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Blender 2.78 Released

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2016 - 10:58 PM |
Tagged: Blender

Blender 2.78 has been a fairly anticipated release. First off, people who have purchased a Pascal-based graphics card will now be able to GPU-accelerate their renders in Cycles. Previously, it would outright fail, complaining that it didn't have a compatible CUDA kernel. At the same time, the Blender Foundation fixed a few performance issues, especially with Maxwell-based GM200 parts, such as the GeForce 980 Ti. Pre-release builds included these fixes for over a month, but 2.78 is the first build for the general public that supports it.

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In terms of actual features, Blender 2.78 starts to expand the suite's feature set into the space that is currently occupied by Adobe Animate CC (Flash Professional). The Blender Foundation noticed that users were doing 2D animations using the Grease Pencil, so they have been evolving the tool in that direction. You can now simulate different types of strokes, parent these to objects, paint geometry along surfaces, and so forth. It also has onion skinning, to see how the current frame matches its neighbors, but I'm pretty sure that is not new to 2.78, though.

As you would expect, there are still many differences between these two applications. Blender does not output to Flash, and interactivity would need to be done through the Blender Game Engine. On the other hand, Blender allows the camera, itself, to be animated. In Animate CC, you would need to move, rotate, and scale objects around the stage by the amount of pixels on an individual basis. In Blender, you would just fly the camera around.

This leads in to what the Blender Foundation is planning for Blender 2.8x. This upcoming release focuses on common workflow issues. Asset management is one area, but Viewport Renderer is a particularly interesting one. Blender 2.78 increases the functionality that materials can exhibit in the viewport, but Blender 2.8x is working toward a full physically-based renderer, such as the one seen in Unreal Engine 4. While it cannot handle the complex lighting effects that their full renderer, Cycles, can, some animations don't require this. Restricting yourself to the types of effects seen in current video games could decrease your render time from seconds or minutes per frame to around real-time.

As always, you can download Blender for free at their website.

Some Things I've Noticed about Windows 10 Patches

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2016 - 10:07 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

I've been seeing a lot of people discussing how frequently Windows 10 seems to be getting updated. This discussion usually circles back to how many issues have been reported with the latest Anniversary Update, and how Microsoft has been slow in rolling it out. The thing is, while the slow roll-out is interesting, the way Windows 10 1607 is being patched is not too unusual.

The odd part is how Microsoft has been releasing the feature updates, themselves.

windows-10-bandaid.png

In the past, Microsoft has tried to release updates on the second Tuesday of every month. This provides a predictable schedule for administrators to test patches before deploying them to an entire enterprise, in case the update breaks something that is mission-critical. With Windows 10, Microsoft has declared that patches will be cumulative and can occur at any time. This led to discussion about whether or not “Patch Tuesday” is dead. Now, a little over a year has gone by, and we can actually quantify how the OS gets updated.

There seems to be a pattern that starts with each major version release, which has (thus far) been builds 10240, 10586, and 14393. Immediately before and after these builds start to roll out to the public, Microsoft releases a flurry of updates to fix issues.

For instance, Windows 10 version 1507 had seven sub-versions of 10240 prior to general release, and five hotfixes pushed down Windows Update within the first month of release. The following month, September 2015, had an update on Patch Tuesday, as well as an extra one on September 30th. The following month also had two updates, the first of which on October's Patch Tuesday. It was then patched once for every following Patch Tuesday.

The same trend occurred with Build 10586 (Windows 10 version 1511). Microsoft released the update to the public on November 12th, but pushed a patch through Windows Update on November 10th, and five more over Windows Update in the following month-and-a-bit. It mostly settled down to Patch Tuesday after that, although a few months had a second hotfix sometime in the middle.

We are now seeing the same trend happen with Windows 10 version 1607. Immediately after release, Microsoft pushed a bunch of hotfixes. If history repeats itself, we should start to see about two updates per month for the next couple of months, then we will slow down to Patch Tuesday until Redstone 2 arrives sometime in 2017.

So, while this seems to fit a recurring trend, I do wonder why this trend exists.

Part of it makes sense. When Microsoft is developing Windows 10, it is trying to merge additions from a variety of teams into a single branch, and do so once or twice each year. This likely means that Microsoft has a “last call” date for these teams to merge their additions into the public branch, and then QA needs to polish this up for the general public. While they can attempt to have these groups check in mid-way, pushing their work out to Windows Insiders in a pre-release build, you can't really know how the final build will behave until after the cut-off.

