Tech News

  • ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Motherboard Review @

    I did a review of the ASUS Maximus XII Hero Wi-Fi for the Comet Lake processor and Z490 launch and found it to be a super solid motherboard.  It didn't overclock as well as I would have liked but was a good entry into the Maximus line of ROG motherboards.

    ASUS’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) “Maximus” motherboards are always a top choice for overclocking and enthusiasts. They are pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to high-end motherboards and have every feature you could think of whether you are a gamer, overclocker, or just a normal PC enthusiast. Today we have the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) motherboard on the test bench. The “Hero” boards are great as they give you quite a lot of value, but aren’t as expensive as the “Extreme” boards. The ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi) features a 14+2 power phase design, memory support up to 4800 MHz, 5g Ethernet, USB 3.2 gen 2, 802.11ax WiFi, SupremeFX audio, three M.2 slots, and of course that ASUS style and RGB lighting! Let’s see what this board is all about!

    It would seem that Thinkcomputers would agree.

  • Corsair Dominator Platinum White RGB DDR4-4000 MHz CL19 4x8 GB @ TechPowerUp

    Oh no, not another Corsair Memory launch!

    Today Corsair is launching a new stunning white and gold edition of their Dominator Platinum RGB memory, which has previously only been available in black. Specced at 4000 MHz, this high-end DDR4 memory kit should be a top performer on Intel. How will it fair with AMD? Lets find out!

    So the interesting thing about Dominator memory is that it is supposed to be good.  I am running a pair in the Hardware Asylum Podcast machine and have used them off and on since they were first released in ther Triple Channel days.

    While the familar cooling fins have stuck around I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the module design.  Its like they went all "We gotta be apple Mac up in this beyouch" but, then forgot how to do that.

    And, what is the deal with 4000Mhz memory?  its like we are making AMD Ryzen memory (Cause Ryzen is sooooo hot right now) but then forget that 3600Mhz is kinda the max if you want to run 1:1.  Maybe it is one of those +50W extra that TT adds to their PSUs to make seem better than everyone else.

    Anyhow, check out the review or something. happy smile

  • Welcome Back to the New Hardware Asylum

    For the past seventeen years I have been hosting and on a dedicated server.  Before that my websites were on a shared hosting plan.  Shared hosting is an affordable solution for people just starting out but, as the name suggests, you are on a server with quite a few other sites sharing the bandwidth allocation and server resources.  If your site becomes busy it becomes slow and unstable.

    That thing happened to me back in 2003 with my first trip to Computex.  This was the year they delayed the show due to SARS and also made it so I was one of only a handful of tech media to attend.  As it would turn out [H]ard|OCP posted some of my coverage and for the next 5 days the website reset itself over and over as my shared hosting provider attempted to keep up with the traffic.

    Once I got back from Computex I searched around for an affordable dedicated server which allowed me to not only handle the increase in traffic but also run additional applications like the Ninjalane Message Forum, Email and FTP.  

    I even had a couple of game servers running which made the weekend L/WAN parties kinda fun.

    Sadly, the party had to end.  One of the issues with dedicated servers is that they are, in fact, dedicated.  The server host makes sure the server is online and replaces hardware but, is under no obligation to upgrade the server or operating system.  After nine years hosting with them on two different dedicated platforms they wouldn’t upgrade me anymore without a significant increase in cost.

    This prompted me to go a slightly different route and Co-Locate a server.  Turns out you can get lease return servers on eBay for cheap and all you need is some knowledge on how to operate them and you are set.

    Fortunately I have that skill set and looked for a local host near my home and the host I picked was SolutionPro.  This was a Micron seeded company left over from the Micron Internet Services (Yes the memory maker) and was eventually purchased by Involta.  From 2012 to just a few days ago my server was Co-Located in their DataCenter and things were good.

    As it would turn out Involta is in the process of a re-brand and started an internal audit that impacted me.  Basically I wasn't paying enough so they decided that my contract wasn’t going to be renewed.  There were also some misinterpretations of my contract, oversights, etc..  Needless to say they flipped a switch that forced my hand.

