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News Archives for January 2018

Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 2, 2018 @ time: 06:43AM
Author: bp9801

A new year is upon us, with 2018 kicking things off with several items for you to check out. We have a look at the GeIL Super Luce RGB SYNC DDR4-3000 32GB Memory Kit, offering an RGB light bar at the top to better match whatever theme you're currently running in your PC. For storage on the go, there's a review on the Silicon Power Diamond D30S 2TB USB 3.1 HDD, offering solid protection and performance wherever you are. There's a new look at PUBG and its graphics performance after some updates have hopefully improved it. However, we do have a list of the most disappointing PC games of 2017, since not everything can be that great. We wrap things up with a list of essential apps you should install on a new Windows or macOS system.

Memory
GeIL Super Luce RGB SYNC DDR4-3000 32GB Memory Kit @ ThinkComputers

Storage/Hard Drives
Silicon Power Diamond D30S 2TB USB 3.1 HDD @ Madshrimps

Gaming
PUBG Graphics Performance Revisited: 44 GPUs Tested @ TechSpot
The Most Disappointing PC Games of 2017 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Essential Apps You Should Install on a New PC Running Windows or macOS @ TechSpot


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, January 3, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 3, 2018 @ time: 06:32AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items for you to check out. We have a look at the NZXT H700i case, which is considered a smart case since you can control the RGB lighting and fans with an app. Our other item for the day is an article looking at seven tech predictions for the new year and just what we might expect to see as 2018 rolls along.

Cases
NZXT H700i @ ThinkComputers

Miscellany
7 Tech Predictions for 2018 @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Sniper X DDR4 Memory Series Released by G.SKILL

Posted: January 3, 2018 @ time: 03:18PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Some of us out there like the look of camo or various things, such as jackets, coats, coolers, cars, and undoubtedly more. If you are part of this crowd and want to have some camo in your computer, G.SKILL has announced a new series of DDR4 memory featuring three different camouflage patterns. You can choose from Classic Camo with its greens meant to hide in jungle environments, Urban Camo that can obscure in the grays of a city, and Digital Camo with yellow stylistic highlights to give the RAM a modern warfare look. The minimalistic aluminum heatspreaders are shared across these camo options.

The speeds of the kits span from 2400 MHz to 3600 MHz and offer a capacity as high as 128 GB (8 x 16 GB). Naturally the kits also sport XMP 2.0 profile for easy overclocking. If you are hoping to pick up a Sniper X kit, they will be available from authorized distribution partners Q1 2018, which is this quarter for those of you still writing 2017 (maybe by February I will have it right).

Source: G.SKILL


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Clarification on AMD Adrenalin DX9 Issue Provided

Posted: January 3, 2018 @ time: 03:34PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Some of you may have seen a story come up recently on the Internet regarding a bug with the recently released AMD Adrenalin drivers preventing some DirectX 9 games from launching. The list of games impacted include The Witcher: Enhanced Edition, multiple Command & Conquer titles, and Crysis when run in DX9 mode. Some games would simply fail to launch and others would be unstable. With so many games using DirectX 9, this is a fairly serious issue and initially there was an AMD response that this issue would not be fixed, due to the age of the titles affected.

Fortunately, this original response is inaccurate, as Terry Makedon, Director of AMD software strategy and user experience, stated yesterday on Twitter (@CatalystMaker) the issue would be investigated and today he updated the cause has been identified. With this cause found, the driver team will be able to develop a proper fix to the problem.

Until this fix is released, if you want to play these older games and are having trouble, some users are returning to the previous Radeon Crimson Relive drivers. A temporary work-around until the fix comes.

Source: Twitter (@CatalystMaker) [1] and [2]


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Significant Security Flaw Found Impacting Intel CPUs and Possibly AMD and ARM Chips Too

Posted: January 3, 2018 @ time: 04:22PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

This news is still pretty fresh and has been evolving, which is why there are six linked sources below. It has recently become public knowledge that a rather serious security flaw exists at least with Intel CPUs, but possible also AMD and ARM chips as well. The flaw can allow kernel memory information to be leaked to the user-space, which could allow, for example, one virtual machine to read the memory of the host or any other VM it is running. Clearly this is not good, but a solution is being developed for the open source Linux kernel. The Windows and macOS kernels also need to be patched, but the changes to these are not public. What makes this specific security issue even more interesting than what the flaw could allow attackers to do is the impact the solution, Page Table Isolation (PTI), will have at least on Intel CPUs. This is also where things start to get a bit more complicated.

The issue appears to stem from how a specific optimization method works, called speculative execution. As the name suggests, it has the CPU speculate what will need to be done next, so it will run a task before being asked to, removing or reducing delay. The flaw allows this to be abused to access memory that should not be accessible, as mentioned above. The PTI solution being developed for the Linux kernel is a software solution that will isolate the memory addresses, preventing this from being possible and is actually not a bad feature for kernels to have. Now we get to where it becomes a bit more complicated, as some are reporting Intel CPUs can see as much as a 30% performance decrease, resulting from this fix. What about AMD CPUs? This is the complicated part because while some are saying all modern CPUs are impacted by the issue, AMD has stated it is immune. The way its CPUs work already prevents speculative execution from accessing memory references it should not have access to. This means the PTI solution is unnecessary for AMD CPUs, so while using PTI can slow down AMD as much as Intel chips, it is not necessary on AMD systems. (The patch in the Linux kernel to not enable PTI on AMD CPUs might come after the PTI solution, but a nopti flag can be used to disable it regardless.) Some sources, including Google, which claims to have found the issue last year, and Intel are saying AMD and ARM CPUs are impacted by the flaw, so there are conflicting reports on this and only when the issue is completely revealed will we know for sure.

A 30% drop in performance is significant, but it is important to note this is not an across the board performance hit. Phoronix, which specializes in Linux coverage, is keenly pointing out this impact is felt most with I/O workloads, system calls, and other kernel interactions, which virtual machines will do a lot of, but something like gaming is unaffected. Phoronix also makes the point that the performance drop will be felt more with a system using fast NVMe drives than with traditional HDD storage, as the HDD storage may already be a bottleneck in the system.

As I stated earlier, this is still a developing story, but with such a significant potential performance impact, it has caught a lot of attention. It will take some more time and investigation for the whole story to be revealed, including if AMD is impacted, and how Microsoft and Apple will address the issue in their OS kernels.

Source: Google Security Blog, Linux Kernal Mailing List, Phoronix [1], [2], [3], and Python Sweetness


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, January 4, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 4, 2018 @ time: 06:38AM
Author: bp9801

The first week of January is starting to wind down, but we do still have a few items for you to check out. There's a look at the MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard to see how the host of features and good looks combine to give you a solid foundation for your Intel Coffee Lake build. If instead you prefer something a little more portable, maybe the HP Envy x360 laptop, featuring an AMD Ryzen Mobile CPU, is the one for you. We finish things off today with another cord cutting guide installment, covering the savings and some quirks you might encounter along the way.

Motherboards
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC @ PC Perspective

Laptops/Tablets
HP Envy x360 @ TechSpot

Miscellany
Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide - Part 3: Quirks, Savings, and Conclusions @ PC Perspective


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, January 5, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 5, 2018 @ time: 06:30AM
Author: bp9801

The first week of 2018 is wrapping up, with a couple of items to entice you as the weekend starts. We have a look at what kind of performance difference there will be in Windows 10 after the massive security flaw is patched, since it's pretty important to fix it and see if there really will be a 30% drop in performance. Intel is going to be the most affected by it, while some ARM processors will be, too, and even some AMD (although not to a significant level for a performance difference). Our other item for the day is a podcast covering the latest news and reviews of the past week.

