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Gigabyte To Host X99 Champion Challenge on HWBOT

Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2015 - 10:26 AM |
Tagged: overclocking, hwbot, gigabyte, contest

Gigabyte will host the upcoming X99 Champion Challenge beginning May 1st on HWBOT.org, and the overclocking contest runs in six stages ending on May 31.

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According to Gigabyte, "by participating, overclockers have the chance to win $2,800 USD in cash prizes and some exciting hardware, including the leader of them all, the X99-SOC Champion!" True to the name of the contest participants must use a Gigabyte X99 motherboard, and each stage offers a different challenge:

Contest Stages
Stage 1: XTU - May 1st until May 8th, 2015
- CPU frequency 4GHz max
- RAM at 3300MHz max.
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

Stage 2: XTU - May 8th until May 15th, 2015.
- CPU frequency 4.5GHz max
- Uncore at 4.5GHz max.
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

Stage 3: XTU - May 15th until May 31st, 2015.
- CPU frequency 5GHz max
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

Stage 4: Fire-Strike - May 1st until May 27th, 2015.
- Single NVIDIA GT 730 graphics card
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

Stage 5: Catzilla 720p - May 1st until May 28th, 2015.
- Single NVIDIA GT 730 graphics card
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

Stage 6: 3DMark 2001 SE - May 1st until May 28th, 2015.
- Single NVIDIA GT 730 graphics card
- GIGABYTE X99 Motherboards only

The full press release with contest rules is available here.

Source: Gigabyte

Living on the Edge

Subject: Mobile | April 23, 2015 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Galaxy S6 Edge, lollipop

The physical difference between the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge are quite visible, but does the different body justify the price difference?  The curved screen adds a bit of screen real estate and provides improved view angles compared to the base model but similar to the previous Galaxy Note Edge, there are not many apps designed to take advantage of the curve.  The phone is 7mm thick and weighs slightly less than the base S6 at 132g, with a similar battery and the same TouchWiz overlay on top of Android Lollipop.  You can check out what The Inquirer thought of Samsung's new premium phone here if you are considering purchasing the S6 Edge.

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"THE GALAXY S6 EDGE will be seen by many as an expensive gimmick given that it's over £100 more expensive than the regular Galaxy S6, while others will see it as Samsung pushing the boundaries of design, and trumping its rivals by bringing something new to the smartphone market."

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Source: The Inquirer

Samsung 840 EVO Standalone ISO Updater Now Available

Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo

For those of you following the Samsung 840 EVO saga, last week we saw the release of Magician 4.6. Samsung was initially throttling downloads and firmware update rates, but those limits appear to have been lifted as of this morning. Another thing we noticed this morning was the inclusion of the standalone ISO updater for those who are otherwise unable to run the Magician software (i.e. Mac users):

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For those on laptops or other devices with no optical drive, I've confirmed the ISO can be used via USB if placed there with a tool such as Rufus.

Note to Linux users:

There was an early report of complications from a user who was running a full disk fstrim during boot, where that operation was causing errors (corrected once that operation was disabled). It should be noted that full disk TRIM operations are redundant so long as the OS is issuing TRIM on-the-fly during regular file moves / deletions. This may be an issue with queued TRIM handling of the new 840 EVO firmware. If not reproduced / corrected by Samsung, the Linux devs may be able to add this firmware revision to the queued TRIM blacklist to possibly fix the problem on their end.

Note to mSATA 840 EVO users:

It appears the update does not currently apply to these. I've asked Samsung about this.

IN WIN's 707, a large case with a familiar feel

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2015 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: in win 707, in win, eatx

Weighing in at 25lb empty, the IN WIN 707 is a serious case for those with a lot of components to house.  Measuring 243 x 538 x 582mm (9.5" x 21" x 22.9"), with eight drive bays which can hold 3.5" or 2.5" drives a well as three 5.25" drives this case is designed for the storage junkie.  The cooling options are also impressive, you can fit two radiators inside this case or opt for up to ten fans in a mix of 120mm and 140mm by removing some of the storage bays, if cooling is of more importance to you than storage.  [H]ard|OCP liked the overall design, seeing as how it is essentially an IN WIN GR One with a different exterior but the lack of value added components such as runner grommets to reduce vibrations, sub-par filters and cheap feeling fan mounting clips detracted from their experience.  On the other hand it is also less expensive and worth consideration for some peoples needs.