    The server had to move.

    This post is the first one you will see post Hardware Asylum dedicated server move.  I was able to get a backup server installed to handle the DNS redirect while I physically moved the server hardware to FiberPipe.  Turns out for a few bucks more I can get more bandwidth and similar level of hosting support by simply switching vendors, Imagine that?!?

    Eventually I might move Hardware Asylum into the cloud but, it is currently too expensive for the level of service I need and, when I finally decide to retire from doing product reviews I’ll only need to keep the archives around for a year before they become obsolete.

    Overall I’m glad things have worked out for the better as they could have gone MUCH worse.  I have seen hardware sites lose their domain names, some have shut down over new jobs and even more get pushed out for doing bad reviews, scamming and/or having disagreements with hardware makers.  As they say it’s all about the money man, the trick is to remain fluid and not to be afraid to put in a little work. 

  • Lexar Announces New Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD

    Key Features:

    • High-speed PCIe Gen3x4 interface: 3500MB/s read and 2000MB/s write1 - NVMe 
    • M.2 2280 form factor
    • Get 6.5x the speed of a SATA-based SSD2
    • Ideal for high-intensive users
    • 3D NAND
    • Features LDPC (Low-Density Parity Check)
    • Shock and vibration resistant with no moving parts
    • Five-year limited warranty

    San Jose, USA, May 20, 2020 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, today announced the new Lexar® Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD to its family line of SSD products.

    As the need for faster performance and uninterrupted application experiences increases, Lexar has developed a solution to keep videographers, photographers, and designers in the driver’s seat with speeds of up 3500MB/s read, and 2000MB/s write. The NM700 is supported by PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe and built with 3D NAND flash for higher capacity and more efficiency without unnecessary slowdowns.

    “The Lexar Professional NM700 allows our high-intensive users to experience improved performance with speeds that will keep them in front of any task. This new SSD solidifies our commitment to improving our SSD portfolio and meets the demands of our customers’ needs,” said Joel Boquiren, Director of Global Marketing. 

    Lexar® Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD is available in EMEA and APAC this month at an MSRP of $79.99 USD (256 GB), $110.99 USD (512 GB), and $199.99 USD (1 TB).

    Lexar® Professional NM700 M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe SSD is available in the US (Latin America) next month at an MSRP of $79.99 USD (256 GB), $110.99 USD (512 GB), and $199.99 USD (1 TB).

    1Up to 3500MB/s read transfer, write transfer speeds lower. Speeds based on internal testing. Actual performance may vary.

    2Comparison based on internal testing. Actual performance may vary.

    All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs, facilities with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. For more information visit

  • Intel Z490 and 10900K Launch Day

    Truth is I have a couple boards in the lab and at least one of them will get posted a little later today.  Until then check out some of these reviews from around the web.

    Z490 Motherboards
    MSI MEG Z490I Unify @ TechPowerUp
    ASRock Z490 Taichi @ TechPowerUp
    ASRock Z490 PG Velocita @ TechPowerUp
    ASUS ROG STRIX Z490-E Gaming @ TechPowerUp
    SUPERO Pro Gaming C9Z490-PGW Motherboard @ Funky Kit
    ASRock Z490 Steel Legend Motherboard @ Funky Kit

    And the Intel Core i9
    Core i5 10600K and Core i9 10900K  processors @ Guru3D
    Intel Core i9-10900K and i5-10600K @ LanOC Reviews
    Intel Core i9-10900K & i5-10600K Review: Comet Lake-S Benchmarks @ HotHardware
    Intel Core i5 10600K + Core i9 10900K Linux Performance Benchmarks @ Phoronix
    Intel Core i9-10900K and Core i5-10600K Review @ Vortez
    Intel Core i9-10900K Processor Review @

    Stay tuned for more!

  • MSI MEG Z490I Unify Preview @ TechPowerUp

    As hardware enthusasits we need to consider that there is hardware out there that doesn't fit our "mold" for the perfect component.  The motherboard might be too small to run all of the expansion cards you have. or the video card might not have a large enough VRM for the type of overclocking you want to do.

