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Razer Announces Expansion to Many More Gaming Peripheral Segments at RazerCon 2020

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, made October 10, 2020 a day to remember for the global gaming community. Fans across the world tuned in to the inaugural RazerCon to watch Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan's live mixed-reality keynote - a one-of-a-kind interactive session hosted against the iconic Singapore skyline. This was followed by Razer panels on new and unannounced products, and exclusive content showcases and giveaways from game studios such as Romero Games, Perfect World Entertainment, Paradox Interactive and technology partners such as Intel, NVIDIA and Western Digital.

The event was a huge hit with the fans, peaking at over 1 million concurrent viewers with a total of more than 250,000 hours viewed and 175 million impressions across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. In a true celebration of all things gaming, highly decorated veterans of the industry, including Brenda and John Romero, and Haz Dullul, presented their newest projects, whilst leading gaming celebrities CloakZy, CourageJD, PaladinAmber and many others engaged with the community during their sessions.

OWC Launches New Mercury Elite Pro Dual with 3-port Hub

OWC ; a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company and one of the world's most respected providers of Memory, External Drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions, and performance upgrade kits introduces the new OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual with 3-Port Hub. Designed to handle diverse workflows, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual offers up to 32 TB of storage capacity plus a built-in high-powered USB hub for accessory connectivity and device charging, easily making it the centerpiece of your digital desktop. The compact Mercury Elite Pro Dual is equipped and ready to go to give you its best performance with any USB equipped Mac, PC, or tablet from nearly the last decade. You don't need to worry about what system you have, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual with 3-Port Hub is there to provide the performance, data capacity, and hub capability your digital needs.

The Mercury Elite Pro Dual with 3-Port Hub gives you nearly infinite options for your workspace. This modern designed solution is universally USB compatible and can handle diverse workflows. Available plug and play ready, the Mercury Elite Pro Dual is not only superfast, convenient, and versatile, it will quickly become the centerpiece of your digital lifestyle.

Alphacool Unveils Five New NexXxoS Series Large-format Copper Radiators

Alphacool today unveiled five new NexXxoS series DIY liquid cooling radiators. These include the XT45 Full Copper 1260 mm SuperNova, XT45 Full Copper 1080 mm Nova, XT45 Full Copper 200 mm, XT45 Full Copper 400 mm, and ST30 Full Copper 560 mm radiator V.2 The XT45 Full Copper 1260 mm SuperNova Radiator has 400 x 400 x 45 mm of pure cooling surface for nine 140 mm or four 200 mm fans. No other Alphacool radiator offers as much surface area in a single product. Priced at 139.96€. Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1080 mm Nova offers 350 x 350 x 45 mm of pure cooling surface for nine 140 mm or four 200 mm fans. Only one other Alphacool Radiator offers more cooling surface in one unit. The Alphacool NexXxoS XT45 1260 SuperNova Radiator. Priced 99.95€.

As usual, Alphacool also uses pure copper for the NexXxoS 200 mm XT45 Radiator. The end chambers, water channels and cooling fins are all made of copper and are a unique selling point worldwide. As a result, Alphacool radiators have been among the most popular and best on the market for many years, providing the perfect foundation for every water cooling system. Priced at 59.95€.

Thermaltake Launches TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4-4600 Memory 16GB

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, proudly announced our high clock rate memory, the TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 4600 MHz 16 GB Memory (2x8GB), which comes in both black and white versions. Besides the previous TOUGHRAM RGB 4000 MHz and TOUGHRAM RGB 4400 MHz Memory, we have now reached a new level, the TOUGHRAM line with a new higher clock rate of 4600 MHz in 16 GB (2x8GB) to ensure that we meet the users' needs. To provide high and stable gaming performance, all ICs are tightly-screened and coated with a ten-layer PCB.

Uniquely designed TT premium heat spreader with ten high lumens individual addressable LEDs not only dispatches heat faster but can allow users to show off 16.8 million colors with countless lighting combinations. Furthermore, users can use NeonMaker to customize and control the lighting effects, or even synchronized TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 4600 MHz Memory with the TT RGB Plus software to maximize the control of RGB effects. TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 4600 MHz Memory is also compatible with Intel Z490 and AMD X570 chipsets and supports Intel's XMP 2.0. If you're looking for high-quality, high functioning stable memory, choose TOUGHRAM RGB DDR4 4600 MHz.

Fractal Design Announces the Era ITX Case

Taking aim at Creators, Gamers and other DIY-ers, Fractal Design today launched an innovative, small form factor chassis through close collaboration with Intel. "We were very excited about partnering with Intel in developing this case," says Fractal Design founder Hannes Wallin. "It inspired us to take on a project that challenges the convention that elegant design can't be combined with flexible functionality, and we're very happy with the result."

Available today, the Era ITX is the next generation of Mini-ITX case design. This compact chassis is free from the configuration limitations traditionally associated with small form factor systems. This unique product brings the perfect combination of elegant design and technical engineering to PC hardware innovation. Era's design presents a surfaced, aluminium exterior that is paired with top inserts ranging from wood to tempered glass. This combination of materials along with a variety of colorways presents a spectrum of choices to the user.

We've just posted our Fractal Design Era case review.
Fractal Design Era ITX cobalt blue Fractal Design Era ITX

Zhaoxin KaiXian x86 Processor Now Commercially Available to the DIY Channel

Zhaoxin is a brand that makes multi-core 64-bit x86 processors primarily for use in Chinese state IT infrastructure. It's part of the Chinese Government's ambitious plan to make its IT hardware completely indigenous. Zhaoxin's x86-64 CPU cores are co-developed by licensee VIA, specifically its CenTaur subsidiary that's making NCORE AI-enabled x86 processors. The company's KaiXian KX-6780A processor is now commercially available in China to the DIY market in the form of motherboards with embedded processors.

The KaiXian KX-6780A features an 8-core/8-thread x86-64 CPU clocked up to 2.70 GHz, 8 MB of last-level cache, a dual-channel DDR4-3200 integrated memory controller, a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root-complex, and an iGPU possibly designed by VIA's S3 Graphics division, which supports basic display and DirectX 11.1 readiness. The CPU features modern ISA, with instruction sets that include AVX, AES-NI, SHA-NI, and VT-x comparable virtualization extensions. The chip has been fabricated on TSMC 16 nm FinFET process.

Intel Cuts Prices of iGPU-devoid 9th Gen Core F and KF SKUs by up to 20 Percent

Intel Monday revised prices of select 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" desktop processor models. These price cuts target the "F" and "KF" brand extensions, which denote a lack of integrated graphics. The price cuts range from 5 percent to 20 percent, and cover key fast-moving SKUs popular with the DIY gaming PC crowd that likes to pair these chips with discrete graphics cards. The entry-level Core i3-9100F gets the biggest cut of the lot. The 4-core/4-thread chip is now selling for USD $97, a 20 percent cut from its $122 MSRP.

Other noteworthy cuts include the popular Core i5-9400F 6-core/6-thread processor, which is now going for $157, compared to its $182 original price. This chip has seen sub-$160 pricing in promotional sales on popular e-tailers such as Newegg. The Core i7-9700F and i7-9700KF are the other popular SKUs among the premium gaming PC build crowd. The two 8-core/8-thread chips are now priced at $298 and $349, respectively. Leading the pack is the Core i9-9900KF, which is going for $463, a small 5% saving over the i9-9900K which you can spend elsewhere, such as slightly faster RAM.

Thermaltake Unveils Level 20 GT ARGB Black Edition Full Tower Chassis

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear, and Enthusiast Memory solutions, is thrilled to announce a new model to the classic Level 20 collection- the Level 20 GT ARGB Black Edition Full Tower Chassis. Like the Level 20 GT ARGB, the chassis comes with two 200 mm preinstalled addressable 5 V ARGB LED fans which can deliver 16.8 million-color RGB illumination.

The new chassis is ready to sync with RGB capable motherboards from ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync and ASRock Polychrome. The Level 20 GT ARGB Black Edition features a silky matte black finish and four tempered glass panels that serve to elevate the whole look and quality of the chassis. The new Level 20 GT ARGB Black Edition Full Tower Chassis offers users a distinctly modern chassis with a touch of luxury.

Japanese DIY Market Goes Big on Ryzen: 68.6% Market Share for AMD

The Japanese DIY PC market has developed a strong appetite for AMD Ryzen processors, with PC Watch reporting sales data aggregated by BCN across leading retailers. In the DIY space, AMD processors now hold a monstrous 68.6 percent market share. Data was collected from Amazon Japan, Bic Camera, EDION, etc., and distributors who supply to brick-and-mortar PC hardware stores. AMD's market share started its upward trend from September 2018, when it stood at 20 percent, propelled mainly by shortages of Intel processors in the DIY channel, overpricing of Intel processors, discounts on AMD 2nd generation Ryzen processors; and the recent introduction of 3rd generation Ryzen processors which are both priced reasonably and outperform Intel at every price-point.

AMD's problem area continues to be OEMs and the pre-built PC market, which makes up a bulk of processor sales for Intel. Despite the upperhand with pricing, performance, and efficiency, the company isn't able to match Intel in design-wins. Intel is able to retain its stranglehold over the OEM space with volume pricing and prioritizing the OEM channel over the DIY retail channel. In Japan, pre-built desktops and notebooks with AMD processors make up a paltry 14.7 percent of the market, although that number is still crawling upward. Perhaps AMD needs faster processor models with integrated graphics to appease OEMs?

COLORFUL Introduces New iGame Line of Pre-Built Gaming Desktops

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is thrilled to introduce its latest product to gamers. The new Sigma M500 Desktop computer is COLORFUL's brand new offering for gamers who want plug-and-play solution for their gaming needs. No need to configure or setup anything, the new SIGMA M500 comes ready for battle.

The new SIGMA M500 line of pre-built desktops come in preconfigured specifications and combinations providing great gaming experience as well computing performance. COLORFUL makes this happen with 8th-gen and 9th-gen Intel Core processors. Also, as the pride of COLORFUL's product line, all SIGMA M500 desktops come equipped with COLORFUL GeForce graphics cards. This is complimented by fast DDR4 memory together with SSD storage. The iGame SIGMA M500 line comes in Basic, Advanced, Prime and Ultra configurations with MSRP of $749, $839, $899 and $1145 respectively.

Bykski Brings a Constellation of New Liquid Cooling Components to Computex 2019

Chinese DIY and AIO liquid cooling components vendor Bykski brought its largest ever collection of new products to Computex, this year. These include nine new CPU water blocks, ten new radiators of various sizes, five new full-coverage VGA water blocks, monoblocks, pumps, reservoirs, pump+reservoir combi-units, and two new AIO CLC CPU coolers. Bykski's collection of CPU water blocks now includes three new models purpose-built for AMD TR4 socket, and six blocks that support LGA2066, LGA1151, and AM4. A few of these, under the CU-RA brand, combine the beauty of RGB LED embellishments, with the brains of an integrated monitoring component. Part of the block's acrylic top, the component features an LCD display and sensors that detect coolant temperature, base temperature, and coolant pressure. Data is put out both as absolute values and as graphical histograms. This sensor unit is also sold as a standalone fitment to one of your coolant lines, to detect coolant temperature and pressure.