Miscellany
Testing Windows 10 Performance Before and After the Meltdown Flaw Emergency Patch @ TechSpot
Podcast #482 @ PC Perspective


Complete Story


AMD Releases Alpha Adrenalin Drivers Addressing DX9 Issues

Posted: January 5, 2018 @ time: 01:16PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Along with the various features the new Adrenalin drivers AMD released last month came at least one serious bug that would cause some DirectX 9 games to crash. After this was discovered there was some miscommunication from AMD about if it would be fixed, but thankfully that was cleared up a shortly after with the company investigating it and then actually finding the cause. Of course knowing a bug and its cause has been found does not mean we will see a fix released soon, and technically that is still the case, but if you want to try it out in its current form, download and install Adrenalin Edition 1.8.1.1 Alpha. AMD has released an alpha driver, so it is not recommended for general use, but it should address the DX9 issue at least partially. There may still be some kinks to work out for the fix and then some time before the release version is ready, but if the alpha driver is there now if you want to test it.

Source: AMD


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NVIDIA Rolls Out Big Format Gaming Displays, GeForce NOW, and More at CES 2018

Posted: January 7, 2018 @ time: 10:54PM
Author: bp9801

CES is kicking off this week, with plenty of big news on the horizon from just about every company you can think of. One of those companies is NVIDIA, and tonight it revealed several somethings for us to sink our teeth into and look forward to on the horizon. For starters, NVIDIA is rolling out what it calls Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD), where these massive screens feature G-SYNC and SHIELD streaming technology for the ultimate experience. NVIDIA and its partners, Acer, ASUS, and HP have teamed up to create 65" 4K TVs with a 120Hz HDR display to truly captivate you while you play the latest games (or simply your favorites). Combine the 120Hz panel with NVIDIA's G-SYNC and these screens help deliver a buttery smooth experience to make your games really come alive. Add in the full streaming capabilities of NVIDIA SHIELD TV, including Google Assistant and NVIDIA GameStream, and you have a full multimedia setup wherever you prefer. Play a game and then follow it up with a movie on Amazon Prime or Netflix, because you can.

In addition to those BFGDs, NVIDIA is rolling out GeForce NOW to most Windows desktops and laptops, offering a game streaming service to any compatible machine. It's available as a beta you can download now, giving you access to a huge library of games from a variety of stores. Those stores now include Uplay, meaning the latest Ubisoft titles, like Rainbox Six Siege and Ghost Recon Wildlands, are available to experience, even if your computer isn't that strong to play them normally. Just one of the good things about streaming services.

One final thing NVIDIA is improving is its GeForce Experience client and Ansel. GeForce Experience is getting upgraded with a new feature called NVIDIA Freestyle, which lets you apply a variety of filters to your games as you play them. Want to turn your game black and white? You can do that. Add in a colorblind mode to a game that lacks it? You better believe you can. Add in depth of field, sepia, or a total of 15 other filters for 38 different settings at launch? It's all there, all for you to tweak and customize to your heart's content. The colorblind and night mode, which reduces the blue tint for an easier time when you sleep, might be the most beneficial of all the modes, honestly. In addition, Ansel is getting an easier time to control with a handful of user interface tweaks, as well as new filters and filter combinations for a truly unique look to your in-game screenshots. Plus, for those playing Fortnite and its Battle Royale mode, ShadowPlay Highlights have been added in so you can capture the most epic moments in your match. Crossout and Elex are also receiving ShadowPlay Highlights, too.

NVIDIA's BFGDs are set to arrive later this year, GeForce NOW is available, well, now, and the FreeStyle and Ansel improvements arrive this Tuesday in beta mode. Just be sure to run the latest version of GeForce Experience and the Game Ready Drivers, enable Experimental Features, and you're all set.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 8, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 06:49AM
Author: bp9801

Monday is upon us, with the full week bringing plenty to check out. There's a look at the new Intel Kaby Lake-G CPU, which packs an AMD Vega M graphics chip on its die for something not usually seen. We have a host of AMD news from CES, including information on Ryzen 2, price drops, and more. If you're curious what your performance is going to be like in games with the Spectre and Meltdown fixes, you're in luck as we have an article examining exactly that. There's a review on the Fractal Design Define R6 mid-tower case to see what kind of new improvements have been made to it, starting with a tempered glass side panel to show off everything inside. We wrap things up with a look at the Corsair K70 LUX RGB with PBT Double-shot Keycaps to see how the new keys and the MX Silent switch performs while you're busy gaming.

CPUs
Intel Kaby Lake-G Launches: 8th Gen CPUs with Radeon Vega M Graphics @ PC Perspective
AMD Announces 2nd Generation Ryzen CPUs for April, Threadripper for 2H 2018 @ PC Perspective
AMD Drops Ryzen CPU Prices By Up to 30 Percent @ PC Perspective
AMD Ryzen Desktop CPU with Ryzen Graphics Coming Feb 12 @ PC Perspective
AMD teases 7nm Vega for machine learning in 2018 @ PC Perspective

Cases
Fractal Design Define R6 @ Benchmark Reviews

Keyboards/Mice
Corsair K70 LUX RGB with PBT Double-shot Keycaps @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Patched Desktop PC: Meltdown & Spectre Benchmarked @ TechSpot


Complete Story


AMD Reveals and Announces New Products Before CES 2018: CPUs

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 12:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Before CES 2018 started, AMD held an event and showed off a lot of what is coming. To hopefully keep it all easier to read, I am breaking it apart into three news items, with this first one focusing on the CPU announcements. The other two will focus on the APU and GPU announcements.

First up, there have been rumors for a bit now that the Ryzen refresh would be coming early this year, and now we know the Ryzen 2000 series of desktop processors will be launching in April. This new series is based on the Zen+ architecture and will be manufactured on a 12LP process (12nm). This new process enables 10+% better performance compared to the current 14LPP process (14 nm) used and has optimizations to improve performance per watt. AMD SenseMI technology has also been improved, to provide better performance and power efficiency, such as Precision Boost 2 and XFR 2. The X470 chipset will also be released in April, with its optimizations for Ryzen 2000 series CPUs and lower power usage. As these CPUs will still use the AM4 socket though, current motherboards can support them with a BIOS update. For those of you who like the AMD Wraith CPU coolers, the Wraith Prism was also shown off, with its direct contact heat pipes, switchable overclock fan profile, rainbow RGB ring, illuminated fan blades and "dark mode for RGB heathens."

Ahead of the Ryzen 2000 launch, many Ryzen 1000 series products are seeing their suggested prices cut, and by many I mean all but the top two Threadripper CPUs, the 1950X and 1920X, and the lowest Ryzen 3 1300X. The third Threadripper CPU, the 8 core/16 thread 1900X has its SEP drop from $549 to $449, which means you can get this CPU with 64 PCIe lanes and quad-channel memory support for less than the Ryzen 7 1800X's original SEP. All of the Ryzen 7 CPUs have also seen their prices drop, with the 1800X going to $349 (was $499), the 1700X is $309 (was $399), and the 1700 is now $299 (was $329). The 6 core/12 thread Ryzen 5 1600X and 1600 are going to cost you $219 and $189 respectively (previously $249 and $219) while the 4 core/8 thread 1500X is going to be $174 (was $189).

Also appearing on the Ryzen roadmap are the 2nd generation Threadripper CPUs, but sadly there is no information beyond that release window. Perhaps even more interesting than this though is a slide showing the x86 roadmap for AMD that shows the status of both Zen 2 and Zen 3. According to this, Zen 3 is on track and will use a 7 nm+ process node, while Zen 2 will be on a 7 nm process and its design is complete. My guess is there will continue to be refinements to Zen 2 until sampling starts in the future, but its design is complete and "improves on Zen in multiple dimensions."

 

 

Source: AMD and Slide Decks


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AMD Reveals and Announces New Products Before CES 2018: APUs

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 12:50PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

With the pre-CES 2018 Ryzen CPUs announcements and reveals from AMD already covered, time to look at the APU news.

These APUs combine the Zen CPU and Vega GPU architectures into a single package with Infinity Fabric uniting it all, providing a single control and data interface for the entire SOC. The Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U mobile processors are already available in some devices, and this quarter systems running Ryzen 3 mobile processors are expected to launch. The Ryzen 3 2300U sports 4 cores/4 threads with a base clock of 2.0 GHz and boost of 3.4 GHz, along with 6 Vega CUs. The Ryzen 3 2200U features 2 cores/4 threads with a base clock of 2.5 GHz and boost of 3.4 GHz, combined with 3 Vega CUs. All of these Ryzen Mobile APUs have a 15 W Nominal TDP.

I believe since Ryzen launched a year ago, it has been known desktop-targeting Ryzen APUs were coming, and now we have details on two of them. The Ryzen 5 2400G has 4 cores/8 threads, a 3.6 GHz base clock and 3.9 GHz boost clock, and is combined with 11 Vega CUs. The Ryzen 3 2200G features 4 cores/4 threads with a base clock of 3.5 GHz and boost of 3.7 GHz, and is has 8 Vega CUs. The 2400G will cost $169 while the 2200G comes in at just $99. Both APUs have a CTDP of 45-65 W. Among the many slides is one showing the 2400G surpassing the $199 Intel Core i5-8400 and matching the i5-8400 when combined with the $89 NVIDIA GT 1030 in 3DMark Time Spy. The i5-8400 also has a 65 W TDP, and the GT 1030 has a 30 W TDP. The desktop Ryzen APUs are to be available February 12.

Also shown across a number of slides are various power features, allowing the APUs to be more efficient by controlling the frequency and voltage of each core, and enhanced gate states. This means the chips can enter and exit lower power states very quickly. Also the SOC elements have been organized into power gating regions with Infinity Fabric for even greater efficiency.

Source: AMD and Slide Decks


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AMD Reveals and Announces New Products Before CES 2018: GPUs

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 01:14PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Now that the CPU and APU news from AMD has been covered, we can move on to the GPU news, which includes two product announcements.

The Vega GPU architecture is already in discrete packages for consumer desktops in the form of the RX Vega 56 and Vega 64 graphics cards, but announced at CES 2018 is Radeon Vega Mobile. The Vega Mobile discrete GPU is just 1.7 mm high and will use HBM2 with its targets being ultrathin performance gaming and ultrathin workstations. Unfortunately I have not seen any detailed information to determine how this mobile dGPU compares to the Intel semi-custom chip, though one slide describes the semi-custom as "new ultrathin form factory gaming" while the Vega Mobile is "high frame rate AA gaming in compact form factors."

Also announced was AMD's first 7 nm product, which will be a Vega-based GPU built for machine learning. I did not spot any mention of a 7 nm Vega consumer product, but the architecture roadmap does show Navi, the company's next GPU architecture, will be on 7 nm as well, so perhaps that will be the next consumer product. After Navi a "Next-Gen" architecture is shown and will use a 7 nm+ process. Sampling of the 7 nm Vega Radeon Instinct product will begin sometimes this year.

Also shown were slides focusing on the software powering Radeon products for machine learning tasks. These show off what the Radeon GPUs support, the ease of supporting them, and compare AMD's open source ROCm solutions to NVIDIA's proprietary CUDA solutions.

Source: AMD and Slide Decks


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Fixes to Meltdown Vulnerability Impacting Server Performance for Fortnite

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 01:32PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last week two CPU vulnerabilities, Spectre and Meltdown, were revealed to the public. Both exploit a long-used performance optimization technique, which makes them very significant because they can impact a great many processors across many years and even decades. The news of these vulnerabilities has hit Intel particularly hard though, as the Meltdown vulnerability is Intel-only and AMD claims to be most resilient against Spectre, which can impact all CPUs. Software patches have been rolling out since then to protect against Meltdown and Spectre, and something that caught headlines was the performance impact Meltdown fixes can have, depending on workload. With the patches going out, some places are showing the impacts they are experiencing.

Epic Games decided to update its Fortnite community about server performance and stability, because players may experience issues as patches roll out to the cloud services the game relies on. As part of this update was a graph showing CPU utilization for three of the game's services, after one of them was update with a Meltdown patch. Initially all three curves appear to be on top of each other, but when the patch is applied, one jumps up by over 20% utilization. The difference lessens later, but then grows to even more by the end of the graph, as load appears to increase.

It will be interesting to see what more long-term solutions may be developed and deployed in the future, including what more secure optimization method will come about.

Source: Epic Games


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Intel Launches Core Processor with Radeon Vega GPU for Mobile and NUC

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 02:14PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

It was back in November when both AMD and Intel revealed a partnership bringing Radeon graphics to Intel CPUs in a single package, probably few expected. Now the combined unit has been launched offering an 8th Gen Intel Core process with Radeon RX Vega M GL or GH graphics. The version with the Vega M GL graphics sports 65 W of total package power while the GH version can go up to 100 W and can come in an unlocked configuration. Both GPUs have 4 GB of HBM2, which is connected to the GPU by Intel's EMIB technology. Being Radeon graphics,

Looking at the product overview PDF Intel has up, there will apparently be a total of five products: the i5-8305G; i7-8705G; i7-8706G; i7-8709G; and i7-8809G. The 8305G to the 8706G are all combined with the Vega M GL graphics, which has 20 compute units, a base clock of 931 MHz and a boost clock of 1011 MHz. The 8709G and 8809G get the Vega M GH with its 24 CUs, 1063 MHz base clock and 1190 MHz boost. Looking at the specs of the CPUs, all of them are 4 core/8 thread with support for dual channel DDR4-2400 RAM. The i5-8305G has a base clock of 2.8 GHz while all of the i7 CPUs have the same 3.1 GHz base. The i5 can boost up to 3.8 GHz while the i7s all boost to 4.1 GHz or 4.2 GHz. Differentiating the i7-8705G and i7-8706G appears to be Intel vPro support and between the i7-8709G and i7-8809G it is the 8809G that is fully unlocked.

We can expect these CPU+GPU packages to be available in Dell and HP lightweight 2-in-1s, but also a new Intel NUC, formerly called Hades Canyon. There are two versions of the Intel NUC with one (the NUC8i7HVK) sporting the Core i7-8809G while the other (the NUC8i7HNK) will use the Core i7-8705G. Both NUCs have dual USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and can drive up to six monitors between the Thunderbolt, two mini DisplayPort, and two HDMI ports. One of the HDMI ports is located on the front of the NUC, making it easier to connect a VR headset. Both NUCs will be available starting this Spring.

Source: Intel [1] and [2]


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Cooler Master Announces New Coolers, PSUs, Peripherals, and Software at CES 2018

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 03:59PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Cooler Master has announced a slew of new products for our computers at CES 2018 today, so time to dive in. First up are the new CPU coolers the company announced, including various liquid coolers and new air coolers. The standout liquid cooler is the MasterLiquid ML2400 SMART that features addressable RGB lighting that will work with ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and Asrock motherboards. What makes it SMART is its ability to monitor temperature and change the RGB lighting accordingly. The MasterAir MA410M is an air cooler that also features this SMART capability. If you do not need temperature to influence the lighting, the MasterLiquid ML240R, ML120R, Master Fan MF120M and MF122R-Addressable RGB all lack that feature.

On the air-cooling side, the company also revealed its MasterAir G100M that uses custom Heat Column technology. This technology increases direct surface contact, improving heat transfer and cooling performance. The block of the Heat Column is 46.3 mm and allows the low-profile cooler to reach a TDP of 130 W. It does sport an RGB ring and fan.

To power all of the coolers, the MasterWatt V and MasterWatt Maker with Cooler Master Connect v2.0 power supplies have been announced. The MasterWatt V series are all 80 Plus Gold rated and has 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W models. They also feature 16AWG PCIe cables and EPS connectors that are thicker and more heat resistance, improving efficiency, and the maximum operating temperature has been upped to 50 ºC for extreme conditions. The 135 mm FDB fan will keep the system cool while you push your system, and the 10-year warranty will protect the PSUs.

The MasterWatt Maker with Cooler Master Connect v2.0 is a mouthful, but it is also 80 Plus Titanium, with the 1200 W and 1500 W models offer 94% efficiency. The 3D circuit design improves airflow though, to keep the temperatures low. With Cooler Master Connect v2.0, users will be able to monitor the PSU's performance in real time, and even store the data in the cloud.

Also on the software front, Cooler Master announced its new software division, MasterPlus+. It is working on an application to allow users to manage and monitor their PCs and devices that can connect to it. The first of the features it is getting though is lighting, and it will allow users to sync lights between the PC components, peripherals, the monitor, and even wall lighting.

Lastly, Cooler Master announced the M800 series of gaming peripherals, which covers the MK850 and MK851 keyboards, MM830 mouse, MP860 RGB mousepad, and MH850 headset. The MK851 features Aimpad technology, giving analog control to eight keys, including WASD, for more precise control than traditional on/off keyboard switches. The MK851 will only come with Cherry MX Red switches, while the MK850 offers Cherry MX Blue and Brown switches, but lacks Aimpad support. The MM830 mouse has four low-profile buttons forming a D-pad under your thumb, a 96x94 OLED screen for customization, and its Pixart 3360 sensor can reach up to 24,000 DPI. The MP860 RGB mousepad has two sides, with one being hard for precision and speedy movements and the other softer, for daily tasks. The MH850 headset has virtual 7.1 audio and uses FocusFX technology to isolate mid and high tones, to pick out subtle sounds during competitive play. Without FocusFX, the bass is elevated. The MH850 has cloth and leather ear pads for comfort, on-cup controls, detachable 3.5 mm and USB-C cables, a removable boom mic, and a flood flat design for storage.

The M800 series of peripherals are set to launch in Q2 and Q3.

Source: Press Releases


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Cooler Master Announces New Cases at CES 2018

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 04:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

In addition to the new coolers, power supplies, and peripherals, Cooler Master also announced a number of new cases at CES 2018. These include additions to its MasterCase and MasterBox series, as well as refreshes of its Trooper SE and Stryker SE cases.

The MasterCase H500M has two front panels, so the user can select between a mesh front with two 200 mm addressable RGB fans or a tempered glass front. The case also supports up to 360 mm radiators, has a windowed PSU cover, and cable covers. For front I/O it has four USB 3.0 ports, a USB-C port, and two 3.5 mm audio jacks.

The MasterCase H500P Mesh White has two 200 mm RGB fans in its front panel, and two optional 200 mm fans can also be placed on the top. It supports 360 mm radiators, has a customizable PSU shroud, cable covers, and supports vertically mounting GPUs.

Rounding out the MasterCase cases is a remaster of the MC-series, which have a modular design. Now the cases come with an RGB partition plate, and you can purchase this plate separately, to replace the steel partition plate of other models. The I/O panel has also been upgraded to new specifications and all of the MC-series cases support brackets for a 360 mm front radiator.

Coming to the MasterBox series, the Q300P is a portable case that remains modular. Its four handles can be removed and as you can turn and rotate the case, the I/O panel has six different locations it can be put in. Despite its size, it also supports an ATX PSU. The Q300L is simpler, but does also have a special pattern on its magnetic dust filter.

The Trooper SE and Stryker SE refreshes have edge-to-edge light grey tinted tempered glass side panels and two PCI slots for vertically mounted GPUs. They can also hold up to four SSDs in a vertical position and using X-Dock have an accessible external 2.5 in hot swap bay. The front of the cases support up to a 360 mm radiator while the top can hold a 240 mm.

The MasterBox MB500 features a semi-meshed front panel with ventilzation holes on top to allow more air to be moved by the pre-installed two 120 mm RGB fans. It can hold up to a 360 mm radiator, 400 mm long GPU, 160 mm tall CPU cooler, and 180 mm PSU.

Finally the MasterBox TD500L has a 3D diamond-cut design to the front bezel and side panel, which will result in different lighting effects at different angles, but still gives a clear view of your system internals. The interior is completely black and the PSU cover and 19 mm of space behind the motherboard tray provides room for cable management. The case can also hold up to six 120 mm fans and GPUs up to 407 mm long.

Source: Press Release


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Corsair Launches PSU, Coolers, and Computer Case

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 04:29PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Are you considering a monster computer that needs a lot of power to feed everything? If you are, Corsair has announced a new power supply you might want to consider as it can provide 1600 W and does so with better-than 80 Plus Titanium efficiency. The AX1600i achieves while being just 200 mm long, thanks to a move to Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors instead of silicon transistors, which can be made smaller. It also supports CORSAIR LINK software, allowing control of various settings, and as the pictures show, comes with a lot of cables.

 

 

Corsair is not just launching the AX1600i, but also two new coolers, the H115i PRO and H150i PRO. Both of these have 360º RGB lighting on the pump cap and sport CORSAIR ML Series cooling fans, which can actually be completely stopped when the CPU is at low temperatures, further reducing noise. The H115i PRO has a 240 mm radiator while the H150i PRO has a 360 mm radiator.

 

 

If you are getting a new PSU and cooler, you will need a case to stick them in and Corsair has also launched the Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA mid-tower cases. The asymmetrical design comes in white, black, or red and features tempered glass side and front panels. SPEC-OMEGA can hold up to a 360 mm radiator, like the H150i PRO, and has an internal layout to help with cable management through tie-downs, routing holes, and grommets.

 

 

All of these products are available immediately from Corsair authorized retailers.

Source: Corsair


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Corsair Announces Multiple Wireless Peripherals

Posted: January 8, 2018 @ time: 06:38PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Today Corsair announced more than a new PSU, CPU coolers, and cases but also a selection of wireless peripherals using of the company's UNPLUG and PLAY technology. The K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard, K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard, Dark Core RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse, and MM1000 Qi Wireless Charging Mouse Pad have also been revealed today, but those of you who wish to unplug when using your computer.

The K63 Wireless keyboard features Cherry MX Red switches and a gaming-optimized, ultra-fast 1ma 2.4 GHz connection or low latency Bluetooth wireless connection. To secure your keypresses, 128-bit AES encryption is used. The rechargeable battery will give you up to 75 hours of life and there is per-key customizable blue LED backlighting too, controlled via the Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) along with the macros and programmable keys. It is also possible to connect a USB connection, if you want to go wired. As you can guess, the K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard allows you to comfortably keep the keyboard on your lap with a lightweight surround and memory foam cushion. The lapboard also has a full-size replaceable mouse pad.

 

 

 

 

Speaking of mice, the Dark Core RGB wireless gaming mouse also features three connectivity modes, like the K63: 2.4 GHz; Bluetooth; and wired USB. The mouse has a couple interchangeable magnetic side grips so you can change the feel it has in your hand, to match your preferred fit, and three-zone RGB lighting, to match your taste. Its battery will last up to 24 hours and it has nine programmable buttons.

 

 

Charging the Dark Core RGB requires connecting it with USB, but if that is not wireless enough for you, you may want to look at the Dark Core RGB SE that features Qi wireless charging. Combined with the MM1000 Qi wireless charging mousepad, you can power the mouse by placing it in the Qi wireless charging spot. You can also use the MM1000 to charge any Qi compatible device, and as it includes USB Micro-B, Type-C, Lighting Qi charging adapters, and USB 3 pass-through, you are hardly limited to Qi devices only. The mousepad is 260 mm x 350 mm, has a non-slip rubber base, and LED charging indicator as well.

 

 

Both the K63 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard and Gaming Lapboard are available immediately from authorized retailers, while both versions of the Dark Core RGB mouse and MM1000 mousepad will be available later this month. All of these products have a two-year warranty.

