 ACK is also world's first AM4 motherboard to feature Killer DoubleShot PRO, combining Killer Ethernet with Killer WIFI AC.

The X370 GAMING M7 ACK is a prime example of why MSI leads the gaming industry in both innovation and performance. Gamers know and trust MSI because MSI always delivers the hardware they need to stay on top of their games. Providing the best networking experience is critical and by including the Killer Ethernet E2500 and Killer Wireless 1535 on the X370 GAMING M7 ACK motherboard, MSI ensures that their customers will have the best possible online gaming experience.

Enermax Announces MaxTytan 750W and MaxTytan 800W PSUs

ENERMAX announces its new flagship lineup with 80 PLUS Titanium certification. As ENERMAX's 1ST Titanium-rated lineup, MaxTytan 750W and 800W embody ENERMAX's philosophy of "Power, Innovation and Design"; both models are not only equipped with the proven DFR self-cleaning function, but also incorporate D.F. switch, the push button design for users to activate DFR self-cleaning function anytime during operation. Moreover, this full modular series is engineered with fanless mode before 55% of system load (at 25°C ambient), which provides quieter cooling performance. Last but not least, MaxTytan comes with SLEEMAX, premium sleeved cables made with carefully selected fabric to achieve a smooth and soft texture.

ENERMAX DFR Tech. is designed to make the PSU fan spin in reverse to reduce accumulated dust. By simply pressing the D.F. switch, users can activate self-cleaning DFR Technology anytime during operation, even in the fanless mode. MaxTytan 750W and 800W can deliver over 94% extreme efficiency (@ 50% load), compliant with 80 PLUS Titanium efficiency requirement. The smart semi-fanless control ensures absolute silent performance with 0 dBA before 55% system load (at 25°C ambient). Once surpassing the pre-defined limit or with the raise of interior temperature, the fan starts to spin and the fan RPM is automatically regulated according to the system load/ temperature.

ASRock Intel Z370 Chipset Motherboards Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of upcoming motherboards by ASRock based on Intel Z370 Express chipset, which are designed for 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors. Among the boards pictured, are the Z370 Killer SLI/ac, the Z370 Extreme4, the Z370 Pro4, the Z370 Taichi, the Z370M Pro4, and the Z370M-ITX/ac.

The Z370 Taichi appears to be leading the pack, with the most connectivity options, the strongest CPU VRM, etc. The Z370 Extreme4 is similar in connectivity options to the Z370 Taichi, although it's based on a different PCB. The Z370 Killer SLI/ac and Z370 Pro4 make up the entry-level of the segment. The Z370M Pro4 and the Z370M-ITX/ac, make up the micro-ATX and mini-ITX options, respectively. There still seems to be room for higher segment motherboard in ASRock's lineup. Intel is expected to launch the 8th generation Core processor desktop lineup a little later in Q3-2017.

[Pictures removed at request of ASRock]Source: VideoCardz

Logitech Introduces the MX ERGO - Wireless Trackball Tech on Your Fingertips

Logitech, a well-known company for its peripheral leadership, has brought us a blast from the blast in introducing its MX ERGO trackball-based mice. For some, this likely means absolutely nothing at all; but for others, it's likely a time to reminisce. The MX ERGO brings back the analog wonders of ages past, with revisited ergonomics (the attack angle can be adjusted between 0º and 20º) and precision for the masses - with the added convenience of wireless tech. There's a rechargeable 500 mAH Li-Po battery with up to 4 months duration.

There are some quality of life improvements like sensitivity shortcuts embedded for on-the-fly adjustment (320-440 dpi), a scroll will with tilt support, and a multi-computer workflow ability. This is done through the MX ERGO's Easy-Switch feature, which allows users to connect and work on two devices in parallel for dual connectivity. This feature can be used with either the Logitech 2.4GHz unifying dongle or Bluetooth. The MX ERGO is available immediately for $99.

Sources: Logitech, via ETeknix

Intel Discontinues Production of Skylake CPUs

Intel's Skylake architecture, which christened the 6000 series of CPUs, has had its time in the sun, there's no denying that. However, as has been the case with Intel, who usually don't keep more than two architectures in the market at any given time, the Skylake series of processors have seen the end of their days. This is the announced death of an architecture that was competent in offering a token improvement for Intel's Core performance. Yet despite that, it certainly didn't set the world on fire with anticipation and acclaim. It was a sound business decision for Intel, however, allowing the company to maximize profits and capitalizing on a virtually outclassed competitor, which offered, at the time, the ill-spoken Bulldozer architecture and derivatives.

