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DRAM Prices Projected to Decline by 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21 Due to Rising Level of Client Inventory, Says TrendForce

Following the peak period of production in 3Q21, the supply of DRAM will likely begin to outpace demand in 4Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations (the surplus of DRAM supply is henceforth referred to as "sufficiency ratio", expressed as a percentage). In addition, while DRAM suppliers are generally carrying a healthy level of inventory, most of their clients in the end-product markets are carrying a higher level of DRAM inventory than what is considered healthy, meaning these clients will be less willing to procure additional DRAM going forward. TrendForce therefore forecasts a downward trajectory for DRAM ASP in 4Q21. More specifically, DRAM products that are currently in oversupply may experience price drops of more than 5% QoQ, and the overall DRAM ASP will likely decline by about 3-8% QoQ in 4Q21.

Although WFH and distance learning applications previously generated high demand for notebook computers, increasingly widespread vaccinations in Europe and North America have now weakened this demand, particularly for Chromebooks. As a result, global production of notebooks is expected to decline in 4Q21, in turn propelling the sufficiency ratio of PC DRAM to 1.38%, which indicates that PC DRAM will no longer be in short supply in 4Q21. However, PC DRAM accounts for a relatively low share of DRAM manufacturers' DRAM supply bits, since these suppliers have allocated more production capacities to server DRAM, which is in relatively high demand. Hence, there will unlikely be a severe surplus of PC DRAM in 4Q21. It should also be pointed out that, on average, the current spot prices of PC DRAM modules are far lower than their contract prices for 3Q21. TrendForce therefore expects an imminent 5-10% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21, with potential for declines that are even greater than 10% for certain transactions, as PC OEMs anticipate further price drops in PC DRAM prices in the future.

Microsoft's Windows PrintNightmare Patch Breaks Network Printing Functionality

As many of you are aware, Microsoft's Windows 10 operating systems have been infected with the recent PrintNightmare vulnerability, where the Windows Print Spooler service would perform improper file operations, and attackers had room to exploit that behaveour. As the vulnerability allowed SYSTEM-level (admin) privileges, the users would be left with a vulnerable PC that an attacker could access remotely and perform malicious code execution. Back on Tuesday of last week, Microsoft has issued the patch that attempts to stop this exploit from happening, however, it seems like the fix has broken the Network Printing functionality of Windows-based machines.

According to the BleepingComputer report, the Tuesday patch for Windows has left a number of PCs with a broken Network Printing functionality, where the OS is reporting different types of errors each time the request for Network Printing occurs. It is important to note that the issue affects only printers that are attached by a USB connector, and mainly HP, Konica Minolta, and Canon models are in trouble. So far, Microsoft has not fixed this issue so users are left to wait for another patch round.

XMG Announces APEX Laptop Family with up to Ryzen 9 5900HX and GeForce RTX 3070 Processors

With the 15.6 and 17.3 inch XMG APEX gaming laptops, XMG is positioning a new model series below its own high-end range consisting of the NEO and PRO series. These new laptops combine mobile AMD eight-core processors up to the Ryzen 9 5900HX with NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics cards up to the RTX 3070. The company is simultaneously introducing the XMG FOCUS, a new product series in the entry-level segment. Intel's Core i7-11800H and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti offer decent gaming performance, while good connectivity and memory round off the overall package. All four new models feature an IPS display with 144 Hz.

Until now, the XMG APEX 15 in the older E20 generation represented uncompromising desktop CPU performance, with processors up to the Ryzen 9 3950X in a laptop. Although XMG is already working on a direct successor under a slightly different name, it is unleashing the XMG APEX 15 and APEX 17 of the M21 generation for the time being with the currently fastest eight-core mobile processors from AMD. The laptops are available with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H as well as with the slightly faster Ryzen 9 5900HX from the 54 watt TDP class, as well as with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 or RTX 3060 in the respective maximum TGP configuration (RTX 3070: 125 watts plus 15 watts Dynamic Boost 2.0; RTX 3060: 115 watts plus 15 watts Dynamic Boost 2.0).

EMEA Gaming PC Market Set to Stay Strong in 2021, Despite Component Shortage, Says IDC

The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) market for gaming PCs posted another quarter of solid growth in 2021Q2, growing 10.8% YoY and recording 2.5 million units shipped, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). Approaching the end of 2021, growth is expected to continue, albeit at a lower rate than in recent quarters. 2021Q3 is predicted to grow at 6.1% YoY, while 2021Q4 has an anticipated rise of 4.8% YoY. While the momentum is stabilizing, long-term growth is still expected. In 2025, the PC gaming market is forecast to rise to 11.4 million units, with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.5%.

