Tech News

  • GIGABYTE Unveils X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard To Celebrate AMD’s 50th Anniversary

    Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Supporting The Newest AMD AM4 Socket CPUs To Meet Gamers’ Needs

    City of Industry, California, April 30th, 2019 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has unveiled the X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard to celebrate AMD’s 50th anniversary. X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 features the newest motherboard technology to honor AMD’s incredible contributions to the personal computer experience over the past 50 years.

    Founded in Silicon Valley in 1969, AMD has become one of the largest semiconductor companies in the world. AMD is currently the world’s second largest supplier of x86 architecture microprocessors and is one of the only semiconductor companies in the world that produces both microprocessors as well as high-end graphics processing units. Since its establishment, GIGABYTE has partnered closely with AMD to bring the latest PC technology to users. GIGABYTE has released the X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard to acknowledge AMD’s 50 years of contributions to the field as well as the strong partnership between the two leaders.

    GIGABYTE X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard adopts a 10+2 phase, fully digital IR® power design with each phase capable of providing at least 40A to fulfill the power demands from overclocking or for power hungry processors while ensuring solid performance and system stability when running CPU-intensive applications. Fins-Array Heatsink with Stacked Fin architecture utilizes a Direct Touch Heatpipe to improve the contact between the thermal module and the power module, drawing heat away from the PWM more quickly for unprecedented heat dissipation.



    Furthermore, GIGABYTE X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard sports a metal backplate, strengthening and preventing bending of the PCB while also enhancing heat dissipation. The ultra sleek
    thermal armor goes together flawlessly with the integrated I/O shield for impressive aesthetics as well as easy installation. Built-in USB Type-C, ALC1220VB, ESS9118 SABRE DAC along with 802.11ac Wave2 WIFI, and plenty of other features make this AMD platform motherboard the top choice for those looking for a gaming motherboard.

    X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard brings back the fan favorite GIGABYTE RGB Fusion Technology with impressive LED lighting for this special edition motherboard. The special edition AORUS and AMD 50th Anniversary swappable overlay for accent LEDs honors this monumental milestone while adding a nice touch to the motherboard for AORUS and AMD fans.

    “Since GIGABYTE was founded, we’ve partnered closely with AMD to push for innovation in PC technology,” said Jackson Hsu, Director of the GIGABYTE Channel Solutions Product Development Division. “To honor AMD’s 50th anniversary, GIGABYTE has released the brand new X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard for users to take the lead and experience ultra-efficient performance from current and next gen. level processors. In the next 50 years, GIGABYTE AORUS will continue to develop the best quality motherboards for users to bring out the best performance from AMD processors on their systems.”

    GIGABYTE X470 AORUS GAMING 7 WIFI-50 Motherboard is designed with Ultra Durable Technology and many patented technologies to unleash peak performance from AMD AM4 socket multi-core CPUs. For more information and news on GIGABYTE products, please visit the official GIGABYTE website: http://www.gigabyte.com

  • HyperX launches a blistering fast 16GB RAM kit @ PCGamer

    Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Ok, so I'm all about fast memory and generally speaking if you are looking for fast memory you can look towards GSKill to deliver some of the fastest and highest capacity memory kits on the market.  A close second would be Corsair but the problem with that company is availability.  For instance Corsair might build 5 kits at their halo speeds and then market the shit out of them only to give half away to some YouTube channel and sell the rest of some rich guy in China.

    Of course that leaves the rest of us wondering what the hell happened.

    Well, HyperX has joined the ranks and done built themselves a mega memory kit clocking in at DDR4-4600 @ 16GB.  Yes, that is two sticks, 8GB each and likely will ONLY run in special motherboards designed for memory overclocking with a properly binned Intel 9000 series processor. (Sorry, not sorry, AMD fans)

    Paul over at PCGamer wrote a mock piece about this insane memory kit and it caught my attention.  Maybe it was the “edgy” wording or a carefully crafted article designed to beg for attention, either way I started reading.  In the article he talks about the basic specs, CL19 @ 1.5v.  This is interesting given that Normal "supported" DDR4 memory modules hover around 1.35v making these modules a bit special.  Basically they aren’t all that special but rather factory overclocked parts that will likely void your Intel CPU warranty.  Of course he also talks about how you could lower the speed to 4000Mhz to tighten the timings and lower the voltage.  Neither will help the warranty situation but will increase overall stability considerably.

