Not everyone needs a kilowatt; nor perhaps the Cooler Master G550M?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 9, 2015 - 06:46 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, G550M, 550W, modular psu, 80 Plus Bronze

At 550W and an 80 Plus Bronze rating the Cooler Master G500M is not as powerful as many of the PSUs we have seen lately, then again at $75 it is also more affordable.  Unfortunately for Cooler Master the competition tends to be lower priced, with Corsair, SeaSonic and Thermaltake all having slightly better PSUs of a similar wattage for an equal or lesser price.  On the other hand Cooler Master's five year warranty is longer than any of the other brands and [H]ard|OCP feels that the G500M shows improvements over previous models as it passed all of their tests.  This particular model may not be a great choice but if CM continues to improve the quality of their budget priced models the next release might be a solid contender.

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"Today we spend our time with a computer power supply from Cooler Master that is towards the lower end of the wattage scale coming in at 550 watts. Cooler Master claims "notably higher efficiency and voltage stability than other designs." We will see if its Bronze efficiency G550M PSU will stand up to our gauntlet and its own claims."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Need a little high end audio? Check out HiFiMAN's EF100 DAC and Amp

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2015 - 06:04 PM |
Tagged: audio, hifiman, EF100, DAC, tube

Just the look of the EF100 DAC from HiFiMAN gives you the notion that this is not an entry level peice of audio equipment, it is aimed at those who desire near studio quality audio but who lack the means to rent studio time or buy professional level equipment.  The $500 price tag is steep but you get what you pay for, a tube driven amplifier with C-Media CM102s inside with two analogue inputs, a mini-jack and RCA inputs. If this sounds like something you might need in your life check out TechPowerUp's review right here.

ef100.jpg

"HiFiMAN has a reputation for producing great headphone amplifiers. Today, we take a look at their newest do-it-all headphone amplifier & DAC combo with an on-board T-amp. This all-encompassing device features a class A/B headphone amplifier with a tube input stage. Despite all its features, it sells for $499, which is quite impressive."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: techPowerUp

Do you like WINE?

Subject: General Tech | June 9, 2015 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: wine, linux

There is a tool that will be familiar to regular Linux users but perhaps not to those who have yet to spend time with the open source OS which is called WINE.  It was originally developed to run a limited selection of Windows applications in Linux but has since grown to support 22419 applications as of today.  If you want to try Linux especially if you feel limited by the amount of Steam games supported then you should check out the tutorial at Linux.com.  The hardware requirements for Ubuntu and WINE are very low, this is a perfect opportunity to get some old hardware up and running and give Linux a shot, while still being able to use most of the Windows applications you are used to.

On the other hand if you are familiar with Linux, you knew all this already.

winehq_logo_glass_sm.png

"To overcome this weakness, a compatibility layer called WINE was created. The name originally stood for Wine Is Not an Emulator (because everyone mistook the tool for a Windows emulator). The name is now simply Wine."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Linux.com

PCPer Live! GeForce GTX 980 Ti, G-Sync Live Stream and Giveaway!

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 9, 2015 - 08:33 AM |
Tagged: video, tom petersen, nvidia, maxwell, live, GTX 980 Ti, gtx, gsync, gm200, giveaway, geforce, g-sync, contest

UPDATE: Did you miss the event? No worries, you can still learn all about the GTX 980 Ti, G-Sync changes and even how NVIDIA is changing VR! Once again, a HUGE thanks to NVIDIA and Tom Petersen for coming out to visit.

Even thought it's a week after official release, we are hosting a live stream from the PC Perspective offices with NVIDIA's Tom Petersen to discuss the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card as well as the changes and updates the company has made to the G-Sync brand. Why would NVIDIA undercut the GTX TITAN X by such a wide margin? Are they worried about AMD's Fiji GPU? Now that we are seeing new form factors and screen types of G-Sync monitors, will prices come down? How does G-Sync for notebooks work without a module?

All of this information and more will be learned on Tuesday, June 9th.

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And what's a live stream without a prize? One lucky live viewer will win an EVGA GeForce GTX GTX 980 Ti 6GB graphics card of their very own! That's right - all you have to do is tune in for the live stream Tuesday afternoon and you could win a 980 Ti!!

pcperlive.png

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti / G-Sync Live Stream and Giveaway

12pm PT / 3pm ET - June 9th

PC Perspective Live! Page

Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

The event will take place Tuesday, June 9th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET at http://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience. To win the prize you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.

