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ASRock Launches the Phantom Gaming Radeon 550 2G Graphics Card

No, that's not a typo. AsRock has actually launched an AMD Radeon 550 graphics card this late into the game. There is some sense behind the business decision, though; AMD's Radeon 550 is the company's entry-line offering, which aims only to improve upon the performance of integrated graphics solutions, and no more. In that sense, the Radeon 550 certainly delivers, though it does so in an underwhelming way for any tech enthusiasts. The Radeon 550 2G features 2 GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1,750 MHz (7,000 MHz effective) across a 64-bit bus, which feeds a die powered by 512 Stream Processors.

There are three operating modes on offer: Silent, for HTPC environments, which clocks the graphics card at 1,183 MHz boost clock and 7,000 MHz memory clocks. Default mode runs the card at AMD's defaults (1,183 MHz boost, 7,000 MHz memory). The OC mode overclocks the graphics card's boost clock to 1,230 MHz and the memory to 7,038 MHz. I/O stands at 1x dual-link DVI-D connector, 1x HDMI 2.0b port and 1x DisplayPort 1.4. A 50 W TDP should make it easy to cool in cramped spaces, and the graphics card doesn't require any power pins. No pricing was available at time of writing.

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Launch Trailer, Screenshots Drop

Rockstar Games has dropped a launch trailer for their upcoming PC release of the critically-acclaimed Red Dead Redemption 2. Fret not if you're worried about spoilers (though the game has indeed released quite a while ago): the trailer is only one minute long. There are some specific PC improvements to the title, such as support for up to 8K resolutions (good luck on that), support for higher framerates than on consoles, HDR, and support for non-standard monitor ratios.

The PC version of the game will also introduce a new photo mode for all you photography enthusiasts out there - even though it's in-game, it should still count. One of the things the PC version of the game won't ship with - sadly - is support for raytracing. There were some rumors running around the web regarding support for raytracing on the Rockstar Release due to some screenshots outed by NVIDIA that sported an RTX logo on the bottom right corner, but those served only as marketing for their latest 20-series graphics cards. No raytracing will be available in this game - and there is no reason to think it might.

NVIDIA Could Launch GTX 1650 Ti on October 22nd

According to the recent round of rumors, NVIDIA could extend its budget GPU offering on October 22nd when it will launch the new GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card. Expected to sit between GTX 1650 and GTX 1660, the new graphics card is supposed to be NVIDIA's answer to AMD's unannounced, low-end NAVI GPUs rumored to be called the RX 5600 series.

As per ITHome, GTX 1650 Ti will be priced at 1100 yuan which translates to $155, meaning that either GTX 1650 will get a price cut to sit below new Ti model or upcoming GTX 1650 Ti will have a price slightly above the rumored number. Envisioned to feature 4 GB of VRAM and anything between 1024 to 1280 CUDA cores, the new GPU could provide a good balance between current offerings and reduce the gap between GTX 1650 and GTX 1660 graphics cards.

EK Launches Meltemi - 38mm Thick High-Performance Fan

EK, the premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer is launching its newest fan on the market, the EK-Meltemi 120ER. It is a 38 mm thick extreme high-static pressure computer cooling fan, designed purely for highest-performance computer liquid cooling systems. Developed in-house on the basis of renowned EK-Vardar fans, they have a wide PWM range of operation. Due to a 38 mm thick frame, there is space for an upgraded motor and far superior performance compared to any standard 25 mm thick fan at the same RPM range.

The Meltemi family of cooling fans carries the name of a type of strong, dry northern winds of the Aegean Sea. The name Meltemi is derived from Italian mal tempo meaning "bad weather", while we can say that the EK-Meltemi is "bad news" for high temperatures.

Intel Plans to Launch Its Discrete GPU Lineup Starting at $200

During interview with Russian YouTube channel called PRO Hi-Tech, Raja Koduri, Intel's chief architect and senior vice president of architecture, software and graphics, talked about his career, why he left AMD, and where Intel is going with its discrete GPU attempts. However, one of the most notable things Mr Koduri said was regarding upcoming GPU lineup code-named Arctic Sound. He noted that Intel plans to release first GPU as a mid-range model at a price of $200, while enterprise solutions that utilize HBM memory will follow that.

Koduri said that he wants to replicate AMD's strategy of capturing high-volume price-points, such as the $199 Radeon RX 480. The plan here is to bring an affordable, good performing GPU to the masses - "GPUs for everyone" as he calls them. Additionally, he states that Intel's current strategy revolves around price, not performance, providing best possible value to consumers. Intel's approach for the next two or three years is to launch a complete lineup of GPUs, with a common architecture being used for everything from iGPUs found inside consumer CPUs to data-center GPUs.

Update: PRO Hi-Tech has posted a snippet of Raja Koduri interview, without the Russian overlay commentary. What he said was actually: "...Eventually our architecture, as publicly said, has to get from mainstream, which is starting at around $100, all the way to data-center class graphics with HBM memory...". This means that the previous speculation about $200 graphics card is false, as he didn't say that. All he said is that Intel wants to enter the "mainstream" GPU market and work its way up to data center.

Intel Launches First 10th Gen Core Processors: Redefining the Next Era of Laptop Experiences

Today, Intel officially launched 11 new, highly integrated 10th Gen Intel Core processors designed for remarkably sleek 2 in 1s and laptops. The processors bring high-performance artificial intelligence (AI) to the PC at scale, feature new Intel Iris Plus graphics for stunning entertainment and enable the best connectivity with Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3. Systems are expected from PC manufacturers for the holiday season.

"These 10th Gen Intel Core processors shift the paradigm for what it means to deliver leadership in mobile PC platforms. With broad-scale AI for the first time on PCs, an all-new graphics architecture, best-in-class Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) and Thunderbolt 3 - all integrated onto the SoC, thanks to Intel's 10nm process technology and architecture design - we're opening the door to an entirely new range of experiences and innovations for the laptop."
-Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms in the Client Computing Group

NVIDIA Won't Launch GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Super

During this year's E3 event, NVIDIA launched a new, refreshed lineup of "Turing" graphics cards, called GeForce RTX Super. They revealed that the "Super" refresh will be present for GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 and RTX 2080, without disclosing whatever they will update GeForce RTX 2080 Ti as well. There were a plethora of rumors speculating CUDA core count and GPU core configurations for 2080 Ti Super model, with some claiming that it will feature a full TU102-400 die that is found on RTX Titan graphics card.

However, according to Anthony Garreffa from TweakTown, during the GeForce RTX Super release event, he asked senior vice president of NVIDIA's PC business, Jeff Fisher, will there be a release of GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Super graphics card. To that question Jeff replied with a simple "would not be", meaning that the current "Super" lineup is complete as it is. Additionally, it is quite reasonable for NVIDIA not to give RTX 2080 Ti a "Super" treatment as that would close the performance gap between GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and RTX Titan graphics cards, possibly compromising the sales of the RTX Titan GPU.

MSI to Launch Custom Radeon RX 5700 GPUs

While the reviews of Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT have been published, there were no confirmations or signs of custom designs from AMD's partners of any kind. However, Hardwareluxx, a German tech media, has acquired some slides from MSI about its upcoming line of Navi GPUs. There will be a total of 7 new models, four being RX 5700 XT variants and three for RX 5700. Surprise here is the new branding series for those GPUs. The MECH series is a rebrand of previous Armor series, now with different red and black color combination. Notable addition to design is inclusion of DVI port. Unlike before, we will now get a so called "EVOKE" series, which we don't have details on yet. All we know is that the new cards supposed to arrive with all the custom cards in August.

Confirmed: AMD to Cut RX 5700-series Prices at Launch

AMD in a Facebook post late Friday confirmed that its Radeon RX 5700 series graphics cards will launch at reduced prices compared to what it announced at its E3-2019 product announcement. The Radeon RX 5700 XT will have a reduced MSRP of USD $399, which puts it on par with that of the GeForce RTX 2060 Super. The Radeon RX 5700 will cost $50 less, at $349, which puts its price on par with the original RTX 2060. The commemorative limited-edition RX 5700 XT AMD 50th Anniversary Edition is now reduced to $449. AMD didn't announce any changes to the two cards' launch bundle that include a 3-month Xbox Game Pass for PC.

Commenting on the development, AMD said "We embrace competition, which drives innovation to the benefit of gamers. In that spirit, we are updating the pricing of our Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics cards, launching July 7." The company added "We know that gamers will be thrilled once they have the opportunity to experience the amazing performance, stunning visual fidelity and highly responsive gameplay these new graphics cards provide. Making history on 7/7 as the first company to launch gaming CPUs and GPUs together - the first in 7nm and PCIe 4.0 - is all about pushing the ultimate gaming experience forward for as many gamers as possible."

From Software's "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" Gets Launch Trailer

Fans of From Software's grueling worlds of tactical button prompts, perfect timing with animation triggers, and the oh so sweet taste of hard-wrought victory are in for another treat from the studio. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice doesn't surprise anyone by now; its existence has been made very well known, and is very well known, despite a pretty silent marketing campaign for the game. But From Software doesn't have marketing needs: their games, as their audience, are of the strong, silent type.

The new launch trailer for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is action-packed, showcasing some of the game's verticality and head-to-head combat. If you're into the whole feudal Japan theme, and a bit into the masochistic side of the equation, you have to do yourself a favor and take a look at this game. Knowing From Software, it will be an evocative world building experience like few exist in the gaming world.

Launch Trailer Released for White Paper Games' "The Occupation"

White Paper Games is a small, Manchester-based UK games studio, develpers of Ether One, which currently sits at an 82 Metacritic scopre for PC. The company's latest creation, The Occupation, is being marketed as a real-time thriller, which makes it a clock-watching experience that unflods in real time - as much hours pass in the real life is as many hours pass in the game world. This is sure to bring about some interesting tension to the game, as events unfolding in real time means that every decision is going to be a sort of a snapshot one. Multiple story outcomes result from this branching narrative, with politically driven, mature themes and a complex narrative web of truths, lies and accidents.

Environments are non-linear in nature, taking inspiration from Deus Ex, Dishonored and Prey in the way they're designe to be approached according to gamers' ingenuity. Your job as reporter is to investigate a series of events, a fully interactive briefcase inventory to store anything that might be pertinent to the invetsigation (it remains to be seen if juggling inventory space is a mechanic as well), a high-tech watch with an alarm and timer for remembering important meetings (ah, so if this is like the real world, remember not to arrive late... or maybe if you do arrive late there are other events unfolding?). This seems one of the more interesting, low profile releases in this early 2019, so take a look at the launch trailer and see fi it, as a good British would say, "strikes your fancy". Remember: you decide the narrative.

EA Releases Anthem Launch Trailer... Two Weeks Ahead of Anthem Itself

So, this is kind of a strange, time-traveling move on EA (and Bioware's) part: a launch trailer that jumps the gun on the actual game by almost two weeks. So, granted, it isn't really two weeks - it's a ten-day period between today and Anthem's February 22nd launch. That said, there really are some more days left on the calendar - the launch trailer seems slightly premature.

Perhaps this is EA's way of keeping interest in Anthem and recapturing some of that original hype. With the game's demo being plagued by stability and server issues during the initial period, and the game's demo itself receiving a more lukewarm than not response from critics and the (more outspoken) community, it seems that interest in this Destiny killer has waned in recent times. Which really could be bad news, considering EA's history, and Bioware's last title, Mass Effect: Andromeda's, fate. There's also the possibility that the recent launch of EA's own sleeper-hit Apex Legends - which has recently garnered some 10 million unique players in four days since its inception. Perhaps the thunder is being stolen out of Anthem's feet with a series of unfortunate circumstances - not incidents. It remains to be seen. For now, instead of spelling doom left and right, just watch the small but cool Anthem launch trailer. Let's hope the story holds... For a game with no PvP, let's just hope the story holds.

Battlefield V Launches Early For Origin Access Premier Subscribers, Pre-orders Get Shafted

Battlefield V is now live if you have paid for Electronic Arts' subscription service, giving gamers access to the title a day earlier than expected. At a cost of $14.99 a month or $99.99 for a year, you can take to the battlefield right now. We can only speculate that this was likely done in a bid to please subscribers while also trying to boost subscription sales. After all, it is blatantly obvious that EA's goal is to try and tap into a steady income stream that only a subscription service can provide. Sadly this has resulted in those that pre-ordered getting shafted to some degree. Resulting in a problem that wouldn't exist with a single set launch date.

This highlights the trouble that comes with a staggered release, someone is going to be the odd man out. Consumers that paid for the Digital Deluxe edition still have to wait till November 15th, while buying the base version means your left sitting on the bench until November 20th. That is roughly 1-2 weeks of waiting and will likely create some anger towards EA for how the release has been handled.

Intel Officially Launches 9th Generation Processors Including the 8-Core / 16-Thread Core i9-9900K

Anand Srivatsa, Vice President of Intel, officially announced their all-new 9th generation of core processors in today's live stream. While the Coffee Lake refresh has certainly been no secret, a few facts were confirmed today. The Core i9-9900k will be Intel's first broad volume 5 GHz processor and is their first mainstream 8 core, 16 thread offering. In order to facilitate better overclocking results for enthusiasts, the company also confirmed that they will use solder TIM for the whole range of products, which should result in not only better overclocking potential but much lower thermals as well.

NVIDIA: Don't Expect Base 20-Series Pricing to Be Available at Launch

Tom Petersen, NVIDIA's director of technical marketing, in a webcast with HotHardware, expressed confidence in the value of its RTX 20-series graphics cards - but threw a wrench on consumers' pricing expectations, set by NVIDIA's own MSRP. That NVIDIA's pricing for their Founder's Edition graphics cards would give partners leeway to increase their margins was a given - why exactly would they sell at lower prices than NVIDIA, when they have increased logistical (and other) costs to support? And this move by NVIDIA might even serve as a small hand-holding for partners - remember that every NVIDIA-manufactured graphics cad sold is one that doesn't go to its AIB's bottom-lines, so there's effectively another AIB contending for their profits. This way, NVIDIA gives them an opportunity to make some of those profits back (at least concerning official MSRP).

Monster Hunter: World is This Year's Biggest Game Launch on Steam

Monster Hunter: World has cemented itself as this year's biggest Steam launch (at least hitherto). The popular game which has been one of the most popular console launches of this generation has again done it on the PC platform, where it achieved an astounding 239,779 concurrent players a few hours after launch, more than any Japanese game ever achieved - and this comes at a time that's after the Dark Souls phenomenon. This year's previous biggest launch was Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which pulled in nearly 96,000 players - a far cry from Monster Hunter: World's achievement.

Here's our performance analysis and port impressions article.

NVIDIA's Next-Gen Graphics Cards to Launch in Q3 2018, Breadcrumb Trail Indicates

We the media and you enthusiasts are always getting scare jumps every time a high-profile launch is announced - or even hinted at. And few product launches are as enthusing as those of new, refined graphics cards architectures - the possibilities for extra performance, bang for buck improvements, mid-tier performance that belonged in last generation's halo products - it's all a mix of merriment and expectation - even if it sometimes tastes a little sour.

Adding to the previous breadcrumbs neatly laid-out regarding NVIDIA's Hot Chips presentation on a new "Next Generation mainstream GPU", the source for et another piece of bread that would make Grettel proud comes from Power Logic, a fan supplier for numerous AIB partners (company representative holding an EVGA graphics card below), who have recently said they expected "Q3 orders to be through the roof". Such an increase in demand usually means increased orders as AIB partners stock up on materials to produce a substantial enough stock for new product launches, and does fall in line with the NVIDIA Hot Chips presentation in August. Q3 starts in July, though, and while the supply-chain timings are unknown, it seems somewhat tight for a July product launch that coincides with the increased fan orders.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Launching This Summer - August 14th

Blizzard has announced the summer release date for its latest World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth. It's coming to users' gaming PC of choice by August 14th, just in time for those summer vacations (if most WoW players still enjoy summer vacations, that is... I know I don't).

The new WoW expansion doubles down on faction importance, as players will see never-before-deployed systems that take into account what faction they chose to align with. New areas will be available for both Horde (Zandalar) and the Alliance (Kul TIras) factions; a level-cap augment up to level 120; a 20-player co-op mode, new resources, and a slew of new loot. The game has been available for pre-order for a while now, in both Standard and Digital Deluxe editions. Better save up those vacation days for this one, folks.

Rare's Sea of Thieves Now Launched For Xbox, Windows 10

Rare's latest (and first in a long time) original, full fledged video game has just been made available. Done under the umbrella of Microsoft, Sea of Thieves promises to bring back the fun in games, with a ludicrous setting and an entire design philosophy that just speaks "fun". The first-person, multiplayer co-op and player vs. player game has both sea and land fights, treasure and player hunting, so there's enough there to sate the tastes of different players altogether.

Sea of Thieves is part of Microsoft's Game Pass subscription, which means that for $9.99 monthly, users have the chance of trying out the game and playing it, no holds barred, with no additional payment (you can always purchase it for the usual asking price of $59.99/£49.99/€69.99 - and don't you just love the price differences across currencies?) This "Games as a Service" is being hailed as one of the solutions for triple-A game development, bringing companies like Microsoft steady streams of revenue they can then re-inject into their in-house game studios. Furthermore, Sea of Thieves is part of Microsoft's Play Anywhere program - meaning a digital purchase on either Xbox or PC will grant you the ability to play it on both platforms. So go out there and walk the plan, drink rum, shoot some cannons, and drink some gallons of salt water, you old sea dog!

Ozone Launches Alliance, the State-of-the-art Hybrid Gaming Keyboard

Alliance represents the perfect outcome of the evolution of gaming keyboards, integrating organically the best of both mechanical and membrane keyboards.

Cutting-edge technology
Alliance brings fresh new features to the hybrid keyboards category. With innovative technology that delivers advantages such as multicolored backlighting, semi-mechanical CrossTech Switches, and sound-reactive lighting effects.

