Tech News

  • Crucial MX300 2TB Review @ Vortez

    Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2016 | By: Dennis

    I'm pretty new when it comes to SSD reviews but can recognize when something super cool hits the market.  On the surface the Crucial MX300 seems like every other SSD on the market.  It has similar performance to any other SSD, comes with a familar interface and the same 2.5" small form factor.  What makes this drive different is that it doesn't cost $1000 USD for 2TB of storage all because of 3D NAND.

    In the spotlight is the Crucial MX300 SSD. After already reviewing the 750GB model, we’ll be turning to the newly released 2TB edition today to see how this large capacity SSD handles our benchmark suite. Is it finally time to swap out all of those mechanical drives?

    I currently have the 750GB limited edition MX300 drive on the test bench and am so far really impressed.  My biggest surprise? Weight, or in this case the lack there of.

  • Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming 4 GB @ techPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2016 | By: Dennis

    As a hardware reviewer it is fun to watch the news inbox and see when certain products launch.  Of course it is disappointing to see a product launch that I wasn't aware of or should have been a part of.  but, that is how things go.

    In this case we have a product launch that is a couple weeks late or right on time if we consider the Lord of the Rings, W1zzard connection.

    Gigabyte's GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming is a highly overclocked custom design variant by the company, featuring a dual-fan cooler that provides excellent temperatures and incredible low noise levels at the same time. During desktop work and media playback the fans even stop completely.

    Personally I really liked the GTX 1050 Ti, it seemed like a good card with some decent performance and affordable pricetag.  Gigabyte also pushed things a bit by adding their Windforce cooler and healthy overclock.

    Be sure to check out my review of the Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti and find out if the card can be overclocked.

  • Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 and 140 Cooling Fans Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, November 07, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Ok here is a fun review of things that spin around and blow air all over the place.  yes, I am talking about fans, more specifically computer fans, and more specifically still the new Cooler Master MasterFan series.

    I got to take these guys out for a "spin" and found them to be very good provided you pick the right one for your application.  You see each fan is noise controlled meaning that their RPM limits were set based on how much noise it produced.  This puts more emphasis on the style of the fan to determine how it is best used.

    Bottom line, More pressure for radiators and Less pressure for open air cooling in a PC chassis.  The MasterAir Balance is for those of you who cannot decide and want something in the middle.  (hint: it is actually pretty good, kinda)

    The Cooler Master MasterFan Pro series provides excellent airflow, air pressure, and low noise level performance at a reasonable price.

    Ok, not to discredit the review but taping tissue to a fan and snapping a photo isn't really all that beneficial.  Now someone who builds an air testing chamber and records how long it takes to move a certain amount of air is something else.

    Be sure to check out my review on the Cooler Master MasterAir fan series.

  • 20 of the Worst PC Setups - October 2016 @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Monday, November 07, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Ahh the joys of running a forum where people post some pretty disturbing things.  Computer related things like bad desks, dusty computer fans and a mouse on the left side.

    Which one bothers you the most?

    "I’m sure at some point you’ve had a bad PC setup. Maybe moving into a new place, waiting for a new desk to arrive or you just ran out of room. I can remember my horrible PC setups from when I was living at the dorms in college. If you have ever ventured over to the Shitty Battlestations sub-reddit you will find a lot of horrible PC setups. We will are going to pick 20 each month and feature them as 20 of the Worst PC setups for that month. Here are some of the bad ones from Octboer!"

    As much as I say cooling doesn't matter I do get a little annoyed when folks use a Hyper 212 Evo when they really should pick something better like an AIO or Noctua.  But, hey its not my money. happy smile

  • G.SKILL Announces the Fastest Trident Z DDR4 64GB(4x16GB) kit at 3600MHz

    Published: Friday, November 04, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan (4 November 2016) - G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce DDR4 64GB(4x16GB) memory kit at extreme speed of 3600MHz CL17-19-19-39 1.35V. Featuring high performance Samsung 8Gb ICs, this new memory kit is the fastest DDR4 64GB(4x16GB) kit and will join G.SKILL's flagship Trident Z family.


     
    With heavy content creation workloads and the complexity of modern PC games, the need for higher capacity memory kits is growing dramatically in the enthusiast PC community. The 3600MHz 64GB(4x16GB) kit provides an ultimate combination of capacity and speed, which makes it an ideal choice for building an extreme performance PC. The following screenshot shows rigorous test of the new memory kit, validated with the Intel® Core™ i5-6600K processor and the ASUS Z170-DELUXE motherboard.

    Supporting XMP 2.0 for easy overclocking and trouble-free setup, this ultimate kit will be available via G.SKILL worldwide distribution partners in December.

  • Gigabyte to push Aorus motherboards and graphics cards

    Published: Friday, November 04, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Gigabyte has been teasing this development on social media for the past few weeks and I am rather excited to see what they come up with.  Aorus has typically been the name associated with their gaming line and it is only natural that they would add the name to their other line of gaming products.