In Western Europe, 2021H1 saw demand in the market driven by consumers working from home, despite the loosening of lockdowns. With upcoming game releases in 2021H2 expected to increase graphical requirements, more gamers will be looking to refresh their PCs to game at the highest level. Therefore, acceleration of new/returning gamers is expected to continue in 2021. However, with component supply and logistics problems continuing, gaming PC production will be impacted too.

Intel Z690 Alder Lake Chipset Pictured

Today, we got ahold of the first picture showing Intel's upcoming Z690 chipset, the highest-end chipset offering for the Alder Lake lineup of processors. From previous leaks, we have concluded that Intel has enabled the Z690 chipset to be a very powerful offering. Featuring support for running either DDR4 or DDR5 memory, the Z690 chipset will allow motherboard AIBs to offer motherboards with both the new and current DDR standards, easing the transition to the new DDR5 memory. As far as PCIe connectivity, this high-end chipset produces 12 PCIe Gen5 lanes, along with 16 PCIe Gen3 lanes. This is, of course, just an addition to the 16 PCIe Gen5 lanes that the Alder Lake processor provides, enabling a wide portfolio of PCIe lanes for connecting SSDs and graphics cards.

Below, you can see the Z690 chipset image (热心市民描边怪 image), compared to the Z590 (AnandTech image) chipset, where there is a clear difference in size. The new Z690 chipset seems quite a lot bigger, and that is really not a surprise given the new technology stack that it brings.

AMD Zen 4 "Raphael" Processors Feature Improved Thermal Sensors and Power Management

AMD is slowly preparing the launch of the latest and greatest Ryzen processor family based on the Zen 4 CPU core design. Among various things that are getting an overhaul, the Raphael processor generation is now getting revamped temperature reading and better power management circuitry. According to an Igor's Lab report, AMD has prepared a few new improvements that will make temperature reading and power management easier for PC enthusiasts. Currently, the reported CPU temperature is called Tcontrol (Tctl), which is what the cooling solution sees. If Tctl is high, the fans spin up and cool the system. If Tctl is low, the fans slow down to reduce noise.

With Raphael, the CUR_TEMP (current temperature) output part of Tctl has been upgraded to reflect a much smoother curve, and avoid jittering with fans as they are not spiking so suddenly anymore. This is helping contribute to the noise output and has made it run at a consistent fan speed in the system. Another note about Raphael is a new power management technique. AMD has designed the AM5 platform to avoid sudden power spikes, to maintain maximum efficiency over time. It is a design decision made from the very start, and the CPU will try to constrain itself in the TDP range that it is configured for. For more details about the circuitry, please head over to the Igor's Lab article.

Far Cry 3 Game is Free on Ubisoft Connect Platform

Ubisoft's Far Cry series has seen a lot of installments that were remembered as very good and enjoyable experiences. Today, Ubisoft decided to surprise new gamers and invite them over to the Far Cry series by offering PC gamers the ability to purchase Far Cry 3 free of charge. On Ubisoft's Connect PC platform, gamers can obtain their digital copy of Far Cry 3, and experience the open-world first-person shooter that the game represents. The offer, to obtain the game's digital copy, is already available and you should head over to Ubisoft's Connect platform here. It will expire on September 11th, just two days from now.

CORSAIR and Ubisoft Partner to Deliver Immersive PC Gaming Experience to Far Cry 6

CORSAIR, a world leader in high-performance gear for gamers, is delighted to announce the continuation of its partnership with leading video game publisher Ubisoft, bringing immersive in-game RGB lighting integration for all CORSAIR iCUE RGB devices to the latest installment of the popular Far Cry franchise: Far Cry 6. Players can experience exclusive dynamic lighting effects that convey the action not just through the screen, but across their entire iCUE setup as well.

Far Cry 6 welcomes you to Yara, a tropical paradise frozen in time. Far Cry 6 immerses players into the adrenaline-filled world of a modern-day guerrilla revolution. As dictator of Yara, Antón Castillo is intent on restoring his nation back to its former glory by any means, with his son, Diego, following in his bloody footsteps. Playing as local Yaran Dani Rojas, join revolutionary group Libertad and fight your way to Esperanza to take down Antón Castillo and his oppressive regime.

