Tech News

  • Intel Hit by a Devastating Data Breach, Chip Designs, Code, Possible Backdoors Leaked @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Friday, August 7, 2020 | By: Dennis

    You'll have to read the post yourself but, it seems like we have nothing more than someone posting confidential information in an attempt to damage a company reputation.  I'm going to go with AMD fanboi.  happy smile

    The news posting contains comments from intel explaining:

    Intel in a comment to Tom's Hardware denied that its security apparatus had been compromised, and instead blamed someone with access to this information for downloading the data. "We are investigating this situation. The information appears to come from the Intel Resource and Design Center, which hosts information for use by our customers, partners and other external parties who have registered for access. We believe an individual with access downloaded and shared this data," a company spox said.

    One of the biggest issues any hardware maker has is how they go about sharing information.  When a product comes to a reviewer there a general acceptance that in exchange for the opportunity the reviewer will respect the wishes of the company in terms of what data is being released.

    Customers are under the same restrictions and often have access to more sensitive information so when that bond of trust is broken there will be consequences. 

    I remember a story where an Intel representative was accusing a hardware maker of selling "ES" chips and leaking technical data to the press.  It is not difficult to track these things down so, just because information gets out doesn't mean that Intel doesn’t know about it.  Or, how to handle the fallout.

  • MSI MEG Z490 Godlike Review @ Guru3D

    Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 | By: Dennis

    One of the most iconic motherboards I have ever reviewed was the MSI X99A Godlike.  I talk about this quite often because it was not only a highlight of Computex but changed the face of enthusaist hardware forever.  One thing that made the X99A Godlike so great is that nobody else had anything like it. 

    Sadly, with the Z490 motherboard release it seems everyone shared their pre-production notes.

    In this review, we look at the MSI MEG Z490 Godlike. Priced at $749 MSI delivers where most premium Z490 motherboard that has been loaded with features and then some. Animated OLED screen, 10 Gbit LAN, 2.5 Gbit Lan, AX WIFI, and looks that make this board seem like James Bond himself.

    I'm not sure I would place the Z490 Godlike at the level of James Bond but I will admit it does come with all the bells, whistles and OLED screens you could ever want.

  • EK Expands Quantum Torque Fitting Line With a New Unique Finish

    Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Looking to visit space with your custom watercooled gaming PC?  Why not get ahead of the curve and swap out your current fittings for the new EK Quantum Torque fittings with the new Satin Titanium finish.

    ---------------------------------------

    t has been over a year ago when EK® introduced Torque fittings to the market, and since then, their popularity has only been growing. These fittings became the go-to solution for many high profile modders and enthusiasts. EK, the premium water cooling gear manufacturer, has promised to continue evolving and expanding its fitting lineup with new models and finishes. The latest addition to the Quantum Line fittings, aptly named Satin Titanium, was just introduced. EK has expanded its fitting portfolio with eighteen new products, and more is yet to come since every single extender and new fitting will become available in the Satin Titanium finish.

    EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium
    With a non-intrusive yet striking look, and with NO added branding at all, EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium fittings can be complemented by the interchangeable aesthetic color rings. These fittings are an ideal choice for anyone who wants to easily refresh the look of their PC with a new, exciting, and unique finish that is only available from EK.

    The compression ring has cutouts in the EK Quantum signature shape allowing for the colored aesthetic ring to be shown. The colored rings are available in many colors and are screwed onto the fitting before the compression locking ring. These aesthetic rings are sold separately.

    The current line of new Satin Titanium fittings consists of:

    • EK-Quantum Torque HDC – Hard Tubing Compression fittings, single fittings, and 6-packs
    • EK-Quantum Torque STC – Soft Tubing Compression fittings, single fittings, and 6-packs
    • EK-Quantum Torque Angled – Rotary Angled Adapters 45°, 90°, and T

    EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium HDC Fittings
    EK-Quantum Torque HDC are hard-tube compression fittings designed for use with solid tubing such as Acrylic, PETG, and glass. They are available in three dimensions compatible with 12, 14, and 16mm outer diameter hard tubing.

    EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium STC Fittings
    EK-Quantum Torque STC are soft-tube compression fittings compatible with PVC, EPDM, Norprene, silicone, or any other type of flexible tubing. They are available in three dimensions compatible with 10/13, 10/16, and 12/16mm diameter (ID/OD) soft tubing.

    EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium Rotary Angled Adapters
    The EK-Torque rotary angled adapters have a cylindrical shape. They are made to be very sturdy with a tight revolvable joint to avoid flex, thanks to customers’ feedback. Machined out of a solid piece of brass, they use G1/4? threads and have three variations – revolvable 90° adapter fitting, revolvable 45° adapter, and revolvable T adapter fitting with G1/4? threads that all serve a different purpose. The T adapter fitting can be used for setting up drain ports or for parallel connection between components.

    EK-Quantum Torque Satin Titanium 6-Pack
    The six-packs will simplify the process of choosing the number of fittings needed for a liquid cooling loop. The boxed-up fittings will also bring added safety during transport, and customers will be left with a nice box to store them in. These six-pack fittings come in six different types and sizes – STC 10/13, STC 10/16, STC 12/16, HDC 12, HDC 14, and HDC 16.

  • Samsung 870 QVO 1 TB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | By: Dennis

    So here is a handy trick. Send out a press release for a product review and put in the body of the message "Terrible, Do Not Buy" and you are almost guaranteed to get "someone" to read your article.
    For me I was curious as to "why" TechPowerUp is saying that as it wasn't so clear in the opening paragraphs.  So after flipping through the 100's of benchmarks I think I figured it out.

    The drive is slow when you make it do a bunch of stuff.

    And, according to their historical charts the only drive slower (in most situations) is the Crucial BX500  This is a drive I reviewed a year ago and found it to be pretty good until you started asking it to do "Random" things.  Interestingly enough that is what TechPowerUp is testing with the Samsung, and kept doing to hammer it home.

    The Samsung 870 QVO is the company's new QLC-based SSD that reaches capacities of up to 8 TB. In our Samsung 870 QVO review we're taking a close look not only at synthetics, but also real-life performance, which is surprisingly weak, especially considering they want $115 for the reviewed 1 TB variant.

    I'm not sure total cost should be a decision point considering that 1TB of SSD storage is about $100USD but, I can totally understand the distain for a drive that should perform better and doesn't.

    It now makes me wonder if other reviewers noticed the same thing.  Esp considering that Samsung doesn't send me anything sad smile

  • BAPCo Releases SYSmark 25

    Published: Monday, July 13, 2020 | By: Dennis

    I have been using BAPCo benchmarks, namely SYSmark, since the inception of Ninjalane and continues to be one of my "go-to" benchmarks when it comes to testing real world performance.  Of course, choosing a benchmark depends on what you are trying to test and what you are using to run that test against.

    Basically, do your homework when trusting scores online.

    There are a number of enhancements with SYSmark 25 and to be honest I'm looking forward to the 1 hour run-time.  BTW, if 1 hour seems like a long time consider for a moment that SYSmark 2018 SE takes 4 hours to complete.

    ----

    SYSmark® 25, the latest and 25th workload generation of the premier PC benchmark that measures and compares system performance using real-world applications and workloads. The 25th workload generation of the premier PC performance metric features new Productivity, Creativity, and Responsiveness Scenarios.

    The new Productivity Scenario has updated workloads and applications geared towards office centric user activities. The new Creativity Scenario features updated workloads and applications geared toward media-centric user activities. The new Responsiveness Scenario models ‘pain points’ in the user experience. These common activities that include: application launches, file launches, web browsing with multiple tabs, multi-tasking, and background application installation.

    What’s new in SYSmark® 25:

    • The 25th workload generation based on new Productivity, Creativity, and Responsiveness Scenarios
    • Updated third-party applications
    • Shorter install and run times
    • Dark mode support
    • A streamlined “click-and-run” user interface
    • Results consolidated into a single file
    • Localized GUI support for nine languages
    • All new updated applications: Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Audacity, AutoIt, Corel WinZip 24.0 Enterprise, Google Chrome (v 81.0), Microsoft Excel 2019, Microsoft Outlook 2019, Microsoft PowerPoint 2019, Microsoft Word 2019, Shotcut. SYSmark 25 uses only unmodified, retail versions of real-world applications for measurement
    • New Productivity Scenario which has updated workloads and applications geared towards office centric user activities
    • New Creativity Scenario which has updated workloads and applications geared toward media centric user activities
    • The new Responsiveness Scenario models ‘pain points’ in the user experience. These common activities that include: application launches, file launches, web browsing with multiple tabs, multi-tasking, and background application installation.
    • Improved results (FDR) formatting. New combined, single results PDF. Automatically generates results as PDF
    • Allows active Internet connection during benchmark installation and execution
    • Energy Consumption feature which records energy usage in watt-hours during the workloads. Requires a Watts Up Pro meter (buy @ the BAPCo Store). Compatible meters include: Watts Up PRO, PRO ES, and .NET models. Watts Up meter is suitable for connection only to 120V, 60 Hz power. Not suitable for Europe (230 VAC 50 Hz)
    • Minimum system requirements ensure that SYSmark 25 runs on broader categories of PC systems
      • CPU: 2015 or newer x86 processor (Intel 6th Generation Core or AMD 7000 series APU)
      • RAM: 8 GB
      • HDD/SSD: 25GB of free space on the primary drive
      • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® 10 64-bit version 1803 (RS4) or higher
      • Resolution: 1280×800 or 1366×768
      • Graphics: DirectX 10 compatible, 2GB of VRAM
      • Supported Languages on Windows 10: English (US)
        • Additional languages to be added in future update: Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Spanish (SP)
    • Approximate Running Time: 1 hour (1-iteration)
  • Creative SXFI GAMER Headset: REKT Everyone Else

    Published: Thursday, July 9, 2020 | By: Dennis

    Super X-Fi Gen2 Ultra-Realistic Holographic Audio Set to Stun Beyond Limits with All-New BATTLE Mode and CommanderMic

    Milpitas, Calif. July 9, 2020 – Creative Technology has launched its flagship gaming headset, the Creative SXFI GAMER. Powered by the exceptional BATTLE Mode audio profile, a brand-new CommanderMic with professional-grade clarity, wired through a Kevlar-reinforced USB cable and topped off with a stunning RGB light design, SXFI GAMER is simply the ultimate weapon for complete gaming immersion and domination.

    Gaming Sounds Real Like Never Before
    Having snagged 23 best-of-show awards over the last two editions of CES 2019-2020, users and critics have been blown away by the next-generation realism of Super X-Fi headphone holography.

    Since the start of this year, Super X-Fi products have been upgraded to Gen2, an improved and expanded version of Super X-Fi which incorporates key enhancements like higher accuracy in personalizing a user’s audio profile, extending more details in the surround sound configuration, better audio positioning and fidelity.

    The SXFI GAMER incorporates all of these and goes one step further with BATTLE Mode, a specially-designed audio profile which optimizes Super X-Fi to a perfect fit for FPS games – environmental imaging, audio cues, distance projection and directionality are all enhanced with unprecedented levels of accuracy for the competitive gamer’s benefit, while preserving the essence of the award-winning holographic audio experience.

    Look, Feel and Talk like a Pro Gamer
    Besides its sharpshooter audio quality, the SXFI GAMER performs in various ways befitting bona fide pro gamers.

    The CommanderMic makes its debut in a completely new acoustic design which includes an integrated pop filter. It sports Creative’s latest SXFI inPerson microphone technology, which uses a special algorithm to enhance speech pick-up while suppressing ambient noise effectively.

    The SXFI GAMER also ups the cool factor with its custom-designed, Kevlar-reinforced USB cable, which is meticulously engineered for strength and durability as it drives high-speed data transfer to deliver its maximum potential for gaming. The new RGB lighting design on the earcups, which allows users to customize their combat get-up with 16.7 million colors to choose from, provides the finishing move for the SXFI GAMER’s assault on gaming headsets.

    Creative’s CEO Sim Wong Hoo said, “Gaming has always been entrenched in our DNA, since the earliest days of Sound Blaster more than 30 years ago.

    “After we successfully created Super X-Fi, which critics have hailed as the holy grail of headphone technology, we did not rest on our laurels. We went ahead and spent a great deal of effort and resources to further improve Super X-Fi, especially targeting the gaming sector. The BATTLE Mode is here, and together with the CommanderMic and other features, the SXFI GAMER truly embodies the culmination of our very best technologies in a gaming headset.

    “At the same time, the SXFI GAMER allows you to communicate with others as if they were in front of you, and also they would be able to hear you clearly. Hence it would be a great tool to Work-Learn-Play from home with.”

    Pricing and Availability
    SXFI GAMER is priced at US$129.99 and is available at Creative.com.

    For more information, visit us.creative.com/sxfigamer.

  • Lexar Announces New SL200 Portable SSD

    Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2020 | By: Dennis

    San Jose, USA, June 25, 2020 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced the new Lexar® SL200 Portable SSD.

    Key Features:

    • SSD-level performance – with speeds up to 550MB/s read and 400MB/s write1
    • Sleek, slimline styling with a premium finish
    • Durable, portable design—resists harsh temperatures and vibration2
    • Includes an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption
    • Features a USB Type-C port. Includes a USB Type-C to USB Type-C and USB Type-C to standard USB Type-A cable
    • Three-year limited warranty

    The family line of SSD products continues to expand and grow stronger with this latest addition to the SSD portfolio. This portable drive lets you take your data on-the-go, so you're covered in the field or the office. To keep your data secure, it's drop-, shock-, vibration-resistant, and features an advanced security solution with 256-bit AES encryption. The sleek SL200 has a premium finish available in 512GB and 1TB of storage space. It also displays more than adequate transfer speeds of up to 550 MB/s and a write speed of up to 400 MB/s1. It's easy to connect to your system using the included USB Type-C to USB Type-C or USB Type-C to Type-A cable, and it's ready to use.

    Lexar® SL200 Portable SSD is available this month for purchase online at Adorama and B&H at an MSRP of $89.99 USD (512 GB,) followed by the 1TB at $159.99 USD in July.

    All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than

    1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. For more information

    visit www.lexar.com

  • Thermaltake AH T600 @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Sunday, June 28, 2020 | By: Dennis

    One of the stragest case designs to come out of Thermaltake during CES 2020 the Thermaltake AH t600.

    From a design perspective, the Thermaltake AH T600 is a bold chassis. Thermaltake utilizes an almost insane material mix with heavy inspiration drawn from modern military helicopters to create a large full-tower chassis with all the capabilities one looks for in a liquid cooling case.

    Thermaltake has been caterig their case builds to be exclusively for Watercooling, it helps sell their watercooling gear and puts their caes in the spotlight whenever someone posts a build.  The one issue I have with the case is that it is very different from a traditional chassis and what might look cool may not be the best chassis to build in.

    Then again, TT wasn't looking for a ground breaking chasis but rather one to show off what they can do.  Think "S-Frame"  happy smile

  • EVGA Z490 FTW WIFI @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Sunday, June 28, 2020 | By: Dennis

    It is nice to know that there are a few reviewers that agree with me.  Wes over and LanOC took the new EVGA Z490 FTW out for a spin and it seems they also had trouble deciding how to put the board into a positive light.  (Must have been ROG envy, #justsayin)

    One thing I didn't include in my review was the frustration I had getting things installed.  Not so much drivers but, getting memory installed took way more force than it should have.  The same was true for PCI Express cards and even the power plugs.  I did ask EVGA about this and they claim it must have been a fluke with my particular sample and AND, I believe them.  It is not uncommon to have a bad batch of components and more often than not *that* is why RMA exists.

    (BTW RMA doesn't exist for people who break stuff on purpose or for those who cannot get something to work correctly.)

    With a small B550 break out of the way, I did still have another Z490 motherboard come in after the Z490 launch that I wanted to check out. That board is from EVGA and unlike all of the other board manufacturers, EVGA doesn’t have 15 or 20 different options. They always like to keep things a little simpler. They have two Z490 motherboards and only one available just yet, the Z490 FTW WiFi. I’m excited to see what EVGA has going on for this generation so let’s dive in and take a closer look then put it through its paces.  

    Be sure to check out my review of the EVGA Z480 FTW WiFi Motherboard.  Its not a bad board but, did leave a LOT on the table when you start looking at what else is out there.

  • Intel Rocket Lake-S 8-Core 11th Gen Desktop CPU Benchmark Leaked

    Published: Sunday, June 28, 2020 | By: Dennis

    It is interesting to see that most of the processor leaks these days are coming from when benchmark results are uploaded to the company website instead of being emailed around.  This was a serious problem back in the day and would incite some pretty serious witch hunts to find where the leak came from.  Some of the classic ones to stir up the hornets were when NVIDIA results made it to the Futuremark Hall of Fame.  As we know NVIDIA plays their product releases very close to the chest and when leaks happen they tend to make a big deal out of it.

    There seems to be less honor in the community these days and maybe it is a case of "leaked sex tapes" that might get a day in the press only to quickly go away provided that nobody says something.  However, when the person in the tape makes a big deal out of it that tends to make things worse.

    In this case we have leaked Rocket Lake benchmark samples making it to Geekbench not only does Geekbench allow the results to remain online but rumor mill sites latch on to it and start dissecting what has been posted.  It is almost like they were tipped off because, seriously, who the F browses the Geekbench results on a daily basis. #facepalm


    https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/compute/1124595

    Check out the news release on HotHardware as they report on data collected from the new Intel Xe onboard GPU that should be available in the new 11th generation Intel CPUs.  I don't suspect onboard graphics will replace your RTX 2080 Ti any time soon but, you never know.

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