Asus Shows Turing TUF Love with new TUF RTX 2060 Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 16, 2019 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: turing, tuf, RTX 2060, nvidia, graphics card, factory overclocked, asus

Asus recently announced two new Turing-based graphics cards that are part of the TUF (The Ultimate Force) series. Clad in urban camo with shades of grey, the Asus TUF RTX 2060 6GB Gaming and TUF RTX 2060 OC 6GB Gaming pair Nvidia’s 12nm TU106 GPU and 6GB of GDDR6 memory with a dual fan cooler and backplate. As part of the TUF series, the new graphics cards use Asus’ Auto Extreme manufacturing technology and are put through its 144-hour validation program.

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The RTX 2060 GPU features 1920 CUDA cores, 120 TMUs, 48 ROPs, 240 Tensor cores, and 30 RT cores. The standard TUF RTX 2060 6GB Gaming graphics card comes clocked at 1365 MHz base and 1689 MHz boost out of the box with the boost clock jumping to 1710 MHz in OC Mode. The OC model graphics card, however, comes clocked by default at 1365 MHz base and 1710 MHz boost in Gaming Mode and 1740 MHz boost in OC Mode (when using Asus’ software).

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The TUF Graphics cards feature one dual layer DVI, two HDMI 2.0b, and one DisplayPort 1.4 video outputs. The dual fan cooler is IP5X dust resistant and uses dual ball bearing fans. A black metal backplate is secured to the card to help PCB rigidity. The cards measure 20.4 x 12.5 x 4.6 centimeters so should be compatible with most cases. The cards are powered by a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector.

The TUF cards use a no-frills design sans any RGB or extra features so should be priced competitively and may go well with a silent PC or sleeper PC build. Unfortunately, Asus is not talking specific pricing or availability yet.

Source: Asus
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Motherboard Overview

Introduction

With their latest revision in the TUF line, ASUS decided to rebrand the line as TUF Gaming, opening the brand to the rapidly growing gaming enthusiast market. The TUF Z390-Pro Gaming motherboard is the flagship board in ASUS' TUF (The Ultimate Force) product line designed with the Intel Z390 chipset.

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Courtesy of ASUS

The TUF Z390-Pro Gaming offers support for the latest Intel Coffee Lake processor line as well as dual-channel DDR4 memory running at up to 2666MHz speeds in stock configuration. ASUS priced the board competitively with a $169.99 MSRP, making it a good deal in light of the board's build quality and integrated features.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

The TUF Z390-Pro Gaming motherboard is built with the same quality and attention to detail that you've come to expect from TUF-branded motherboards. The board contains the following integrated features: eight SATA 3 ports; two M.2 PCIe x4 capable ports; an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; an 8-channel audio subsystem; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A port support.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS TUF Z390 Pro Gaming motherboard!

Is your case worthy? ASUS' new ROG THOR PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 28, 2019 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: ROG THOR, asus, 1200w, modular psu

ASUS haven't put out a PSU in quite some time; which changed at CES when they showed off the 1200W ROG THOR PSU at their booth.  There is a lot to this PSU, from an OLED on the side which will display how much wattage is currently being drawn from it to a the huge assortment of power cables.  As you can see on the back, there are a dozen SATA power connectors in addition to eight 6+2 PCIe power connectors and extra 12V for your motherboard.  On the other hand, it is priced at over $300!

If the sticker shock hasn't finished you off, [H]ard|OCP put it to the test, and it did very well.

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"ASUS is getting back into the computer power supply game in a big way. Today we have the Republic of Gamers Thor 1200 that promises to allow you to "HARNESS THUNDER." This is a massive 1200 watt PSU and the first thing that will catch your eye is the OLED panel that will tell you just how much power your a using at the moment. "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS shows off their aesthetic Formula for success

Subject: Motherboards | January 18, 2019 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG, maximus XI formula, Z390, Intel

The ROG Maximus XI Formula is a rather nice looking board, for those who prefer their guts hidden beneath a nice RGB encrusted, waterblock enhanced covering.  Beneath the covering are some interesting design choices, for instance you will find a pair of M.2 mounts between the first and second PCIe slots which fit into that small space by being installed in opposite directions.  There are numerous features on this high end board which are covered in [H]ard|OCP's review, and at the end you will also find an official statement from ASUS about their "Twin 8-Phase" VRM claims and the removal of phase doublers.

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"ASUS brings us the one of it most aesthetically pleasing and expensive Z390 motherboards this generation. Even if you have no interest in spending a ton of money on an LGA 1151 motherboard, you will want to give this Formula a look as it certainly shows us that ASUS is not sitting around on its thumbs on the high end"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY Laptops Powered by AMD Ryzen 3000 Series

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd

ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.

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“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”

The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.

"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.

Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."

Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.

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Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • Display:
    • 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
    • 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x RJ-45 jack
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
    • 1x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard and touchpad  : 1.8mm key travel
  • Customizable RGB or red backlighting
  • Audio: DTS Headphone: X
  • Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)

Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.

Source: ASUS

ASUS ProArt PA32UCX 4K HDR Monitor with 1000 Zone Backlight, 1200 nits

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: ProArt, mini led, monitor, local dimming, hdr, FALD, display, ces 2019, CES, asus, 4k, 1200 nits, 1000 zone

ASUS has their most advanced HDR monitor so far on display at CES 2019, and the ProArt PA32UCX combines a 4K resolution panel with a mini-LED backlighting system offering a whopping 1000 individual lighting zones. Another advantage of the powerful backlighting system is overall brightness, and this can reach a maximum of 1200 nits and exceeds VESA DisplayHDR 1000 requirements.

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The very best LED-backlit LCDs employ a technology called full-array local dimming to improve their contrast ratios. The LEDs are arranged in zones, with each zone corresponding to part of the screen, and dimming individual LEDs makes it possible to display an image with bright and dark areas while preserving detail in both.

Our ProArt PA32UCX expounds on this technology with Mini LEDs. These physically smaller LEDs are packed in more densely, which increases the granularity of our brightness control. Less space between the LEDs means small details, like a white cursor on a black background, can be illuminated more precisely. The halo effect that’s common with coarser LED arrays normally manifests as light bleed around bright points, but that’s minimized when there’s a higher number of smaller LEDs.

The ProArt PA32UCX packs 1,000 zones into its 32” form factor, compared to other monitors that use 384 local dimming zones. This is no small achievement, and we had to work closely with the panel and scaler manufacturers on a custom design for controlling all those lighting zones. This technology didn’t exist before, and it took months of testing different proposed solutions before it could be perfected. As a result, the PA32UCX is one-of-a-kind. It offers 1,200 nits of luminance and offers improved whiteness and color uniformity compared to larger OLED panels.

The ProArt PA32UCX, which supports the HDR10 standard, also offers 97% DCI-P3 and 89% Rec. 2020 color space coverage, connecting via USB Type-C as well as the conventional DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0. Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Source: ASUS

NVIDIA adapts to the market and frees their displays

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, g-sync, freesync, benq, asus, AOC, amd, adaptive sync, acer

G-SYNC is showing some signs of defeat as today NVIDIA announced that several Adaptive Sync monitors have been tested and rated as G-SYNC compatible.  Adaptive Sync is the official VESA technology which is present in AMD's FreeSync monitors and it offers a definitive financial advantage over NVIDIA's G-SYNC as the module required for G-SYNC can add hundreds of dollars to the price.

So far only a dozen monitors out of around 400 tests have been rated as G-SYNC compatible, so don't expect to be mixing your monitors quite yet but it does imply in some cases the extra controller is not required for variable refresh rates with either NVIDIA's or AMD's GPUs.   The results of this test give AMD bragging rights for implementing adaptive sync in the most attractive way but this change could hurt GPU sales as users can now opt for an GeForce card paired with a FreeSync display.

Even if your display is not listed in those models, you can try enabling adaptive sync over DisplayPort and see if it works, though your results may vary. Ars Technica lists the models here.

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"Besides being unexpected good news for gamers who already own one of these FreeSync monitors, this is also great news for gamers that want to add VRR to their Nvidia graphics card setup without breaking the bank."

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Tech Talk

Source: Ars Technica

ASUS' new X299, second Prime's the charm?

Subject: Motherboards | December 20, 2018 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: x299, prime x299-deluxe II, Intel, i9-9980XE, asus

ASUS have refined their Prime X299-Deluxe with a second version, which includes a redesign of the VRMs and power phases that lead to much discussion about the original board.  The Tech Report noticed that the change is not as simple as the marketing material would lead you to believe and they go into great detail about that in the beginning of their review.  In the end, the changes did result in decent thermals on the VRMs when overclocking and no discernible stability issues.  That's not all that is new about the board, mostly good with the exception of the default enabling of Windows Platform Binary Tables to load ASUS' software hub in the UEFI

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"Motherboard manufacturers are introducing refined X299 boards in the wake of Intel's Basin Falls platform refresh, and Asus' Prime X299-Deluxe II promises to fix some of the teething pains of its predecessor. We paired this board up with the Core i9-9980XE to see whether it's up to the job of hosting Intel's highest-end desktop chip yet."

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Source: The Register

Can you fit the power of the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti into your system?

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 1, 2018 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: RTX 2080 Ti, asus, ROG Strix

It was September when we last looked at the rather expensive and powerful ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti and since then there has been a new driver so taking a peek at [H]ard|OCP's recent review is worth your time.  They had a bit more success with overclocking, hitting a GPU Boost of +120, or 1770MHz and a memory speed of 15.5GHz, with the memory being the limitation as it would raise the temperatures enough to cause the core to downclock when pushed further.  More exotic cooling solutions than ASUS' proprietary triple cooler might mitigate that, as well as slimming it down from it's current 2.7 slot design.  You will pay a large sum for the card, but the new 2080 Ti is the best on the market.

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"We’ve put the new ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti video card to the test, pushing the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GPU at 4K in twelve games default and overclocked against an MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO also default, and overclocked to find the real value. All real-world gaming, no canned benchmarks."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming, a small motherboard at a small price

Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2018 - 02:01 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG Strix, B360-I Gaming, lga1151, RGB, mini-itx

For someone looking to build a small system for a reasonable price and doesn't want or need to put effort into tweaking it, this ASUS ROG Strix motherboard is a decent choice.  The chipset simply doesn't support overclocking which also means less to break when investigating the UEFI.  With the small size, single PCIe 16x slot and two DIMM slots it will not satisfy a power user, but a build for a friend or family member who has fairly basic needs it might be perfect. 

[H]ard|OCP provides a full review here.

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"It seems there is a new mini-ITX motherboard model every time you turn around. We’ve often looked at the higher end of the spectrum on these little power houses. This time we switch gears and look at a more budget oriented option than we are used to, how does this $128 motherboard hold up to its more expensive brethren? "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP