Tech News

  • Microsoft Will Block Windows 7/8.1 updates on Newer Hardware

    Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    When Windows 10 launched there was an unerlying message claiming that Windows 10 would be the only OS supported on systems going forward.  Basically that means if you buy or build a new PC it will be harder to get systems with Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 installed and driver support would eventually dry up. 

    It would seem that a few updates came down last week to finally enforce that message by looking at what hardware you have and blocking any updates from being pulled down. 

    When you try to scan or download updates through Windows Update, you receive the following error message:

    Unsupported Hardware
    Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows  and you won’t receive updates.
    Additionally, you may see an error message on the Windows Update window that resembles the following:
    Windows could not search for new updates
    An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer.
    Error(s) found: Code 80240037 Windows Update encountered an unknown error.

    This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:

    Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
    AMD “Bristol Ridge”
    Qualcomm “8996"

    Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.

    We recommend that you upgrade Windows 8.1-based and Window 7-based computers to Windows 10 if those computers have a processor that is from any of the following generations:

    Intel seventh (7th)-generation "Intel Core" processor or a later generation
    AMD seventh (7th)-generation (“Bristol Ridge") processor or a later generation
    Qualcomm “8996" processor or a later generation

    We have known this day would come and it really shouldn't be a suprise to anyone.  In fact it is a trend I am calling "The Microsoft Intel Poison Pill"

    What this states is that Intel and Microsoft are working together to "force" users to upgrade their hardware.  That helps make the computing experence better, companies will make money and justify additional research to make better hardware.  It will also "force" people away from using a PC since phones and tables do 90% of what people want anyway.

    All of this started with the launch of Windows 8 along with a huge push from Intel and Microsoft to make monitors touch enabled.  The general public fought back and it soon died.  Microsoft even changed the start menu (in a general FU fashion) to make it better to use on a traditional desktop. 

    The next push was with the launch of Windows 10 followed by another ultimatium claiming that Skylake and Kaby Lake would only run on Windows 10.  There is nothing in the processor that is keeping it from physically running on an older OS.  Plus, you can physically install any operating system including Linux on a LGA1151 system.  The difference is that drivers are no longer being released for Windows 7/8/8.1 making it harder to run new hardware.  

    It would seem that now the poison pill is breaking and all with a simple Windows Update.  This won't disable your PC but does open it up to security issues and additional problems that Microsoft has traditionally addresed.  Though it would seem that we are holding on to things we like for too long and its costing the big three too much money.

    Of course, what really drives it home is that all Microsoft has to do is tell Windows Update "No More Windows" and we will have a real world "House of M" situation.

  • MSI Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM now available

    Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Features TITANIUM backplate and Dual RTL1220 Audio processors

    MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce availability for its latest TITANIUM model, the Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM. This motherboard is set to deliver the best experience in audio, when gaming online and when using VR. Next to this, MPOWER is designed to deliver the best performance as well as the top-level overclocking.

    The Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM also features 3x Turbo M.2 with M.2 shield and steel armor, supporting NVMe SSDs and latest Intel® Optane™ Memory technology in order to give the gamers the best and fast experience. Using the unique and easy to BIOS function, M.2 Genie, to enable RAID 0, this allows the user to reach the insane SSD speed limitation. Besides featuring the latest Audio Boost 4 PRO technologies, the Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM also features dual independent audio processors to satisfy gamers’ ears with drumming their tympanum.

    With Audio Boost, powered by Nahimic 2, MSI motherboards deliver the highest sound quality through the use of premium quality audio components and an isolated audio PCB. Use Audio Boost 4 PRO to locate your in-game enemies with pinpoint precision to give you that competitive edge, whether you are using your front or rear audio output. Audio Boost 4 PRO comes with 2x dedicated HD audio processors with dedicated amplifiers so you can use headphones and speakers at the same time.

    The 20-pins front USB Gen2 Type-C is compatible with next generation PC chassis, perfect for the latest smartphones and great for next generation SSDs and other mobile storage devices. These devices require only the USB Type-C cable for both power and data transfer.

    Triple TURBO M.2, with M.2 Shield & U.2
    Enjoy a blazing fast system boot up and insanely quick loading of applications and games with MSI motherboards. Triple Turbo M.2 delivers PCI-E Gen3 x4 performance with transfer speeds up to 96 Gb/s for the latest SSDs. It also supports the all-new Intel® Optane™ technology. M.2 Shield (patent pending) is a thermal solution, which keeps the M.2 or Optane™ device safe and cool to prevent damage and thermal throttling. M.2 GENIE makes setting up RAID easy by taking less steps, using any M.2 or PCI-E SSD (even when used in a mixed configuration). The Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM supports the latest storage interface, U.2 as well.

    VR Boost is a smart chip that ensures a clean and strong signal to a VR optimized USB port located on the back, to reduce motion sickness caused by a bad signal. The One-Click to VR option in the MSI Gaming App gets your PC primed for VR use in just a single click by setting your components to max. performance and preventing other applications from impacting your VR experience negatively.

    By fully isolating the memory circuit design, DDR4 Boost ensures maximum performance and stability. The technical enhancements of DDR4 Boost allow for the best stability at higher memory speeds compared to other brands. On MPOWER, DDR4 Boost is accompanied by DDR4 Steel Armor to ensure the best memory performance beyond DDR4-4000. The Z270 MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM also supports Game Boost with eight gears to deliver up to 5.2GHz in just one-second-overlocking! This is the short cut for gamers to boost their gaming rigs to the professional overclocking levels.

  • Asus Crosshair VI Hero @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By: Dennis

    More Ryzen based reviews.  It seems I'll have to get used to seeing AMD based news in the Hardware Asylum inbox again.  Honestly I'm still in shock over it.

    It’s crazy to look back at the original Crosshair and see just how much things have changed. Hell, the original was running on a Nvidia nForce 590 chipset, how many people even remember that Nvidia had their own chipsets! Anyhow, even all the way back to the original Asus has always packed the Crosshair boards full of features and from what I’ve seen of the new Crosshair VI Hero it looks like they have done the same thing again. This is one of the two boards that came with our initial review setup for the new Ryzen processors. So today I’m going to check out the new Crosshair VI Hero and see what it is all about and find out if it is a good option to consider for those of you excited to build a new high-end AMD build.

    I'm pretty sure I have a Crosshair stored away in the tech closet.  It should have gone away a LONG time ago but I had plans to put an 8-core AM3+ on LN2 and that board was the only one strong enough to really get the most from those processors.

    My Hero.  (sorry, couldn't resist)

  • CRYORIG A40 Ultimate Closed Loop Water Cooler Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By: Dennis

    The Ultimate AIO Closed Loop Water Cooler.  Hummm.

    Do you think that is just marketing or, did CRYORIG really make an AIO that can be the best at everything?

    The CRYORIG A40 Ultimate may lack RGB LEDs or other fancy additions, but it makes up for it in performance, and even adds a pretty cool little fan over the water block.

    Somehow I think the "lack" of RGB LEDs isn't a bad thing however dem ph4ns!!  Back in the day I seem to remember Antec showing a cooler like this with a fan on the pump block and claims of awesome performance.  Deep down I know that having a fan to cool your pump seems a little silly but, there is some heat absorbed into the loop from anything that moves.  In this case the pump and by cooling it outside of the water loop you can lower overall temps.  

    Thing is, it isn't very efficient.  In fact dumping heat into the case only to be sucked out via the radiator fan not only raises the ambient temperature but also lowers overall thermal performance. 

    You know, if you want to get technical.  It still looks cool though happy smile

  • G.SKILL Announces "OC World Cup 2017" Online Qualifier Overclocking Competition

    Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan (14 March 2017) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is announcing the online qualifier competition of its biggest annual overclocking competition G.SKILL OC World Cup 2017!

    G.SKILL OC World Cup 2017
    G.SKILL OC World Cup overclocking competition consists of three rounds: Online Qualifier, Live Qualifier, and Grand Finals. The top 6 contestants from the Online Qualifier round will receive an invitation to the Live Qualifier round, as well as the chance to qualify for the Grand Final round, in the G.SKILL booth at Computex 2017 from May 30 to June 2, 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. The top two finishers from the Live Qualifier round will compete head-to-head on the fourth day of Computex 2017 for the grand prize.

    Round 1: Online Qualifier
    The Online Qualifier round will be held on HWBOT ( from March 17 to April 18, 2017, featuring 4 benchmarks: Highest DDR4 Frequency, Geekbench 3 Multi-Core Full Out, 3DMark11 with IGP, and SuperPi 32m Full Out. Contestants must use G.SKILL DDR4 memory, Intel Core i3-7350K processor, and Z170/Z270 chipset motherboards. For more event details and rules, please visit the competition page on HWBOT:!/round/gskill_ocworldcup_2017_qualifier

    $16,200 USD Total Cash Prize & $10K for the Champion!

    G.SKILL OC World Cup competition features the largest single cash prize in overclocking competition with USD $10K for the Grand Champion. In addition, all 6 participating contestants of the live qualifiers will win the sponsorship of G.SKILL’s new upcoming DDR4 memory.

    Champion: USD $10,000
    2nd: USD $2,500
    3rd: USD $1,500
    4th: USD $1,200
    5th: USD $1,000

  • Raidmax Alpha RGB Mid-Tower Case Review @ Hypothermia

    Published: Monday, March 13, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Raidmax, now there is a name I haven't heard in a very long time.  Back in the day, (Speaking in Ninjalane terms now btw) I reviewed a few Raidmax products and actually fought to review the Raidmax Samurai 908 in the classic red.  At the time many people called it an Alienware clone and there were rumors that Alienware made them change a few things before it went up for sale. just posted a review of another Raidmax chassis called the Alpha RGB.  As the name suggests this is an RGB enabled case and I'm surprised to say it takes RGB LEDs to 11.  Maybe not the GTX 1080 Ti 11GB @ 11Gbps level but pretty darn close.

    Like with a RGB remote close cool smile

    The fact is, this is an inexpensive chassis aimed at the gaming crowd and, for the most part, we think it will be a hit. For less than the price you pay for a new video game you get a very handsome, customizable case that, once it is upgraded with an intake fan or two, will serve you very, very well. You can rest easy knowing that Raidmax has a long history of making great products that are extremely affordable and backed by a year 2 year warranty.

    The review is short, full of images and even comes with a YouTube video so be sure to check it out.

  • One Motherboard Maker Explains Why AMD AM4 Boards Are Missing @ Legit Reviews

    Published: Friday, March 10, 2017 | By: Dennis

    We are all familiar with hardware shortages.  When Skylake launched the 6700K version was in high demand and short supply making it difficult to not only find a processor but also find one at a decent price.  The NVIDIA Pascal GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 were both in very short supply after the launch and remained that way for several months.

    Normally shortages are a good thing however the impact is not only to the consumer but also to the manufacturer who is depending on sales to make money. 

    Legit Reviews hits the phone lines to figure out why we can't get our X370 fix.

    If you’ve looked at building an AMD Ryzen 7 system you’ll find that the processors are pretty easy to find, but good luck finding a motherboard. Most of the AMD motherboards based on the X370 and B350 chipsets are out of stock and back-ordered. It doesn’t matter what brand you are looking for as ASUS, ASRock, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI are all selling out quickly due to the limited quantities available. Over the past 72 hours we’ve reached out to all of the board makers and AMD to see if we can figure out what is going on

    It would seem that the gist of the whole situation is that since AMD has been out of the motherboard game for a long time it was difficult for them to get enough chips out in time to meet the manufacturing demands.  As some of you may know the fabs that make motherboards are fully scheduled  and sometimes need a 6 month lead to ensure that tooling is available and that the staff is properly trained. 

    Smaller fabs don't have these tight constraints but, the larger ones that make the majority of our hardware aren't always dedicated to making one particular product.  One week they might be making motherboards while the next they are building control boards for flat screens.

    Give it a month, things will turn around.

  • EVGA Z270 Classified K Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Friday, March 10, 2017 | By: Dennis

    One of the best Z270 motherboards I have ever used is the EVGA Z270 Classified K.  This is the board I used in the delidding video and has so far been rock solid in both ambient and extreme overclocking.

    While the board no longer supports 4-Way SLI it is outfitted with the latest gaming features like Killer Networks ethernet and high quality audio from Creative.  Thinkcomputers has a review of the Z270 Classified K that might be worth checking out.