 

 

Source: Corsair


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Lenovo Announces New ThinkPad X1 Series Laptops and Miix 630 2-in-1 Detachable

Posted: January 9, 2018 @ time: 08:56AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

At CES 2018, Lenovo has announced several new products, including additions to its ThinkPad X1 series, including the world's first laptops with Dolby Vision HDR support. These laptops are the X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga and their screens also achieve up to 500 NITS peak brightness to compliment the 100% Adobe RGB gamut coverage. This is the sixth generation X1 Carbon and at 2.49 pounds is the world's lightest 14 in business laptop. It is the third generation X1 Yoga shares many of the capabilities of the X1 Carbon, but in a convertible form. Both offer 8th Gen Intel Core processors, global LTE-A connectivity, 360º Far-Field Communication microphones, Amazon Alexa support, a built in ThinkShutter for covering the webcams, and Lenovo Crystal Image. Crystal Image is a minimal-profile software preload based on the Microsoft Signature Image, which means the devices should come with fewer preloaded applications.

Also coming to the X1 Series is the third generation X1 Tablet, that packs an 8th Gen Intel Core processor behind its 13-in 3K display that is HDR compatible, and the ThinkVision X1 monitor. It is a 27 in UHD monitor with near borderless bezels and just a 4.7 mm profile. With a Thunderbolt 3 port it is possible to drive it with over 99% sRGB 10-bit color gamut on a single cable and it features a Motor-Camera system with dual-array microphones that will raise and lower as needed.

The X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga will both be available starting this month with prices starting at $1709 and $1889 respectively. The X1 Tablet will be launching in March at a starting price of $1599 while the ThinkVision X1 will be available this month, but does not have a starting price yet.

Outside of the ThinkPad X1 Series, Lenovo also announced the Miix 630, a Windows 10 S 2-in-1 detachable. By teaming with Qualcomm, the Miix 630 offers the always on and connected mobility of smartphones via Wi-Fi and integrated 4G LTE. It uses the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform to power the experience and its battery can endure 20 hours of local video playback. In standby mode power consumption is reduced but it remains connected, so you can stay updated about emails, notifications, messages, and Skype calls. The device itself is just 15.6 mm thick and 2.93 lbs, including its back-lit keyboard.

The Miix 630 will be available at the beginning of Q2 2018 at a starting price of $799.99. It comes with its keyboard and digital pen at that price.

Source: Lenovo [1] and [2]


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Microsoft Pauses Meltdown and Spectre Patch Roll Out for Some AMD Systems

Posted: January 9, 2018 @ time: 09:04AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Depending on the system you are running, you might not get the Windows patches to protect against Meltdown and Spectre. According to Microsoft, some AMD chipsets do not conform to the documentation the company has, and this has led to conflicts leaving the AMD devices in an unbootable state. If your system has one of the impacted AMD processors, you will not receive the patches at this time. A list of the impacted AMD CPUs is not provided on the Microsoft page, but Microsoft does say it is working with AMD to resolve the issue.

Source: Microsoft


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HTC Announces Vive Pro VR Headset and Vive Wireless Adapter

Posted: January 9, 2018 @ time: 11:18AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For some time the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift were the two VR headsets you could get for PCs, but the landscape is changing now with Windows Mixed Reality headsets, like the Lenovo Explorer, now available. Undoubtedly to move the technology forward and to better compete, HTC has developed the Vive Pro and shown it off at CES 2018. The Vive Pro brings many improvements over the original headset, including an upgrade to the displays, which are now dual-OLED and offer a combined resolution of 2880x1660 with a field of view of 110º. That represents a 78% increase over the original Vive.

Other improvements include headphones and an amplifier built into the headset, dual microphones for active noise cancellation, and dual front-facing cameras. The ergonomics have been altered as well, shifting the center of gravity back on the headset, making it more comfortable. The display portion has also been given a better gasket, to better block ambient light, and can be adjusted forward and back.

Perhaps just as important as the new headset is the Vive Wireless Adaptor that utilizes Intel's WiGig technology to stream video over the 60 GHz band. This band is interference free and offers lower latency for better performance. It will work with both the Vive Pro and original Vive. The adaptor will be shipping in Q3 but the Vive Pro details on price and availability for the Vive Pro will be coming in the future.

 

 

Source: HTC [1] and [2]


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PowerColor Reveals Gaming Station External Graphics Card Chassis

Posted: January 9, 2018 @ time: 11:38AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Back in 2016 the PowerColor Devil Box was released, an external graphics card chassis to bring the power of discrete GPUs to smaller computers and laptops with Thunderbolt 3. Now the company has announced a new version called the Gaming Station. This new eGPU chassis uses AMD XConnect Technology to connect a GPU to a system over Thunderbolt 3. It also has a variety of ports on it, including five USB 3.0 Type-A ports (two on the front and three on the back), a Gigabit ethernet port, and the Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C) port to actually connect it to a computer. The internal power supply can provide 550 W for the GPU and 87 W can be sent over the Thunderbolt 3 port to power compatible laptops.

Source: PowerColor [1] and [2]


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MSI Shows Off New Monitors, Desktops, Motherboard, GPU, and Laptop at CES 2018

Posted: January 9, 2018 @ time: 12:03PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

MSI is at CES 2018 as well and brought a number of products with it, including two new Optix gaming monitors. These are the Optix MPG27C and MPG27CQ, with the difference being the 27C is 1080p while the 27CQ is 1440p. What they have in common though is an 1800R curved VA panel with a 1 ms response time and 144 Hz refresh rate. These are the first gaming monitors with Steel Series GameSense built in, which means they have five RGB zones on the front that can be configured to notify you of various events, such as in-game times, Discord notifications, and more. The backs of the monitors also have RGB lighting. The VA panels off 100% coverage of the NTSC gamut and 115% coverage of sRGB. For ports the monitors have two HDMI 2.0 ports, one DisplayPort 1.2, one USB 3 Type B, a headphones out, mic in, audio combo jack, two USB 3 Type A ports, and a Kensington lock. If the adjustability of the stand is not enough, the monitors support VESA mounting.

Coming to the desktops, the Trident 3 Arctic has been upgraded to include an Intel 8th Generation CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU. The Infinite X desktop uses a more traditional case design than the Arctic and has either dual steel or dual tempered glass side panels along with Mystic Light RGB LEDs. Inside you can find MSI GPUs, an Intel 8th Generation CPU, and MSI's Silent Storm Cooling 3 Pro liquid cooling. The Aegis Ti3 desktop will also be available later this year.

If you would rather build your own desktop, the Z370 Godlike Gaming motherboard was shown off with features like Killer xTend for improved connectivity. Killer xTend combines a built-in switch and wireless extend. The motherboard also has support for Triple Turbo M.2 with M.2 Shield V2, Turbo U.2 with Steel Armor, Xtreme Audio DAC with Nahimic 2, and Steel Armor for its DDR4 RAM slots.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z is also at CES with its Tri-Frozr thermal design using three TORX 2.0 fans. Between the fans and close quarters heat pipe cooling, with those heat pipes infused into the heatsink and backplate, the GPU should stay cool as you play.

Finally, MSI is also unveiling a new GT75VR Titan Pro laptop, which features the new Killer Wireless-AC 1550. Developed with Intel, this is the world's fastest 2x2 11ac wireless adapter as it reaches 1.73 Gbps throughput. It features 160 MHz channel support, allowing it to double the throughput of standard 2x2 11ac adapters.

Source: MSI


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 10, 2018 @ time: 06:49AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a few items along the way. We have a look at the Corsair Carbide Spec-Omega case, a uniquely styled model capable of holding a 360mm radiator inside to help keep your components cool. Speaking of keeping things cool, there's a review on the Corsair H150i Pro Liquid CPU Cooler, which sports Corsair's first ever 360mm radiator and an all-new pump design that should provide some exceptional cooling performance. We finish things up with a large GPU test for Fortnite to see what will give you the best results while playing Battle Royale.

Cases
Corsair Carbide Spec-Omega @ Benchmark Reviews

CPU Cooling
Corsair H150i Pro Liquid CPU Cooler @ ThinkComputers

Gaming
44 GPU Fortnite Benchmark: The Best Graphics Cards for Playing Battle Royale @ TechSpot


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The Red Strings Club Launching January 22 on Steam

Posted: January 10, 2018 @ time: 11:58AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Taking a break from all of the CES 2018 news, later this month a new game from developer Deconstructeam, published by Devolver Digital, will be launching. The Red Strings Club is a cyberpunk narrative experience concerning fate and happiness that uses pottery, bartending, and impersonating people over the phone to collapse a corporate conspiracy. A bartender, freelance hacker, rogue empathy android, and unwitting company employees will pull all the strings until the scheme falls apart.

The Red Strings Club launches on January 22, but if you pre-order now you can save 20% and get the developers' first game, Gods Will Be Watching. If you already have a copy of the earlier title, you will receive a giftable copy to share with a friend.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Mushkin Announces Multiple New Products at CES 2018

Posted: January 10, 2018 @ time: 12:45PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Mushkin has announced a number of products at CES 2018, so it is probably best to just jump right into them.

Three new M.2 2280 SSDs are coming from Mushkin: the Pilot; Pilot-E; and Helix-L. The Pilot has capacities ranging from 120 GB and 2 TB with max sequential read of 3.2 GB/s and sequential write of 1.9 GB/s. The Pilot-E SSDs cover from 250 GB to 2 TB and have a max sequential read of 3.5 GB/s and sequential write of 3 GB/s. The Helix-L is a lower cost SSD as it drops DRAM from its build, improving the price to GB ratio. Its capacities reach from 120 GB to 1 TB and the drives have a max sequential read of 2.4 GB/s and max write of 1.7 GB/s. All three of these SSD series offer end-to-end data path protection, LDPC ECC, global wear-leveling, and a 3-year warranty backing them.

Also in the M.2 2280 form factor are new Triactor SSDs, which target more budget-conscious consumers. The Triactor 3DL M.2 2280 SSDs will come in capacities from120 GB to 1 TB and have a max sequential read of 550 MB/s and sequential write of 505 MB/s. These SSDs uses the SATA Revision 3.1 interface and not NVMe 1.3 like the three mentioned above.

Mushkin is also launching it first external SSD, the CarbonEXT. It will use the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface and achieves a maximum throughput of 450 MB/s over its ASMedia ASM1153E USB controller. Both Type-A and Type-C cables are included with the drives that will come in capacities from 120 GB to 1 TB.

They will not offer the same capacity, but Mushkin is also launching new SWAP OTG USB 3.1 flash drives. These will be available in both 32 GB and 64 GB capacities and use USB 3.1 to connect with the ability to swap between Type A and Type C connectors. They are USB On-The-Go compatible, which means supporting smartphones and tablets can directly connect to them. The read speeds can reach up to 225 MB/s and write up to 65 MB/s.

In addition to all of these SSDs and flash drives, Mushkin has also revealed a new, refreshed Silverline DDR4 heatsink. The new heatsink uses aircraft-grade aluminum to dissipate heat and features a diamond cut design to offer a refined, industrial look that will still turn heads. You can expect to see it on new Silverline DDR4 memory SKUs in Q2 2018.

Source: Press Release


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Deepcool Shows Off New Cases and Coolers at CES 2018

Posted: January 10, 2018 @ time: 01:37PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

If you are looking to put together a new build, or transplant an old one to a new case, Deepcool has a couple cases to consider. First up is the QUADSTELLAR with its interesting four-compartment design. This allows components to be separated, preventing heat dissipation interference. It is also a smart PC case, allowing its RGB lighting and heat dissipation system to be controller through an APP. It supports up to an E-ATX motherboard and will be available in an Electro Limited Edition. This limited edition will only see 100 units made available in May.

A more conventional looking case, the ARK 90 is meant to make custom water-cooling easier as it supports E-ATC motherboards and has a variety of mounting options for your cooling system. Its front panel features an external transparent water-tube with flow rotor, so you can easily observe the dynamic flow rate. Its front and top panels have tempered glass sections while the whole left side panel is tempered glass, and all with a black obsidian texture. The integrated RGB lighting system makes showing off your components easier. Like the QUADSTELLAR, there will be an Electro Limited Edition and only 100 of them will be available in May.

If you have or a building an AMD Ryzen Threadripper build, Deepcool has also announced a pair of coolers targeting this large and powerful processor. A TR4 (the Threadripper socket) version of the Captain 240EX RGB AIO cooler has been launched, and the company states it is compatible with other processors as well. As the name suggests it also features an RGB lighting system and it can be controlled with a connected controller or through software via a motherboard header. An Electro Limited Edition will be available in May.

If all you want is an air cooler, the FRYZEN air cooler is going to be available in April, supporting all AMD sockets, including TR4 and the AM4 socket of the consumer Ryzen processors. With an ultra large copper base featuring mini-bumps and a parallel arrangement of six heat pipes, it will cover Threadripper processors to dissipate the heat they can put out. With inverse double-bladed fans it offers double the air pressure and double the performance of other coolers. It too has an RGB lighting system and it supports Addressable RGB for sync-control with motherboard lighting, but has built-in effects as well.

Source: Deepcool


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Dark Souls Remastered Coming May 25

Posted: January 11, 2018 @ time: 08:20AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Since its release, Dark Souls has received a lot of praise and built a following amongst its fans, helping to lead to the success of its sequels. The PC version is not so well respected, but the community has crafted a number of mods to improve the experience. Come May 25 though, Dark Souls: Remastered will be released, and it will bring support for 4K resolution at 60 FPS. It will also support up to six-person multiplayer via a dedicated game server.

Dark Souls: Remastered is also coming to Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and even the Nintendo Switch. If you have a PlayStation 4 and none of the games, there is also going to be a Dark Souls Trilogy Box that includes the three titles, their soundtracks, and more goodies.

 

 

Source: Dark Souls.jp and Steam News


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Retro FPS DUSK Arrives on Early Access

Posted: January 11, 2018 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While I did not play them much, I do have fond memories of some of the FPS games from the nineties. I am not unique in having such memories, and developer New Blood Interactive is creating DUSK, a Quake-inspired game featuring a soundtrack by Andrew Hulshult, who also did the soundtrack for Rise of the Triad. With that music supporting you, you will encounter mystical backwater cultists, possessed militants, and still darker forces to kill by any means necessary.

The game is now available via Steam Early Access for $20 and includes Episodes 1 and 2 of the three episode campaign, and the open beta of DUSKWorld, the game's multiplayer component. Still to come to Early Access are Episode 3, Endless Arena 3, achievements, trading cards, leaderboards, and more. Post launch plans including the DAWN SDK, Steam Workshop support, co-op play, and Mac and Linux versions of the game.

 

 

Source: Press Release


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Wi-Fi Alliance Announces WP3

Posted: January 11, 2018 @ time: 10:41AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

A great deal of the information we consume and produce every day goes over wireless networks, especially Wi-Fi, which makes securing these transmissions of constant importance. To that end, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced some of the new capabilities that will emerge this year as part of WPA3.

While WPA2 has been widely successful, is still being developed, and will continue to be deployed in future devices, WPA3 is going to bring new protections and features. Among these are means to ensure security for simple passwords and making it easier for devices with small or no display interface to connect. Individualized encryption is another feature that will strengthen privacy even on open networks and we will also see a 192-bit security suite created to protect networks with high security requirements.

Source: Wi-Fi Alliance


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Samsung Begins Mass Production of Improved HBM2

Posted: January 11, 2018 @ time: 10:54AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

As graphics and other workloads move more and more to using large amounts of data, the need for faster memory and more efficient will grow. This is why new memory technologies have been and continue to be developed, such as High Bandwidth Memory, HBM, with HBM2 being used in some devices today. Samsung is among the companies developing and producing HBM2 and announced today it is starting mass production of its second generation HBM2, called Aquabolt.

Samsung's first generation HBM2 is called Flarebolt and is able to achieve 1.6 Gbps per pin at 1.2 V and 2.0 Gbps at 1.35 V. Aquabolt surpasses both values, reaching 2.4 Gbps pin speed at 1.2 V, which translates to 307 GB/s bandwidth for a single 8 Gb package on a 1024-bit bus. For comparison, an 8 Gb GDDR5 chip can provide 32 GB/s bandwidth, using a 32-bit bus.

Source: Samsung


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Hardware Roundup: Friday, January 12, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 12, 2018 @ time: 06:33AM
Author: bp9801

January is rolling right along, with another week drawing to a close. We do have a couple items for you today, starting with a look at the Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB CPU Cooler. This liquid cooler features a large 360mm radiator, a first for Corsair, and a redesigned pump that should both work to keep your CPU cool when shooting for that high overclock. Our other item for the day revisits the Core i7 5820K, a six-core/12-thread Haswell-E processor from several years ago, to see just how it compares against some of the modern CPUs released lately.

CPUs
6-core/12-thread Core i7 for $200, i7-5820K Revisited @ TechSpot

CPU Cooling
Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews


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Cougar Announces Phontum Gaming Headset

Posted: January 12, 2018 @ time: 04:09PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Gaming headsets are a fairly common piece of equipment for many gamers today, as they can provide clear sound and a microphone to communicate with your allies, and taunt your enemies. For long gaming sessions though, the headset needs to be comfortable, and finding a headset that is not too expensive but you can wear for hours can be difficult. Cougar believes it has an answer for you with its Phontum headset.

The Phontum has a few features that make it stand out from other headsets, with perhaps the most apparent being its two earpad options. Instead of being forced to use the same earpads wherever you are, the Phontum comes with two pairs that can be swapped out. The thicker gaming/home use pair provide better comfort and sound quality, while the on-the-go earpads are thinner and lighter, making them better for travelling and outdoor use. Both share the same soft protein surface.

Inside the headset are large 53 mm drivers, larger than those in many other headsets, and a dual chamber structure. This structure will help differentiate the bass, midrange, and treble frequencies. The diaphragms of the drivers are made of graphene, reducing distortion.

The Phontum will be available by the end of the month with a US MSRP of $54.99.

Source: Cougar Gaming


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Circuit City Returning February 15

Posted: January 12, 2018 @ time: 04:10PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Do you remember Circuit City? It used to be the top big-box tech chain, but fell from that height. There was an attempt to bring it back as an online-only sister site to Systemax's TigerDirect, but that failed too. At CES 2018 though, Ronny Shmoel, the Circuit City CEO who bought the band back from Systemax in 2015, announced Circuit City is being resurrected again.

The new Circuit City will begin as an experiential website, followed by kiosks, store-in-stores, and finally showrooms. Supporting the site will be the commerce platform of the IBM Watson AI. Watson will learn customers' interests and then behave as a shopping assistant, attempting to put experience over product as you search for what you need and want.

Source: Twice


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Hardware Roundup: Monday, January 15, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 15, 2018 @ time: 06:33AM
Author: bp9801

Monday is upon us, with a few items to start the week off or continue the last bit of the weekend if you happen to have the day off for Martin Luther King, Jr. There's a look at the ECS Z370-LIGHTSABER motherboard, which has better overclocking support and a retooled design to really help set your system up for success. We have a look at all the case mods and builds seen at CES 2018, with some truly impressive designs showcased. Things wrap up today with an article saying why it's a bad idea to build a gaming PC now, with the focus on expensive DDR4 memory.

Motherboards
ECS Z370-LIGHTSABER @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
The Case Mods and Builds of CES 2018 @ ThinkComputers
Why Building a Gaming PC Right Now Is a Bad Idea, Part 1: Expensive DDR4 Memory @ TechSpot


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Hardware Roundup: Tuesday, January 16, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 16, 2018 @ time: 06:28AM
Author: bp9801

Tuesday is here, with a couple of items to greet you today. We have a review of the Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L12s Low-Profile CPU coolers, with both offering a compact size to more easily fit in a small build while keeping everything nice and cool. Our other item for the day is a look at the Acer Predator X34P monitor, an upgraded version that gets a nice boost to 100Hz (and overclockable to 120Hz) on the panel.

CPU Cooling
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 and NH-L12s Low-Profile CPU Coolers @ Neoseeker

Monitors
Acer Predator X34P @ TechSpot


Complete Story


Straight Power 11 PSU Series Announced by be quiet!

Posted: January 16, 2018 @ time: 11:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

For some, a silent computer is an absolute must, but with all of the fans needed for keeping things cool, it can be difficult to achieve. This includes the fan within the power supply, but be quiet! Has announced its newest line of PSUs that have a number of features to live up to the company's name.

The Straight Power 11 series of power supplies span from 450 W to 1000 W that have a redesigned PCB, wire-free design on the DC side, high quality components, and are fully modular. The redesigned PCB is what allows the power supplies to be wire-free, as all of the connections on the DC side are directly through it instead of any wires. This helps the Silent Wings 3 135 mm fan keep things cool by having less in its way and improves signal quality by removing the magnetic interference of powered cables. That Silent Wings 3 fan uses a funnel-shaped vent to improve airflow and reduces turbulence, and with its six-pole motor and fluid-dynamic bearings it can stay quiet and has the lowest startup rotational speed in the market, at just 200 RPM. High quality capacitors are also used to prevent electronic noise emission and the noise from extreme load changes.

All of the Straight Power 11 power supplies have an efficiency of 93% at 230 volts, earning them 80 PLUS Gold certification, and they comply with ErP by having a standby power draw of under 0.12 W. Pricing starts at $109.90 for the 450 W PSU with the 850 W unit costing $179.90. There are also 550 W, 650 W, and 750 W versions whose prices fall between those two. If you need more than 850 W though, the 1000 W version has an MSRP of $214.90. All of these are backed by a 5-year warranty.

Source: Press Release


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Reolink Argus 2 Wire-Free Security Camera Coming Soon

Posted: January 16, 2018 @ time: 12:07PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Last year Overclockers Club got a chance to review some Reolink products (RLC-411WS Wireless Security Camera, 5MP Security Camera) including the Reolink Argus, a wireless, battery-powered security camera. Soon the company will be releasing the Argus 2 that is also wireless and brings some new features, such as Starlight Night Vision.

The Argus 2 features a SONY 1 / 2.8 in CMOS Sensor, with Starlight capability and a resolution of 1920x1080. The Starlight Night Vision range is 33 feet with the PIR Motion Sensor's range just a little less at 29.5 feet. Being waterproof it is safe to mount it outside to keep an eye on things, and even communicate with people via its built-in microphone and speaker. Its camera can be accessed with iOS and Android phones, and it has various alerts, including push notifications, emails, sirens, and video recording. Its Internet connection is over 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, but it can also hold a micro SD card of up to 64 GB. Its field of view is 130º and its battery life is 4-6 months in standby mode, but if you want you can also purchase a Reolink Solar Panel to connect it to, so you do not need to remember to recharge it as often.

You can expect to see a review of the Reolink Argus 2 on OCC in the future, but if you are also a reviewer, you can apply to review one yourself. Reolink is looking for bloggers and reviewers who want to test and review it, but naturally there are some conditions. For one thing, you need to write a real blog, so a Facebook page is not enough. The review will need to be at least 600 words long and posted within three weeks of receiving the review sample. Product photos and, if possible, videos should be included in the review as well. At least one link will need to be offered to Reolink for its website and you will need to share your review on your social media channels as well. If you are interested and up to the task, Reolink has a template application form up via Google Docs.

Source: Press Release


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Ubisoft Reveals More Details of Assassin's Creed Origins Post-Launch Content

Posted: January 16, 2018 @ time: 01:33PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Assassin's Creed Origins launched in October last year and on January 23, just next week, it will be receiving its first DLC, The Hidden Ones. This DLC is a story drive expansion that follows the growth of the Brotherhood four years after the events of the main game. Players will be taken to the Sinai, where they will clash with an occupying Roman force with the help of an increased level cap and new gear. You will be able to reach level 45 through this expansion, find four new Legendary weapons amongst others, a new outfit, two new mounts, and two new levels for crafter gear.

Following The Hidden Ones in February will be the release of the Discovery Tour, an educational mode that will allow players to explore Ancient Egypt without any of the game's conflicts or missions. You will also be able to follow guided tours that have been curated by historians and Egyptologists. If that sounds interesting to you but the game itself does not, it will be available for purchase separately at a price of $19.99 on February 20. Those of you with Assassin's Creed Origins will receive Discovery Tour as a free update.

The second DLC expansion is The Curse of the Pharaohs and will be launched on March 6. It offers a new storyline that takes you to Thebes to investigate a curse plaguing the region. It has a focus on Egyptian mythology as players will go up against famous pharaohs and Egyptian beasts to uncover the cause of the curse. It will raise the level cap to 55 and give players access to new outfits and gear themed around classic Egyptian mythology.

Both DLC are part of the game's season pass, which itself is part of the Gold Edition, but can be purchased separately as well. The Hidden Ones will cost $9.99 and The Curse of the Pharaohs will be $19.99. The season pass, costing $39.99, also includes the Horus Pack and Roman Centurion Pack, a legendary weapon, and 500 Helix credits. There is also a lot of free content that is coming for every player, including the new Incoming Threat quest that acts as a prelude to The Hidden Ones.

Source: Press Release


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Hardware Roundup: Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 17, 2018 @ time: 06:34AM
Author: bp9801

The middle of the week is upon us, with a couple of items to check out today. We have a look at the Creative Omni Portable Multi-Room Wi-Fi/BT Voice-enabled Speaker that can connect to a variety of devices and just maybe deliver plenty of audio performance to keep you jamming for ages. Our other item is another article examining why it's a bad idea to build a gaming PC now, namely due to to the insane prices for video cards, with some having a 100% markup over the standard retail pricing due to cryptocurrency mining.

Speakers/Headphones
Creative Omni Portable Multi-Room Wi-Fi/BT Voice-enabled Speaker @ Madshrimps

Miscellany
Why Building a Gaming PC Right Now Is a Bad Idea, Part 2: Insane Graphics Card Prices @ TechSpot


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Multiple Suits Filed Against AMD and Intel Over Spectre and Meltdown

Posted: January 17, 2018 @ time: 12:16PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

One can hardly be surprised by this news as a total of six lawsuits have been filed against AMD and Intel combined. Four of these suits are against Intel with the other two against AMD. The two against AMD are both concerning if AMD and/or any of its executives and officers misled people about the impact of the vulnerabilities, thereby committing fraud to keep stock values high. The Rosen Law Firm v AMD is currently asking for those who purchased AMD stock between February 21, 2017 and January 11, 2018 to join its class action suit, though a class has not been certified yet. The Pomerantz Law Firm v AMD suit is a bit more specific in its claims by pointing out that days after AMD had stated there was "near zero risk" to the second variant of Spectre, the company "acknowledged" its CPUs are susceptible to it and have made available optional microcode patches to protect against it.

Turning to the Intel suits, they come from Brower Piven, Levi & Korsinsky, LLP, Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP, and Bronstein, Gewritz & Grossmand, LLC. All four of these share similar language by alleging Intel CPUs contain a fundamental design flaw making them vulnerable, the fixes ton the vulnerability can slow the processors' operation by 5-30%, and that public statements made by the company were materially false and misleading. The Brower Piven and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP filings also mention reports of a sale of stock options by Intel's CEO.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything comes of these suits, and I could see it potentially impact how significant security vulnerabilities are handled in the industry. When the Spectre and Meltdown issues were discovered, various companies were informed, so patches and other mitigation methods could be developed, but the information was kept private and away from the public. While one can make the argument this is to prevent malicious actors from using the information to attack still vulnerable systems, these lawsuits appear to make the argument this information needs to be disclosed to the shareholders earlier. This is going to be an interesting year for the computer industry.

Source: WCCFtech


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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, January 18, 2018, Edition

Posted: January 18, 2018 @ time: 06:35AM
Author: bp9801

The week is starting to wind down, with a couple of items today to help us get closer to the weekend. We have a review of the SilverStone Strider 1300W Titanium power supply, which has a massive amount of power with extremely high efficiency to keep whatever system you can think of running for ages. Our other item for the day is a look at the Genius Mobile Theater MT-20 Bluetooth Speaker to see how this mini speaker delivers on its theater-like surround sound promise.

Power Supplies
SilverStone Strider 1300W Titanium @ PC Perspective

Speakers/Headphones
Genius Mobile Theater MT-20 Bluetooth Speaker @ Benchmark Reviews


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Possible Ryzen 2600 CPU Appears on SiSoftware Website

Posted: January 18, 2018 @ time: 08:36AM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

From AMD's pre-CES 2018 event we know the next generation of Ryzen CPUs will be launching in April. These processors will feature the more refined Zen+ architecture and will be manufactured on a 12 nm process that should offer improved performance over the current 14 nm parts. With release coming soon, we are starting to see some information leak out and what we have here is a listing on the SiSoftware website for the AMD Ryzen ZD2600BBM68AF_38/34_Y.

While the ID does have 2600 right at the beginning, this is not necessarily the successor to the Ryzen 5 1600, though it does also offer 6 cores/12 threads. According to the site, the CPU has a speed of 3.4 GHz, and looking at the ID number it would seem the boost speed might be 3.8 GHz. This CPU is possibly an engineering sample so we could see different clock speeds in the final product.

In addition to revealing this CPU, the SiSoftware information also identifies the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero, the likely x470 successor to the x370 ROG Crosshair VI Hero. No specific information is offered on this, except that it too exists in a state ready for testing but as April approach, more information is sure to appear for more second-generation Ryzen CPUs and x470 motherboards.

Source: SiSoftware


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Mass Production of 16 Gb GDDR6 Started by Samsung

Posted: January 18, 2018 @ time: 02:31PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

While a lot of attention has been paid to both generations of High Bandwidth Memory since AMD launched its R9 Fury GPUs with HBM1, and then RX Vega with HBM2, the way HBM is used can make it more expensive to work with compared to the aging GDDR5 of most video cards today. While HBM will still offer some important advantages, GDDR6 is coming, especially now that Samsung has begun mass production of the next generation memory.

The chips Samsung are working now are 16 Gb GDDR6 chips, made using Samsung's 10 nm class process. The company's GDDR5 chips are based on a 20 nm process and are only 8 Gb, so this offers double the density while also increasing performance. Up to 18 Gbps pin speed and transfers of 72 GB/s is possible with these GDDR6 chips, compared to the 8 Gb GDDR5 chips' 8 Gbps pin speed. With its low-power circuit design, these chips will achieves this speed at just 1.35 V, which is appreciably lower than the 1.55 V used by most implementations of GDDR5.

Last I saw, there is no word on when AMD or NVIDIA will adopt GDDR6.

Source: Samsung


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Limited Supply DLC Launched for Offworld Trading Company

Posted: January 18, 2018 @ time: 02:47PM
Author: Guest_Jim_*

Offworld Trading Company released back in 2016 and the different take on real time strategy games today has gotten an interesting piece of DLC. As the game's title suggests, you are tasked with managing a company on a different world, specifically Mars, and achieve dominance over your economic competitors. Not being within Earth's supportive environment means you have to be concerned about resources like food water and oxygen, and in the base game you could always purchase what you needed, if you had the money. Limited Supply changes that though by taking you back to a time when yours is the only company on the red planet. Resources cannot simply be purchased when needed and other restrictions will be in place for the DLC's missions.

Limited Supply is available for $4.99 through Stardock and Steam, but you can save 10% by purchasing directly. Offworld Trading Company, the base game, costs $19.99.

 

 

Source: Stardock


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