This comes mere months before Intel ships out their 8000 series CPUs on the Coffee Lake microarchitecture. This one is the most interesting from the blue giant in years, seeing a core count democratization towards the masses and the virtual elimination of dual-core CPUs, which have been overstaying their welcome for some time now. Expect decreasing availability in the following moths as retailers work through their available inventories. According to Intel, Skylake processors can be ordered until March 2018, with deliveries finalizing by September 2018. This applies particularly to the (arguably) most interesting models in the lineup, in the form of the Core i7-6700K, Core i5-6600K, and the Core i5-6402P and Core i3-6098P models which shipped with less powerful HD510 iGPUs. I say arguably, because for this editor, an i5-6400 which was overclockable through BIOS settings was the price-performance champion of this generation.

Sources: Computerbase, via OCAholic

Phanteks Intros Free Socket TR4 Bracket for PH-TC14PE Cooler

Phanteks, the award-winning thermal cooling and chassis manufacturer today announces free TR4 upgrade kits to thier customers. Owners of Phanteks' best performing CPU Cooler, PH-TC14PE, can now receive a free upgrade kit from Phanteks for the new AMD TRD socket.

Starting September 6th, 2017, customers that have the PH-TC14PE CPU coolers can contact our service team to receive their free upgrade kit. To receive the TR4 upgrade kit, customers will need to provide a copy of the purchase invoice of the PH-TC14PE and AMD TR4 motherboard or AMD TR4 processor and email to our customer support team.

Phanteks Announces Glacier C399a Water Block for Ryzen Threadripper

With the release of AMD's newest flagship CPU, the X399 Threadripper, Phanteks is excited to introduce the Glacier Series C399a. The full CPU waterblock from Phanteks are designed to work seamlessly with AMD's new X399 Threadripper which allows serious overclocking and extreme performance.

Made from premium materials according to the finest standards of craftsmanship from Phanteks, the C399a water block delivers extreme cooling and improve stability under high overclocks for the enthusiasts. The C399a is custom designed for the AMD TR4 socket VITON sealing from the Automotive and Aerospace Industries ensure the best reliability and longevity.

Intel's €1.06 billion EU Antitrust Fine to be Reviewed Back in the General Court

You may remember the EU's historical May 13th 2009 decision to slap Intel with a €1.06 billion fine for antitrust practices. Well eight years later, that odyssey isn't over just yet. The ECj (European Court of Justice), the European Union's supreme court, ruled today for a retrial of Intel's appeal against the €1.06 billion antitrust fine. The argument: the European Commission's accusations and Intel's counter-arguments weren't "delved enough" so as to arrive at the fine's decision. Specifically, the ECJ states that "The General Court was required to examine all of Intel's arguments … which the General Court failed to do (...)".

This decision pretty much guarantees more years of respite for Intel towards payment of the imposed fine, originally levied upon the company in 2009. It also shakes the European justice system's credibility, in the sense that a historical fine decision, which should be the EU's poster-case for antitrust violations and a free, just market, were based on incomplete information and ignorant of some of the counter-arguments raised by the blue giant. Specifically, the title of the ECj's press-release states that "The case is referred back to the General Court in order for it to examine the arguments put forward by Intel concerning the capacity of the rebates at issue to restrict competition."

ADATA Releases the IMSS314 Industrial-Grade mSATA Solid State Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of highperformance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products,today launched the industrial-grade IMSS314 3D NAND SSD. Available in 3D MLC (32GB/64GB) and 3D TLC (128GB/256GB/512GB), the new model uses the compact mSATA form factor and SATA 6Gps connectivity. It has been purpose-designed for onsite deployment with industrial, enterprise, and organizational users. It offers speeds up to 500MB/s read and 400MB/s write, and can easily tolerate a wide temperature range, extreme shocks, vibration, and humidity. The IMSS314 delivers highly reliable and durable embedded storage for applications where speed and responsiveness are important. The availability of more affordable 3D TLC versions caters to users that prioritize large capacities, and stays true to the ADATA pledge of providing more options.
Tuesday, September 5th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Notebooks
SSD

ASRock X299 Gaming i9

Like any other platform, ASRock has given Intel's X299 the Fatal1ty treatment, in the form of the X299 Gaming i9. This isn't a value-oriented board product; this one comes straight out of ASRock's Professional Series and has a much higher price tag than the Taichi we looked at earlier.

Intel Skylake-X HCC CPU Delidded by Der8auer, also not Soldered

Overclocking poster-boy Der8auer has seemingly gotten his hands on some early samples of Intel's Skylake-X high core count (HCC)HEDT CPUs. The upcoming 12 to 18-core enthusiast-class CPUs are being launched on the same X299 platform on socket LGA 2066 that Intel has already launched 4 (Kaby Lake-X), 6, 8 and 10-core parts already, and are supposed to bring Intel towards a level playing field - and then some - with competitor AMD's Threadripper CPUs, which boast of up to 16 cores.

