Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 21:25:05 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD first showed off a cute Radeon RX Vega Nano card in the summer of 2017 but so far not a single add-in board partner has released such a card. Probably a variety of issues are to blame for this, first up the launch volume of the Vega cards was very low and after that a lot of the cards went to cryptocurrency miners so AMD's partners didn't have to put in a lot of effort to get the cards sold.
Now it looks like we may get a compact Radeon RX Vega after all. Over at a press event in New York, AMD teased a Vega Nano video card from PowerColor. The Tech Report uploaded some photos, which reveal 6-pin plus 8-pin PCI power connectors. The site says AMD didn't share anything about when (or even if) this card will make it to retail shelves.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 20:38:58 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The paperlaunch happened a week ago and now we have the official availability of AMD's Ryzen 2000 series. The launch lineup includes a modest four models. What it boils down to is that AMD is offering an incremental performance update versus the first-gen, at similar prices.
AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced the global availability of its 2nd Generation Ryzen™ Desktop processors, starting with four models optimized for gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts: Ryzen™ 7 2700X, Ryzen™ 7 2700, Ryzen™ 5 2600X, and Ryzen™ 5 2600 processors. Using the world's first 12nm process technology, these 2nd Gen Ryzen processors can offer up to 15% higher gaming performance than 1st Gen Ryzen processors, while delivering the highest multiprocessing performance you can get on a mainstream desktop PC, and enhanced capabilities including Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR 2), an included Wraith Cooler, unlocked performance accessed with the new Ryzen™ Master Utility2, and more.
"Last year we started changing the PC industry with the introduction of our first wave of Ryzen processors – delivering more performance, features, and choice to our customers than before. Our 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs continue this pursuit by raising the standards for enthusiast gamers and creators," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With this launch we're also demonstrating that we are just getting started, that we are committed to delivering a multi-generational roadmap of leadership high-performance processors that will drive innovation and competition into the industry for years to come."
Building on the original award-winning 2017 "Zen" architecture, the 2nd Gen Ryzen processors combine the improved "Zen+" core with other major performance, feature, and platform advancements.
The new "Zen+" core increases IPC and reduces both cache and memory latencies compared to 1st Gen Ryzen processors. AMD's SenseMI5 technology is updated with Precision Boost 2, which enables 2nd Gen Ryzen processors to intelligently analyze the workload and computing environment and contributes in delivering the highest multiprocessing performance in their classes.
Higher effective clock speeds on all 2nd Gen Ryzen processor cores can improve the performance of Ryzen processors in popular real-world applications like games, creativity and productivity applications. Gaming experiences are beautifully smooth across popular resolutions from 1080p Ultra to 1440p High to 4K. And, select 2nd Gen Ryzen processors offer up to 20 percent faster content creation than the competition.
With XFR 2 technology on all AM4 platforms with 2nd Gen Ryzen processors, enthusiast PC builders will enjoy even higher performance11 in the presence of premium cooling.
Designed with enthusiasts and high performance in mind, 2nd Gen Ryzen processors feature soldered integrated heatspreaders for superlative thermal transfer, and unlocked multipliers for simple, powerful overclocking5 control. Performance tuning, enabled by the new Ryzen Master 1.3 software, is easier than ever before, and now offers per-core overclocking5 with automatic identification of the potentially fastest cores.
For the first time, the entire line of 2nd Gen Ryzen processors include a world class AMD Wraith Cooler inside the retail box. The flagship AMD Ryzen 7 2700X CPU includes the new Wraith Prism cooler featuring premium thermal performance, an upgraded fan profile, and enhanced lighting capabilities with per-RGB controls.
Optimized for the 2nd Gen Ryzen processors, new AMD X470 chipset is available on Socket AM4 motherboards now. In addition to enhanced memory compatibility and overclocking capability, these new motherboards come with a free download of the new AMD StoreMI technology software, which combines the speed of an SSD and the capacity of a traditional spinning hard disk into a single easy-to-manage drive for faster, smarter, and easier storage.
Compatible with all current AM4 processors, the new X470 motherboards augment the existing 300-series motherboards, which are also compatible with the new 2nd Gen Ryzen processors with a firmware (BIOS) update. Many in-market motherboards already come with the updated BIOS, indicated by a "Ryzen Desktop 2000 Ready" label on the package.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 20:31:11 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Biostar reveals the X470GTN, a new Mini-ITX gaming motherboard for AMD's second-gen Ryzen processors.