Revenue of Top 10 OSAT Companies for 2Q21 Reaches US$7.88 Billion Due to Strong Demand and Increased Package/Test Prices, Says TrendForce

Despite the intensifying COVID-19 pandemic that swept Taiwan in 2Q21, the domestic OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) industry remained largely intact, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Global sales of large-sized TVs were brisk thanks to major sporting events such as the Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020. Likewise, the proliferation of WFH and distance learning applications propelled the demand for IT products, while the automotive semiconductor and data center markets also showed upward trajectories. Taking into account the above factors, OSAT companies raised their quotes in response, resulting in a 26.4% YoY increase in the top 10 OSAT companies' revenue to US$7.88 billion for 2Q21.

TrendForce indicates that, in light of the ongoing global chip shortage and the growing production capacities of foundries/IDMs in the upstream semiconductor supply chain, OSAT companies gradually increased their CAPEX and expanded their fabs and equipment in order to meet the persistently growing client demand. However, the OSAT industry still faces an uncertain future in 2H21 due to the Delta variant's global surge and the health crisis taking place in Southeast Asia, home to a significant number of OSAT facilities.

Qualcomm Adds Bluetooth Lossless Audio Technology to Snapdragon Sound

Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd. today continued to demonstrate its vision and leadership in the wireless audio space with the introduction of Qualcomm aptX Lossless audio technology to its already extensive audio portfolio. aptX Lossless is a new capability of the proven aptX Adaptive technology and a new feature of Snapdragon Sound Technology that is designed to deliver CD quality 16-bit 44.1kHz lossless audio quality over Bluetooth wireless technology. Qualcomm Technologies has taken a systems level approach and optimized a number of core wireless connectivity and audio technologies, including aptX Adaptive, which work together to auto detect and scale-up and are designed to deliver CD lossless audio when a user is listening to a lossless music file and the RF conditions are suitable.

"At Qualcomm Technologies we're excited about the future of sound, and we're continually looking for ways to help our customers deliver new and exciting listening experiences. Lossless audio means mathematically bit-for-bit exact, with no loss of the audio file and up to now the necessary bit rate to deliver this over Bluetooth has not been available. With many leading music streaming services now offering extensive lossless music libraries, and consumer demand for lossless audio growing, we're pleased to announce this new support for CD lossless audio streaming for Bluetooth earbuds and headsets which we plan to make available to customers later this year," said James Chapman, vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.

JPR: Graphics Card Add-in-Board (AIB) Market Hits $11.8 billion in Q2'21

According to a new research report from the analyst firm Jon Peddie Research, unit shipments of add-in boards increased in Q2'21 from last year, while Nvidia increased market share to 80% from last quarter a 0.3% increase as well as 2% year-over-year.. Over $11.8 billion AIBs shipped in the quarter—an increase of 179% year-over-year.

Add-in boards (AIBs) use discrete GPUs (dGPU) with dedicated memory. Desktop PCs, workstations, servers, rendering and mining farms, and scientific instruments use AIBs. Consumers and enterprises buy AIBs from resellers or OEMs. They can be part of a new system or installed as an upgrade to an existing system. Systems with AIBs represent the higher end of the graphics industry. Entry-level systems use integrated GPUs (iGPU) in CPUs that share slower system memory.

DRAM Module Revenue Undergoes 5% YoY Growth for 2020, with Varying Performances Among Suppliers, Says TrendForce

Annual shipment of notebook computers and desktop PCs underwent a massive increase in 2020 thanks to the proliferation of the stay-at-home economy brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. In particular, notebook shipment increased by a staggering 26% YoY, thereby generating a corresponding demand for DRAM chips. Although the movement of DRAM prices remained stable in 2020, there was a palpable growth in actual DRAM bit demand. Hence, global DRAM module revenue increased by about 5% YoY to US$16.9 billion for 2020.

Looking back at the price trend of DRAM modules for 2020, TrendForce indicates that the market adopted a relative conservative outlook going forward in view of the ongoing pandemic. In turn, various end-products differed wildly in their respective market performances as well. For instance, while demand for notebooks remained strong, smartphone demand was relatively bearish. Server shipment, on the other hand, was at the same time consistent yet indicative of uncertainties, to some degree. In light of the varying performances in the end-markets, PC DRAM prices did not undergo drastic fluctuations throughout the year, and DRAM module suppliers posted earnings performances that were a direct result of their sales strategies, with certain suppliers, including Kimtigo and ADATA, able to raise their revenues by a massive margin.

