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Subject: Systems | June 7, 2018 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIY, system build
Why not cool down with some new components or build an entire system; thus avoiding the fiery ball of death which inhabits the sky this time of year? They are as excited as we on the Hardware Leaderboard that you do not have to mortgage your life in order to afford the RAM and GPU for a new build. The benefits of competition show in their builds, with their system builds showing a mix of AMD and Intel processors; NVIDIA still holds the GPU choices for now however. Drop by for a look at what might be your next build.
"Welcome to TR's Summer 2018 System Guide. This is where the TR staff picks out the créme de la créme of hardware components fit for the most price-effective builds around. We've tried to create builds across a wide range of price points with parts that provide the best performance possible for the money."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Overclockers UK Germanium @ Kitguru
- Building a basic gaming PC with AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G @ The Tech Report
- Viglen Incepta Professional RX @ Kitguru
- Zotac MEK1 Black @ Kitguru
- MSI Infinite X Gaming Desktop @ Techspot
- Intel's NUC8i7HVK "Hades Canyon" @ The Tech Report
- MSI Infinite X @ Kitguru
- Alienware Aurora R7 @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | May 31, 2018 - 04:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen 7, Predator Orion 5000, Predator Helios 500, Predator, nitro 50, gaming machine, amd, acer
The wait is almost over for those looking for a boutique built AMD gaming machine, of either the mobile or sedentary variety according to the announcement today from Acer. They've announced the pending arrival of three new systems, the Predator Orion 5000 and Acer Nitro 50 desktops as well as the Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop all of which will be shown off at Computex 2018 in Taipei.
Starting small, well relatively so, is the $2100, 17.3" Helios 500 laptop which comes with your choice of Freesync display, either a 1080p with a 144Hz top refresh rate or a 4k display if you so prefer. Inside is a Ryzen 2 processor and a Vega 56 GPU, cooled by Acer's AeroBlade 3D metal fans, with exhaust worthy of a CEC YT-1300. It also has some interesting audio features, using Waves Nx head-tracking technology to control the built in speakers to give you a more immersive audio experience.
Next in power would be the Acer Nitro 50 desktop, also featuring a second generation Ryzen processor and a choice of either RX 580 or GTX 1060 GPUs to power your chosen monitor. As with the CPU and GPU, the storage depends on the model you chose, with a 516GB SSD and 3TB HDD at the top tier. The Nitro 50 also comes with a Qi compatible wireless charging deck for wireless lovers. It will start at $900 and head up from there.
Last comes the big hitter, the Predator Orion 5000 pairing a Ryzen 2 with a GTX 1080 in it's most powerful configuration. As you would expect from a $1500+ system, it has been designed to look good as well as perform. Tempered glass on the side, with easy access to the interior for upgrades along with comprehensive cable management and Acer's IceTunnel 2.0 airflow management system which segregates your components into different sections to improve heat transfer.
You can't buy them quite yet but expect to hear more about these and other Ryzen powered gaming machines in the near future.
Subject: Systems | May 3, 2018 - 07:39 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: velocity micro, EPYC, EPYC 7601, amd, workstation
AMD scored another design win with Velocity Micro announcing a new workstation built around the Zen-based EPYC processor. The new ProMagix HD150 is a single socket Epyc-based system that slots in between the company's existing ThreadRipper-based HD80A and the dual socket Epyc HD360A workstations. The Velocity Micro system takes the company's GX4 aluminum E-ATX chassis and crams a ton of processing power into it.
The new workstation is based around the Supermicro H11SSL motherboard and it can be confiugred with up to an AMD Epyc 7601 processor with 32 cores and 64 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 3.2 GHz boost with 64MB L3 cache and 128 lanes of PCI-E. The processor which is cooled by a closed loop liquid cooler with 240mm radiator can be paired with up to 512GB DDR4-2666 ECC RDIMMs or 256GB ECC LRDIMMs for main memory and up to a 2TB Samsung 960 Pro SSD (or two Crucial MX550s) and two 8TB mechanical hard drives for storage. The Supermicro board has sixteen SATA ports as well as multiple PCI-E x16 and x8 slots so users can add plenty of additional storage and I/O expansion. Further, users can configure the system with a NVIDIA Quadro GP100 graphics accelerator as well as up to two Radeon Pro SSG Vega 10 cards (there are also NVIDIA GTX, Titan, and Quadro or AMD Vega, WX Pro, and SSG options) for GPGPU tasks. The two Radeon Pro SSG cards have 4096 stream processors, 16GB of HBM2, and 2TB of solid state storage each and are rated at 12.3 TFLOPS of single precision and 769 GFLOPS of double precision performance.