From this delidding process with Der8auer's own delidding tool, Delid-Die-Mate-X, seems to result a die that is much larger - as expected - than Intel's 10-core i9-7900X. At the same time, it seems that Intel is still opting, again, for not soldering its enthusiast-targeted CPUs, which would result in better temperatures and, potentially, overclocking potential. The fact that Der8auer managed to delid the i9-7920X and didn't recommend against doing it likely means that there is minimal risk of damaging your CPU while subjecting it to this process. This is something the renowned overclocker did do when he recommended that users shouldn't delid their Ryzen or Threadripper CPUs looking for better temperatures, since the fact that these were soldered would likely result in both catastrophic damage and a much diminished chance of operating temperatures improvement through the application of special purpose thermal compounds. The Facebook post from Der8auer with the delidded 7920X likely serves as an appetizer for an upcoming delid video on YouTube, as has been the overclocker's MO.

Sources: Der8auer's Facebook, via Overclock 3D

TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.3.0 Released

TechPowerUp today released the latest version of GPU-Z, the graphics subsystem information, diagnostic, and monitoring utility PC enthusiasts swear by. Version 2.3.0 adds support for new GPUs, and comes with several under the hood improvements. To begin with, GPU-Z 2.3.0 adds official support for AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56; Radeon Pro WX 7100 and WX 3100; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Mobile, GeForce MX150, and Quadro M2200. We've added a new VRM efficiency monitoring feature, and VDDC/VDDCI power readings for AMD "Polaris" based graphics cards. Also addressed are bugs with GPU and memory activity monitoring on Radeon RX 500 series; missing or incorrect information on AMD graphics cards running on 17.7.2 drivers; and a rare crash on machines with AMD CrossFire configurations.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z v2.3.0

The change-log follows.

Be Quiet! Announces Dark Base Pro 900 White Edition

Be Quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for eleven consecutive years, announces a white edition of its highly acclaimed Dark Base Pro 900 premium PC case. Limited to 2,000 pieces, Dark Base Pro 900 White Edition is the perfect choice for demanding enthusiasts wanting to exceptionally enhance the look of their next PC build.

As the name suggests, Dark Base Pro 900 White Edition is coated in striking white color. be quiet!'s designers focused on matching the white tones of different surface materials to achieve the case's aesthetically pleasing and consistent look. To meet the new color theme, the side panel window's tint was changed from soft brown to a light grey. Each Dark Base Pro 900 White Edition is one of a kind and comes with a numbered aluminum badge, reflecting its limited availability worldwide and making it highly sought-after amongst PC enthusiasts.

Club 3D Announces the SenseVision USB 3.0 Dual Display 4K 60 Hz Docking Station

Back at the end of June, Club 3D already announced the next generation of video splitters that are capable of supporting Dual Monitor @ 4K60Hz. Today we are proud to announce our first docking station which supports as well Dual Monitor @ 4K60Hz. And that is not everything. The new model - CSV-1460 - comes with a lot of ports and is a fully hybrid docking station. This means you can either use it with the USB Type-A cable that is delivered, or if you already have one of those ingenious thin Ultrabooks or Notebooks with Type-C Ports, you just choose the Type C cable out of the box.

Former generation USB docking stations based on USB 3.0 or 3.1 suffered from a limitation of 30Hz if you were aiming at using the highest resolutions like 3840 x 2160 (4K). The latest developments from DisplayLink make it possible now that with CSV-1460 the resolutions can be taken to a new level. Not only one time 4K60Hz is possible, the docking station even offers Dual Monitor functionality and each of the ouptuts supports 4K60Hz. The only requirement is to have a free USB Type A 3.1 Gen 1 socket in your device. This new SenseVision product is powered by DisplayLink 6950 SoC.

Apacer Announces AC532 USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

Apacer launches the brand-new AC532, a classic portable hard drive combining a slim shape with great protection design, making it a high price-performance choice in portable hard drives. AC532 is equipped with an anti vibration internal suspension structure, which endures drops from 1-meter height. The anti-slip design on two sides makes AC532 easy to hold and carry, efficiently reducing damage from dropping, falling, bumping, and other shocks to ensure the safety of data. Also, AC532 adopts a USB 3.1 Gen 1 super speed transmission interface which greatly decreases the transmission time, and its capacity is up to 2TB, making your mobile life full of freedom and efficiency.

AC532 is equipped with triple safety protections: anti vibration internal suspension structure, 1-meter shockproof and anti-slip design on two sides. With comprehensive protections, AC532 considerately guards the precious data for users. The advanced anti vibration internal suspension structure forms a buffer for external forces of the hard drive, and reduces the impact from accidental drop or movement when accessing data. Besides, AC532 has passed the 1-meter drop test, showing that it is resistant to falls of 1-meter height without losing data. These solid protections make AC532 an excellent choice for portable storage.

EK Further Expands Its Fluid Gaming Portfolio

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

Intel Readies "Coffee Lake" Based Skull Canyon NUCs

Intel is preparing to expand its Skull Canyon line of high-performance NUC compact desktops, with new models based on its upcoming "Coffee Lake-U" silicon. The company is preparing variants based on 28W TDP Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 ultra-low power processors, and 300-series chipset. The Core i3 based parts offer 4-core/4-thread CPU configuration, while the Core i5 and Core i7 ones offer 4-core/8-thread configurations. One of these could even feature a large onboard graphics core cushioned by on-package eDRAM L4 cache. The three "Coffee Lake-U" based NUCs could be released in Q2-2018, which is quite a wait.

Source: FanlessTech

GeIL Announces Super Luce RGB Sync DDR4 Memory

Golden Emperor International Ltd. - one of the world's leading PC components & peripheral manufacturers announced SUPER LUCE RGB SYNC Series Gaming Memory featuring RGB LED illumination. Inheriting the stylish design from the previous generation, SUPER LUCE RGB SYNC Series Gaming Memory upgrades the LED lighting effect from single color LED to RGB LED, providing the fanciest lighting effect for gamers looking for RGB memory products without cable management. Heat spreaders are available in black and white color themes to match different gaming PC build preferences.

With the demand for RGB illuminated PC components rapidly growing, not only hardcore gamers but also mainstream users are looking for fancy RGB gaming memory. Perfectly supporting ASUS AURA lighting control app, SUPER LUCE RGB SYNC allows users to enjoy the seamless synchronization of RGB lighting effects from the motherboard, graphics card, light strips, and memory kits. The cable-less design is a great plus to simplify the cable management.
Monday, September 4th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Notebooks
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Swiftech Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" CPU Water Block

The Swiftech Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" is a flagship CPU water block featuring hundreds of customization options, built-in addressable RGB lighting with a dedicated controller, and industry-new 125 micron thick fins. It is aimed at modders and enthusiasts alike and has the performance to back it up.

Philips Announces the 328P8K 8K UHD Monitor With HDR 400

Philips is now the second company to announce a mass-market 8K monitor with the 328P8K. It boasts of a 31.5" IPS panel with a mind-boggling 7680 x 4320 resolution, and delivers on the professional space with 100% AdobeRGB/SRGB color space support. Since availability of these panels is still scarce, this is likely the same panel that Dell is using on their own 8K UltraSharp UP3218K monitor.

Philips is boasting of something they are calling HDR 400 support in this monitor, due to its brightness being set at 400 nits. This would be enough for AMD's baseline luminance requirements for FreeSync 2 HDR, but stands a far cry behind the HDR10 standard with its 1,000 nit peak brightness target (not to speak about Dolby Vision's 4,000 peak brightness target). Contrast ratio should stand at 1300:1, with a 60 Hz refresh ratio. Connectors-wise, the new Philips 328P8K 8K UHD Monitor boasts of 2x DisplayPort 1.3 (needed for display of the resolution, and in a bid to avoid using DP 1.4 with Display Stream Compression 1.2 and ensure a flawless and accurate image quality) and features a USB hub with USB type-A and type-C ports. Expect this panel to come in at a pretty penny, most likely in the same ballpark as Dell's offering, which now costs less than $4,000. Expect Philips' take on 8K to be available for purchase around Q1 2018.

Source: AnandTech

ASUS Announces Designo Curve MX38VC, MX32VQ Monitors

ASUS is introducing the MX38VC and the MX32VQ, IFA 2017 product design award-winning products for their sundial-inspired aesthetic on the Qi charger stand and edge-to-edge frameless panels.with similar Qi-charging capability. The product names don't truly showcase the disparity between features in both monitors, so we'll do a rundown on both of them. The Designo Curve MX38VC is a 37.5" ultrawide, QHD+ 3840 x 1600 display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. ASUS is boasting of its SonicMaster technology on this monitor, technology which was co-developed with Harman Kardon. Display inputs on this monitor include 2x HDMI, 1x USB Type-C, and 1x PC audio input port. The MX38VC can sync with a user's smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth to play music wirelessly as well. The Qi-charger base also doubles as moody ambient lighting; the Halo Lighting base can synchronize with the audio output on the monitor's speakers.

