Have you ever heard Audeze headphones before?

Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2018 - 07:07 PM |
Tagged: audio, Audeze, mobius, gaming headset, planar magnetic

It is certainly possible that you have heard of Audeze headphones before, but for the vast majority of readers, your experiences with high end audiophile headphones may not include them.  You probably also read the title in a way that almost makes sense, which means you are pronouncing it as incorrectly as I.  They've recently added a Mobius gaming headest model, connecting via Bluetooth or USB.  The controls are somewhat impressive with dials, buttons and hybrids all present, some for wireless connectivity and some for wired.  Even if a $400 gaming headset isn't on your list, the review at [H]ard|OCP is worth checking out ... for reasons.

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"Audeze is a well known name in the headphone world, and it recently used crowdfunding to fund its first foray into the world of gaming headsets. We are reviewing the Mobius headset that promises us that it is more than a headphone, "it's an experience." For $400 we want to know exactly what kind of experience it gives us when it comes to gameplay."

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Audio Corner

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Surpassion of the Cougar

Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2018 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: input, Cougar, Surpassion, gaming mouse, PMW3330

The interesting bit about the Cougar Surpassion mouse is hidden on the bottom, an LCD which will tell you the CPI, polling rate, lift-off distance, and angle snapping settings currently applied to the mouse as well as two buttons to let you change those settings.  This allows a fair amount of control over how your mouse will perform, without requiring any software installation whatsoever.  TechPowerUp takes their mouse reviews seriously, so if you want to see how the mouse looks once skinned or the accuracy of the rated nominal maximum tracking speed, check out the full review.

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"Top optical sensor, Omron switches rated for 50 million clicks, an LCD display, and, of course, RGB lighting. All of these fit into a relatively small mouse shell that is mainly meant for palm gripping. This is the Surpassion, one of Cougar's high-end mice to compete in the sub-$40 price category."

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Tech Talk

Source: TechPowerUp

The future of storage will still have HDDs in it if Seagate has anything to say about it

Subject: General Tech | November 5, 2018 - 03:24 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, hdd, HAMR, 100TB

Seagate is looking to create its own law about the increase of density in its products, aiming to double capacity every 30 months on its hard drive families.  They may not be as fast and sexy as an NVMe drive, but for long term storage which you don't expect to be constantly accessed, the price is very attractive.  They will no longer be using perpendicular magnetic recording, with all lines moving to HAMR, which should allow them to create a 20TB or greater drive by 2020 and perhaps reach 100TB by 2026.  Other companies are investigating different recording technologies, which The Register briefly mentions here.

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"Seagate has set a course to deliver a 48TB disk drive in 2023 using its HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording) technology, doubling areal density every 30 months, meaning 100TB could be possible by 2025/26."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Intel unveils Xeon Cascade Lake Advanced Performance Platform

Subject: Processors | November 5, 2018 - 02:00 AM |
Tagged: xeon e-2100, xeon, MCP, Intel, Infinity Fabric, EPYC, cxl-ap, cascade lake, amd, advanced performance

Ahead of the Supercomputing conference next week, Intel has announced a new market segment for Xeons called Cascade Lake Advanced Platform (CXL-AP). This represents a new, higher core count option in the Xeon Scalable family, which currently tops out at 28 cores. 

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Through the use of a multi-chip package (MCP), Intel will now be able to offer up to 48-cores, with 12 DDR4 memory channels per socket. Cascade Lake AP is being targeted at dual socket systems bringing the total core count up to 96-cores.

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Intel's Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI), introduced in Skylake-EP for multi-socket communication, is used to connect both the MCP packages on a single processor together, as well as the two processors in a 2S configuration. 

Given the relative amount of shade that Intel has thrown towards AMD's multi-die design with Epyc, calling it "glued-together," this move to an MCP for a high-end Xeon offering will garner some attention.

When asked about this, Intel says that the issues they previously pointed out with aren't inherently because it's a multi-die design, but rather the quality of the interconnect. By utilizing UPI for the interconnect, Intel claims their MCP design will provide performance consistency not found in other solutions. They were also quick to point out that this is not their first Xeon design utilizing multiple packages.

Intel provided some performance claims against the current 32-core Epyc 7601, of up to 3.4X greater performance in Linpack, and up to 1.3x in Stream Triad.

As usual, whether or not these claims are validated will come down to external testing when people have these new Cascade Lake AP processors in-hand, which is set to be in the first half of 2019.

More details on the entire Cascade Lake family, including Cascade Lake AP, are set to come at next week's Supercomputing conference, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

Source: Intel

The Hackaday Prize finalists have been announced

Subject: General Tech | November 2, 2018 - 05:08 PM |
Tagged: hackaday prize, hack, DIY

The final twenty projects for the five categories in the Hackaday Prize have been announced, for Open Hardware, Robotics, Power Harvesting, Interfacing and Music.  Those topics cover a gamut of projects, from building your own motion tracking system through running electronics off of the energy leaked from your microwave to setting up a semiconductor lab in your garage.  As these designs are all open source and part of the competition was to create detailed build instructions you can look through all the submissions for ideas of your own, or a useful project to build for yourself.

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"Over the last eight months, we’ve been deep in the weeds with this year’s Hackaday Prize. It’s five challenges, with twenty winners per challenge. That’s one hundred projects that will make it to the semifinals in the hopes of becoming the greatest project this year."

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Tech Talk

Source: Hackaday

OnePlus 6T; cheap, fast and well designed?

Subject: Mobile | November 1, 2018 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: oneplus 6t, oneplus

The new OnePlus 6T comes with an attractive pricetag, the model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage can be yours for $579 or double the storage to 256GB for $629.  The main processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630, behind a 6.41", 2340×1080 AMOLED screen.  That screen also has a built in fingerprint reader, the first of it's type for sale on the American market. The 6T is not without a few flaws but overall Ars Technica found the phone to not only be less expensive than other Android devices but also a better product overall.

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"There's a new design with a teardrop camera notch on the front, a bigger display, a new baseline of 128GB of storage, and a bigger 3700mAh battery. Most interestingly, there's now an in-display optical fingerprint reader, which makes the 6T the first US-bound smartphone with this new fingerprint tech."

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Source: Ars Technica

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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Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #520 - Threadripper Processors, BPX Pro SSDs, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2018 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: Threadripper, ssd, podcast, MyDigitalSSD, BPX Pro, 2970wx, 2920x

PC Perspective Podcast #520 - 11/01/18

Join us this week for discussion on the new Threadripper Processors, BPX Pro SSDs, and 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!

Hosts: Jim Tanous, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:26:22

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. Jeremy: Total Chaos - A spooky DOOM 2 mod for Halloween
 

Open the pod bay doors Google ...

Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2018 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: google, security, iot, Home Hub

There is an undocumented web API in Google's Home Hub which is causing a bit of concern over at The Register and elsewhere.  This mysterious connection is available to anything on the same WiFi network as the Home Hub and it does not check for any authentication or tokens which means anyone connected to your WiFi can successfully connect and start to play with your settings.  Currently there is code which is capable of rebooting the device or to completely delete the current configured network, requiring you to rebuild it from scratch.  That could be very annoying if the delete command is coming from malware already inside the house, as it were. 

Hopefully there will be some basic authentication added ASAP, as that is a very blatant oversight.

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"A spokesperson for Google confirmed that any device, computer, or smartphone on the Wi-Fi network of a Home Hub can command the assistant as described above – that includes mischievous malware on a PC, for example."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Register

The West Virginian Wasteland is getting a bit crowded

Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2018 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: gaming, fallout 76

Those with poor impulse control who still pre-order games will now be getting access to Fallout 76's beta, assuming the entire 47GB pre-loaded download did not self destruct on them.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN gave it a twirl, though with only a few people able to access the game it doesn't really represent what the final launch will look like.  Even so, expect to find yourself in a small crowd of people all performing the same initial tasks to solve the initial tasks, some with rather interesting handles.  On the plus side, the game itself looks quite pretty from the screenshots.

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"That sea of autumnal trees and distant storm clouds are lovely. Having winced at the wonky footage of the Xbox One beta last week I’m genuinely surprised at how pretty West Virginia is. Well, the bits of it that aren’t CocktimusPrime."

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Gaming

Vega claims the new MacBook Pro

Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: apple, amd, Vega

Among the various Apple announcements this week was a win for AMD, as Apple has renewed their agreement and will be using Radeon Pro Vega GPUs in it's soon to be released MacBook Pros.  We aren't expecting any more big surprises from the release, such as the iPad Pro now sporting USB C, the updated GPU may be the largest change this generation but it will be appreciated by some content creators.  You can read more about the various announcements over at The Inquirer.

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"AMD GPUs are nothing new in Mac machines, given the MacBook Pros have previously rocked the Radeon Pro 560X, but Cupertino is now bringing AMD's Vega-based GPUs to its expensive laptops."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

The all new CoolerMasterCase SL600M

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 30, 2018 - 03:46 PM |
Tagged: mastercase SL600M, cooler master, atx

The MasterCase SL600M is the newest case from Cooler Master and distinguishes itself by including absolutely no RGBs in its design.  It does however have a motion sensor on the front panel which will illuminate your USB ports if it senses your hand near it, a far more functional that fashionable feature.  That front panel also allows you to toggle the speed of the two of included 200mm fans between three speeds; there is space for another trio of 120/140mm or a pair of 200mm fans at the top or you could opt for two radiators of up to 360mm in size or a mix of the above.  The front mounted PSU is rather unique, see how well it worked over at the Guru of 3D.

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"Cooler Master enters a new era with a very stylishly new chassis, the MasterCase SL600M is more of a design PC chassis with lots of aluminum elements that oozes features and style. However, it also has been designed to mod a bit. The basics of the chassis are gorgeous to look at and have space for full-size ATX motherboards."

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CASES & COOLING

 

Crack a PB 2 with AMD

Subject: Processors | October 30, 2018 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: threadripper 2, precision boost 2, amd, 2970wx, 2920x

Now that you've had some time to digest Ken's look at the 2920X and 2970WX, take a look at how AMD's new silicon performed on other test beds.  Over at The Tech Report they ran the 2920X paired with DDR4-3200 and spent a fair amount of time testing workstation tasks including DAWBench VI tests.  There are also a number of games they tested which are not included in our suite so start your reading over there.

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"While those figures may seem little changed from those of the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, AMD's Precision Boost 2 technology promises a more graceful descent to that base clock as cores and threads become loaded down.""

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Click Here to go to Processors   Processors

Is Intel thinking of hooking up with TSMC again?

Subject: General Tech | October 30, 2018 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, Intel

It has been a while since Intel last used TSMC to fab some of their chips apart from some FPGA lines but rumours that DigiTimes have heard suggest that could change.  The current theory is that Intel may move Atom production, and possibly chipset fabrication as well, to an outside provider.  TSMC would be the only fab capable of switch production in a meaningful amount of time, leading to speculation their might be a deal in the works.  If TSMC is agreeable then theoretically Intel could use the freed production capability to increase production of Xeon and Core chips, which they currently desire as they are unable to meet demand. 

That's not the only rumour floating around today as we have seen hints of AMD's new RX 590 as well as reported issues from those who secured an RTX 2080 Ti.  More on those as they develop.

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"As its processor supply continues to fall short of demand, Intel reportedly has begun planning to outsource production for its entry-level Atom processors and some of its chipsets while keeping its high-margin Xeon and Core CPU production in-house, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."

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Source: DigiTimes

Cooler Master Announces Hyper 212 Black Edition CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 29, 2018 - 10:27 AM |
Tagged: tower cooler, RGB, Hyper 212, heatsink, cpu cooler, cooling, cooler master, black edition, air cooler

The legendary Hyper 212 series from Cooler Master has a stealthy new look, with the upcoming Hyper 212 Black Edition coolers. Not just a cosmetic change, these new Black Edition coolers (available with or without RGB lighting) offer what Cooler Master is calling an "improved installation process from previous models with the same best-in-class performance for an affordable price".

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The Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition cooler (via Cooler Master)

"Designed with PC enthusiasts in mind, the new Hyper 212 Black Edition coolers keep with the familiar four heat pipe design of the original Hyper 212 and continues to offer direct contact technology for more thorough heat dissipation.
 
The updated brushed aluminum top cover, nickel plated anodized fins and heat pipes, and metallic heat pipe caps give the Hyper 212 Black Edition models a premium, aesthetic appeal. The Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition comes equipped with the new SF120R RGB fan and RGB LED controller for lighting customization, while the Hyper 212 Black Edition offers users a more simplified look via the all-black Silencio fan with exclusive Silent Drive IC technology."

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A look at the hardware kit with revised mounting system (via Cooler Master)

The Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition will carry an MSRP of $39.99, with the non-RGB Hyper 212 Black Edition at $34.99. Both coolers go on sale November 5.

EVGA lists new RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition Gaming GPU at $999

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 27, 2018 - 02:13 PM |
Tagged: TU104, RTX 2080 Ti, evga, black edition

Despite the somewhat disappointing launch of the NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti, things seem to be getting a bit more interesting. Mainly, NVIDIA's "starting at $999" price point seems to be one step closer to reality with a listing for the RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition Gaming card on EVGA's website today.

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With a rated boost clock speed of 1525 MHz, it appears the RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition isn't overclocked from the factory, leading some credence to the rumors that NVIDIA isn't allowing lower cost RTX cards to be factory overclocked.

Still, there should be no difference in overclocking by the end user, including the use of NVIDIA Scanner to automatically overclock the GPU.

The EVGA website lists no availability information for the RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition, but there is an "auto-notify" option for interested buyers.

At $999, the EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Black Edition is still quite an expensive GPU, but a 20% discount is not something to scoff at for what is the most powerful gaming GPU. We look forward to being able to test this card for ourselves in the coming weeks!

Source: EVGA

Shopping for new CPU before the end of the year?

Subject: Processors | October 26, 2018 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: Intel, and, ryzen, Threadripper, HEDT, coffee lake

The Tech Report took a look at the current market and are now offering their opinion on which ones you should consider.  The question is more complicated than simply buying the most expensive AMD or Intel processor you can afford; not many of your games are CPU limited and even those that are will see more benefit if you switch the API being used.  Read on for a variety of suggestions at various price points as well as why picking up a top end processor might actually give you less performance.

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"Choosing a CPU for a gaming PC can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. We walk you through the types of gaming experiences where CPUs matter and where they don't, and we pick chips for every budget that make the most of today's powerful graphics cards."

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CASES & COOLING

 

MSI announces two new motherboard families, the ACE and GAMING EDGE

Subject: Motherboards | October 26, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming edge, ace, Z390, lga1151

MSI have added two new families of motherboards to their product lines, with the first two models using the Z390 chipset.

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The ACE sports a 12+1 power phase layout and supports DDR4-4500 if you can get your hands on it. The motherboard will have a familiar array of features including Shield Frozr M.2 heatsinks, Mystic Lighting and one touch overclocking with Gaming Boost.

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The Gaming Edge series sports many of the same features, adding impressively sized VRM heatsinks and 8+4 pin CPU power for enhanced stability for overclockers.  The onboard Intel WiFi uses CNVi wave 2 technology to offer wireless transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz.  It also introduces MSI's Dragon Center which offers a unified interface to contol applications like GAME MODE, VOICE BOOST and LIVE UPDATE.

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MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
MEG Z390 ACE is built to win. Outplay any opponent, crush entire teams, and come out on top of every match with a motherboard designed for the world’s best players. MEG Z390 ACE introduces the ACE name to the MEG series, a segment of enthusiast grade motherboards that includes the renowned GODLIKE motherboards from MSI. MEG series motherboards are designed for PC hardware enthusiasts keen on extreme performance and advanced technology features.

MEG Z390 ACE is designed to empower users with incredible potential and dazzle onlookers with its striking appearance. Mystic Light Infinity, an innovative infinity mirror lighting zone, shows millions of colors across 29 dynamic effects. An aggressive 12+1 power phase layout guarantees reliable operation with compatible Intel processors even when overclocked. Up to three high performance NVMe solid state drives can be added with the Triple Turbo M.2 arrangement for blazing fast storage transfer speeds. With a host of other features – Pre-Installed I/O Shielding, Audio Boost HD, Core Boost, DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor, Game Boost dial, Dual Front USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C – make your every play GODLIKE and ACE your enemies.

MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
The MPG GAMING EDGE family clears a path with cutting-edge designs, stylized with sharp lines and a holographic heatsink surface that can split and refract light. The first generation of the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family includes products in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX form factors. MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC and MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC are forged for mainstream gaming performance while the MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC is designed for powerful small form factor systems. A Core Boost optimized VRM layout with an Extended Heatsink drive high-end Intel processors even under the harshest conditions. The fastest storage devices are supported by the inclusion of Twin Turbo M.2 and Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2.
Integration of the CNVi wave 2 Wireless solution from Intel introduces Wi-Fi transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz. Pristine 7.1 surround sound audio is achieved through the use of premium audio components mounted onto an isolated circuit.

Stay sharp with the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family.

 

Source: MSI

10nm is great, but so is $19.2 billion

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2018 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: quarterly earnings, Intel

Intel's earnings do not seem to have been hurt by their lack of 10nm processors nor the departure of Brian Krzanich, their revenue is up 19% from this time last year and represents the best quarter they have ever had.  Of that $19.2 billion in income, net income was $6.4 billion; no wonder they could afford to take Ryan away! 

The two stand out business units were the Intel Data Center Group and the relatively new IoT division, signifying their plan to prioritize data center products is fairly effective at producing profit.  The Register has more detailed breakdowns on the numbers here.

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"On a conference call for investors, Swan said, "This quarter was the best in our 50-year history," adding: "We expect 2018 to be the best year ever, and our third record year in a row."

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Source: The Register

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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Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP