News Archive

Tuesday, December 6th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
NAS
Networking
Processors
Speakers
SSD
Storage

OWC Introduces Redesigned Mercury Elite Pro Dual

OWC, a leading zero-emissions Mac and PC technology company, today introduced the OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2 Technology. The new Mercury Elite Pro Dual - designed in Austin, TX by the OWC new product development team - offers speeds up to 474 MB/s, capacities up to 20TB, and RAID modes 0 and 1. A newly engineered aluminum enclosure features a larger, quieter fan and an advanced airflow design for drive health and longevity. For professionals who need the additional performance of RAID 0 (two disks working together to create one very fast volume), or the peace of mind provided by RAID 1 (two disks mirrored to create instant redundancy), Mercury Elite Pro Dual with Thunderbolt 2 Technology packs serious connectivity in a versatile package.

"The Mercury Elite Pro Dual has long been a go-to solution for creative professionals who need flexibility without sacrificing performance," said Larry O'Connor, CEO, OWC. "With the addition of Thunderbolt 2 Technology and a new, cooler, quieter design, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual is built to handle demanding workflows, providing peace of mind so you can focus on creating your next masterpiece."

AMD Named a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality

AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced that it has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), naming it a "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality". The CEI is a benchmarking tool that rates corporate equality policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees including equal employment opportunity policies, non-discrimination protections, and benefits.

"At AMD we believe that creating an inclusive environment where every employee is empowered to bring their diverse set of perspectives to the table each day is the key to bringing out the best, most innovative ideas," said Ruth Cotter, chief human resources officer and senior vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at AMD. "We are proud of the progress we have made to achieve our CEI score and to be named alongside other leading companies as we collectively pursue equality for everyone in the workplace."

Synology Introduces DiskStation DS3617xs NAS

Synology Inc. today launched DiskStation DS3617xs, a 12-bay NAS server scalable up to 36 drives. It delivers high performance at over 2,358 MB/s reading and fast deployments to support large-scale businesses. Equipped with a quad-core Intel Xeon-D 2.2 GHz CPU that bursts up to 2.7 GHz, DS3617xs delivers stunning performance at over 2,358 MB/s sequential throughput reading and 406,760 IOPS reading under a RAID 5 configuration with 10GbE Link Aggregation enabled. DS3617xs comes with one PCIe 3.0 slot that supports a high-speed Network Interface Card (NIC).

"We've seen strong interest and demand from our customers in this business-ready desktop NAS model for its painless deployment and flexible scalability." said Michael Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. "This time we've doubled the default RAM capacity of DS3617xs to 16GB and enable upgradability up to 48GB in total for businesses to utilize."

Jonsbo Announces QT03A and VR2 Cases, and FR-101 Fan Series

Jonsbo announces the QT03A, VR2 and FR-101 fan series. With the QT03A and the VR2 we present two particularly classy PC cases. The combination of high-quality materials, an exemplary processing and an eye for detail emphasize our products from the gray mass of the case market. In addition to this, we present our first series of fans, the FR-101.

The QT03A is a based on the popular QT01 "Antiphon". It is not a replacement, but expands the portfolio by another Midi tower. Like the QT01, the QT03A uses an anodized aluminum front. The two sides made of 5 mm thick "tempered glass" further refine the case and allow for an almost unimpeded view into the interior.
Monday, December 5th 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
SSD
Storage

Nvidia Rumored to Launch the GTX 1050 M at CES 2017

New reports have surfaced that indicate NVIDIA is all set to launch a new mid range mobile graphics solution, the GTX 1050 M at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. While NVIDIA has already released mobile variants of the GTX 1080, GTX 1070 and GTX 1060, people not willing to spend big on higher tier products from the green camp are limited to "Maxwell" based GTX 960 M or GTX 950 M offerings. Reports also indicate there has been somewhat of a surge in demand for GTX 1060 M equipped laptops, where the new GTX 1050 M could be nicely positioned to further augment consumer appetite.

As we reported in November, we can expect that in line with the existing "Pascal" based mobile solutions, the new GTX 1050 M to sport the same (or better) core-configuration as its desktop counterpart, but with significantly higher clock speeds. This should make the GTX 1050 M an attractive option as it would endow the laptop with graphical horsepower exceeding the very capable GTX 970 M. All in all with new Intel "Kaby Lake" processors set to take the stage at CES 2017 too, we could see quite an array of new or reconfigured laptops scattered throughout the show.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.19 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA has today released their latest GeForce Game Ready drivers, in the form of the 376.19 WHQL release. The new drivers boast support for Oculus Touch launch titles, such as Crytek's "The Climb", Oculus Studios' "Oculus First Contact", Insomniac's "The Unspoken", The Stork Burnt Down's "Home Improvisation: Furniture Sandbox" for all your furbishing-related needs and IKEA doctorate, as well as Escalation Studios' "Please, Don't Touch Anything", along with an estimated 345 other Oculus Touch launch games (in reality, closer to 49 others;I admit, I picked some of the most interesting names). Also, remember that article about the VR bubble bursting?)

Lacking are any additional SLI profiles, though there are some resolved issues specifically on Windows 10: an issue where No Man's Sky with the Foundation Update (1.10) would display severe texture corruption with SLI enabled, G-SYNC flickering issues on notebooks, as well as a notebook G-SYNC pendulum demo issue. For those of you using 3D Vision, there are some updates on that field as well, with four new profiles for Dead Rising 4, Mars 2030, Serious Sam and SuperHot. You can grab the drivers from the NVIDIA page, right here.


Source: Thanks qubit!

Mysterious GPU Benchmarked in AOtS - Possible Upcoming AMD Graphics Card

Benchmarks of an as-of-yet-unknown GPU have surfaced in the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark database - one that could point towards performance levels on an upcoming AMD GPU (the RX 490?). With new cards based on Vega expected to arrive in early 2017 sporting a brand new architecture, hope is they will fill in AMD's utterly lacking (as in, equal to zero) enthusiast-class performance graphics solutions. The new GPU appears to be within spitting distance of the already established GTX 1080, with only a few percentage points separating the two (with the unknown graphics card having an 85.1 average frame-rate in all batches at 1080p standard settings, against 93.4 on a GTX 1080 - with both values potentially varying with particular overclocking characteristics and so on, so please don't take them at face value.

2017's Weak VR/AR Demand May Burst VR Investment Bubble

Many research firms' numbers have shown that VR product sales in 2016 have been weaker than originally expected due to both high product costs and lack of content. No-one has yet seen VR's killer app, after all, and I know I'd love to see another Halo-like product to drive awareness on the VR platforms like it did on the original Xbox.

All of the above lead towards Google's Daydream View, HTC's Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Electronics' Gear VR having all achieved sales that are not even close to previously-set market expectations, with even the current mainstream poster-boy for VR, Sony's PSVR, showing adoption numbers that are as lowly as low can be. Even in their home-field, Japan, a country known for being filled with tech-savvy and tech-crazed customers, only 0.7% of the existing PS4 and PS4 Pro user-base has made the jump for a VR headset.

AMD's ZEN-Supporting X370 Motherboards to be Shown at "New Horizon" Event

AMD's December 13th "New Horizon" event is supposedly (and expectedly) a pivotal moment for the company - a celebration of sorts for the impending launch of their ZEN-based microprocessors. The event, which will be presented mainly by Gametrailers TV-based journalist Geoff Keighley, is now turning up to be a Summit Ridge celebration of sorts as well.

According to recent reports, a small number of motherboard manufacturers should also be in attendance at the event, showing-off their AM4-compatible motherboards based on the top-of-the-line X370 chipset. The X370 is the most advanced version of the Zen-compatible chipsets and is expected to provide extensive overclocking features and up to two third-generation PCIe x16 lanes for multi-GPU systems. Below the X370, the B350 and A320 take over the role of the mid-range and entry-level chipsets respectively. The new chipsets are expected to bring native M.2 NVMe & SATA Express connectivity, PCIe gen 3, DDR4 memory compatibility and USB 3.1 Gen2 to the company's high-end desktop platform for the very first time.

Realtek HD Audio Codec Driver Updated for 2016 - Version 2.80 Now Available

Realtek have recently updated their High Definition Audio drivers. Version 2.80 of the drivers brings some overdue improvements to the table, at least when it comes to the time frame of their release: Windows 10 is now supported, and there are some mysterious "customizations" added. Codecs ALC255, ALC235 and ALC867 where also added, and support for Windows 8.1 was improved.

You can grab the drivers from Realtek's own site, right here.
Friday, December 2nd 2016

Today's Reviews

Cases
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
PSUs
SSD

Watch Dogs 2 Wants to Monitor Your System, But You Need Not Let It Do So

We've earlier reported about the implementation of EasyAntiCheat on Watch Dogs 2 - and how the Ubisoft game installs a driver in kernel mode and a service that monitors your systems' operating files (when Watch Dogs 2 is running). In that piece, we said that "This mechanism is also running even when you're in single-player-only - and even offline - modes, meaning that you're not getting out of its crosshairs no matter how you are playing the game". Now, there seems to be a way to bypass the system monitoring altogether and enjoy the game in single-player. The way to do so, however, varies whether you're running the game on Steam or on Uplay.

ASRock's Beebox-S SFF PCs Upgraded With Kaby Lake CPUs

Remember ASRock's Beebox? The original Mini PC was originally reviewed here on TechPowerUp to a glowing score and wholehearted recommendation, and now, the company has announced an upgrade to its innards that is sure to give a new lease of life to the device's appeal. The upgraded systems are powered by either Intel's Core i5-7100U (2C/4T, 2.5 GHz base and 3.1 GHz Boost clocks) or i3-7200U (2C/4T, 2.4 GHz base clock) CPUs, featuring the Kaby Lake micro-architecture, but are, apart from that, identical to their predecessors. The system can also be equipped with up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133 memory (two SO-DIMM slots), an M.2-2280 NVMe SSD and a 2.5" SSD/HDD depending on your particular demands. Meanwhile, Intel's 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.0 wireless module is pre-installed.

Seagate Duet Announced: Amazon Cloud-Syncing Portable HDD

Seagate has announced that the company is launching its Duet external hard drive, which would be, in all regards, a run-of-the-mill external hard drive (based on the company's Backup Plus Portable Drive), were it not for the fact that it runs tailored software that syncs its contents with the Amazon Drive service. The drive automatically downloads and uploads content from (and to) Amazon Drive to enable instant and offline access to data stored in the cloud - allowing you to not only store your data on the Cloud, but also keep a physical copy of it with you.

SSD Pricing to Surge on the Back of NAND Shortages - Stock Your SSD Needs

Business. Business never changes. Whether you're for Keynes or Hayek, some truths just can't be escaped: and the one based on the market tending to equilibrium between the forces of supply and demand is oft times almost akin to a law of physics - other times, not so much. This time, it appears as if the market forces are steering NAND prices through the roof. The causes? Varied, though you probably carry one of them in your pocket most of the time. We earlier reported surging prices in the DRAM market, spurred by the Note 7 fiasco and increased production of that smartphone's competitors (and Samsung's own products) to fill the gaping hole left by its forcible market removal. But not only by DRAM are smartphones powered - they also make use of NAND flash.

NVIDIA to Release GTX 1060 Variants Based on GP104 Silicon

Due to the usual metrics and happenstances with foundry yields and wafer production, some chips contained in the production wafers are defective, with inoperative sections. This is always taken into account by companies, such as NVIDIA, while designing their product stacks (with the GTX 1070/1080 sharing the same silicon, and GTX 1070 samples being, mostly, defective versions of the fully-enabled Pascal GP104-140 chip). Other times, when supply of defective chips that can guarantee sufficient numbers of lower-tiered products, such as the GTX 1070, is insufficient to guarantee market demands (basically, things go better than expected at production), some sections of fully-operational chips are deactivated, so that it has the same working resources as the (otherwise defective) chips. Sometimes, like it happened with the Radeon HD 6950, these chips' resources can even be unlocked by simple BIOS flashing. According to recent reports, NVIDIA is bound to do something akin to that, by reusing GP104-140 chips on their GTX 1060 3 GB variants.
Thursday, December 1st 2016

Today's Reviews

Cooling
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Processors
PSUs
Sound Cards
SSD
Storage

Gainward Intros the GameSoul GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Graphics Cards

Gainward introduced the GameSoul line of premium graphics cards for the Greater China region. The series is led by the GeForce GTX 1080 GameSoul, followed by the GTX 1070 GameSoul. Both cards are based on a nearly identical board design, but differ with the PCB, with the GTX 1070 card featuring GDDR5 memory in place of GDDR5X. Both cards feature a large, triple-slot cooling solution with split aluminium fin-stacks, ventilated by a trio of 100 mm spinners.

The GTX 1080 GameSoul comes with factory-overclocked speeds of 1733 MHz core, 1873 MHz GPU Boost, against reference clock speeds of 1607/1733 MHz; while the GTX 1070 GameSoul comes with speeds of 1620/1822 MHz, against 1506/1683 MHz reference clocks. Both cards feature ref LED lighting, dual-BIOS, draw power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors, and feature display outputs of three DisplayPorts 1.4 and one each of HDMI 2.0b and dual-link DVI.

ZOTAC VR Go Backpack With Core i7 6700T and GTX 1070 Priced: $1999

After announcing earlier this week the impending release of their VR Go backpack, ZOTAC has now made pricing details available: $1999 will net you the ability to strap a PC to your body so you can freely engage with enemies or friends alike in VR environments.

The ZOTAC VR GO can work autonomously for up to two hours, feeding on two Li-ion batteries rated at 95Wh (6600mAh). The batteries can be hot-swapped and charged separately, featuring a DC12V-out for powering the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. When not in use as a backpack to play virtual reality games, the VR GO can be used like a normal desktop computer: its form-factor allows it to be placed on a desk either vertically or horizontally and all the ports will remain accessible. It isn't very heavy, either, though at 4.95 kilograms, your mileage may vary.

MSI Gaming Core Frozr L CPU Cooler Unveiled

MSI announced retail availability of the Core Frozr L CPU cooler. This tower-type air cooler features an aluminium fin stack that projects upwards from the base at a slightly offset position. This is to clear up room south of the CPU socket in a typical motherboard, and also to clear up room near the memory slots. The cooler measures 140 mm x 155 mm x 84 mm, and weighs 960 g.

The cooler features four 8 mm thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes that draw heat from the base, and convey them along eight points in the fin-stack. The topmost fin features a groovy MSI Gaming die-cast metal plate. The included 140 mm Torq-X fan spins between 500-1,800 RPM, pushing between 19.79 - 71.27 CFM of air, with a noise output of 17.2 - 33.6 dBA. The cooler can handle thermal loads of up to 200W. It supports most modern CPU socket types, including AM4, LGA2011v3, LGA115x, LGA1366, AM3(+), and FM2(+).

AOC Reveals P2779VC 27-Inch PLS Monitor With Qi Charging Capabilities

In a bid to help you remove at least one of those pesky charging cables from your life, AOC has revealed a 27-inch PLS monitor which includes a Qi base station on its stand, enabling you to charge compatible smartphones. In doing this, AOC joins the likes of Samsung in offering monitors with wireless charging capabilities.

The P2779VC features a 1920x1080 resolution PLS panel, one VGA input, and two HDMI 1.3 inputs. The panel boasts a 178-degree viewing angle, true 8-bit color depth, and a 20,000,000:1 contrast ratio, pointing it more towards color accuracy than other metrics. When it comes to gaming, it's certainly not at the top of screen responsiveness with a quoted response time of around 5ms, but it certainly isn't impossible to game on.

The P2779VC will debut in the US in December, with AOC saying it will be stocked by Amazon, Best Buy, and Newegg, with an MSRP of $250.