After being out of office for the better part of the week there are a lot of stories I need to catch up with, I'll try to publish some of the more interesting ones this weekend. As you may know, NVIDIA's shares have more than tripled over the last year as the company keeps delivering strong growth and investors have high expectations of the company's prospects in the self-driving car market as well as the broader AI industry.
One of the big NVIDIA stories earlier this week was the news that Japan's SoftBank has quietly build up a whopping $4 billion stake in NVIDIA. This represents 4.9 percent of NVIDIA's outstanding shares and makes SoftBank the fourth largest shareholder of the GPU designer.
The Japanese company, which just closed its Vision Fund, disclosed it owned an unspecified amount of Nvidia stock when it announced $93 billion of commitments to the technology investment fund on Saturday. A holding of 4.9 percent, just under the amount that would require a regulatory disclosure in the U.S., would be worth about $4 billion.
Bloomberg says the NVIDIA share purchase fits in the strategy of SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son to become one of the largest investors in technology:
A stake in Nvidia fits with SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s plans to become the biggest investor in technology over the next decade, with bets on emerging trends such as artificial intelligence. Under its founder, Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia has become one of the leaders of the charge by chipmakers to provide the underpinnings of machine intelligence in everything from data centers to automobiles.
NVIDIA shares gained even more yesterday as sources close to SoftBank indicated it may raise its holding in NVIDIA over time, and that this is a long-term investment:
The firm would raise its holding over time and begin to work more closely with Nvidia, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
“While we don’t comment on rumors about our investments, we consider ourselves long-term partners to companies, whether private or public,” SoftBank said in an emailed statement. Nvidia declined to comment.
Noblechairs send out word about the company's new line of Icon gaming chairs. The new lineup is offered in seven different versions, there are three models with top-grain leather as well as four cheaper models with PU synthetic leather. Not sure about the US pricing, in the UK these chairs range from £329.99 to £519.99.
Quality, comfort, and style - these are the watchwords at noblechairs, which makes us pleased to announce the launch of a brand new lineup that offers all of the above. Introducing the all-new ICON Series, comprising 7 different models that represent an exceptional and distinctive contribution to the noblechairs range of luxurious chairs.
The ICON Series is designed with comfort in mind, and noblechairs has listened to the community feedback constructing a brand new design that sets itself apart from other gaming chairs. The cold cured foam has been reformulated offering more cushioning whilst the back has been optimised to provide an improved ergonomic support, the EPIC Series is renowned for the high quality materials, and the ICON follows suit. The ICON Series has a 20% stronger five star base supporting greater weight making it more durable and long lasting, and the armrests have been improved using dark chrome elements.
The ICON Series is constructed using only the best materials, with a highly stylised design and exquisite detailing across the full range. The materials used are in a different class compared to the competition. The PU leather used on the ICON series is 1.5mm thick, which is between 25-60% thicker than the rest of the models available on the market.
The top-grain leather are due to arrive early next week, and the models employ an even thicker 2mm covering of leather for an unbeatable premium finish. noblechairs don’t stop there though, utilising 2mm thick steel for the chair frame, compared to the 1mm-1.5mm thickness frames found in most other chairs, augmenting the durability and contributing to the superior construction of every noblechair that leaves the factory.
Seating comfort is a huge part of what makes noblechairs unique. Unlike many other chairs on the market, noblechairs use a 55% density freshly moulded cold cured foam straight from the factory, not using recycled scraps. This lends every noblechair a distinctive and firm feel when sat upon for the first time, and after a few weeks of daily use the chair will adapt to your posture.
Due to the density and the high quality of foam used, you can rest assured that the ICON is built to last. Furthermore the chair's padding retains its ergonomic shape even after extended periods of use, thereby preventing the deformation of the seating area that is found on many other chairs. This is one of the main reasons that noblechairs are happy to offer a full 2-year warranty on every purchase.
There are 3 models available in top-grain leather: Cognac with Black accents, Midnight Blue with Graphite, and Black. There are also 4 PU models: Black, Black with Blue, Black with Platinum White and Black with Red accents.
The ICON PU Leather is priced at £329.99, and the ICON top-grain leather is priced at £519.99, noblechairs is set to redefine the concept of luxury gaming.