The Designo Curve MX32VQ, on the other hand, has a smaller 31.5" WQHD 2560 x 1440 monitor with a more traditional 16:9 aspect ratio. It includes the same Harman Kardon-imbued built-in speakers, the Halo lighting base and Bluetooth integration. Ports are the same as the MX38VC, sans the USB-C port. Both the MX38VC and MX32VQ also support exclusive feature such as ASUS GamePlus and Adaptive-Sync. The 31.5-inch MX32VQ should retail in Europe for €550, while the larger and wider MX38VC will set you back some much less reasonable €1600.

Source: ETeknix

ASUS Announces the 802.11ax-enabled RT-AX88U Wi-Fi Router

At IFA 2017, ASUS introduced a number of new products, from laptops to routers. One of the more interesting announcements made by the company was the RT-AX88U Wi-Fi router, which packs technology that is actually ahead of its time. The 802.11ax specification is expected to be finalized and publicly released only by 2019, but as with previous improvements to the 802.11 protocol, products supporting the standard are already hitting the shelves. remember that support for unfinished specifications is always subject to change, but if you're looking to purchase a new router and want to be as future-proof as possible, it doesn't get much better than this.

The next-generation RT-AX88U 802.11ax Wi-Fi supports unprecedented combined speeds of up to 5952 Mbps - 1148 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804 Mbps on the 5GHz band, with 4x4 MIMO in both bands. Only three companies - Quantenna, Qualcomm and Broadcom have 802.11ax-enabled silicon as of the end of August 2017; ASUS elected to use Broadcom's solutions. New technologies for the 802.11ax include OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, which should enable better spectral efficiency in convoluted network conditions) and MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO). Thanks to this, the 802.11ax technology provides 4x faster throughput than 802.11ac technology on connected devices in dense environments, while also increasing network capacity and efficiency. This means the ASUS RT-AX88U supports more simultaneous data transfers than 802.11ac MU-MIMO routers, allowing more devices to have faster network access at the same time without waiting for each other - perfect for homes with a growing number of smart, connected devices. RT-AX88U uses TWT technology to reduce unnecessary communications to 802.11ax devices, reducing power consumption and improving device battery life. Pricing wasn't announced at time of writing.

Sources: ETeknix, Network World, Computerbase.de

RX Vega Achieves 43 MH/s @ 130 W in Ethereum Mining

AMD's RX Vega is more along the lines of an original computing card that was moved over to the consumer segment for gaming workloads than the other way around. Raja Koduri himself has said something along those lines (extrapolating a little more than what he can actually say), and that much can be gleaned with at least a modicum of confidence through AMD's market positioning and overall computing push. In the argument between gamers and miners, Raja Koduri didn't have all that much to say, but for AMD, a sale is a sale, and it would seem that after some tweaking, RX Vega graphics cards can achieve much increased levels of mining efficiency than their Polaris counterparts, further showing how Vega handles compute workloads much better - and more efficiently - than traditional gaming ones.

Micron's Lexar Brand acquired by Longsys

Longsys, a world leader in consumer flash storage, today announced that it has acquired the Lexar trademark and branding rights from Micron Technology, Inc. The Lexar brand has long been recognized as a leading brand for high-performance, high-reliability removable storage solutions for a wide variety of applications, such as the professional photography market. This acquisition provides assurance to existing Lexar customers that the solutions and support they have come to expect from Lexar branded products will continue to be available. Additionally, the market reach and product breadth provided by Longsys promises to expand the Lexar customer experience into new market segments and geographies.

"We are very honored to acquire the Lexar brand," said Huabo Cai, CEO of Longsys Electronics Limited. "Lexar has built a great brand name and our vision is to make it even greater. Existing customers can rest assured that the innovative solutions and excellent support that they have experienced from Lexar will continue. The mission to make Lexar the go-to brand for high-performance removable storage continues, and we will expand upon it to offer even more compelling solutions as the age of wireless and big-data impact the consumer storage markets."

Leading German Retailer Sees AMD Ryzen Outsell Intel Core Processors

Processor sales numbers of leading German retailer Mindfactory.de show AMD Ryzen processors to be outselling Intel processors for the first time in over a decade. German and EU DIY PC buyers seem to have developed a taste for AMD Ryzen processors, which is reflecting in Mindfactory's sales figures. Since March 2017, when AMD launched its Ryzen 7 series, AMD processor sales have seen a steady growth from 28% (vs. 72% of Intel), to a stunning 56% by the end of August 2017. Mindfactory's sales is a test case of AMD's growth in the DIY processor market, which forced Intel to rush in its Core X family, and its 8th generation Core processor family, which could be out in Q3-2017.

