Tech News

  • MSI MEG X299 CREATION @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Monday, February 18, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Have to admit I'm a little jealous here.  When I was at Computex 2018 MSI had just launched the X399 MEG for Threadripper and I was very impressed with not only the motherboard but the pack of accessories.  One notable is the M.2 expansion board allowing you to run M.2 drives and not impact board locations for other expansion cards like the all important 4-Way graphic card setups that NVIDIA refuses to support and capture cards.

    From the elite family of products dubbed MEG (MSI Enthusiast Gaming) comes another cutting-edge board with unique features and accessories. The MEG X299 CREATION is yet another board that promises to go above and beyond, so I took the review and turned it to 11.

    MSI has been really good about including "auto overclocking" support with all of their motherboards with the latest version being a performance dial which, you guessed it, goes to 11.

  • Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe Linux SSD Benchmarks @ Phoronix

    Published: Monday, February 18, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Given that we live in a Windows world it is sometimes easy to forget that there is another OS popular with PC Enthusiasts.


    Guess what? Linux can use NVMe SSDs too!

    Announced at the end of January was the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as the first consumer-grade solid-state drive with 96-layer 3D NAND memory. The Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSDs are now shipping and in this review are the first Linux benchmarks of these new SSDs in the form of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB MZ-V7S500B/AM compared to several other SSDs on Linux.

    96-Layer NAND is the new corner stone of affordable SSD storage allowing you to pack more data into less space.  But, what does it do to the performance?

  • ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme @ Funky Kit

    Published: Monday, February 18, 2019 | By: Dennis

    There comes a time when you sometimes regret reviewing something.  Don't get me wrong I have reviewed my fair share of bad hardware, some of it has been published though most just gets abandoned.  The ZOTAC AMP Extreme is "not" ono of them.  In fact my only regret is the deal I had to strike to get one AND the fact there hasn't been one since.

    You see sometimes hardware leaves an imprint and no volume of drink or juicy apple can fill the void.  Well, Funky Kit knows my pain and given their proximity to ZOTAC HQ and ability to barge into Computex meetings with cameras blazing which totally distracts the people I'm talking two has likely secured their place in the linup to get a RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme.

    The ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 Ti AMP Extreme is truly a beast of a graphics card, and is more than worthy of our Editor’s Choice award based on its phenomenal performance. If you have really deep pockets, and money is no object … then this is one of the fastest graphics card you’ll ever get.

    Ok, #rant over, time to get back to work happy smile

  • NVIDIA DLSS Test in Battlefield V

    Published: Thursday, February 14, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Battlefield V is finally supporting DLSS on GeForce RTX enabled video cards, increasing performance and making environment look much more realistic.  This is something that was mentioned during CES with the RTX2060 launch is that enabling one technology caused a perfornance hit but the Tensor cores were there to "restore performance"

    This is how they justified the low-end card being faster than a 1080 and is what will give you a refund to the RTX Tax in BattleField V

    NVIDIA purports DLSS to be an important feature for RTX 20-series users because it lets them make up a big chunk of performance lost by turning on RTX real-time raytracing. Despite all its refinements, Battlefield V ended up imposing a 20-30 % performance penalty (dubbed "RTX tax") for turning on DXR Reflections. DLSS lets you file returns on that tax. In this review, we explore the image quality obtained by turning on DLSS and its impact on performance. The comparison only includes numbers for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, and we tested with both RTX and DirectX 12 enabled, using today's GeForce 418.91 driver and today's Battlefield V update on our VGA review test system.

    TechPowerUp has a great article on the update with screenshots!  Honestly I'm not sure I would have noticed any difference but the performance boost is nice.

  • Introducing the EVGA Z390 DARK - Revolutionary Design

    Published: Sunday, February 03, 2019 | By: Dennis

    "The EVGA Z390 DARK is a 3rd generation model built exclusively for ultimate performance with improved and upgraded component selections, VRM, NVMe I/O, and PCB layout, compared to the flagship X299 DARK."

    - Illya "TiN" Tsemenko

    The power of the DARK side of EVGA's Z390 motherboards is now available! After setting the bar with the X299 DARK, EVGA went back to work to design the next generation of motherboards designed exclusively for the world's top overclockers... or those looking to become one of the world's top overclockers. No effort was spared to improve the power design, layout, or features of the Z390 DARK.

    The Z390 DARK is the first motherboard to feature both the 24-pin power connector alongside both 8-pin CPU power connectors as right-angle connectors on the side of the board. Not only does the layout give the DARK a stunning look but the layout also provides a very friendly design for cable-management enthusiasts. This revolutionary design features:

    • The CPU Socket is turned 90-degrees, which allows the memory to run parallel to the top of the chassis
    • The entire VRM is cooled with a large passive heatsink.
    • This design allows for chassis airflow to pass unimpeded over the top of the power connectors, across the cpu and memory, and through the rear-panel heatsink.

    The DARK comes fully equipped with useful LEDS of all types...for monitoring system and component status, and displaying temperatures and voltages.  Additional must-have features include:

    • USB BIOS Flash Without a CPU - The dedicated internal USB port on the motherboard allows you to update your motherboard BIOS even if you don't have a CPU or cannot boot into the motherboard BIOS.
    • Multi-Function POST Indicator - Fully configurable in BIOS, these LEDs can be configured to show temperatures, voltages or cycle both in real-time.
    • Right Angle Headers - 24-pin power, both 8-pin CPU power, Fan, Probe-It, and USB 3.1 Gen1 headers – Hand-crafted design to provide clean system assembly without cable clutter.
    • Visual Guide / Bench Table - Every EVGA Z390 Dark is packed with a printed PCB showing components, LEDs, PCIe lane breakdowns, and other helpful information. More importantly, this PCB with included standoffs doubles as an open-air testing or benching station, providing clearance for heaters, condensation isolation, and storage devices.
    • PCIe / DIMM Status LEDs - PCIe / DIMM status LEDs allow for easy system assembly and troubleshooting at a glance.

    The EVGA Z390 DARK is finally here to convince you to give yourself to the DARK side of the EVGA Motherboard lineup. Go on, the DARK is waiting.


    • Chipset: Intel Z390
    • Socket: Intel Socket LGA1151, 8th and 9th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7/i9 Coffee Lake-S Processors
    • Form Factor: E-ATX
    • SLI: 2-Way SLI
    • Memory: 2 DIMM Dual-Channel (up to 32GB) DDR4 4600MHz+
    • Display Outputs: 1x mDP
    • USB: 4x USB 2.0 (4 Ports from 2 Internal Headers)
    • USB 3.1 (Rear I/O): 4x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-A, USB3.1 Gen2 (From ASM3142) 1x Type-A/1x Type-C, 2x USB3.1 Gen1
    • USB 3.1 (Internal Header): 1x USB3.1 Gen2 Type-C, 2x USB3.1 Gen1 (2 from Internal Header) with USB Power Delivery Support
    • SATA: 6 Native SATA 6.0Gbps Ports / 2 ASMedia SATA 6.0Gbps Ports
    • M.2 Key-M: 2x 110mm Slots (Up to 32Gb/s) / M.2 Key-E 1x 32mm Slot
    • U.2: 1x U.2 PCIe NVMe port
    • Ethernet: 2x Intel® Gigabit NIC
    • Audio: Creative Sound Core3D Quad-Core Audio Processor
    • Fan Headers: 8 (2 CPU PWM, 6 PWM/DC)

    Key Features

    • Highly-Efficient 17 Phase Digital VRM
    • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
    • New Integrated EVGA Wireless Module with Intel Dual-band WiFi / BT5.0 with external antenna
    • Reinforced PCIe slots
    • EVGA's Latest GUI BIOS Featuring OC Robot and In-BIOS Stress Testing
    • SafeBoot button to reset the motherboard and go into the BIOS with last known good settings without clearing CMOS
    • Slow Mode switch locks CPU multiplier to lowest possible setting to allow users to switch between max OC and low speeds in real-time.
    • SPI flashing via USB allows you to flash your BIOS without a CPU
    • Onboard Temperature and Voltage Monitoring
    • Onboard Clear CMOS, Power and Reset Buttons
    • Triple BIOS Support
    • EVGA E-LEET X Tuning Support

    Now Available!

  • G.SKILL Hexa-Channel DDR4 Memory Kits with Massive Capacity

    Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Taipei, Taiwan (30 January 2019) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is exhilarated to announce new ultra-fast, ultra-high capacity Trident Z Royal DDR4 RGB memory specifications designed for use with the latest unlocked 28-core Intel® Xeon® W-3175X processor. Operating in hexa-channel with 6- or 12-module kit configurations, these new 6-channel Trident Z Royal memory kits can reach insane memory speeds of up to DDR4-4000 CL17-18-18-38 at 1.35V, which feature extreme performance Samsung B-die memory ICs. With fast memory speed and massive capacity, these hexa-channel memory kits are perfect for heavy-workload workstations when paired with the 28-core Xeon processor.

    The Road from Quad- to Hexa-Channel: Boosting Memory Bandwidth
    As computing technology improves, the amount of processed data also increases, leading to a demand for more memory channels and higher bandwidth. For the first time, this new platform introduces hexa-channel memory support to the larger consumer market, which was previously only found in server-class systems. While operating under 6-channels, the extreme performance DDR4-4000 CL17 96GB (8GBx12) memory kit reaches a blazing fast read bandwidth speed of 122GB/s – a substantial increase over currently available quad-channel platforms. See below for a screenshot of the bandwidth result from the AIDA64 memory benchmark:

    192GB Super Massive Memory Kit Capacity
    Using high-capacity 16GB modules, this platform allows a maximum of 192GB memory capacity with a kit of 16GBx12. Being the first of its kind, G.SKILL propelled the full 192GB to an extreme DDR4-4000 speed with CL17-18-18-38 timings. The screenshot below shows the 12-module Trident Z Royal 192GB memory kit being stress tested and validated on the Asus ROG Dominus Extreme with the Xeon W-3175X processor:

    Availability & XMP 2.0 Support
    These extreme performance Trident Z Royal DDR4 RGB memory kits will support the latest Intel XMP 2.0 for easy overclocking setup and will be available via G.SKILL worldwide distribution partners.

  • Noctua introduces new thermal compounds and cleaning wipes

    Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Vienna, January 29th 2019 – Noctua today introduced NT-H2, the further improved second generation of its award-winning hybrid thermal compound. Combining the iconic NT-H1’s proven features, superb ease of use and renowned long-term stability with a novel, fine-tuned formula of microparticles for even better thermal performance, NT-H2 is an enthusiast-grade paste for the highest demands. At the same time, Noctua also presented a new, large 10g pack of NT-H1 as well as NA-SCW1, a set of 20 cleaning wipes that are ideal for removing thermal compound in a quick, clean and efficient manner.

    “First introduced in 2007 and shipped with our premium-quality CPU coolers for more than 10 years, our NT-H1 thermal compound has proven its excellent performance in countless tests and reviews,” says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “It’s chosen again and again by overclockers and hardware enthusiasts around the globe, not only for its efficiency but also for its ease of application and cleaning. Today, we’re proud to present the new, second-generation NT-H2 that provides even better performance!”

    Further improving the award-winning NT-H1, NT-H2 uses a new, fine-tuned mixture of metal oxide microparticles for even lower thermal resistance and reduced bond-line thickness at typical mounting pressures. This allows it to achieve an even better performance in most application scenarios. In Noctua’s standardised internal testing at various platforms and heat loads, up to 2°C lower temperatures were attained.

    Just like NT-H1, NT-H2 does not require a break-in period and due to its excellent long-term stability, it can be used on the CPU for up to 5 years. Both pastes are electrically non-conductive and non-corroding, so there is no risk of short circuits and they’re safe to use with all types of heatsink.

    NT-H2 will come in standard 3.5g and extra-large 10g packages that include three (3.5g) and ten (10g) NA-CW1 cleaning wipes for easy cleaning. Pre-moistened with a custom detergent mixture, these wipes are ideal for cleaning CPUs, GPUs and the contact surface of heatsinks in a quick and efficient manner. For enthusiast users who take off and install their coolers frequently, the NA-CW1 wipes are also available separately in a set of 20 (NA-SCW1).

    In addition to the new NT-H2 and NA-SCW1 cleaning wipes, Noctua also introduced a new 10g package of NT-H1. While, so far, the popular paste has only been available in a 3.5g package, the new 10g version is ideal for power users or for large processors such as AMD’s Threadripper (TR4) or Intel’s LGA3647 that require higher volumes of thermal compound.

    Prices and availability
    All models will be available via Noctua’s official Amazon and eBay within the next few days. Other sales partners will receive stock shortly.

    The suggested retail prices are as follows:
    NT-H2 3.5g: 12.90 EUR/USD
    NT-H2 10g: 24.90 EUR/USD
    NT-H1 3.5g: 7.90 EUR/USD
    NT-H1 10g: 14.90 EUR /USD
    NA-SCW1: 7.90 EUR/USD

  • PC is still developers favorite gaming platform @ PCGamer

    Published: Sunday, January 27, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Strike another win for the PcMasterRace.  (if you are into the whole reddit thing)

    According to PCGamer they had over 4000 developers take a survey on their preferred gaming platform and it is no surprise that the PC came out on top, if only by a small margin.

    PC remains the most popular gaming platform among developers, and its lead over consoles and mobile is growing, according to a Game Developers Conference survey of nearly 4,000 developers. 

    The State of the Game Industry 2019 report found that 56% of respondents had released their last game on PC, the first time the figure has topped 50%. Smartphones/tablets were the next most popular platform at 38%.

    Back with the first XBox release there was some major Microsoft money involved pushing to get developers to create games for the gaming console.  the XBox was Microsoft’s first gaming console and as they have done with the PC their goal was to make money on the software side selling games and licenses for the new platform.

    Sadly the aftermath was that PC gaming suffered and has finally started to recover.  I highly doubt the console and mobile space will ever be as popular as PC gaming but as the technology develops there might be a time when there is virtually no difference.

  • Fractal Design Meshify S2 Black Tempered Glass Edition at Modders-Inc

    Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019 | By: Dennis

    Fractal Design is one of those companies that either brainwashes their user base or is really just that good because it seems everyone wants to build in them.  The TechUtainment sector loves them. (likely because of the advertising dollars and injection of free product that they can't/won't sell) and they generally review well on the modding sites.

    Personally I cannot say for sure which is true.  I have never gotten a sample nor has the company reached out to me.  Maybe I just need to start a YouTube channel.  Oh wait..

    Modders-Inc has this to say.

    Fractal is launching the new version of the Meshify case line which is all about airflow, the Fractal Design Meshify S2. Fractal tends to build a more subdued case. Lacking from Fractal's line up are RGB LED-laden chassis. Don't get me wrong, there's a time and a place for RGB LEDs. Fractal has taken lessons learned from their other lines

    While the above is just an incomplete snip auto-magically pulled from the first paragraph of their article I gather there may or may not be some RGB involved with this case.

  • MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z 11 GB @ TechPowerUp

    Published: Thursday, January 24, 2019 | By: Dennis

    This card is one we talked about on the most recent Hardware Asylum Podcast Episode 95.  The RTX 2080 Ti Lightning was shown during CES with the expectation that very few, if any would make it to the US.

    So far this is the second review I have seen so..  now we know where they all went. wink smile

    ~ Photo from TechPowerUp

    MSI's GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z is the company's flagship RTX 2080 Ti. Its out of the box overclock is larger than on most other cards, and it actually provides significant performance gains. MSI also added a lot of features for overclockers, and RGB is present, too.

    I still want one.  Might have to go old school for this round