Cooler Master send out a press release to discuss some of the things it will show at next week's Computex show:
Cooler Master, a leading designer and manufacturer of desktop components and peripherals, is working hard to make sure you remember its 25th anniversary. A barrage of special edition products and some long-awaited surprises from its vault will debut at the world’s largest B2B tech trade show. People looking to tune in to coverage will also have the chance to watch modders and artists showcasing just how jaw-dropping PCs can look, and how you can do it yourself.
“Cooler Master has been a company of firsts. First commercial heat pipe CPU cooler. First all-aluminum PC. First AIO liquid cooler. Everything we’ve done has worked towards making the desktop a fun, beautiful and easy thing to build. At Computex, we want to show you how easy it has become to build a showcase PC,” said Charlie Wu, Cooler Master’s Brand Manager.
Although lips are sealed, Cooler Master has squeaked a little about what’s behind closed doors before May 30 arrives.
A Dream to Build, Look At, and Use
Everything Cooler Master will reveal is focusing on how premium PCs that took case modders months to pull off in the past can be done by anyone with the right tools. They are attacking the PC build from four aspects – putting in original tech and design (1) and customizing with hard accessories (2), adjustable parts and new software (3). For gamers in particular, they are releasing products (4) where every design option has a functional component for enhancing performance and comfort on the competitive level.
Cooling: Size Matters
Cooler Master’s tech department, built on its adventurous OEM roots, always has a few tricks up its sleeve. For CPU coolers, we’re looking at one concept based on a heat column mysteriously named “UFO.” The next, already hinted at during CES earlier this year, is the next edition of their flagship MasterAir Maker 8. They said it is even bigger, as they were able to overcome previous performance limitations by combining new loop heat pipe technology into the vapor chamber base. Lastly, they’re launching a product that is the last they need to check off a full list of all possible CPU cooling solutions available on the market. It involves flexible tubes, if that helps.
Cases: Pulling Secrets from the Vault
There’s really big news in the case department. Astronomical, you might even say. For starters, upgrades are coming on all existing cases in the modular MasterCase series, and the number of accessories will be pushed to over 25 with some unique lighting options. A completely new series of cases is on the horizon, with a design we’ve not quite seen before and described by Cooler Master as “our smallest case to date.”
Bigger still is the stuff from the 25th year anniversary vault, as we said earlier. They were super quiet about this, but did tell us that people are due to see new entrants from its two most popular case lines of all time. One of them is debuting glass curved in a way that the world has never seen before on a case. Stay tuned.
Peripherals: Make Your Gaming Experience
Cooler Master’s upcoming, across-the board release of new peripherals comes under the banner of “make your gaming experience.” With competitive gaming in mind, the trio wants to strip away flashy looks and provide durable gaming functionality with highly customizable options. A new set of keys, two new mice, a new headset and a combo set will feature numerous lighting effects, distinct RGB templates, grip variances to support contrasting style of games, and our patented Bass FX technology for easy switch sound.
Power Supplies: Less is Less
Cooler Master is taking parts out of its power supplies. We know, that sounds bad. Actually, it’s going to make things even quieter. As well, cables and power cases will be seeing in color with officially sanctioned sleeving and flat ribbon varieties.
RGB: Lighting Gets a Strong Push in Hardware and Software
After its initial success bundled with Ryzen’s Wraith RGB cooler, Cooler Master’s software will be debuting along with almost 10 new products that will come strapped in rainbow colors. You’ll be able to enjoy these and other compatible products in RGB whether or not you have an RGB motherboard, a sentence that will only make sense at Computex.
In the Booth: Watch PC Porn, Live
Surrounded by this year’s Case Mod World Series winners, modders from multiple countries will be showing off some of their skills in on-site modding demos. There will even be some giveaways featuring modded components done during the trade show. Witness and learn firsthand the skills you need to make a world class mod or just a nice PC for your own desk at home.
Cooler Master will have live coverage and giveaways on the company’s social media platforms and in major media visits, happening from May 30 – June 3, 2017.
AMD's Ryzen processor just received another big AGESA update, this release focuses on enhancing the stability of memory overclocks in excess of DDR4-2667. A ton of new memory overclocking features were added, you can check them out at the AMD Community blog.
AGESA 18.104.22.168 officially adds 26 new parameters that can improve the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles).
The following table spells out all the new parameters, and provides a few words on what they do. Keeping in mind that this is overclocking territory, manual or automated control of these parameters should nevertheless make it a little more straightforward to use DDR4-3200 modules—or faster if you have the talent!
The update got rolled out to motherboard makers, who will need a bit of time to roll out BIOS updates. AMD believes these BIOS updates will be available by mid to late June. Some motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 and ASUS Crosshair VI already have public betas available.