At the same time, the massive flood of patches within the first month would suggest that Microsoft is pushing the final build to the public about a month or two too early. If this trend continues, it would make the people who update within the first month basically another ring of the Insider program. The difference is that it is less out-in, because you get it when Windows Update tells you to.

It will be interesting to see how this continues going forward, too. Microsoft has already delayed Redstone 2 until 2017, as I mentioned earlier. This could be a sign that Microsoft is learning from past releases, and optimizing their release schedule based on these lessons. I wonder how soon before release will Microsoft settle on a “final build” next time. It seems like Microsoft could avoid many stability problems by simply setting an earlier merge date, and aggressively performing QA for a longer period until it is released to the public.

Or I could be completely off. What do you all think?

Source: Wikipedia
Manufacturer: REEVEN

Introduction and Specifications

The JUSTICE from REEVEN is a tower cooler with six heatpipes, and a 120 mm PWM fan with distinctive yellow-and-black styling. But what really matters is performance, and that’s what we’re going to find out about as we pit it against the Intel Broadwell-E test system.

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Have you heard of REEVEN? A search on Amazon reveals only a pair of older models, but Newegg carries the full range of coolers and fan controllers the Taiwanese company offers. Prices are low for this segment, with their CPU coolers starting at $24.99, and this JUSTICE cooler priced at $42 on Newegg. What you get for this price sounds impressive on paper, and I wasted no time in finding out how that translated into real-world results.

REEVEN sent along a second 120 mm COLDWING 12 fan for us to test with the JUSTICE, as the cooler includes installation hardware for a dual-fan setup, and I tested the cooler with my Core i7-6800K in both configurations - with both stock and overclocked CPU loads.

DSC_0291.jpg

Continue reading our review of the REEVEN JUSTICE Tower Air CPU Cooler!

Logitech Releases C922 Pro Stream Webcam with 720p/60

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2016 - 12:25 AM |
Tagged: webcam, skype, Pro Stream Webcam, logitech, C922x, C922, C920, 720p/60

Logitech has announced the successor to the popular C920 with the C922 Pro Stream Webcam, and this new model includes a 720p/60 mode, along with the 1080p/30 capability of its predecessor.

Logitech C922 01.jpg

“C922 Pro Stream Webcam offers full HD quality and features for all streaming needs. At either 1080p 30 FPS or 720p 60 FPS, C922 is the perfect solution for streaming to Twitch, YouTube and any other video streaming application imaginable. Advanced 20-step autofocus through a full HD glass lens with F-stop F 2.8 and 78-degree field of view means no matter what action is happening, C922 can capture those crucial moments in perfect HD clarity.”

Logitech lists these specs for the C922:

  • Video streaming or recording: 1080p30 FPS / 720p60 FPS / 720p30 FPS with supported apps
  • Video calling: Full HD 1080p with the latest version of Skype for Windows or 720p with
  • supported clients
  • H.264 video compression (Skype only at this time)
  • Full HD Glass lens (F=2.8) with 20-step autofocus
  • 78° horizontal field of view
  • Dual stereo microphone with automatic noise cancellation
  • Automatic low light correction
  • Tripod ready universal clip fits laptops and monitors (C922 SKU only)
  • Dimensions:
    • Width: 95mm
    • Depth: 24mm - 71mm including clip
    • Height: 29mm - 43.5mm including clip
    • Weight: 162g
  • USB cable: 6-ft

Logitech C922 02.jpg

The C922 includes a tripod, while the C922x does not

There will be two SKUs of the C922, each of which retail for $99.99:

  • C922 - exclusive to Best Buy and bestbuy.com, includes tripod and a 3 month XSplit license
  • C922x - available on Amazon.com - does not include the tripod but includes a longer 6 month XSplit license

Both versions are available now.

Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam.jpg

Full press release after the break.

Source: Logitech

The BRIX Gaming UHD, balancing size and performance

Subject: Systems | September 29, 2016 - 04:26 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, BRIX Gaming UHD

Gigabyte did not have a lot of space to fit components into the BRIX Gaming UHD, let alone cooling, as it is 220x110x110mm in size or 2.6L in volume.  Into this tiny tower you will find an i7-6700HQ with 16GB of dual channel DDR4-2400 and a 512GB Samsung 950 PRO with two M.2 slots for storage expansion, the third is on wireless duty.  Gigabyte chose a 4GB GTX 950 to power the video, not new by any means but able to fulfill gaming duties at 1080p and allows the system to be powered by a 180W power brick.  4k gaming is a bit of a stretch for this but it is impressively designed, check out the benchmarks at Kitguru to see its performance in games.

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"Gigabyte’s BRIX line of barebones PCs are typically small and low-powered – at least, when compared with a mini-ITX desktop system, for example. However, the new BRIX Gaming UHD aims to change all of that."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Kitguru

The Founders Edition is not the foundation of NVIDIA's retail career

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2016 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, competition, jen-hsun huang, Founder's Edition

When Microsoft launched the Surface there were negative reactions from vendors who saw this as new competition from what was previously their partner.  Today DigiTimes reports that certain unnamed GPU vendors have similar feelings about NVIDIA's Founder's Edition cards.  Jen-Hsun responded to these comments today, stating that the Founders Editions were "purely to solve problems in graphics card design". 

While he did not say that NVIDIA would not consider continuing practice in future cards he does correctly point out that they did share everything about the design and results with the vendors.  Those vendors are still somewhat upset about the month in which only Founder's Editions were available for sale as they feel they lost some possible profits by not being able to sell their custom designed GPUs.  Then again, considering the limited supply on the market, the amount of sales they could have made that extra month would certainly have been limited.  It will be interesting to see if we hear more about this directly from the vendors in the coming weeks.

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"Since Nvidia has restricted its graphics card brand partners from releasing in-house designed graphics cards within a month after the releases of its Founders Edition card, the graphics card vendors are displeased with the decision as it had given Nvidia time to earn early profits without competition."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Podcast #419 - ASUS Rampage V Edition 10, VerticalMouse, AMD A12-9800 and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2016 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: video, toshiba, Silverstone, S340, rampage v edition 10, podcast, ocz, nzxt, gtx 1070, fsp, Evoluent, evga, asus, AOC, amd, A12-9800

PC Perspective Podcast #419 - 09/29/16

Join us this week as we discuss the Edition 10 of the Rampage V motherboard, a VerticalMouse, a shiny SilverStone case, the AMD A12-9800 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts:  Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath and Jeremy Hellstrom

Program length: 1:05:25

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  4. Closing/outro
 

Mozilla Discontinues Firefox OS for All Devices

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | September 29, 2016 - 02:15 AM |
Tagged: mozilla, Firefox OS, firefox

Update: There has been a little confusion. The web browser, Firefox, is still going strong. In fact, they're focusing their engineering efforts more on it, by cutting back on these secondary projects.

Less than a year after their decision to stop developing and selling smartphones through carriers, Mozilla has decided to end all commercial development of Firefox OS. Releases after Firefox OS 2.6 will be handled by third parties, such as Panasonic, should they wish to continue using it for their smart TV platform. Further, source code for the underlying operating system, Boot-to-Gecko (B2G), will be removed from their repository, mozilla-central, so it doesn't hinder development of their other products.

Mozilla_Foundation_201x_logo.png

Obviously, this is quite disappointing from a platform standpoint. Many applications, especially for mobile and similar devices, can be created in Web standards. At this point, we usually get comments about how web browsers shouldn't be app platforms, and that JavaScript is too inefficient. The thing is, Web is about the best, ubiquitous platform we have, and it will only get better with initiatives such as WebAssembly. Also, native applications don't necessarily perform better than Web-based ones, especially if the latter are packaged standalone (versus sharing resources with other tabs in a browser).

Regardless, Mozilla needs to consider their long-term financial stability, and throwing resources at Firefox OS apparently doesn't return enough value for them, both directly and for its impact on society.

Source: Mozilla

Be Quiet! Shows Off New Silent Loop AIO Liquid Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 29, 2016 - 12:38 AM |
Tagged: water cooling, liquid cooler, Intel, copper radiator, be quiet!, amd, AIO

Be Quiet!, a popular German manufacturer of PC cases and power supplies is jumping into the liquid cooling game with the introduction of its new Silent Loop all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers. Through a partnership with Alphacool, Be Quiet! Is launching three new coolers with 120mm, 240mm, and 280mm radiators. It is not clear exactly when they will be arriving stateside but pricing is approximately $124, $143, and $170 respectively.

be quiet silent loop 280mm AIO water cooler.jpg

The Silent Loop 280 AIO liquid CPU cooler.

The new coolers come clad in all black and feature a new pump design paired with copper cold plates and copper radiators. This is nice to see in the wake of aluminum radiators because using the same metals throughout the loop mitigates the risk of galvanic corrosion that will eventually occur in loops that use mixed metals.

The decoupled reverse flow pump courtesy OEM partner Alphacool.The AIO loop is paired with two Silent Wings 2 fans which use rifle bearings and can spin up to 2,000 RPM. To further set the Silent Loop series apart, Be Quiet! uses a nickel plated CPU cold plate, a radiator with a fill port to allow users to top up the fluids over time, and a reportedly innovative (read: not infringing on Asetek IP) "decoupled reverse flow pump" that spins at 2,200 RPM and allegedly reduces noise to nearly inaudible levels. The pump pulls water into the block and over the cold plate and then pulls it through the pump which is in a sectioned off area of the block.

As for the copper radiators, Be Quiet is using 30mm radiators on the Silent Looop 240 and Silent Loop 280 coolers with two fans side by side and a thicker 45mm radiator on the Silent Loop 120 with two fans in a push-pull configuration. Be Quiet! claims that the 120mm, 240mm, and 280mm coolers can handle wattages of 270W, 350W, and 400W respectively (these numbers are likely with the fans cranked to their maximum speeds heh). The included fans can be controlled via PWM and Be Quiet! includes a Y splitter that allows users to attach both fans to one PWM motherboard header – which is good since the CPU_Fan header is sometimes the only "true" PWM header offered.

The liquid coolers use Philips screws throughout for mounting the radiator, fans, and CPU mount and they are compatible with all the usual Intel and AMD sockets.

Be quiet Silent Loop AIO Water Coolers.jpg

Several sites already have reviews of the new coolers including Kit Guru and Guru3D. According to Leo Waldock from Kit Guru, the Be Quiet! Silent Loop 240 is a "funky and nice piece of hardware" and while it did not blow him away it is competitively priced and performs very closely to the Corsair H100i V2. Out of the box the cooler was reportedly inaudible but with lackluster cooling performance; however, once the fans were cranked up from their normal 1,100 RPM to 1,400 RPM cooling performance greatly improved without sound getting too out of control.

In all it looks good aesthetically and appears to be easy to install. If you are in the market for an AIO and do not need fancy extras (LEDs, monitoring software, ect), the Silent Loop coolers might be worth looking into. Hopefully we can get one in for review so that Sebastian or Morry can take it apart... I mean test it! (heh).

Source: be quiet!

Samsung Investigating Replacement Galaxy Note 7 Fire

Subject: Mobile | September 28, 2016 - 09:04 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, recall, galaxy note 7

Bloomberg is reporting that a 25-year-old customer from China, Hui Renjie, claims to have received a replacement Galaxy Note 7, and that it caught fire within 24 hours. A representative of the company immediately visited him and asked to take the phone to investigate, but the customer wished to go public first, assuming that he wouldn't get any answers if he just gave up the phone silently. The explosion allegedly caused minor burns to two of the customer's fingers, as well as damaged his MacBook.

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Naturally, Samsung is very interested in what happened. The previous incident involved Samsung-developed batteries. The manufacturing process accidentally pushed some the battery batch's two terminals together. Shorting out a battery causes it to release energy quickly as heat, which is often undesirable, to say the least.

Samsung is waiting to examine the device before they comment further. If you have also receive a replacement, then you might want to keep it powered off and disconnected from the charger until we find out what happened.

Source: Bloomberg

Google Translate Boosted by Deep Learning

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 07:36 PM |
Tagged: google

Machine translation is quite difficult, especially between certain pairs of languages that vary greatly in how they handle implied context and intonation. At Google, the current translation system picks out known words and phrases, converts them to the target language, and blindly outputs them. This, unfortunately, ignores how the phrases are structured together.

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Google has been working toward a newer system, though. Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) considers whole sentences, rather than individual words and phrases. It lists all possible translations, and weighs them based on how humans rate their quality. These values are stored and used to better predict following choices, which should be a familiar concept to those who have been reading up on deep learning over the last couple of years.

This new system makes use of Google's “TensorFlow” library, released to the public last year under a permissive, Apache 2.0 license. It will also be compatible with Google's custom Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) ASICs that were announced last May at Google I/O. The advantage of TPUs is that they can reach extremely high parallelism because they operate on extremely low-precision values.

The GNMT announcement showed the new system attempting to translate English to and from Spanish, French, and Chinese. Each pairing, in both directions, showed a definite increase, with French to English almost matching a human translation according to their quality metric. GNMT is currently live to the public when attempting to translate between Chinese and English, and Google will expand this to other languages “over the coming months”.

Source: ZDNet

HP Claims They're "Dedicated to the Best Printing Experience"

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 06:53 PM |
Tagged: hp, DRM

Recently, HP released a firmware update for some inkjet printers that disabled certain third-party cartridges. The claim is that the customer “is exposed to quality and potential security risks” when using counterfeit cartridges. I'm curious why HP is claiming that users shouldn't trust HP's abilities to secure their devices against attacks from malicious cartridges, but that's probably not an implication that HP considered when publishing this press release.

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Also, if the intent was to inform users about counterfeit and potentially malicious cartridges, you would think that they would have provided an override method from the start. Thankfully, they are now. HP is preparing an optional firmware update that does not check cartridges. They claim that it will be available in a couple of weeks, and provide a link to where it will be hosted.

So yeah, they are doing the right thing now. Still... come on.

Source: HP

Even more VR gaming; this time it is Sword Master VR

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: VR, sword master vr, htc vive, gaming

With the amount of VR benchmarks coming out of [H]ard|OCP lately we wonder if they are in danger of becoming the worlds first VR addicts.  They tested the usual suite of two AMD cards and five NVIDIA to determine the amount of dropped frames and average render times in this particular game.  As it turns out the game is harder on the player than it is the GPU, all were able to provide decent experiences when swashbuckling.  The developer recommends you clear a 2x1.5m area to play this game and from what [H]ard|OCP experienced while playing this is no joke; you will get exercise while you are duelling some of the harder opponents.

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"Do you want to fight the Black Knight in a sword fight? There is not exactly a "Black Knight" in Sword Master VR, but you can certainly get that feeling. In fact, you can fight him and a couple of his friends at the same time if you are up to the challenge. Just pull the sword from the stone for $10."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Shiny Chinpokomon of RAM; CORSAIR's DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition DDR4

Subject: Memory | September 28, 2016 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition, corsair, ddr4, ddr4-3200, DHX

Corsair's DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition series comes in 32GB kits, either four 8GB DIMMs or a pair of 16GB DIMMs, in your choice of Chrome or Blackout finishes.  All kits are DDR4-3200MHz but with the 10-layer PCB and DHX heatsinks Corsair feels that reaching 3600MHz will be trivial and higher frequencies possible for talented tweakers.  They will be available directly from Corsair, $330 for the quad-channel kit and $300 for the dual channel.

shiny ram.jpg

You can read the full PR by clicking below.

Source: Corsair

Poor headphone jack, more companies may adopt Apple's innovation

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2016 - 12:30 PM |
Tagged: USB 3 Type-C, headphones

There will be an improvement in audio support on Type-C USB connections which will decrease power demands, as USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specifications have just been announced.  When compared to the 3.5mm headphone jack, USB audio is a power hog which will shorten the amount of time your battery will last on a phone or other mobile device but it seems that the USB-IF have been working to overcome this issue.  Product manufacturers are looking forward to this as USB can be isolated from other internals far more effectively than the 3.5mm jack which would allow them to waterproof their devices. 

Hopefully the new compliance testing regime brought about after the consequences of using a bad cable to charge your laptop will ensure we do not have any related problems with audio devices.  The Register does remind us that Bluetooth 5 is yet to be commonly found on mobile devices and could offer yet another 3.5mm nail in the coffin.

belkin-usb-type-c-840x428.jpg

"Hear that, children? That's the sound of another set of nails in the coffin of headphone jacks in mobile devices."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

NZXT Releases S340 Elite Case with Tempered Glass Side Panel

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 28, 2016 - 11:16 AM |
Tagged: tempered glass, S340 Elite, S340, nzxt, enclosure, case, atx

NZXT has released a new, premium version of their excellent S340 mid-tower enclosure (which we reviewed last year), and the S340 Elite features a tempered-glass side panel, while case I/O now offers an HDMI port for VR builds.

S340-Elite-Environment.jpg

"Expanding on the S340’s renowned durability, the S340 Elite features a tempered glass panel to showcase builds with crisp clarity. The top IO panel has been optimized with an HDMI port and additional USB ports for a streamlined VR experience. It includes a magnetic cable management puck to conveniently store VR or audio headsets with fast and flexible mounting access. The S340 Elite is strong, compact, and takes the S340 chassis to new heights."

S340-Elite_White-System-Window-2000x2000.jpg

NZXT lists the S340 Elite's main features, all new with this version of the enclosure:

  • Tempered glass side panel: showcase your build
  • VR cable management puck: move freely & clean cables
  • Front VR accessibility: plugging your VR headset is easy & convenient
  • Interior cable management clamps: easy cable management
  • Additional SSD tray: increase storage options

S340-Elite_White-USBPanel-2000x2000.jpg

As strong a performer as the original S340 was considering its affordable $69.99 price tag, and for a case with a full tempered-glass side panel the Elite version is priced very competitively at $99.99. A $30 premium for the added features seems like a very good tradeoff, and we already have one of these new S340 Elite enclosures in for testing, so expect a full review soon!

Source: NZXT
Manufacturer: SilverStone

Introduction and Specifications

The Primera Series PM01 is a new tower enclosure from SilverStone which combines sleek looks and integrated LED lighting.

DSC_0492.jpg

It's been a little while since we've taken a look at a new case from SilverStone, and the company has certainly not been idle during this time. The case we have for you today is the first model from the new Primera Series, which offers "the feel of a luxurious supercar" from its angular lines and mesh grills, and it features an impressive piano black high gloss finish (a white version is also available).

The PM01 is also equipped with a trio of 140 mm intake fans, which in our black review sample are outfitted with red LED lights (the white version contains blue lighting). In addition to the front fans, the case has integrated LED lighting strips above and beneath the large side panel window, and the lighting effects can be controlled with a 4-position selector button on the top of the case.

SilverStone lists these features for the PM01 enclosure:

  • Includes three 140mm LED fans and built-in LED strips for stunning visual impact
  • Oversized front panel mesh design inspired by supercar intake grill
  • Support two 240/280/360mm radiator for AIO liquid cooler or custom water cooling
  • Reserved water tank mounting holes for water cooling setup
  • Removable filters with positive air pressure design for dust reduction
  • Built-in 4-segment LED light controller to adjustable brightness and modes
  • Super clean internal look with PSU and drive bay cover
  • Includes 10-in-1 fan hub for fan cable management

The metal mesh front and rear exhaust suggest excellent airflow, and we will find out just how effectively this new case can cool a gaming build - and how quietly it does so.

DSC_0502.jpg

Continue reading our review of the SilverStone Primera Series PM01 case!

EVGA Adds Water Cooled GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid To Lineup

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 27, 2016 - 10:04 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, pascal, hybrid cooler, gtx 1070, GP104, evga

EVGA is preparing to launch the GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid which is a water cooled card that pairs NVIDIA's GTX 1070 GPU with EVGA's Hybrid cooler and custom FTW PCB. The factory overclocked graphics card is currently up for pre-order for $500 on EVGA's website.

EVGA GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid Pascal GPU.jpg

The GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid uses EVGA's custom PCB that features two 8-pin power connectors that drive a 10+2 power phase and dual BIOS chips. The Hybrid cooler includes a shrouded 100mm axial fan and a water block that directly touches both the GPU and the memory chips. The water block connects to an external 120mm radiator and a single fan that can be swapped out and/or powered by a motherboard using a standard four pin connector. Additionally, the cooler has a metal back plate and RGB LED back-lit EVGA logos on the side and windows on the front. Display outputs include one DVI, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort connectors.

As far as specification go, EVGA did not get too crazy with the factory overclock, but users should be able to push it quite far on their own assuming they get a decent chip from the silicon lottery. The GP104 GPU has 1920 CUDA cores clocked at 1607 MHz base and 1797 MHz boost. However, the 8 GB of memory is clocked at the stock 8,000 MHz. For comparison, reference clock speeds are 1506 MHz base and 1683 MHz boost.

