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Amazon Renames Twitch Prime as Prime Gaming

Amazon Prime Gaming is the new name for Twitch Prime, the new program offers the same benefits first introduced with Twitch Prime back in 2016. Amazon Prime Gaming which is included with an Amazon Prime membership offers free in-game loot every month for a variety of titles including League of Legends, Apex Legends, Grand Theft Auto Online, FIFA20, and DOOM Eternal. Prime Gaming also comes with a collection of free indie games that can be downloaded through the desktop app. Amazon Prime subscribers will continue to receive Prime Status on Twitch which includes a free channel subscription, and virtual chat items. Amazon Prime gaming is now available in over 200 countries.

Sony Announces WH-1000XM4 Industry-leading Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony today announced the WH-1000XM4, the 4th generation over-ear wireless noise cancelling headphones in Sony's award-winning 1000X family. The latest headphones offer all the much-loved technology from the hugely popular WH-1000XM3, with additional intelligent features that allow you to personalise and control your music, improve noise cancellation and adjust ambient sound automatically based on your preferences for a superior sound experience.

Whether you're flying long haul or relaxing in a café, the WH-1000XM4 headphones deliver Sony's best ever noise cancelling performance, reducing high and mid frequency sounds. With two microphones on each earcup, being used for noise cancelling, our Dual Noise Sensor technology captures ambient noise and passes the data to the trusted HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1. Then a new BLUETOOTH Audio SoC (System on Chip) senses and adjusts to music and noise at over 700 times per second. Using a new algorithm, the HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1 applies noise cancelling processing in real time. This allows the user to focus more on the music they love and blur out the chaos of the outside world.

Kitler Films Partners with Amazon Studios to Develop Series Based On Fallout

Amazon Studios has licensed the rights to the Fallout game series from Bethesda Game Studios and plans to create a new TV series with acclaimed producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's Kilter Films attached to produce the project. Amazon Studios has committed to develop the entire techno-thriller drama series which is currently in pre-production. Kilter Films also produces HBO's Westworld which has been well received and was recently picked up for a fourth season.
Kilter Films
Fallout is one of the greatest game series of all time. Each chapter of this insanely imaginative story has cost us countless hours we could have spent with family and friends. So we're incredibly excited to partner with Todd Howard and the rest of the brilliant lunatics at Bethesda to bring this massive, subversive, and darkly funny universe to life with Amazon Studios.

Tencent Preparing to Launch Live Streaming Platform Partner Program to Compete with Twitch

Tencent is getting ready to roll out their new live streaming platform across the US as a direct competitor to Amazon's Twitch. The Tencent live streaming platform has been in testing since March, initially called Madcat, and now branded as Trovo Live. Trovo Live's interface closely resembles that of Twitch and has a large emphasis on mobile gaming which makes sense given that Tencent owns Fortnite and PUBG Mobile.

Tencent has recently plans on the Trovo Live website on its 30 million dollar program to entice creators to the site. Tencent dominates the Chinese game streaming market but has had trouble breaking into Western markets. The Trevo Live Partnership program is set to go live in July and aims to attract 500 influential streamers to the platform. Trovo Live has already attracted some streamers from Mizer and Twitch so it will be interesting to see if it succeeds.

Corsair iCUE LT100 Lighting Towers + Headset Stand Add Ambient Lighting to Your Desk

Corsair is readying the iCUE LT100 Lighting Towers, accessories that add ARGB bling to your desktop. These devices are also capable of projecting ambient lighting on surroundings behind your monitor. These devices first came to light on the company's product page for the Corsair ONE a100 gaming desktop. A little digging across e-tailers for the latest Corsair products revealed an Amazon advance listing for these devices, called the iCUE LT100 Lighting Towers. The listing does not mention pricing or detailed specs, but lists out key features of the device. Its design involves a cuboidal base that has its own ARGB diffuser from which a 400+ mm stock emerges perpendicularly, which has its own row of 46 ARGB LEDs. An external power adapter keeps it powered. It probably takes input via USB. Behind the ARGB diffuser is what looks like a headset stand.
The list of features from the Amazon listing follows.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT and Ryzen 9 3900XT Listed on Amazon Italy, Release Dates Revealed

Amazon Italy listed two of AMD's three upcoming 3rd generation Ryzen XT series desktop processors. The listings also reveal tentative product announcement and availability dates. According to the listings, the 6-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 3600XT, with its maximum boost frequency at 4.50 GHz, is priced at 285€ including VAT, while the 12-core/24-thread 3900XT with 4.70 GHz boost frequency, goes for 570€ (including VAT). The 3600XT includes a Wraith Spire cooler in the box, while the 3900XT lacks any cooler in the box (unlike the 3900X, which includes a Wraith Prism).