ASUS Launches ROG Arena's Elite Rewards Program

ASUS is looking to increase the appeal of its ROG (Republic Of Gamers) brand beyond just the aesthetics and specifications of its products. Through the launch of ROG Arena's Elite Rewards program, ASUS is looking to materialize users' belief in their ROG products through rewards and a loyalty system, which should a) get ROG customers even more into ASUS' products and b) increase user recognition of ROG as a brand.

Elite Rewards, as the name implies, is a reward program for users, with a scoring system that differentiates customers between Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond tiers, each with increasing rewards. Users can increase their ROG Elite score through Battle (gaming) feats, Adventuring (going to ASUS' events), Craft (earning points through ASUS' content creation contests) and by purchasing select ROG products. All of these activities give a player points towards their Elite rewards tier and the rewards they can redeem, while also increasing a player's standing in the ROG Arena leaderboard.

Intel Product Launch Schedule till Mid-2018 Leaked

Intel is on the verge of launching its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processor family with six SKUs, and its top-tier Z370 Express chipset, early next month. Those looking for cheaper motherboards and don't intend on overclocking their processor, will have to wait until the first quarter of 2018, with the company confirming Q1-2018 as the launch window of three of its client-desktop chipsets for 8th generation Core processors, in a leaked Desktop outlook slide, scored by GamersNexus.

Among the new desktop chipsets launched will be the H370 Express, B360 Express, and the H310 Express. The H370 Express offers essentially the same platform connectivity as the Z370 Express, minus CPU overclocking and NVIDIA SLI certification. The B360 Express has a slimmer connectivity loadout, and lacks SLI support, but its predecessors have been generally preferred by gamers wanting to build single-GPU rigs with CPUs running at stock speeds, which is why major motherboard brands have built gamer-centric motherboards on B-series chipsets. The H310 chipset has the lightest connectivity, and is designed to power entry-level motherboards.

AMD's Pinnacle Ridge Zen+ 12 nm CPUs to Launch on February 2018

A recent AMD roadmap leak showed the company's "tick", process-improved plans for 2018's Zen+, as well as its painter-imbued aspirations with Zen 2 in 2019. Now, there's some new info posted by DigiTimes that's being sourced straight from motherboard makers that points to the company's Pinnacle Ridge launch being set sometime in February 2018.

This information seems to have been delivered to the motherboard makers straight from AMD itself, as a heads-up for when they should be expecting to ramp up production of next-generation chipsets. Sources report that AMD will follow their Summit Ridge, Ryzen launch, with the initial release of Pinnacle 7 in February, followed by the mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018. DigiTimes also reports that AMD is expecting to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to at least 30% in the first half of 2018 which, coeteris paribus, is more of a simple mathematical progression than clarvoyance.

Intel Core "Coffee Lake" Desktop Processors Launch Date Revealed

Intel could launch the first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processors in the retail channel, on the 5th of October, 2017. It's also becoming ominous that with increasing core counts across the lineup, Intel is also raising prices by anywhere between 12.5 to 25 percent. For example, the Core i7-8700K, which logically succeeds the $339 Core i7-7700K, could be priced upwards of $400. The i5-8600K, which succeeds the $249 i5-7600K, could be priced a little over $300. One can expect similar price-hikes across the board for other Core i5 six-core and Core i3 quad-core SKUs.

The first wave of 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" desktop processor launches could be limited to certain overclocker-specific Core i7 and Core i5 SKUs. It is also launching just one compatible motherboard chipset option with this first wave, the Z370 Express, which supports CPU overclocking. Among the SKUs to look out for, are the top-dog Core i7-8700K six-core processor with HyperThreading enabling 12 threads, 12 MB of L3 cache; and the Core i5-8600K, which is also a six-core part but lacks HyperThreading, and comes with 9 MB of L3 cache.

On The Story of AMD's Ryzen Threadripper Product Development

In a Forbes interview conducted by Anthony Leather, AMD officials Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Marketing John Taylor, Sarah Youngbauer of AMD's communications team, and James Prior, AMD's Senior Product Manager, have shed some light on the development process for AMD's equivalent of a flash hit - their HEDT, HCC Threadripper chips. Threadripper, which leverages AMD's Zen architecture used in their Ryzen and EPYC processors, makes use of an MCM design with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, with AMD's svelte Zen, 8-core base units linked through the company's high speed interconnect Infinity Fabric.

This has allowed the company to scale designs from four core processors with Ryzen 3, all the way towards the current cream of the crop Threadripper 1950X. It's an extremely scalable design, which brings with it improved yields and some pretty significant cost savings for AMD due to smaller dies. This, in turn, means the company is able to more agressively price their Ryzen and Threadripper processors compared to the competition, at least when it comes to high core and thread counts for the same price bracket - and the success of that business decision is showing.

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