Needless to say, you can configure an extremely capable workstation thanks to AMD's Epyc that can handle both CPU and GPU efficient tasks with plenty of I/O lanes for storage and expansion. Velocity Micro claims that the HD150 workstation is aimed at simulation, rendering, 8K video editing, and machine learning workloads. The systems can be configured on their website or customized by ordering over the phone and start at $3,299 with a default one year warranty and lifetime US-based support. The workstations are built and tested in Richmond, Virginia. As far as pricing, this, ahem, Epyc system is squarely an enterprise affair with fully loaded configurations passing $33,000 easily.
It is promising to see AMD's server processor getting design wins in this market space.
Subject: Systems | April 20, 2018 - 01:05 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: RX 550, radeon, NUC8i3CYSM3, NUC8i3CYSM2, nuc, Intel, i3-8121u, Dawson Canyon, crimson canyon, cnl-u, cannon lake u, baby canyon, amd
Rumors surfacing from the WinFuture site seem to indicate that the Hades Canyon NUC and Kaby Lake-G processors aren't the end of Intel and AMD's relationship for compact PCs.
WinFuture was able to get their hands on some photos of both the hardware and software of the yet to be announced Crimson Canyon NUC. While there have been rumors, and even retail listings floating around recently about this Cannon Lake U-based NUC, WinFuture has uncovered a secret within this device—a discrete AMD Radeon GPU.
On the CPU side, the Crimson Canyon NUC seems to be based on the i3-8121U. Based on previous leaks, this processor will be part of the Cannon Lake-U family and one of the first parts produced on Intel's 10nm manufacturing process.
WinFuture has also sourced an image from what appears to be the AMD's Radeon Software package showing this NUC features "Radeon 500-series" graphics. While this could mean a few things, we take it along with reference to "2GB of GDDR5" on the leaked NUC box to mean that Intel is integrating a Polaris-based GPU and GDDR5 memory into a NUC system.
Unlike the Hades Canyon NUC, we do not expect this to be a CPU and GPU on the same package. Rather, it appears that Intel will be integrating the Polaris GPU, GDDR5, and associated power circuitry on the NUC motherboard.
Based on the 90W power adapter for the entire system, 2GB of GDDR5, and the leaked core clock frequency from the Radeon Software, it seems likely this GPU will be most closely related to AMD's current RX 550 GPU.
Update: It appears our speculation of the mystery GPU being an RX 550 is correct according to a 3DMark score listing we've been pointed to. For reference, this would place 3DMark 11 performance levels around the MX150 found in a lot of ultrabooks, as we measured here.
Interestingly enough, we found the RX550 to be in the same class of graphics performance as AMD's Ryzen 5 2400G APU when we reviewed that processor a few months ago.
A leaked Geekbench score from earlier in the year outs the i3-8121U as a dual-core, hyperthreaded part. Performance of this i3 part seems to be roughly in line with the Baby Canyon-based NUC7i5BNH containing an i5-7260U processor.
Interestingly enough, from the retail listings it appears this NUC will be sold as pre-configured systems, with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 2.5" HDD, and Windows 10 as opposed to the traditional barebones NUC options.
Overall, it seems odd for Intel to be launching their first traditional form factor NUC with discrete graphics on top of an i3-based CPU. We'd love to see the potential for discrete AMD graphics with a quad-core based U-series part like i7-8650U found in the Dawson Canyon NUC we took a look at recently.
We're eager to hear more about this Crimson Canyon NUC, it's Radeon graphics, and the 10nm Cannon Lake-U processor hiding inside. Stay tuned for more news about this platform as they become available!
Subject: Systems | April 9, 2018 - 08:00 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: hp, detachable, core m3-7y30, ChromeOS, chromebook x2, 2-in-1
Today, HP is announcing the Chromebook x2, building upon their existing Chromebook 11 and Chromebook x360 devices.
As you might have guessed from the "x2" moniker, the HP Chromebook x2 is a detachable 2-in-1 device. While we've seen Acer announce the first ChromeOS tablet a few weeks ago with the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the HP Chromebook x2 is the first detachable device to be running ChromeOS.
|HP Chromebook x2|
|Processor||Intel Core M3-7Y30 (Kaby Lake)|
|Memory||4GB LPDDR3-1600 (Onboard)|
|Screen||12.3-inch Touchscreen (2400x1600)|
|Storage||32GB eMMC (non-upgradable)|
HP Wide Vision 5MP Camera (front facing)
13 MP HP Camera (rear facing)
|Wireless||Intel 802.11ac 2x2 + BT 4.2|
|Connections||2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
MicroSD Card Reader
Audio combo jack
|Dimensions||11.50 in (W) x 8.32 in (D) x 0.33 in (H)
1.62 lb (tablet); 3.07 lb (tablet + base)
|Price||$599 - available starting in June|
Specs-wise, the HP Chromebook x2 looks to be one of the higher performance ChromeOS device. Built around an Intel Core M3-7Y30 processor, HP is aiming for the Chromebook x2 to be used as a primary computing device for consumers looking for more available horsepower on a ChromeOS device.
Along with the tablet mode capabilities come the included HP Active Pen stylus for sketching, notetaking, and navigation.
Additionally, HP Chromebook X2 will support the running of Android apps from the Google Play Store inside ChromeOS. This will allow users to access more tablet-optimized Android apps, which should be great for media consumption.
With pricing of $599, with the keyboard dock included, the HP Chromebook x2 is one of the few premium ChromeOS devices we've seen besides Google's Pixel offerings.
While it remains to be seen if users are interested in the 2-in-1 detachable form factor for a device running ChromeOS, the HP Chromebook x2 seems to be a premium product and a compelling option for users looking for the Chromebook experience.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 4, 2018 - 11:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung Odyssey, Samsung, nvidia, max-p, Intel, coffee lake h
During Intel's launch event for its new Coffee Lake H processors in Beijing, China notebook manufacturers took the wraps off of their latest thin and light offerings. The latest announcement is from Samsung who launched its Notebook Odyssey Z gaming notebook. Measuring 375.6 x 255 x17.9mm and weighing 2.4 kg (5.29 pounds), it may not be particularly thin or light by most standards, but it is a unique design that brings a lot of mobile horsepower to bear for gaming tasks.
The Notebook Odyssey Z comes in Titan Silver with red accents and a red backlit keyboard. The top cover of the notebook has a silver and white repeating gradient design and the bottom of the notebook is covered almost entirely in mesh with the top half venting to the inside of the computer. Inside, the top half holds the 15.6" 1920x1080 display and a 720p webcam while the bottom half hosts two 1.5W speakers with angled grills and a red logo up top and the keyboard moved up to the front of the notebook and the trackpad is moved to the right side of the keyboard. The keyboard uses Crater keycaps and there are shortcut keys to record gameplay and change power modes (e.g. the Silent Mode clocks things down and changes the power envelop such that the notebook gets down to a quiet 22 decibels.
Around the edges there is a Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0, one USB Type C, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, one audio, and one DC-in for external I/O.
Internally, the Odyssey Z is powered by Intel's new 6-core Core i7 "Coffee Lake H" processor (Samsung doesn't mention which model, but the 45W i7 8750H is a likely option) and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. Other hardware includes up to 16 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz memory and 1 TB of NVMe storage. The system is cooled by Samsung's Z AeroFlow cooler which includes vapor chamber heatsinks for the processors. and two blower fans. There is a 54WH battery and it comes with a 180W AC power adapter.
Samsung's Notebook Odyssey Z will be available in certain countries including Korea and China this month with US availability in Q3 2018. No word yet on pricing, however.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 3, 2018 - 09:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, i7-8750h, gtx 1070, gs65, gaming notebook, coffee lake h
MSI is introducing a new high-end gaming laptop as part of its stealth gaming GS series. The new MSI GS65 is a thin and light laptop at 0.69” thick and 4.14 pounds with ultra slim (4.9mm) bezels that allow it to pack a 15.6” display into a 14” laptop form factor. The GS65 utilizes the latest Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics along with all the RGB offered with a per-key backlit SteelSeries keyboard.
The MSI GS65 features a flat black design with gold trim and accents along with rounded corners. There are plenty of vents along the back and back corners of the left and right sides. External I/O includes Ethernet (the laptop is barely thick enough to hold the RJ-45 port), two USB 3.1 Gen 2, and two audio ports on the left side, and one USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), one Thunderbolt 3, one Mini DisplayPort, and one full size HDMI video output along the right side. Up top DynAudio speakers sit above the keyboard and a large trackpad sits below it. In addition to the built-in speakers, MSI also includes Nahimic 3 audio support for 7.1 virtual surround sound when using headphones. The display is a 15.6” 144 Hz display that is rated at a calibrated 94% NTSC color gamut.
Internally, MSI is using a beefy air cooling setup with three Whirlwind Blade fans (47 0.2mm thick fan blades), four heatpipes, and independent CPU and GPU coolers and airflow. Under the hood, MSI is offering up to an Intel Core i7-8750H Coffee Lake-H processor and either a NVIDIA GTX 1070 or GTX 1060 depending on the model. The Coffee Lake H processor is a 45W part featuring 6 cores / 12 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo and 9 MB cache. The CPU supports dual channel DDR4-2666 MHz RAM and Intel Optane storage (no vPro on this model).
MSI claims up to 8 hours of battery life when in power saving “green mode” and playing back 720p video content. Naturally, battery life when gaming will be much lower, but in those situations, you’ll want to be near a power outlet anyway and at least MSI has managed to slim down the power adapter by 28% on this model.
