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ASUS Intros TUF X299 Mark 2 Motherboard

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

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

ASUS Intros VP28UQG 28-inch 4K UHD Gaming Monitor

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

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


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

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 2.2.0 Released

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

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

The change-log follows.

ASUS Intros BE27AQLB Business-grade 27-inch Monitor

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

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

AMD Radeon Pro Vega Frontier Edition Unboxed, Benchmarked

A lucky customer has already gotten his hands on one of these coveted, sky-powered AMD graphics cards, and is currently in the process of setting up his system. Given the absence of review samples from AMD to any outlet - a short Vega Frontier Edition supply ensured so - there isn't any other real way to get impressions on this graphics card. As such, we'll be borrowing Disqus' user #define posts as a way to cover live pics and performance measurements of this card. Expect this post to be updated as new developments arise.

After some glamour shots of the card were taken (which really are justified by its unique color scheme), #define mentioned the card's build quality. After having installed the driver package (which, as we've covered today, includes both a developer and gaming path inside the drivers, granting increased performance in both workloads depending on the enabled driver profile, he is now about to conduct some testing on SPECViewperf and 3DMark, with both gaming and non gaming profiles.

NVIDIA "Pascal" Based Mining GPU Lineup Detailed

GPU-accelerated crypto-currency mining poses a threat to the consumer graphics industry, yet the revenues it brings to GPU manufacturers are hard to turn away. The more graphics cards are bought up by crypto-currency miners, the fewer there are left for gamers and the actual target-audience of graphics cards. This is particularly bad for AMD, as fewer gamers have Radeon graphics cards as opposed to miners; which means game developers no longer see AMD GPU market-share as an amorphous trigger to allocate developer resources in optimizing their games to AMD architectures.

To combat this, both AMD and NVIDIA are innovating graphics cards designed specifically for crypto-currency mining. These cards are built to a cost, lack display outputs, and have electrical and cooling mechanisms designed for 24/7 operation, even if not living up to the durability standards of real enterprise-segment graphics cards, such as Radeon Pro series or Quadro. NVIDIA's "Pascal" GPU architecture is inherently weaker than AMD's "Polaris" and older Graphics CoreNext architectures at Ethereum mining, owing in part to Pascal's lack of industry-standard asynchronous compute. This didn't deter NVIDIA from innovating a lineup of crypto-mining SKUs based on its existing "Pascal" GPUs. These include the NVIDIA P104 series based on the "GP104" silicon (on which the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 are based); and P106 series based on the "GP106" silicon (GTX 1060 series is based on this chip). NVIDIA didn't tap into its larger "GP102" or smaller "GP107" chips, yet.

TPU Ryzen BIOS Digest Issue #8

In this issue of the Ryzen BIOS update digest, we have the latest updates. Our BIOS update digest lets you keep track of crucial BIOS updates that improve stability of your AMD Ryzen machine. As per usual, only updated BIOSes from the last digest are listed. Changes are listed after each BIOS, sans beta BIOSes which do not always include change logs. You can find it all below.

ASUS Unveils Three Freesync-enabled, High Refresh Rate Strix Monitors

ASUS is looking to have two distinct monitor product lines catering to either AMD or NVIDIA enthusiasts. Adding to their Swift line-up of NVIDIA G-Sync monitors, ASUS seems to be building up a Strix line as well, which features AMD's FreeSync technology to deliver the same fundamental variable refresh rate technology at a lower price-point (or so we hope.)

Starting with the flagship Strix monitor, the ASUS Strix XG32V has a 31.5" IPS panel with a WQHD resolution of 2560 x 1440. It's curved, so it envelops your FOV better, with the usual 1800R curve. This model can handle refresh rates of up to 144Hz, though readers looking to jump at this panel as we speak should wait for both Freesync range and pricing announcements. Connectivity-wise, we're looking at 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, and an os yet unknown amount of USB 3.0 ports. ASUS has also added the inevitable Aura Sync lighting to the XG32V, materialized on both a ROG logo that shines down onto the desk, as well as an RGB LED suite on the back of the unit that can be synchronized with other Aura Sync-enabled PC components and peripherals.

ASUS Showcases the First Ryzen Powered Laptop: The ROG STRIX GL702ZC

At Computex 2017, ASUS showcased the first Ryzen-powered laptop, which the company had already teased a while back. The STRIX brings to an end a period of lacking competition in the laptop space; before this, if you wanted a high-performance gaming (or even professional-grade) laptop, you went with one with an Intel processor inside, or not at all. AMD is back in the fold, and Ryzen was the one who rose to the challenge.

The ROG STRIX GL702ZC packs a Ryzen 7 1700 8-core, 16-thread CPU; the absence of an X there isn't a typo, considering AMD themselves say the company's XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) is meant to accelerate CPU speeds under the right thermal conditions (and headroom), which a laptop almost surely wouldn't have.) This is a full desktop CPU (and I stress, an 8-core, 16-thread one) running inside a laptop. And this laptop dresses itself fully in red, with the graphics workhorse being an RX 580. The RX 580 is a great 1080p card, so it will feel right at home on the ROG STRIX GL702ZC's 17.3", 1080p IPS panel with FreeSync support. Let's just hope this is the first in a wave of AMD-powered laptops. We'll be here to see what happens with Ryzen-based APUs closer to the end of the year.
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