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"The IN WIN 707 Gaming Version Full Tower case comes with a long list of features that reads to make it one of the best enthusiast hardware chassis you can buy. Tool-less design, spots for multiple radiators, E-ATX motherboard support, excellent CPU heatsink clearance, and designed for 10 fans. Does it measure up?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Enermax Thormax Giant is no wasp waisted SFF case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 21, 2015 - 05:58 PM |
Tagged: enermax, Thormax Giant, full tower

With all the focus on SFF systems lately it is nice to see a big hearty full sized case now and again.  Enermax has released just such a case, the Thromax GT which can house four 5.25" drives, five 3.5" and a 2.5" hidden behind the motherboard mount or a variety of other setups depending on your use of the converters, up to an including eight 2.5" at the cost of all your 3.5" and two of the 5.25" bays. E-ATX boards will fit, with up to nine expansion slots and if you chose air cooling many of the grates will accept 180mm or even 200mm fans with dust filters which easily slide out for cleaning.  Modders-Inc were more than impressed with the volume, the fully featured front panel and the $159.99 price tag.  Check out the full review here.

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"Full-tower cases are sought after for the extra room they provide for system building but if size is the only thing they offer then things would get boring fast. With the market as competitive as it is, case manufacturers have begun looking into offering more than space and design cases that appeal to a lifestyle rather than be an all-in-one …"

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Source: Modders Inc

550W of fanless power from Enermax

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 27, 2015 - 02:49 PM |
Tagged: Fanless PSU, enermax, Digifanless, 550W, modular psu, 80 Plus Platinum

The Enermax Digifanless 550W PSU is completely modular and as the name implies there is no fan to be found in this PSU.  Instead large heatsinks take up most of the room inside the casing, with a mix of Nippon Chemi-con, Enesol and DuraTech capacitors with the PFC and power components hidden under those heatsinks.  [H]ard|OCP's testing proved that the 80 PLUS Platinum rating that Enermax claims for this PSU is well deserved with efficiency over 90% in testing.  [H] was more than impressed with the overall build quality and performance of this heatsink, however the MSRP is significantly higher than the competitions which was why this PSU was left holding Silver.  It is not for sale yet here in North America so there is still a chance that a price reduction could make this PSU very attractive for those looking for a silent PC build.

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"Enermax joins the ranks of the fanless computer power supply builders. These are of course a must-have for those enthusiasts looking for a zero noise profile computer build. Many times these sorts of builds of course suffer from very hot environments, so fanless PSUs are a perfect fit for our testing criteria."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Kingston and Phison and Toshiba; oh my

Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 01:51 PM |
Tagged: Phison PS3110, 19nm, toshiba, toggle NAND, kingston hyper x, ssd

When you pick up a Kingston HyperX Savage SSD you have a choice of the barebones model at $122 for the 240GB model or you can pay an extra $25 for the upgrade kit which contains 2.5mm z-height adapter, a SATA 6Gb/s cable, a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter plate, Acronis True Image HD imaging software, a micro-screwdriver set, and a USB 3.0 enclosure with USB 3.0 cable.  That upgrade kit is perfect for those looking for an easy way to move their entire OS to the new SSD with a minimum of fuss.  Inside the drive is the Phison PS3110 controller with a 256MB DDR3-1600 cache and Toshiba's 19nm Toggle Mode NAND.  Hardware Canucks put the drive to the test and it shows huge improvements from the first generation, enough to put it in competition with offerings from OCZ, Intel and Crucial.  This demonstrates a faster evolution that competitors products but it does unfortunately come at a price that is a bit high compared to those competitors offerings.

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"The affordable Kingston HyperX Savage is one of the first SSDs to use the new Phison PS3110 controller and the end results are extremely impressive to say the least."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage