Tech News

  • GIGABYTE Announces AM4 Ryzen Support

    Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 | By: Dennis

    AORUS Motherboards Arise with the New AM4 Ryzen Platform

    City of Industry, California, February 24th, 2017 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, is proud to announce the rise of the AORUS Gaming Series Motherboards on the New AM4 Ryzen Platform from AMD. The AM4 Platform will host the X370, B350 and A320 Chipsets which all support the Ryzen CPUs. GIGABYTE will have all three chipsets available, each fully optimized for CPUs with 8-Cores and 16 Threads, for consumers who are interested in any segment of the platform. With user-centric features exclusive to GIGABYTE, consumers will find RGB Fusion, Smart Fan 5 and Dual Audio Chips that provides a solution like no other.

    With anticipation building for the new platform, GIGABYTE has made no compromises with its innovative technologies. The fully customizable RGB LEDs from RGB Fusion will allow users to customize their system exactly the way they want. Smart Fan 5, an intuitive user interface, works in tandem with hybrid fan headers for optimum cooling performance and system protection. Moreover, RGB Fusion has made its way onto many accessories and peripherals already in the market. RGB Fusion Ready devices allow enthusiasts to control all of their RGB lit products from a single interface.

    “This is an exciting time for GIGABYTE as Ryzen processors will bring new technologies and innovations that many of our consumers have longed for,” said Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE’s Motherboard Business Unit. “Even more so, GIGABYTE has continued to improve upon the platform adding exclusive GIGABYTE features that enthusiasts demand.”

     Ryzen - Powerful in Purpose. Efficient in Design.
    The new GIGABYTE Gaming and AORUS Gaming Motherboards will be built with support for Ryzen. Ryzen, built on the AM4 platform, has crucial technologies that ensure users have the most efficiency when it comes to performance and power consumption. With features like Pure Power, Precision Boost, Neural Net Prediction, Smart Prefetch and an Extended Frequency Range, Ryzen is ready to address the needs and demands of gamers and enthusiasts.

    Ryzen Motherboards will be released on March 2nd, 2017. To find out more about the performance and features of GIGABYTE and AORUS Gaming series motherboards be sure to follow GIGABYTE.

    For more information, please check our newsroom for the latest information.

    For AORUS Gaming Series Motherboards:

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  • Expanded AMD Ryzen CPU Lineup Along with my Thoughts

    Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 | By: Dennis

    To be honest, I haven't been following anything AMD Ryzen aside from what I have heard in the grapevine.  So far the rumors are extremely positive claiming that the Ryzen CPUs are fast enough to compete with the Intel LGA 2011 and faster than many of the Intel LGA 115x stuff.

    Of course with that being said I haven't actually used any of the new AM4 stuff, I wasn't invited to the AMD press event at CES nor was I invited to the launch that happened in San Francisco.  I did however see an AM4 motherboard at CES and the socket looked A LOT like an old AMD FM2/FM2+ complete with pins missing in the middle.  (Remember the old Socket 754?, similar format and they later released a full pin socket processor with more power.)

    At the time of this news posting you can pre-order AMD Ryzen CPUs with the three flagship processors being available. (1800X, 1700X and 1700  They are all 8 core / 16 thread processors and come with 16meg cache and a very attractive price point at less than $500 USD.  From a specifications standpoint we have an LGA 2011 killer with a power sipping 95w TDP to boot.

    The rest of the line-up is pictured below with the slowest of them clocking in at 3Ghz while the fastest will turbo to 4Ghz.  There was a leaked benchmark showing the Ryzen 7 1800X overclocked to 5Ghz on LN2 indicating that there isn't much headroom but, with an unlocked multiplier that opens up a wealth of tweaking options.

    Chart credit to OCaholic

    I have written this post with a little cautious optimism. 

    Reason?  Well, I believe that AMD has a great product but many of the performance gains are a little overhyped.  For instance, I saw a slide claiming that they achieved a 50% performance increase over previous generation.  Well, considering that every CPU is dual threaded you can make that claim because you are splitting the work across two threads.  Likewise, we have 8 cores and only 95w TDP.  The FM2 based stuff was rather power efficient and if you use that as a base, tweak the power delivery a little and add more cores you can easily achieve those targets.  That is simply how things scale but is scaling from an crappy FM2 that nobody wanted to begin with.

    Of course some of my skepticism comes from past AMD releases where everything was overhyped and lack luster.  We had people going nutz over the launch and it quickly died off.  I have no doubt that TechTubers will beat Ryzen to a pulp as they struggle to come up with video ideas.  This is fine IMO as the CPU has decent specs and it has gotten plenty of people excited about competition in the CPU space.  I just hope it can actually deliver.

  • Countdown for Ti at NVIDIA

    Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | By: Dennis

    A cleaver bit of marketing over at Nvidia today.  They have a countdown and as of this posting it is saying 6 Days and 5 Hours which coincides perfectly with GDC (Game Developers Conference).  If I was a betting man I would guess that GTX 1080Ti and GTX 1070Ti will be announced during that show with products being available later this summer. 

    You will notice that the TI in "Time" is bold so unlike with the inital Pascal launch they are being a little more forward with their intention.  Don't get me wrong the puzzles were fun to solve but, several YT sites kinda ruined it by posting the answers while other sites played it cool and fed off the traffic influx.

    As they say marketing works only when people play by the rules and set aside their quest to create clickbait.

    #butwait there is more! 

    Well, not really though I can guarantee that Jen-Hsun Huang will say that at least once during the presentation. happy smile

  • Relid Your Intel CPU on the Cheap with no Delid Tools

    Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I recently published an entire series dedicated to Delidding and Relidding a Kaby Lake Core i7 7700K processor.  You can find information in three locations.

    First is the Hardware Asylum Podcast Episode 72 Main Show.  In that episode we dive into delidding, why it is important and the tools you need to make it happen.

    The Second and Third are combined starting with a short review of the Rockit Cool Rockit 88 delidding tool followed by a short video showing you how to properly delid a processor WITH real temperature testing.  Some have commented on the process and all make really great points however my Core i7 7700K will eventually find cold so I took some care to make sure I used good thermal compound for subzerio operation. 

    As you may expect HardOCP has also taken on the task of delidding and started looking at all of the current methods used to delid a processor and his review on how effecive they are.

    While many folks do not worry about affixing their Integrated Heat Spreader after delidding and replacing the Thermal Interface Material, I have found it to be somewhat important that it be done in my testing. So yes, I have found "relidding" your processor to be functionally important. I have seen higher temperatures when not affixing the IHS. If done properly, I think properly "gluing" the IHS to the processor substrate helps keep the CPU die and IHS mating surfaces closer together. This is all based on what I have seen over the last month while delidding, running naked, and relidding CPUs.

    I would fully agree and would also agree that heatink force plays a huge role in how effective your heatsink works.  This wasn't a huge issue with Haswell and Ivy Bridge however with Skylake and Kaby Lake the substrate is so thin that it will bend rather easily.  (and break as I have also discovered.)

  • Cooler Master MasterPulse Pro RGB Headset review

    Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Do you know how to tell when you are between major hardware releases?  Its when you get a rather large influx of card reader reviews, low end CPU reviews and general mayhem in the hardware media sector.

    This review doesn't fall into that segment however, it does bring up an interesting thing I have noticed with Cooler Master lately which is.  "Master"

    MasterFan, MasterCase, MasterLiquid and now MasterPulse.  I'm all for keeping with a theme and maybe its because I'm so close to Cooler Master but, wow this is excessive.

    We review the MasterPulse Pro USB headset from Cooler Master, this gaming headset offers 7.1 channel audio with the help of two 44mm drivers. Tagged at roughly 89 USD / €89 the product will carry a 2 year warranty ensuring that the headset will 'love you long time'. Anyway, let's head on-wards and find out how the new headset works and most of all, sounds.

    Of course, despite my razzin' I really do like how the MasterPulse headset looks.  Very clean and high-end looking.

  • Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Speaker System Review @ Madshrimps

    Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I have to admit that I've been watching a lot of Mighty Car Mods lately and one of their catchphrases is "Mad", which I guess is Austrialian for "Cool".  Similar to how Fosters is Austrialian for Beer. 

    At least according to the Americans.

    So, what does this have to do with Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 2.1 Desktop speakers?  Nothing really cept for the "Mad"Shrimps that published the review. happy smile

    Sound BlasterX Kratos S3 is an entry-level 2.1 speaker system from Creative, which is marketed mostly at gamers, but can be also used on a wide range of devices thanks to the analog audio interface. It comes with two 2.75’’ satellites and one 5.25’’ down-firing subwoofer for a RMS total power of 46W. This should be more than enough for small apartments or for users that do not want to spend a fortune on a more advanced system, while providing easy switching with headphones, thanks to the included headphone jack located on the right satellite.

    We should have our own review of a kickass desktop speaker system with its own LED lightihng effects for extra Asian sales potental.  (Check the latest Hardware Asylum Podcast for more information on that reference).

  • WD Black 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Review @ Legit Reviews

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

    Does Western Digital still make hard drives?  I used to swear by them and have a nice handful of Velociraptor drives that I use in my weekend LAN gaming builds.  According to Legit Reviews WD has a line of NVMe based M.2 drives and I'm going to assume they are pretty fast.

    Last month we told you that WD was announcing the WD Black PCIe Solid State Drive (SSD) series that just happens to be the very first WD-branded client PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based SSDs. WD recognizes that enthusiasts and the high-end computing market have moved over to PCIe SSDs to get many times more performance than traditional SATA storage drives. The WD Black PCIe SSDs have sequential read/write speeds of up to 2050MB/s read and up to 800MB/s write with the backing of a nice 5-year limited warranty

    2 Grand reads with a 5 year?  Seems good right.

    I know the blue PCB will attract us old school Gigabyte fans. happy smile  now the question.  Do I get one or hold out for the HyperX version?!? 

  • Team Group Officially Announces the T-FORCE DARK Series Memory Module with Asus ROG Certification

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

    February 16, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan - Team Group, the world’s leading memory brand, today officially announces the launch of the popular ASUS ROG certified memory product, the T-FORCE DARK memory. ROG (Republic Of Gamers) is a gaming brand established in 2006. It represents the ultimate performance and top quality that gamers around the world keep pursuing. Team Group’s T-FORCE DARK memory is rigorously tested and certified by ASUS officials to obtain the ROG certification. Together with ASUS motherboards, the consumers can have all the top gaming hardware at once to fully enjoy an extreme gaming and entertainment experience.

    T-FORCE DARK is both unique and eye catching thanks to its unique feature of being the first and only to utilize a four-piece heat-spreader in the industry. In addition to advancing from previous two-piece heat spreaders, it also adds a combination of two more arched fins to increase radiating area and provide up to 8% better dissipation performance than traditional heat spreaders. Besides ROG certification and performance improvements, its killer look of a dark knight’s armor is combined with ROG’s unique elements such as the ROG abstract patterns together with the mighty ROG log. Consumers can freely choose from the eye catching colors of black and red, or the calming colors of black and grey to build up the perfect gaming memory.

  • A Bridge too far: migrating from Sandy to Kaby Lake

    Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | By: Dennis

    You ever wonder why the PC market is dying?  Well, I'll give you a hint there are three major factors.

    Game Consoles
    Mobile Hardware

    The hardware locked game console didn't allow games to progress fast enough to take advantage of the latest PC hardware developments.  At the time game developers were pushed (using incentives from Microsoft and Sony) to develop games for the console first and then port them to the PC.  It made them rich and created lackluster titles that didn't need a modern computer to run. 

    Mobile Hardware, the jewelry of the Millennial, has largely replaced a reason to own a basic PC in the home.  They can do all the basic stuff like surf the web and check email, which is good.  The cost of a new PC vs a tablet also plays into this since we have been conditioned concern ourselves with cost over the quality of our electronics. 

    Performance is the final peice of the puzzle which is largely related to the previous two statements.  Modern PCs are FAST, in fact too fast considering that you can run all modern applications on 8 year old hardware.  Because of this people hold on to old gear longer than they should.

    All of that is further perpetuated by hardware sites, like Hardware Asylum, who are tasked to answer the defacto question "Should I upgrade?"  As hardware enthusiasts my/our answer is always going to be "yes" but, only because you asked. 

    It would seem that someone over at Tech Report is helping to kill the PC market by telling people that the old 2000 series Sandy Bridge is enough.  They aren't wrong but, that doesn't make it right either.

    After nearly six years and countless posts about how my i7-2600K was still good enough, I decided that I'd had enough of good enough when we published our Core i7-7700K review. It was time to upgrade my PC, and I recently completed my new build. I can hear the palms contacting faces already. "Fish, you idiot, Ryzen is almost here! You should have waited." That could be, but I won't be buffaloed into second-guessing my decision. As it happens, I'm quite pleased with the results and I'm pretty confident that Ryzen couldn't do any better.

    You have to wonder if articles like this really help the hardware effort or are simply making things worse for everyone.

  • Sniper Elite 4: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I remember playing a sniper game back "in the day".  It had some really simple graphics and you didn't have to be too stealthy provided you stayed out of their field of view.  As with all games once you figure out how it works there are ways to exploit the mechanics to your advantage.  In the case of the sniper game I played it turns out that if you could see your enemy you could shoot them and it didn't matter how far away you were OR how accurate.  For instance I was shooting at pixels of enemies clear across the map and doing one shot kills.

    Lets hope that Sniper Elite 4 is a little better AND that the in-game performance is high enough to scratch that 2% upper crust, omg I need 200fps cause some guy on reddit said my shoes were gay, ultra watercooled AMD (cause: hot) oh wait (nvidia: cause physx, that nobody uses anymore) performance.

    We test Rebellion's new shooter on 10 modern graphics cards, with the latest game optimized drivers from AMD and NVIDIA. A surprise is that AMD gains up to 27% performance from switching to DX12 with Async Compute, while the performance uplift for NVIDIA users is only up to 5%.

    If you couldn't gather from my previous paragraph, people seem to get OCD weird over game performance that cannot be replicated.