Tech News

  • EpicGear Morpha X Gaming Mouse Wins Computex d&i Award

    Published: Saturday, May 06, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan – May 4, 2017 – EpicGear, the leading brand in professional gaming peripherals, today announces that they have won the prestigious Computex d&i Award (design and innovation) from Computex organizers TAITRA (The Taiwan External Trade Development Council) in conjunction with iF (International Forum Design).

    “We’re really honored to receive the Computex d&i Award” commented Jennifer Huang, Vice President of EpicGear. “EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse showcases our determination to offer innovative features and the absolute best gaming experience.”


    COMPUTEX d&i awards 2017 – Organized by TAITRA and iF
    The COMPUTEX d&i awards, hosted for the first time in 2008 by TAITRA in cooperation with iF have become a constant feature of the COMPUTEX TAIPEI trade fair and honored products that stand out through excellent design. In the Computex d&i award category of Gaming Devices + Content of Games, EpicGear won with their submission of the EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse. Learn more about Computex d&i Awards here: https://goo.gl/bUKNsf

  • Intel says to stop overclocking your Core i7-7700K to avoid high temps

    Published: Thursday, May 04, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I love this.  And before people get all triggered let me explain. 

    A couple months ago I posted an article that detailed how to delid your Kaby Lake processor using a tool called the Rockit 88.  It made delidding your processor extremely easy and the benefits are quite good.

    Thing is some users really don't understand why someone would delid the processor, nor want to bother learning but, somehow listen to tech people saying.  "Monitor your temps!", "Burn in your processor for stability!", "Use only the best thermal paste!"  and.. the list goes on.  I'm a hardware enthusiast and know from my 20+ years building custom pcs that NONE of that really matters if you do things correctly.

    So, long story short, I was reading through the comments of my Delidding Video and noticed a user asking about temperature spikes on his 7700K and linked to the Intel Support forum post.  I knew that the spikes people were talking about where well within range and likely due to sudden spikes in processor activity.  That is just how Windows works, end of story.

    But, people seem to insist that it is an Intel problem and bring up complaints from Enthusiasts thinking that is going to change their mind.  Well.  Intel had this to say.

    "We appreciate the feedback you have provided, and your patience as we investigated this behavior. The reported behavior of the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7700K Processor, showing momentary temperature changes from the idle temperature, is normal while completing a task (like opening a browser or an application or a program).

    In our internal investigation, we did not observe temperature variation outside of the expected behavior and recommended specifications. For processor specifications, please refer to the Intel Core i7-7700K Processor Product Specifications. 

    Most motherboard manufacturers offer customizable fan speed control settings that may allow for smoother transition of fan revolutions per minute (rpm). Please consult your motherboard manufacturer’s manual or website for instructions on how to change default fan speed control settings.

    We do not recommend running outside the processor specifications, such as by exceeding processor frequency or voltage specifications, or removing of the integrated heat spreader (sometimes called 'de-lidding'). These actions will void the processor warranty."

    In a way this equates to what Microsoft did to the Windows 8 start menu when people started complaining.  Honestly Windows 8 was horrid but when Microsoft decided to address the issue by adding an icon to activate the start menu.  Not a button but an icon.  I think Penny Arcade said it best. "This is how UI Designers say 'Fuck You'" 

    Well in similar fashion Intel simply told everyone to stop overclocking. 

    I am in full agreement with Intel on this one, they have 0 liability to support anything outside the bounds of what they are offering which includes overclocking and anything a 3rd party motherboard maker enables or sets by default.  (*cough* BCLK over Voltage Adjustment */cough*)

    Be sure to check out my video on how to properly delid your Core i7 7700k on the Hardware Asylum YouTube channel and keep the enthusiast juices flowing.

  • Aqua Computer and Rockit Delidding Tools tested on Core i7-7700K @ techPowerUp

    Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 | By: Dennis

    How could you "not" give an editor's choice award to a delidding tool?? 

    A couple months ago I took on the Rockit Cool Rockit88 Delidding tool and found it to be extremely easy to use and the results were amazing.

    Be sure to check out the review and how-to video I posted on the Hardware Asylum YouTube Channel.

    Intel mainstream CPUs have had a bottleneck in cooling due to poor heat transfer from the CPU die to the integrated heat spreader. Thanks to new de-lidding friendly tools released recently, it is now easier than ever before to handle this yourself and get a cooler running CPU. We examine two such solutions from Rockit Cool and Aqua Computer today, both of which promise fool-proof de-lidding and re-lidding.

    There is a good chance that most every LGA 115x style processor coming from Intel will have the same TIM under the heatspreader so it will be interesting to see if they change the size of the CPU to battle "delidders"  happy smile

  • PrimoChill Praxis WetBench Review @ ThinkComputers

    Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Everyone has a different idea as to what a test bench is, what i needs to do and what kind of support it needs to have.  Personally I'm old school finding that a broken down chassis and using the motherboard tray.

    Of course with that said EVERYONE has tried to improve the simple design, so much in fact that some are just cases with the sides ripped off while others are super simple and giving you less than I have with a broken down case.

    PrimoChill has entered the test bench chassis world with their Praxis WetBench.  As the name suggests it is a test bench designed for watercooling.  Or, as I see it, a chassis with external watercooling support.

    Unlike typical PC cases where you have a wide variety of options to choose from the test bench category is very limited. Having a test bench is great, it allows you to easily switch out hardware, monitor components and much more. We have two different test benches here at ThinkComputers and when we were building out our Z270 test system it was time to get third. Both of our previous test benches got the job done, but had certain things that we did not like. After doing some research the PrimoChill Praxis WetBench was at the top of our list. The motto for the Praxis is “A testbench with watercooling in mind” which definitely caught our attention. The biggest thing about many test benches is that really do not have radiator support, which is very disappointing as we use AiO’s for our test systems. Let’s jump in and see if the Praxis is the perfect test bench for us!

    It is a self assembled chassis that has accessory storage underneath while the motherboard and cooling components sit topside at an angle for maximum viewing.  I can't diss, it looks good but cannot say if it is "my" type of bench.

  • Sound BlasterX Katana @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Monday, May 01, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I joked after CES that everything was RGB and the one product that really drive it home was the new Sound BlasterX Katana.  This is a sound bar speaker solution that combines the features of the iRoar with a stand along 2.1 speaker system with triple amplifiers and patented Sound Blaster technology.

    For living rooms, it used to be a big push for multi-speaker configurations with a big receiver. For some people, this is still the goal, especially for surround sound. But recently there has been a trend where people have been moving to soundbars. They take up a lot less space while still being an audio improvement over your TVs speakers and they better fit with today’s ultra-thin TVs. There are some downsides though and performance can be a little limited. Well, Sound Blaster came out with the Sound BlasterX Katana and they don’t even like to put it in the same category as a traditional sound bar. They call it an Under Monitor Audio System aka a UMAS. This is because beyond having speakers under your monitor it has a built-in 224 bit DAC, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder, and 5 drivers all with their own amps. With my wife getting a new desk, we started to look at her options and the Katana from Sound Blaster looked to be a good fit to keep the desktop footprint low by using unused space under her monitors. So today I’m going to check the Katana’s out and see just how they perform.

    Darren did an excellent review of the Sound BlasterX Katana so I urge you to check it out.

  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Custom Card Roundup

    Published: Monday, May 01, 2017 | By: Dennis

    I'm certain there will be more.  But, DAMN 22!!  that is crazy.

    The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti sits on the top echelon of NVIDIA's Pascal-driven, 10-Series GPUs. The GTX 1080 Ti offers performance up to 35% faster than the already impressive GTX 1080, and it boasts a 1480 MHz base clock, a 1582 MHz boost clock, 3,584 CUDA cores, and 11 GB of next generation GDDR5X video memory. Tech Radar calls the GTX 1080 Ti "NVIDIA's most impressive graphics card to date," and IGN echoes that sentiment, saying: "The GTX 1080 Ti is the fastest gaming graphics card available, by a wide margin."

    Aside from the obvious advantage in the speed department, the GTX 1080 Ti also uses a 7-phase power design along with 14 high-efficiency dualFETs, as well as a reconfigured high-airflow cooler, which keeps the card chillier and quieter than any graphics cards that have come before it. Thanks to the GTX 1080 Ti's cooling and power efficiency, it's quite friendly to overclocking, allowing enthusiasts to squeeze as much raw power out of the GPU as possible.

    I know that factory "overclocking" video cards are kinda on their way out but I'm still expecting to see an EVGA Kingpin edition and a Lightning from MSI.  Crossing my fingers for Computex.

  • SteelSeries Brings Gamers the World's First Dual-Surface RGB Illuminated Mousepad

    Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | By: Dennis

    CHICAGO – April 26, 2017 – SteelSeries, brings innovation to its 15-year legacy of engineering the best gaming mousepads in the world by introducing the QcK Prism Gaming Mousepad. Built with purpose, the QcK Prism delivers features that go beyond the aesthetics of illumination and presents performance benefits for PC gaming. The new mousepad provides gamers with dual-sided premium surfaces – the first of its kind, 360 degrees of continuous illumination in 12 separate zones, and interference-free USB cable placement.



    The QcK Prism is the world’s first dual-surface RGB illuminated mousepad, featuring a premium micro-textured cloth that adds friction for more deliberate movements and a hard polymer surface for a fast-paced glide. The QcK Prism comes with brilliant 360-degree, 12-zone Prism RGB illumination with advanced lighting effects and supports SteelSeries GameSense, providing reactive illumination to in-game events such as low ammo, health, kills, cooldown timers and more.

    Jason Christian, Category Manager for Gaming Surfaces, Mice and Keyboards says “Every aspect of this peripheral was built with purpose. It delivers premium surface performance with brilliant lighting and zero mouse cable interference.”

    In addition to the millions of colors and lighting effects, the QcK Prism also supports SteelSeries Prism Sync. Gamers can create dynamic multi-color lighting effects between the QcK Prism and all other Prism-enabled gear, including the Arctis 5 headset, Rival 700 mouse and Apex M800 keyboard.

    The QcK Prism was made with a game-tested design. Unlike all other RGB mousepads, the cable housing is positioned out of the way, on the left side, where it will not catch a gamer’s mouse cable.

    The QcK Prism is now available at http://steelseries.com/qckprism for $59.99 and online retailers including Amazon and Best Buy.  For more information about SteelSeries’ QcK Prism or SteelSeries complete selection of gaming accessories, visit www.SteelSeries.com.

  • PowerColor Red Devil Golden Sample RX 580 Review @ Vortez

    Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Yesterday I did a candid news posting about the naming of products and how it seems shelf appeal has become more important than actually coming up with a good name.  For this Powercolor RX 580 it would seem that one product name wasn't good enough and had to add a second.

    Red Devil Golden Sample

    wink smile just rolls off the tongue.

    PowerColor’s Red Devil Golden Sample RX 580 is an excellent showcase of how the new 500-series can deliver an effective rival to NVIDIA’s mid-range GTX 1060 (and in some cases even GTX 1070). Our Golden Sample card handled DX12 games with ease and even proved an impressive level of prowess at 1440p and 4K resolutions.

    I'm all for the Devil series of products, it just sounds tough even if they aren't really all that special.  Well, now they have thrown in a Gainward favorite the "Golden Sample" in hopes of capturing some nostalgia for some and "wow look at that" for others.

    At least has a pentagram on the back big grin smile

    In an unrelated note, I flat out dislike developers who feel "mobile first" applies to desktops and insist that anyone running a browser in a window must be on mobile.  Ugg.

  • Motherboard players act passively about outcome of the market

    Published: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Here is an interesting editorial about how motherboard makers are reacting to the current state of the PC Market.

    With PC demand remaining weak and the PC DIY channel continuing to experience decreased sales in the first quarter of this year, motherboard and graphics card players pointed out that the market is already in a phase of decline and most players are mainly waiting for competitors to quit the market or turning to focus on other applications in order to survive.

    The PC DIY channel has seen dropping sales during the past two years and the situation is especially worsening in China and this has greatly impacted motherboard players. To maintain their profits, most players have turned to focus on the gaming sector to push mid-range and high-end motherboards.

    They go on to talk about what companies have prepared for the remainder of the year and even mention how NVIDIA seems to be doing well despite the decline in demand.  This is likely due to the success of Pascal and the demand that has been created with the new GPU.

    However, Nvidia has greatly benefited from the graphics card market during the past two years despite the market also seeing falling demand. Since Nvidia has a dominant share in the market, it has gradually become influential with its downstream graphics card player partners in terms of giving supply priority, pricing, marketing and product designs.

    Motherboard and graphics card players are also concerned about Nvidia's Founder Edition product line and believe the GPU giant is looking to compete against them for the most profitable sector, despite Nvidia having refused such a claim.

    It isn't likely that NVIDIA will go back to building motherboard chipsets again.  Personally I believe their next step will be expanding their mobile market share and offering more in the way of small device processing and whatever it is they do for gaming.  Honestly I'm having trouble following what NVIDIA is doing on the gaming side and the ecosystem they are creating around shield.

    One thing is for certain, RGB might be easy to market but, I believer real enthusiasts are getting a little tired of it.

  • Next-Generation Memory Standard Earns Lukewarm Reception @ Extremetech

    Published: Monday, April 24, 2017 | By: Dennis

    Maybe the best quote I can find about Intel Optane comes not from a professional review site but rather a long standing technology site that started as a lackluster review site.  (go figure how that transformation happened, oh wait, money happy smile

    Anyhow Extremetech has posted a little editorial about Intel Optane that pulls in results from other review sites and has this to say.

    One issue no one’s happy with is Intel’s decision to limit Optane to Kaby Lake CPUs in 200-series chipsets. SSD caches (and Optane caches) would be most effective if deployed as acceleration in lower-cost systems or older hardware. Intel’s decision to sandbox their platform to only the latest motherboards and CPUs means the computers that could benefit the most from Optane acceleration aren’t eligible to use it.

    It’s also telling the platforms Intel shipped for Optane testing literally preclude comparing it with its most logical competitor. As we’ve previously stated, Optane should be compared against SSD drive caching, but the B250 motherboards that Intel provided literally only support Optane caching. If you try to configure the software to cache via SSD instead, it refuses to do so. For that, you need a Z270 motherboard, and that’s one reason we don’t have Optane figures ourselves today. The appropriate configuration to test against is the configuration that should serve as Intel’s primary competitor.

    There is some "emphasis" that gets lost in the Hardware Asylum quote system BUT, it pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Optane.  Basically, it makes things fast but only on systems that are already fast with no chance of making older systems fast using the new fast technology.

    Or in other words.  Intel is forcing obsolensense on its own hardware to get people to buy new hardware and use technology they don't really need,  #smart

    Be sure to check out the full article.