HYTE Unveils the new SFF Revolt 3 PC Case as its Premier Product

[Editor's note: We have published the review of HYTE Revolt 3 Case here.]

HYTE, the new PC components and lifestyle brand of iBUYPOWER, a leading manufacturer of high-performance custom gaming PCs, today released its premier product, the Revolt 3 Mini-ITX PC case. Previously announced during CES 2021 as the Revolt 3 MK3, the Revolt 3 was designed with careful consideration for DIY PC enthusiasts, gamers, and creators alike.

"iBUYPOWER is excited to introduce its new sub-brand, HYTE, to our community with its very first product, the Revolt 3" said Darren Su, Executive Vice President of iBUYPOWER. "With over 20 years of experience as a systems integrator we felt like we had a unique perspective to bring to the table when developing PC Components. We approached the Revolt 3 with the goal of designing a case with the freedom and flexibility that would allow the use of a wide range of components without imposing performance restrictions based on the size of the case."

Jon Peddie Research: GPU Shipments Soar in Q2 Year-over-Year

Jon Peddie Research reports the growth of the global PC-based Graphics Processor Units (GPU) market reached 123 million units in Q2'21 and PC CPU shipments increased by 42% year-over-year. Overall, the installed base of GPUs will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.5% during 2020-2025 to reach a total of 3,318 million units at the end of the forecast period. Over the next five years, the penetration of discrete GPUs (dGPU) in the PC will grow to reach a level of 25%.

AMD's overall market share percentage from last quarter decreased by -0.2%, Intel's market share increased 0.1%, and Nvidia's market share increased 0.06%, as indicated in the following chart. Overall GPU unit shipments increased by 3.4% from last quarter, AMD shipments increased 2.3%, Intel's shipments rose 3.6%, and Nvidia's shipments increased 3.8%.

NAND Flash Revenue for 2Q21 Rises by 10.8% QoQ Due to Strong Notebook Demand and Procurements for Data Centers, Says TrendForce

NAND Flash suppliers' Clients in the data center segment were gradually stepping up enterprise SSD procurement after finishing inventory adjustments, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Moreover, the adoption rate of 4/8 TB products in the enterprise SSD market increased substantially on account of the releases and adoption of the new server processor platforms from Intel and AMD. Although the recent wave of COVID-19 outbreaks that struck Southeast Asia weakened smartphone sales in 2Q21, the quarterly total NAND Flash bit shipments rose by nearly 9% QoQ, as PC OEMs still had plenty of component orders in 2Q21 due to the fairly robust notebook demand during the period. On the other hand, the shortage of controller ICs became more severe during the period, and the winter storm that battered Texas this February affected the operation of Samsung's foundry fab Line S2 in Austin. As demand for NAND Flash products rose, the overall ASP also rose by nearly 7% QoQ, and the quarterly total NAND Flash revenue rose by 10.8% QoQ to US$16.4 billion in 2Q21.

Worldwide Shipments of PCs and Tablets Will Maintain Growth Through 2021 But Future Opportunity Leans Towards Notebook PCs, According to IDC

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, worldwide shipments of PCs are expected to grow 14.2% to 347 million units in 2021. This is down from IDC's May forecast of 18% growth with continued supply chain and logistical challenges cited as the main reasons. The Tablet market is also expected to grow in 2021 but at a much slower pace of 3.4%.

"We continue to believe the PC and tablet markets are supply constrained and that demand is still there," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "The lengthening of the supply shortages combined with on-going logistical issues are presenting the industry with some big challenges. However, we believe the vast majority of PC demand is non-perishable, especially from the business and education sectors."

DRAM Revenue Undergoes 26% Increase QoQ for 2Q21 Owing to Rising Quotes and Higher-Than-Expected Shipment, Says TrendForce

After DRAM prices made a rebound into an upward trajectory in 1Q21, buyers expanded their DRAM procurement activities in 2Q21 as they anticipated a further price hike and insufficient supply going forward, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. Not only was demand robust from clients in the notebook segment, which benefitted from ongoing WFH and distance learning applications, but CSPs also sought to gradually replenish their DRAM inventories. Furthermore, demand for products that are relatively niche, including graphics DRAM and consumer DRAM, remained strong. Hence, DRAM suppliers experienced better-than-expected QoQ increases in their DRAM shipment for 2Q21. At the same time, DRAM quotes grew by a greater magnitude compared to the first quarter as well. With both shipment and quotes undergoing growths in tandem, DRAM suppliers registered remarkable growths in their revenues in 2Q21. Total DRAM revenue for 2Q21 reached US$24.1 billion, a 26% QoQ increase.

