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EK at CES 2021: Active Backplate, New Torque Fittings, Concept Cases!

EK Waterblocks, who have decided to go by EK for the brand presence in the retail stream henceforth, had a stronger showing at the virtual CES 2021 than most other brands, and showcased a good deal of new products amidst their EK Expo ongoing as of this post. The most interesting product to me at least was their upcoming actively cooled backplate solution, which is different from what Aqua Computer has done to date in that it has an actual cold plate and coolant going through a small block on the back rather than just a heatpipe. Now I will mention that Aqua Computer had shown off some renders of their own take of this, but this is the first time a retail solution has been shown off by a company.

EK says that the new backplate offering will come in either acetal or nickel-plexi variants, and will incorporate a thicker terminal that splits coolant flow to the front and back. The backplate, first coming for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080/3090 reference PCB, will make direct contact with the components on the back as well, with freshly conducted internal testing showing VRAM cooling improvements in significant double digits already. The company plans to make this an option for other popular new GPU releases as well, except for the RTX 3090 FE that gets its own bespoke cooling solution with the backplate connected to the coldplate on the front via thermal pads for a more petite, semi-active cooling solution coming up soon. The first active backplate is due to release in a month, with cost on the order of a typical GPU block itself. Click past the break for more from EK at CES 2021!

CES 2021: Thermaltake Introduces ARGENT Gaming Peripherals with Immersive Gaming Ecosystem

Thermaltake, the leading PC component brand offering premium solutions for cooling, gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory, today announced the ARGENT series, which includes ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, ARGENT M5 RGB Gaming Mice, ARGENT H5 RGB 7.1 Headset, ARGENT HS1 RGB Headset Stand, ARGENT Gaming Desk, ARGENT Gaming Chair, ARGENT MP1 RGB Mouse Pad, and ARGENT MB1 Mouse Bungee.

"We have decided to create a gaming series that can be enjoyed at all levels, including visual, auditory, and tactility while providing users to game and compete at the highest levels. The ARGENT series is a concept about creating an ecosystem, the hardware, software, and even the illumination can evolve to a state-of-the-art level. A truly immersive gaming and art enjoyment!" said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake.

LG Smart TVs to Get Stadia Cloud Gaming in Late 2021

LG Electronics (LG) announces a planned partnership with Google to bring Stadia to its latest webOS smart TVs in the second half of this year. After Stadia comes to Google TV, LG will be the first TV manufacturer to natively support Stadia gameplay via webOS.

LG is demonstrating its commitment to supporting premium gaming on its state-of-the-art displays, made even more compelling with support for 4k and 5.1 surround sound for Stadia Pro users. Stadia on LG TVs will allow customers to instantly play hit Stadia games such as Cyberpunk 2077, NBA 2K21, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion with just a Stadia controller and no additional hardware or game downloads required.

Intel Announces Four New Processor Families

In a world where computing is pervasive and intelligence is distributed across every surface - from the cloud to the network to the intelligent edge - Intel today at CES 2021 highlighted how it is driving technology leadership to define the future of computing for people, business and society. To help people navigate through this extraordinary time, Intel introduced new processors for business, education, mobile and gaming computing platforms - all designed to offer the premium PC experiences people deserve, with the most choices and no limits.

"Only Intel has the breadth of products spanning multiple architectures; the large, open ecosystem; sheer scale of manufacturing footprint; and deep technical expertise customers need to unlock opportunities in this era of distributed intelligence," said Intel Executive Vice President Gregory Bryant. "With an intense focus on execution for our core products and across our broader portfolio, we're introducing a series of leadership products at CES with more following throughout the year."

NETGEAR Introduces New Mobile 4G and 5G Wireless Solutions for Reliable Internet Connectivity from Anywhere

NETGEAR, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR), the worldwide leading provider of advanced networking products for home and office, has announced two new mobile products: the Industry's first WiFi 6 mobile wireless router - the Nighthawk 4G LTE WiFi 6 Router (LAX20) - and the NETGEAR 4G LTE Modem (LM1200). With a continued mission to provide connectivity for households and businesses regardless of where they may be located, these two mobile wireless products provide the capability of connecting home or office networks in the absence of traditional cable, DSL or fiber broadband options.