The listings also reveal key dates for the 3rd gen Ryzen XT series desktop processors. Apparently, AMD will announce these processors tomorrow (June 16), possibly opening them up for pre-orders worldwide. Availability of the processors is slated for July 7, which is when the pre-orders will begin shipping. AMD is refreshing its 3rd gen Ryzen processor series with the 3600XT, 3800XT, and 3900XT, in a bid to make its product stack more competitive against the Core i5-10600K, i7-10700K, and i9-10900K.

King of Consumer Solid State Storage: Amazon Lists 8 TB Samsung 870 QVO-Series SATA III SSD

For users that want to fully migrate their HDD storage towards a speedier SSD-option, Samsung's QVO series has usually been one of the more interesting prospects. Built solely with the intention of offering some of the best performance/$ metrics in the SSD storage space, the QVO series keeps Samsung's quality track record when it comes to NAND production but aims to reduce pricing as much as possible.

Amazon has now listed an 8 TB, consumer-available Samsung 870 QVO SSD. This SSD won't win any speed contests: it's built on the 2.5" form-factor and features a SATA III interface, but then again, this isn't meant to be used as users' fastest storage solution - it's meant to replace high-capacity HDDs while offering a notable performance improvement. It's very likely the QVO 870 is using Samsung's QLC (quad level cell) 3D V-NAND tech - which is still fine for most use-cases where you'll be mostly reading from the disc (and honestly, it's likely that most users would never even see performance degradation over the lifetime of the SSD, should they have a typical usage scenario). The 8 TB Samsung 870 QVO is currently listed on Amazon for a relatively steep $899.99 - which still amounts to some 11 cents per GB, so not a bad deal at all. Remember that pricing is currently slightly on the high side following the COVID-19 pandemic, though.

2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors Now Delivering More Computing Power to Amazon Web Services Customers

AMD today announced that 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor powered Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) C5a instances are now generally available in the AWS U.S. East, AWS U.S. West, AWS Europe and AWS Asia Pacific regions.

Powered by a 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor running at frequencies up to 3.3Ghz, the Amazon EC2 C5a instances are the sixth instance family at AWS powered by AMD EPYC processors. By using the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor, the C5a instance delivers leadership x86 price-performance for a broad set of compute-intensive workloads including batch processing, distributed analytics, data transformations, log analytics and web applications.

Hunt. Level. Adapt. Amazon Games Launches Crucible

Crucible, the free-to-play competitive team-based shooter from Relentless Studios, an Amazon Games development studio, is now available to download for PC. In Crucible, players work with teammates to hunt their opponents and take down hostile creatures on a lush rogue planet in pursuit of Essence, a valuable resource that amplifies hunters' powers.

At launch, players can choose from a diverse roster of 10 hunters, including Earl, an interstellar trucker, Summer, a dual-flame-thrower-wielding former welder, and Bugg, a robot botanist. Each hunter in Crucible has their own unique weapons and abilities, and as they defeat opponents and the planet's flora and fauna, they level up, gaining strength and enhancing their abilities. Crucible's fast-paced combat challenges players to constantly re-evaluate and adjust their strategies, adapting to their opponents' moves and the deadly planet itself.

Amazon Releases Gameplay Videos for Upcoming Crucible Game

Amazon Game Studio's Crucible is a free-to-play team-based action shooter that's set for release on Steam May 20th. Crucible is an interesting-looking game with MOBA and hero shooter elements where you fight enemy players and AI enemies with your team while adapting to the map. When playing the game you gather Essence the in-game currency to help level up your character. The game will come with three game modes at launch Heart of the Hives a two teams of four first to three game, Alpha Hunters a eight teams of two last team standing game, and Harvester Command a two teams of eight game. You can view the gameplay trailers and more information below.

ENERMAX Launches LIBLLUSION LL30 RGB Case

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance PC hardware products, announces the new addressable RGB ATX computer case, LIBLLUSION LL30 is available in Europe. LIBLLUSION LL30 comes with one SquA RGB fan at the rear; the built-in integrated hub can support up to 6 addressable RGB devices lighting in sync with an ARGB-ready motherboard software or the lighting control through this computer case.

Utilizing the line element, the front panel of LIBLLUSION LL30 is embellished by the multiple lighting strips which part of them is the reflection of the light from the interior system through the vents on the top and bottom of the front panel. The clever vent design on the front panel combines the in-take airflow efficiency and the beauty of light.

Thermaltake NeonMaker now supports Riing Trio Fans and Floe DX AIO Series

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is now bringing some fantastic news for those who have been dying to try out the NeonMaker software without a set of Riing Quad Fans. The NeonMaker software now supports Riing Trio and the Floe DX series coolers. Now is the best chance for users to try out the NeonMaker with different Thermaltake products. Not only will you be able to personalize your lighting effects freely by utilizing the NeonMaker software, but you can also synchronize with the TT RGB Plus software to maximize the control of your RGB effects.

NeonMaker not only provides various default effects, but also lets users customize lighting colors, adjust effects' via the timeline, and lighting directions using the software editor. It also allows users to personalize their lighting effects on each LED, granting access to further customizable lighting options. There's no need to wait, enjoy all RGB related features on the NeonMaker software by using Riing Trio Fans and Floe DX series products.
ThermalTake NeonMaker ThermalTake NeonMaker

x86 Lacks Innovation, Arm is Catching up. Enough to Replace the Giant?

Intel's x86 processor architecture has been the dominant CPU instruction set for many decades, since IBM decided to put the Intel 8086 microprocessor into its first Personal Computer. Later, in 2006, Apple decided to replace their PowerPC based processors in Macintosh computers with Intel chips, too. This was the time when x86 became the only option for the masses to use and develop all their software on. While mobile phones and embedded devices are mostly Arm today, it is clear that x86 is still the dominant ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) for desktop computers today, with both Intel and AMD producing processors for it. Those processors are going inside millions of PCs that are used every day. Today I would like to share my thoughts on the demise of the x86 platform and how it might vanish in favor of the RISC-based Arm architecture.

Both AMD and Intel as producer, and millions of companies as consumer, have invested heavily in the x86 architecture, so why would x86 ever go extinct if "it just works"? The answer is that it doesn't just work.

Amazon planning its own Cloud Gaming Service dubbed "Project Tempo"

In a report by the New York Times, plans by Amazon to launch a new cloud gaming product in the already crowded field were detailed. Dubbed "Project Tempo" the project has reportedly been in development for several months and at the cost of several hundred million dollars. Amazon hopes to develop new AAA games to accompany the launch of the service which will integrate with its popular game streaming platform Twitch.

The project is one of Amazon's largest investments in original entertainment since its founding, and places them in a prime position to compete with Google's Stadia, Microsoft's Project xCloud, NVIDIA's GeForce NOW and the countless other game streaming platforms. One advantage Amazon possesses is its vast network of data centers as part of Amazon Web Services which will play a significant role in ensuring the service achieves the minimal latency required for an optimal experience. Amazon's vice president for game services and studios has stated: "The big picture is about trying to take the best of Amazon and bringing it to games" in regards to the game making process. The first of Amazon's major game releases will be New World a fantasy MMO in May which will be followed by more games throughout the year, primarily targeting hardcore gamers.
New World Game

YouTube and Netflix Begin Rationing Their Bandwidth as Lockdowns Surge Online Traffic

Popular video streaming sites YouTube and Netflix have reportedly started rationing their bandwidth by limiting video quality, as online traffic to their services surge to record levels. With COVID-19 lockdowns forcing people to take to online entertainment, the sites are reporting an unprecedented strain on their finite Internet bandwidth. In Europe, the two sites have capped their video quality to 480p, or slightly worse than DVD quality.

Despite the mighty backing of AWS, the world's largest CDN, Amazon's Prime Video is also finding itself having to cap quality based on regional bandwidth constraints. Google is already engaging with governments and ISPs to minimize strain on available Internet bandwidth. Streaming video remains the number one bandwidth consumer. Governments would want to prioritize bandwidth for companies operating remote- or virtual desktops for their employees working from home. Perhaps there's no better time to upgrade online video codecs to newer bandwidth-efficient ones like AV1.

