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You can't keep an X99 down, the Gigabyte X99 Phoenix SLI rises

Subject: Motherboards | September 23, 2016 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, Intel X99, Phoenix SLI

The Gigabyte X99 Phoenix SLI certainly sports some unique colours though the design of the board is similar to other G1 Gaming boards.  It sports a rare U.2 port and an M.2 port which [H]ard|OCP describes as being specifically for a wireless NIC.  There are four PCIe 16x 3.0 slots and thanks to the X99 chipset it can run all four at 8x speeds simultaneously.  Along with a variety of other features the board including USB 3.1 is the Ambient Surround LED feature, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Pop over and take a peek.

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"GIGABYTE’s X99 Phoenix SLI is another entry into the G1 Gaming lineup. While there is little to nothing that’s truly unique about the feature set, the combination of features and unique aesthetics are hard to argue with. The X99 Phoenix SLI offers good features and stellar looks at a reasonable price point."

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

NVIDIA Bundles Gears of War 4 with GTX 1080 & GTX 1070

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 20, 2016 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, xbox, xbox one, pc gaming, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070

NVIDIA has just announced that specially marked, 10-series GPUs will be eligible for a Gears of War 4 download code. This bundle applies to GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 desktop GPUs, as well as laptops which integrate either of those two GPUs. As always, if you plan on purchasing a GPU due to this bundle, make sure that the product page for your retailer mentions the bundle.

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Also, through the Xbox Play Anywhere initiative, NVIDIA claims that this code can be used to play the game on Xbox One as well. Xbox Play Anywhere allows users to purchase a game on either of Microsoft's software stores, Xbox Store or Windows Store, and it will automatically count as a purchase for the cross-platform equivalent. It also has implications for cloud saves, but that's a story for another day.

The bundle begins today, September 20th. Gears of War 4 launches on October 11th.

Source: NVIDIA

Netflix's Meridian, an open source benchmark disguised as a original program

Subject: General Tech | September 19, 2016 - 12:45 PM |
Tagged: netfix, meridian, 4k60

The 12 minute long Netflix Original "Meridian" might not be the most exciting program they've ever released but it is among one of the most interesting.  The program is available to anyone, via the Creative Commons license they attached to it, up to an including competitors such as iTunes and Hulu.  This seemly strange move is because it is actually a benchmark for encoding streamed video and the more people that see it the more information Netflix and others will gain.  It is originally filmed in 4k resolution at 60fps, which is far more than most displays can handle and much larger than residential data infrastructure is used to handling. 

The interesting part will start when new algorithms begin to appear to allow what is likely to be the next high definition standard to stream over the internet without immediately hitting data caps or losing so much resolution as to make it unwatchable.  You can pop over to Slashdot for links to more information about this release.

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"But for Netflix, it's just par of the course. Thanks to its Silicon Valley DNA, Netflix has long collaborated with other companies on cloud computing-focused open source projects. Now, it wants to nudge Hollywood to do the same -- and "Meridian" is only the beginning. This week, Netflix is also open-sourcing a set of tools tackling a common problem for studios and video services."

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Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming and Xtreme VR Link on the bench

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 20, 2016 - 03:35 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium, factory overclocked, GIGABYTE Xtreme Engine, vr link

Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming comes with a nice overclock right out of the box, 1759MHz base, 1898MHz boost clock and a small bump to the VRAM frequency to 10.2GHz.  At the push of a button you can add an extra 25MHz to the GPUs clocks assuming you install the bundled GIGABYTE Xtreme Engine which also allows you to manually tweak your settings.  The Package part of the official name indicates that Gigabyte's Xtreme VR Link header panel is included with the card, you can install it in the front of your case to provide easy access to two HDMI connectors and two USB 3.0 ports for a VR headset. 

Pop on over to [H]ard|OCP to see how much more they could get out of the card as well as the effect it had on gameplay.

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"GIGABYTE’s GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming Premium Pack is one premium package of goodness. Not only have we got one of the fastest GeForce GTX 1080 video cards, but GIGABYTE has thrown in the kitchen sink in this Premium Package with enthusiast oriented gaming as the focus."

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Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

In Win Launches E-ATX Compatible 509 Full Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 25, 2016 - 10:31 PM |
Tagged: In Win 509, in win, full tower, E-ATX Case

In Win recently took the wraps off of a high end mid full tower case called the 509. The new full tower is constructed from SECC steel and uses edge-to-edge tempered glass on the front and side panels. It measures 527mm x 235mm x 578mm (HxWxD) (which is approximately 20.78” x 9.25” x 22.75”) and comes in black with either dark gray or ROG-certified red accents. The case is available now at various retailers (such as Newegg) for a cool $184.99 plus shipping.

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On the outside, the In Win 509 sticks to the basics with simple lines. There are vents along the edges of the front panel and hexagonal honeycomb vents on the right side panel for ventilation in addition to vents along the bottom and rear panels. There are no top exhaust vents on this case which helps maintain the clean look. The left side panel is an edge-to-edge piece of tinted tempered glass that can be removed with four thumb screws. A magnetic system might have been a better looking choice but the screws are likely more secure and help against vibration noise.

Further, the front panel hosts a single right-aligned 5.25” bay, the front I/O (four USB 3.0 and two audio), and a large tempered glass panel. There is an LED-lit In Win logo that can be seen through the glass panel. The LED will light up red by default but if you have an RGB LED controller or RGB LED header on your motherboard you can customize the color.

Cooling is a bit less traditional on the In Win 509 and interestingly there are no included fans with the case. Users can install fans in the following positions:

  • 3 x 120mm in the front
  • 1 x 140mm on the rear panel
  • 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm on the bottom (including the PSU fan).

There is a large removable filter in the bottom (much to Ryan’s dismay), and users can alternatively install 360mm water cooling radiators in the side, front, or middle of the case depending on whether or not they need all the drive cages installed.

Internally, the In Win 509 supports bottom mounted power supplies with grommeted cable routing holes, E-ATX motherboards, CPU towers up to 188mm high, and graphics cards up to 370mm in length. The case offers eight PCI slots and brackets to help secure large and heavy GPUs. On the storage front, the case supports five 3.5” drives (three on bottom and two on top) as well as four 2.5” vertical bays that users can choose to install either SSDs or 120mm fans.

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In all it looks like a well-built case and seems to be backed up by reviews. According to Bit-Tech, the In Win 509 is easy to work in and has excellent water cooling support; however, the lack of fans does hurt its out of the box cooling performance. It is available now with a three year warranty.

Source: In Win