The Nighthawk LAX20 router supports advanced WiFi 6 networking technology delivering 1.8Gbps of high-performance WiFi and improved network capacity to handle a greater number of connected devices on the home network. Combined with a 4G LTE modem for instances where traditional wired internet options are not available or reliable, the Nighthawk LAX20 router provides an alternate mobile internet connectivity option. The new router also serves as an ideal solution for those who need internet access for limited time frames for instances such as a vacation home or short-term rentals.

CES 2021: Thermaltake launches DIVIDER 300TG ATX Mid-Tower Chassis

[Editor's note: Our review can be seen here]

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Case, Cooling, Gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory solutions, announces the launch of the new Divider Series Chassis line up. The Divider 500TG, 300TG, 200TG, 100TG models, including standard and ARGB versions, available in black and white colors. The Divider Series offers a range from M-ATX to ATX form factors, divided by 3mm tempered glass to provide a custom split difference for the next PC build. The Built-in triangular side panel includes side venting to improve airflow. Patented PCIE expansion slots offer secure options for vertical GPU mounting or direct to motherboard with a variety of GPU length support across the series.

"A good PC case design should be more than just fascinating RGB illumination and overall appearance. It needs a perfect balance between practicality, aesthetic, and thermal dissipation," said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake. "More powerful CPUs and GPUs are launching every day, making heat dissipation a significant concern for a gaming PC. The DIVIDER offers essentials to create the perfect ratio between material utility and the control of thermal conditions. It is also the next-gen gaming PC case for enthusiasts, modders, and gamers in sheer quality, and we're proud to present this whole new series at our Thermaltake Expo."

CES 2021: Thermaltake Presents the Tower 100 Mini Chassis

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Case, Cooling, Gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory solutions, announces the launch of the brand new mini-tower gaming PC case, the Tower 100. Based on the award-winning Tower 900, "Pocket-sized" down into a mini-ITX Form factor powerhouse, take on compact cooling and showcase the build with the perfect presentation.

"There is a trend among hardcore gamers who are choosing smaller cases for their high-performance computer builds. It was a major challenge to transform a full tower case like Tower 900 into an ITX form-factor. Still, the chassis was well-configured for space utilization, expandability, and cooling while also providing an eye-catching appearance. The thermal control is a top priority with such a tiny chassis. Tower 100 is a new benchmark for real ITX high-end gaming systems!" said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake.

LG Display Introduces World's First 48-inch Bendable Cinematic Sound OLED display

LG Display, the world's leading innovator of display technologies, announced today that it will showcase the world's first 48-inch Bendable Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO) optimized for gaming at CES 2021.

The 48-inch Bendable CSO display utilizes OLED's advantages as its paper-thin screen bends and unfolds with a curvature radius of up to 1,000R, meaning that it can be made to bend up to a radius of 1,000 mm without affecting the function of the display. It can therefore be turned into a flat screen while watching TV and used as a curved screen while gaming. The curved display offers a uniform viewing distance from the middle of the screen to its edge, maximizing the visual immersion that is popular among gamers.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600H "Cezanne" Processor Benchmarked, Crushes Renoir in Single Core and Multi Core Performance

With the launch of AMD's next-generation mobile processors just around the corner, with an expected launch date in the beginning of 2021 at the CES virtual event. The Cezanne lineup, as it is called, is based on AMD's latest Zen 3 core, which brings many IPC improvements, along with better frequency scaling thanks to the refined architecture design. Today, we get to see just how much the new Cezanne generation brings to the table thanks to the GeekBench 5 submission. In the test system, a Ryzen 5 5600H mobile processor was used, found inside of a Xiaomi Mi Notebook, paired with 16 GB of RAM.

As a reminder, the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H is a six-core, twelve threaded processor. So you are wondering how the performance looks like. Well, in the single-core test, the Zen 3 enabled core has scored 1372 points, while the multi-threaded performance result equaled 5713 points. If we compare that to the last generation Zen 2 based "Renoir" design, the equivalent Ryzen 5 4600H processor, the new design is about 37% faster in single-threaded, and about 14% faster in multi-threaded workloads. We are waiting for the announcement to see the complete AMD Cezanne lineup and see the designs it will bring.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" to See CES 2021 Unveil, Availability Later in Q1

Intel's 11th Generation Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processor family could be formally unveiled in just a few weeks from now, with HotHardware reporting a 2021 International CES unveiling (virtual event), for both the processors and their companion Intel 500-series chipset motherboards. This would put the unveiling around mid-January for the virtual launch event.

Availability is a different story, with the report predicting that while the Intel 500-series chipset motherboards will be available from mid-January, the processors won't arrive until March. Older reports predicted a market availability of these processors to almost miss Q1, and spill over into Q2 (April-June). Since "Rocket Lake-S" is based on the current LGA1200 package, the Intel 500-series chipset motherboards are expected to support existing 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake-S" processors, along with out-of-the-box support for the 11th Gen.

Intel 500 Series Motherboards to Supposedly Arrive on January 11th

Intel needs a platform refresh to battle the competition, mainly speaking to battle AMD and its Ryzen 5000 series processors. That is why the company is developing 500 series of chipsets covering the low-end (H510), mid-range (B560), and high-end markets (Z590) that pair with the upcoming Rocket Lake-S processor generation. Dubbed 11th generation of Core processors, the 11th generation of Intel Core CPUs are going to be built on Intel's refined 14 nm process. The CPUs are supposed to feature a Cypress Cove core, which is a backport of Golden Cove found in Ice Lake. The 500 series motherboards are the last in the DDR4 generation, launching in the timeframe when DDR5 is supposed to take over in the coming years.

Today, thanks to Weixin, a Chinese media outlet that posted a short story on the WeChat platform, we have information about the launch date of these new chipsets. According to the source, we are allegedly going to see these new chipsets on January 11th, the day that Intel CES 2021 event is supposed to happen. The platform will include a range of motherboards from Intel's partners and is supposed to bring support for the much-needed PCIe 4.0 protocol. The launch date should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, before taking it as a fact.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Present at CES 2021 Virtual Keynote

AMD has just had quite an amazing year. From the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series CPUs based on Zen 3 architecture to RDNA 2 based graphics cards, the company has been delivering new solutions in a timely manner. With the upcoming tech conference being CES, we are wondering which companies are going to hold their keynotes virtually. Thanks to the official CES website, we have confirmation that AMD's CEO Dr. Lisa Su will hold a virtual keynote with the goal of "presenting the AMD vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment, and gaming, including a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions." That could mean that we could possibly see some new directions for the company and how AMD plans to develop next-generation computing solutions, so stay tuned for more interesting information coming your way on January 11th, when CES kicks-off.

AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su to Keynote at CES 2021

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) today announced that AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su will keynote during CES 2021, the world's most influential technology event. Dr. Su will present the AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) vision for the future of research, education, work, entertainment and gaming, including a portfolio of high-performance computing and graphics solutions. This will be the first time the CES keynote series will be available in real time to registered attendees around the world.

CES 2021 will be an all-digital experience, extending the reach of this global event to existing and new audiences. Attendees will have a front row seat to the latest technology breakthroughs. Global brands and startups will launch the latest cutting-edge products. Thought leaders will share ideas that will shape the future. This new immersive experience will bring together the tech community.

CES 2021 Cancelled, Online Virtual Expo in the Offing

The 2021 edition of the International CES has been cancelled, organizers CTA announced. The 2021 edition, like almost every other edition, was scheduled to take place between January 6-9, 2021. The CTA will now work to set up an "all digital experience" working with all its exhibitors. The show is now expected to only make a comeback in 2022, provided the COVID-19 situation improves. The pandemic still wreaks havoc across the globe, with most nations experiencing community spread. Mass vaccination before the turn of the year seems unlikely, with most vaccine developers yet to test their vaccine candidates.

"Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it's just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person," CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. Despite fears of the pandemic looming on exhibitors' and visitors' minds, the 2020 edition of CES drew more than 170,000 visitors and over 4,400 exhibitors (that's just for the official exhibitors, not counting the many more exhibiting in nearby locations).

SilverStone Rolls Out Lucid LD03-AF Case, Improved VGA Airflow vs. Original LD03

SilverStone rolled out the Lucid series LD03-AF (Airflow version) tower-type case for Mini-ITX and Mini-DTX form-factor platforms, a new variant of the LD03 case from Q1-2019. The case was debuted at the 2020 International CES. What sets the LD03-AF apart from the original LD03 is additional vents on one of the front-facing side panels, designed to improve airflow for graphics cards that feature axial fans. The original LD03 had a slab of glass that smothered graphics cards. Although essentially a cuboid, the case is meant to be displayed with its right side pillars facing forward, as the main glasshouse spans the front and right side panel. Inside, the motherboard tray is aligned perpendicular to the plane of the base, but with its I/O shield pointing upward, such that your graphics card stands along the height of the case.

The LD03-AF serves up room for graphics cards up to 30.9 cm in length, and 16.7 cm in height; and CPU coolers up to 19 cm in height. The case's sole airflow channel is designed to draw air from a 120 mm intake fan at the base, with a 120 mm exhaust fan at the top, both with dust filters. Storage areas include one 3.5-inch and two 2.5-inch drive bays. The case supports SFX and SFX-L PSUs. The case has its own AC receptacle and M-to-F cable leading to your PSU. Measuring 265 mm (W) x 414 mm (H) x 230 mm (D), the case dry-weighs 5.22 kg. The case is expected to be available by June 25, with an expected price around $130.

Sonarworks Releases SoundID Listen: Personalized Sound on your Computer

Sonarworks had caught our eye back at CES 2019, when they showed off their then-still-in-progress mobile app for personalized sound signatures called True-Fi. The Latvia-based company has credentials to back all their claims, and the in-suite demo was impressive to say the least. Getting it out in the real world meant that the company had to build up their database of compatible headphones to first normalize the sound signature, and then work on the best option for recuperating R&D costs without breaking any wallets. As it turns out, the company had more insight on this at CES 2020 but are only now ready to show their retail plans in the form of SoundID.

SoundID, as both a mobile app (iOS, Android) and the new desktop SoundID Listen experience, takes over from where True-Fi started. The interface is more colorful and user-friendly to the masses, and the mobile app in the current beta form is being marketed more for profile-creation than usage, although it has the option to plug into your Spotify library. The older A/B tests are retained here, and at CES 2020 the app only had the "Core" experience. As of May, the app has new features to coincide with the desktop client's release, and read past the break for more on both.

Intel Core i7-1185G7 "Tiger Lake" Ships with 4.70 GHz Turbo Boost Speeds

Intel spoke of a "double digit percentage performance growth generation on generation" at its product reveal for "Tiger Lake" along the sidelines of its CES event. We now have a theory as to how they arrived at that. The company's 11th generation Core "Tiger Lake" processor, scheduled to launch sometime mid-2020, could bring about big gains in per-core performance for the ultraportable segment. PC enthusiast MebiuW, who has had a high hit-rate with Intel leaks, revealed that the flagship "Tiger Lake" part, the Core i7-1185G7, could ship with a CPU Turbo Boost speed of 4.70 GHz, a steep increase from the 3.90 GHz of the top current "Ice Lake" part, the i7-1065G7. The increased clock speeds, coupled with the more advanced "Willow Cove" CPU cores appear to be the 11th generation chip's value proposition.

Seagate Reveals Lyve Drive Mobile System

Seagate had plenty of things to show off at their CES booth, however, some things specially stuck out, like the Lyve Drive Mobile system. Developed to address the need for data movement between different endpoints, the Lyve Drive system comes in a few flavors. First in the line is a Lyve Drive Cards and Card Reader solution, which offers 1 TB CFexpress cards on the go, and a portable reader for them to read the data on the spot. Next up is the Lyve Drive Shutte which resembles an autonomous data storage and data transport solution that offers capacities of up to 16 TB of HDD or SSD storage.

Another Part of the Lyve Drive ecosystem is a Lyve Drive Mobile Array, which offers a sealed and ruggedized solution for carrying up to 6 of Seagate's 18 TB Exos HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) hard drives for a total capacity of 108 TB. Next in the lineup is the Lyve Drive Modular Array - a 4-bay flexible solution that offers various configurations for business, so their deployment strategy of these devices varies. It uses Seagate's MACH.2 multi-actuator technology that transfers the data concurrently. Last but not least is a Lyve Drive Rackmount Reciver which is a 4U rackmount hub that allows for direct connection of Lyve Drive arrays into the data center, without a need to reconnect any of the data center networking specially for storage transfer.

Touring the Bitspower Suite at CES 2020

Visiting Bitspower at CES or Computex is a real adventure of sorts in terms of not knowing what to expect. Last year, for example, we were greeted to LN2 pots of all things, in addition to new blocks and fans that made their way to the retail market over the subsequent months. It was also interesting to take a look back at the concept of the Premium Summit M CPU block from last year, knowing what it turned out now. This year, the company hosted us again at CES and had a large hotel suite full of products- refreshes, and new alike. We take a look at their offerings here, and be sure to read past the break for more.

The very first thing we saw was a distribution plate/case hybrid, which Bitspower wants to bring out as a test bench case later this year. There have been other such executions come out recently, including some at CES from other companies, and this is a natural extension of the distro plate development that has caught the mind of several custom watercooling companies for one reason or another. This particular version uses two Xylem DDC pumps with Bitspower heatsinks, and has four large feet to prop up the finished build horizontally for testing/display. Bitspower expects to introduce the finalized version at Computex later this year, and are seeking feedback from our readers on what features they would like to see here.

Walkthrough of the EK Waterblocks Suite at CES 2020

CES might be over, but our coverage from the event continues. TechPowerUp prides itself on visiting a lot of brands, big and small, and bringing to you our first-hand account of everything new. EK Waterblocks, or simply EKWB henceforth, had a large room in the Mandalay Bay with a big open window spanning the room, which made for challenging photography, but a well-laid out open plan made it easy for us to go over the various product segments they had to display. This post will go briefly over them, but keep in mind that nearly all products showcased do not have set retail availability info just yet.

The very first thing that caught our eyes was their new line of AIO cooling solutions, now simply called EK-AIO. These are the successors to the EK-MLC Phoenix, and the EK-Predator from before, both of which did not really change the status quo of the pre-filled AIO CPU cooling market. EK hopes that the new series, of which again they are working to finalizing the design before committing to a release window and pricing information, will change this. As with most of their new products, the EK-AIO coolers integrate RGB support with 9 dRGB LEDs in the pump/block and more on the EK-Vardar RGB fans that are used on the radiator itself. The EK-AIO series is planned to come in 120/240/360 mm radiator size options, with 1/2/3 fans respectively. Read past the break for more from the Slovenian watercooling brand.

Martiantec Martian 104 Prototype Keyboard is Bold Both in Form and Function

A new find this CES 2020 is Martiantec, a new tech entrant that wants to reinvent the keyboard and mouse as we know it. Their eyeball magnet is what they call the "Martian 104 prototype keyboard" (a working title). Its design involves the physical compartmentalization of every key into interconnected nodes that make up a mesh. The keycap surrounds each node.

