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IBASE Launches 3.5" SBC IB953 Powered by 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake Processors

IBASE Technology Inc. (TPEx: 8050), IBASE, a leading provider of industrial motherboards and embedded systems, launches its latest 3.5" SBC IB953 powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors (codenamed Tiger Lake). Measuring 146 x 102 mm in a compact footprint, the single board computer offers impressive I/O and computing performance, making it an ideal platform for a broad range of demanding applications in factory automation, machine vision, healthcare, as well as retail environments.

The IB953 features a 5G compatible M.2 3052 socket and the latest 11th Gen. Intel Core and Celeron processors built on 10 nm SuperFin process, delivering up to 25% faster performance and greater AI acceleration. With the Intel Core i7-1185G7 (IBASE model IB953AF-I7) comes the new Iris Xe (Xe-LP) graphics architecture supporting 96 EUs (Execution Units) which equals 768 cores and runs at 1.35 GHz, an increase of 250 MHz over the previous 11-gen graphics to provide up to twice the performance and improved power efficiency. The graphics engine's hardware acceleration can drive up to four simultaneous 4K HDR displays (via 2x DisplayPort + eDP and LVDS).

BIOSTAR Announces B560MX-E PRO and B560MH-E PRO Motherboards

BIOSTAR, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices today, announces the latest B560MX-E PRO and B560MH-E PRO motherboards. Designed to support Intel's 10th/11th Generation Intel Core Processors and professional graphics cards, the new B560 series motherboards are highly versatile. Powered by Intel's B560 chipset, these two new motherboards are efficient and robust in any use case.

PCI-e 4.0 and PCIe M.2 4.0 & M.2 Cooling, among other cutting-edge technology, adds up to a great platform, tailor-made for business or even casual use. The two new motherboards support up to 128 GB of DDR4 memory across 4 DIMM with an overclocking capability of up to 4000+(OC)MHz. Backed by BIOSTAR's proprietary Digital PWM technology, the new B560MX-E PRO, and B560MH-E PRO motherboards are safe and long-lasting, capable of supporting the best hardware with ease. Both motherboards pack all the essentials in their rear I/O panel with almost identical layouts on a Micro-ATX form factor.

ASRock Unveils Thunderbolt 4 Add-on Card

ASRock today unveiled the Thunderbolt 4 AIC, an add-on card that puts out two 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports in the USB-C form-factor, with DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough. The card works exclusively with ASRock's Intel 500-series chipset motherboards that have a special header needed by the card called "TBT_Header" (similar to the "TB_Header" on certain ASUS motherboards). In addition, the card needs a 9-pin USB 2.0 connection to one of the vacant headers on the motherboard.

The compact, yet full-height add-on card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and is based on Intel JHL8540 "Maple Ridge" controller. It has two full-size DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, a pair of included DP cables lets you connect the card to your graphics card. The controller supports up to 5 devices in Thunderbolt daisy-chains. The DisplayPort passthrough supports resolutions of up to 5K @ 60 Hz. The card measures 8.4 cm in length, 10.41 cm in height, and is 1 slot thick. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Russia Develops First Domestic B450 Motherboard

When governments need a hardware upgrade, they will usually take the route of exploring options with security in mind. However, if you happen to have some engineering talent to employ on a new project, why wouldn't you just build a custom motherboard for your own purposes. Today, GS Group Holding and Philax, have announced that they are starting the manufacturing of Russia's first motherboard based on a B450 chipset from AMD. Looking at the motherboard, which you can see below, you might find it very similar to those of ASRock. And that is because Philax has a licensing agreement with ASRock to use the design of the B450M Pro4 motherboard, with the addition of a TPM module which is often used by government agencies, to produce this board.

Producing around 40,000 pieces, these motherboards are expected to handle anything from 4000 series to 5000 series of AMD processors. As far as the specifications go, the board is coming in a standard Micro-ATX form factor. It is equipped with four DDR4 memory slots that can take a memory with up to 3200 MHz speed. There are two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and one PCIe 2.0 x1 slot, which are of course limited by CPU choice. The motherboard enables four SATA III and two M.2 ports for storage expansion. When it comes to I/O, the board features HDMI, D-Sub, DVI-D, four USB 3.1 Gen1, two USB 2.0, one USB Type-C, and one USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port. GS Group Holding and Philax also have a partnership that goes beyond just motherboards. They also plan to produce about 50,000 custom monitors for government purposes as well.

ASUS Announces Mini PC PB62

ASUS today announced Mini PC PB62, a durable computer that delivers powerful performance to provide flexibility, expandability and performance to suit a range of business applications, including digital signage, point-of-sales (POS) system, kiosks and intelligent vending machines. Mini PC PB62 is powered by the latest desktop-grade up to 11th Generation Intel Core processor and fast DDR4 3200 MHz memory.

Engineered for performance: 11th Gen Intel Core, DDR4 3200 MHz memory and Intel Optane
With the latest up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors, Mini PC PB62 is caters for with support for either a 35- or 65-watt CPU - so it's ready to be specified for supreme efficiency or maximum performance. PB62 also has built-in support for Intel Optane H20 memory, the technology that greatly improves storage speeds, enables frequently-used documents, pictures, videos and applications to be accessed more quickly while improving overall system performance to maximize productivity and efficiency.

AMD Fixes Intermittent USB Connectivity Issues on 500 Series Chipsets, BIOS Update Arrives in April

AMD has four weeks ago acknowledged that there was a problem with 500 series motherboard chipsets. The problem has occurred with a few chipset functions like USB connectivity, USB 2.0 audio crackling (e.g. DAC/AMP combos), and USB/PCIe Gen 4 exclusion. To fix these problems, consumers were forced to either put up with problems or lower the PCIe standard from Gen 4 to Gen 3 and switch USB protocol revision from 3.0 to 2.0. This of course wasn't the ideal solution, especially for bandwidth-heavy applications. Users have submitted many reports to AMD, and the company appears to have found a root cause of these issues. AMD has published a Reddit thread, that reports that the company found a solution to the problem and that we are going to see a fix for it in a form in AGESA BIOS update.
AMD Reddit
AMD has prepared AGESA 1.2.0.2 to deploy this update, and we plan to distribute 1.2.0.2 to our motherboard partners for integration in about a week. Customers can expect downloadable BIOSes containing AGESA 1.2.0.2 to begin with beta updates in early April. The exact update schedule for your system will depend on the test and implementation schedule for your vendor and specific motherboard model. If you continue to experience intermittent USB connectivity issues after updating your system to AGESA 1.2.0.2, we encourage you to download the standalone AMD Bug Report Tool and open a ticket with AMD Customer Support.

ASUS Rolls Out ThunderboltEX 4 Add-on Card

ASUS today rolled out the ThunderboltEX 4, an add-on card designed to give your PC full Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. The only catch here is that you'll need an ASUS motherboard with a Thunderbolt readiness header (which provides timing and other low-level system commands to the card). Also needed is a USB 2.0 header, of which you're likely to have plenty. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and can be installed on any PCIe slot, x4 or larger. A 6-pin PCIe power input is also needed, as Thunderbolt 4 is capable of up to 100 W of power delivery per port, enabling single-cable RAID enclosures and monitors.

The ASUS ThunderboltEX 4 card puts out two Thunderbolt 4 ports in the USB type-C physical format, each with 40 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth. The card provides DisplayPort passthrough for each port. You connect your graphics card to the ThunderboltEX 4 using the included DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort cables. The card supports DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough, so you can scale all the way up to 8K resolution on the connected monitors, if your graphics card is game. Under the hood, the card features an Intel JHL8540 "Maple Ridge" Thunderbolt 4 controller. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AAEON Announces the SRG-3352C Compact Edge IoT Gateway System

AAEON, an industry leader in Edge Computing solutions, announces the SRG-3352C Compact Edge IoT Gateway System. The SRG-3352C brings reliable, cost effective gateway operations with expandability and wireless communication support designed to quickly deploy edge networks in a variety of environments.
The SRG-3352C builds upon the features, durability and reliability of the SRG-3352 Edge IoT Gateway System with expanded support for more connections and wireless communications. All of this is packed into a compact form factor that makes deploying the SRG-3352C even easier, powering more flexible edge network deployments.

The SRG-3352C is powered by the Arm Cortex-A8 800 MHz RISC processor. This innovative processor reduces the energy requirements of the system, allowing for a more efficient system to help save electricity costs. While powerful enough to connect edge networks together, the low energy usage can help cities with achieving green energy goals, and even allow the system to operate on solar power or batteries. It also eliminates the need for dedicated heatsinks, allowing the system to operate in wider temperatures, from 0°C up to 60°C without loss in performance.

ECS Presents Latest Ultra-Small and Multi-functional Mini PC

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), the global leading motherboard, Mini-PC, Notebooks, mobile device and smart city solutions provider, is proud to present the latest ultra-small and power efficient mini PC - LIVA Q1A/ Q1A Plus. The size is only 74 x 74x 34.6 mm, just as light as a mouse yet with desktop performance. LIVA Q1A features quad core Rockchip SoC and Q1A Plus features quad and dual core Rockchip SoC. It can save 15% of power consumption but increase 50% of performance. Designed by ARM-based CPU and the aluminium CPU heat sink, LIVA Q1A series can keep cool without fan.

The fanless design makes it silent and energy-saving. LIVA Q1A series supports up to 4K resolution, HDMI CEC remote control function, Android system and open SDK. LIVA Q1A series is tiny enough to mount in any limited space and suitable for variety of digital signage application such as shopping mall, smart classroom, transportation, hotels and healthcare center.

Axiomtek Announces AIE100-903-FL-NX AI Edge System

Axiomtek - a world-renowned leader relentlessly devoted in the research, development and manufacture of series of innovative and reliable industrial computer products of high efficiency - is pleased to announce the AIE100-903-FL-NX, its ultra-compact and state-of-the-art edge AI system. The high-performance AIE100-903-FL-NX is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX module which has a powerful 6-core NVIDIA Carmel ARM v8.2 64-bit processor and 384-core NVIDIA Volta GPU architecture with 48 Tensor cores; in addition, it integrates Allxon Device Management Solutions (Allxon DMS) to provide a cost-effective and simplified device management solution with comprehensive remote management capabilities. The AIE100-903-FL-NX is ideal for smart city, smart manufacturing, smart retail, and other intelligent edge AI applications.

"The AIE100-903-FL-NX is a waterproof, fanless NVIDIA-based AI edge inference system designed for AI computing and deep learning applications, such as behavior analytics, face recognition and vehicle analysis. Due to its rugged design, the ultra-compact edge computing device can operate in harsh environments with a wide range of temperatures from -30°C to +50°C and can withstand vibration up to 3 Grms. In addition, it offers an optional waterproof IP42-rated cover kit for enhanced protection in semi-outdoor environments," said Annie Fu, the product manager of Product PM Division at Axiomtek. "Besides the outstanding hardware solutions, the AI-powered AIE100-903-FL-NX is integrated with cloud-based Allxon DMS to provide remote management for convenient real-time control on devices. Allxon DMS offers rapid deployment and integration on multiple operating systems, reduces system downtime and maintenance costs, and further provides a wide breadth of centralized cloud device management. This industrial edge AI system is the best choice to simplify the large-scale deployment of AIoT platforms."

ASUS ROG Announces Strix Scope RX Keyboard

ASUS today introduced a new iteration of their Strix Scope keyboard, the Strix Scope RX. The new keyboard is now offering ASUS-developed ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches - ASUS is promising consistent wobble-free keystrokes, superfast 1-millisecond response, and up to a 100-million-keystroke lifespan. ASUS says these are the first switches in the world to feature a hollow-square stem design with embedded RGB LEDs to provide all-round per-key lighting, offering near-zero debounce delay.

ASUS calls attention to the twice-as-wide CTRL key, ensuring easy, infallible access during gaming sessions, and also mentions the Stealth Key (marked by, as they say, "iconic cloaked figure") which allows for immediate hiding of all open apps and sound muting for instant privacy (an interesting feature, wonder what its perfect use case would be...). A Quick Toggle switch allows to change the top keyboard row between Media or Function (Fn) key input. The keyboard also offers a single USB 2.0 passthrough, and features dust and spill resistance. The keyboard's top plate is built out of brushed aluminium. The ASUS ROG Strix Scope RX will be available from Q1 2021 in Benelux with an MSRP of €139.

HyperX Releases SoloCast USB Microphone

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology, Inc., today announced the release of the HyperX SoloCast USB microphone for streamers and content creators. SoloCast offers Plug N Play audio recording capability and a tap-to-mute feature that indicates the mute status when the red LED is flashing. Using a cardioid recording pattern, it provides a clear sound ideal for streamers, casters, students, and working from home professionals

The SoloCast microphone offers an easy Plug N Play setup. It utilizes a cardioid polar pattern that is more sensitive to sound sources directly in front of the microphone, making it great for in-game voice chat, streaming voice audio, and audio recordings for content creation. "We are excited to expand our USB microphone line with the addition of HyperX SoloCast," said Nate Almond, audio business manager, HyperX. "We are always looking for new ways to deliver an amazing user experience and expanding our USB microphone lineup with our new SoloCast brings a different option to streamers and content creators."

XMG Announces DJ 15 laptops with Intel 10th Gen Core U-Series CPUs

For years, MacBooks have been the de facto standard for digital DJ setups. Apple's recent product iterations, however, have left much to be desired in terms of professional connectivity - using industry standard DJ equipment with a MacBook requires the purchase of expensive and impractical adapters or hubs. XMG responds to the DJ community's growing demand for a functional, reliable alternative by releasing the DJ 15 - the first ever laptop designed, optimised and tested specifically to meet the needs of professional DJs. Weighing in at a mere 1.6 kg, this machine features a 15" non-glare Full HD IPS display and a wide array of standard ports. An entirely bloatware-free Windows 10 Pro installation, perfectly tuned to the DJ 15's hardware components, ensures ultra-low, stable DPC latency out of the box, even running off battery with WiFi and Bluetooth activated. On top of that, XMG offers unique and highly specialised support - by DJs, for DJs.

ECS Launches the Tiny Yet Mighty LIVA Q1 Series Mini PC

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), the global leading motherboard, Mini-PC, Notebooks, mobile device and smart city solutions provider, is pleased to announce the pocket-size yet multi-functional mini PC - LIVA Q1D/Q1L. Aiming at the growing demand of stay at home application, LIVA Q1 series provide smart solutions for work/study from home device and home entertainment. In addition, LIVA Q1 series is ideal for digital signage, thin-client or Terminal applications in versatile use-cases, including indoor displays for public facilities such as schools or libraries, healthcare, hospitality, business and retail.

LIVA Q1D/Q1L are build-in an ultra-power-efficient Intel Pentium / Celeron processors, equipped with 32/64 GB eMMC and a microSD slot to expand storage space. LIVA Q1 series support Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11ac enabling greater capacity for faster internet environments. It also features with Intel HD Graphics 500/505 to have stronger support for 4K videos playback. LIVA Q1 series design to build in a cooling fan in the ultra-small PC to keep the system stay cool and more stabilize.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Meta Buffs Product Lineup

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced an all-new lineup of gaming gear at the Meta Buffs online launch event. Aligning with the event theme, the new products are all meta buffs: status enhancements that are lighter, faster and more powerful for taking gaming experiences to a new level. The lineup features the new ROG Strix GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards, which unleash an amped-up thermal design and chart-topping performance with the NVIDIA Ampere architecture. The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs, the 2nd generation of RTX, feature new RT Cores, Tensor Cores and streaming multiprocessors, bringing stunning visuals, amazingly fast frame rates and AI acceleration to games and creative applications. Powered by the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, which delivers increases of up to 1.9 times performance-per-watt over the previous generation, the RTX 30 Series effortlessly powers graphics experiences at all resolutions, even up to 8K at the top end. The GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 and 3070 represent the greatest GPU generational leap in the history of NVIDIA.

ROG also introduced the ROG Swift PG329Q, ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QN and ROG Swift 360 Hz PG259QNR gaming monitors for ultrafast and ultrasmooth visuals; the ROG Strix XF 120 fan for low-noise cooling performance and versatility; ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000, the world's first Wi-Fi 6E router; the ROG Strix Scope RX gaming keyboard, which debuts the responsive, reliable and durable ROG RX Red Optical Mechanical Switches; the ROG Keris Wireless mouse for compact and nimble control; the ROG Delta S headset for crystal-clear audio; and ROG Scabbard II, an extended gaming mouse pad with a protective nano-coating that repels water, oil and dust.

Thermaltake Intros Versa T25 Tempered Glass Case

Thermaltake today introduced the Versa T25 TG (model: CA-1R5-00M1WN-00). This ATX mid-tower case is characterized by a tempered glass front panel that conceals two large intake fan vents, and a tempered glass panel over the left side. Inside, the case features a typical horizontally partitioned layout, with the upper compartment serving up room for graphics cards up to 30 cm in length, and CPU coolers up to 150 cm in height. The PSU bay in the bottom compartment offers up to 16 cm room, which can be extended to 20 cm by removing the drive cage.

Storage options include two 3.5-inch/2.5-inch bays in a detachable drive cage in the bottom compartment, and two 2.5-inch drive mounts. Ventilation options include two 200 mm front intakes, which can be made to hold either two 200 mm fans, or two 140 mm fans, or three 120 mm fans; two 140/120 mm top exhausts; and a 120 mm rear exhaust. A 120 mm fan at the rear comes included with the case, and factory-fitted. Front panel connectivity includes two USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.x type-A port, and HDA jacks. The case measures 416 mm x 210 mm x 480 mm (HxWxD). The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Launches A520 Entry-level Desktop Chipset - No PCIe 4.0

AMD today announced its entry-level A520 desktop chipset for 3rd Gen Ryzen "Matisse" processors, and possible readiness for Athlon and Ryzen 4000G processors based on the "Renoir" silicon. Much like the B550, it lacks support for Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G processors based on the "Picasso" silicon, as well as older 2nd- and 1st Gen Ryzen processors. The A520 succeeds the A320 chipset, and enables motherboards priced deep under the $100-mark, close to the $50 magic figure. The ASMedia-sourced chipset has quite a few similarities with the B550, but one big segmentation - complete lack of PCIe Gen 4.

Motherboards based on the AMD A520 completely lack PCIe Gen 4 support, even with a Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processor. Even the PCI-Express x16 and M.2 NVMe slots wired to the AM4 SoC are limited to PCIe Gen 3. On the B550, these two slots run at Gen 4 speeds when paired with a capable processor. Much like the B550, the downstream (general purpose) PCIe lanes from the chipset run at PCIe Gen 3 speeds, although unlike the B550, the chipset only puts out 6 lanes. Other platform I/O includes up to five 10 Gbps USB 3.2 ports (includes two from the AM4 SoC), two 5 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, four SATA 6 Gb/s (AHCI-only) ports, and six USB 2.0 ports. At launch, A520 motherboards only support Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors, with support planned for 4000G "Renoir" processors when they launch in the retail channel, and future "Zen 3" processors, through firmware updates.