BIOSTAR adds a mini-ITX motherboard with the RACING X470GTN for the second generation AMD Ryzen processors, Pinnacle Ridge and Raven Ridge. The BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN packs powerful features in a small form factor for gamers on the move. It has a premium black RACING themed PCB design, Digital Power+, Hi-Fi zone design, integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A + C), Iron Slot Protection, and Advanced VIVID LED DJ for more RGB lighting control.
BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN
The BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN is a mini-ITX form factor motherboard with one PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot and supports two dual-channel memory of up to DDR4-3200MHz (OC). The RACING X470GTN has a 7-digital power phase design to harness the power of the new Ryzen 7 2700X 8-core, 16-thread processor. The motherboard also packs 4x SATA III ports, 1x M.2 32Gb/s port and integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type A and C).
BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN Highlights:
Iron Slot Protection
The Iron Slot Protection reinforces the PCI-E x16 slot to protect heavier graphics cards from bending, and extend the usage of the slots.
Digital Power Plus
IR digital power to provide the highest performance and superior stability.
5050 LED Fun Zone
Packed with 2x 5050 LED headers to bring more colorful lighting options.
AMD AM4 RACING motherboards come with the whole new Gaming LAN-DRAGON, and the exclusive utility FLY.NET.
A windows-based audio utility which allows you to adjust system volume to increase or decrease impedance setting (Low/High Gain).
BIOSTAR Super 5 Design Concept
BIOSTAR’s exclusive set of features for the new RACING Series motherboards for performance and aesthetics that’s user-friendly and easy to customize.
The new BIOSTAR Racing Face Design has improved aesthetics and features including Carbon Fiber-like Heatsink and Fashion Matte Black PCB. The Super Face Design concept offer gamers a visually appealing motherboard complete with customizable RGB lighting options.
BIOSTAR Powerful Hardware design that ensures durability and stability including features such as Super Durable Solid Caps, Dual BIOS, Digital Power+ and PCI-E M.2 32Gb/s.
BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Design delivers high-fidelity audio for immersive gaming audio. Features such as Blu-ray audio, Super Hi-Fi audio connectors, Hi-Fi Ground Design, Hi-Fi AMP, Smart Ear, hi-Fi Cap and S/PDIF output.
BIOSTAR Racing Series features a user-friendly UI design for easy navigation and tuning. Information about the system can be viewed at a glance and all the BIOSTAR exclusive features such as Smart Ear, Advanced VIVID LED DJ, and others can be accessed easily for fine-tuning and customization.
BIOSTAR’s interesting DIY Design features a wide selection of customization and personalization options such as VIVID LED DJ Utility and 5050 LED Fun Zone. The Advanced VIVID LED DJ Utility gives full control and customization on RGB lighting which connected through the 5050 LED Fun Zone headers.
BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN rear I/O ports have the legacy PS/2 connector support 1 x PS/2 for keyboard, 2 x USB 3.1Gen2 ports: 1 for Type A and 1 for Type C, 4 x USB 3.1Gen1 ports, DVI-D, HDMI 1.4, 1 x RJ-45 Port, 5 x Audio Connectors and1 x S/PDIF Out Port.
The BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN is perfect for gamers looking to build a high-performance yet compact or mobile setup. For gamers with less space at home or on the move, the BIOSTAR RACING X470GTN provides the performance you need without missing a beat.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 20:27:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sharkoon shows off the PureWriter RGB, a new line of keyboards with a flat design. These mechanical keyboards feature Kailh low-profile switches in Red and Blue varieties. It has NKRO, anti-ghosting, function keys with preset multimedia actions, 16.8m RGB LED lights, and a detachable USB cable. The fullsized PureWriter RGB costs 79.90EUR but Sharkoon also has a tenkeyless PureWriter TKL RGB for $69.90EUR.
Sharkoon widens its range of low profile keyboards, and, with the PureWriter RGB and the PureWriter TKL RGB, introduces two versions with stepless adjustable RGB illumination. Both versions – with or without number block – benefit from additional function keys with preset multimedia actions. Following from the previous PureWriter models without RGB, Sharkoon is continuing with the mechanical switches from the Kailh manufacture. Both RGB Keyboards are available with either red or blue switches.
With the Purewriter RGB and the Purewriter RGB TKL, Sharkoon has put its low-profile keyboards with stepless adjustable RGB illumination into a new light. Apart from preprogrammed lighting effects and preset lighting profiles, there is also a mode which offers an individualized choice of colors from the whole RGB spectrum. The chosen illumination can be programmed on-the-fly and saved in profiles. All settings are made directly on the keyboard and software is not needed.
The keyboard version with the number block has separate multimedia keys for volume control, or for launching the preferred email program. In addition, this and the TKL version both have function keys with preset multimedia actions, which, for example, can be used for controlling the media player.
The puristic aluminium surface remains the same, as does the frameless compact design – measuring 436 mm in length (355 mm for the version without number block) and 127 mm in width. Thanks to n-key rollover, anti-ghosting keys, a polling rate of 1,000 Hz as well as a choice of mechanical switches, the keyboards have not only been made for office use. The blue switches have an acoustic, tactile feedback with a detectable switching point; the red switches could be of interest to gamers as these have a linear characteristic and an undetectable switching and click point. Both keyboard versions have flat keycaps with a height of 6.2 mm and a lifecycle of at least 50 million key strokes.
The PureWriter RGB and the Purewriter TKL RGB connect using one of the supplied USB cables, which each a have a gold-plated micro B plug and a type A plug. The shorter cable has a length of 50 cm, which is ideal for connecting to notebooks. The longer 150 cm cable is suitable for use with conventional PCs. The keyboards are also compatible with Android devices by means of an OTG adapter.
The Sharkoon PureWriter RGB, with either red or blue mechanical switches, is available at a suggested retail price of 79.90 euros. The Sharkoon PureWriter RGB TLK, also with either red or blue switches, is available at a suggested retail price of 69.90 Euros.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 09:55:31 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The second new display of the day is the BenQ EX3203R, this is a curved 31.5-inch monitor with a curvature of 1800R. The display has a LED-backlit VA panel with 178-degrees viewing angles and a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels. It supports HDR and has 400 nits brightness, 3000:1 contrast ratio, 4ms gray-to-gray response time, 144Hz refresh rate, 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, and AMD's FreeSync 2.
The display stand offers height and tilt adjustments, and is VEGA mount compatible. Display inputs include two HDMI 1.4 ports and a DisplayPort. Interestingly, the EX3203R also has a USB Type-C port that can be used as display connection, for charging (max 10W), and to power the USB 3.0 hub.
Pricing and availability is unknown.
The EX3203R looks like a minor upgrade versus the EX3200R, which currently retails for $398.99. The main difference between the two displays seems to be that the new panel has a higher resolution and HDR support.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 09:44:25 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The big news of the day will be the launch of AMD's second-gen Ryzen processors, other than this it's shaping up to be a very slow news day. We do have two new display announcements for you. First up, here's the AGON AG322QC4 from AOC.
The AGON AG322QC4 will start shipping in June for around 599EUR, it has a 31.5" curved VA panel with a 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution. The refresh rate is 144Hz, it has a 4ms gray-to-gray response time, 400 nits brightness, 2000:1 contrast ratio, a DisplayHDR 400 certification, FreeSync 2 support, and a 1800R curvature.
This new gaming display has an adjustable foot, a headset stand, 5W stereo speakers, and a LED light strip. Display inputs include VGA, 2x HDMI 2.0, and 2x Displayport 1.2. It also has a USB 3.0 hub.
Display specialist AOC is proud to announce the new addition to its AGON premium gaming monitor family, the AOC AGON AG322QC4 that offers stunning gaming visuals with its VESA DisplayHDR™ 400-compliant 3-sided frameless 31.5” VA panel, a razor-sharp Quad HD (2560x1440 px) resolution in 16:9 aspect ratio, deep and inky 2000:1 static contrast ratio and an aggressive 1800R curvature. The 144 Hz refresh rate, 4 ms GtG response time combined with Radeon™ FreeSync™ 2 support ensure a smooth gameplay experience at the utmost competitive level.
DisplayHDR 400 and Radeon FreeSync 2
The AG322QC4 comes with recent display technologies for lifelike visuals and the smoothest gameplay experience, VESA DisplayHDR 400 and AMD's Radeon FreeSync 2. The VESA DisplayHDR 400 specification ensures 400 cd/m² peak brightness, improved black levels, higher colour gamut and more bit depth (colour depth) to display High Dynamic Range (HDR) visuals.
For a stutter-free and tear-free gaming experience, AMD’s Radeon FreeSync 2 technology improves upon FreeSync, still supporting a variable refresh rate (by matching the monitor’s refresh rate with the framerate of the GPU). FreeSync™ 2 employs stricter constraints (e.g. mandatory Low Framerate Compensation (LFC), bigger colour space) and HDR support with lower latency than conventional HDR monitors.
