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Creative Launches Aurora Reactive SDK for Sound BlasterX Products

Creative Technology Ltd today announced that it would be launching the Aurora Reactive SDK. This tool would effectively convert the Aurora Reactive Lighting System found on Sound BlasterX products into an open platform, allowing developers the freedom to customize, animate and synchronize its lighting behavior. The 16.8 million color Aurora Reactive Lighting System is currently found on the Sound BlasterX Katana, Vanguard K08, Siege M04, AE-5, and Kratos S5.

The Aurora Reactive SDK is a system with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow third party developers to program Creative's Sound BlasterX RGB-enabled hardware. The SDK will come complete with sample codes, an API library, and documentation to enable even novice programmers to get started.

Sound BlasterX Katana Now Supports USB Audio for Sony PS4, PS4 Pro, and PS4 Slim

Creative Technology Ltd today announced that its Award-Winning Under-Monitor Sound System, the Sound BlasterX Katana, now supports USB audio connectivity with all Sony PS4 console variants. The updated support allows PS4 users to enjoy cinematic audio performance via USB delivered by the Katana for all their gaming content, including popular titles such as Uncharted: The LostLegacy and Horizon: Zero Dawn, as well as highly anticipated upcoming titles such as Star Wars Battlefront 2, Call of Duty WWII, NBA 2K18 and Destiny 2.

On top of that, users will enjoy an enhanced in-game communication experience that allows them to enjoy a full suite of noise-reduction and voice morphing technologies made possible by Katana's built-in advanced Sound Blaster processor. Previously, Katana users could only connect to their PS4 via optical connection with a separate mic connection to the PS4's controller - all without the benefit of noise reduction and voice morphing enhancements. Also, users can look forward to accessing these technologies on-the-fly while Katana is connected to a PS4, from the convenience of an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, with an updated version of the Sound Blaster Connect App - which is slated to be released by end-October 2017 on the App Store and Google Play.

GIGABYTE Introduces Z370 Motherboards for 8th Gen Core

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has unveiled the new GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS motherboards based on the Intel Z370 chipset. These supercharged motherboards are equipped with a server-grade digital power design which fully support 8th generation Intel Core processors. Performance tuned, the Z370 AORUS Motherboards are compatible with memory modules rated for 4133MHz. With unique features like an ESS Sabre DAC, Smart Fan 5 and RGB Fusion, there's no doubt why gamers turn to AORUS for the ultimate gaming motherboard.

"Following Intel's release of the Z370 chipset platform, GIGABYTE has designed a new, groundbreaking motherboard," said Vincent Liu, Senior Associate Vice President of GIGABYTE's Motherboard Business Unit. "GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS motherboards are designed for gamers who value powerful, yet highly durable motherboards. With our new digital power design, not only will Z370 AORUS motherboards unleash the power of the 8th generation Intel Core processors' they will easily fulfill gamers' demands."

Creative Announces Sound BlasterX AE-5 Audiophile-grade Gaming Sound Card

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at E3 2017 the latest addition to its Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX AE-5. E3 is the world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products, making it the perfect place to debut the next era of PC audio.

The sound card features the world's best gaming headphone amplifier for PCs. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 delivers the ultimate audio performance with the full force of a 122 dB 32-bit / 384 kHz ESS Sabre DAC, a kick-ass custom-designed 600Ω discrete headphone amp, audiophile-grade components, and proprietary Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies.

EVGA X299 DARK Motherboard Pictured

EVGA unveiled a formidable lineup of socket LGA2066 motherboards, based on Intel X299 Express chipset. One of the models which caught our eye is the X299 DARK. Designed for extreme overclocking, this board is halfway between ATX and E-ATX width. It draws power from an angled 24-pin ATX, an angled 6-pin PCIe, and two 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using a high-current 9-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to just four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel memory; and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. The fifth x16 slot which is electrical x4 and an open-ended x4 slot; which are wired to the PCH; make for the rest of the expansion.

Storage connectivity on the EVGA X299 DARK includes a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, two 32 Gb/s U.2 ports, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 (of which one is type-C), and eight USB 3.0 (six on the rear panel, two by headers). Networking includes 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 WLAN, a 10 GbE wired connection driven by an Intel i210-T1 controller, and a 1 GbE driven by an i219-V. The onboard audio features a Creative Sound Blaster DSP. This is one of the rare few board in which the I/O shroud extends into an integrated I/O shield, which could be useful for open-air benches.

ASRock X299 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i9 and X299 Killer SLI/ac Detailed

ASRock showed off its premium gaming-grade X299 Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i9 and X299 Killer SLI/ac motherboards. The two boards are based on a common PCB, but differ with the former featuring 10 GbE network connectivity and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema audio DSP, while the latter lacks them. If you want the feature-set of the X299 Killer SLI/ac but the white+black color scheme isn't rubbing of on you, ASRock has you covered with the X299 Fatal1ty Gaming K6. Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, the boards employ a 14-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU, which is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16.

Storage connectivity on the boards includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Both boards further feature two USB 3.1 ports (of which one is type-C), about 8 USB 3.0 ports, and network connectivity that includes 802.11ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.1, and at least one gigabit Ethernet connection driven by an Intel i219-V controller. The Fatal1ty Gaming i9 tops this with Aquantia AQC107 controller-driven 10 GbE. The two feature Aura Sync RGB headers.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Update Brings Improved Performance to Ryzen

Some outlets are reporting that Stardock's Ashes of the Singularity is about to receive the much-referred-to patch that allows for improved performance on AMD's Ryzen line of processors. If you remember, rivers of ink flowed regarding AMD's Ryzen performance in gaming, with its monstrous, high-performance 8-core, 16-threaded design sometimes delivering performance below expectations. At the time, AMD clarified how Ryzen is a distinctive CPU architecture, similar yet fundamentally different from Intel's x86 implementation, promising upcoming patches from game developers that would allow Ryzen's architecture to truly deliver.

After Creative Assembly and Oxide Games vouched to improve Ryzen support, Oxide seems to be the first developer with a patch available (from version 25624 to 26118) that improves performance by up to 30%. Reportedly, it took the developers around 400 work-hours to improve the game code in respect to its execution on AMD hardware.

Creative Intros Tournament Edition Variants of its SoundBlasterX H7 and H5

Creative announced retail availability of new Tournament Edition variants of its SoundBlasterX H5 and SoundBlasterX H7 gaming headsets. The variants are characterized by large 50 mm drivers and cushioning designed for extended periods of gameplay (as in tournaments). Both are stereo headsets, but the H7 comes with a USB DAC that puts out virtual 7.1-channel audio, with support for 24-bit/96 kHz audio formats. The 50 mm drivers range between 20 Hz to 22 kHz, with 32Ω impedance, and 118 dB/mW sound-pressure sensitivity. The retractable microphone ranges between 100 Hz to 15 kHz, with 2.2Ω impedance. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Gigabyte Announces Its Aorus Z270-based Motherboard Lineup

Gigabyte announced six new Z270 motherboards as part of its Aorus product line - and all of them feature RGB LED lighting and swappable LED overlays. Apparently, Gigabyte opted for the standardization of their RGB Fusion LED lighting up and down their Aorus product line - all of the boards have at least two areas that are RGB LED backlit, including a space on the right edge beside the RAM slots. This RAM RGB lighting can be removed and replaced with different overlays according to the users' taste, and each motherboard is also equipped with a LED strip header. Dubbed the Z270X-Gaming 9, Z270X-Gaming 8, Z270X-Gaming 7 , Z270X-Gaming K7, Z270X-Gaming 5, and the Z270X-Gaming K5, these Gigabyte Aorus motherboards are quite well-rounded, as you can see after the break.

ASRock Announces its 200-series Chipset Motherboard Lineup

The leading global motherboard manufacturer, ASRock, is pleased to announce the launch of its Intel 200 series motherboard range. These new ASRock boards are the first to unleash the extreme performance of the latest 7th generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium and Celeron Socket 1151 processors - by providing all the advanced features necessary to make the most of their raw power. The ASRock range offers something for everyone with the Gaming series, Extreme series, high performance Pro series, and Killer series.

The design of ASRock's flagship Z270 SuperCarrier motherboard evokes the style and power of the world's mightiest warship, the supercarrier, with features that will blast the competition out of the water. The Z270 SuperCarrier's PCI-E Steel Slots provide ultimate graphics with 4-Way SLI and 4-Way CrossFireX, plus full NVIDIA Quadro SLI support. The advanced PCI-E Steel Slots packed with solid cover that prevents any signal interference with graphics cards. It also ensures the heavy graphics cards to be well-installed in the PCI-E slots safely. Two Thunderbolt 3 connectors with a 40Gb/s data rate are able to drive super high resolution displays up to 4K x 2K (4096 x 2304) at 60Hz, plus high speed external storage, and other advanced devices. The highly desirable reversible USB 3.1 Type-C interface delivers the breathtaking 10 Gb/s data transfer speeds and also supports USB PD 2.0 charging up to 12V@3A (36W).

ASRock Z270 Fatal1ty Motherboard Teased

Here are some of the first pictures of a production version of an ASRock Z270 Fatal1ty-branded motherboard. While there's no picture of the board in full, Expreview scored pictures of its key sections, including its CPU VRM area, showing us prominent "Z270" badging on a VRM heatsink, a Fatal1ty logo on the PCH heatsink and its print on the PCB; and an Intel Gigabit Ethernet on the rear I/O hood, and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 3 logo on the audio area hood; all pointing to this being a production version.

The rear I/O picture reveals two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, provision for a WLAN card, four USB 3.1 ports (of which one is type-C), two USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio with a TOSLINK connector; and display outputs including DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. Storage appears to include eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and at least one M.2 slot (with Intel Optane support out of the box). Not much else is revealed by these pictures. Intel 200-series chipset motherboards are expected to launch alongside 7th generation Core "Kaby Lake" processors, in January 2017.
Source: Expreview

GIGABYTE Launches the X170-Extreme ECC Motherboard

GIGABYTE unveiled a new high-end socket LGA1151 motherboard, the X170-Extreme ECC. Positioned as a workstation motherboard for the high-end desktop crowd, this board is based on Intel C236 chipset, and comes with support for Intel Xeon E3-1200 V5 processors in addition to 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors. It also supports DDR4 ECC memory, which partly lends it its name. Built in the standard ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated), a third PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4, wired to the PCH), and three other PCIe 3.0 x1 slots.

A star attraction here is GIGABYTE's choice of an Intel-made 2-port USB 3.1 controller, which connects to the PCH over PCI-Express 3.0 x4, compared to most other USB 3.1 controllers in the market, which connect over PCI-Express 3.0 x2. This ensures consistent 10 Gb/s bandwidth dedicated to each of the two ports, without any bandwidth loss to overhead. The board offers one each of type-A and type-C ports, wired to this controller. The board offers an additional four USB 3.0 ports from the chipset and a Renesas-made hub chip. Also on offer is a 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 port, with DisplayPort 1.2 passthrough.

Creative Announces the iRoar Smart Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Creative iRoar Intelligent Portable Bluetooth Speaker System. This compact multipurpose iRoar represents the next step in the evolution of portable speakers -- with its audio performance, expandability, intelligent audio processing, personalization and a collaborative open platform that allows for value-added third-party add-ons. And, it is twice as powerful as the original Sound Blaster Roar and has a huge 20-hour battery life. The Creative iRoar has been named a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree product in the Home Audio/Video Components and Accessories category. The speaker will be showcased at CES 2016 -- the world's largest consumer electronics show.

At the heart of the Creative iRoar's intelligence is the powerful, flexible and programmable multi-core floating point SB-Axx1 processor. It is responsible for all the audio and voice enhancement, and proprietary effect processing, as well as an open platform that allows users to customize the behaviour of the speaker. The built-in processor also allows the iRoar to function as a high-end sound card.

Creative Releases the Sound Blaster Roar Pro

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Sound Blaster Roar Pro -- a powerful compact Bluetooth Speaker made for audio entertainment and professional usage as a wireless personal PA system (public address system) when used with the optional wireless Creative iRoar Mic. The Sound Blaster Roar Pro is the first in the all new professional series of speakers by Creative and comes in exclusive Matte Black.

Compared to the Sound Blaster Roar Classic, the Sound Blaster Roar Pro features improved drivers for more refined audio performance, a longer battery-life of up to 10 hours, and a slideswitch that allows users to select different audio profiles (Warm, Neutral, and Energetic). "Creative's all new Roar Professional Series of speakers are designed to deliver powerful audio for personal entertainment on the go, and at the same time, double-up as powerful productivity tools when used to address groups of people at work, in classrooms, or in camps," said Low Long Chye, General Manager of Audio at Creative.

Creative Unleashes The X-Fi Sonic Carrier

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at CES 2016 Las Vegas a brand new concept in advanced audio and video delivery systems: The Creative X-Fi Sonic Carrier. The elegantly-designed carrier system is a high-end lifestyle entertainment platform that brings together all the advanced technologies and convenience in a single beautifully crafted aluminum body. Powered by a whopping 7 processors with 14 cores, this technology powerhouse carries a 15.2 high-resolution audio system in a 11.2.4 (front.sub.height) speaker configuration that also incorporates Dolby Atmos technology.

Furthermore, the Sonic Carrier features an advanced video playback engine that supports 4K (60fps) local and streaming video content. The intelligence and features of the system can even be further upgraded in the future. The X-Fi Sonic Carrier also comes with 3 distinct wireless technologies that allow multi-room Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a zero-latency speaker-to-speaker link to up to 4 subwoofer units.

Creative Intros Sound BlasterX G5 71 HDA Portable Sound Card and Headphone Amp

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the availability in the U.S., as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX G5, a 7.1 HD audio portable sound card with built-in headphone amplifier. The Sound BlasterX G5 is an external sound card that comes with the built-in SB-Axx1 multi-core chipset for hardware accelerated SBX Pro Studio enhanced audio and transforms even basic stereo into 3D positional surround sound on your headset. The Sound BlasterX G5 also supports multi-channel content, delivering true 7.1 audio for ultra-realistic surround sound.

Built with precision audiophile components, the Sound BlasterX G5 is also a 24-bit/192kHz, 120dB USB DAC and headphone amplifier with 2.2 ohm output impedance for high fidelity playback -- driving studio-grade headphones up to 600 ohms and sensitive in-ear monitors. The illuminated volume control knob and dedicated SBX and Scout Mode buttons also allow for quick volume or audio adjustments during gaming sessions.

Creative Also Unveils the Outlier Bluetooth MP3 Headphones

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Creative Outlier, a powerful feature-rich Bluetooth MP3 headphones with changeable colorful acoustic rings. The headphone is specially designed for urban commuters and health enthusiasts who want to enjoy their music indoors or outdoors, with or without their smartphones. Creative Outlier is extremely lightweight -- weighing just 3.28 oz (93 g) -- and will fit easily into just about any rucksack, tote bag or attaché case. The headphone also comes with useful features for health enthusiasts such as the Pacer Mode to keep track of lap or workout timings.

When worn, the lightweight headphone is designed for comfort and durability -- it features an extremely flexible and durable headband construction with soft protein leatherette ear cushions. Customized for Creative Outlier, these soft ear cushions fit snugly on the ears for all day comfort.

Creative Announces the Woof 3 Bluetooth Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Creative Woof 3, the ideal micro-size Bluetooth speaker companion for smartphone and tablet users who want to enjoy their music out loud on the go. The series comes in a flourish of rich metallic colors inspired by the four seasons: Spring Crystallite, Summer Rouge, Autumn Gold, and Winter Chrome; ideal for users who appreciate both great aesthetics and audio.

Shaped like an inverted bell, the speaker produces clear audio that is directed upwards and well distributed. Creative Woof 3 has been designed to deliver audio that punches above its weight for speakers in its class. Encased within the durable premium metal alloy housing is a 45mm driver (12% larger than its predecessors in the Woof series), and an additional oversized passive bass radiator for an enhanced audio performance. It even doubles up as a speakerphone with its built-in invisible microphone when connected via Bluetooth with a smartphone.

Creative Also Announces Sound BlasterX P5 Gaming Headset

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at gamescom 2015, as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX P5, a High-performance In-ear Gaming Headset. As a smaller and lighter headset solution with far superior noise isolation, the Sound BlasterX P5 is built with two custom-tuned, high-sensitivity 7 mm FullSpectrum drivers with port tubes for deep clean bass and clear highs, and a high-performance omni-directional inline microphone optimized for vocal capture.

Unlike other bass heavy in-ear gaming headsets, its well balanced audio signature offers a wide, layered soundstage with rapid response, giving gamers tactical advantage through the distinct ability to perceive cues, depth and location accurately. It is tuned to enhance the listening experience and not to overwhelm, allowing gamers to experience an amazing level of detail while being immersed in the gaming experience for extended hours without listening fatigue. The Sound BlasterX P5 sets the new audiophile in-ear standard for gaming while delivering powerful sound even at low volumes.

Creative Announces Sound Blaster Roar 2 Wireless Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the availability in the United States of a brand new variant of the critically acclaimed Sound Blaster Roar portable Bluetooth wireless speaker -- the smaller, lighter, sexier, sweeter Sound Blaster Roar 2. The all new Sound Blaster Roar 2 portable Bluetoothwireless speaker retains the same 5 speaker drivers, electrical design, and 8-hour battery life as the Classic Sound Blaster Roar -- but is now 20% smaller and 10% lighter. And it is available in black or white.

Encased in a stylish sleek metallic housing that exudes the understated sophistication of a well-designed audio instrument, the smaller-lighter-sexier-sweeter Sound Blaster Roar 2 is sure to impress, whether it is used at the office, in a designer home, or at a party.

Creative Also Announces Sound BlasterX G5: 7.1 External Sound Card and Amplifier

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at gamescom 2015 , as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX G5, a 7.1 HD audio external sound card with built-in headphone amplifier. The Sound BlasterX G5 is an external sound card that comes with the built-in SB-Axx1 multi-core chipset for hardware accelerated SBX Pro Studio enhanced audio and transforms even basic stereo into 3D positional surround sound on your headset. The Sound BlasterX G5 also supports multi-channel content, delivering true 7.1 audio for ultra-realistic surround sound.

Built with precision audiophile components, the Sound BlasterX G5 is also a 24-bit/192kHz, 120dB USB DAC and headphone amplifier with 2.2 ohm output impedance for high fidelity playback -- driving studio-grade headphones up to 600 ohms and sensitive in-ear monitors. The illuminated volume control knob and dedicated SBX and Scout Mode buttons also allow for quick volume or audio adjustments during gaming sessions.

Creative Announces Sound BlasterX H7: Professional HD 7.1 Headset

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at Gamescom 2015, as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX H7, a premium ultra high-performance high definition 7.1 Surround USB Gaming Headset. Made for the discerning gamer, the flagship product in the new Sound BlasterX line, the Sound BlasterX H7, combines comfort and durability with the best audio performance available. The headset supports USB connectivity for high definition lossless digital audio which includes 7.1 surrround sound for immersive gaming.

Every detail of the product design was scrutinized based on feedback from pro-gamers as well as features that are in demand in the market. Two of the most important features for a gaming headset are durability and comfort. At its core, the Sound BlasterX H7 features a simplified design: less parts means less weight, and the highly flexible, single-piece reinforced steel band bends all the way around the head for a precise, comfortable fit. The earcups are lined with plush, replaceable protein leather/memory foam cushions to ensure lasting comfort and a perfect seal against unwanted ambient noise, and are connected to the headband with lightweight flexible aluminium brackets.

Creative Unveils the ROAR 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd., today announced the launch of a brand new variant of the critically acclaimed Sound Blaster Roar portable Bluetooth wireless speaker − the smaller, lighter, sexier Sound Blaster Roar 2. The all new Sound Blaster Roar 2 portable Bluetooth wireless speaker retains the same 5 speaker drivers, electrical design, and
battery life as the Classic Sound Blaster Roar − but is now 20% smaller and 10% lighter. And it is available in black or white. Encased in a stylish sleek housing that exudes the understated sophistication of a well-designed audio instrument, the smaller-lighter-sexier Sound Blaster Roar 2 continues to impress, whether it is used at the office, in a designer home, or at a party.

Creative Announces Sound Blaster FRee Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Sound Blaster FRee, its latest multifunction portable Bluetooth speaker with two custom-tuned Neodymium drivers and twin passive radiators that deliver massive full-range audio with powerful bass. Featuring dual-orientation playback, the Sound Blaster FRee can be placed either horizontally for wide stereo imaging or vertically for 360-degree sound. This powerful yet lightweight speaker boasts a compact cylindrical form factor small enough to fit comfortably in the user's hand and carried in a bag, giving users the freedom to play music out loud everywhere they go. Everyone can experience awesome music now at home, at work, at play, and even by the pool - the Sound Blaster FRee is splash-proof.

The Sound Blaster FRee has extensive connectivity options. This includes wireless Bluetooth for smartphones or tablets, USB for PCs or Macs, as well as Aux-in for analog sources. It even comes with a built-in MP3 player for standalone playback from a microSD card up to 32 GB. Users can customise different microSD cards with music for different moments and easily swap them. Users can also arrange all their music into different folders on a microSD card and easily skip a folder with one touch. The Sound Blaster FRee also doubles up as a hands-free Bluetooth speakerphone when paired with a smartphone, allowing users to enjoy music and movies while effortlessly taking calls in between.

MSI Unleashes 990FXA GAMING Socket AM3+ Motherboard

MSI, world leading in motherboard design, debuts the world's first USB 3.1 featured AMD GAMING motherboard, the 990FXA GAMING. Delivering blazing fast USB performance, up to 2 times faster than USB 3.0, the new 990FXA GAMING motherboard offers two USB 3.1 ports, which are fully backwards compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.

Inheriting the outstanding DNA of MSI's award winning GAMING family, the new MSI AM3+ 990FXA GAMING motherboard features Killer LAN for the best online GAMING experience, Audio Boost 2 powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 for astonishing sound quality that gives you the upper hand on the battlefield, USB Audio Power and a completely new hardware and software design for enhanced gaming performance. Get ready for high-end AMD GAMING with MSI.
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