    In any event, the 16GB Predator DDR4-4266 is available now direct from HyperX, while the DDR4-4600 kit is up for preorder on Amazon. So if you're looking for every last bit of performance, or maybe if you're hoping to set an overclocking record, have at it. We won't judge.

    Personally, I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these kits.  I highly doubt that HyperX will send one to me but, I am hopeful, that is assuming they don't follow the Corsair model and have them sold before anyone can verify their claims.

    No, I'm pretty sure these modules are real and designed for show supporting a negative profit margin in hopes of getting some of that social media exposure with that "hello world" message indicating that they can do performance memory too.

    But, those are just my thoughts

  • Alphacool NexXxoS V.2 radiators 30mm and 45mm Thick with New Plug Design

    Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Alphacool is an internationally renowned company in the field of water cooling solutions for industrial and end customers. It is constantly developing, innovating and improving products to ensure that cooling is done efficiently whilst still looking aesthetically pleasing.

    Uncompromising choice of materials
    As usual, Alphacool uses pure copper for the NexXxoS V.2 radiators. The end chambers, the water channels and the cooling fins are made of copper and are a unique selling point worldwide. As a result, Alphacool radiators have been among the most popular and best on the market for many years. The perfect foundation for any water cooling system.

    New generation of screw plugs
    All NexXxoS V.2 radiators rely on the new patented stop fittings from Alphacool. Anyone who has mounted a radiator on the front or in the ceiling of a housing knows that protruding screw plugs can ruin the aesthetic as the radiator cannot be placed flush. Alphacool offers a solution with the new patented screw plugs. They are fully countersunk in the radiator and sit flush with its surface. This means that nothing stands in the way of clean installation. Of course, the radiators also look much more elegant with the new locking screws.

    The right size for every application
    The NexXxoS V.2 radiators are available in all common sizes. From the compact 120 mm ST30 radiator to the 480 mm radiator for those who cannot get enough cooling power. Fans of 140 mm fans won't miss out though as Alphacool also covers all sizes from 140 mm up to the huge 420 mm XT45radiator. And to take the whole thing to extremes, there are ST30 and XT45 versions for all radiators. These differ quite simply by the thickness. ST30 stands for a thickness of 30 mm, XT45 for a thickness of 45 mm.

    Safety first
    The NexXxoS V.2, like the previous NexXxoS radiators, offers special protection that prevents screws from penetrating the radiator when attaching fans or when mounting the radiator to the case. Protective plates have been placed under all mounting holes to prevent the screws from being screwed in too deeply. This protects the cooling fins and channels underneath.

    The King is Dead, Long live the King. Those who were happy with the previous NexXxoS radiators will appreciate the many small improvements that the the NexXxoS V.2 radiators offer. Now one of the best radiators has been made even better. Your system deserves them.

  • Gigabyte Z390 Designare Review: A Motherboard For Creative Pros @ HotHardware

    Published: Saturday, April 13, 2019 | By: Dennis

    In what might be the "silly'est" name for a motherboard the Gigabyte Z390 Designare is really quite impressive and has everything you could ask for from impressive heatsinks to the overbuilt onboard features.

    Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z390 Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 8th and 9th Generation Coffee Lake-based processors. This board has a lean and mean look about it, even menacing in a way, with its mostly black aesthetic with silver highlights scattered about. Its VRM heatsink even carries a yin-yang motif, with the black sink at the top and silver to the left of the CPU socket... 

    I still have one of the first Designare motherboards, the X99, and as far as motherboards go it was one of the most impressive designs of that generation.  I'm glad to see that Gigabyte is keeping with tradition.