AMD also kindly reminds users that memory overclocking voids the warranty of your Ryzen CPU.
Intel hasn't really succeeded in making a big splash with its Thunderbolt technology but the company is planning a new offensive by making the technology's specification available royalty-free in 2018. Additionally, Intel will also remove the need to implement extra chips in PCs by integrating the Thunderbolt 3 technology directly into its processors:
The first step is straightforward and, in our view, a long time coming: the company is going to finally integrate Thunderbolt 3 into its processors. Although the first Thunderbolt 3 chips, codenamed "Alpine Ridge," were released in the third quarter of 2015, last year's Kaby Lake chipsets, including the high-end Z270, didn't include any native Thunderbolt 3 support. Instead, vendors had to add Alpine Ridge chips separately, with many of them opting not to do so. They preferred to avoid both the extra expense and extra complexity.
CRYORIG provides a glimpse of what the company will be showcasing at Computex:
PC Cooling innovator CRYORIG, is announcing two new CPU cooling projects ahead of Computex 2017. The CRYORIG R5 high-end single tower and the Cu Series of Copper Fin enhanced coolers. The R5 and Cu Series will both make their debut in the coming Computex 2017 from May 30th to June 3rd at Nangang Exhibition Hall 1 booth i1105.
The R5 is the second cooler in CRYORIG’s R series of flagship coolers. The R5 is the missing piece to CRYORIG’s PC cooling lineup. It is a high-end dual-fan single tower that is designed to stay within the mainboard’s CPU Keep-Out-Zone. This means that the CRYORIG R5 has Zero RAM Interference, even on Intel™’s X99/X299 based platforms. Made with performance in-mind the R5 contains multiple CRYORIG cooling innovations including: Convex-Align cooler base optimization, Multi-Seg™ Quick Mount System, 6 CRYORIG High-end Copper Heatpipes, CRYORIG Dual Fan Fin Optimizations and more. Dual XF140 800 - 1.400 rpm PWM fans will be attached front and back for enhanced performance. The R5 will also see the debut of CRYORIG’s brand new Quick Lock Mounting, that promises to simplify the way coolers are mounted.
CRYORIG’s Cu (Copper) enhanced Performance Edition coolers is a new twist to CRYORIG’s award winning CPU coolers. In traditional heatsink fin designs Aluminum provides a good combination of performance, weight and cost. But Copper provides roughly twice the heat conductivity compared to Aluminum. This is why CRYORIG is hand picking some of their most acclaimed coolers and fitting them with brand new pure copper fins. The Cu Series will first make it’s debut at Computex 2017. The CRYORIG C7 will be the first cooler to receive the Cu enhanced treatment, with further products to be announced later.
The new HBM2 is not only rare but also expensive. As you may know, AMD's upcoming high-end consumer Radeon RX Vega cards will feature two 4GB HBM2 stacks. FUD Zilla claims the 8GB HBM2 will cost AMD about $160:
According to our multiple, well informed industry insiders, the 4GB HBM 2 memory stack cost around $80 USD. Vega needs two HBM stacks to get to 8GB memory putting the price all the way up to $160 just for the memory. Using the same math, Nvidia spends $320 for four times 4GB for its Pascal P100 cards. The price is tailored for each customer and, quite likely, customers are getting different prices and the $80 should be regarded as just a rough guideline.
The site explains that in normal cases GDDR5 or GDDR5X memory costs "a few times less".
A long time ago I reviewed Cooler Master's original Cosmos case, I can't believe that's almost ten years ago! Now we receive word from Cooler Master that the company has prepared a COSMOS II 25th Anniversary Edition to celebrate the company's 25th birthday. This case ships in early July for 349EUR, you can check the specifications over here.
Ever since the launch of the original Cosmos II, fans have been asking, or making by themselves, for a windowed side panel.
Cooler Master has accepted the challenge and to celebrate the 25th anniversary we have released this special edition.
For this special edition we even take it a step further:
Both sides come with beautifully crafted curved tempered side panels that blend seamlessly with the sophisticated contours of the case.
A couple of days ago, Inno3D send an e-mail to present the company's new single-slot GeForce GTX 1050 lineup. This includes a GTX 1050 clocked at 1354MHz base with 2GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 7GHz, as well as a GTX 1050 Ti with a 1290MHz base and 4GB GDDR5 memory with a 7GHz clockspeed.
These models have Dual Link DVI-D, HDMI and DP outputs.
INNO3D™, one of the leading brands in high-end graphics cards and high quality 3D printers, expands its GPU portfolio with the new Single-Slot edition of the GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti and 1050. By designing a powerful video card in a thin and elegant form factor, performance that usually finds itself in dual-slot space, you can now get the same experience in smaller PCs that usually were lacking that graphics power.
NVIDIA's new Pascal™ architecture fuels the new INNO3D™ GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti / 1050 single slot graphics cards and deliver fast & smooth gameplay, supporting the latest DirectX™ 12 features in both classic and modern games at even 1080p @ 60 fps. The ultimate & affordable upgrade is here; INNO3D GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti/ 1050 series.
Corsair informed us they've added a couple of new products to their portfolio:
CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the launch of the Commander PRO and Lighting Node PRO fan and lighting controllers, alongside the new HD140 RGB series of RGB cooling fans.
Controlled by CORSAIR LINK software, Commander PRO is the ultimate in system control, providing complete command of up to six 4-pin PWM fans, two RGB lighting channels, four temperature sensors and two USB 2.0 headers.
Lighting Node PRO lights up your PC like never before, with two CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting channels and four included individually addressable RGB LED light strips, each equipped with ten RGB LEDs for brilliant, customizable, system illumination.
Finally, HD140 RGB joins the award-winning range of CORSAIR RGB cooling fans. Each 140mm fan boasts twelve vibrant, individually addressable LEDs, software controllable in CORSAIR LINK using either Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO.
Providing total control of your PC’s cooling and lighting, Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB combine with CORSAIR LINK to put you in command.
Offering the ultimate in CORSAIR LINK system control, Commander PRO has everything you need to take complete control of your PC’s cooling, monitoring, and lighting. Six 4-pin PWM fan headers provide total control of your cooling fans, from dead-stop to maximum speed, and anywhere in-between, using programmable fan curves in CORSAIR LINK. Two RGB lighting channels give instant RGB control of compatible CORSAIR RGB fans (up to six fans per channel) or CORSAIR RGB lighting strips (fours strips per channel).
Commander PRO also boasts four included thermistor inputs to provide additional temperature data from anywhere in your system, allowing fan speeds and lighting effects to respond to rising temperatures automatically. With the wealth of CORSAIR LINK enabled products from AXi, HXi, and RMi PSUs to CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers, Commander PRO offers a simple way to connect them, thanks to its pair of internal USB 2.0 headers. This frees up space on the motherboard and reduces cable clutter in your system.
Combining all the functions of a fan controller, lighting controller, temperature probe and internal USB 2.0 hub into a single CORSAIR LINK controlled device, you only need one Commander PRO for total control.
Lighting Node PRO
Lighting Node PRO provides vivid lighting effects and custom color combinations for up to twelve CORSAIR SP RGB or HD RGB fans (six per channel) or eight CORSAIR RGB Lighting strips (four per channel). The ideal addition to a CORSAIR Crystal Series 460X or 570X case, Lighting Node PRO lets you take complete software control of your case’s RGB fans in CORSAIR LINK, granting access to a host of new lighting options, from smooth transitions to adaptive lighting that reacts to component temperatures. Included with Lighting Node PRO are four individually addressable RGB LED lighting strips, each equipped with ten ultra-bright RGB LEDs ready to light up your system. Each strip includes an extension cable for easy routing and placement inside your case, while integrated magnetic mounts in each strip make them easy to install.
With everything you need to bring CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting to your PC, Lighting Node PRO makes it easier than ever before to light up your PC your way.
HD140 RGB Fans
Joining the award-winning HD series of RGB cooling fans, HD140 RGB combines increased airflow with twelve individually addressable LEDs for 360° of RGB every time you turn on your PC. Equipped with a low-noise hydraulic bearing and ultra-thin fan blades, HD140 RGB fans might draw attention for their looks, but not their noise, and with 4-pin PWM control, it’s simple to customize performance using Commander PRO or any 4-pin fan header. Including an easy-access 3-button controller to cycle through vivid animation presets, HD140 RGB comes to life when connected to a Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO, unlocking nearly endless customization and lighting effects. Available as a single, or twin-pack, HD140 RGB lets you go big on fans, and bold on lighting.
Availability, Warranty and Pricing:
The CORSAIR Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB series of fans are available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. All three products are backed by a two-year warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network.