Can you hear me now?
One of the more significant downsides to modern gaming notebooks is noise. These devices normally have small fans that have to spin quickly to cool the high-performance components found inside. While the answer for loud gaming desktops might be a nice set of headphones, for notebooks that may be used in more public spaces, that's not necessarily a good solution for friends or loved ones.
Attempting to address the problem of loud gaming notebooks, NVIDIA released a technology called WhisperMode. WhisperMode launched alongside NVIDIA's Max-Q design notebooks earlier this year, but it will work with any notebook enabled with an NVIDIA GTX 1060 or higher. This software solution aims to limit noise and power consumption of notebooks by restricting the frame rate of your game to a reasonable compromise of performance, noise, and power levels. NVIDIA has profiled over 400 games to find this sweet spot and added profiles for those games to WhisperMode technology.
WhisperMode is enabled through the NVIDIA GeForce Experience application.
From GFE, you can also choose to "Optimize games for WhisperMode." This will automatically adjust settings (in-game) to complement the frame rate target control of WhisperMode.
If you want to adjust the Frame Rate Target, that must be done in the traditional NVIDIA Control Panel and is done on a per app basis. The target can be set at intervals of 5 FPS from 30 to the maximum refresh of your display. Having to go between two pieces of software to tweak these settings seems overly complex and hopefully some upcoming revamp of the NVIDIA software stack might address this user interface falacy.
To put WhisperMode through its paces, we tried it on two notebooks - one with a GTX 1070 Max-Q (the MSI GS63VR) and one with a GTX 1080 Max-Q (the ASUS ROG Zephyrus). Our testing consisted of two games, Metro: Last Light and Hitman. Both of these games were run for 15 minutes to get the system up to temperature and achieve sound measurements that are more realistic to extended gameplay sessions. Sound levels were measured with our Extech 407739 Sound Level Meter placed at a distance of 6 inches from the given notebooks, above the keyboard and offset to the right.
Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2017 - 10:45 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: x299, X-Series, wraith max, video, Threadripper, Shogun, ryzen, podcast, msi, LaCie, Intel, corsair, coffee lake, bitfenix, amd, 850W
PC Perspective Podcast #462 - 08/10/17
Join us for AMD Threadripper, Intel Rumors, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison, Sebastian Peak
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:29:38
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
1:16:00 Ryan: Lenovo X1 Carbon
1:19:00 Josh: Not a big price for a pretty cutting edge title.
1:21:34 Ken: Sony MDR-1000X Bluetooth Headphones
1:25:31 Sebastian: Own a replica of the ACTUAL U.S.S. Enterprise (1701-A) seen on podcast 462!
1:28:00 Allyn: Fire Extinguisher
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of MSI
The MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK motherboard features a black PCB with a black chrome overlay covering the board's heat sinks and rear panel cover. The chipset overlay has fingers that extend in between the PCIe x16 slots in the areas just under the two PCIe x1 slots. Further, there is a plastic overlay protecting the audio components above the PCIe slots. MSI integrated LEDS into the rear panel cover, the VRM heat sink, the chipset cover, and the audio cover for a unique look. The board is designed around the Intel X299 chipset with in-built support for the latest Intel LGA2066 Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processor line and Quad Channel DDR4 memory running at a 2667MHz speed. The X299 M7 Gaming ACK can be found in retail with an MRSP of $399.99.
Courtesy of MSI
Courtesy of MSI
MSI integrated the following features into the X299 Gaming M7 ACK motherboard: six SATA III 6Gbps ports; two M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports with Intel Optane support built-in; one U.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 32Gbps port; a Killer E2500 Gigabit controller; a Killer 802.ac wireless controller; four PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; a Realtek ALC1220 8-Channel audio subsystem; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.
Courtesy of MSI
To power the X299 Gaming M7 ACK motherboard, MSI integrated a 12 phase digital power delivery system dubbed Military Class VI. The Military Class VI integrated components included Titanium Choke II chokes, 10 year-rated Dark capacitors, and Dark chokes.
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2017 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, clutch, Clutch GM60, Clutch GM70, gaming mouse, wireless mouse, ambidextrous
MSI's Clutch GM 60 and Clutch GM70 gaming mice are almost twins, the difference being the GM70's support for wireless usage and a slight weight gain thanks to the required hardware. Both of these mice are somewhat modifiable, you can switch out the wings as well as a portion of top shell; they are also symmetrical so can be used in either hand comfortably. The mice contain a PMW 3360 optical sensor with sensitivity adjustable between 1000-3600 Hz in 100Hz steps. Neoseeker tested out the performance of the mice for gaming and as a source for a funky light show in their recent review.
"The Clutch GM 60 and Clutch GM70 gaming mice are essentially the same mouse design, with the GM70 model being a few grams heavier when calculating the added internal wireless hardware. Both mice come with two sets of side grips to allow the user to configure their mouse choice to fit their hand with a "dragon scale" pattern on the sides to facilitate a firm grip, improving movement precision during use."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS ROG Strix Evolve @ Kitguru
- Lightweight, But Bold: A Look At The $50 HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse @ Techgage
- Tt eSPORTS Draconem RGB Gaming Mousepad @ Modders-Inc
- HyperX Alloy Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ CPCR
- AZIO Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Penclic Mini Keyboard C2 @ techPowerUp
- Tt eSPORTS MEKA PRO Gaming Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Tt eSPORTS MEKA Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTech
- AZIO Retro Classic @ techPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards | July 10, 2017 - 03:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, b350, B350 Mortar, msi, AM4, mATX
MSI's B350 Mortar comes in the model you see below as well as an Arctic version if you prefer a different colour scheme. AMD's B350 chipset carries a lower cost than the X370 series but retains most of the features enthusiasts delight in, such as M.2, support for DDR4-3200MHz, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C plug and a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec for audio. Indeed about the only thing you lose is the ability to run multiple GPUs, which is not exactly a common need on an mATX build. Modders-Inc were taken with this low cost motherboard, especially the amount of customization available in the UEFI to adjust your fan speeds ... and yes it has your RGBs.
"AMD's B350 chipset is challenging Intel's market dominance in a different subset that the chip giant did not expect: affordability. If AMD's Ryzen product releases sound too familiar with that of Intel's line, that is because it is deliberate. It is basically an aggressive move by AMD, challenging Intel directly that they can take over the naming scheme and do …"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI Z270 GAMING M7 @ techPowerUp
- ECS Z270-Lightsaber Review @ Neoseeker
- ASRock X299 Taichi @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 5, 2017 - 03:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen, msi, Core Frozr XL
The MSI Core Frozr XL is not the first CPU heatsink to come out of that company but it is the largest, 150.4x170.0x129.8mm in size and a hair short of 2kg with the included fans. The fancy plastic shrouds over the fans also act as the mounting point for the fans and can be adjusted to provide a little more clearance for tall DIMMs though it is still going to be a tight squeeze. As the cooler is designed for AMD's new Ryzen chips, as well as some legacy chips, Neoseeker tested it against AMD's Wraith cooler and the AiO Ryzen cooler. The MSI heatsink did much better at load, however when the system was idle the bundled coolers were a little better; though how often is your system on and idling anyways?
"The totally massive MSI Core Frozr XL benefits from a large nickel-plated copper thermal plate to quickly pull the heat away from the CPU. The heat then transfers from the thermal baseplate into the eight 6mm SuperPipes, which move the heat upward to the large aluminum dissipation fin array that can dissipate up to 250W of heat. Lastly, the two MSI 120mm Torx fans push-pull the heat away from all of that thermal mass and out of the computer case."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Bykski FOUR CPU Waterblock @ techPowerUp
- be quiet! Shadow Rock TF 2 @ Kitguru
- SilverStone Redline RL06 - PRO Case Overview @ Modders-Inc
- be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 20, 2017 - 02:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, LIGHTNING Z, gtx 1080 ti, factory overclocked
MSI have expanded their Lightning line with a new GTX 1080 Ti GPU. The Lightning line comes with three profiles, including one which bears the name of the family, which will set your GPU to a boost clock of 1721 MHz, 1607 MHz base. The other two modes are Gaming, which runs at 1695 MHz boost, 1582 MHz base and a Silent mode running at 1582 MHz/1480MHz.
This GPU shares the high end features appearing on many MSI cards, the TRI-FROZR cooler with TORX 2.0 fans and SuperPipes as well as Military Class 4 components and a 10-layer PCB with 14 power phases for the GPU and 3 for the memory. What is somewhat new is the RGB infection, which can be controlled by MSI's Mystic Light app to create your own personalized light show.
Check out the full PR below.
MSI is proud to officially announce the latest of its legendary LIGHTNING graphics cards. Built to be perfect, the new GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z combines cutting edge new technology with proven features such as TRI-FROZR design with TORX 2.0 Fans, SuperPipe technology and Military Class 4 components. The GeForce® GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is nothing short of an engineering masterpiece.
Unmatched Thermal Design
MSI Torx Fan 2.0MSI’s reputation in thermal design is well-known to be excellent. The improved TRI-FROZR design on the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z utilizes two 10cm and one 9cm TORX 2.0 Fans combining the advantages of both traditional fan blade and dispersion fan blade, generating huge amounts of airflow while remaining virtually silent. Two 8mm SuperPipes transfer heat much faster to the fins, enabling up to a whopping 700W of heat dissipation.
Mystic Light Sync with Brilliant RGB Effect
MSI’s Mystic Light enables you tocustomize the RGB effects of your hardware to give your system a different look whenever you feel like it. Using the MSI Mystic Light software, you can even synchronize colors and effects of your graphics card, motherboard, case-fans and peripherals. Give yourself or the audience a show!
Dual BIOS and Enhanced Power Design
The special LN2 BIOS on the card provides extreme overclockers more capibility for overclocking records without special hardware modifications. By removing restrictions, the full potential of the graphics card is unlocked. The enhanced power design contains more power phases than other models to ensure plenty of power is available for record-breaking performance. LIGHTNING’s custom 10-layer PCB is fitted with 14 phases for GPU and 3 phases for Memory to ensure power delivery can handle the most extreme loads.
Military Class 4 Components
Equipped with Military Class 4 components, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is built to deliver the best quality and stability. The components have gone through rigorous testing by a third-party laboratory to satisfy the MIL-STD-810G standard. Featuring DrMOS 60A power phases, the highest rated available ensuring plenty of power. Hi-C CAP cores, Super Ferrite Choke, and Solid CAP, each aspect of the LIGHTNING Z ensures the best possible performance.
On-board and in control
With MSI's exclusive OC kits you're in complete control of the GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z. V-Check points allow you to accurately measure GPU, Memory and PLL voltages. Multiple Temp Monitor checks the real-time temperatures of the GPU, Memory and PLL while Quadruple Overvoltage allows you to overvolt those same components in order to achieve higher clock speeds.
Subject: General Tech | June 16, 2017 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, VR One, htc vive, oculus rift
MSI states their VR One is the world’s lightest and thinnest backpack PC system with high performance, which makes sense considering the utter lack of competition in that area. It may also claim to be the most expensive, as the price ranges from $1700 to $2300 in cost; [H]ard|OCP tested out the high end model in their recent review. Inside is a Kaby Lake Core i7-7820HK, 16GB of 2166MHz DDR4, dual M.2 storage drives, and the mobile version of the GTX 1070; certainly enough to power a Rift or Vive. The battery life is more impressive than you might expect, starting from 92% it lasted 1 hour and 37 and from 96% 1 hour and 41 minutes, with 2 hours required to recharge the battery over 95%. It is an investment but being able to experience VR without tripping on cords is an attractive proposition.
"The MSI VR ONE is quite simply a full PC that comes in the form of a backpack that allows you to connect your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift for a "wireless" VR experience. This VR ONE unit packs a GTX 1070 laptop GPU to hopefully supply us with the needed 90 frames per second performance required for a perfect Virtual Reality experience."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CIA's 'CherryBlossom' hacking tool allows router traffic to be intercepted @ The Inquirer
- Months late, unaudited: ZX Spectrum reboot firm files accounts @ The Register
- Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk @ The Register
- True Cross-play Gaming Could Become A Reality If Sony Wasn’t Holding Out @ Techgage
- Windows Server joins Windows 10 and Office in the bi-annual updates club @ The Inquirer
- Lenovo Reveals The 2017 ThinkCentre Desktop PCs @ TechARP
- EU Poised To Fine Google More Than $1 Billion in Antitrust Case @ Slashdot
- Xtorm EVOKE 10.000mAh Solar Charger Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 13, 2017 - 01:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 1080 ti, GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X, msi, Twin Frozr VI, 4k
MSI's latest version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is their GAMING X 4K and has the design features you would expect, Twin Frozr VI, Hi-C CAPs, Super Ferrite Chokes and Japanese Solid Caps. When benchmarking the card [H]ard|OCP saw performance significantly higher than the quoted 1657MHz boost speed, the average was 1935MHz before they overclocked and an impressive 2038MHz for the highest stable in game frequency. They tested both the default and overclocked frequencies against a battery of benchmarks, including the newly released Prey. The card performed admirably at 4k, with many games still performing will with all graphics options at maximum, drop by for a look.
"We review a custom GeForce GTX 1080 Ti based video card with custom cooling and a factory overclock built for overclocking. Can the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X truly deliver a consistent enjoyable high-end graphics setting gameplay experience in games at 4K finally? Is a single card viable for current generation gaming at 4K?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Asus ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC Edition 8GB 11Gbps Video Card Review @ Bjorn3d
- 15-Way NVIDIA/AMD OpenCL GPU Linux Benchmarks Of Ethereum Ethminer @ Phoronix
- XFX RX 460 4GB Heatsink Edition Review @ Bjorn3d
- XFX Rs XXX Edition Rx 570 4GB OC Review @ Bjorn3d
Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2017 - 02:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, SFF, barebones, nuc, kaby lake, Intel, Optane, computex
MSI recently introduced a new member of its Cubi small form factor barebones PC lineup. The Cubi 3 is a fanless PC that is build around Intel’s Kaby Lake-U processors and will arrive sometime this fall.
The Cubi 3 is a bit larger than its predecessors, but with the larger enclosure MSI was able to achieve a fanless design for up to (U series) Core i7 processors. The SFF PC sports a brushed aluminum case that shows off the top of the CPU heatsink through vents that run around the top edge of the case. There are two flat antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooh integrated into the left and right sides of the case.
FanlessTech reports that the MSI Cubi 3 will sport 15W Kaby Lake-U processors from low end Celerons up to Core i7 models. These parts are dual core parts with HyperThreading (2c/4t) with 3 MB or 4 MB of L3 cache and either HD (615 or 620) or Iris Plus (640 or 650) integrated graphics. The processor is paired with two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots for up to 32 GB of 2133 MHz memory, an M.2 2280 SSD (there is even Intel Optane support), and a single 2.5” drive.
The Cubi 3 has an audio jack and two USB 3.0 ports up front, and what appears to be two USB 2.0 ports on the left side. Rear I/O includes one HDMI, one DisplayPort, two more USB 3.0, two Gigabit Ethernet, two COM ports, and one power jack for the 65W AC power adapter.
There is no word on pricing yet, but it is slated to begin production in August with availability this fall.
It is always nice to see more competition in this niche fanless SFF space, and the little box would not look out of place on a desk or even in the living room. What are your thoughts?