Thermaltake Launches Pacific CL360 Max D5 Hard Tube Water Cooling Kit

Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Cooling, Gaming Gear and Enthusiast Memory solutions, announced the premium water cooling kit - Pacific CL360 Max D5 Hard Tube Water Cooling Kit at COMPUTEX 2019 from May 28th to June 1st. The Pacific CL360 Max D5 Hard Tube Water Cooling Kit features a premium-quality combo kit which is ready to be controlled by the TT RGB PLUS software; it also supports the Razer Chroma and Amazon Alexa Voice Service.

The Pacific CL360 Max D5 Hard Tube Water Cooling Kit includes the Riing Duo 12 RGB Radiator Fans, a Pacific W5 RGB CPU Water Block, Pacific PR22-D5 Plus Pump/Reservoir Combo, Pacific CL360 Plus RGB Radiator, a bottle of T1000 Coolant Pure Clear, eight C-Pro G14 PETG 16mm OD Compressions, eight V-Tubler PETG Tubes and other accessories. Every component in the Pacific CL360 Max D5 Water Cooling Kit is particularly selected by Thermaltake PC DIY experts.

Trendforce: SSD Price-per-GB Could Drop as Low as $0.1 by Year's End

A report from technology market analyst Trendforce places SSD's pricing in sharp decline, with price per GB being projected to hit as low as $0.1 by year's end. Citing oversupply in the NADN flash market and an impending price war to allow manufacturers to sell out accumulating inventory, this is one of those clear cases of a win for consumers - which, after the shenanigans in the DRAM market, is about time. Trendforce further states that the price reductions should render 128 GB SSDs obsolete, as they mostly are by now, with 512 GB capacities becoming the mainstream choice for system integrators and DIY.

Pricing evolution in the market also places premium NVMe solutions at an only 6% premium over SATA offerings, showcasing the increased cost savings that manufacturers have achieved with the reduction in price for NVMe controllers, and the lower amount of physical materials needed to put an NVMe SSD together compared to a SATA-based alternative. Furthermore, Trendforce says that value PCIe-based solutions have a 0% price difference compared to SATA-based ones, so the option for the older form factor should only fall upon how many NVMe/PCIe sockets users' motherboards have available to populate.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN Out Now

EVGA today released its flagship graphics card, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN, designed by the legendary Vince "KINGPIN" Lucido himself. Unlike past generations of KINGPIN-branded flagships by EVGA, this card features an all-in-one closed-loop liquid cooling solution that's factory-fitted. The cold-plate of this CLC cools the GPU and memory, while a dedicated copper heatsink pulls heat from the VRM, and is ventilated by a 100 mm fan. Dissipating heat is a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator with two included high air-flow fans. For DIY liquid-cooling enthusiasts, EVGA is separately selling the Hydro Copper full-coverage water-block for this card. KINGPIN Cooling may offer LN2 evaporators for this card.

The PCB of this card has been designed by legendary volt-modder Illya "TiN" Tsemenko, and is an outstanding 12-layer thick, with high dispersion of electrical and signal traces to minimize interference. A 16+3 phase VRM powers the beast, made up of the most expensive components the industry has to offer. The VRM pulls power from three 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

Alphacool Unveils Eisbaer Solo Chrome DIY CPU Pump+Block

Alphacool today unveiled the Eisbaer Solo Chrome DIY pump+block, a variant of Eisbaer Solo that features a chrome mirror-finish body along three out of four sides, and the top, with a clear acrylic window covering one of the sides. You plumb your own coolant tubes and radiator to the contraption, which combines the functionality of a CPU water-block, a 70 l/h pump, and reservoir into one. The pump features an ultra low-noise ceramic bearing and operational speed of 2,600 RPM and a maximum head of 0.85 m. The package includes mounting brackets for LGA2066/2011, LGA115x, LGA1366, and AM4 sockets; in addition to some thermal compound. Available now, it is priced at 54.95€ including taxes.

Intel Core i9-9990XE OEM-only, Even Then it's a Lottery

In a sign of just how arid the DIY retail channel has become for Intel, Tom's Hardware reports that the new socket flagship LGA2066 HEDT processor model Intel sneaked into its product-stack, the Core i9-9990XE, is restricted to the OEM/SI (system integrator) channel. Even to OEMs, ordering a tray of i9-9990XE chips isn't as simple as ordering other chips, such as the i9-9900K. Apparently, Intel has been running secret online auctions that are OEM-only, for these chips. OEMs get to bid on the per-chip price in n-unit tray quantities.

Workstation integrator Puget Systems was able to score itself some i9-9990XE inventory at USD $2,300 per chip. Puget Systems last week received its first batch of chips from Intel, and released performance benchmarks. At this price, the i9-9990XE is being sold at a 21% premium over the retail-channel SEP price of the i9-9980XE, and a whopping 65% premium over the i9-9940X. Intel can't shake off comparisons between the i9-9990XE and the i9-9940X because both chips are 14-core/28-thread with 19.25 MB shared L3 cache, with the i9-9990XE only offering significantly higher clock-speeds, but at an astounding TDP of 255W. The i9-9990XE was shown beating the 18-core i9-9980XE in a variety of HEDT-relevant benchmarks.

Intel Expands its 9th Gen. Core Desktop Processor Lineup with Core i5-9400 and i5-9400F

Intel today expanded its 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" socket LGA1151 desktop processor lineup with six new SKUs. The first of these will begin rolling out in stores toward the end of January 2019. These include the Core i5-9400 6-core/6-thread processor clocked at 2.90 GHz with 4.10 GHz Turbo Boost, and 9 MB of shared L3 cache. The company is yet to list out model names of its other five models, although these are expected to include Core i3-9350KF, Core i5-9600KF, Core i7-9700KF, and Core i9-9900KF, besides a possible Core i3-9300. The "KF" SKUs are targeted at the DIY channel and the gaming pre-built ODM market, and are expected to lack integrated graphics.

Update: Intel also revealed its Core i5-9400F processor, which has the same specifications as the i5-9400, with the exception of no iGPU. Intel's own list price for this chip is USD $182.

NDRC, Samsung to Sign MOU That Could Moderate DRAM Prices, Increase Production

PC hardware enthusiasts all over (but particularly in our own forums) have been adamant in how this is one of the worst times to be building a new system. And it's true; the DIY market is a mess right now, as our own btarunr mentioned in his latest editorial; so much so, that in a full reversal of years and years of experience, users might now actually be better served in the $/performance department by buying their systems from boutique retailers, than by acquiring all of the parts separately. It's a mad, mad world out there, for a multitude of reasons; but one such reason is DRAM pricing. And fortunately, it seems that China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is on the verge of signing a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Samsung that might help the DRAM market as a whole.

CORSAIR Opens Port to ex-EKWB Top Management

It was a month ago that TechPowerUp broke the news about EK Water Blocks parting ways with then CEO, CTO and Head of Marketing, among others. Speculations arose from readers concerning what could have happened behind the scenes to result in such a dramatic change to what was otherwise a successful time period for the company. Since then, EKWB did just what they promised and delivered new products in time including additions to their Fluid Gaming lineup as well as introducing a new modular AIO MLC series. It appears that in the short term at least, they have continued on unaffected.

Today we can let everyone know what happened to those who left the company, and this news has deeper potential implications to the PC DIY market. Both Mark Tanko, ex-CEO, and Niko Tivadar, ex-CTO, confirmed to us that they have officially joined CORSAIR. Mark is now "Vice President & BU General Manager at CORSAIR", whereas Niko is "Director Of Engineering at CORSAIR". We contacted them for a statement, and it can be seen following the break.

ADATA Releases the XPG STORM RGB M.2 2280 Active-Cooled Heatsink

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the XPG STORM heatsink add-on for M.2 2280 drives. STORM features an aluminum heatsink and with a fan. It can be easily affixed to any compatible SSD to provide powerful cooling. Lower SSD temperatures promote more stable storage and system performance, in addition to the XPG-styled STORM heatsink with its colorful RGB lighting contributing to attractive, gaming-themed PC setups.