This design ensures that no dirt accumulates between keys over time. The Martian 104 comes in several glossy, bright colors. Under the hood(s), this membrane keyboard uses a single piece fiberglass PCB that's been heavily perforated. Each key in this otherwise standard 104-key QWERTY keyset is re-programmable. Martiantec also showed us a prototype wireless mouse, with little else to go off aside from the images below.
More pictures follow.

Phison Demonstrates 4-Bits Per Cell QLC SSDs

Phison Electronics, the industry's leader in flash controller and NAND storage solutions, is demonstrating mainstream performance using 4-bits per cell QLC NAND flash controllers and SSDs at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. In its private suite, Phison is showcasing the addition of support for QLC NAND to its already shipping E16 PCIe Gen 4x4, E12 PCIe Gen 3x4, and S12 SATA controllers that use TLC NAND. Phison's industry leading approach leverages highly successful controllers that were qualified by tier-1 OEMs, are in mass production now, and extends new SSD designs to utilize either TLC or QLC NAND. Phison's proprietary QLC NAND controller technology enables higher SSD capacities in industry standard form factors while meeting the performance demands of mainstream applications.

Phison's flagship E16 series controller for PCIe Gen 4x4 NVMe SSDs can achieve up to 4 TB in capacity with QLC NAND and reaches speeds of 4.9 GB/s for sequential reads and 3.8 GB/s for sequential writes. The E12 series controller enables PCIe Gen 3x4 NVMe SSDs and has a capacity of up to 8 TB and speeds of 3.4 GB/s sequential reads, 3.0 GB/s sequential writes with QLC NAND. For the SATA interface, Phison is also demonstrating the S12 controller series SSDs with up to 16 TB using QLC NAND and performance at 550 MB/s sequential reads and 530 MB/s sequential writes. Phison's DRAM-less S13T controllers enable smaller form factors, have a capacity of up to 2 TB, and operate at 550 MB/s sequential reads and 500 MB/s sequential writes.

Edifier Elevates its Audio Selection with New, High-Quality Wireless and Gaming Headphones at CES

Edifier, the prominent designers and award-winning manufacturer of premium sound systems and well-known for its bookshelf speakers, today introduced their newest products, the TWS NB, TWS6, GM6 and G7, to its ever-expanding audio and gaming accessory lineup.

To fill a gap in the marketplace, the TWS NB features active noise technology found in noise-canceling over-ear headphones, in a sleek, truly wireless earphone design while boasting a fully noise-free, immersive listening experience at an affordable cost. Equipped with Knowles tri-frequency balanced armature driver, the TWS6 delivers a rich and powerful, all-encompassing sound in a compact and elegant design. In terms of gaming, the GM6 offers a truly portable mobile gaming experience with the security of listening to every sound in tandem with the visuals, while the G7 brings high quality, surround sound audio in a heat regulating, easy-to-use and stylish headset.

CORSAIR Shows Off Lighting Concept Using Capellix LEDs in Cases

CORSAIR introduced us to their small form factor Capellix LEDs, co-developed with Primax, at CES last year and has since been utilizing them in memory and peripheral products alike. So it was just a natural next step for them to find a way to include them into their cases, and the company took to CES 2020 to show off a traditional retail case which has been covered with a film encompassing these LEDs.

The glass panels are lined with a thin, transparent film so that you are able to have a matrix of these RGB LEDs on the backside without any easily visible wires, which makes for quite a unique look. This implementation does require a lot of more complex wiring relative to a standard LED strip, tiny as it still may be spatially, which currently limits the number of LEDs that could be embedded in such a removable panel, but the result is attention-grabbing regardless. There is no concrete launch date or pricing for this, and CORSAIR is still deciding if they will include these on current cases as a special edition or for future enclosure products. That said, the implementation at CES already looked pretty clean externally and, a fun fact is, you can touch them on the backside of the glass panel and will not get zapped.
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