AAEON Announces SRG-3352 Edge IoT Gateway System

AAEON, an industry leader in Edge Computing solutions, announces the SRG-3352 Edge IoT Gateway System. The SRG-3352 offers reliable and cost saving edge network operations, with flexibility to connect edge nodes and sensors with cloud services. The SRG-3352 is powered by the Arm Cortex-A8 800 MHz RISC processor. This innovative processor reduces the energy requirements of the system, saving electricity costs and allowing the system to be deployed with solar power or battery operated. With very little heat output, the system can operate in a wide range of temperatures from 0°C up to 60°C without loss in performance.

The SRG-3352 is designed to provide a great value and cost-effective platform not only with initial investment, but also in long term costs. With rugged design and Arm processor, the system provides stable and reliable operation, reducing maintenance needs. To connect from edge to cloud, the SRG-3352 supports 3G/4G LTE as well as NB-IoT to help reduce carrier costs.

MSI Intros Optix MAG271VCR Curved 27-inch Gaming Monitor

MSI today introduced the Optix MAG271VCR, a 27-inch curved gaming monitor. It introduces a new body design language that sees ARGB LED diffusers behind the monitor in an "X" motif. The monitor features a VA panel with 1800R curvature, 178°/178° viewing angles, and 16:9 aspect ratio. It offers Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, 165 Hz refresh rate, and 1 ms (MPRT) response time, along with support for VESA Adaptive Sync, low flicker, and low blue-light. Inputs include DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 2.0. The stand allows for tilt, swivel, and height adjustments. An earphones jack that pulls audio from the display connection, and a 2-port USB 2.0 hub make for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

BIOSTAR Announces the new B550MH Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading brand of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, today announces the B550MH motherboard that runs the 3rd gen Ryzen processors. Geared towards the business and casual users, the new BIOSTAR B550MH motherboard is designed to be efficient and reliable with bleeding edge technology built to be the best in the market with a new stylish PCB design.

The B550MH motherboard supports up to 64Gb of RAM across 2 DIMMs with the capability of reaching 4400+OC speeds and technologies like PCIe 4.0 that supports 16GT/s bit data transfer rates which is 2 times faster than PCIe 3.0 with backward compatibility, as well as PCIe M.2 4.0 which delivers lower latency on a higher bandwidth of 64 Gb/s which is 2x faster than the old PCIe M.2 3.0 making the new BIOSTAR B550MH motherboard a great choice for many applications.
BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH

HyperX Announces Alloy Elite 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today expanded its Alloy keyboard line up with the release of the HyperX Alloy Elite 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. The new Alloy Elite 2 gaming keyboard is based on the original Alloy Elite design and boasts HyperX red linear mechanical switches built for performance, longevity and an 80 million lifetime click rating per switch. The keyboard includes dedicated media keys with quick access buttons and volume wheel and uses HyperX designed pudding keycaps with translucent dual-layer style and signature HyperX font to enhance LED and RGB light.

The HyperX Alloy Elite 2 features a signature light bar with LED lighting, dynamic RGB lighting effects with per-key lighting and RGB colors. Alloy Elite 2 is built with solid steel frame for durability, offers dedicated media buttons and a large volume wheel along with quick access buttons for brightness, lighting effects, and game mode. Alloy Elite 2 also includes a USB 2.0 pass through, 100 percent anti-ghosting and full N-key rollover functionality.

ASUS ROG Announces Strix Electro Punk Edition Gaming Peripherals

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the release of new Electro Punk peripherals with a striking black-and-pink color scheme. First introduced in April, the Electro Punk colors can now be found on the ROG Strix Go 2.4 gaming headset, ROG Strix Scope TKL gaming keyboard, ROG Strix Impact II gaming mouse and other gaming and lifestyle accessories.

ROG Strix Go 2.4 Electro Punk is a USB-C 2.4 GHz wireless headset that enables stable, lag-free audio on smart devices, PC, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo Switch (in Handheld mode). The Electro Punk edition features pink piping in and around the headband, ear pads, and ROG logo to give it that a special touch, while the rest stays bold black to prevent stains. Strix Go 2.4 has a detachable boom mic powered by AI Noise-Canceling technology that intelligently eliminates unwanted background noise for clear voice communication for work or play.

AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

In their briefing leading up to today's Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X review embargo, AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets. The next-gen processors will not work with older 400-series or 300-series chipsets. This comes as a blow to those who bought premium X470 motherboards hoping for latest CPU compatibility running into 2020. At this time only B550 is available, but we expect more news on enthusiast chipsets as the Zen 3 launch date comes closer. AMD B550 is a fascinating new mid-range chipset by AMD. Launching today as a successor to the popular B450 chipset, B550 is a low-power silicon with roughly the same 5-7 W TDP as the older 400-series chipset. Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia. It brings a lot to the table that could draw buyers away from B450, but it also takes some away.

The AMD B550 currently only supports 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors. Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" APU are not supported. What's more, older Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge," "Raven Ridge," and first gen Ryzen 1000 "Summit Ridge" aren't supported, either. The Athlon 200 and 3000 "Zen" based chips miss out, too. AMD argues that it ran into ROM size limitations when trying to cram AGESA microcode for all the older processors. We find that hard to believe because B450 motherboards with the latest ComboAM4 AGESA support 2nd gen and 3rd gen processors, including APUs and Athlon SKUs based on the two. On the bright side, AMD assured us (within its marketing slides for the B550), that the chipset will support upcoming processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G.
AMD B550 chipset highlights AMD B550 processor support AMD B550 vs B450

Kolink Announces the Balance ARGB Mid-tower Chassis

Renowned for its innovative and high-performance contributions to the world of PC cases, Kolink has created the Balance Midi-Tower as a feature-rich gaming case. This case may have a stunning exterior, but behind this facade lies a lot of space for powerful gaming hardware as well. All this gaming goodness can be admired through the tempered glass side panel, and as it supports motherboards up to E-ATX in form factor, there will be plenty to look at. A thoughtfully included PSU shroud also helps users stash away unsightly cables.

The front of the case, with its fine mesh and air vents, helps ensure not only good airflow, but it also helps accentuate the digitally addressable RGB-LED strip and the look of the case as a whole. A switch on the I/O panel allows the lighting to be controlled. Alternatively, the strip can be connected directly to the motherboard and controlled that way instead. The overall ventilation of the case is also helped by the presence of a fine mesh with an integrated dust filter on the top. A pre-installed 120 mm fan is also equipped with dARGB lighting.
Kolink Balance ARGB

MSI Unveils Optix MAGG322CR Monitor with 180 Hz Refresh Rate

Today MSI announced the latest addition to its monitor lineup - the MSI Optix MAGG332CR gaming monitor. With its 180 Hz refresh rate, this monitor is targeting gamers who focus on first-person shooter games primarily. When it comes to the panel characteristics, this monitor is rocking a 31.5-inch anti-glare 1080p display with a 1500R curvature applied to it. The panel type in question is an 8-bit VA panel with Frame Rate Control (FRC) that enables the monitor to achieve a wider color spectrum withing the 8-bit range.

The monitor offers 1 ms Moving Picture Response Time (MPRT) performance, along with the brightness of 300 nits, and a contrast ratio of 3000:1. When it comes to the refresh rate syncing technology, there is VESA's Adaptive-Sync present with AMD FreeSync certification. Marked as "HDR Ready", it is not exactly meeting any requirements due to its 300 nits brightness, however, there is at least a possibility to view HDR content. The display covers 96% of DCI-P3 and 125% of sRGB color gamut. Additionally, for input, there are quite a few options. There is one DisplayPort 1.2a, two HDMI 2.0b connectors, and one USB-C port that supports DisplayPort alternate mode allowing for video input over USB. There is also a USB hub present with two USB 2.0 ports and for audio, there is one 3.5 mm headphone output port. Besides, support for MSI Mystic Light RGB setup is also present.
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