On the software side of things, MSI is bundling the gaming laptop with SteelSeries Engine 3 software to control the keyboard backlighting (which can be configured to show things like ammo and health remaining) as well as Dragon Center 2.0 software for system monitoring and game profiles for optimizing memory when running supported games.
The GS65 laptop looks the part with a premium finish and nice looking accents like the floating hinge and vents without going too crazy, but we will have to wait for reviews to see if the performance is there as well. The new 6-core Intel chip and GTX 1070 combo is a lot of horsepower for a portable gaming system and I’ll be interested to see what reviewers think of the build quality and 144 Hz display. As is usually the case with these things, MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability but more information should be available soon. Update: It appears that the MSI GS65 starts at $1800 with an i7-8750H, GTX 1060, 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD and $2100 for the GTX 1070 model on Amazon.
Are you rocking a gaming laptop? What do you think about MSI's latest stealthy offering?
- Intel Unveils More 8th Generation Mobile Processors, 6-Core Mobile CPUs
- MSI GS63VR Gaming Notebook - Another Take on Max-Q
Subject: Systems | March 29, 2018 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, video editor, 1950x
Here is a bit of a feel good movie from The Tech Report, who were nice enough to reach out to AMD, ASUS and several other companies to donate parts to create a brand new video editing machine for a friend of the site. The system build is more than impressive, a ThreadRipper 1950X on a Gigabyte Designaire EX with a Vega 56 Nitro + and a host of other components. Check out the reaction from Stephen, who has been using a Mac Pro which is now almost eight years old in their video reveal and build.
"A good friend of mine, Stephen Georg, recently came to me with a problem. Our mutual friend Dan Settembrini is a video editor by trade, and he helps Stephen create videos for his YouTube channels. Problem is, Dan's editing rig is a mid-2010 Mac Pro. We surprised Dan with a new video-editing PC for the ages with a little help from TR's friends."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
So… this is probably not for your home.
NVIDIA has just announced their latest pre-built system for enterprise customers: the DGX-2. In it, sixteen Volta-based Tesla V100 graphics devices are connected using NVSwitch. This allows groups of graphics cards to communicate to and from every other group at 300GB/s, which, to give a sense of scale, is about as much bandwidth as the GTX 1080 has available to communicate with its own VRAM. NVSwitch treats all 512GB as a unified memory space, too, which means that the developer doesn’t need redundant copies across multiple boards just so it can be seen by the target GPU.
Note: 512GB is 16 x 32GB. This is not a typo. 32GB Tesla V100s are now available.
For a little recap, Tesla V100 cards run a Volta-based GV100 GPU, which has 5120 CUDA cores and runs them at ~15 TeraFLOPs of 32-bit performance. Each of these cores also scale exactly to FP64 and FP16, as was the case since Pascal’s high-end offering, leading to ~7.5 TeraFLOPs of 64-bit or ~30 TeraFLOPs of 16-bit computational throughput. Multiply that by sixteen and you get 480 TeraFLOPs of FP16, 240 TeraFLOPs of FP32, or 120 TeraFLOPs of FP64 performance for the whole system. If you count the tensor units, then we’re just under 2 PetaFlops of tensor instructions. This is powered by a pair of Xeon Platinum CPUs (Skylake) and backed by 1.5TB of system RAM – which is only 3x the amount of RAM that the GPUs have if you stop and think about it.
The device communicates with the outside world through eight EDR InfiniBand NICs. NVIDIA claims that this yields 1600 gigabits of bi-directional bandwidth. Given how much data this device is crunching, it makes sense to keep data flowing in and out as fast as possible, especially for real-time applications. While the Xeons are fast and have many cores, I’m curious to see how much overhead the networking adds to the system when under full load, minus any actual processing.
NVIDIA’s DGX-2 is expected to ship in Q3.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 22, 2018 - 04:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sbc, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi, gigabit ethernet, dual band, bluetooth, 802.11ac
Tim did a great write up of the new hardware found in the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ which you should check out below if you missed. Technical specifications are only the first step as we still need to see how the new 1.4GHz Cortex A53's perform in benchmarks and Phoronix have published just that. They compared the Pi 3 to a variety of chips including the previous model, ASUS' Tinkerboard, the two Jetson boards, a few Celerons and even a Core i3. Overall the chip showed an advantage over the previous model; not earth shattering but as the price remains at $35 for the Pi 3 that is still a good deal.
"I've been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations @ The Register
- Best Buy Stops Selling Huawei Smartphones @ Slashdot
- Apple to enter trial production of new iPhone series in 2Q18, say sources @ DigiTimes
- ICO still waiting for 'urgent' warrant to raid Cambridge Analytica's London HQ @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla Pulls Advertising from Facebook @ Slashdot
- Facebook's Zuck comes out of hiding, admits company 'made mistakes' @ The Inquirer
- Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way @ The Register
- Slack's GDPR changes means admins can now snoop on private chats @ The Inquirer
- Tomb Raider Remasters Have Been Cancelled @ [H]ard|OCP
- HITMAN Spring Pack Is FREE For A Limited Time! @ Tech ARP
Subject: Systems | March 2, 2018 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Chillblast, Threadripper, gtx 1080 ti, amd, Fusion Centauri
Are you the type of person that is always running low on threads, PCIe lanes and VRAM? Then Chillblast has a system for you! Inside is a watercooled Threadripper 1950X, 64GB of DDR4-2666, two watercooled ASUS GTX 1080 Ti's, a 1TB Samsung 960 PRO M.2 for your systems and a wee little 10TB Seagate Barracuda HDD for storage. Sure it will run you about £7,500, or just a hair over $10,000USD, but if you want to play all the things in 4k you need to spend a bit of cash. Check out Kitguru's full review here.
"The new Threadripper processors from AMD already push the envelope when it comes to multi-threaded performance, and the Chillblast Fusion Centauri Ryzen Threadripper Ultimate takes the red team’s fantastic hardware and pairs it with a stupendous, eye-catching build"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Overclockers UK Cobalt Overclocked Gaming PC Review – 8350K & GTX 1060 @ KitGuru
- iMac Pro review: Hard to upgrade, but holy Jony Ive it’s fast @ Ars Technica
- Axiom TS Mini PC with Raven Ridge @ Modders-Inc
- PCSpecialist Vulcan Pro @ Kitguru
- Budget Overclocking Guide: Ryzen 3 2200G @ TechSpot
- Intel Atom C3950 + Tyan Tempest S3227 @ Phoronix
- ECS Liva Q Pocket Size PC @ Guru of 3D
- ECS LIVA Q @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Systems | February 14, 2018 - 01:49 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, silent, SFF, nvidia, mini PC, Intel, Inferno, GTX 1080, gaming, fanless, core i7 7700k, compulab, Airtop2
Compulab, maker of mini systems such as the fitlet and Airtop is bringing the compact, fanless concept to a powerful gaming system - with no less than an Intel Core i7-7700K and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. The catch? Is is not yet available, pending an upcoming Kickstarter campaign beginning February 24.
The teaser image of the upcoming Airtop2 Inferno fanless gaming system
The Airtop2 is already available for purchase in a fanless workstation version, built-to-order with up to an Intel Xeon E3-1275 v6 and NVIDIA Quadro P4000 (starting at $2575 for that configuration before adding memory/storage), and this new "Inferno" version of the Airtop2 promises to be very interesting to silent computing enthusiasts.
Front and rear views of the Inferno system
A fanless gaming system with high-end components is only going to be as effective as its cooling system, and here Compulab has a lot of experience on the industrial/embedded side of things.
Exploded view of the standard Airtop2 design (no images of the Airtop2 Inferno interior available yet)
Compulab lists these specs for the Airtop2 Inferno (along with the teaser, "and a little more..."):
- Unlocked Intel Core-i7 7700K
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
- Up to 64 GB DDR4 2400 RAM
- 2x NVMe + 4x 2.5″ SSD / HDD
- 2x USB 3.1 + 7x USB 3.0 | dual LAN | front (and back) audio
Compulab has also provided some benchmark results to demonstrate how effective their fanless implementation of these components is, with results using 3DMark and Unigine Heaven available on the Inferno product page.
The company has set up a Q&A page for the Airtop2 Inferno, but pricing/availability info will probably have to wait until February 24th when the Kickstarter campaign is active.
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: small form-factor, small form factor, project spark, Digital Storm, desktop pc
Digital Storm has just announced a new water-cooled, enthusiast PC, called Project SPARK. As the video shows, the device is about the width of a coffee mug and its handle, although it’s a bit deeper and taller. This cuts down on the amount of surface area the PC covers, which matters more than height for something that sits on a desk. The specs? Up to an Intel Core i7-8700k and an NVIDIA GTX 1080.
One of the interesting aspects of Project SPARK is that it is also user-upgradable. Digital Storm designed the system to have an accessible CPU and GPU, not just RAM and storage (but those are, of course, accessible too). Speaking of storage, the PC uses up to 3x M.2 SSDs. I should note that the PC uses MXM slot GPUs, so you can’t just plug in a triple-slot PCIe card in there… but, come on. You’re buying a small form factor PC.
The Digital Storm Project SPARK launches in Q2 with prices starting at $1299 USD (GTX 1060 SKU).
Subject: Systems | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Tinker Board 3, tinker board, small form factor, SFF, PN40, PB40, mini PC, Chromebox 3, Chromebox, CES 2018, CES, asus
ASUS has four new small form-factor devices on display at CES, with mini-PC hardware as well as a new Chromebox 3 and Tinker Board 3. We start with the mini-PCs:
ASUS PB40 mini PC
“The ASUS PB40 mini PC offers unparalleled connectivity with up to six USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ ports and a flexible I/O port design with VGA/DP/COM/HDMI support. Its metallic chassis houses the latest 8th Generation Intel Pentium® Silver processor for powerful performance. The PB40 is also offered in a fanless design with Intel Celeron® processors for completely silent operation. In addition to its compact design, the PB40 supports optional stackable modules such as optical drives to provide space-saving versatility for a wide range of usage scenarios.”
ASUS PN40 mini PC
“Powered by 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors, the new ASUS PN40 mini PC features a sliding bottom case design for easy upgrades. Compact and lightweight, it measures 114 x 114 x 49mm and weighs just 1.54lbs. With a wide range of connectivity options including USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C for fast data transmission, and a changeable I/O port for VGA or COM support, the PN40 is ideal for both home entertainment and business solutions.”
Next we have the third-generation Chromebox, ASUS's Chrome OS mini-PC:
ASUS Chromebox 3
“ASUS Chromebox 3 is the latest addition to the ASUS Chromebox family and is powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core processor and DDR4-2400 memory for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. It is equipped with a versatile USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for quick data transfers, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit LAN for faster streaming along with DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity for 4K UHD playback of your favorite videos.”
Finally we have the new Tinker Board S, with "S" clearly meaning storage here as this new Tinker Board adds 16GB of onboard eMMC. This should make getting a project started that much easier as the previous design only offered a memory card slot, requiring a microSD card of at least 8GB.
ASUS Tinker Board S
“The new Tinker Board S features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage, while retaining the same board size and component placement as the original Tinker Board.”
Availability for all of these products - PB40, PN40, Chromebox 3, and Tinker Board S - is expected in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Strix SKT T1, strix, ROG, Republic of Gamers, notebook, laptop, gaming, g703, CES 2018, CES, asus
ASUS has a pair of laptops from their Republic of Gamers lineup at CES this year, and we'll begin with the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition, a limited-edition laptop which "marks the first collaboration between ROG and top eSports team SK Telecom T1".
In addition to bundled ROG/SK Telecom T1 co-branded swag (team jersey, mouse pad, posters) the laptop itself has been externally designed to reflect its affiliation. Hardware reflects its MOBA-inspired gaming approach, which includes an unspecified Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and 120 Hz IPS display (which offers 100% sRGB coverage). The keyboard features N-key rollover, upgraded switches with "20-million-keystroke durability", and RGB lighting.
Next we have the massive 17-inch ROG G703, which was launched back in November, and is "the world's first gaming laptop with an ultra-smooth 17.3-inch Full HD wide-view display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology for a 144Hz refresh rate" according to ASUS.
The ROG G703 is powered by an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor which is factory-overclocked for speeds of up to 4.3 GHz, and no less than an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (with a top clock of 1974 MHz) handles gaming duties. The biggest part of the laptop (literally) is the display, as ASUS explains:
"High-refresh-rate displays provide the fluidity and responsiveness demanded by top eSports gamers and enthusiasts, so ROG also created ROG Strix Scar Edition with a 144Hz panel and GTX 1070 graphics. ASUS has also introduced high-refresh-rate displays into the mainstream gaming market with the FX503 laptop, which features a 15.6-inch Full HD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics."
The ROG G703 also offers built-in Xbox Wireless capability, freeing up USB ports when connecting Microsoft's gaming controllers.
The ROG G703 is available now with an MSRP starting at $3499, and ASUS says the ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition will carry an MSRP of $1699 with availability in Q1 2018.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ZenBook 13, notebook, laptop, desktop, CES 2018, CES, asus vivo, asus, all in one, AIO
The consumer PC annoucements from ASUS include a pair of new consumer notebooks with the ZenBook 13 (model UX331UAL) and ASUS Laptop X507, along with a pair of Vivo all-in-one desktops.
We start with the ZenBook 13 notebook, a lightweight (2.17 lb) with up to 15 hours of battery life according to ASUS.
ZenBook 13 (UX331UAL)
“The elegantly designed ZenBook 13 is a Windows 10 laptop that's ultralight and powerful. It's designed to provide users the ultimate in mobility, featuring a feather-light 2.17lb all-metal chassis and up to 15-hour battery life. And despite its compact design, ZenBook 13 doesn't compromise on performance. Its 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD lets users blast through all their tasks with ease, and its Harman Kardon audio system delivers powerful immersive sound.”
Next is a more mainstream notebook option with the device called simply ASUS Laptop X507.
ASUS Laptop X507
“Offering easy portability and uncompromising performance for daily computing, the stylish ASUS Laptop X507 is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX110 graphics and a flexible, convenient dual-storage design. With its slim-bezel NanoEdge Full HD display for unbounded visuals and Windows 10, ASUS Laptop X507 is the ideal laptop for daily computing and entertainment.”
A pair of AiO desktops are next up, with 27 and 22 inch options.
Vivo AiO V272
“Vivo AiO V272 features an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics for uncompromising performance. The 27-inch multitouch display has a wide 100% sRGB color gamut and 178˚ wide-view technology for truly great visuals and combines with the ASUS SonicMaster audio system with its bass-reflex speakers to offer a superb entertainment experience. The ASUS ZenAnywhere app gives users effortless remote access, and turns Vivo AiO V272 into a personal cloud storage center. Windows 10 provides a secure and familiar computing experience, including Cortana’s voice recognition capability for more efficient and productive computing."
ASUS Vivo AiO V222
“Vivo AiO V222 has a frameless 22-inch Full HD display that features edge-to-edge visuals. Combined with its advanced ASUS SonicMaster bass-reflex speaker system, exclusive ASUS Splendid and Tru2Life Video technologies, Vivo AiO V222 delivers immersive visuals with crystal-clear audio for the ultimate entertainment experience. The ASUS ZenAnywhere app gives users effortless remote access, and turns Vivo AiO V222 into a personal cloud storage center. Windows 10 provides a secure and familiar computing experience, including Cortana’s voice recognition capability for productive computing.”
All four of these new systems are set for release in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.
Subject: Systems | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: CES, ROG, nvidia, Intel, GTX 1080, geforce, coffee lake, asus, CES 2018
ASUS has just announced a high-end gaming desktop: the ROG Strix GL12. It looks like it will be a standard mid-tower form factor with a highly stylized design and, of course, RGB lights. They will pair with Aura Sync, so you make your case match your keyboard and pretty much whatever else you have from ASUS with RGB lights in it.
The main selling feature of the system, however, is the factory-overclocked Coffee Lake CPU – up to six cores at 4.8 GHz. You can also pair this with an NVIDIA GTX 1080. At first, I found it odd that they didn’t go up to the GTX 1080 Ti given the rest of the system, although I guess they would need to produce stock ahead of time, and it would be risky to have too many enthusiast parts sitting in a warehouse. They don’t state the maximum configurable RAM, but Coffee Lake maxes out at 64 GB so we know that it won’t be more than that. It all depends on whether ASUS wants to make a 32 GB or a 64 GB SKU.
The ASUS ROG Strix GL12 gaming desktop will launch in April. Pricing TBA.
Subject: Systems | January 7, 2018 - 08:14 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega M, NUC 8 Enthusiast, nuc, mini PC, kaby lake-g, Intel, core i7, CES 2018, CES, amd, 8th generation core
Intel has announced a new imagining of their high-end NUC mini-PC called the NUC 8 Enthusiast. The most significant difference between this and the previous high-end NUCs from Intel is that this one doesn't rely on Intel's integrated graphics as AMD Vega M graphics are onboard, and along with them the promise of some legitimate gaming muscle.
What exactly is under the hood? There are two variants, with the NUC8i7HVK (which offers 100W AMD RX Vega M graphics) and NUC8i7HNK (with 65W AMD Vega M graphics). Here first are the specs for the NUC8i7HVK:
- GPU and GFX: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8809G 3.1 GHz to 4.2 GHz Turbo, Quad Core, 8 MB cache, 100W Radeon™ RX Vega M GH graphics, 1063 MHz – 1190 MHz Unlocked and VR-capable
- RAM: Dual channel DDR4-2400+ SODIMMs, 1.2V, 32GB maximum
- Storage: 2x M.2 22x42/80 (key M) slots for SATA3 or PCIe x4 Gen3 NVMe or AHCI SSD, RAID-0 and RAID-1 capable
- SDXC slot
- Connectivity: 2x rear Thunderbolt™ 3 (40 Gbps) and USB 3.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) and DisplayPort 1.2 via USB-C™ connector Front USB 3.1 Gen2 via USB-C™ and front USB type-A connector Front charging USB 3.0, 4x rear USB 3.0, 2x internal USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 via headers Front Consumer Infrared port
- Video Outputs: Front and rear HDMI 2.0a (4K 60Hz, HDR) connectors DisplayPort 1.3 via 2x rear Mini DisplayPort ports, and 2x rear Thunderbolt™ USB-C™ ports All ports support HDCP 2.2
- Networking: 2x Intel® 10/100/1000 Mbps (i219-LM and i210-AT) Ethernet ports Intel® Wireless-AC 8265 M.2 22x30 card, IEEE 802.11ac 2x2 + Bluetooth v4.2, internal antennas
- Audio: Up to 7.1 multichannel digital audio via HDMI or DisplayPort signals 3.5mm front headset jack, 3.5mm rear speaker / TOSLINK combo jack
- Enclosure: Metal and plastic with replaceable lid, Kensington lock with base security
- Dimensions: 221 x 142 x 39 mm (1.2 L)
- Internal Headers: Common I/O header with Front Panel, CEC, 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB2.0 signals
- Power Adapter: 19V DC 230W power supply with replaceable AC cords
- Other Features:
- Replaceable lid with customizable RGB LED illumination and front panel status RGB LEDs
- Quad beam-forming mic array
- VESA mounting plate included
- Three-Year Warranty
That Core i7 8809G processor listed above is also unlocked, allowing for whatever overclocking might be possibile in this small form-factor. The differences with the NUC8i7HNK are strictly in the CPU/GPU area:
- 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8705G 3.1 GHz to 4.1 GHz Turbo, Quad Core, 8 MB cache, 65W Radeon™ RX Vega M GL graphics, 931 MHz – 1011 MHz
Besides the new Kaby Lake-G chips there is a lot more I/O in this NUC than we saw with the "Skull Canyon" enthusiast model (NUC6i7KYK), and here the taller design (39 mm vs. 28 mm) doesn't hurt.
With the bottom half of the rear panel reserved for cooling there is still room for 2x Thunderbolt 3, 2x mini DisplayPort, a full size HDMI, dual LAN, 4x USB 3.0 ports, and 3.5 mm audio (with optical). Up front there is a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port, two more USB 3.0 ports (one charging), another full-size HDMI, SDXC card slot, and a second 3.5 mm audio.
Just how effectively this small device can cope with the demands of a 65W or 100W GPU - and potentially overclocked quad-core CPU - remains to be seen, but the thicker chassis compared to that previous "Skull Canyon" NUC suggests this has been accounted for.
So how much will this enthusiast-class NUC cost you? MSRP for the 65W GPU version is $799, and the 100W GPU version is $999. Availability is set for March 2018.
Subject: Systems | December 19, 2017 - 01:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: system build, guide
Just barely in time for Amazon delivery comes a holiday system build guide from OCC. The guide is based on your target resolution, with recommendations for 1080p, 1440p and 4k, with a final page offering up a few alternative component choices. The current crypto-craze makes choosing a GPU more interesting than it should be, as we are still seeing high prices and low availability but as it is not likely to go away in the near future it is something you have to plan for. Check out their guide, as well as our Hardware Leaderboard before you start shopping for components.
"This build guide is focused solely gaming and getting the best "bang for the buck" so to speak. A byproduct of this are things like RGB lighting and color theme builds go out the window due to budget restraints. On the low end, every dollar saved from an unnecessary, flashy setup can be put to better use. However, nothing is set in stone and you are free to adjust and spend a few dollars more to purchase things more to your liking."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Ars Technica System Guide: December 2017
- ASUS Tinker Board @ Kitguru
- Guru3D PC Buyers Guide Winter 2017
- PC Specialist Defiance IV @ Kitguru
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Systems | October 30, 2017 - 02:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, aegis 3
The MSI Aegis 3 has a small footprint, including the base it stands 17.05x14.81x6.69" (43.3x37.6x17cm) though it is wider when you extend the ears to hang your headphones off of. The inside is very well laid out for such a tiny pre-built system, The Tech Report could easily access all the components in the system for potential upgrades or even simple cleaning. This ~$1000 machine is perfect for someones first PC as it ships with a DS4200 keyboard and DS-B1 gaming mouse, leaving only the monitor to purchase separately and the inclusion of a 16GB Intel Optane M.2 Cache Module will impress them with the speed. The Tech Report did have some suggestions for improvements on the VR hookups but overall found this to be a great introduction to the PC gaming world for a first timer.
"MSI's Aegis 3 starts with a compelling enough spec sheet for the budding gamer: a Core i7-7700 CPU, a GeForce GTX 1060 3GB graphics card, and 16GB of RAM. We spent some time with the Aegis 3 to see whether a 16GB Optane cache and a 2TB hard drive offer an SSD-like user experience in this NAND-starved era."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Workstation Specialists WS-X1100 (with 2x NVIDIA Quadro GP100) @ Kitguru
- Upgrade My PC Please! Episode 8: Just Random PCs! @ TechSpot
- Intel Xeon Silver 4108 + Tyan Tempest HX S7100 @ Phoronix
- TechSpot PC Buying Guide: A quick CPU/platform update for late 2017
- CompuLab IPC3, Testing 10 Mini PCs / Small Form Factor Linux PCs @ Phoronix