Tech News

  • EKWB EK-XLC Predator 280 @ techPowerUp

    Published: Monday, October 03, 2016 | By: Dennis

    All in One cooling with quick disconnect fittings and what appears to be DIY quality components.  Seems like a good way to leverage gear you already sell.

    The Predator 280 from EKWB aims to eat the competition alive. Offering top-tier performance, low noise levels, and easy expansion thanks to its QDC fittings, it offers users near custom watercooling performance without the headaches of doing it all yourself.

    This is a dual 140 AIO cooler using the EK "square" style radiators.  From the photos I can't tell where the pump is located however, given the DIY style watetblock I am guessing it is attached to the radiator.  Quick disconnect fittings appear to be included to rival what Asetek has been doing for EVGA and should help average users expand their loops.  Or, mess them up completely. 

    I mean, com'on look at who actually buys AIO coolers!  Now give them a chance to "accidently" drain their loops or hook an empty waterblock and wonder why they can't fill the loop?  I think it is a great product however, for the money, time and effort you might as well go with an off the shelf AIO or man/girl up and go DIY.

  • ADATA Launches the XPG SX8000 PCI Express 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 Gaming SSD

    Published: Monday, October 03, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan – October 3, 2016 – ADATA® Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash products, today launched the XPG SX8000 SSD, which uses an M.2 form factor loaded with 3D MLC NAND Flash and an SMI 2260 controller. The SX8000 meets NVMe 1.2 specifications and connects directly to motherboards via PCI Express 3.0 x4 (PCIe 3x4) to deliver 2.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write, with 100K/140K IOPS. The SX8000 arrives in diverse capacities (128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB), ensuring a new generation of SSD performance is available to more users. A slightly faster version fitted with an attractive XPG heatsink will release by the end of October, promising an aesthetic bonus for case modding enthusiasts.

    Compact M.2 PCI 3x4 shatters speed barriers
    The XPG SX8000 connects to desktop and notebook PCs via low profile M.2 2280 and channels data through PCI Express 3.0 x4 (four lane). The low latency and big bandwidth of PCIe enable up to 2.4GB/s read and 1GB/s write – four times the read and twice the write performance of average SATA 6Gb/s SSDs. Random 4K IOPS figures are 100K read and 140K write, also significantly more than SATA-based drives. The SX8000 features full NVMe 1.2 compatibility, powering a large performance boost that means users notice gains in real world scenarios, especially loading times within games that require heavy asset streaming and in professional applications such as graphics and audio rendering.

    Flexible and durable 3D NAND
    The SX8000 represents a new era not just in performance, but in its very architecture. It uses reliable 3D MLC NAND Flash, allowing ADATA to produce versions in capacities from 128GB to 1TB. With 3D NAND, reliability, performance, and efficiency all get a boost as more storage is fitted onto a smaller form factor without increasing power demands. The SX8000 features a 2 million hour MTBF (mean time between failures) rating, or 25% longer than 2D NAND SSD (which average 1.5 million hours).

    Range of data-enhancing features
    ADATA firmware design takes utmost data performance and integrity into consideration with every SSD. Intelligent SLC Caching allows the drive to operate in pseudo single-level cell mode for speed boosts when extreme data loads are encountered. It can also leverage system RAM to increase performance via DRAM Cache Buffer, helping maintain consistent throughput even during the most intense tasks. LDPC ECC (low density parity check error correction) prevents data corruption and promotes integrity, while Data Shaping evenly distributes task loads across NAND Flash cells. The SX8000 is therefore a pioneer in performance that offers a complete package of reliability-augmenting features. It is backed by a 5-year warranty.

    SX8000 PCIe will be available at and

    Product Webpage
    SX8000 PCIe Express

    SX8000 PCIe Express  128GB  $129.99
    SX8000 PCIe Express  256GB  $189.99
    SX8000 PCIe Express  512GB  $319.99

  • Titanfall 2 Game Play Video at 4k 60fps on Titan X

    Published: Thursday, September 29, 2016 | By: Dennis

    The lackluster release of the first Titanfall was very exciting, mostly because the game was overhyped.  That excitment quickly changed because it did nothing to keep players engaged.  It was a Multiplayer only game and suffered from the COD effect where unless you are playing at 0 Hour you will be so far behind on experience you'll never advance.

    Titanfall 2 is the next installment and should be dropping any day now. 

    In hopes of getting the hype train moving again the NVIDIA camp has released a gameplay video at 4K claiming 60FPS using a Titan X.

    This is a cleaver bit of marketing for NVIDIA by featuring an anticipated game title on an exclusively expensive GPU claiming that it can attain the magical 4k60max and here is the proof.  I will admit the graphics look great and the captured gameplay seemed really smooth despite the numerous cuts and edits but they designed the game for consoles, it would be hard NOT to.

    Getting back to the gameplay.  We see that the jump mechanic is back which allows you to bounce off walls and quickly propel yourself across the map.  This is maybe one of the best features from the first game so I'm glad to see it make a return.  The appearance of the Titans has changed and while their movement speed seemed to have improved they still struggle getting around in the city.

    Basically these two game features are the only thing to provide balance between the two and honestly was what made the game boring.  I sure hope the single player campaign brings a reason to play the game more than once else we will see the game once again discounted in the bargain bin at $10.00 with nobody buying.  That, of course, will leave you stuck with a $1200.00 GPU and go game to play.

    The game is due to be released October 28 and NVIDIA recommends a GTX 1060 but is suggesting a GTX 1080 (of course)  a Core i5-6600 or higher is also suggested.  Much to my suprise this is only DirectX 11 title which means you can play it on Windows 7!  #w00t.

  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 AMP! Graphics Card @ Custom PC Review

    Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I'm going to have to put on my #notbitter hat while posting this bit of news.  Not only is the GTX 1070 a really good mainstream card but .. Ya

    When NVIDIA first announced the Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards back in May, it was very clear that they had a pair of winners on their hands. Fast forward four months to today, and it seems that the company is still commanding the high-end GPU market with no competition expected

    Dual fan goodness with AMP! power.  The card comes with the expensive AMP power capacitor which is supposed to get you an extra 10FPS when matched with a proper driver, more system memory and large 1080p monitor.

    Seriously though, Pascal kinda "tops out" so the extra fancy stuff is more keeping the brand alive than a real performance boost.  Still good though, and yellow.

  • Samsung 850 EVO 4TB SSD @ Custom PC Review

    Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I am not sure what is more impressive.  The fact that this drive is a Samsung 850 EVO or that it is 4TB.  Yes, Four Terra Bites, Four slaps from Terramorphous and four tires on the ground for proper RAID control.  (that last one I made up)

    At Flash Memory Summit earlier this year, Samsung announced their new 48-layer 3D V-NAND and along with that they announced that they’ll be using the new NAND in their 850 EVO SSD, pushing capacities up to a staggering 4TB. Considering 1TB was the largest capacity just 4-5 years ago, a 4TB drive designed

    SSDs are getting to be almost too good for consumer use.  For instance I have a 4TB RAID on my development server that is using three 2TB rotational drives.  This single SSD could backup the entire array and is likely about the same speed.

    Kray kray when you think about it.

  • Silent Loop: be quiet! introduces innovative All-in-One water cooling system

    Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By: Dennis

     Glinde, 27 September 2016 - be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for ten consecutive years*, today introduces its line of Silent Loop All-in-One water cooling systems. Through the use of an innovative decoupled reverse-flow pump, Silent Loop delivers high-performance cooling at a minimal sound level, guaranteeing quiet, efficient cooling for overclocked and high TDP CPUs in high-power computer systems. To ensure compatibility with all types of performance-heavy PCs, be quiet! offers three different Silent Loop models.

    Innovative reverse-flow cooling cycle for silent and vibration-free operation
    be quiet! equips its Silent Loop All-in-One water cooling system with a decoupled pump designed to reverse the cooling circuit. Liquid is drawn in from the outside over the cold plate, then transported through a second layer on the inside of the radiator. This innovative solution operates the pump at a low 2,200 revolutions per minute, noticeably generating less vibration and noise than other conventional AIO coolers.

    Optimum selection of materials for long life and high cooling efficiency
    To achieve the best cooling performance, be quiet! equips Silent Loop with a black-coated, full copper radiator. The base is made of copper as well, preventing electrochemical corrosion when exposed to liquid and guaranteeing durability. Additionally, the cold plate of the cooling unit is nickel-plated. This facilitates the usage of liquid metal instead of regular thermal grease as a heat conductor between the cooler and CPU. Lastly, be quiet! integrates a refill port for proper coolant leveling after prolonged use, preserving continuous performance and low noise levels.
    Maximum performance with two Pure Wings 2 PWM-fans
    All three models of the Silent Loop All-in-One water cooling system combine a copper radiator with a pair of the be quiet!’s own Pure Wings 2 fans. The PWM fans offer high static pressure at extremely low-noise operation, while fan speed is optimized and regulated based on load. The unique combination of the Pure Wings 2 fans, the radiator, and the cooling unit with its copper base and reverse-flow pump guarantees Silent Loop’s high cooling performance.

    Easy handling due to flexible tubes and convenient mounting
    Thanks to flexible bend-protecting tubes, the Silent Loop All-in-One water cooling system is easy to handle. Even in smaller or compact enclosures the installation is effortless. This is also accomplished by a well-designed mounting kit.
    Three versions with different radiators for all possible demands
    In order to provide the best possible performance for high-power and silent systems of various sizes, be quiet! offers Silent Loop in three models that differ in size and cooling performance. The Silent Loop 280mm and Silent Loop 240mm accommodate two side-by-side mounted 140-millimeter and 120-millimeter Pure Wings 2 fans, respectively, while the Silent Loop 120mm uses two 120-millimeter Pure Wings 2 fans in a push-pull configuration. All models are compatible with the latest Intel® and AMD™ sockets.

    The innovative Silent Loop All-in-One water cooling system is available now for an MSRP of €109.90 / £94.99 (Silent Loop 120mm), €129.90 / £109.99 (Silent Loop 240mm) or €149.90 / £129.99 (Silent Loop 280mm), and each unit includes a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Be Quiet! Silent Loop 280 review @ Guru3D

    Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Wait! What is this?  An AIO cooler from the company dedicated to keeping things silent?

    Yep, dual fan goodness and not an Asetek design either.

    be quiet ! today launches their first ever liquid cooling system kit. We jump right on it and review the Silent Loop 280, an All-in-One Liquid cooling kit that is decent in performance with a 280mm rad and two Pure Wings 2 fans. These liquid cooling kits are pre-fitted with a single loop and ready to install straight out of the box. Armed with pretty nice looks and an attractive price, be quiet! offers a competitive model in the massive LCS kit arena.

    I suspect this is a rebrand cooler but still exciting to see be quiet! putting their name on it.  I'm not a fan of the hoses though.

  • What to do when you hate Windows 10 @ PC World

    Published: Friday, September 23, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I am often reminded of something Joshua realized at the end of War Games.  (the movie)

    "The only winning move is not to play" 

    I think the same can be said for Windows 10, while it is very good as an operating system there are still plenty of things wrong with it. 

    I usually start this column with “so and so needed something done to their PC,” but if I were to include the names of all the people who have written me about how unhappy they are with their Windows 10 “upgrade” the file would be so large the server that hosts this page would need a new hard drive. I’ve been inundated with unhappy Windows 10 users for the past two months, and my heart goes out to these folks. A lot of them were upgraded unsuspectingly, and Microsoft deserves a ton of scorn for its malware-like Windows 10 upgrade tactics. That said, now that you have Windows 10 on your PC and you’re not happy, here’s what you can do about it.

    Personally I have made a few tweaks to my Windows 10 installs however when it comes to benchmarking I am not a fan.  Random lockups and inconsistent results are not fun to deal with.

  • GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium @ [H]

    Published: Thursday, September 22, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I have been meaning to post this review for several days now but, with the shortage of GTX 1080 cards and rumors that GTX 1080 Ti will be released "soon" I just haven't gotten around to it. 

    Until Now!

    GIGABYTE’s GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium Pack is one premium package of goodness. Not only have we got one of the fastest GeForce GTX 1080 video cards, but GIGABYTE has thrown in the kitchen sink in this Premium Package with enthusiast oriented gaming as the focus.

    You know the only thing that would make Extreme Gaming even more Xtreme?  Cheese yes, that's right adding a dusting of cheese not only smells good but has been fueling Extreme Sports junkies for years.  The next time you bring a new GTX 1080 home do yourself a favor and add some cheese.  It will help welcome your new hardware into the family and will give your games that little extra "kick" it needs.

  • ECS LIVA One Mini-PC @ techPowerUp

    Published: Thursday, September 22, 2016 | By: Dennis

    ECS? now there is a name I haven't heard in a long time. 

    Back in the day ECS was a rather popular motherboard brand in my area.  It seemed that every computer shop stocked their motherboards and everyone was happy because they were inexpensive and the only thing you could buy.

    At least now, in modern times, you can hit up online stores like Newegg and find something better. 

    Speaking of better, Did you know ECS is making ultra small PCs now?  Ya neither did I

    Here's another $400 option for ultra-small PCs, this time based on Intel's 35W Skylake CPU, the Core i3-6100T. The ECS LIVA One ups the performance a notch compared to past LIVA units, but the ECS LIVA One also ups the size a fair bit.

    The Core i3 means it won't be all that powerful but should work well for Email and Facebook.  Assuming you are into that sort of thing.