Impressive and immersive looks
The sleek AG322QC4 with its revamped deep black finish employs a 1800R curvature on its 31.5” VA (Vertical Alignment) panel. This aggressive curvature with a radius of 1800 mm encapsulates the user, covers their peripheral vision and offers them a convincing immersion. On a curved display, one’s eyes will have more or less the same distance to every corner of the panel with an almost perpendicular angle, which cancels out any picture distortion, contrast and colour shift caused by an oblique angle.
Redefining smooth gameplay
The AG322QC4’s VA panel boasts a QHD (2560x1440 px) resolution, future-proofing gamers for many years to come. The best middle-ground resolution for today’s gamers, the QHD resolution provides four-times more detailed imagery than a 720p resolution, yet in most games current mid-/high-end GPU’s can easily push high framerates in QHD compared to 4K. The AG322QC4’s VA panel also provides wide viewing angles comparable to IPS panels.
Competitive gamers will be satisfied with the aggressive specs of the AG322QC4. The 144 Hz refresh rate and 4 ms GtG response time together eliminate the effects of motion blur and give gamers much better visual feedback in fast-paced, twitchy games. AOC’s Low Input Lag mode improves the responsiveness of the monitor even more. In this mode, the video signal bypasses most of the video processing done by monitor’s electronics and the actions given by input devices (keyboard/mouse) translate more quickly into visuals.
Customise to your own game
AOC knows the little things gamers appreciate. AOC’s Game Mode presets offer custom settings for different genres such as FPS, Racing or RTS for faster responsiveness and clearer visuals. Moreover, users can save their own presets as well. With the included wired remote OSD controller (QuickSwitch), users can easily jump between these presets. AOC’s Shadow Control feature allows gamers to dial-in shadow levels in the OSD, lightening the dark areas or darkening bright/washed-out areas, so they can get the upper edge no matter what.
The AOC Ergo Base allows wide ranges of height, tilt and swivel adjustments for optimum ergonomic positioning. Gamers can connect their headsets using audio out and microphone inputs, and when not in use, hang them onto the AG322QC4’s retractable headphone holder. Practicality is also provided by the monitor’s 2 x USB 3.0 ports, the built-in cable management solution and carry-on handle for transportation. With the LED lights on the lower bezel and the back of the monitor, gamers can choose between red, green or blue lights with three intensity levels for increased customisation.
Posted on Thursday, April 19 2018 @ 09:28:28 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
It looks like more and more of the tech giants are making their own chips. The latest company that's forming its own team to design computer chips is Facebook. A job listing reveals Facebook is looking for a manager to oversee a project that involves “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization.” Bloomberg did some digging and heard Facebook is setting up a whole chip development team.
Facebook could use such chips to power hardware devices, artificial intelligence software and servers in its data centers. Next month, the company will launch the Oculus Go, a $200 standalone virtual-reality headset that runs on a Qualcomm processor. Facebook is also working on a slew of smart speakers. Future generations of those devices could be improved by custom chipsets. By using its own processors, the company would have finer control over product development and would be able to better tune its software and hardware together.
A tweet from Facebook's Yann LeCun reveals the FPGA/ASIC chips will be used for artificial intelligence:
Interested in designing ASIC & FPGA for AI? Design engineer positions are available at Facebook in Menlo Park.
The list of other tech giants working on their own chips includes Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Tesla. By making custom chips, these firms can better focus on their own needs and/or give end-users a more unique experience.
Posted on Wednesday, April 18 2018 @ 19:00:19 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
YouTube channel Hardware Numb3rs got early access to AMD's new Ryzen 7 2700X and published a host of benchmark results. Overall, it appears the new chip beats the Ryzen 7 1700 by about 10 percent in gaming benchmarks.
The official launch is set for April 19, so we're getting very close!
Going into more details, Hardware Numb3rs tested Rise of the Tomb Raider, Metro: Last Light, World of Warcraft, Far Cry Primal and Ashes of the Singularity at 1080p. With the exception of Ashes of the Singularity, all other four games performed noticeably better on Ryzen 7 2700X than on Ryzen 7 1700. More or less, we are looking at a 10fps increase.
Posted on Wednesday, April 18 2018 @ 16:02:19 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Phanteks announced its Eclipse P300 is now offered in three more colors: white, black/red, and black/white. These new cases have a MSRP of $59.99 and should be immediately available in retail stores.