AMD Trims Prices of 3rd Gen Ryzen PIBs in the US, Drops in Xbox Game Pass

AMD earlier this week trimmed prices of its retail 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors in the US, through promotions exclusive to Newegg and Amazon. The company is also including 3-month Xbox Game Pass subscriptions with select models. The discounts see the 12-core/24-thread Ryzen 9 3900X go for $449, $50 lower than its MSRP of $499. The company's fastest 8-core/16-thread part, the Ryzen 7 3800X, is now going for $359, or $40 lower than its $399 MSRP. The popular Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core/16-thread chip is selling for $304, a $25 discount from its $329 MSRP. AMD is applying similar $25 cuts to its 6-core/12-thread parts, with the Ryzen 5 3600X going for $224 compared to its $249 MSRP, and the popular Ryzen 5 3600 priced at $174 compared to its $199 MSRP.

Ampere Computing Uncovers 80 Core "Cloud-Native" Arm Processor

Ampere Computing, a startup focusing on making HPC and processors from cloud applications based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture, today announced the release of a first 80 core "cloud-native" processor based on the Arm ISA. The new Ampere Altra CPU is the company's first 80 core CPU meant for hyper scalers like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. Being built on TSMC's 7 nm semiconductor manufacturing process, the Altra is a CPU that is utilizing a monolithic die to achieve maximum performance. Using Arm's v8.2+ instruction set, the CPU is using the Neoverse N1 platform as its core, to be ready for any data center workload needed. It also borrows a few security features from v8.3 and v8.5, namely the hardware mitigations of speculative attacks.

When it comes to the core itself, the CPU is running at 3.0 GHz frequency and has some very interesting specifications. The design of the core is such that it is 4-wide superscalar Out of Order Execution (OoOE), which Ampere refers to as "aggressive" meaning that there is a lot of data throughput going on. The cache levels are structured in a way that there is 64 KB of L1D and L1I cache per core, along with 1 MB of L2 cache per core as well. For system-level cache, there is 32 MB of L3 available to the SoC. All of the caches have Error-correcting code (ECC) built-in, giving the CPU a much-needed feature. There are two 128-bit wide Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) units, which are there to do parallel processing if needed. There is no mention if they implement Arm's Scalable Vector Extensions (SVE) or not.

Cooler Master Introduces the MH600 Gaming Headset Series

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative gaming peripherals and PC components, has unveiled its latest lineup of headsets for gamers of all types: the MH600 Series.

The MH600 Series emphasizes high performance and premium sound quality with a core suite of features standard in every model:
  • Swiveling ear cups and fabric mesh cushioning for superior, long-lasting comfort
  • Hassle-free portability with detachable cords and foldable frames
  • Adjustable omnidirectional boom mic for superior voice quality and minimal background noise
  • Premium sound quality with 50 mm neodymium audio drivers

AORUS by Gigabyte Debuts Tactical 165 Hz Monitor for Gaming Enthusiasts

AORUS, the premium gaming brand of Gigabyte Technology, debuted a tactical monitor that gives gaming enthusiasts twice the details and display quality than Full HD, and allows them to enjoy games and movies in their original size. The AORUS F127Q features a 27" QHD panel (2560x1440 resolution) in a 16:9 aspect ratio with a 165 Hz refresh rate. New monitor supports AMD Radeon FreeSync technology which puts an end to choppy gameplay and broken frames to create a fluid and artifact-free performance at any framerate.

The AORUS F127Q is one of the most responsive gaming monitors in the market. By accelerating the twisting speed of the liquid crystals, the response time can be reduced to 1 ms, and let you enjoy a fluent gaming experience without any ghosting effects. This feature is particularly useful with high tempo games! The AORUS F127Q uses an advanced 10 bits (8 bits+FRC) Color IPS display technology which gives you extra wide viewing angles with 178/178 degrees. While in fierce competition, the F127Q's smooth rendering ability eliminates any chance of ghosting effects.

Cooler Master Launches MasterAir G200P CPU Cooler & MasterFan MF120 Halo ARGB Fans

Cooler Master, a global leader in designing and manufacturing innovative computer components introduces the MasterAir G200P Low Profile CPU cooler and the MasterFan MF120 Halo ARGB case fans. The MasterAir G200P is a 39.4 mm low-profile CPU cooler designed for small form factor cases and compact PC builds. Built with a powerful 92 mm squared PWM fan to maximize top-down cooling, the G200P features a wide fan speed range that is fine-tuned for maximum airflow, overall cooling performance and silent operation.

The MasterFan MF120 Halo provides an Ideal air-cooling solution for CPU coolers and chassis in-take fans. Built with Air Balance fan blades, the fan includes multiple layers of noise reduction technology that cools components in silence. Featuring dual loop addressable RGB lighting, the MF120 Halo exudes vibrant colors while generating high-pressure airflow.

Philips Launches New Over-Ear Wireless Active Noise Canceling Headphones

Envision Peripherals Inc. (EPI), the Brand license partner for Philips Audio in North America, announces today the latest addition to the Philips audio line with the Philips Wireless over-ear noise cancelling headphone (TAPH805BK). The headphones are now available on Amazon, competitively priced at $199.99 USD. Ideal for at Home, in the Office, or on-the-go, the new Philips (TAPH805BK) headphones provide users with an unparalleled listening experience.

Music or Silence
Eliminate outside noise through a press of a button with Active Noise Canceling mode or flip to Awareness Mode to stay in tune with your surroundings. Users can control volume by swiping up or down on the ear-housing touch control panel. Activate or deactivate Active Noise Canceling or engage in Awareness Mode with a simple press. While carrying out a call over Bluetooth, its built-in mic with echo cancellation keeps sound crystal clear.

ECS Shows Off 10th Gen Comet Lake-based Liva Z3 Plus Series Compact Desktops at CES 2020

ECS unveiled its latest generation Liva Z3 Plus and Z3E Plus compact desktops. The two implement 15-Watt Intel Core i7 "Comet Lake-U" 6-core/12-thread processors. The only thing setting the two apart from each other is the addition of a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay on the Z3E Plus. Both models support an M.2-2280 SSD with both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. An M.2 E-key slot lets you drop in 802.11ax or 802.11ac WLAN cards. Other networking options include two 1 GbE interfaces, one of which is driven by an Intel i219-V controller.

The Liva Z3 Plus series come with Amazon Alexa built in, with four A4PC (Alexa for PC) microphones listening for natural voice input, while a headset combi-jack handles the rest of the audio. USB connectivity includes three USB 3.1 gen 1, and a USB-C 3.1 gen 1. HDMI 2.0 and mini-DisplayPort 1.2 display outputs make for the rest of them.

AWS Starts Designing 32-Core Arm Neoverse N1 CPU for Data Center

Amazon Web Services, a part of Amazon that is in charge of all things cloud, has announced plans to release 32 core CPU based on Arm Neoverse N1 microarchitecture that is designed to handle a diverse workload that today's cloud infrastructure needs. This new CPU should be the second iteration of AWS'es custom CPU based on the Arm architecture. First-generation AWS CPU was a processor called Graviton, which Amazon offered on-demand in the cloud.

The still-unnamed second-gen CPU will utilize a 7 nm manufacturing process if the Neoverce N1 core at its base is to be believed. Additionally, everything from the Neoverse line should translate to this next-gen CPU as well, meaning that there will be features like high frequency and high single-threaded performance, cache coherency, and interconnect fabric designed to connect special-purpose accelerators to the CPU complex. For reference, Arm's design of Neoverce N1 has a TDP of 105 W for the whole SoC and its packs 64 cores running at 3.1 GHz, delivering amazing power efficiency and high core count.

Microsoft Bags DOD's $10 Billion JEDI Cloud Contract Edging Out Amazon

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) Friday awarded a USD $10 billion contract to Microsoft to build the JEDI Cloud (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure), a massive piece of connected IT infrastructure that seeks greater electronic integration within the U.S. Military, and prepare it for emerging forms of warfare. According to the New York Times, Amazon was the front-runner for the contract, having executed similar infrastructure contracts for the CIA. The NYT comments that President Donald Trump's spat with The Washington Post, a paper owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, could have affected Amazon's bid. Some of the biggest American cloud companies participated in the bidding, which include Amazon AWS, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Oracle.

Arctic Releases the Liquid Freezer II Series AIO CPU Coolers

ARCTIC, a leading manufacturer of low-noise PC coolers and components, today launches its new Liquid Freezer II series of AIO water coolers. Designed for high performance, the second generation Liquid Freezer includes four product versions: Liquid Freezer II 120, Liquid Freezer II 240, Liquid Freezer II 360, and Liquid Freezer II 280.

For the Liquid Freezer II series, ARCTIC has incorporated an in-house developed, energy-efficient PWM-controlled pump with a copper bottom plate that operates with extreme efficiency and quiet. At low loads, the pump reduces rotational speed, thereby lowering power consumption. The 40 mm fan on the pump provides consistent cooling for the motherboard voltage converter, while the sealed water circuit is maintenance-free.
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