Interestingly, EVGA rates the GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid at 215 watts versus the reference card's 150 watts. It is also the same TDP rating as the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid card.

The table below outlines the specifications of EVGA's water cooled card compared to the GTX 1070 reference GPU and the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid.

  GTX 1070 GTX 1070 FTW Hybrid GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid
GPU GP104 GP104 GP104
GPU Cores 1920 1920 2560
Rated Clock 1506 MHz 1607 MHz 1721 MHz
Boost Clock 1683 MHz 1797 MHz 1860 MHz
Memory 8GB 8GB 8GB
Memory Clock 8000 MHz 8000 MHz 10000 MHz
TDP 150 watts 215 watts 215 watts
Max Temperature 80°C 45°C 42°C
MSRP (current) $379 ($449 FE) $500 $730

According to EVGA, the Hybrid cooler offers up GPU and memory temperatures to 45°C and 57°C respectively compared to reference temperatures of 80°C and 85°C. Keeping in mind that these are EVGA's own numbers (you can see our Founder's Edition temperature results here), the Hybrid cooler seems to be well suited for keeping Pascal GPUs in check even when overclocked. In reviews of the GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid, reviewers found that the Hybrid cooler allowed stable 2GHz+ GPU clock speeds that let the card hit their maximum boost clocks and stay there under load. Hopefully the GTX 1070 version will have similar results. I am interested to see whether the memory chips they are using will be capable of hitting at least the 10 GHz of the 1080 cards if not more since they are being cooled by the water loop.

You can find more information on the factory overclocked water cooled graphics card on EVGA's website. The card is available for pre-order at $500 with a 3 year warranty.

Pricing does seem a bit high at first glance, but looking around at other custom GTX 1070 cards, it is only at about a $50 premium which is not too bad in my opinion. I will wait to see actual reviews before I believe it, but if I had to guess the upcoming card should have a lot of headroom for overclocking and I'm interested to see how far people are able to push it!

Source: EVGA

AOC Announces US Availability of Premium Gaming Monitor Line - AGON

Subject: Displays | September 27, 2016 - 06:23 PM |
Tagged: TN, ips, g-sync, AOC, AGON, AG271QX, AG271QG, adaptive sync, 1440p

AOC has announced two new 27" 1440p gaming monitors specifically designed to minimize input lag and to support the higher refresh rates than many gamers now demand.  The model numbers are similiar but the monitors themselves are very different and each wears a red or green stripe proudly.

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The AG271QX is a TN panel with a 1ms response time and a top refresh rate of 144Hz, it supports Adaptive Sync for those using AMD GPUs.  This panel is great for those who place zero lag ahead of colour reproduction and viewing angle.  It is to retail at $600.

The AG271QG is an IPS panel with four times the response time, still a mere 4ms, a top refresh rate of 165Hz and support for G-SYNC.  This one should have a better colour gamut and truer blacks for those more concerned with fashion over function.  You should expect to see this model at $800. 

Full PR below the specs.

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Source: AOC

Toshiba Announces OCZ TL100 2.5" SATA SSDs - 240GB at $0.28/GB!

Subject: Storage | September 27, 2016 - 05:51 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, tlc, TL100, ssd, sata, ocz, 2.5

Toshiba launched the OCZ TL100 series today:

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These are TLC SSDs aimed at the budget sector. They are using the ever more common SLC cached TLC hybrid configuration, and come in at bargain basement pricing. Here are the specs:

  • Capacity: 120 / 240 GB
  • Sequential read / write: 550 / 530 MB/s
  • Random read / write: 85k / 80k IOPS
  • Warranty: 3 years with advance replacement
  • Endurance (120/240GB): 30 / 60 TBW (27 / 54 GB/day)
  • Price:
    • 120GB: $45 ($0.38/GB)
    • 240GB: $68 ($0.28/GB)

Yes, that's $0.28/GB and a 240GB SSD at less than $70 bucks. The endurance is on the low side, but if these perform even half way decently, they will be a great low-cost way to go for most budget PC builds. We'll be testing these shortly on a new suite of tests with workloads that have been specifically optimized to more closely resemble real usage. These tests allow hybrid SSDs to use their SLC cache as opposed to flooding the drives with IO and forcing TLC writes. Don't be surprised if these perform surprisingly well for their cost. No guarantees as we haven't tested them yet, but we will soon!

Press blast after the break.

Source: OCZ