Tech News

  • SilverStone AR12-TUF CPU Cooler Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, February 21, 2022 | By: Dennis

    ASUS put forth a TUF marketing campaign that, on paper, would change how users purchased computer components.  Instead of stressing over which was the "best" CPU cooler or "best" memory module for your build the user could simply look for the TUF name.

    Not only would these products be fully compatible with ASUS TUF series products but, would also be color matched allowing users to show off their TUF stuff.  The campaign went off without a hitch and, it seemed to have fallen right on its face.

    The SilverStone AR12-TUF is a down-to-earth air cooler that adds a bit of color to your build at a very low price. 

    One nice thing to come out of the whole process is a renewed awareness that there are some pretty great products at the low end of the spectrum and the SilverStone AR12-TUF looks to be a Hyper 212 killa!

  • Introducing the EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N Motherboard

    Published: Thursday, February 17, 2022 | By: Dennis

    The long awaited Z690 Dark has been revealed.

    We have already seen photos of the motherboard and visually the board looks much like the previous edition Dark boards.  The CPU socket is rotated 90 degrees with the DDR5 memory being positioned across the top.  This locates the power connections along the right side with a more direct route for cable routing and airflow control.

    The board comes with only two 16x PCI Express slots with a huge heatsink in the middle for M.2 drives.  Of course, the real power is the 12th generation Intel processor support and with past Dark motherboards focused on memory overclocking you can be assured that the advertised 6600Mhz+ (OC) memory support gives you plenty of room to play.

    1. Intel® LGA1700 CPU Socket
    2. 2x DDR5 DIMMs
    3. 3x M.2 Gen4 Key-M Slots
    4. PCIe 5.0 x16 (x8) Slot
    5. 3x 110mm M.2 Gen4 Key-M Slots
    6. U.2 Port
    7. USB BIOS Update Port
    8. 21 Phase Digital VRM
    9. Pump Headers
    10. 2x ARGB / 2x RGB Headers
    11. Supplemental PCIe 6 Pin Power
    12. ProbeIt Header
    13. PCIe Disable Switch
    14. Slow Mode Switch
    15. Right Angle Power Connectors
    16. Multi-Function POST Indicator
    17. BIOS Select Switch

    Introducing the EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N - The Motherboard Designed by and Used by Professional Overclockers. EVGA DARK motherboards blaze the trail for other boards to follow, and the Z690 DARK K|NGP|N is no exception. The ability to destroy world records is insignificant next to the power of a 21-phase VRM and a 10-layer PCB – capable of driving the most powerful 12th Gen Intel® Core™ processors. With support for 64GB of DDR5 memory at up to 6600MHz+(OC), PCIe Gen5, and PCIe Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSDs, a new DARK age of overclocking will rise as quickly as new hardware becomes available. The Z690 DARK K|NGP|N is today’s choice for the future of overclocking and gaming. 

    To learn more about the EVGA Z690 DARK K|NGP|N, visit|NGP|N/

  • Micron To End-of-Life (EOL) Crucial Ballistix Product Lines

    Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2022 | By: Dennis

    BOISE, Idaho; Feb. 16, 2022 – Micron released the following information about a change to its business strategy for Crucial® memory. 

    • The company will end-of-life (EOL) its Crucial Ballistix, Crucial Ballistix MAX and Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB product lines. 

    • The company will intensify its focus on the development of Micron’s DDR5 client and server product roadmap, along with the expansion of the Crucial memory and storage product portfolio. 
    • The company will continue to support the performance compute and gaming communities with its award-winning SSD products, such as the Crucial P5 Plus Gen4 PCIe NVMe SSD, Crucial P2 Gen 3 NVMe SSD, and the popular Crucial X6 and Crucial X8 portable SSDs. 

    • Teresa Kelley, Vice President and General Manager, Micron Commercial Products Group: “We remain focused on growing our NVMe and Portable SSD product categories, which both offer storage solutions for PC and console gamers. Additionally, Crucial JEDEC standard DDR5 memory provides mainstream gamers with DDR5-enabled computers with better high-speed performance, data transfers and bandwidth than previously available with Crucial Ballistix memory.” 

    About Micron Technology, Inc. 
    We are an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions transforming how the world uses information to enrich life?for all. With a relentless focus on our customers, technology leadership, and manufacturing and operational excellence, Micron delivers a rich portfolio of high-performance DRAM, NAND and NOR memory and storage products through our Micron®?and Crucial®?brands. Every day, the innovations that our people create fuel the data economy, enabling advances in artificial intelligence and 5G applications that unleash opportunities — from the data center to the intelligent edge and across the client and mobile user experience. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU),

  • Funky Kit Review - ASRock Z690 PG Riptide Motherboard

    Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 | By: Dennis

    You know, I like ASRock, they make some pretty good motherboards and include some questionable features in their BIOS but, if you are looking for a nice, down market, motherboard with some great overclocking features you cannot go wrong with ASRock.

    The ASRock Z690 Riptide is an excellent motherboard for gamers who want all essential features, but don't want to pay for additional controllers or rarely used functionality. The motherboard is fast and stable, but more importantly it can handle most daily tasks with ease, plus there's plenty of room for expansion.

    Now, all I need to do is get them to send me product samples so I can, once again, have first hand experience.  However, being a down market company the marketing budget is generally less than stellar.

  • Genesis RX85 RGB Mechanical Keyboard @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 | By: Dennis

    Something tells me that I have seen this keyboard before.  Maybe not exactly the same but, close enough to make me question if I have seen it.

    On a related note, it is not uncommon for companies to buy "white box" products from a supplier.  As part of the deal the supplier will customize the product with logos and generally tweak the software to match.  You see this sort of thing at CES all the time while at Computex (where you would expect to see this sort of thing) you may find the supplier but not any of the resellers.

    The Genesis RX85 RGB is a full-size keyboard that comes with a dedicated volume wheel, plenty of pre-programmed controls for function and form, and software drivers for further customization. It uses the Kailh Brown switches and PBT keycaps to attract customers with a reasonable price, albeit in specific regions only.

    thing is, it doesn't matter where a product comes from, unless it was crap to being with and this design was pretty solid from the beginning.

  • INNFACT announced Krait Puzzle-like Modular PowerStrip on INDIEGOGO

    Published: Saturday, January 22, 2022 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan, January 20th, 2022 – The puzzle-like modular PowerStrip manufacturer, INNFACT, is thrilled to announce the crowdfunding campaign kickoff for their innovative product, KRAIT, on INDIEGOGO. KRAIT's crowdfunding campaign has officially launched on January 15th and is ready to bring a new benchmark to the industry. INNFACT offers five early-bird plans and packages for early backers to experience the groundbreaking evolution of a PowerStrip with safety, reliability, and creativity. One of the VIP early-bird plans is a jaw-dropping markdown up to 49% off. The mass production is planned for this May, bakers can expect to receive Krait this Summer.

    After five days the KRAIT campaign has reached over 55% of its $15,000 funding goal as of this press release. Consumers will need to act quickly to get their chance at one of the five early bird plans and packages.

    "In order to show the flexibility that the KRAIT can offer, our early bird program on INDIEGOGO provides five kinds of module combinations along with a special perk plan. These plans allow users to make full use of KRAIT's excellent design and tailor the PowerStrip according to users' needs. KRAIT can be assembled into more than what is provided in the five available packages. Backers who truly want an all-in-one PowerStrip for their gadgets and home appliances now have an option to pre-order more than one set of the KRAIT PowerStrip with a better deal." said Daniel Chou, the CEO of INNFACT.

    The INNFACT KRAIT INDIEGOGO campaign includes five perk deal combinations and product packs with the choice of different colors, which are:

    • 49% off "VIP Exclusive Early-Bird Standard pack" for US$35 (Black and Limb White colors)
    • 40% off "Max Pack" for US$99. (Black, Limb White, Yellow, and Red)
    • 33% off "Standard Pack" for US$46. (Blue, Black, Limb White, Yellow, and Red,)
    • 30% off "Innsafe Pack" for US$55. (Black, Limb White, Yellow, and Red)
    • 29% off the "Build Your Own KRAIT" plan for US$119. (Choose different colors for 3 puzzles)

    The estimated shipping date is August 2022, and it will be able to ship to U.S., Canada, Japan, Taiwan, and China.


    INNFACT put countless hours into crafting the world's first modular fast-charging PowerStrip to deliver the intelligent design on safety, durability, and flexibility for laptops, hand-held electronic devices, and most home appliances. The KRAIT can be configured for a variety of different options.  When used at home or office it is an all-in-one power strip designed to be clutter-free allowing you to get rid of bulky adaptors. However, when the KRAIT is to be used outside of the office or home it can be built into a lightweight portable version by directly attaching the DC puzzles with the charger.

    "Safety and rock-solid reliability are important design concepts for INNFACT when building the KRAIT PowerStrip with safety topping them all! With almost 40% of all household fire accidents being caused by electrical failure from outlet extenders and power strips. That’s why we have strived to create a better solution. Our engineering team has created an exclusive AutoShut” design that delivers an auto-shutdown feature to protect the PowerStrip and your devices from overloaded, inappropriate plugging, and for when no load is detected.”
    CEO, Daniel Chou.

    KRAIT is comprised of four main modules: the source power puzzle, the AC puzzle, the DC puzzle, and the Plug puzzle. It supports three AC outlets, two USB-C, and two USB-A ports. Each module can be detached and re-attached separately, depending on the user's demand. The total AC power support of KRAIT is up to 1650W, and it comes with an intelligent overloaded/ unplugged and away sensor called “AutoShut” and is designed to protect the KRAIT and your devices from hazardous from electrical failures. The DC puzzle supports up to 100W PD with an optional QC fast charging option. The handy Bluetooth smartphone app allows users to control the KRAIT and set timers for when outlets on the PowerStrip will be active or disabled.

    The concept of KRAIT:

    The Source Puzzle
    The source puzzle part is the central part of the power strip; it supports total power output up to 1650W and comes with an intelligent overloaded shutdown feature along with surge protection for all downstream devices. In addition, it features 4 LED indicators for monitoring current loading from the AC puzzle and is available with a variety of power cord lengths for different occasions.  

    The AC Puzzle
    The AC puzzle includes three independent AC outlets supporting the US, Japan, and Taiwan plugs. It features intelligent AutoShut protection to ensure electrical safety for when devices are unplugged from the outlet or plugged in incorrectly. KRAIT will also be available with a Bluetooth remote control, allowing complete power control to each AC outlet, including a built-in programmable timer.

    The DC Puzzle
    The DC puzzle includes two USB Type-C ports and two USB Type-A ports that support between 65 to 100W and comes with a 100W GaN high-efficiency charger technology to support extra-fast USB charging for laptops, tablets, and smartphones. A one-touch power switch also offers instant power shutdown when your plugged devices are fully charged.

    Plug Puzzle
    The Plug Puzzle turns the DC Puzzle into a charger and allows a quick charge on the go.

    This puzzle is available for the United States, Japan, and Taiwan with ongoing product development for Australia and the EU.

    For more information on KRAIT, please visit:
    the INDIEGOGO campaign page,
    the official product page.

  • Game At New Highs With The XPOWER XS70 PCIe 4.0 SSD

    Published: Saturday, January 22, 2022 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan – January 18th, 2022 – The all-new XPOWER XS70 PCIe 4.0 SSD from Silicon Power (SP) is about to take gaming to new highs with its thrilling performance and unique design that’ll give hardcore gamers the boost to take on opponents for hours on end.

    The PCIe 4.0 That Crushes The Competition
    With a standard data transfer rate that's 2x faster than the 3.0 version, the XS70 PCIe Gen 4x4 with 3D NAND flash memory and NVMe 1.4 support is exactly what serious gamers need to crush the competition. Mind-blowing continuous read and write speeds up to 7,300MB/s and 6,800MB/s, respectively, enable the XS70 to push the limits of what an SSD can do so you can break new records.

    A Design That Breathes Like A Shark
    Inspired by the gills of a shark, the XS70's unique heatsink design with carefully angled slits enables it to breathe during even the most intense gaming sessions. Heat easily ventilates out through the heatsink's gill-like slits to prevent overheating and maintain superior performance. The XS70 is not only as fierce as a shark on a performance level, but it can breathe like one too for longer and more stable gameplay!

    For more information, please visit the Silicon Power official website:

  • Next-Generation EK-Quantum CPU Water Block for LGA1200 Launched by EK

    Published: Saturday, January 22, 2022 | By: Dennis

    EK-Quantum Velocity, the successor of the highly popular EK-Quantum Velocity, expands to Intel LGA 1200 socket. The water block showcases the EK-Matrix7 initiative, a standard where increments of 7mm manage the height of products and the distance between ports. This product uses a socket-specific cooling engine to ensure the best performance and optimal flow with low restrictions on every platform.

    EK-Quantum Velocity D-RGB – 1200
    This new water block kept the name “Velocity” because it retained the ability to be responsive and agile in the world of liquid cooling. Embedded in the Velocity is a next-generation EK CPU water block cooling engine that is socket-specific. A combination of mounting pressure and cold plate geometry, tailored for the IHS and die layout of Intel LGA 1200 socket processors, is used to achieve low hydraulic flow restriction and high performance. Th? lathe-turned cold plate is made with precision to cover the IHS effectively and put optimal pressure on the die area.

    EK-Quantum Velocity was redesigned inside and out. A new, patent-pending EK-Exact Mount mounting system was developed in the search for an easy-to-use but aesthetically pleasing mounting mechanism. It’s made up of only three pieces – the backplate, mounting screws, and the water block itself. It’s screwed in from the back, allowing for a seamless and clean front aesthetic without any screws disrupting the harmony of shape. The system uses pre-tensioned springs concealed in the water block top, so with just a few turns of the thumb-nuts, the installation is finished, and you get the exact mounting pressure needed.

    The LGA 1200 version made for Comet Lake and Rocket Lake CPUs comes in 5 variants:

    • Nickel + Plexi
    • Nickel + Acetal
    • Full Nickel
    • Nickel + Satin Titanium
    • Copper + Acetal

    These variations are based on aesthetics and have almost no impact on performance. The cold plate is manufactured out of the highest-grade 99.99% pure electrolytic copper, machined with precision for the best possible contact and heat transfer which is further nickel-plated, except with the Copper + Acetal version which uses a bare copper cold plate.

    The EK-Quantum Velocity is an EK-Matrix7 certified product. The EK-Matrix7 is a convenient product raster that adds a new dimension to PC liquid cooling, where increments of 7mm manage the height of products and the distance between ports. This improves product alignment and reduces the time spent planning the loop and bending tubes. Through the meticulous planning of our products, building a liquid-cooled PC becomes easy and fun, just like toy bricks.

    New EK-Quantum Velocity series CPU water blocks are socket-specific, compatible only with Intel LGA 1200 socket and Comet Lake and Alder Lake CPUs.

    D-RGB Compatibility
    EK-Quantum Velocity D-RGB – 1200 CPU water blocks are equipped with 14 D-RGB LEDs. Models with the clear Acrylic top are entirely lit, while the solid-top options have sophisticated light beams cutting across them. They are compatible with all popular addressable RGB sync technologies from all major motherboard manufacturers. The arrow marking on the 3-pin D-RGB LED connector is aligned with the +5V marking on the addressable RGB header.

    Availability and Pricing
    The EK-Quantum Velocity series water blocks are made in Slovenia, Europe, and are available for pre-order through the EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network.

    Nickel + Plexi, Nickel + Acetal, and Copper Acetal models are expected to start shipping in late-February 2022, with the other models following in early March 2022.

  • Funky Kit Review - Patriot P400 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD

    Published: Saturday, January 22, 2022 | By: Dennis

    PCI Express Gen4 brought with it the promise of extemely high transfer speeds and the first industiry to take advantage was storage and the advantages were nothing short of amazing.

    The Patriot Memory P400 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD performs much better than we expected, and delivers excellent results in the most demanding of tasks. Whether you are a gamer or a content creator, you will be satisfied with its speed for sure.

    Thing is with storage subsystems the types of performance gains you will see depend largely on what you are doing and if there is anything between you and your super fast storage system to slow things down.

    The P400 is one of the downmarket drives and whlie still faster than anything else on the market you should keep in mind that there are faster devices available, even from Patriot.

  • Sapphire Radeon RX 6500 XT Pulse @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Saturday, January 22, 2022 | By: Dennis

    The interesting thing about product releases is that when you piss off your core demographic they tend to start crying like a little girl with a skinned knee.  Claiming that their supported hardware maker is raising prices, lowering performance and doesn't have their finger on the pulse.

    Unfortunately, for them, while the words and actions might intend to be harmful it does nothing more than to Streisand effect the product into the mainstream giving the hardware maker a ton of free publicity. 

    The Sapphire Radeon RX 6500 XT Pulse comes with super impressive noise levels. Even when fully loaded it runs whisper quiet—in an already quiet room. If you put it into a case it'll be inaudible. Unfortunately the card is held back by its small VRAM size of 4 GB and the narrow PCIe x4 interface.

    People get upset when things change and perceivably regress and then forget that from a hardware standpoint the net result is basically the same.