Tech News

  • Sick of hearing about RGB, here’s an article about RGB @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | By: Dennis

    This is a topic that Darren and I talked about on the Hardware Asylum Podcast.  At the time I felt the whole RGB thing was just a fad kinda like LED fans were back in the day.  It would seem that since then things have EXPLODED in terms of RGB LED support and it can be seen just about everywhere.

    LanOC is having a fireside chat about RGB and claims "it is good for the company"

    After spending the past few weeks sorting through all of the CES coverage, launches, and all of the comments and backlash on social media and websites like Reddit I wanted to sit down and talk a little about something that has been bothering me. Over the past year, but especially at CES, just about every product introduced now has RGB lighting. When seeing my friends in the tech press talk about it, you can almost see/read the frustration with it all and there are comments all over with people hating on RGB. I want to go on record and say that RGB is great for the industry and its one of those products that everyone is going to hate on but they will most likely be upset next year if someone brings out a product without it.

    Personally I'm all for RGB lights as I think they help deliver some personalization that is much needed in the PC industry.  The problem is that EVERYONE is on the RGB train and it gets a little overwhelming when really it should be an exciting discovery.

  • Asylum: Review Block - Intel Z270 Motherboard Wrap-Up

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    As many of you know the new Intel Z270 and Kaby Lake processor went live on January 3rd and I was lucky enough to have a Gigabyte Z270X Gaming 5 review ready for the launch.  Given that I was in Vegas during that time I missed out on posting many of the "Web Reviews" so here we go.

    Web Reviews - Z270
    - ASRock Z270 Gaming K6 Fatal1ty review
    - Gigabyte GA-Z270X Gaming 5 review
    - GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 Review @ Vortez
    - ASUS TUF Z270 Mark I Motherboard Review
    - ASRock Z270 Extreme4 (with Kaby Lake) @ techPowerUp
    - MSI Z270 XPOWER GAMING Titanium (*new)- ASRock Z270 Extreme 4
    - ASUS ROG Maximus IX Formula motherboard- MSI Z270 GAMING Pro Carbon
    - Gigabyte GA-Z270X Gaming 7
    - GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 5 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
    - ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming K6 Review @ Hardware Canucks

    That should be all of them.  Sadly most of these are from a single website, either they had lots of time on their hands or are trying to show off.  Either way, kinda crazy.

  • MSI Allowing CPU Overclockers To Hit 5.2GHz On Select Intel Z270 Motherboards @ Legit Reviews

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    It would seem that "more often than not" I'm given the run around at the MSI booth.  eg, sign up for a meeting/tour and my guide is nowhere to be seen so I get to do a self guided tour.  This year was even worse given the number of YT channels recording and basically pushing people out of the way so they can get the shot they want.  #effindivas

    I did see the Z270 XPower on the wall but missed seeing it in action.  My bad I guess.

    At CES 2017, MSI was presenting their hardware line-up that included the latest Intel 270 motherboards.  They had an interesting demo running the MSI Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard with an Intel Core i7-7700K processor at 5.2GHz.  Legit Reviews talked about it with MSI and CES 2017 and they stated that any Intel Core i7-7700K should be able to hit 5.2GHz on liquid cooling with a single click of their Gaming Overclock button within the UEFI.  That’s an impressive statement

    5.2Ghz should be doable on Kaby Lake provided you can keep the CPU cool.  I was trying to hit 5.5Ghz on my phase and while the system would run it wasn't stable enough to complete my benchmark suite.  Maybe that was a product of the motherboard, we shall see.

  • Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Edition Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I got to see this case first hand at CES this year and I have to say, it looks good!  In keeping with tradition they are not using any external drive bays and have taken the liberty to cover everything with a shield that looks like something out of Iron Man 2

    The Phanteks Eclipse P400S Tempered Glass Edition is worth considering if you need a clean and well-built mid-tower with a tempered glass side panel and an RGB LED strip.

    As far as cases go, the Eclipse P400S is average for me.  The internals are nice and the LED lighting is subitle with some glowing at the bottom of the front panel.  It supports LED strips like with the Enthoo EVOLV Tempered Glass Edition and comes with a tempered glass side panel.  Beyond that. its just a case however there are a number of companies using this case in their OEM builds including CyberPowerPC and Digital Storm, though I suspect they would deny it. 

  • AMD Radeon Vega GPU Architecture @ techPowerUp

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Seems I was living under a rock when this news came out.  Oh wait. I was in the middle of sin city NOT invited to the AMD presentation when this news hit the headlines. 

    It would seem we have a new AMD GPU architecture, I wonder if it will be any good??

    AMD has shared technical details of their highly-expected, upcoming Radeon Vega GPU architecture, that succeeds Polaris. We dive down into the individual graphics units and detail what has changed and what improvements these changes promise.

    Of couse TechPowerUp has the scoop along with a handful of folks in forums making up fake news to help drive home that AMD is finally making a new GPU.  I hope the chips will allow a good amount of overclocking control because this BS voltage locked cr@p from NVidia is getting old.

  • Crucial MX300 Limited Edition 750GB 2.5 SSD Review @ ModSynergy

    Published: Monday, January 16, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I have always liked limited edition hardware, there is just something about having a one of a kind that just gives me a warm fuzzy with all the gold stars.

    Crucial has such a product, the MX300 @ 750GB.  I never did ask why it is limited edition though I suspect it might have been a prototype drive to test out the new 3D NAND they are using to populate the drive.

    Crucial, a brand name from top five semiconductor company Micron Technology Inc, becomes the second company (in partnership with Intel) to develop and offer 3D NAND technology inside a Solid State Drive.  Read our thoughts on the Crucial MX300 750GB SSD.

    I did a review of the Crucial MX300 750GB SSD Review so be sure to check it out!

  • Special On Location Hardware Asylum Podcast with Techgage at CES 2017

    Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Of course as of this posting CES 2017 has concluded and for sites like Hardware Asylum that don't attend the show with the express interest to cover everything you'll find articles like "The Best of CES" or "We attended CES and you won't believe what I found".  You might even find YT sites that record everything and bookend their coverage with lame sponsor messages. "This coverage is brought to you by whoever we scammed into giving us money"

    While I'll have some more CES 2017 related articles posted later this week I wanted to share two important things.

    On Location Hardware Asylum Podcast

    The first is an On Site recording of the Hardware Asylum Podcast.  This episode talks about some of the PC hardware stuff you won't see covered by CNET and was recorded with my friends from Techgage.

    Hardware Asylum Podcast - Highlights from CES 2017 with Special Guests

    The second thing I wanted to share is a lengthily CES 2017 discussion I had for the Techgage YouTube channel.  As many of you know I have been trying to do more with YouTube lately and as it would turn out Techgage is doing the same.  They invited me on to talk about CES 2017 and I think it turned out pretty good.

    Techgage on YouTube

    Funny story, after we got done recording both Rob and Greg claimed that I talked the most while I think Rob put down the most vocals.  You'll have to let me know if they were right. happy smile

    Be sure to like comment and subscribe.

    I'd like to thank both Rob and Greg for allowing me to be part of their #CES2017 discussions and for also for being on my #ces2017 podcast episode. 

  • GIGABYTE Showcases Solutions and More at CES 2017

    Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 | By: Dennis

    City of Industry, California, January 3rd, 2017–GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, will be starting CES 2017 off with a bang, with a detail filled press event displaying solutions from a variety of various markets and partners. GIGABYTE will display their world changing products as they demonstrate technologies that they’ve developed and innovated. At CES 2017 attendees will see that GIGABYTE has been powering different markets from VR Gaming, extreme liquid cooling to Industrial Computing and even just your everyday consumer PC. Industry partners such as Intel, Enermax, HyperX and Oculus will also be present to show their newest technologies.

    Before the start of CES 2017 on January 4th, GIGABYTE will have already started its exhibition at its venue located at the Palace Ballroom in Caesars Palace. The Palace Ballroom is a 20,000 square foot room that will be filled with newly launched AORUS 200 Series Gaming Motherboards, AORUS Notebooks, GIGABYTE Graphics Cards, and case mods from the Mod2Win Competition. The Mod2Win Competition had over 5,000modders competing for first place with over $10,000 in total prizes. Case Modder, Boloisbolo, was awarded 1st place with $5,000 in prizes and a free trip to CES 2017, sponsored by GIGABYTE.

    Aside from these products and system mods GIGABYTE has gone to great lengths to create zones each with distinct experiences for visitors to see, introducing what other applications GIGABYTE has been powering behind the scenes.

    Unveiling of AORUS Gaming Series Motherboards
    At the press event GIGABYTE will unveil their newest Gaming Series Motherboards, AORUS Motherboards. Some of these motherboards, Z270X-Gaming 9 and Z270X-Gaming 8, are equipped with water blocks designed from world renowned liquid cooling manufactures EK Waterblocks and Bitspower, respectively. The AORUS Gaming Series focuses on personalization and customization; these unique characteristics are brought out through the use of RGB LEDs via RGB Fusion and Smart Fan Control through the Smart Fan 5 application. GIGABYTE’s AORUS Gaming Series motherboards are made for gamers and enthusiasts looking for a solution that fits their needs.

    Virtual Reality Gaming and Experiences
    With system partners like, AVA Direct, Brainstorm, CUK, CyberPowerPC, CyberTronPC, and Origin PC powering the VR Zone, attendees can experience true VR gaming while they look through the lenses of an Oculus Rift. Red Pill and Rock Band, VR Content Creators, are also present to show attendees what their world is made of. GIGABYTE implements technologies such as USB DAC-UP 2, USB Ports that have adjustable voltages, to ensure that VR gaming or the VR experience is seamless.

    Embedded Solutions for IoT
    Other partners such as Virtual PCs, Hunter Engineering, Suitable Technologies, Next Computing, Newtek, InStore Screen, and Video Ray from the industrial market will stand out to show the community that there are more than just the traditional uses of a motherboard. With the small form factors of a Mini-ITX or BRIX these partners are able to create solutions that empower people around the world to do incredible things. From making communication for remote users even more interactive, to making automotive maintenance a simple 10-second drive or even just a solution to get oneself on the green. These appliances push the boundaries of what users thought a GIGABYTE motherboard can do.

    “GIGABYTE will always be at the forefront of technology, because of this we want to show the world what we’ve been working on and who we’ve been working with,” said Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE’s Motherboard Business Unit. “By sharing the spotlight with our partners we will be able to stimulate more innovation and uses for GIGABYTE Motherboards and help shape future technologies to come.”

    For AORUS 200 Series Motherboards:

    For GIGABYTE 200 Series Motherboards:

    To learn more about AORUS:

    To learn more about GIGABYTE:

  • Kaby Lake and Z270 Chipset Launch Day

    Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Fun times when a major hardware maker takes advantage of a major trade show and actually launches a product AT the show.  Kaby Lake is a new Intel processor released to compliment the upgraded Z270 chipset.  Of course this will start a whole new round of motherboard reviews and the age old question of "should I upgrade?"

    Given that Kaby Lake appears to be and overclocked Skylake with better power efficiency I'd say ya, if you're in the market it might be time to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone!

    First be sure to check out the Aorus Z270X Gaming 5 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum and then filter down to see what others have to say. happy smile

    Web Reviews:
    - ASUS ROG STRIX Z270F Gaming Review @ Vortez
    - Intel Core i7-7700K Processor Review @ Legit Reviews
    - Intel Core i7-7700K vs 6700K:  22 Games, RX 480 & GTX 1080 @ techPowerUp (obsess much?)
    - GIGABYTE AORUS Z270X-Gaming 7 Review @ Vortez
    - Aorus' Z270X-Gaming 5 motherboard reviewed
    - Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7600K & Core i7-7700K Review @ Vortez
    - Intel Kaby Lake i7-7700K & i5-7600K Review @ Hardware Canucks
    - Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K Performance & Z270 Chipset Overview @ Techgage
    - Intel Core i7-7700K And Z270 Chipset Review: Kaby Lake Hits The Desktop @ HotHardware
    - Intel Core i7-7700K “Kaby Lake” Processor Review @ ThinkComputers
    - Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews

    CES 2017 Starts on Jaunary 5th so you know there will be a TON of new Kaby Lake based system builds and motherboards to be shown.

  • Setting Up A MoCA 2.0 Ethernet-Over-Coax Network, LAN Benchmarks

    Published: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 | By: Dennis

    You know, back in the day, before Ethernet, there was a way to network PCs together using a technology called "Token Ring".  It was limited to 10Mbps and required that all computers on the network be connected together in a series.  

    That connection was made using BNC connectors over Coax cable.  It was slow and a computer could only transmit when it had the "Token" which was the packet broadcast to every computer on the "Ring".  There was no real switch, though they did exist to help connect different rings together.  

    It is old technology like this that makes me question "Ethernet over Coax" as a viable "new" solution since it actually existed and has been deemed obsolete.

    The MoCA 2.0 specification is six years but there still aren't many consumer devices making use of this "Multimedia over Coax Alliance" standard nor the newer MoCA 2.5 standard. But in looking for alternatives to Ethernet over powerline when expanding my network, I ended up setting up a MoCA 2.0 system while running some Linux performance benchmarks along the way.

    Phoronix has given the new network layer a shot and came up with some interesting results.  Could it replace powerline networking?  Honestly, I never thought powerline networks should have been a thing but, people seem to like them.