    Back in January at CES 2017 EVGA showed us their Z270 motherboard lineup which they launched at the show. This included the Z270 Classified K, Z270 FTWK, and the Z270 Stinger. Today we have the chance to take a look at one of those boards, which is the Z270 Classified K. The Z270 Classified K currently sits as EVGA’s flagship Z270 motherboard and it is jam packed with features! This E-ATX motherboard features Creative Sound Core3D audio, Killer E2500 gaming networking, Thunderbolt 3, U.2 as well as dual M.2 32 Gb/s ports, a 13-phase power delivery system and more! Let’s get this board on the test bench and see what it can do!

    Whoa. I sure hope I don't get fined for the littering of Z270 keywords!.. happy smile

  • Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Launch Day - Titan beware

    Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Last week NVIDIA created a rift in the enthusiast world continuum by releasing the much anticipated GTX 1080 Ti.  This is no ordinarily GPU but rather a cut down version of Titan XP that is actually faster, due to some creative overclocking.

    Overclocking?  Yes, Overclocking.  That thing NVIDIA has been trying for years to stop is now a mainstay in the Pascal lineup.  Now, if they would only bring back extreme overclocking I think my enthusiast life will be complete.

    At least for the summer. happy smile

    There are a grip of GTX 1080 Ti reviews out there including one from Hardware Asylum!

    Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition VIdeo Card Review

    Web Reviews
    - The NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Review @ Hardware Canucks
    - Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card reviewed
    - Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition @ LanOC Reviews
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition 11 GB @ techPowerUp
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review: The Fastest Gaming Graphics Card Yet
    - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Review (what a lame title, sheesh)

    There is likely to be way more reviews out there including those from sites that no longer send out press releases. #slackers

  • G.SKILL Announces Flare X Series and FORTIS Series DDR4 Memory for AMD Ryzen

    Published: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan (3 March 2017) - G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is announcing two new DDR4 memory series, the Flare X series and FORTIS series, designed and tested specifically for the new AMD Ryzen™ processor platform. With a brand new architecture, processor, and chipset from AMD, high performance overclocking memory kits must be validated for optimized compatibility and stability for the new hardware.

    Flare X Rises
    Designed for the latest AMD Ryzen processor, the Flare X series DDR4 memory kit marks the return of the legendary G.SKILL Flare series that provided awesome performance in the previous generation of DDR3 memory. Built with carefully selected IC chips specifically tested and validated on the AM4 platform, the Flare X series will provide the best compatibility and stability for systems with the AMD Ryzen CPU.
    FORTIS for Gaming
    Designed for the best quality, reliability, and compatibility, the G.SKILL FORTIS series is the most ideal and cost effective DDR4 solution for building a performance AM4 gaming system.

    AMD-Tuned DDR4-3200MHz CL14 64GB(4x16GB)
    Not needing to sacrifice frequency for capacity, G.SKILL's R&D team achieved an impressive overclock on a 64GB (4x16GB) kit to frequencies of DDR4-3200MHz at ultra-low timings of CL14-14-14-34. See below for a validation screenshot for the kit on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard and the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 processor:

    AMD-Tuned DDR4-3466MHz CL16 16GB(2x8GB)
    Further pushing the boundaries of 16GB (2x8GB) memory kits on the AM4 platform, G.SKILL tuned it to a blistering fast DDR4-3466MHz CL 16-16-16-36. Tested on the 8-core AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 processor and ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, this is the fastest G.SKILL memory kit that's been designed for AMD thus far.

    DDR4 Specifications & Availability
    The Flare X and FORTIS series will both be available in DDR4-2133MHz and DDR4-2400MHz upon release under various capacity configurations, ranging from 16GB to 64GB. Flare X series will be available in higher memory frequency speeds of DDR4-3200MHz and DDR4-3466MHz. Both Flare X and FORTIS series will be available via G.SKILL worldwide distribution partners in March 2017. Please see the table below for more details.

    About G.SKILL
    Established in 1989 by PC hardware enthusiasts, G.SKILL specializes in high performance memory, SSD products, and gaming peripherals designed for PC gamers and enthusiasts around the world. Combining technical innovation and rock solid quality through our in-house testing lab and talented R&D team, G.SKILL continues to create record-breaking memory for each generation of hardware and hold the no. 1 brand title in overclocking memory.