Introduction and Cooler Overview

Introduction

Aquacomputer's Cuplex Kryos Next water block is aptly named, in that it is the next evolution of their award winning Cuplex Kryos block. The biggest functional redesign was with the internal flow dynamics of the block, changing from a pin grid design to a micro-channel design on the base plate.

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Courtesy of Aquacomputer

Externally, they added the option of including their Vision display, which integrates into the front of the block and displays real-time statistics on coolant temperature and flow. The block we used for our tests did not include the Vision module but was an all copper design with nickel plating throughout. The base all metal version of the Cuplex Krynos Next comes at a price premium with an MSRP of around $100.00.

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Courtesy of Aquacomputer

Note that the Cuplex Kryos Next water block comes with a variety of different configurations, ranging from an acrylic top to an all silver design. Because of this variety, the price can vary quite bit from the above listed MSRP. Adding the Vision module to the block can increase the price even more.

Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer website)

Water Block Specifications
Dimensions Base 115x: 94 x 94 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
Base 2011: 98 x 98 x 22 mm (screws not included)
Base AM3: 116 x 68 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
Thread G1/4
Distance of connecting threads Models without VISION except acrylic version: 28 mm
Acrylic version without VISION: 27 mm
Models with VISION except acrylic version: 24 mm
Acrylic version with VISION: 23.5 mm

Continue reading our review of the Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos Next water block!

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Synology

Synology DS1019+ Review

Synology this week is launching the DS1019+, a 5-bay counterpart to last year's 4-bay DS918+. Like most of the company's "Plus" series devices, it is aimed at higher-end home users and small businesses with a price (without drives) of $649.99.

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Synology loaned us a review unit of the DS1019+ prior to launch, and after adding it to our growing shelf of network storage devices, we spent some time seeing how this new model compares to its predecessors and counterparts.

Specifications & Design

The design of the DS1019+ is virtually identical to that of the DS918+, with the same style of drive bays, same case material and color, same basic layout of ports and status lights, and even an almost identical list of technical specs. The biggest difference between the two by far is simply the addition of a fifth drive bay on the DS1019+. So, if you liked the look and feel of the DS918+, you should feel the same way about the DS1019+.

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Following the design trends of other Synology NAS devices in recent years, the DS1019+ is compact considering its capabilities. It measures in at 166mm x 230mm x 223mm (about 6.5 x 9.0 x 8.8 inches) and weighs about 5.6 pounds without drives. Included in the box is the power adapter with region-appropriate power cord, two five-foot Cat5e Ethernet cables, an accessory kit with two keys for the drive bay locks, 20 screws for mounting 2.5-inch drives in the 3.5-inch drive bays, and a quick installation guide.

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Like almost all Synology NAS devices, the DS1019+ ships without drives, so you'll need to add your own mechanical or solid state drives in order to use the device. If want to configure the NAS with a traditional RAID, you'll want to populate the drive bays with drives of the same capacity and ideally from the same vendor. If you need to mix-and-match drive vendors, at least aim to use drives with identical performance specifications. Similar in concept to Drobo, Synology also offers a "Hybrid RAID" (SHR) option that allows users to combine drives of different sizes or later expand the array by replacing smaller drives with larger ones. Depending on drive types and size mismatches, however, there is a performance penalty to going this route compared to a similar RAID configuration utilizing identical disks.

As alluded to, the 1019+ is powered by the same CPU found in the DS918+: the Intel Celeron J3455, a quad-core 10-watt Apollo Lake part. With base and boost clocks of 1.5GHz and 2.3GHz, respectively, the J3455 is more than powerful enough to accommodate the transfer and management of data on the NAS, and it also supports hardware video transcoding, which is a huge advantage for services like Plex.

Continue reading for our complete review of the Synology DS1019+!

Author:
Manufacturer: EVGA

Introduction and Features

Introduction

During the past year we have seen a lot of interest in the SFX small form-factor power supply market with more and more big-name power supply manufacturers adding new products on a regular basis. EVGA’s SuperNOVA GM Series includes three SFX form-factor power supplies: 450 GM (450W), 550 GM (550W) and 650 GM (650W). We will be taking a detailed look at the SuperNOVA 650 GM in this review.

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All three SuperNOVA GM Series SFX power supplies are fully modular and certified to comply with the 80 Plus Gold criteria for high efficiency. The GM Series power supplies use a 92mm cooling fan that operates in silent fan-less mode (below 30% load) thanks to EVGA’s Auto ECO Mode fan speed control. The compact SFX chassis measures a mere 100mm deep and they all come backed by a 7-year warranty.

•    EVGA SuperNOVA 450 GM ($109.99 USD)
•    EVGA SuperNOVA 550 GM ($119.99 USD)
•    EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GM ($129.99 USD)

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Please continue reading our review of the EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GM SFX power supply!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

Macros and RGB for $39

We’ve previously looked at the top of the HyperX mouse line with our Pulsefire Surge RGB review, and the Core model we're checking out today sits at the entry level in the HyperX lineup, though it still offers full customization for buttons and RGB lighting. Is this $39.99 wired gaming mouse a good value? We will try to answer that here.

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First we'll check out the specifications for the full HyperX mouse lineup:

  Pulsefire Core Pulsefire FPS Pulsefire FPS Pro Pulsefire Surge
Shape Symmetrical Ergonomic Ergonomic Symmetrical
Connection Type Wired Wired Wired Wired
Lighting RGB Red RGB RGB - 360
Buttons 7 6 6 6
Switch Reliability 20M Clicks 20M Clicks 20M Clicks 50M Clicks
Optical Sensor Pixart 3327 Pixart 3310 Pixart 3389 Pixart 3389
Max Resolution 6200 DPI 3200 DPI 16000 DPI 16000 DPI
Max Speed 220 IPS 130 IPS 450 IPS 450 IPS
Max Acceleration 30G 30G 50G 50G
Polling Rate 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms) 1000 Hz (1 ms)
Cable Type Braided Braided Braided Braided
Weight (without cable) 87g 95g 95g 100g
Product Dimensions
(WxLxH)
64x119x41mm 71x128x42mm 71x128x42mm 63x120x41mm
NGenuity Software Enabled Yes No Yes Yes

Pricing and Availability: $39.99, Amazon.com

As you can see the Pulsefire Core offers a mix of features between the FPS and FPS Pro models, and still provides NGenuity software control. The first technical difference to point out is the optical sensor (Pixart 3327), which at a max of 6200 DPI sits between the FPS and Surge, and also provides a faster 220 IPS speed than the FPS models. Mouse switches are rated for the same 20 million clicks as the FPS as well, though you will need to move up to the Pulsefire Surge to get the Omron brand switches and their 50 million clicks.

Continue reading our review of the HyperX Pulsefire Core gaming mouse.

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: iStorage

datAshur Pro Encrypted USB Flash Drive

Editor's Note: This review was originally published at TekRevue and is republished here with permission.

When it comes to protecting your data, there are options such as local encryption or using an online storage service that offers encryption in the cloud. But one major weakness that affects both businesses and consumers is the "sneakernet:" moving data physically between computers or users via mediums such as flash drives or external hard drives. For example, delivering the latest W-2 forms to the HR department or taking your yearly tax information to your accountant's office.

While it's possible to move data in this manner securely by using software-based encryption, the simple reality is that many users and employees don't take data security into consideration, or they just forget. The thought is "the data is in my hands, it's safe." But, of course, when that flash drive or hard drive gets left behind at the coffee shop, or the bag containing them gets swiped at the airport, this false notion crumbles immediately.

UK-based iStorage is one company that recognizes this issue, and the company has built its entire product line around hardware-based encryption for external storage devices. These are devices that automatically encrypt the data stored on them, completely preventing access to the data unless the correct PIN is physically entered on the device. As long as employees or family members use a device like this for their external data storage, they never need to "think" about encryption since the data is automatically secured as soon as it's unplugged from the computer.

While iStorage offers a range of devices including external hard drives, we spent some time with one of the company's flash drives. The datAshur Pro is a USB 3.0 drive that is available in capacities ranging from 4 to 64GB. We're reviewing the 32GB model, which has a current street price in the US of about $125.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: EVGA

Dedicated 2-Channel Sound

In the audio realm something pretty special happens when you have the right mix of source material, digital-to-analog conversion, amplification, and transducers (headphones or loudspeakers). And I am just talking about stereo, as 2-channel audio has the potential to immerse as deeply, and even more so, than 3D positional audio can; but it does take more care in overall setup. Enter EVGA, a company famous for its video cards, power supplies, motherboards, etc., and no stranger to diversification in the enthusiast PC community. And while EVGA in recent years has expanded their offering to include cases, coolers, and even laptops, they have never attempted a dedicated sound solution - until now.