    Gigabyte Technology is planning to release motherboards and graphics cards under its independent gaming brand Aorus. Existing Aorus-branded products include gaming notebooks, mice, keyboards and peripherals, and Gigabyte is looking to strengthen the gaming brand to compete against its competitors such as Asustek Computer's Republic of Gamers (ROG) and Micro-Star International's (MSI) Gaming series.

    Gigabyte will begin selling Aorus branded motherboards in early January 2017, starting with Intel's new 200-series chipsets, while graphics cards will need to wait until AMD and Nvidia release new high-end GPUs.

    Meanwhile, Asustek is mainly pushing its ROG brand for top-end gaming products and ROG Strix for high-end products. In addition to motherboards, graphics cards and notebooks, Asustek also sells desktops, monitors, keyboards, mice, earphones, and microphones under the ROG brand.

    CES should be an exciting time for Gigabyte this year.

  • Fractal Design Define C @ techPowerUp

    Published: Thursday, November 03, 2016 | By: Dennis

    It would appear that today is launch day for the Fractal Design Define C computer case and based on the photos it looks....

    Just like every other Fractal Design computer case I have ever seen.

    The Fractal Design Define C is an optimized version of the open-air design we have seen in the Define S. Lacking the usual internal and external drive bays and with a more compact size and somewhat simplified but modernized interior, it will be interesting to see whether it can hold its own.

    Oh well Define S vs Define C, that makes a little more sense.  Honestly I know that external 5.25" drive bays are going away and that in their absense many case designers are struggling to do something with the empty space.  

    The "copout" is to just block off the panel and pretend it doesn't exist or is hiding something behind a door.  Or in the case of the Define C, simply blocking blocking the panel off and pretending it doesn't exist.

    #lamesauce

  • ADATA Launches the Ultimate SU800 M.2 2280 SATA 6Gb/s 3D NAND SSD

    Published: Thursday, November 03, 2016 | By: Dennis

    Higher density, improved performance, and enhanced reliability in a small form factor

    Taipei, Taiwan – Nov. 3, 2016 – ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the M.2 2280 version of the Ultimate SU800 3D NAND SSD. With higher density, faster performance, and longer lifespan than 2D NAND SSDs, the new SU800 fits on a compact card while still available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB and offered at very attractive price points. It supports a DRAM Buffer and SLC Caching mode to boost performance up to 560MB/s read and 520MB/s write, with LDPC error correction, Data Shaping, and a RAID Engine to bolster data integrity. For users that want a simple, cable-free, and low energy draw SSD upgrade, the SU800 M.2 2280 has much to offer.

    Denser, faster, and longer-lasting SSD with a smaller footprint
    The SU800 M.2 2280 fits on a compact PCB and slots directly into M.2 ports, which are increasingly common on desktop PCs and the standard on notebooks. It uses 3D NAND with an SMI controller and fits up to 1TB. Unlike 2.5” SSDs, it does not require cables and only needs very minimal power, supplied straight from the motherboard. The direct motherboard link also helps reduce latency and increase performance by roughly 10% compared to 2.5” SATA 6Gb/s drives. The SU800 M.2 2280 reaches 560MB/s read and 520MB/s write. It also lasts longer than 2D NAND drives, with an MTBF (mean time between failures) of 2,000,000 hours versus 1,500,000. 

    Packed with performance-enhancing and data integrity-ensuring features
    The SU800 M.2 2280 integrates a DRAM Cache for speed acceleration on demand, complemented by SLC Caching mode (single-level cell performance). For data integrity and safety, LDPC (low density parity check) error correction, RAID Engine, and Data Shaping are deployed, the latter helping even out read/write cycle loads to prolong SSD lifespan.

    Extremely power efficient – and easy on batteries
    Like all M.2 cards, the SU800 needs very little power to operate. It helps extend battery life on notebooks and reduces overall system power requirements for users building a desktop PC. The drive uses DEVSLP (Device Sleep) technology to go into a dormant, extra low-power state when idle to reduce energy consumption even further.

    An immediately obvious upgrade
    For users moving from 3.5” and 2.5” mechanical drives, the SU800 M.2 2280 offers a striking increase in performance combined with a massive reduction in drive size, noise, heat, and energy draw. Even for SATA 6Gb/s SSD users, it presents a much simpler, neater, and more reliable SSD solution that is well worth considering. Like other ADATA SSDs, the Ultimate SU800 M.2 2280 includes licenses for SSD Toolbox drive management and Migration Utility data migration apps.

    Availability
    SU800 M.2 2280 SSD series will be available at Amazon.com and Newegg.com.

    Product Webpage
    SU800 M.2 2280 SSD series http://www.adata.com/en/ssd/feature/440

    MSRP
    SU800 M.2 2280 SSD  128GB  $69.99
    SU800 M.2 2280 SSD  256GB  $84.99
    SU800 M.2 2280 SSD  512GB  $149.99

  • Asustek, Gigabyte pushing their presence in motherboard market

    Published: Thursday, November 03, 2016 | By: Dennis

    This is good news, for far too long mobo makers were struggling to find their place in the ever changing world.

    Despite seeing weak demand for desktops, Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology will continue to expand in the motherboard market in 2016 by snatching market shares from smaller players. Although the top-2 vendors' motherboard shipments are expected to decline from a year ago in 2016, related revenues and profits will enjoy growth as their shipments of mid-range and high-end products have been rising, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

    Currently, Asustek and Gigabyte together contribute over half of worldwide motherboard shipments and also have a major share in the mid-range to high-end motherboard sector.

    In 2016, Gigabyte is expected to ship 16.1-16.5 million motherboards, down from 2015's 17 million units. However, the company's strong shipments in its high-end Z170-based and G1 series motherboards will still increase the company's overall ASP. The company's EPS is also expected to grow by more than NT$3.30 (US$0.10) and reach NT$4 in 2016.

    I am suprised that MSI isn't on the list, but then again Gigabyte and MSI trade places all the time so maybe next year. happy smile

  • EVGA GeForce GTX 1080/1070 PWM Operating Temperature Update

    Published: Tuesday, November 01, 2016 | By: Dennis

    November 1st, 2016 - Recently, it was reported from several sources, that the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW PWM and memory temperature is running warmer than expected during Furmark (an extreme stress utility).

    EVGA has investigated these reports and after extensive testing, below are our findings:

    • On ACX 3.0, EVGA focused on GPU temperature and the lowest acoustic levels possible. Running Furmark, the GPU is around 70C +/- and the fan speed is running approximately 30% duty cycle or lower.
    • However, during recent testing, the thermal temperature of the PWM and memory, in extreme circumstances, was marginally within spec and needed to be addressed.


    Conclusion: EVGA offers full warranty support on its products, with cross-ship RMA*, and stands behind its products and commitment to our customers.


    To resolve this, EVGA will be offering a VBIOS update, which adjusts the fan-speed curve to ensure sufficient cooling of all components across all operating temperatures.  This VBIOS will be released in the next few days and users can download it and update their cards directly.   This update resolves the potential thermal issues that have been reported, and ensures the card maintains safe operating temperatures.

    For those users who want additional cooling beyond the VBIOS update, EVGA has optional thermal pads available.  This update is not required, however; EVGA will make it available free of charge to any customer who is interested. To request the thermal pad kit, please visit www.evga.com/thermalmod

    Any customer who is not comfortable performing the recommended VBIOS update, may request a warranty cross-shipment* to exchange the product to EVGA for an updated replacement.

    All graphics cards shipped from EVGA after 11/1/2016 will have the VBIOS update applied.

    *The EVGA EAR(Advanced RMA Program) and Cross Shipping options are available in the Continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, EU, UK, Norway, and Switzerland.  EVGA offers Standard RMA replacement options in the Middle East, Africa, India or outside of the before mentioned supported areas.

    FAQ

    Q. Which cards are supported by these updates?
    A. EVGA ACX 3.0 GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 or 1060 cards with the following part numbers:

    GTX 1080 Part Numbers
    ·         08G-P4-6181
    ·         08G-P4-6183
    ·         08G-P4-6284
    ·         08G-P4-6286
    ·         08G-P4-6384
    ·         08G-P4-6386

    GTX 1070 Part Numbers
    ·         08G-P4-5171
    ·         08G-P4-5173
    ·         08G-P4-6171
    ·         08G-P4-6173
    ·         08G-P4-6274
    ·         08G-P4-6276

    GTX 1060 6G Part Numbers
    ·         06G-P4-6262
    ·         06G-P4-6366
    ·         06G-P4-6265
    ·         06G-P4-6264
    ·         06G-P4-6267
    ·         06G-P4-6368

    GTX 1060 3G Part Numbers
    ·         03G-P4-6365
    ·         03G-P4-6367

    *Founders Edition, Blower type, HYBRID, and HYDRO COPPER cards do not need these updates.

    Q. If my Graphics Card is not an ACX 3.0 design is it affected?
    A. No, all other GPUs sold by EVGA including Founders Edition, Blower type, HYBRID, and HYDRO COPPER editions are unaffected.

    Q. Does the VBIOS fix the temperature issues?
    A. Yes, the VBIOS update will fix the temperature issues.

    Q. Is my card damaged from running at a higher temperature?
    A. No, but should any future warranty service be needed, EVGA stands behind its products.

    Q. What happens if my card is accidentally damaged during the optional thermal pad installation?
    A. EVGA will stand behind its customers with full warranty and cross-shipment.*

    Q. What if I am not comfortable updating my VBIOS?
    A. While EVGA has very user friendly ways to update VBIOS’s, if you still do not feel comfortable, we will support you with and advanced RMA and ship you a replacement card with the latest VBIOS.