Lower temperatures complement high speeds
While M.2 2280 PCIe SSDs are currently the fastest on the market, their high data rates also mean considerable heat buildup. Without a heatsink, accumulating heat can compromise performance and accelerate SSD aging. STORM includes an aluminum heatsink that fits on any M.2 SSD without causing overhead issues. Together with the heatsink, STORM uses a fan to circulate cool air and reduces temperature by at least 25% when compared with bare M.2 SSDs.

Light Up Your Gaming with Biostar B250 Motherboard Series

BIOSTAR is proud to announce its line-up of new motherboards based on the Intel B250 chipset as part of the 2nd-generation RACING series family of products with the announcement of the BIOSTAR RACING B250GT5 and B250GT3. Both motherboards support Intel's 7th-generation Core processors as well as native support for Intel Optane Memory technology for next-generation high-speed storage.

Colorful Unveils its iGame Z270 Gamer Customization Motherboard

Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards and motherboards, is proud to announce its latest motherboard for enthusiasts and gamers featuring the latest Intel Z270 chipset to support LGA1151 processors including the newly announced 7th generation Core processors from Intel with their new iGame Z270 Gamer. Customization motherboard. This latest products joins the family of iGame enthusiast and performance series of motherboards and graphics cards which focuses on not just the needs of gamers for a faster and robust system but serves as a canvas to promote their creativity and idea with great customization options.

Aerocool Also Unveils Project 7 Liquid Cooling Solutions

It looks like Aerocool's Project 7 covers a wider range of products than PSUs, extending to even liquid cooling. The company unveiled a mixture of closed-loop coolers and DIY liquid cooling parts under the banner. To begin with, there's the P7-W240C, which is a closed loop cooler with a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator, and a pump-block, with a regulator. It looks all too DIY, but is factory-fitted closed-loop. Next up, is the P7-W240 Pro, which appears to be a set of compatible parts so you can build a simple loop of your own, complete with a CPU block, a 240 mm x 120 mm radiator, and a cylindrical reservoir.

Phanteks Makes its Foray into DIY Liquid Cooling

Phanteks made its major foray into DIY liquid cooling, with the launch of two new CPU blocks, a new full-coverage VGA block for the GeForce GTX 1080, and a variety of fittings. To begin with, the company showed off two new untitled CPU water blocks, one features a bulged out frosty acrylic top, and the other a flat top with POM acetal inserts near the fittings area. Speaking of which, the company launched a boat-load of plugs, extenders, and compression fittings to go with these blocks. Lastly, the company launched its first full-coverage VGA block, with one designed for the GTX 1080.

Intel Pushes CPU Microcode Update which Cripples Overclocking Non-K Skylake CPUs

Intel pushed a CPU microcode update to its motherboard partners, which "plugs a loophole," which allowed people to overclock Core "Skylake" processors, other than those with the "K" brand extensions. The PC enthusiast community rejoiced what it felt was a comeback of base-clock overclocking on non-enthusiast Intel chips, with the advent of the company's 6th generation Core "Skylake" architecture. Apparently, Intel sees it as a flawed CPU micro-code which allowed overclocking, and which some motherboard vendors even built marketing campaigns around.

In an interview with PC World, a company spokesperson stated: "Intel regularly issues updates for our processors which our partners voluntarily incorporate into their BIOS," an Intel spokesman said. "The latest update provided to partners includes, among other things, code that aligns with the position that we do not recommend overclocking processors that have not been designed to do so. Additionally, Intel does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications." So how does this micro-code update work? For starters, it will work only if you want it to. If your motherboard currently supports overclocking, then it will continue to do so, until you update its BIOS. Intel will push the new micro-code to its motherboard partners, who in turn will deploy it on their latest production batches, and to their customers through DIY BIOS updates.
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