With its full metal exterior and a tempered glass side panel,
the Eclipse P300 has an exceptional build quality in its class.
The new PSU shroud design enhances the clean interior and
exterior looks. It’s packed with features to create an intuitive
and convenient installation experience. The P300 comes with
easy cable management tools, AIO watercooling support,
dustproof interior, full length GPU support and RGB lighting
with possibilities to expand with more Phanteks RGB products.
The Eclipse P300 is a great starting point for new and budgetoriented
Posted on Wednesday, April 18 2018 @ 14:56:36 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Here's the first result of NVIDIA's GeForce Partner Program (GPP). It was rumored for a couple of weeks now that AMD's non-exclusive add-in board partners would debut new gaming brands and now there's official word from ASUS about the launch of AREZ.
The new AREZ cards will ship in May 2018, the lineup will include over a dozen of Radeon RX 500 and RX Vega series video cards.
ASUS today announced AREZ, a new brand identity for ASUS Radeon™ RX graphics cards. Derived from Ares, the Greek god of war, AREZ-branded graphics cards are built using industry-leading automated manufacturing to provide AMD gamers and enthusiasts with superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem.
The new AREZ brand underlines the strong working partnership between ASUS and AMD that spans decades. Gamers and enthusiasts will enjoy a combination of exclusive ASUS innovations and technologies and AMD’s Radeon graphics processors and software.
"Gamers around the world rally behind AMD Radeon because of what the Radeon name stands for: a dedication to open innovation such as our contributions to the DirectX and Vulkan APIs, a commitment to true transparency through industry standards like Radeon FreeSync™ technology, and a desire to expand the PC gaming ecosystem by enabling developers to take advantage of all graphics hardware, including
AMD Radeon graphics. We invite gamers everywhere who believe in these values and the value of the exceptional gaming experience Radeon graphics delivers to join the Red team,” said Scott Herkelman, Vice President and General Manager, AMD Radeon Technologies Group.
Extreme durability: Auto-Extreme technology and Super Alloy Power II components
AREZ graphics cards are produced using Auto-Extreme technology, an industry-exclusive, 100%-automated production process that incorporates premium materials to set a new standard of quality, performance and longevity. Since the introduction of Auto-Extreme technology in ASUS graphics cards, reliability has improved by 30%. This manufacturing process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50%.
Super Alloy Power II components deliver enhanced efficiency, reduce power loss, reduce component buzzing by 50% under full load and achieve thermal levels that are approximately 50% cooler than previous designs for enhanced quality and reliability.
Hi-tech cooling: MaxContact, patented Wing-Blade IP5X-certified fans and FanConnect II
MaxContact is an industry-first GPU cooling technology featuring an enhanced copper heat-spreader that directly contacts the GPU. MaxContact utilizes precision machining to provide a 10X-flatter surface for up to 2X more contact area with the GPU than traditional heat spreaders, resulting in improved thermal transfer. Select AREZ graphics cards are also constructed with up to 40% more heatsink surface area than previous dual-slot designs, further improving heat dissipation for dramatically cooler and quieter performance.
A patented Wing-Blade fan design delivers 105%-greater static pressure over the heatsink for more efficient cooling and up to 3X-quieter operation compared to other fan designs. The fans are certified under the International Protection Marking (IP code) as IP5X dust resistant for improved reliability and a longer lifespan. This stringent certification process ensures AREZ graphics cards provide optimal fan performance, even under severe operating conditions. Additionally, 0dB technology stops the fan completely when the GPU temperature is below a set level, letting players enjoy light gaming sessions in complete silence.
ASUS FanConnect II features two four-pin hybrid-controlled headers that can be connected to both PWM and DC system fans for optimal system cooling. The connected fans reference both the GPU and CPU, and operate automatically based on the one with the higher temperature. A comprehensive set of tuning options allow gamers to tune fan speeds for efficient cooling.
Software ecosystem: GPU Tweak II, plus Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition
Redesigned with an intuitive user interface, GPU Tweak II makes gaming and overclocking easier than ever, while retaining advanced options for seasoned overclockers. With one click, the Gaming Booster function maximizes system performance by removing redundant processes and allocating all available resources automatically.
AREZ graphics cards also support the latest AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition drivers for comprehensive control over AMD GPUs. Core features include power-saving Radeon Chill technology; Radeon WattMan for profile-based custom control of voltages, engine clocks and fan speeds; and Radeon ReLive for easy capture and sharing of in-game action.