Ryzen 5 1600 appears to be the most popular AMD choice among Mindfactory's customers, as the 6-core/12-thread processor strikes a price-performance sweet-spot at 198€. The chip is outselling the similarly-priced Core i5-7500 by two times, and the i5-7600K by three times. The 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 7 1700 is the second most popular AMD Ryzen part, priced at 288€. From the Intel camp, the Core i7-7700K still commands the single biggest chunk of Mindfactory's CPU sales. As expected, the Ryzen 7 1700X outsells the 1800X by five times. Also, the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is outselling the Core i9-7900X by over three times. Find more interesting data in the beautifully drawn graphs by Redditor "Type-21."

Source: Reddit user Ingebor
Sunday, September 3rd 2017

Rosewill ORBIT-Z1

The Rosewill Orbit-Z1 is jam-packed with buzz words: RGB, LED fans, fan controller, LED strips, lighting modes, AIO support, etc. These are terms that you usually only see with more expensive offerings, but the Orbit-Z1 comes at a mere $65, yet offers complete functionality in a mid-tower case.

GIGABYTE Intros GeForce GTX 1080 Mini Graphics Card, World's Smallest

GIGABYTE rolled out what it claims to be the shortest GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, the GV-N1080IX-8GD. With a length of just 169 mm, the card is significantly shorter than the 211 mm length of ZOTAC GTX 1080 Mini, the previous record-holder for the smallest GTX 1080 graphics card. The card features a dense aluminium fin-stack heatsink to which heat drawn directly from the GPU is conveyed by copper heat pipes; and ventilated by a single 90 mm fan, which remains off when the card is idling.

Out of the box, the GIGABYTE GTX 1080 Mini comes with NVIDIA-reference clock speeds of 1607 MHz core, 1733 MHz GPU Boost, and 10.00 GHz (GDDR5X-effective) memory, but a software-enabled OC mode spools up GPU clocks to 1632/1771 MHz. The card draws power from a single 8-pin PCIe power connector, and conditions it using a 5+2 phase VRM. Based on the 16 nm "GP104" silicon, the GeForce GTX 1080 features 2,560 CUDA cores, 160 TMUs, 64 ROPs, and a 256-bit wide GDDR5X memory interface, holding 8 GB of memory. Display outputs include three DisplayPort 1.4, and one each of dual-link DVI and HDMI 2.0. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Kinesis Announces Freestyle Edge Split Keyboard for Preorder

Kinesis is a company with over 25 years of experience developing and selling ergonomic peripherals such as their Advantage keyboard and partnering with others such as DXT and Evoluent for mice. Their products have been predominantly on the higher end of the price range for keyboards, and they do not offer a keyboard with features that the gaming keyboard market tends to look at- until now. Kinesis have now announced an update to their Freestyle series of split keyboards that aims to appeal to both the gamer and the typing professional alike in the form of the new Freestyle Edge.

The Freestyle Edge introduces genuine Cherry MX mechanical switches to the Freestyle series, a change from the membrane switches before. Customers can choose between Cherry MX Red, Brown or Blue switches, and the keyboard has blue backlighting added as well now. In addition, there is an 8-key macro bank to make use of a fully programmable keyboard with some preset functions pre-programmed included multimedia control and lighting control.
Saturday, September 2nd 2017

Logitech Announces CRAFT Keyboard with Input Dial

Logitech (on August 31, 2017) announced CRAFT, an advanced keyboard with a creative input dial, setting a new standard for computer keyboards. CRAFT looks and feels better than anything you have typed on and offers a whole new way to immediately access context-specific computing tools with a smart aluminum dial. For example, with a touch, tap or turn you can adjust image brightness, contrast and saturation in Adobe Photoshop, or create and adjust charts in Microsoft Excel. The creative input dial gives you the ultimate control and input at your desk for precision, efficiency and uninterrupted creative flow.

"Our new flagship Logitech CRAFT keyboard is for all creators who spend a lot of time designing and creating - who want to work with greater precision and feel connected to their work," said Art O'Gnimh, global head of keyboards at Logitech. "The creative input dial gives you instant access to the functions you need, the moment you need them, allowing you to increase your productivity by simply touching the dial. CRAFT puts you in your creative element - every time you sit at the desk."
Friday, September 1st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Motherboards
Mouse
Mousepads
Processors
PSUs

Mionix Naos QG

The Mionix Naos QG was brought to market after a successful crowdfunding campaign. It offers a unique view into your gaming habits with built-in heart rate and galvanic skin response sensors, which allows you to better understand how your reactions affect your gameplay.

