Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 09:53 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: X99P-SLI, toshiba, revodrive, review, RD400, podcast, pcper, ocz, msi, hardware, gigabyte, fdsoi, computex, amd, AM4, am3, am2, 303, 22nm
PC Perspective Podcast #401 - 05/26/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the Gigabyte X99P-SLI, RevoDrive is back, GPU Drivers, Computex, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2016 - 05:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, Polaris, computex, amd
There is a rumour floating around this morning and it is not good. Guru of 3D translated a story over at Nordic Hardware which suggests AMD has stated they will not have any new working cards to show at Computex. The only Polaris hardware they will have ready will be equivalent to the current R9 390 and 390X, albeit at a lower price point. The rumoured problem is that the new flagship cards simply won't hit 850 MHz reliably, which in turn means high end GPUs are right out.
This had better not be true or AMD may find themselves shoeless and GPU enthusiasts will be as disappointed as White Sox fans back in 1919, albeit for different reasons. Those in the NVIDIA camp would do well to remember this has an effect on them as well; why would NVIDIA lower the price on those shiny new 1080's or 1070's when there is nothing in the market to compete with them?
This is a rumour from an anonymous source at an AMD partner, so be sure to take it with a grain of salt and hope that it is completely unsubstantiated; or that a silicon-based miracle happens in the coming months if there is some substance to this.
"Okay before I start on this news-item, I really need to state that this is based on a vague rumor, nothing has been confirmed or denied otherwise. Here's the story, some reports say Polaris 10 can't hit 850 MHz reliably and that availability will be pushed back to October. I sincerely hope the rumor is not true."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Is Preparing A Major Restructuring Of Their Graphics Driver @ Phoronix
- Google Chirp To Rival Amazon Echo @ Slashdot
- Blocking ads? Smaller digital publishers are smacked the hardest @ The Register
- Criminals exploit zero day Flash vulnerability @ The Register
- Android VR: Google to launch mid-range Gear VR rival at I/O next week @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft new Surface Book said to be delayed @ DigiTimes
- How-To: Configuring Linux Usage Limits with Docker and AWS ECS @ Linux.com
Subject: General Tech | June 12, 2015 - 05:49 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: silent pc, mid-tower, computex 2015, computex, be quiet!, be quiet
Be Quiet unveiled the Silent Base 600 at Computex last week which is the company's second PC case. It is a smaller, quieter, and cheaper version of the existing Silent Base 800 while maintaining the same design and emphasis on noise reduction. Available in September, Be Quiet! is offering this mid tower case in both a side panel and windowed version at $99 and $115 respectively.
The Silent Base 600 is black with angled edges and a brushed metal front panel. It sits on four case feet that lift it up slightly to improve airflow. A panel on the front hides three 5.25" bays while the front IO sits along the top edge and two large vertical grilles act as front intakes. The side panel(s) have an adjustable height vent to increase or decrease airflow. A fan can be attached to the side panel (the window version of the case does not have vents) and users can adjust the intake around the edges of the vent to balance airflow and noise. Two Be Quiet! Pure Wings 2 fans come pre-installed (one 120mm in the rear and one 140mm front intake fan) and users can additionally install up to two 120/140mm fans up top, one 120mm side panel fan, one 140mm bottom mounted fan, and an extra 140mm front intake fan for a total of seven fans (or six if you opt for the windowed model). Be Quiet provides removable filters on all the intakes which is a nice touch.
Check out Gamer's Nexus for more photos from be quiet!'s Computex booth!
Front I/O on the Silent Base 600 includes two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two audio jacks, and an integrated fan controller. Be Quiet! continues to emphasis noise reduction with the inclusion of sound dampening material in the side panels, rubber mounts for the tool-less drives, and rubber mounts for the included fans to reduce vibration noise.
The Silent Base 600 will be available in black, silver, and orange colors. The color options get you accents around the front grilles and rubber cable management grommets in your chosen color among other color tweaks.
Internally, the Silent Base 600 has room for ATX motherboards, bottom mounted power supplies (290mm max), CPU coolers up to 170mm tall, and up to 400mm long graphics cards. Storage is handled by three 5.25", three 3.5", and two 2.5" drive bays. Other features include three rubber grommets to support external water cooling radiators, grommets in the motherboard tray to help with cable management, an optional fan controller to control an additional three fans, and seven PCI expansion slots should you be so inclined.