Samsung Develops 512 GB DDR5 Memory Modules Running at 7.2 Gbps

At this year's Hot chips 33 conference, Samsung has presented its works on the upcoming DDR5 memory standard. The company has managed to achieve a lot of new developments, as the newer standard pairs with new technologies to deliver higher speeds and better capacity. The Korean company designed its DDR5 modules as 8-high (8H) stacked TSV (through silicon via) dies. In the previous DDR4 implementations, Samsung used 4-high (4H) stacked TSV dies, which are actually thicker than the latest 8-high implementations. To achieve the new thin design, Samsung has used thin wafer handling techniques, which resulted in a 40% reduction in gab between stacked dies. The new 8H DDR5 modules are only 1.0 mm thick, compared to the 1.2 mm of the older 4H modules.

When it comes to performance, Samsung expects the new DDR5 modules to deliver big. Running at 7.2 Gbps speeds, the Samsung-made RDIMM/LRDIMM modules can reach up to 512 GB in capacity. This is, of course, limited to the server/enterprise market. Regular consumers/PC users can expect to have UDIMMs with up to 64 GB of capacity. The aforementioned 7.2 Gbps speed is achieved at the specified 1.1 Volts of power, meaning that Samsung's implementation is very efficient. According to some estimations made by the company, the DDR5 crossover for the mainstream market is not expected before 2023/2024, meaning that there is still a lot of time for memory makers to refine their DDR5 products.

Contract Prices of PC DRAM Expected to Decline by 0-5% in 4Q21 as Spot Prices of DRAM Modules Continue to Weaken, Says TrendForce

Now that most negotiations over contract prices of PC DRAM for 3Q21 have concluded, DRAM suppliers' low inventories and the arrival of the peak season for DRAM procurement have resulted in a 3-8% QoQ increase in PC DRAM contract prices for 3Q21, although this is a relatively muted growth compared to the 25% increase experienced in 2Q21, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, demand for PC DRAM in the spot market began to show signs of bearish movement in early July ahead of time, as DRAM suppliers continued to lower prices in order to adjust their DRAM inventories. Regarding the contract market, PC OEMs currently carry relatively high levels of DRAM inventory because they substantially stocked up on PC DRAM beforehand in anticipation of an upcoming shortage. Not only has PC OEMs' high DRAM inventory put downward pressure on possible price hikes for PC DRAM, but the gradual lifting of COVID-related restrictions in Europe and the US will also likely lower the overall demand for notebook computers, thereby pulling down the overall demand for PC DRAM. TrendForce therefore forecasts a 0-5% QoQ decline in PC DRAM contract prices for 4Q21.

ASRock New BIOS Updates To Support AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series Desktop Processors with Radeon Graphics

The leading global motherboard, graphics card, and small form factor PC manufacturer, ASRock, has released the latest BIOS that support AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series Desktop Processors with Radeon Graphics and AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors with PRO Technologies.

AMD Ryzen 5000 G-Series Desktop Processors with Radeon Graphics are the newest generation processors come with industry-leading 7nm technology, elevating processing performance to the next level. And now, ASRock 500-Series, B450 AMD Ryzen motherboards and X300 Mini PC are able to support both of them by updating the latest BIOS.

EVGA is Requesting Scalper-level Pricing for Advanced GPU RMA Program

Just a few days back, we have seen reports being made about EVGA graphics cards dying from playing a closed beta test of Amazon Game's New World MMORPG game. Multiple users are reporting on their GPUs getting fried from playing the game, and EVGA is already offering a replacement for the GPUs. However, today's situation appears to be slightly different. According to the report coming from Igor's Lab, EVGA is charging premium prices for its advanced GPU RMA service, getting some criticism from the community. For starters, the advanced RMA service is a service designed for EVGA customers to send their faulty GPUs, pay a deposit, receive a replacement GPU from EVGA, and once EVGA receives the old GPU, it returns the deposit to the person who made it. It basically allows less downtime for owners of the GPU, with a replacement quickly on the way.

All of that is working neatly in theory. However, as every person involved in the PC building recently knows, prices for GPUs are at an insane level as demand is much higher than the supply currently available. Igor's Lab has reportedly experienced a similar situation with EVGA as well. As Igor filed for the advanced RMA program, the deposit needed to be made. Instead of the regular 782 Euros (or about 931 Euros with VAT included) for EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, EVGA asked for as much as a 1,728.20 Euro deposit to be made.

Sudden Drop in Cryptocurrency Prices Hurts Graphics DRAM Market in 3Q21, Says TrendForce

The stay-at-home economy remains robust due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so the sales of gaming products such as game consoles and the demand for related components are being kept at a decent level, according to TrendForce's latest investigations. However, the values of cryptocurrencies have plummeted in the past two months because of active interventions from many governments, with the graphics DRAM market entering into a bearish turn in 3Q21 as a result. While graphics DRAM prices in the spot market will likely show the most severe fluctuations, contract prices of graphics DRAM are expected to increase by 10-15% QoQ in 3Q21 since DRAM suppliers still prioritize the production of server DRAM over other product categories, and the vast majority of graphics DRAM supply is still cornered by major purchasers.

It should be pointed out that, given the highly volatile nature of the graphics DRAM market, it is relatively normal for graphics DRAM prices to reverse course or undergo a more drastic fluctuation compared with other mainstream DRAM products. As such, should the cryptocurrency market remain bearish, and manufacturers of smartphones or PCs reduce their upcoming production volumes in light of the ongoing pandemic and component supply issues, graphics DRAM prices are unlikely to experience further increase in 4Q21. Instead, TrendForce expects prices in 4Q21 to largely hold flat compared to the third quarter.

Samsung Electronics Announces Second Quarter 2021 Results

Samsung Electronics today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021. Total consolidated revenue was KRW 63.67 trillion, a 20% increase from the previous year and a record for the second quarter. Operating profit increased 34% from the previous quarter to KRW 12.57 trillion as market conditions improved in the memory market, operations normalized at the Austin foundry fab, and as effective global supply chain management (SCM) helped maintain solid profitability for the finished product businesses.

The Semiconductor business saw a significant improvement in earnings as memory shipments exceeded previous guidance and price increases were higher than expected, while the Company strengthened its cost competitiveness. For the Display Panel Business, a one-off gain and an increase in overall prices boosted profits.

Intel Announces NUC 11 Extreme Kit for High-End Gaming Experience

Today, Intel announced the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit (code-named "Beast Canyon"), a highly modular desktop PC engineered to provide a phenomenal experience for gaming, streaming and recording. With the latest 11th Gen Intel Core processors, support for full-size discrete graphics cards and a full range of I/O ports, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit delivers high performance gameplay and smooth, immersive visuals.

Compact Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kits are designed to provide powerful, immersive gaming experiences. For performance, connectivity, and modularity, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme kit delivers massive performance with a small footprint.

The highest-performing Intel NUC yet delivers a premium and size-optimized PC package for creating innovative desktops suited to gamers' unique performance needs. Packing the latest hardware components into a tiny 8-liter case, the Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit is loaded with features typically found in much larger gaming rigs and offers customizable design options.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Beta Opening up This Weekend

If you're on the fence about whether or not Halo Infinite will be worth your time, you might just get your chance to find it out for yourself as early as this weekend. 343 Industries has announced the first of a series of technical flightings for the next chapter in the Halo universe, with users being called in an invite-basis to participate in and provide feedback on the multiplayer element of Halo infinite (which will be free to play when the game launches later this year). The gameplay focus is on team fights against bots (a first in the Halo universe) in big arena maps, plus a tutorial system called The Academy, which will feature missions for players to get into the groove of Halo's combat rhythms.

Tempered expectations are best when coming into any games' beta, and 343 Industries has informed players that the current build of the game being deployed for this flighting is some two to three months old compared to the games' current development stage - so there is some leeway to pardon their dust. If you want to get a taste of Halo's famed arena combat, you'll have to sign-up to the Halo Insider initiative, where you can choose the platform of choice for participation in the flighting program. If you choose PC as your platform, there are some other hoops to jump through; you'll have to send Microsoft a diagnostic of your system's DxDiag report, as well as connect your Steam account via the Halo Insider program. Meet you there, Spartan.
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