Rosewill Releases New RGB Gaming Case to Summer Lineup

Rosewill, a leading manufacturer in quality, budget-friendly PC hardware has recently launched a new LED-illuminated gaming computer case to add to their summer lineup: The ORBIT-Z1. So far this summer, Rosewill has launched a number of RGB ready gaming peripherals with their NEON Series gaming keyboards and mice. Continuing their RGB streak with the ORBIT-Z1, this ATX mid tower case is equipped with RGB LED lighting on the front panel for an attractive, luminescent glow. Furthermore, the gaming PC case comes with pre-installed LED light strips and 2 pre-installed 7-color fans, making it beginner friendly to incorporate RGB into your setup and a must-have for any budget PC builder to create a customized system with spacious interior for extendibility.

In addition to the RGB LED lighting features, the ORBIT-Z1 features a large side window to showcase the powerful gaming components within. With the window, gamers are able to admire the stunning rig glowing with their unmatchable skills in the battlefields as ORBIT-Z1's LED lights shine and fascinate victoriously. Plus, the gaming case is programmed with 10 LED effects, all of which can be controlled on the case's top I/O panel with easy access. Gamers looking to create a custom-built rig of their own will find ORBIT-Z1 more than satisfying with its high quality and ease to build.

On AMD's Raja Koduri RX Vega Tweetstorm

In what is usually described as a tweetstorm, AMD's RTG leader Raja Koduri weighed in on AMD's RX Vega reception and perception from both the public and reviewers. There are some interesting tidbits there; namely, AMD's option of setting the RX vega parts at frequencies and voltages outside the optimal curve for power/performance ratios, in a bid to increase attractiveness towards the performance/$ crowds.

However, it can be said that if AMD had done otherwise, neither gamers nor reviewers would have been impressed with cards that potentially delivered less performance than their NVIDIA counterparts, while consuming more power all the same (even if consuming significantly less wattage). At the rated MSRP (and that's a whole new discussion), this RTG decision was the best one towards increasing attractiveness of RX Vega offerings. However, Raja Koduri does stress Vega's dynamic performance/watt ratios, due to the usage of specially defined power profiles.
To our forum-walkers: this piece is marked as an editorial

Phison Also Looking to Introduce High performance E12 and S12 NAND Controllers

Phison isn't just a budget controller brand, as you well know, so in addition to their interesting, 2-channel NVMe NAND controller in the Phison E8, which should see products hitting retail in the following months, the company is also catering to the high performance crowds with the impressive E12 and S12 controllers. The E12 is definitely the star of Phison's new controller line-up - just look at those ratings of 3200 MB/s sequential read, 3000 MB/s sequential write, and 600K random read and random write IOPS. Naturally, those rated speeds should be taken with a measure of salt, as NAND type, its implementation and firmware tweaks all matter tremendously in extracting the best possible performance from high speed storage.

Contrary to the E8 budget Phison controller, the E12 will feature a full NVMe PCIe x4 interface, which allows for those speed ratings. The S12, on the other hand, is a more common SATA III controller, which means that its speeds of 550 MB/s sequential read and 530 MB/s sequential write are already hitting the interface's limits. Other than the interface and the rated speeds and IOPS, though, the specs are the same on these controllers: support for 3D NAND on MLC/TLC/QLC arrangements, 8-channel, LDPC, SmartECC, and End-to-End DPP support.

Source: Tom's Hardware

G.Skill Intros 4-module Flare X DDR4 Memory Kits for Ryzen Threadripper

G.Skill today announced quad-channel kits of its AMD Ryzen-friendly Flare X series, targeted at Ryzen Threadripper HEDT builds. The new 4-module kits come in speeds of DDR4-2133, DDR4-2400, and DDR4-3200; in module densities of 8 GB and 16 GB, making up 32 GB and 64 GB quad-channel kits, respectively; and in color-based variants of black and red. The top-dog DDR4-3200 variant runs at its advertised speeds with timings of 14-14-14-34, and a module voltage of 1.35V. The modules are backed by lifetime warranties; and are typically priced double those of G.Skill's 2-module (dual-channel) Flare X series kits.

New Wave of M.2 SSDs With Phison E8 NVMe PCIe x2 Controllers to Hit Next Month

Phison has been working hard towards bringing to market a new, budget SSD controller in the form of its Phison E8 solution. The controller was designed with the purpose to try and dethrone Intel's 600p solutions from the budget, entry-level NVMe options, through offering increased performance at the same affordable prices. To do this, and so as to decrease power consumption, Phison opted for a PCIe 2x support for the E8 - this means the company is trading burst performance for decreased power consumption. E8-based SSDs are expected in capacities of 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, with prices lower than the current 600p and Phison's own E7-based products like the MyDigitalSSD BPX.

The Phison E8 controller should still offer plenty of increased performance over a typical HDD, and has been designed to work with 3D NAND technology. even with the firmware in its non-final stages, Tom's Hardware is reporting that the Phison E8's performance is already higher than Intel's 600p and WD's Black PCIe solutions. As we all know, though, firmware optimizations are paramount to SSD controllers' performance, so we can only expect these performance numbers to go up. All in all, it seems we'll have yet another low-cost NVMe SSD solution in the market, though desktop users will likely opt for a PCIe 4x solution, since that environment doesn't care about power consumption as much as a mobile solution would.

Source: Tom's Hardware

ASUS Reveals HC102 Windows Mixed Reality Headset

ASUS is another company that will be launching hardware developed according to Microsoft's Mixed Reality specifications. The company has put out some details on its HC102 Mixed Reality headset, which put it on par with other offerings from the likes of Acer, Dell and Lenovo in terms of both features and design. 2x LCD screens display a combined 2880x1200 resolution (1440x1440 per eye), at a 90 Hz refresh rate and an acceptable 90º FoV (Windows' MR solutions typically have a slightly lesser FoV compared to pure VR solutions like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift).

Hardware-wise, ASUS also has the mandatory 6 DoF tracking, with an accelerometer and magnetometer increasing input data. A proximity sensor is also there, which we still haven't seen mentioned on other MR headsets. There are 2x inside-out cameras for positional tracking, and a 3.5 mm audio jack for your own high-quality headsets. All of this will set you back the same €449, with a pair of motion controllers, as the other options that have been announced on the market. It seems that vendors are generally locking in on Microsoft's recommended configuration - and the same price-tags - rather than differentiating through hardware and features - and, potentially, higher pricing. However, ASUS has done some work in making the HC102's design stand out a little more than the other solutions we've seen so far.

Razer Launches New Blade Pro with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Graphics

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced a new configuration option for the Razer Blade Pro, now with a Full HD display and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This new build - at a lower price point than the Razer Blade Pro with a GeForce GTX 1080 - is targeted toward gamers and creative professionals that need a slim, powerful desktop replacement.

Equipped with a 7th gen Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, the latest Razer Blade Pro is a performance-focused system with stunning 17.3-inch Full HD, 120Hz screen. The 1920 x 1080 matte panel offers users a beautiful display that is ideal for pushing out high framerates, and providing amazing color with wide viewing angles.

Razer Takes Aim at FPS Market with Customizable Basilisk Mouse

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced the Razer Basilisk, a customizable mouse with state-of-the-art features for first-person shooter (FPS) games. Razer's rich history of purpose-built mice is getting its next major entry with the Razer Basilisk for FPS gaming. The Razer Basilisk comes equipped with a 5G true 16,000 DPI optical sensor, the same sensor used in the celebrated Razer DeathAdder Elite and Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition, proven to excel under the demanding accuracy and precision needs of FPS gamers. What's more, the Basilisk features Razer Mechanical Mouse Switches with an industry-best 50 million click lifespan.

The mouse offers a continuum of scroll wheel resistances to choose from. The scroll wheel can be adjusted via a dial on its underside for increased or decreased resistance to fit the preferences of each gamer. This can be especially useful for gamers who bind jump to their scroll wheel and are looking to adjust the jump activation to a preferred level of resistance. The Razer Basilisk is equipped with a removable clutch for easy access to additional mouse actions. The default clutch setting allows gamers to temporarily lower their DPI to instantaneously switch between high DPI close-quarters fighting and low DPI precision shooting. The clutch is fully programmable and can be set for push-to-talk, item pick-up, or any other actions. The clutch comes in two different lengths (short/long) to cater to different hand sizes. A rubber thumb cap is also included for players who prefer the mouse without the clutch.
Thursday, August 31st 2017

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Desktop PC
Harddisks
Keyboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
SSD
Storage

Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum

The Tesoro Excalibur SE Spectrum features Tesoro's new infrared optical switches co-developed with Gateron. This is a keyboard that aims to take customization to the next level, thanks to the ability to mix and match switches as per user preference. The choice is between linear and tactile/clicky switches that are rated to last longer than traditional mechanical switches with faster response times.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X Core Configuration Detailed

At its pre-launch media conference call for the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X, AMD mentioned that the chip has been carved out from the common 4-die EPYC MCM using a "4-0-4-0 diagonal configuration," which led to some confusion as to which cores/dies AMD disabled to carve out the $549 8-core HEDT processor. The company shed some light on this matter, responding to questions from TechPowerUp.

It turns out, that the Threadripper 1900X features an entire CCX (quad-core CPU complex) disabled per active die on the multi-chip module, so the CCX that's enabled has 8 MB of L3 cache; and access to the die's entire uncore resources, such as the dual-channel memory controller, PCIe root complex, etc. With two such active "Zeppelin" dies, the Threadripper 1900X ends up with 8 cores, 16 MB of L3 cache, a quad-channel memory interface, and 64 PCIe lanes.