Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 13:07:26 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
If you ever feel the need to cool your M.2 2280 SSDs and pimp them with RGB LEDs, you can check out the new XPG STORM heatsink add-on from ADATA. This product promises to lower the temperature of your M.2 SSD and it has built-in RGB LEDs so you can spice up your case. Is there anything left that hasn't received the RGB LED treatment yet?
STORM features an aluminum heatsink and with a fan. It can be easily affixed to any compatible SSD to provide powerful cooling. Lower SSD temperatures promote more stable storage and system performance, in addition to the XPG-styled STORM heatsink with its colorful RGB lighting contributing to attractive, gaming-themed PC setups.
Lower temperatures complement high speeds
While M.2 2280 PCIe SSDs are currently the fastest on the market, their high data rates also mean considerable heat buildup. Without a heatsink, accumulating heat can compromise performance and accelerate SSD aging. STORM includes an aluminum heatsink that fits on any M.2 SSD without causing overhead issues. Together with the heatsink, STORM uses a fan to circulate cool air and reduces temperature by at least 25% when compared with bare M.2 SSDs.
RGB style brings out the best in SSDs
STORM includes RGB lighting elements that are sure to be appreciated by case modders and PC DIY enthusiasts. While the M.2 slot is usually almost hidden among other, larger components on the motherboard, with its RGB heatsink STORM indeed stands out. It comes with default RGB lighting modes and also supports several apps, such as ASUS AURA Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion Ready, and MSI Mystic Light Sync, for maximum convenience and customizability.
Easy installation on any compatible drive
Thanks to pre-applied thermal compound, STORM can be quickly placed on any M.2 2280 SSD or card. No screws or complicated procedures required, and no BIOS adjustments needed. Once in place, STORM begins to do its work lowering temperatures and improving storage and system stability.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 13:01:14 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
FUD Zilla writes Intel is expected to introduce its Gemini Lake processors towards late Q1 2018. This series will replace the Apollo Lake chips that were launched in Q3 2016. Gemini Lake is an improved 14nm architecture and it's intended for tablets and very low-end laptops, mostly 2-in-1 devices. Gemini Lake is a quad-core Atom-class chip with a TDP range of 4W to 6W.
Intel is targeting the €199 - €299 notebook/ 2 in 1/tablet market with the widely available Atom X5s. This will get replaced by the Gemini Lake generation. Gemini Lake is also known as the Goldmont plus. As the name implies this is still a 14nm improved design and not really a new architecture.
We don’t need to remind you that Intel is having trouble stepping down from 14nm manufacturing to 10nm but apparently this will happen at least for some devices in the course of 2018. Unfortunately, not for the Pentium X7/Celeron X5 previously known as Atom System on a chip. The good news is that the new 14nm++ - which is how Intel sometimes calls it, should be able to get you some additional 10 percent performance over the previous generation.
Some Gemini Lake based devices are expected in March but the bulk of them won't ship until Q2 2018.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 12:56:40 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
While the overall motherboard market has shrunk for several years now, with little improvement in sight, some players are doing better than others. ASUS is one of the companies that has weathered the situation much better than its smaller rivals. DigiTimes reports the firm is expected to stay in the lead in the motherboard market in 2018 and notes the company's graphics card shipment are also going strong:
Asustek saw its graphics card shipments turn strong since July and surpassed Galaxy Microsystems to become the second largest graphics card vendor in China in October.
With graphics card demand from the cryptocurrency mining trend starting to wear off, the gaming market is expected to become the major battlefield again for graphics card players in 2018 and Asustek, which is expected to see slightly increased on-year shipments in the fourth quarter, stands a good chance of maintaining its market leadership thanks to its Republic of Gamer (ROG) series mid-range to high-end products.
DigiTimes predicts some of the smaller motherboard makers may leave the market in 2018.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 10:25:52 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
ASUS released new BIOS updates for its full range of B350 and X370 based motherboards. The changelog contains something very interesting, it reveals these updates contain AMD AGESA 1071, which adds support for new processors.
Presumably, these new processors are the Raven Ridge based APUs. These feature Zen-based processor cores and Vega based integrated graphics. The first laptops with Ryzen Mobile APUs are already available so an upcoming launch of the desktop counterparts makes sense.
However, Asus stating that the update is for new upcoming processors indicates that AMD will be expanding its AM4 processor family in some way. Asus currently seems to be the only AMD motherboard partner offering the new BIOS (dated 11-17-17), and it seems the company has let a significant cat out of the bag.
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 18:00:07 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Patriot Memory announces the availability of its Viper LED Series DDR4 memory modules. These DIMMs have an aluminium heatspreader and feature a LED light bar. The LED is single color so it's pretty limited vis-à-vis the RGB DDR4 modules that are flooding the market right now. Patriot Memory offers models with white or red LEDs.
The MSRP ranges from $134.99to $249.99, here's a look at the available models:
PATRIOT, a global leader in performance
memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals and flash storage solutions today announced its new VIPER LED Series Performance DDR4 Memory. A remarkable LED-lit top decorative lighting and stylish aluminum heat shield design, VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is optimized for maximum performance on the Intel 100/200/300 series and AMD 300 series motherboards. VIPER LED Series available in both red and white LED model which light up gaming rig with bright integrated lighting designed to make the gaming rig look as good as it performs.
The modern gaming PC is exposed with many featuring large windows and tempered glass side panels. A perfect complement to these systems is a well-placed lighting scheme which includes LED lights on all of the major components. VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is available in both red and white LED lighting configurations with a decorative style and fantastic brightness.
“We have set out to complement a user’s gaming PC by creating a decorative memory kit with LED-Lit top lighting and a stylish aluminum heat spreader. From now on, performance lighted memory will be an important part of any gaming system.” said Roger Shinmoto, PATRIOT’s Vice President of Product Development.
In addition, every single module of VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is built on a 10-layer PCB, This ensures good signal integrity for stable gaming and overclocking performance. The chips and ICs featured in VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory are under a strict quality control and sorted to maintain rock-solid reliability and excellent overclocking on Intel 100/200/300 series and AMD 300 series motherboards.
Heat dissipation is one of most significant factors when running a high-performance system. Whether the aluminum material itself or the way how heat spreader designed, VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is designed to offer excellent heat dissipation and stable performance. Furthermore, each kit is fully compatible with the latest XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile), which allows users to easily set their memory speed and timings to get the highest possible performance and working stability.
PATRIOT VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is launching with a variety of capacities and frequency to provide users with several options when upgrading or building a new system. PATRIOT VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory is designed to maximize the performance of every gaming system, available in both 16GB(2x8GB) and 8G(2x4G) capacities with frequencies starting at 2,400MHz to extreme performance speed at 3,600MHz. All VIPER LED memory modules are backed by PATRIOT’s limited lifetime warranty.
VIPER LED Series DDR4 Memory features highlight:
Series: Viper LED (White and Red LED)
Edition: Black sides with Silver Viper logo and pattern
Compatibility: Tested on Intel 100/200/300 series and AMD 300 series motherboards for reliably fast performance
Feature Overclock: XMP 2.0 support for automatic overclocking
Aluminum heat spreader with unique and specific design element
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 13:04:46 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Compared with the consoles from Microsoft and Sony, the Nintendo Switch is definitely underpowered in the hardware specification department. However, a lot of game developers are releasing AAA titles for the Switch so it's interesting to take a look at how the console handles these games.
DigitalFoundry published a video test of Skyrim and compares how the game runs on the Switch and the PlayStation 4. The site concludes that Skyrim runs remarkably well on the Switch, it's a slick and polished experience. When craddled in the dock, the Switch runs the game at a resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels an is effectively locked to the target 30fps. Unlike the Doom port that was tested a week ago, it doesn't feel like Skyrim pushes the Switch beyond its limits.
And certainly in performance terms - crucial to a game like this, far more so than incidental detail - Skyrim delivers. You may lose the odd frame due to streaming, but across six hours of gameplay, the title delivered a solid 30 frames per second throughout. The sheer consistency here is worth commenting on - it's on par here with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game and it just feels right. Similar to Doom, the analogue nubs on the Joycons aren't the best interface for the game, but the experience holds up well overall.
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 12:48:40 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Industry sources told DigiTimes that a lot of Chinese manufacturers have left the virtual reality (VR) and smartphone markets. Nearly half of all Chinese brand vendors of entry-level to mid-range VR devices are no longer able to compete as the pricing of the more popular devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive dropped significantly this year.
The sources disclosed that many China firms were rushing to join the retail market for simple VR headsets and boxes after Google Cardboard was launched in 2014. As of January 2016, there were as many as 350 China-based brand vendors engaged in retail sales of such products, particularly VR boxes.
Although China now still commands nearly 50% of the global market supply of VR boxes, the sources continued, the number of China's brand vendors of budget-priced VR boxes and headsets has sharply shrunk to 190 now for failing to survive the changing market scenarios, in that all-in-one VR devices boast a growing variety of functions and ever-improving performance while the prices of high-end VR products have also been on the decline.
The site points out the same thing is happening in the Chinese smartphone market. Since September 2016, the number of Chinese smartphone brands has reportedly dropped from over 200 to a level of around 120. This is because the smaller players have a hard time competing in terms of price/performance and lack the brand image of first-tier players like Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 12:34:30 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Mojang released a new musical trailer to tease the upcoming Super Duper Graphics Pack update for Minecraft. This DLC update will not be available for free and it will significantly change the way how Minecraft looks.
Among other thing, the Super Duper Graphics Pack delivers more realistic textures, 4K texture support, better lighting, HDR support, better water physics, etc. It will be a big step away from the iconic look of the original, but considering the game is already six years old this could keep things exciting.
The bad news is the update has been delayed to 2018, whereas the original launch date was Fall 2017.
As a bonus, here's a trailer from a couple of months ago.
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 11:30:09 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel and Micron's 3D XPoint memory has seen a slow ramp up but at least in theory, this new type of memory promises to give NAND a run for its money. However, Samsung is hard at work to bring its Z-NAND to the market and this could potentially end up as a 3D XPoint killer.
The Register compared the specifications of the Intel Optane P4800X and the Samsung SZ985. The conclusion is that Z-NAND narrows the gap significantly. While regular NVMe SSDs have read/write latency of 110-120?s, the new Z-NAND is capable of achieving 12-20/16?s. It's still not as fast as the 10?s delivered by Optane, but it's getting pretty close.
The Samsung drive has a higher random read IOPS rating than the P4800X, but it has an even larger advantage in random write IOPS, which is emphasised in the sequential read/write bandwidth numbers where it is two and a half to three times better.
Z-NAND is believed to be tweaked SLC NAND with a customized controller to speed things up. In the end, a lot will probably depend on how both solutions are priced. If Samsung can significantly undercut Optane in terms of pricing, it could put a brake on Optane's growth potential. Furthermore, Z-NAND may also be able to scale capacity faster than Optane.
Posted on Monday, November 20 2017 @ 11:17:39 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Cooler Master will soon start shipping its MasterLiquid Maker 240 kit, this is sort of a hybrid between a closed-loop All-in-One model and larger DIY kits. By default, the MasterLiquid Maker 240 is set up to cool one processor but it has standard G 1/4 fittings so you can expand the loop to incorporate a VGA waterblock or a larger radiator.
The kit will include a CPU waterblock, a 200ml cylindrical reservoir with an integrated pump, a 240mm copper radiator with two MasterFan Pro RGB 120mm fans, cooland, and clear tubing.
The promise here is better performance than 240mm AiO closed-loop kits, but this version will require some assembly. An availability date isn't know nor an exact price point. It's supposed to sell for less than $200.