  • EK Introduces EK-Vector Trio RTX block series for MSI Gaming X Trio RTX cards

    Published: Saturday, April 13, 2019 | By: Dennis

    EK®, premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer based in Slovenia, is introducing its new generation of high-performance water blocks specially designed for MSI Gaming X Trio GeForce® RTX™ series graphics cards, based on Turing® graphics processor. The block also features a unique aesthetic cover over the block Terminal which is designed to showcase the graphics card model via LEDs, visible from the side.

    EK-Vector Trio RTX
    The inspiration for the new GPU block name “Vector” came from the sheer computing power of the graphics cards that are on the market today. Naming a water block “Full Cover” isn’t enough these days, when the product is packed with unique features, such as these.

    The EK Vector Trio RTX water blocks are specially designed for multiple MSI Trio GeForce RTX Turing based graphics cards. The water block itself uses the signature EK single slot slim look, and it covers the entire PCB length. This sophisticated cooling solution will transform your powerful MSI graphics card into a minimalistic, elegant piece of hardware with accented RGB LED lighting. The block also features a unique aesthetic cover over the block Terminal which is designed to showcase the graphics card model via LEDs, visible from the side.

    The water block comes in two different models tailor-made for either MSI Gaming Trio 2080 and MSI Gaming Trio 2080 Ti cards including the Gaming X variants which are factory overclocked. Each of them directly cools the GPU, VRAM and the VRM (voltage regulation module) as cooling liquid is channeled directly over these critical areas. This allows the graphics card to remain stable at high overclocks, intensive workloads and also enables it to run at its maximum Boost Clock. Ultimately, you can enjoy gaming at the highest possible performance of your graphics card, stutter-free in a low noise environment.

    The base of the block is CNC machined out of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is CNC machined out of high-quality acrylic material. Sealing is ensured by high-quality EPDM O-rings. The brass standoffs are already pre-installed and allow for a safe and easy installation procedure. It features four integrated LED sources, two located in the terminal cover and one LED strip on each end of the water block.



    The water blocks are equipped with 12V RGB LEDs which are compatible with the motherboard 4-pin 12V RGB LED header. This product is compatible with popular RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers.

    The newly developed water blocks feature the signature EK-Vector cooling engine that has a larger footprint compared to the previous generation of full cover water blocks. This results in a larger surface area for heat transfer which allows the increase of thermal performance of these water blocks.


    The EK Vector Series water blocks use an Open Split-Flow cooling engine design which proved to be a superior solution for GPU water blocks. It is characterized by low hydraulic flow restrictions, meaning it can be used with weaker water pumps, or pumps running on low-speed settings and still achieve top performance. The jet plate and fin structure geometry have been optimized to provide even flow distribution with minimal losses and optimal performances even when used in reversed water flow scenarios.

    Compatibility
    EK-Vector Trio RTX 2080 Ti water blocks are compatible with MSI Gaming Trio GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards based on Turing graphics processors. Including the Gaming X – factory overclocked variants.

    EK-Vector Trio RTX 2080 water blocks are compatible with MSI Gaming Trio GeForce RTX 2080 graphics cards based on Turing graphics processors. Including the Gaming X – factory overclocked variants.

    EK-Vector Trio RTX series water blocks are compatible with the corresponding the EK-Vector Trio RTX backplates that passively cool the graphics chip and VRM from the back side of the PCB. The EK-Vector Trio RTX backplates are made of high-quality Aluminum and come in nickeled and anodized black variants. The EK-Vector Trio RTX series water blocks are not compatible with factory backplates.

    The current multi GPU EK-Scalar Terminal connection bridges are compatible with these new water blocks. However, the EK-Vector GPU water block terminal cover is not compatible with FC Terminal X and FC Terminal (Legacy) multi GPU connectivity bridges.

    EK-Vector Trio RTX Backplates
    EK recommends the purchase of a retention backplate which improves the aesthetics of your graphics cards, but also provides additional passive cooling to the GPU core and circuit board VRM section. The backplates for MSI Gaming X GeForce RTX 2080 and MSI Gaming X GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards are to be available in either Nickel Plated or Black Anozided variants.

  • Team Group MP34 M.2 NVMe SSD 512 GB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | By: Dennis

    TeamGroup is an interesting memory company.  They often have these HUGE booths at Computex but rarely send out samples for review.  That isn't a bad thing by any stretch but, it does suck since they have (or had) some really good stuff.

    Team Group's MP34 M.2 NVMe SSD comes at exceptional pricing of only $80 for the tested 512 GB version, that's less than 16 cents per GB. This puts it really close to SATA drives and QLC M.2 SSDs, with better performance at the same time.

    This is one of the popular NVMe SSD drives, or NAND on a stick.  Funny thing is there was a time I was 100% against SSD drives however that has changed with the advent of "real" SSD speeds via NVMe.  Really the only thing you need to look out for is what controller is being used since not every controller is made the same.

  • Cooler Master Releases the new MasterBox Q500L

    Published: Tuesday, April 02, 2019 | By: Dennis

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF., APRIL 2, 2019 – Cooler Master, an award-winning PC components company, today, announces the launch of the new MasterBox Q500L. Featuring the same external dimensions of the previously launched Q300L, the Q500L is capable of supporting a full ATX motherboard.

    High-Density Builds
    The latest addition to the Q Series, the MasterBox Q500L pushes the standards of a compact ATX chassis. Using a special bracket, the internal layout places the power supply on the top/front of the chassis to fully utilize space while offering ample component clearance. Even with an ATX power supply, clearance for the graphics card can reach up to 360mm and up to 270mm if the PSU is longer than 160mm. Paired with support for a 240mm radiator up top, the MasterBox Q500L fits fully-sized powerhouses like a glove. 

    • Minimized Dimensions for Standard ATX – The MasterBox Q500L supports standard ATX motherboards and PSUs, with a body depth and height of only 386 x 381mm.
    • Fully Perforated Chassis – The top, front, rear, and bottom panels are fully perforated to offer airflow for various cooling configurations.
    • Movable I/O Panel – Orientation for the chassis is versatile, with the option to move the I/O panel to retain accessibility.
    • Vertical and Horizontal Position – The case can be oriented vertically or horizontally. Rubberized screws also function as feet to supplement horizontal orientation.
    • Vertical PSU Placement – The PSU is positioned on the front of the chassis to fully utilize internal space. The bracket can be relocated depending on hardware configuration and motherboard form factor.
    • Magnetic Dust Filters – The magnetic dust filters feature a unique design. Magnets allow for quick removal and installation for easy cleaning of the dust filters with rubber stompers to keep the filters in place.
    • Clean Routing Space – Behind the motherboard tray, 27-30mm width of space is offered for cable management with the entire perimeter acting as a channel for cables.
    • Edge-to-Edge Transparent Side Panel – The side panel displays system builds in full view.

    Configurations May Vary
    The included bracket can be utilized to mount the PSU in various locations for different hardware benefits. If a mini ITX motherboard is used in the Q500L instead of a standard ATX motherboard, the power supply can be mounted in the conventional position of the bottom, rear to allow for increased front panel ventilation. For top radiator clearance, the power supply can be shifted to a lower position in the top/front to accommodate for radiators mounted on the top panel. Although cooling configurations can change, depending on the build and form factor, the Q500L is entirely perforated to offer as many combinations as possible.

    One Size Fits All
    All signature features of the Q Series are shared with the MasterBox Q500L, from the movable I/O panel to its capability of orienting horizontally or vertically. Since the entire Q Series shares one size, all accessories are backwards compatible. This includes the handles, feet, I/O panel and panels from its predecessors. Future iterations of Q Series models will also uphold this philosophy, ensuring the evolution of the entire series and the versatility of each model. The MasterBox Q500L takes the Q Series’ signature features and applies them to standard ATX, all in a deceptively small yet robust chassis. 

    Pricing & Availability
    The MasterBox Q500L will be available for pre-sale in North America, today, for a starting MSRP of $59.99 USD.
    For more information, please visit: http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/MasterBox-Series/masterbox-q500l.html

  • G.SKILL Announces OC World Cup 2019 Competition

    Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | By: Dennis

    We are proud to announce the launch of the 6th annual G.SKILL OC World Cup 2019 competition, with the total cash prize pool increased to an astounding $25,000 USD. This time around, the top 9 contestants (previously 6) from the Online Qualifier stage will be invited to the G.SKILL booth at Computex 2019 to battle it out on the OC World Cup live stage for the grand prize of $10K USD. It will be very much appreciated if you could share this great announcement with your community.

    $25,000 USD Total Cash Prize Pool

    Taipei, Taiwan (8 March 2019) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is excited to announce the 6th Annual OC World Cup 2019. The online qualifier competition stage will be held from March 13, 2019 until April 16, 2019 on hwbot.org. The top 9 winners of the online qualifier will be qualified to join the live competition at the G.SKILL booth during Computex 2019 week from May 29th to 31st and compete for a chunk of the $25,000 USD cash prize pool.

    Annual World Class Event of the OC Community

    With the participation of top overclockers from around the world and carefully designed rules, G.SKILL OC World Cup is considered as one of the most challenging overclocking competition by professional overclockers. The G.SKILL OC World Cup consists of three rounds: Online Qualifier, Live Qualifier, and Grand Final. The top 9 winners of the Online Qualifier will receive eligibility to enter the Live Qualifier stage during Computex 2019 and demonstrate their finest LN2 extreme overclocking skills at the G.SKILL booth.

    Online Qualifier Stage

    The Online Qualifier round will be hosted on HWBOT.org from March 13 to April 16, 2019. For this stage, 4 particular benchmarks are selected to test each overclocker's memory overclock tweaking skills: Highest DDR4 Frequency, SuperPi 32m, Geekbench 3 Memory Performance single core, and 3DMark11 on integrated graphics processors. Participants must use G.SKILL DDR4 memory kits and the specified Intel platforms. 

    And for participants of the Online Qualifier stage, one lucky draw winner will be randomly selected to win a Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 CL16 16GB (2x8GB) memory kit. For more event details and rules, please visit the competition webpage on HWBOT’s OC-eSports webpage: 

    http://oc-esports.io/#!/round/gskill_ocworldcup_2019_online_qualifier

    Raising the Total Cash Prize Pool to $25,000 USD

    To give back to the extreme overclocking community, G.SKILL will be raising the total cash prize pool to $25,000 USD for OC World Cup 2019. The champion will receive a whopping grand prize of $10K USD – the largest single cash prize sum in the overclocking community. Additionally, for the first time in the history of OC World Cup, the total number of contestants for the Live Qualifier stage will also be increased from 6 to 9 participants to provide more opportunities for the overclocking community.

    For a breakdown of the cash prize at OC World Cup 2019, please see below:

    • Champion: USD $10,000
    • 2nd: USD $3,500
    • 3rd: USD $2,500
    • 4th: USD $2,000
    • 5th: USD $1,800
    • 6th: USD $1,600
    • 7th: USD $1,400
    • 8th: USD $1,200
    • 9th: USD $1,000
  • Goodbye HardOCP - Hello Intel @ [H]ard|OCP

    Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Well this is a bit of a surprise, Come April 1st HardOCP will be "mothballed" with the current Editor in Chief, Kyle Bennett, taking a position at Intel to be the Director of Enthusiast Engagement.

    When I first started getting into hardware one of the first sites I paid attention to was HardOCP.  At the time Kyle had been part of several "networks" that helped make early sites popular through advertising and promotions.  Of course, it also helped that the content Kyle posted was engaging and focused on the enthusiast PC world and I modeled much of what I did on Ninjalane.com after what I saw on HardOCP.

     Of course as website owners there comes a time when you have to ask yourself "What is my future?".  Lately the landscape of hardware review has quickly dried up.  Advertising dollars largely went away 8 years ago and the rise of Techutainment has really driven the audience away from "learning" about hardware to watching other people "play" with hardware (while also making silly faces.)  Over the past several years we have seen Scott from TechReport and Ryan from PC Perspective take on jobs in the industry while individual reviewers have been taking jobs with hardware makers for years.  Why not?, they are the defacto technical experts that can not only use the products but also talk about them.

    Hopefully, with Kyle helping Intel re-engage the enthusiast community we can start to see resurgence in PC Hardware which will lead to a reason to upgrade and a reason to build your PCs.  Many people forget that it has always been the vocal minority that drives what hardware makers do and when that voice is silenced we get things like gold motherboards, hard drive docks and RGB ecosystems.

    Effective April 1, 2019 I will be taking on the position of Director of Enthusiast Engagement for Intel’s Technology Leadership Marketing group. Intel wants to reconnect with the top of the high-performance consumer pyramid which contains hardware enthusiasts, overclockers, gamers, and content creators. This is the part of our community that has great influence through word of mouth and online engagement. I’ll be focusing on helping Intel get back in touch with this audience and re-establishing a voice and dialog on where the company is going with its future technologies. If you are reading this, you are very likely already part of this group.

    All the best Kyle! 

  • Cooler Master Releases New NR Series Cases

    Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | By: Dennis

    LOS ANGELES, CALIF., MARCH 19, 2019 – Cooler Master, an award-winning PC components company, today announces the release of the NR series with two new cases: The MasterBox NR400 and the MasterBox NR600. The NR series streamlines form and function to provide a minimalistic design and bold performance.



    Two models launch alongside each other, each supporting a different form factor. The smaller MasterBox NR400 supports up to mATX motherboards, while the larger MasterBox NR600 supports up to standard ATX motherboards. Marked only by the iconic solid stripe from the original N Series, the new NR Series applies modern technology to a timeless design by incorporating both filtration and airflow in the fine mesh front panel.

    • Minimalistic Mesh Design - Elegant design elements are applied to mesh for optimal thermal performance.
    • Optimal Thermal Performance – The full mesh front panel and ventilated top panel provide a high potential for thermal performance.
    • Flush Tempered Glass Side Panel – The tempered glass side panel, fastened by thumbscrews on the rear panel, keeps the surface completely flush.
    • Headset Jack – The single 4 pole headset jack features both audio and microphone capabilities simultaneously so separate jacks are not needed.
    • Graphics Card Support Up to 346mm (NR400) / 410mm (NR600) – Generous clearance space is provided to support the latest graphics cards.
    • Cable Management – High quality, longer length rubber grommets paired with generous clearance behind the motherboard offers ample room for cable management.



    “Keeping the NR Series minimal on the outside meant paying a keen attention to structural details. Two examples, in particular, are the mesh used in the front panel and the structure of the two-part side panel,” Said Matteo Stracciari General Manager of Cases at Cooler Master. “A single-layer, fine mesh makes up the entire front panel, achieving efficient airflow while also acting as a dust filter while the tempered glass side panel sits completely flush against the chassis and the PSU shroud to form a two-part showcase of tempered glass and steel.”

    Thermal performance is at the core of the NR Series, with the combination of two pre-installed fans for intake and exhaust and the fine mesh front panel. Generous support for radiator mounting and unrestricted ventilation on the top and front panel ensure that even the most demanding components are efficiently cooled while the two USB 3.1 gen 1 ports at the top of the case provide ample connectivity for everyday use.

    The NR Series challenges the stereotype of minimal cases by introducing bold performance to a pure and simple design.

    Pricing & Availability
    The MasterBox NR400 and NR600 will be available for pre-sale today for a starting MSRP of $59.99 and $69.99, respectively. Models vary per region, for more information please visit: http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/MasterBox-Series/masterbox-nr400.html and http://us.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/MasterBox-Series/masterbox-nr600.html.