Tom has a history of being both informative and entertaining and these live streaming events are always full of fun and technical information that you can get literally nowhere else.

If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from Tom or I?

So join us! Set your calendar for this coming Tuesday at 12pm PT / 3pm ET and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!

LG Announces 27MU67-B Monitor: 27-in 4K IPS with AMD FreeSync

Subject: Displays | June 9, 2015 - 01:51 AM |
Tagged: UHD, LG, ips monitor, gaming monitor, freesync, amd, 4k, 27MU67-B

LG announced a new 4K monitor today, and since it's from LG you know there has to be an IPS panel inside.

4k-mu67.jpg

The 27MU67-B boasts a 3840x2160 UHD/4K IPS panel and supports AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, though the panel appears to only support up to 60 Hz according to the official specs. Speaking of, here's the full rundown:

Panel

  • Panel Type: IPS
  • Color Gamut (CIE1931): SRGB 99%
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Brightness (cd/m2): 300 cd/m2
  • Contrast Ratio: 5M:1
  • Response Time (GTG): 5ms
  • Refresh Rate: 60 Hz: 178 / 178
  • Viewing Angle: Hard Coating (3H), anti-glare

Inputs/Outputs

  • DVI-D x1
  • HDMI x2
  • Display Port x1

Special Features

  • Black Stabilizer: Black Equalizer
  • DAS Mode: Yes
  • Reader Mode: Yes
  • PC: Yes
  • DDC/CI: Yes
  • HDCP: Yes (2.2)
  • FreeSync: Yes (w/ DP, mDP)
  • Factory Calibration: Yes
  • Super+ Resolution: Yes
  • Screen-split: Yes (Software)
  • Flicker Safe: Yes
  • Pivot: Yes
  • Dual Controller: Yes (Software)

large01-.jpg

The 27MU67-B also features factory calibration and 99% sRGB color the display could be used for more critical work (yes, gaming can be categorized as "critical").

The LG 27MU67-B has an MSRP of $599.99 and availability is listed as “coming soon”.

Source: LG

Portable wireless storage from Samsung

Subject: Storage | June 8, 2015 - 07:15 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, wireless storage, 1.5tb drive

If you find yourself running low on space on your phone and need a handy way to extend your storage you could consider the Samsung Wireless HDD.  A mere 19.9x89x126.5mm and 275g it won't take up a lot of space but will allow up to five devices to connect over 802.11 b/g/n WiFi to stream the content stored on the drive.  It also has USB 3.0 connectivity to help you load up the drive before you head out on the road and you can even steal some of it's 7 hour rated battery life by using it as a charging station for your phone.  Kitguru tested multiple streams and found that two simultaneous connections work perfectly but it is best not to exceed streaming to a pair of devices.  The five device rating seems to refer more to the number of saved connections than to the number of streams you can run.

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"While many users these days may have several terabytes of PC storage space, mobile storage is yet to catch up. Many phones come with just 16GB of internal storage, while 128GB is just about as good as it gets. This means most users simply cannot fit their media collections on their mobile devices – which is far from ideal."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: KitGuru

The Connector Formerly Known as SFF-8639 - Now Called U.2

Subject: Storage | June 8, 2015 - 04:04 PM |
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.

u2-nvme-ssd.jpg

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.

U.2-M.2.jpg

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:

Demartek_SFF-8639.png

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:

360x240xSFF-8639PCIe.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.aYB-7jt4Ab.jpg

Further details about the SFF-8639 / U.2 connector can be seen in the below slide, taken from the P3700 press briefing:

IntelP3700-SFF8639_w_600.png

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.

Source: Hardwarezone

Skype for Web Beta in the US and UK

Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2015 - 01:48 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, skype

If you are on the go and need to make a Skype call from a machine you cannot install software on and your mobile device is out of juice or just not big enough, there is a new beta you can try out in the US and UK.  Head over to Skype.com or web.skype.com and log into your account, install a plug-in for the supported browsers which are IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox and make your call.  The beta will be coming to everyone soon, a good idea since most usage scenarios would likely involve travellers calling home and you can check out the link to the blog post at The Register.

In addition The Inquirer let us know that the Skype for Windows desktop client will be updated to include the real time translation tool for all users.  The release may possibly coincide with the upcoming release of Windows 10, whether that OS will be ready or not is a different question.

skype-translator-preview-540x334.jpg

"Microsoft has released a beta web browser version of Skype in the US and UK, which will apparently be rolled out worldwide within the next few weeks."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Microsoft Will Support OpenSSH In Windows PowerShell

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2015 - 08:35 PM |
Tagged: windows, remote management, powershell, openssh, mac os x, linux

Citing both leadership and corporate cultural changes within Microsoft, the PowerShell team – led by Team Group Software Engineering Manager Angel Calvo – excitedly announced support for OpenSSH earlier this week. Specifically, the team (finally, after the third such attempt) got the go-ahead from Microsoft's leadership and plans are underway to natively support OpenSSH in PowerShell as well as to contribute to the OpenBSD project on behalf of Microsoft.

Details are scarce, but this is great news for system administrators and a nice extra feature for enthusiasts that like to dabble in those "other" operating systems (which is to say, pretty much every OS except Windows) and remotely access them over a secure SSH connection to perform maintenance or transfer files.

PuTTY and PSCP from Windows to Linux Machine.jpg

Currently, Windows users need to use third party tools to support SSH clients and servers such as PuTTY (and PSCP) and Cygwin (not pictured).

Until now, users have had to rely on third party tools such as PuTTY, Filezilla, and Cygwin among others for their SSH, SCP, and SFTP needs. Accessing Linux machines using PuTTY is fairly straightforward, but going the other direction and trying to set it up so that you can access a Windows machine from a Linux machine over SSH could certainly be made easier and more stable. Native support for OpenSSH would mean both client and server support built into Windows and support for SSH, SFTP, and SCP protocols. 

From the MSDN blog and this twitter exchange, OpenSSH in Windows PowerShell is still in its infancy. It will not be launching with the rest of Windows 10 on July 29th, but with the level of customer interest hopefully pushing the refreshed Microsoft to make this a priority we may see it within the next year or two, and certainly before Windows 11!

Are you ready to get your native SSH on using PowerShell, or will you be sticking with your current third party implementations?

Source: Microsoft

AMD R9 390X Confirmed Hawaii Rebrand via Leaked Box Shot

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 7, 2015 - 07:51 PM |
Tagged: r9 390x, leak, hbm, hawaii, GDDR5, Fiji, amd

On the XFX R9 290X Double Dissipation product page something very curious appears when you scroll all the way down to the bottom…

xfx_1.png

What’s this image over here on the right, I wonder…

R9-390X-8DFR_4.JPG

Well would you look at that. The box is clearly labeled for an AMD Radeon R9 390X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, further indicating that the upcoming GPU will in fact be a Hawaii rebrand; and that the HBM-based flagship Fiji GPU we keep hearing about (and seeing pictures of) will have a new name. Whether that ends up being R9 490X or a name like “Fury” we will soon find out. As it is, it looks like we know at least part of what to expect from AMD’s gaming event at E3 on June 16.

e3.png

Hmm. What might this be about??

Of course we will have complete coverage when any official announcement is made, but for now enjoy the accidental product reveal!

Update: XFX has removed the R9 390X images from their R9 290X DD product page, but not before numerous sites took their own screenshots before posting the news as well. There has been some disagreement about what the leaked photos actually reveal, or if anything has genuinely been "confirmed", but it seems likely that the product named 390X will be a rebranded 290X with 8GB of GDDR5.

Source: XFX

NVIDIA VR Headset Patent Found

Subject: Graphics Cards, Mobile | June 6, 2015 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: VR, nvidia, gameworks vr

So I'm not quite sure what this hypothetical patent device is. According to its application, it is a head-mounted display that contains six cameras (??) and two displays, one for each eye. The usage of these cameras is not define but two will point forward, two will point down, and the last two will point left and right. The only clue that we have is in the second patent application photo, where unlabeled hands are gesturing in front of a node labeled “input cameras”.

nvidia-2015-vr-patent-1.png

Image Credit: Declassified

The block diagram declares that the VR headset will have its own CPU, memory, network adapter, and “parallel processing subsystem” (GPU). VRFocus believes that this will be based on the Tegra X1, and that it was supposed to be revealed three months ago at GDC 2015. In its place, NVIDIA announced the Titan X at the Unreal Engine 4 keynote, hosted by Epic Games. GameWorks VR was also announced with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti launch, which was mostly described as a way to reduce rendering cost by dropping resolution in areas that will be warped into a lower final, displayed resolution anyway.

nvidia-2015-vr-patent-2.png

Image Credit: Declassified

VRFocus suggests that the reveal could happen at E3 this year. The problem with that theory is that NVIDIA has neither a keynote at E3 this year nor even a place at someone else's keynote as far as we know, just a booth and meeting rooms. Of course, they could still announce it through other channels, but that seems less likely. Maybe they will avoid the E3 hype and announce it later (unless something changes behind the scenes of course)?

Source: VRFocus

Computex 2015: Corsair Shows SF600 SFX Power Supply

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 6, 2015 - 08:51 AM |
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.

corsair_sf600.jpg

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.

corsair_sf600_2.jpg

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.

Computex 2015: PowerColor Debuts Devil HDX Sound Card

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2015 - 07:00 AM |
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.

powecolor-2015-devilhdx-face.jpg

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.

powecolor-2015-devilhdx-ports.jpg

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.

Source: PowerColor

Valve Steam Controller Pre-order Is Dated... Twice.

Subject: General Tech, Systems | June 5, 2015 - 04:22 PM |
Tagged: valve, steam link, Steam Controller, steam

So, if a company says “a limited quantity of orders will be shipped on October 16th, weeks in advance of our official launch”... does that mean October 16th is its release date? What about its official launch date of November 10th? Also, why am I trying to make sense of time when the subject is Valve?

Either way, the new Steam Controller has been put up for pre-order and given a release date. The input device will sell for $50 USD, $59.99 CDN, or £40 GBP depending obviously on where you are. It also has a finalized design that is very similar to the Xbox layout, with thumbpads replacing the d-pad and right analog stick. Going to the device's Steam page will send you to a gaming retailer to make the pre-order (wat???). I get EB Games, because I'm Canadian, while Americans get GameStop, which is the same company anyway.

valve-2015-steam-controller-front.jpg

Unlike previous Steam Controller designs, the left thumbpad is shaped like a cross, which I would like to see used as a d-pad because most PC controllers that I've used are either terrible at it, or are horrible at everything else. The video also uses the left thumbpad as a scroll mechanism, but I wonder what other functionality Valve allows because I have yet to find a single mouse driver that can do everything. For instance, Razer's is unable to record mouse scroll (up, down, left, or right) events in macros.

valve-2015-steam-controller-back.jpg

The rear of the controller is very interesting. The main trigger is analog up to the end, which is a tactile switch. These can be bound to independent actions, although you will obviously need to have the maximum analog command play well with the click command. The given possibility is for first person shooters where you use the analog part to bring up your iron sights while you fire with the click. I could also imagine a racing game where the throttle is analog and clicking at the end activates a boost. There are also buttons in the grips for your ring and pink finger to activate. It also looks like there's shoulder buttons above the triggers, but I can't quite tell. This would basically yield six shoulder buttons, along with all of the face inputs, which is about the max that I could imagine.

The official launch is November 10th, but a pre-release run is shipping on October 16th. The Steam Link is supposedly also available at the same time for the same price, which is basically a streaming target for Steam on the TV.

Source: Valve

Computex 2015: G.Skill Enters PSU Market With New Ripjaws Series Power Supplies

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2015 - 02:15 AM |
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).

GSkill Ripjaws 80Plus PSUs.jpg

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!)

Source: G.Skill

Computex 2015: Enermax Shows Off New Highly Efficient 550W Digital Fanless PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 10:02 PM |
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).

Enermax 550W Digital Fanless Power Supply.jpg

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.

Enermax ZDPMS Digital Fanless PSU Monitoring and Control Software.png

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.

Source: Maximum PC

Windows 10 Build 10130 Coming to Slow Ring

Subject: General Tech | June 4, 2015 - 07:40 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows, windows 10

Gabe Aul said on Twitter that Microsoft will release Windows 10 Build 10130 to members of the Insider Preview Slow Ring. He did not give a date, but noted that just one blocking fix is preventing the release. This build was released to Fast Ring users last week and had three known issues. Since then, two were patched via Windows Update, leaving just “Flyouts from Taskbar fail to fly out.” Presumably, this is the issue that they are hoping to fix before pushing the build to Slow.

windows-10.png

When the update is released to Slow Ring, it is accompanied by ISOs that can be used to clean-install a PC up to that point. While this delay is to force a segment of users to test the in-place upgrade functionality, I expect this also keeps enterprise evaluators on builds that are more polished. Installing Windows from an ISO might not convey the quality-difference of any two neighboring builds like selecting branches in Windows Update would subconsciously portray.

Microsoft seems to be at the merge and polish stage of Windows 10 development. Builds should start feeling more clean than new as the days roll forward toward July 29th. Major new features are probably going to be done in branches for later releases, similar to what we would consider “service packs”. That's just my assumptions, though.

Computex 2015: Fractal Design Launches Mini ITX Node 202 Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 07:06 PM |
Tagged: SFX PSU, SFF, node 202, mini ITX, HTPC case, fractal design, computex 2015, computex

Fractal is showing off several new products at Computex, but the one that caught my eye was the new Node 202 which is a small form factor Mini ITX case perfect for the living room. The thin case is all black with a metal texture finish, rounded corners, and diagonal ventilation grilles along the sides and top. The 10.2 liter capacity case measures 377mm x 88mm x 332mm (including case feet) and can accommodate SFX power supplies, Mini ITX motherboards, and a dedicated graphics card.

Fractal Design Node 202.jpg

The front of the case has two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks in the bottom left corner next to the power button. Large filtered vents are located on the right, top, and bottom of the case while the left side has a thin grill along the bottom. Needless to say, there is plenty of room for airflow and the case would do well with both air cooled and fanless systems. Users can mount the case horizontally or vertically using an included stand. Interestingly, the Node 202 divides the case into two separate chambers to isolate the graphics card from the CPU, motherboard, and power supply to facilitate cooling.

Internally, the Node 202 has room for a Mini ITX or Thin Mini ITX motherboard with CPU coolers up to 56mm tall, a 130mm SFX power supply, and a dual slot graphics card up to 310mm in length. Users can install up to two 120mm fans in the GPU chamber. Storage support tops out at two 2.5" hard drives or solid state drives (SSDs).

Fractal Design Node 202 Internals .jpg

Fractal Design is also offering a version of the Node 202 bundled with its Integra SFX 450W power supply. The 80+ Bronze power supply will come with custom length cables and connectors designed specifically for the Node 202. It is covered by a 3 year warranty.

The PSU-less Node 202 will have a MSRP of $79.99 while the Node 202 with bundled PSU will be $139.99. Both models will be available soon in the US.

A big new case from Thermaltake, the Suppressor F51

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 05:03 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F51, e-atx

Thermaltake's new Supressor F51 is a hefty case, measuring 523x231x577mm (20.6x9.1x22.7") which allows the use of 360mm and even 420mm radiators.  The buttons and front panel plugs have all been moved to the top of the case to give the front a nice clean look, the monolith style which has become so popular as of late.  Internally are mounts for boards ranging from Mini-ITX to E-ATX and enough space for three extra long video cards.  The drive bays, including the two 5.25" bays, slide out for easy access or full removal and foam dampening covers most of the flat surfaces to reduce noise.  [H]ard|OCP were more than impressed, passing on a Gold Award for this case which is due to hit market on 6/29/15 for an MSRP of $120.

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"Thermaltake is upping its game with its new Suppressor F51 E-ATX Mid-Tower Chassis. New sound deadening technology, expanded cooling options, all while supporting motherboards from mini-ITX to E-ATX in size. The F51 has a fully modular tool-less design that also has dust filtering in mind."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Carrizo SKUs and Dual Graphics Options Announced

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | June 4, 2015 - 04:58 PM |
Tagged: amd, carrizo

My discussion of the Carrizo architecture went up a couple of days ago. The post did not include specific SKUs because we did not have those at the time. Now we do, and there will be products: one A8-branded, one A10-branded, and one FX-branded.

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All three will be quad-core parts that can range between 12W and 35W designs, although the A8 processor does not have a 35W mode listed in the AMD Dual Graphics table. The FX-8800P is an APU that has all eight GPU cores while the A-series APUs have six. The A10-8700P and the A8-8600P are separated by a couple hundred megahertz base and boost CPU clocks, and 80 MHz GPU clock.

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Also, we have been given a table of AMD Radeon R5 and R7 M-series GPUs that can be paired with Carrizo in an AMD Dual Graphics setup. These GPUs are the R7 M365, R7 M360, R7 M350, R7 M340, R5 M335, and R5 M330. They cannot be paired with every Carrizo APU, and some pairings only work in certain power envelopes. Thankfully, this table should only be relevant to OEMs, because end-users are receiving pre-configured systems.

Pricing and availability will depend on OEMs, of course.

Source: AMD