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Coming as a surprise as the featured product in their suite at CES 2019, EVGA’s introduction of the Nu Audio card was exciting for me as an audio enthusiast, and this is really an enthusiast-level card based on the pricing of $249 ($199 for EVGA ELITE members). The Nu Audio is an all-new, designed from the ground up sound card with a true hi-fi pedigree and a stated goal of high-quality stereo sound reproduction. Just hearing the words “two channel” in relation to the computer audio was music to my ears (literally), and to say I was intrigued would be an understatement. I will try to temper my enthusiasm and just report the facts here; and yes, I understand that this is expensive for this market and a product like this is not for everyone.

The Nu Audio was created in partnership with Audio Note, a UK-based hi-fi component maker with a solid reputation and a philosophy that emphasizes component selection and material quality. In breaking down the components selected for the Nu Audio card it is evident that a high level of care went into the product, and it is the first time that I am aware of a computer sound card having this much in common with dedicated audiophile components.

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Of course component choices are irrelevant if the Nu Audio doesn’t sound any better than what users already have, and proving the value of a quality 2-channel experience can be tricky as it generally requires the user to provide both source material and headphones (or amplifier/speakers) of sufficient quality to hear a difference.

Continue reading our review of the EVGA Nu Audio PCIe sound card!

Manufacturer: AMD

Overview and Specifications

After a month-long wait following its announcement during the AMD keynote at CES, the Radeon VII is finally here. By now you probably know that this is the world’s first 7nm gaming GPU, and it is launching today at a price equal to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 at $699.

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The AMD Radeon VII in action on the test bench

More than a gaming card, the Radeon VII is being positioned as a card for content creators as well by AMD, with its 16GB of fast HBM2 memory and enhanced compute capabilities complimenting what should be significantly improved gaming performance compared to the RX Vega 64.

Vega at 7nm

At the heart of the Radeon VII is the Vega 20 GPU, introduced with the Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 compute cards for the professional market back in November. The move to 7nm brings a reduction in die size from 495 mm2 with Vega 10 to 331 mm2 with Vega 20, but this new GPU is more than a die shrink with the most notable improvement by way of memory throughput, as this is significantly higher with Vega 20.

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Double the HBM2, more than double the bandwidth

While effective memory speeds have been improved only slightly from 1.89 Gbps to 2.0 Gbps, far more impactful is the addition of two 4GB HBM2 stacks which not only increase the total memory to 16GB, but bring with them two additional memory controllers which double the interface width from 2048-bit to 4096-bit. This provides a whopping 1TB (1024 GB/s) of memory bandwidth, up from 483.8 GB/s with the RX Vega 64.

Continue reading our review of the AMD Radeon VII graphics card!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Motherboard Overview

Introduction

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

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Courtesy of ASUS

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

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

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

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

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OWC

OWC USB-C Dual-Bay Drive Dock Review

Editor's Note: This review was originally published at TekRevue and is republished here with permission.

Industry trends, such as increasingly compact PCs and Macs that are incapable of being upgraded, and faster connections to network-attached storage devices, have made the traditional “bare” 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch drive far less common in typical homes and businesses. But for those who still use bare drives for backup, archiving, data transfer, or troubleshooting, the importance of a solid drive dock is crucial.

These devices, which generally accept the SATA connections of bare mechanical and solid state drives and allow access to the drives via a more handy external I/O protocol, have been around for years, with certain devices offering access via USB 2.0, FireWire, eSATA, USB 3.0, and even Thunderbolt. But the ones you find today in typical online marketplaces often suffer from reliability issues or limited functionality, such as the inability to boot from a connected drive.

One company that has long offered a range of external drive docks is OWC, and although it has been several years since I used an OWC drive dock, I recall that the company’s products suffered none of the aforementioned drawbacks. And so when my most recent USB 3.0-based drive dock from StarTech recently died, I was interested to see that OWC had continued to update its drive dock product lineup, adding a USB 3.1 Type-C option last year.

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I spent the last few weeks evaluating a review loan of this latest OWC Drive Dock, and found it to be a well-built, high-performance device that is a significant upgrade over my previous drive dock. Read on for my more detailed impressions of the device’s design and performance.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech G

Logitech G935 and G432 Gaming Headsets Review

This month, we were given a sneak peak at Logitech’s updated line of gaming headsets for 2019. We’ve spent the last week getting acquainted with two of the premiere entries in their new catalog with the Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset and the G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset. Each headset is an update to two of Logitech’s most popular models, the Artemis G933 and G430, and include a number of upgrades to bring them up to speed. Let’s see how they made out!

Specifications

Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset

  • Price: $169.99
  • Driver: 50mm Pro-G
  • Sensitivity: 93dB SPL/mW
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range:
    • Indoor: 15m
    • Outdoor: 20m
  • Connection Type: USB 2.0
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.43" x 7.67" x 7.40"
  • Cable Length: 6.56ft/2m (Charging Cable), 4.92ft/1.5m (Mobile Cable)
  • Weight (w/o cable): 13.4oz (379g)

Logitech G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset

  • Price: $79.99
  • Driver: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
  • Cable Length: 6.5ft (2m)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.77" x 3.22" x 6.77"
  • Weight (w/o cable): 9.14oz (259g)

Shared Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impedance: 39 Ohms (Passive), 5k Ohms (Active)
  • Microphone:
    • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid(Unidirectional)
    • Condenser Size: 6mm
    • Frequency response:100Hz–10KHz
  • 2-year limited hardware warranty

Packaging

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Starting with packaging, both headsets arrive in the usual Logitech grey and blue with big, beautiful product shots. There’s no mistaking these two headsets. The G935 is clearly larger and, even though the picture only shows blue lighting, it’s fully RGB enabled.

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Inside the box, both headsets are packaged similarly, wrapped in a plastic sleeve and held in place with a cardboard arm. Folding the arm up frees the headset and reveals the accessories hidden inside. I actually really like this packaging style. It’s easy to retrieve your extra cables and other goodies without unfolding a cardboard jigsaw puzzle. It also makes putting everything away neatly that much easier #reviewerproblems.

Check out the rest of our review of the new Logitech G935 and G432 gaming headsets!

Manufacturer: Scythe

A Low-Cost Air Cooler for Intel and AMD

Scythe’s Katana 5 is a low-cost CPU air cooler that retails for less than $30, offers compatibility with Intel and AMD processors, and has a small footprint that won’t interfere with memory modules. Can this ultra-compact tower design and single 92mm fan cope with our test platform’s toasty Core i7-7700K? Let’s find out!

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"The 5th generation of KATANA cooler, it has asymmetric design offering unlimited compatibility. Upgraded with E.C.M.S II mounting system and new Kaze Flex 92mm fan ensure simple installation and good thermal performance."


Katana 5 Specifications:

  • Model Number: SCKTN-5000
  • Compatibility:
    • Intel: LGA 775, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366
    • AMD: Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+
  • Dimensions: 105 x 104 x 135 mm / 4.13 x 4.09 x 5.31 inches
  • Overall Weight: 560 g / 19.75 oz (including fan)
  • Material of Base Plate: Nickel-plated copper 38 x 38 mm
  • Fan Specifications
    • Dimensions: 92 x 92 x 26 mm / 3.62 x 3.62 x 1.02 inch
    • Air Flow: 11.46 - 83.04 m³/h = 6.75 - 48.878 CFM
    • Fan Speed: 300 - 2,300 rpm (regulated via PWM)
    • Static Pressure: 7.35~22.46 Pa / 0.75~2.29 mmH2O

Pricing: $28.45 USD list (returns to stock in USA this month)

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Continue reading our review of the Scythe Katana 5 CPU cooler

Author:
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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The latest entry in the power density race to cross our test bench is the SF750 power supply from Corsair. The SF750 is housed in a standard SFX small form-factor chassis and can deliver up to 750W of combined DC power. Note we said standard SFX chassis – not an extended or lengthened version.

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SFX                        SFX-L                        ATX

As you can see in the photo above there is quite a difference in size between the three form-factors.

In addition to their compact size all three Corsair SFX Platinum Series SFX power supplies feature fully modular cables and are 80 Plus Platinum certified for high efficiency. They feature a Zero RPM Fan Mode for silent operation at low to medium power and come backed by a 7-year warranty. And an SFX-to-ATX mounting bracket is included. We will be taking a detailed look at the Corsair SF750 Platinum power supply in this review.

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Corsair SF750 Platinum SFX PSU Key Features:

•    750W continuous DC output
•    Compact SFX form-factor chassis
•    80 Plus Platinum certified for high efficiency
•    92mm Cooling fan with riffled sleeve bearing for quiet operation
•    Zero RPM Fan Mode for silent operation at low to mid power
•    105°C Japanese capacitors for high reliability
•    Individually sleeved, Fully modular cables
•    SFX-to-ATX mounting bracket included
•    Active PFC (0.99 PF typical) with Universal AC input
•    Safety Protections: OVP, OCP, OTP, and SCP
•    7-Year Manufacturer’s warranty
•    MSRP : $179.99 USD

Continue reading our review of the Corsair SF750 Platinum PSU!

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

The Cherry MX Low Profile Difference

The market for mechanical gaming keyboards is exploding. Everyone, even companies you would never expect (I’m looking at you Creative Labs!), seems to have their own line of PC gaming accessories. But what really sets them apart? The answer is, sadly, not much; the existence of media keys or a volume roller, how good the software is, the occasional quirky layout.

Then there are the unique keyboards. We’ve looked at a few of them here. Today we’re adding another one to the list with the Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile Gaming Keyboard.

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The SK630 features a flat, slimmed down design that could make any Apple fan feel right at home. Add to that full RGB backlighting, brand new Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Red switches, and massive amounts of software-free programmability and you can begin to see why this might catch more than a few eyes. With a list price of $119.99 this is not exactly a budget option, so let’s dive in and see if it’s worth the cost of entry.


Specifications

  • Switch Type: Cherry MX RGB Low Profile Switch
  • Actuation Point: 1.2mm
  • Travel Distance: 3.2mm
  • Switch Lifespan: 50M actuations
  • Material: Aluminum/Plastic
  • Color: Gunmetal Black
  • LED Color: RGB
  • Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
  • Response Rate: 1ms / 1000Hz
  • MCU: 32-bit ARM Cortex M3
  • Onboard Memory: 512KB
  • On-the-fly System: Yes, for multimedia, Macro recording, and lighting control
  • Multimedia Keys: Through Function Key (FN)
  • Cable: 1.8m, USB Type-C Detachable & Braided
  • Software Support: Yes, through Portal
  • Dimensions: 353.5 x 125.5 x 29.8 mm (L*W*H)
  • Product Weight (without cable): 552g
  • Weight: 593g
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • List Price: $119.99

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Continue reading our review of the Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile keyboard.

Author:
Manufacturer: Cooler Master

Introduction and Features

Introduction

Cooler Master recently introduced three new fully modular power supplies into their MWE Series, which currently includes fifteen models ranging from 400w up to 750W.
The MWE Series 550W, 650W, and 750W Gold power supplies are designed to provide quiet operation and high efficiency at an affordable price. We will be taking a detailed look at the MWE Gold 750W Full Modular power supply in this review.

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The Cooler Master MWE Gold Full Modular power supplies are 80 Plus Gold certified and use a Cooler Master Silencio 120mm fan for quiet operation. And all three MWE Series Gold Full Modular power supplies come backed by a 5-year warranty.

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Cooler Master MWE Gold 750W Full Modular PSU Key Features:

•    750W Continuous DC output at up to 45°C
•    80 PLUS Gold certified
•    Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
•    Quiet 120mm Cooler Master Silencio fan for quiet operation
•    Single +12V rail design (62.5A/750W)
•    Active Power Factor correction with Universal AC input
•    Protections: UVP, OVP, OPP, OTP and SCP
•    5-year warranty
•    MSRP: $99.99 USD (750W)

Continue reading our review of the MWE Gold 750W Full Modular PSU.

Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Exploring 2560x1440 Results

In part one of our review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card we looked at gaming performance using only 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 results, and while UHD is the current standard for consumer televisions (and an easy way to ensure GPU-bound performance) more than twice as many gamers play on a 2560x1440 display (3.89% vs. 1.42% for 3840x2160) according to Steam hardware survey results.

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Adding these 1440p results was planned from the beginning, but time constraints made testing at three resolutions before getting on a plane for CES impossible (though in retrospect UHD should have been the one excluded from part one, and in future I'll approach it that way). Regardless, we now have those 1440p results to share, having concluded testing using the same list of games and synthetic benchmarks we saw in the previous installment.

On to the benchmarks!

PC Perspective GPU Test Platform
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-H Gaming
Memory Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-3000
Storage Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
Power Supply CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit (Version 1803)
Drivers AMD: 18.50
NVIDIA: 417.54, 417.71 (OC Results)

We will begin with Unigine Superposition, which was run with the high preset settings.

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Here we see the RTX 2060 with slightly higher performance than the GTX 1070 Ti, right in the middle of GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 performance levels. As expected so far.

Continue reading part two of our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 review.

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung today is launching a new member of its consumer-targeted family of NVMe SSDs, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. Thanks to the upgrade from 64-layer to 96-layer V-NAND, this new drive promises significantly better write performance, a slight bump to overall responsiveness, and improved efficiency all in the same single-sided package at capacities up to 2TB.

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This new drive, a mid-cycle refresh that keeps the well-regarded 970-series on the market, looks impressive on paper. But do those soaring advertised IOPS and insane write speeds hold up in reality? Check out our initial review of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus.

Author:
Manufacturer: Seasonic

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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Seasonic continues to be one of the most respected names in the PC power supply industry. In addition to selling power supplies under their own brand, Seasonic is the OEM for numerous other PC power supply vendors. Their new FOCUS SGX Series currently includes two power supplies, the SGX-450 (450W) and the SGX-650 (650W), which are designed for use in small form-factor builds. We will be taking a detailed look at the SGX-650 in this review.

Both FOCUS SGX power supplies are fully modular and comply with the 80 Plus Gold certification criteria for high efficiency. The SGX-450 and SGX-650 use a 120mm fan with a Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) for quiet, reliable operation and can operate in silent fanless mode (below 30% load) thanks to Seasonic’s Hybrid Silent Fan Control. The compact SFX-L size chassis measures 125mm square and both power supplies are backed by a 10-year Seasonic warranty.

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(Courtesy of Seasonic)

•    Seasonic FOCUS SGX-450 ($99.99 USD)
•    Seasonic FOCUS SGX-650 ($129.99 USD)

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Seasonic FOCUS SGX Series Key Features:

•    450W or 650W Continuous DC output
•    Fully modular cabling design with (4) PCI-E connectors
•    Compact SFX-L chassis size
•    80 PLUS Gold certified for high efficiency
•    120mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) fan
•    Seasonic Hybrid Silent Fan Control (silent below 30% load)
•    Highly reliable Japanese 105°C aluminum electrolytic capacitors
•    Tight voltage regulation (12V, 5V, and 3.3V: ±3%)
•    Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
•    Safety protections: OPP, OVP, UVP, OCP, OTP and SCP
•    SFX to ATX adapter plate included
•    10-Year warranty

Click to continue reading our review of the Seasonic FOCUS SGX-650 PSU.

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD Review

Western Digital today is launching the latest version of its Black-series NVMe SSDs. Like its predecessor, the WD Black SN750 is targeted at gamers, introducing a new "Gaming Mode" that tunes the drive to favor performance over power efficiency.

The drive will be available in two variants — one including a heatsink and one without — in capacities up to 2TB. Western Digital worked with cooling experts EK to design the heatsink.

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We had a brief time to review the 1TB non-heatsink model and have some initial performance results to share.

Read on for our review of the WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD.

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

A Tale of Two Headsets

There is no shortage of wireless gaming headsets these days, with 2.4 GHz via USB dongle the most common option. The HyperX Cloud MIX provides wireless connectivity of the Bluetooth variety, and if you need or just prefer a wired connection don't worry - as the name implies these provide wired analog audio via a 3.5mm headset plug, with a Y-cable is also included to split off mic and audio to your sound card's requisite I/O.

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An interesting addition to the standard Bluetooth codecs with the Cloud MIX is aptX support, which means this headset has the capability of far better wireless audio quality than the standard SBC codec can provide - if you have a way to connect with aptX, that is. It's also worth noting that the Cloud MIX is actually the first Bluetooth-capable headset HyperX has released, with latency a roadblock to its adoption in this market.

Before moving on here is a look at the full specifications from HyperX:


  • Headphone
    • Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
    • Type: Circumaural; Closed back
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz–40,000Hz
    • Impedance: 40Ω
    • Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
    • T.H.D.: < 2%
    • Weight: 260g
    • Weight with Mic: 275g
  • Cable Length:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  1.3m
    • PC Extension Cable:  2m
    • USB Charging Cable:  0.5m
  • Connection Type:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  3.5mm plug (4 pole)
    • PC Extension Cable:  3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
  • Boom Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Built-in Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery Life (50% headphone volume) 20 hours
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters

Pricing and Availability: $199.99, Best Buy

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Continue reading our review of the HyperX Cloud MIX Wired Headset with Bluetooth!

Manufacturer: NVIDIA

Formidable Mid-Range

We have to go all the way back to 2015 for NVIDIA's previous graphics card announcement at CES, with the GeForce GTX 960 revealed during the show four years ago. And coming on the heels of this announcement today we have the latest “mid-range” offering in the tradition of the GeForce x60 (or x060) cards, the RTX 2060. This launch comes as no surprise to those of us following the PC industry, as various rumors and leaks preceded the announcement by weeks and even months, but such is the reality of the modern supply chain process (sadly, few things are ever really a surprise anymore).

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But there is still plenty of new information available with the official launch of this new GPU, not the least of which is the opportunity to look at independent benchmark results to find out what to expect with this new GPU relative to the market. To this end we had the opportunity to get our hands on the card before the official launch, testing the RTX 2060 in several games as well as a couple of synthetic benchmarks. The story is just beginning, and as time permits a "part two" of the RTX 2060 review will be offered to supplement this initial look, addressing omissions and adding further analysis of the data collected thus far.

Before getting into the design and our initial performance impressions of the card, let's look into the specifications of this new RTX 2060, and see how it relates to the rest of the RTX family from NVIDIA. We are  taking a high level look at specs here, so for a deep dive into the RTX series you can check out our previous exploration of the Turing Architecture here.

"Based on a modified version of the Turing TU106 GPU used in the GeForce RTX 2070, the GeForce RTX 2060 brings the GeForce RTX architecture, including DLSS and ray-tracing, to the midrange GPU segment. It delivers excellent gaming performance on all modern games with the graphics settings cranked up. Priced at $349, the GeForce RTX 2060 is designed for 1080p gamers, and delivers an excellent gaming experience at 1440p."

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  RTX 2080 Ti RTX 2080 RTX 2070 RTX 2060 GTX 1080 GTX 1070
GPU TU102 TU104 TU106 TU106 GP104 GP104
GPU Cores 4352 2944 2304 1920 2560 1920
Base Clock 1350 MHz 1515 MHz 1410  MHz 1365 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz
Boost Clock 1545 MHz/
1635 MHz (FE)
1710 MHz/
1800 MHz (FE)
1620 MHz
1710 MHz (FE)
1680 MHz 1733 MHz 1683 MHz
Texture Units 272 184 144 120 160 120
ROP Units 88 64 64 48 64 64
Tensor Cores 544 368 288 240 -- --
Ray Tracing Speed 10 Giga Rays 8 Giga Rays 6 Giga Rays 5 Giga Rays -- --
Memory 11GB 8GB 8GB 6GB 8GB 8GB
Memory Clock 14000 MHz  14000 MHz  14000 MHz 14000 MHz 10000 MHz 8000 MHz
Memory Interface 352-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR6 192-bit GDDR6 256-bit GDDR5X 256-bit GDDR5
Memory Bandwidth 616 GB/s 448 GB/s 448 GB/s 336.1 GB/s 320 GB/s 256 GB/s
TDP 250 W /
260 W (FE)
215W /
225W (FE)
175 W / 185W (FE) 160 W 180 W 150 W
MSRP (current) $1200 (FE)/
$1000
$800 (FE)/
$700
$599 (FE)/ $499 $349 $549 $379

Continue reading our initial review of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060!