News Archive

Friday, December 2nd 2016

Today's Reviews

Graphics Cards

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

Gaming PC
Sound Cards

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.