In all, it looks like a good base for an extremely quiet PC though I would have liked to see 360mm radiator support so that I could finally upgrade my case and move my radiator inside (heh). I'm looking forward to the reviews and seeing how well the noise reduction tweaks work.
Jimmy Thang (from Maximum PC) was able to check out the new case at Computex 2015 and you can watch their video with Chris from be quiet! on YouTube.
What do you think about Be Quiet!'s new mid tower case?
Subject: General Tech | June 11, 2015 - 04:15 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z97-Pro Gamer, video, valve, tonga, Steam Controller, Seiki Pro, seiki, r9 390x, podcast, MasterCase, hawaii, Fiji, coolermaster, computex, amd, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #353 - 06/11/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Seiki Pro 4k Display, More News from Computex, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:16:25
Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2015 - 05:42 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z170, Skylake, mini ITX, Intel Skylake, computex 2015, computex, asrock
ASRock had some nice looking motherboards on display at Computex, but one in particular caught my attention. The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is a Mini ITX motherboard ready to support Intel's upcoming Skylake processor, DDR4 memory, and a slew of speedy connectivity options.
The LGA 1151 socket is situated in the middle of the compact board and is surrounded by a 6+2 power phase, two DDR4 memory slots, the PCH with red heatsink and ASRock Gaming logo, a mini PCI-E slot with pre-installed 802.11ac Wi-Fi card, and a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot snuggled along the bottom edge. Storage support includes four SATA 3 ports and a single SATA Express port in the bottom right corner. Several websites are also reporting that this board has an Ultra M.2 port as well, which may be located on the underside of the board like existing Mini ITX motherboard implementations (for space reasons). Unfortunately, I was not able to dig up any photos of the back so we will have to wait for reviews to confirm this.
As far as external I/O, the motherboard has the following ports on the rear panel:
- 1 x PS/2
- 3 x Video outputs (two HDMI and one DisplayPort)
- 2 x USB 3.1
- 6 x USB 3.0
- 1 x Gigabit LAN (from Intel)
- 3 x Analog audio output
- 1 x Optical audio output
In all, this pint-size motherboard packs a punch and will make for a powerful small form factor gaming PC when paired with a Skylake CPU and dedicated graphics card! Of course, the all-important pricing and availability were not announced at the show.
Subject: Storage | June 8, 2015 - 08:04 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: U.2, ssd, SFF-8639, pcie, NVMe, Intel, computex 2015, computex
Intel has announced that the SSD Form Factor Working Group has finally come up with a name to replace the long winded SFF-8639 label currently applied to 2.5" devices that connect via PCIe.
As Hardwarezone peeked in the above photo, the SFF-8639 connector will now be called U.2 (spoken 'U dot 2'). This appropriately corresponds with the M.2 connector currently used in portable and small form factor devices today, just with a new letter before the dot.
An M.2 NVMe PCIe device placed on top of a U.2 NVMe PCIe device.
Just as how the M.2 connector can carry SATA and PCIe signaling, the U.2 connector is an extension of the SATA / SAS standard connectors:
Not only are there an additional 7 pins between the repurposed SATA data and power pins, there are an additional 40 pins on the back side. These can carry up to PCIe 3.0 x4 to the connected device. Here is what those pins look like on a connector itself:
Further details about the SFF-8639 / U.2 connector can be seen in the below slide, taken from the P3700 press briefing:
With throughputs of up to 4 GB/sec and the ability to employ the new low latency NVMe protocol, the U.2 and M.2 standards are expected to quickly overtake the need for SATA Express. An additional look at the U.2 standard (then called SFF-8639), as well as a means of adapting from M.2 to U.2, can be found in our Intel SSD 750 Review.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2015 - 12:51 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFX, SFF, SF600, PSU, power supply, corsair, computex 2015, computex
Corsair has shown its first SFX form-factor PSU at Computex, the SF600.
Image credit: Tom's Hardware
True to its name the SF600 is a 600W PSU, and it features a fully modular design and will carry an 80 PLUS Gold certification. According to the report from Tom's Harware Corsair is using a 92 mm fan with the SF600, slightly larger than the 80 mm fans found in standard SFX power supplies, but smaller than the 120 mm fans that SilverStone has been using in its SFX-L form-factor PSUs.
Image credit: Tom's Hardware
This PSU was secretly powering the new Corsair Bulldog living room PC, also shown at Computex. Naturally there was no announcement on pricing or availability for this new PSU, but we'll keep you posted if anything official is announced.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2015 - 11:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: sound card, powercolor, devil hdx, computex
PowerColor is best known as an add-in board (AIB) partner of AMD who has also branched out into cases and power supplies. This year, they have introduced a new product category: sound cards. The PowerColor Devil HDX connects via PCIe and can take up one or two slots, depending on whether the user wants to install its included (!!) daughterboard with analog (4 x 3.5mm) surround outputs and a microphone input. Without the daughterboard, the card has a quarter-inch headphone jack, two analog RCA jacks for stereo, an RCA SPDIF output, and an optical SPDIF output. The main card is covered in a full EMF shield, because it's inside a computer.
The card includes switchable OP-AMPs, high quality capacitors, a Cmedia CM8888 audio processor, and a Wolfson WM8741 DAC. This configuration is capable of driving headphones with up to 600 Ohm impedance. The signal-to-noise ratio is a little better on the RCA jacks, because they're not amplified, but not by much. The RCA jacks are rated at 124 dB SNR, while the headphones are rated at 120 dB SNR with the supplied OP-AMPs. PowerColor wrote a driver interface, called “Xear”, which includes ASIO 2.2 support.
The PowerColor Devil HDX doesn't have a release date but Tom's Hardware, who spoke with the company, said it should be “over the coming months”. They also said it will retail for $159, which is apparently $50 less than their competition.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2015 - 06:15 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: modular psu, G.Skill, computex 2015, computex, 80+ platinum
In addition to teasing a new line of DDR4 memory, G.Skill also announced a new line of Ripjaws branded power supplies. So far, the lineup includes four models offering wattages from 750W to 1,250W. The PS750G and PS850G are rated 80 PLUS Gold while the PS850P and PS1250P are rated 80 PLUS Platinum which is nice to see (Platinum status requires 92% efficiency while the Gold models hit 90% efficiency).
The new Ripjaws PSUs are fully modular designs using all japanese capacitors and reportedly high quality components. G.Skill is using a 140mm fan for cooling that is able to spin down to zero at low loads to reduce noise levels. Safety features include support for over current, under voltage, and short circuit protection among others (OVP, UVP, OCP, OPP, SCP, OTP). Beyond that, detailed specifications have yet to be revealed. I have reached out to G.Skill to inquire about the source or OEM of these power supplies, and will update the article if they are willing to comment at this time.
Pricing and availability are also unknown at this time. G.Skill appears to be spreading its wings this year as it branches out further into other segments of the PC market. The company even has headsets and keyboards now! Are you ready to rip into these new Ripjaws PSUs? (Figuratively, of course, unless your Allyn or Lee!)
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2015 - 02:02 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: modular psu, Fanless PSU, enermax, computex 2015, computex, atx
Enermax has a new power supply on the market that is fully modular, fanless, and digital to boot. the new 550W PSU falls under the company's DigiFanless brand and looks to be perfect for enthusiasts wanting a silent PC.
The Enermax EDF550AWN is the first 550W power supply that is both fanless and supports digital monitoring and control. The 80 PLUS Platinum rated PSU is fully modular and supports both single and multiple +12V rail configurations (user-selectable, +12V1 and +12V2 are rated at 30 amps).
There are no fans here, just lots of ventilation for passive cooling. Enermax officially rates the power supply at 40°C (104°F) maximum operating temperature while delivering the full 550W ouptut power, but in talking with Maximum PC at Computex the company stated that in its testing lab they were able to maintain the maximum output at up to 50°C temperatures before the PSU needed to shut down.
The digital nature of the PSU is related to the ZDPMS (Zero Delay Power Monitoring System) technology which allows users to monitor and control the hardware using software running on the PC it is installed in. The application displays, in real time, the total output power, efficiency, temperature, and individual rail performance. Users can also input their $/KWh electricity costs into the TCO calculator to figure out how much it costs to run their PC and the CO2 footprint. Users are also able to use the ZDMS to adjust the current output and warning notification thresholds.
Maximum PC was on site at Computex and was able to see a demonstration of the PSU monitoring software.
Enermax has included logic to shut down the power supply in the event of overheating as well as the usual fare of safety features (OCP, OVP, UVP, OPP, OTP, SCP & SIP) They even included a bracket that locks the AC cable to the back of the power supply.
From the specifications and this review from ocaholic, the 550W Digifanless PSU is a highly efficient silent PSU with some useful extras that would be perfect for a silent gaming PC, HTPC, or audio engineering PC. It is available now for around $210 from online retailers. Looking on Newegg, you can even get it for 25% off using the promo code 25YRCELEBRATE.