Tech News

  • Intel Confirms AIB Partners Are Building Custom Arc Alchemist Graphics Cards @ Hot Hardware

    Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2021 | By: Dennis

    In the broad spectrum of the PC Hardware world there are several truths. 

    One, when upgrading your processor, you will almost always need a new motherboard and the only thing stopping motherboard makers from fusing the CPU to the PCB is because it is cheaper.

    Two, there is such thing as a perfect case design and much like a motherboard it is paired with the hardware.  Everyone complaining about cases, case cooling and case design has picked the wrong case for their hardware platform.

    Three, nobody wants a stock video card, the only reason stock video cards exist is because of OEMs and that consumers are penny pinching tight asses who what the cheapest price, NOT the best deal. 

    Knowing this I am surprised to see a news headline indicating that Intel confirms that board partners will be able to build custom versions of Arc Alchemist graphics cards.  Most of the time a "custom" graphics card indicates an aftermarket cooler and maybe a tweaked VRM and memory layout however, I'm not sure how far Intel will allow things to be pushed.  Maybe they allow some extreme overclocking with dynamic frequency adjustments and full voltage control OR maybe they follow the NVIDIA lead and lock everything down.

    Unless plans change between now and then, the answer is yes, Intel's hardware partners will offer up custom models rather than just sticking with Intel's reference design. This is the same approach AMD and NVIDIA take with their graphics cards—they each launch their own models (NVIDIA calls them Founders Edition), while AIB partners can decide whether to stick with reference designs, or offer up custom-cooled and overclocked variants. Or both.

    It will be interesting to see what finally comes out of the Intel camp when the Arc is released.

  • Shurikey Gear Hanzo Keyboard @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Are you looking for a compact keyboard but can't seem to find one with a arrow pad?  Well, look no further the Shurikey Gear Hanzo has your fingers covered in up arrow, down arrow right arrow and left arrow clickness.

    Shurikey Gear is a new brand with ties to Varmilo and focuses on bolder ideas with more fun ventures promised. Their first keyboard, the Hanzo, is a 65% form factor unit that adopts a retro-industrial design, comes in three themes with unique color combinations, and uses the new Varmilo EC V2 switches.

    I guess they are calling it a 65% form factor, I call it just another flat keyboard with gimmick keys and fresh new design.  The logo is nice too.

    The project launched on Indegogogo, giving you a chance to back this project if you find it of interest.
    Shurikey HANZO EC V2 Mechanical Keyboard

  • Crucial Ballistix 32GB DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory Kit @ Funky Kit

    Published: Sunday, September 12, 2021 | By: Dennis

    For years I talked about how Crucial was just down the street, I could literally throw rocks at their building and they rarely supported me with review product, or even answered my emails.  Of course, that has changed but, not after quite a bit of work and getting the right connections.

    It would seem that Funky Kit has picked up a better connection than me given their review of the Crucial Ballistix 32GB DDR4 3600Mhz CL16 Memory Kit in Red and the distance that memory needed to travel just to be tested and written about.

    The Ballistix 32GB DDR4-3600 memory kit is yet another exceptional product from Crucial. It's inexpensive but performs great, and gives you amazing overclocking potential. Every gamer or overclocking enthusiast will be fully satisfied with its results.

    With DDR5 on the horizon and a new set of processors and chipsets due to be released I suspect there will be very few DDR4 reviews in the future which will eventually be replaced with DDR4 vs DDR5 - What is the difference and should you care.

    The quick answer is...  You will have no choice, if you want to use the new platform you will need to use the new memory. happy smile

    On a side, and somewhat related note, I'm not a fan of the new Ballistix heatspreader design.

  • Zotac GeForce RTX 3090 AMP Extreme Holo Graphics Card Review @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 | By: Dennis

    GeForce RTX 3090 from Zotac.  Now that, is an amazing score!  Though, it makes you wonder if the card is any good??

    It has been a while since we’ve reviewed a graphics card here at ThinkComputers.  In that time we have seen a few lower-end launches, but as of right now the RTX 3090 remains as the top dog in NVIDIA’s consumer lineup.  At launch there were only a few models available from different NVIDIA add-in board partners, but since then some really awesome high-end models have been released.  One of those is Zotac’s RTX 3090 AMP Extreme Holo, which sits at the top of their RTX 3090 product stack.  This card features Zotac’s highest factory overclock on a 3090 at 1815 MHz GPU Boost.  In addition to that you have a 16+4 power phase design, Zotac’s IceStorm 2.0 triple-fan cooling solution, a very cool holographic design on the side of the card, and some interesting RGB lighting.  Is this the ultimate RTX 3090? Read on as we find out!

    From a visual standpoint the Zotac AMP Extreme is on point, the design is solid and the cooler can rival many of the awesome MSI designs.  Zotac has also been pretty good with the RGB lighting and with curb appeal like that the card has to be good right?

    I guess I'll have to get one to find out,  or you can check out the review.

  • ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2 TB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2021 | By: Dennis

    By now everyone should have realized that storage performance is based on several factors.  Interface, Controller and storage medium.  The Interface has been standardized in modern PCs between SATA and PCI Express based and the storage medium is speaking mostly about "how" the bits are being captured.  This is either NAND or Magnetic media.

    The third factor is often what determines actual performance and that is the controller.  Get 10 drives from different manufactures lined up and then group them by controller and you'll get a nice curve jumping between groups.

    It would seem that ADATA has finally gotten on board to offer an "affordable" PCIe 4.0 drive and likely skimped on the controller but, it can be put into a PlayStation 5 so, that is a thing.

    At $300 for the reviewed 2 TB version the ADATA XPG Gammix S70 Blade is one of the most affordable PCIe 4.0 SSDs available today. Despite its low price it offers compatibility with Sony's PlayStation 5 and performance is comparable to Samsung 980 Pro, WD Black SN850 and Corsair MP600 Pro.

    $300 bones isn't bad for good storage.

  • Funky Kit Review - ASRock B550 PG Riptide Motherboard

    Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 | By: Dennis

    In my entire hardware review career I have only reviewed a single ASRock motherboard.  It was the ASRock Z87 OC Formula Overclocking Motherboard and was actually quite good.  Sadly, (well not really) I gave it away as one of the prizes in a website promotion giveaway and made an entire family happy.

    Thing is, getting that board was like pulling teeth and after the review went live they ghosted me.  I didn't think the review was that bad but, maybe it was.

    Funky Kit has a pretty good review up on the ASRock B550 PG Riptide that might be worth checking ouf if you are in to the whole "AMD" thing and don't mind "B" grade chipsets.

    If you're planning to build a AMD-based gaming PC, and want an affordable motherboard that does the job ... then the ASRock B550 PG Riptide is your answer. It offers great value for money with good performance, and a decent amount of features to match.

    The board is pretty bare but, as I have been told you can't see the fancy covers once the solid side panel goes on.  happy smile

  • SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB CPU Cooler Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Check out this "hook"

    The SilverStone Hydrogon D120 ARGB is a high performance, high compatibility cooler with cool ARGB lighting at a competitive price

    I have been testing this cooler for the past couple weeks and I am so far really impressed with thew Core i9 10900k Comet Lake performance and it does a great job at keeping temperatures in check thanks to the dual tower cooling and independent 120mm ARGB fans.

    Look for our review of this cooler in the next couple days!

  • Noctua announces free-of-charge mounting upgrades and updated CPU coolers for LGA1700

    Published: Monday, August 23, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Vienna, August 17th 2021 – Noctua today announced that it will provide free-of-charge mounting upgrade kits for Intel’s upcoming LGA1700 platform, enabling customers to keep using existing CPU coolers on the new 12th generation Intel Core CPUs (Alder Lake-S). Additionally, most of Noctua’s current multi-socket cooler models will soon include LGA1700 mounting hardware and the popular NH-L9i low-profile coolers will come in new, dedicated LGA1700-revisions.

    “We have offered free-of-charge mounting upgrade kits to our customers ever since AMD introduced AM2 in 2006, and we’re proudly continuing this tradition with Intel’s upcoming Amber Lake-S processors and the LGA1700 socket”, says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “Customers will be able to upgrade most Noctua CPU coolers since 2005 at no additional cost, so even 15-year-old coolers can be used on the latest processors!”

    The new NM-i17xx-MP83 and NM-i17xx-MP78 SecuFirm2™ mounting kits will allow Noctua coolers with both 83 and 78mm mounting pitch to be upgraded to LGA1700. True to the SecuFirm2™ tradition, the kits combine outstanding reliability, optimal contact pressure and easy, straightforward installation with a fixed-strut backplate that doesn’t require any pre-assembly or adjustment. Detailed motherboard compatibility lists that indicate which coolers are compatible with individual LGA1700 motherboards will be provided in the Noctua Compatibility Centre (NCC) once the motherboards become available.

    For our line coolers, both the NM-i17xx-MP83 and the NM-i17xx-MP78 will also be available in all-black editions. All kits will be available free of charge via Noctua’s website once LGA1700 CPUs and motherboards start selling. A proof of purchase of both an eligible Noctua CPU cooler and either an LGA1700 CPU or an LGA1700 motherboard will be required. Depending on the country, express shipping options may be available but will be subject to service charges. Alternatively, customers who need the kits urgently will be able to purchase them on Amazon starting in mid-October for a suggested service charge of EUR/USD 7.90.

    “Using a CPU cooler across several platform generations instead of buying a new heatsink for each generation is not only economical, it also helps to reduce unnecessary waste and save precious resources”, explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “By upgrading rather than replacing your cooler, you’re actively contributing to a more sustainable PC industry!”

    In addition to the free mounting upgrade kits, Noctua is in the process of updating most current multi-socket coolers to include LGA1700 mounting hardware. For some models, the updated coolers are already shipping, so customers who buy new coolers will soon receive units that include LGA1700 mounting parts. Other models will be available in the updated variant shortly. Customers who still receive models without included LGA1700 mounting can always get the free upgrade kits in order to make their coolers compatible with the new socket. An approximate timeline detailing which model will be updated when is linked below.

