NVIDIA G-Sync Update: New Monitors, Windowed Mode, V-Sync Options

Subject: Displays | May 31, 2015 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gsync, g-sync, computex 2015, computex

In conjunction with the release of the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card today, NVIDIA is making a handful of other announcements around the GeForce brand. The most dramatic of the announcements center around the company's variable refresh monitor technology called G-Sync. I assume that any of you reading this are already intimately familiar with what G-Sync is, but if not, check out this story that dives into how it compares with AMD's rival tech called FreeSync.

First, NVIDIA is announcing a set of seven new G-Sync ready monitors that will be available this summer and fall from ASUS and Acer.

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Many of these displays offer configurations of panels we haven't yet seen in a G-Sync display. Take the Acer X34 for example: this 34-in monitor falls into the 21:9 aspect ratio form factor, with a curved screen and a 3440x1440 resolution. The refresh rate will peak at 75 Hz while also offering the color consistency and viewing angles of an IPS screen. This is the first 21:9, the first 34x14 and the first curved monitor to support G-Sync, and with a 75 Hz maximum refresh it should provide a solid gaming experience. ASUS has a similar model, the PG34Q, though it peaks at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

ASUS will be updating the wildly popular ROG Swift PG278Q display with the PG279Q, another 27-in monitor with a 2560x1440 resolution. Only this time it will run at 144 Hz with an IPS screen rather than TN, again resulting in improved color clarity, viewing angles and lower eye strain. 

Those of you on the look out for 4K panels with G-Sync support will be happy to find IPS iterations of that configuration but still will peak at 60 Hz refresh - as much a limitation of DisplayPort as anything else though. 

Another technology addition for G-Sync with the 352-series (353-series, sorry!) driver released today is support for windowed mode variable refresh.

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By working some magic with the DWM (Desktop Window Manager), NVIDIA was able to allow for VRR to operate without requiring a game to be in full screen mode. For gamers that like to play windowed or borderless windowed while using secondary or large displays for other side activities, this is a going to a great addition to the G-Sync portfolio. 

Finally, after much harassment and public shaming, NVIDIA is finally going to allow users the choice to enable or disable V-Sync when your game render rate exceeds the maximum refresh rate of the G-Sync monitor it is attached to.

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One of the complaints about G-Sync has been that it is restrictive on the high side of the VRR window for its monitors. While FreeSync allowed you to selectively enable or disable V-Sync when your frame rate goes above the maximum refresh rate, G-Sync was forcing users into a V-Sync enabled state. The reasoning from NVIDIA was that allowing for horizontal tearing of any kind with G-Sync enabled would ruin the experience and/or damage the technology's reputation. But now, while the default will still be to keep V-Sync on, gamers will be able to manually set the V-Sync mode to off with a G-Sync monitor.

Why is this useful? Many gamers believe that a drawback to V-Sync enabled gaming is the added latency of waiting for a monitor to refresh before drawing a frame that might be ready to be shown to the user immediately. G-Sync fixes this from frame rates of 1 FPS to the maximum refresh of the G-Sync monitor (144 FPS, 75 FPS, 60 FPS) but now rather than be stuck with tear-free, but latency-added V-Sync when gaming over the max refresh, you'll be able to play with tearing on the screen, but lower input latency. This could be especially useful for gamers using 60 Hz G-Sync monitors with 4K resolutions.

Oh, actually one more thing: you'll now be able to enable ULMB (ultra low motion blur) mode in the driver as well without requiring entry into your display's OSD.

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NVIDIA is also officially announcing G-Sync for notebooks at Computex. More on that in this story!

MSI X99A Motherboards Win Computex Best Choice Awards

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 08:01 PM |
Tagged: computex, computex 2015, msi, x99a xpower ac, x99a gaming 9 ack, X99

Even though COMPUTEX 2015 doesn't begin for almost a week, the organizers have presented their “Best Choice Award”. Many devices won from a variety of categories, such as the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the 19” Stainless Fanless Industrial Panel PC from Wincomm Corporation. Being COMPUTEX, they appreciate PC gaming and overclocking, which led to MSI winning a pair of awards for its X99-based motherboards.

The MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK motherboard won the Best Choice Golden Award for Gaming and Entertainment because of its Streaming Engine Module. This feature uses an AVerMedia encoder to stream 60 megabit, 1080p, H.264 gaming video over the internet, to compensate for the lack of Intel Quicksync on Haswell-E. I have never seen it in action, but it seems to have interested the judges. MSI's second award is for the MSI X99A XPOWER AC motherboard, which won the Best Choice Award for Computer and System because of its overclocking capability.

COMPUTEX starts on June 2nd in Taiwan, which is next week, but expect more news before then.

Source: Computex

BitFenix Aegis, Atlas, and Pandora Enclosures Shown Off at Computex 2014

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 13, 2014 - 11:31 PM |
Tagged: enclosure, computex 2014, computex, cases, bitfenix pandora, bitfenix atlas, bitfenix aegis, bitfenix

Yes, Computex is over - and in its wake we’re still left with a ton of new product announcements. Three of these come from BitFenix, who unveiled new enclosures at their booth in Taipei last week.

 

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The first is the BitFenix Atlas, which has incorporated some interesting design features including what they are calling “swappable chambers” and a “test-mode motherboard tray”. (Could this be an open test-bench feature?)

 

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The design is very interesting (a bit along the lines of the Corsair Carbide Air 540), and the extra width allows for no less than ten 3.5” hard drive bays behind the motherboard tray! The Atlas also has six 2.5” bays for SSDs, and features a full array of dust filters and nifty RGB lighting.

 

Next we’ll look at the Aegis, a sleek minitower enclosure.

 

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The Aegis supports micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards and features water cooling support and a built in fan controller. In addition to 240/280mm radiator support on the top, the Aegis also boasts 360mm radiator support up front.

 

Finally we have the Pandora, which in addition to streaming music (as I’ve been informed) is also apparently a PC case that looks like part of a stormtrooper’s armor.

 

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Besides protecting imperial troops from rebel attacks, the Pandora offers a stylish take on a mini-ITX tower design and offers support for full-size ATX power supplies and (presumably) liquid cooling via two pairs of 120mm fan mounts.

 

No specifics on pricing or availability from BitFenix on these three new enclosures just yet, but expect them this year as they are part of the 2014 BitFenix catalog.

Source: BitFenix

Computex 2014: New SilverStone Strider Gold 1500W and More Powerful SFX Power Supplies Announced

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 8, 2014 - 10:58 PM |
Tagged: Silverstone, SFX PSU, PSU, Fortress, computex 2014, computex, atx case, aluminum case, 1500W PSU

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Computex may be over but SilverStone had enough new product announcements to last us for a while! Among the many offerings there were a number of highlights, including new enclosures and power supplies. We'll check out a few of the new PSUs here.

The first is a new 1500-watt PSU with a smaller size.

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ST1500-GS 1500W 180mm ATX PSU

At 180mm deep the most powerful Strider Gold S-series PSU isn't small, but compared to other 1500-watt options (including SilverStone's ST1500 at 220mm) the shorter depth promises some additional chassis options for a high-power build. The ST1500-GS is fully modular and also features all flat cabling.

New SFX Options!

The smallest PSUs in the SilverStone lineup also have new models, with two new SFX power supplies for mini-ITX builds. The first is a more powerful version of the popular 450-watt ST45SF-G, now in a 600-watt flavor in the SX600-G.

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SX600-G SFX PSU

Next we have the SX500-LG, and perhaps more exciting to mini-ITX enthusiasts the new 500-watt option in the SFX lineup features a 120mm fan!

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SX500-LG "SFX-L" PSU with 120mm fan

The SX500-LG's 120mm "ultra-quiet" fan adds a bit to the depth of the PSU, which is 130mm compared to the 100mm of the ST45SF-G and SX600-G, and it is classified as an "SFX-L" form factor - with only the length being non-standard for SFX. This new fan implementation should really help reduce some additional load noise from a small high-powered system. Both of the announced additions to the SFX family will also feature all flat cabling this time.

There are new models across all of SilverStone's lineup coming up, so stay tuned. No pricing or availablity just yet, but there's a lot to look forward to from SilverStone this year in the cases and cooling department!

Source: SilverStone

Computex 2014: ROCCAT Tyon Got Buttons (And More?)

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2014 - 07:37 PM |
Tagged: computex, computex 2014, roccat, tyon

So this mouse has many buttons. It even has not-buttons. The ROCCAT Tyon has 31 user-customizable functions mapped over 16 buttons. The "Tyon Xcelerator", near its thumb buttons, is an analog switch designed for functions such as throttle or vertical movement. The "Dorsal Fin" is a switch that tilts left and right, like a tilt wheel, except that it also has a tilting mouse wheel.

I guess you can never have too many tilt functions.

roccat tyon.jpg

Yo Cat, Heard You Like Buttons...

In short, ROCCAT has basically put as many functions on that mouse as they believe comfortable. Personally, I think the "Xcelerator" could be quite useful for games, like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with its UAV, where you need to move in three dimensions and rotate in two dimensions, at the same time. That just leaves about 30 other functions to think about.

The ROCCAT Tyon is "coming soon" for 99.99 Euros (~$136 USD).

Source: ROCCAT

Computex 2014: Cooler Master Announces NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard and 1200W Titanium PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, gaming keyboard, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, cherry mx red, 80 Plus Titanium, 1200W PSU

Cooler Master has been showing off a number of new products at Computex this year, and among the new announcments are a hybrid-switch keyboard and ultra-efficient (and ultra powerful) power supply.

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NovaTouch TKL Hybrid Switch Keyboard

First up is the NovaTouch TKL mechanical keyboard, which Cooler Master has outfitted with their exclusive Hybrid Capacitive switches. Cooler Master claims these are "exceptionally quiet and suitable for heavy-duty typing or gaming," and the NovaTouch TKL offers support for Cherry MX switches (though it was not clear if they will be offering it with that option upon release). Another area of interest: the NovaTouch TKL has both a standard USB and microUSB connector!

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Hmm... microUSB connector, eh?

Next we have a 1200W PSU with 80 PLUS Titanium certification (which you might remember calls for 90%+ efficiency at only 10% load!).

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Titanium certification makes power supplies look super awesome

The power supply is Cooler Master's first "foray into digital" PSU design, and there is even a companion app with bluetooth control and monitoring functions. Finally! Now you can while away the afternoon checking and re-checking the efficiency of your PSU from your phone...

Not surprisingly, pricing and availablity are not yet available for these new products.

Podcast #303 - News from Computex 2014, Crucial MX100 SSD, Intel SSD DC P3700, and much more!

Subject: General Tech | June 5, 2014 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: video, podcast, p3700, mx100, intel ssd, gsync, fx-7600p, freesync, corsair, computex 2014, computex, asus, adaptive sync, acer, 4k

PC Perspective Podcast #303 - 06/05/2014

Special guest Austin Evans joins us this week to discuss news from Computex 2014, Crucial MX100 SSD, Intel SSD DC P3700, and much 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!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Maleventano, and Austin Evans

Program length: 1:29:12
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 0:46:00 Monitors
    2. Corsair
    3. ASUS
  3. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

 

Computex 2014: Cooler Master Introduces Low-Noise Nepton 120XL, 140XL, 240M, 280L Liquid CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 5, 2014 - 11:28 AM |
Tagged: Nepton 240M, Nepton 120XL, liquid cooler, cpu cooler, cooler master, computex 2014, computex, AIO

Cooler Master has announced their revised Nepton self-contained liquid CPU cooler lineup, and the existing models have been renewed with lower-noise designs.

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The Nepton 240M

The revised versions seem to be using the the same radiators but employ new improvements in the pump/waterblock, as well as new low-noise fans. Cooler Master says the “Advanced Silent Driver” in the Nepton pumps will offer extremely low vibration levels, providing a120 L/hr flow rate at 11dBA. The units feature a Cooler Master-designed water block with a “large microchannel surface area and a high-efficiency jet impingement system to optimize hotspot cooling performance”.

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New waterblock and fan designs

Cooler Master says their manufacturing process “eliminates microchannel imperfections in the waterblock to prevent blockage and allows for an increased surface area over 4 times greater than the competition, resulting in an extremely high performance waterblock.” The Nepton series also uses all-new “Silencio” fans, which Cooler Master claims will offer 11dBA noise levels and air pressure rated at 1.2 mmH2O. The cooling performance of previous Cooler Master self-contained liquid coolers has been dependent on some pretty loud fans, and while the stated 11dbA fan noise is likely based on the lowest PWM fan speed improvements in this area are welcome.

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The Nepton 120XL

Cooler Master has not announced pricing or availability of the new Nepton 120XL, 140XL, 240M, or 280L models yet, but we should expect these products later this year.

Computex 2014: Samsung 845DC EVO Enterprise TLC SSDs

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 4, 2014 - 07:37 PM |
Tagged: computex 2014, computex, tlc, ssd, Samsung, 845DC EVO

Well that was an alphabet soup of a title.

Samsung has just announced a new line of SSDs, based on three bit per cell (TLC) memory, for enterprise customers. The Samsung 845DC EVO is rated at 530MB/s reads with 87,000 IOPS. The company will also cover up to 600TB of writes under its warranty (no mention of length in years, though). The drive will be available "later this month" in 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB models. Samsung did not mention price in their press release, but Anandtech claims the 240GB will be $250, the 480GB will be $490, and the 960GB will be $969.

Samsung's SSDs will give you some TLC???

This is basically $1/GB scaling, plus $10. I must admit, this is getting pricy. In the consumer space, we have recently seen 512GB for $199. That said, SSDs are not known for sticking to their MSRP. Also, these are enterprise-rated drives. Being TLC-based, I wonder how much (if any) SLC-style write cache was included, as per the consumer 840 EVO.

Lastly, Samsung claims that these drives use around 4W under load. This is much lower than hard drives but a little high for SSDs, according to benchmarks that I have seen. That said, there are a few ways to parse that (for example, if they mean that its peak is typically 4W, which would be pretty good for a 960GB drive).

The Samsung 845DC EVO will be available later this month for a little over $1/GB.

Source: Samsung

Computex 2014: ADATA Announces 2TB SandForce SF3700 Series PCIe and M.2 SSDs, DDR4 Memory

Subject: Memory, Storage | June 4, 2014 - 11:15 AM |
Tagged: ssd, solid state drive, pcie, pci-e ssd, memory, M.2, ddr4, computex 2014, computex, adata, 2tb ssd

ADATA has been showing off some upcoming products at Computex, and it's all about DRAM.

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We'll begin with an upcoming line of PCIe Enterprise/Server SSDs powered by the SandForce SF3700-series controller. We've been waiting for products with the SF3700 controller since January, when ADATA showed a prototype board at CES, and ADATA is now showcasing the controller in the "SR1020" series drives.

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The first is a 2TB 2.5" drive, but the interface was not announced (and the sample on the floor appeared to be an empty shell).  The listed specs are performance up to 1800MB/s and 150K IOPS, with the drive powered by the SF-3739 controller.  Support for both AHCI and NVMe is also listed, along with the usual TRIM, NCQ, and SMART support.

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Another 2TB SSD was shown with exactly the same specs as the 2.5" version, but this one is built on the M.2 spec. The drive will connect via 4 lanes of Gen 2 PCI Express. Both drives in ADATA's SR1020 PCIe SSD lineup will be available in capacities from 240GB - 2TB, and retail pricing and availability is forthcoming.

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Continuing the DRAM theme, ADATA also showed new DDR4 modules in commodity and enthusiast flavors. Both of the registered DIMMs on display (an ultra-low profile DIMM was also shown) had standard DDR4 specs of 2133MHz at 1.2V, but ADATA also showed some performance DDR4 at their booth.

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A pair of XPG Z1 DDR4 modules in action

No pricing or availability just yet on these products.

Source: ADATA