    Due to severe compatibility restrictions, there will be no upgrade kit for NH-L9i series coolers. Instead, Noctua will introduce new, dedicated revisions for LGA1700 both of the regular NH-L9i and the version. The new NH-L9i-17xx and NH-L9i-17xx will be officially released in October.

    Socket compatibility overview (Noctua Compatibility Centre): 
    FAQ: 83mm (NM-i17xx-MP83) vs. 78mm (NM-i17xx-MP78) mounting pitch, which kit do I need? 
    Timeline of Noctua coolers to include LGA1700 mounting hardware: 
    FAQ: How can I check if my Noctua CPU cooler already includes LGA1700 mounting parts?: 

    About Noctua
    Designed in Austria, Noctua’s premium cooling components are internationally renowned for their superb quietness, exceptional performance and thoroughgoing quality. Having received more than 6000 awards and recommendations from leading hardware websites and magazines, Noctua’s fans and heatsinks are serving hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers around the globe.

  • Lexar Announces a New Family of Gaming DRAM to its Portfolio

    Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 | By: Dennis

    San Jose, USA, August 18, 2021 — Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, is proud to announce the new HADES product line of Gaming DRAM products. This is our introduction into the gaming DRAM category as Lexar expands its product portfolio. The new Lexar® HADES RGB DDR4 3600/3200 Desktop Memory is for gamers looking for next-level performance and an enhanced gaming experience with customizable RGB lighting. The Lexar® HADES OC DDR4 3600/3200 Desktop Memory is the perfect upgrade for gamers and content creators who want optimized performance and a next-level gaming experience or for intensive workloads.

    Key Features:

    • Introduces new Lexar® HADES RGB DDR4 3600/3200 Desktop Memory
    • Introduces Lexar® HADES OC DDR4 3600/3200 Desktop Memory
    • Vibrant RGB colors let you enjoy an interactive gaming experience
    • Lexar RGB Sync allows you to synchronize your RGB lighting controls
    • Level up your gaming experience with DDR4 overclocked performance
    • Sleek aluminum heat spreader to keep your system cool
    • Optimized with latest Intel XMP 2.0 and supports AMD Ryzen platform

    The HADES RGB DDR4 overclocked memory allows you to level-up your gaming experience without slow-downs. And with its RGB lighting effects, the HADES RGB DDR4 memory enhances your gameplay with vibrant colors of RGB lighting effects. The RGB customization creates a lively atmosphere rendering your gameplay more realistic, and adds a touch of style to your gaming setups. It also features Lexar RGB Sync, a powerful lighting control software which allows you to customize and synchronize your lighting effects by setting color, intensity, and speed while allowing you to save your lighting effects for later use. The Lexar HADES RGB DDR4 3600/3200 is also compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion 2.0, MSI Mystic Light, ASRock Polychrome SYNC.

    With the HADES OC DDR4 overclocked memory, you can speed up your gameplay and level up your gaming experience with quicker response time. For content creators, whether you are operating speed-demanding apps, processing massive workloads, or editing videos, HADES OC DDR4 will accelerate your desktop performance with ease.

    Both are designed with a sleek aluminum heat spreader to keep your system cool and steady, so you can operate smoothly when you are running your games, software and intensive workloads. The HADES OC DDR4 and HADES RGB DDR4 are compatible with the latest INTEL XMP 2.0 and AMD Ryzen to optimize and improve your overall PC and gaming experience.

    HADES DDR4 family line will join the Lexar® DDR4 3200/2666 SODIMM Memory and Lexar® DDR4-2666 UDIMM Memory solutions intended for everyday looking for faster startups, increased responsiveness, quicker application load times, and an overall upgrade to your operating experience so you can multitask with ease.

    “Since first introducing DDR4 SODIMM & UDIMM memory last year, Lexar is very excited to announce the new HADES product line of Gaming DRAM solutions to our portfolio. The HADES RGB DDR4 and HADES OC DDR4 provide overclocked memory to speed up your gameplay with quicker response time and accelerate your desktop performance for intensive workloads. Lexar looks to continue advancing our DRAM offerings, with additional high-performance gaming DRAM models planned to launch later this year.” said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar.  

    Lexar Hades 16GB Kit (8GBx2) RBG LED Lightning, DDR4 3600 MHz DRAM Desktop Memory for Gaming (LD4BU008G-R3600UDLH) - Amazon Exclusive

  • Fractal Design Torrent Launch Day

    Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Today Fractal Design is launching a number of new products including the Torrent high-airflow chassis and the Ion+ 2 Platinum PSU.

    There are high-airflow cases and there are high-airflow cases.  The Torrert from Fractal Design is the latter by offering a case that feels more like an open air test bench due to the lack of airflow restrictions and yet has some elegance like a 30's era automobile.

    Web Reviews
    Fractal Design Torrent Black RGB TG Light Tint @ TechPowerUp
    Fractal Design Torrent Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    There are likely more out there but, due to google pressures and censorship many sites no longer share their press releases.  Or, they are just being lazy