    However, just because the product doesn't fit your mold doesn't make it a waste of time.  For instance one of the most versitle motherboard platforms is the Mini ITX.  These boards are full featured, small and somewhat inexpensive.  They lack in memory support and.. can't run multiple expansion cards but generally have everything you need onboard.

    Kinda like this board from MSI.

    MSI has packed a lot of power into a small package with the MSI MEG Z490I Unify. Featuring a stealthy black aesthetic and a VRM config with 90 A power stages, the MSI MEG Z490I Unify could be a top choice for overclockers. Just how much can MSI stuff into a Mini-ITX footprint?

    Just imagine what you could do with 90 Amp power stages and enough plastic covers to build a sport bike!

  • Unlock the Full Potential of the New ROG Maximus XII Formula With EK VRM Bridge

    In the column of "cash grab" and "most worthless part ever" we have this.

    What we have is a distro block that connects the CrossChill VRM cooler found on the ASUS ROG Maximus XII Formula (Ideally already designed and sourced from EK) to an EK waterblock that you place on the CPU. 

    So, instead of connecting a pipe from your CrossChill to the CPU block you place this distro plate over the whole thing covering the EK block you just bought and the sleek VRM cooler you paid EXTRA for.  Not to mention the Maximus XII Formula is already a $500.00 USD motherboard so I have to ask "why?"

    ----- SNIP -----

    EK, the leading liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is ready to support the newly-released ROG Maximus XII Formula motherboard with a unique, patent-pending liquid distribution VRM Bridge. The EK-Quantum Momentum VRM Bridge ROG Maximus XII Formula D-RGB is a purpose-engineered connection piece that bridges the existing integrated CrossChill EK III VRM cooling and the CPU water block into a single entity. The ROG Maximus XII Formula is the carrier of the iconic Maximus motherboard series, while the EK-developed VRM Bridge solution will help bring out its full potential.

    The EK-Quantum Momentum VRM Bridge

    The EK-Quantum Momentum VRM Bridge is the only off-the-shelf solution that will bridge multiple liquid cooling components with a unique mounting mechanism. It is specially made for the ROG Maximus XII Formula, and upgrading from any previous motherboard will be easy since you’ll be able to reuse any of the existing Intel-socket-compatible EK-Quantum Velocity CPU water blocks.

    EK’s RnD team spent countless hours developing and perfecting this VRM Bridge solution. And since diamonds are made under pressure, after several iterations, the result was a second to none diamond-shaped product that impeccably integrates with aesthetics of the ROG Maximus XII Formula motherboard.

    ----- SNIP -----

    Now, I will give them this. the VRM bridge does look cool and I'm sure some idiots will be tripping over themselves to get one.

  • ASRock Z490 PG Velocita Preview @ TechPowerUp


    I shouldn't embelish too much, they only ever sent over one motherboard for review and last time I talked to them at Computex they pimped their GPU Mining rigs.  *roll*

    However, this board is pretty cool, per the usual it looks like an ASUS Strix with different colors.  happy smile

    The ASRock Z490 PG Velocita is ready for Comet Lake with Socket LGA 1200. "Velocita" is ASRock's latest edition to the award-winning Phantom Gaming motherboard line and features 2.5 Gb/s LAN, PCIe 4.0 readiness, and an uncompromising VRM thermal solution with three fans.

    I am very impressed that they had a sample on hand to get photos so, props!

  • COLORFUL Launches iGame Z490 VULCAN X V20 and CVN Z490 GAMING PRO V20 Motherboards

    April 30th, 2020 Shenzhen, China – Colorful Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards, all-in-one gaming and multimedia solutions and high-performance storage is proud to announce its latest line-up of Intel motherboards featuring the Intel Z490 chipset – the iGame Z490 VULCAN X V20 and CVN Z490 GAMING PRO V20 motherboards. Designed to support the latest 10th generation Intel Core processors, these motherboards feature the latest cutting-edge technologies to create the ultimate desktop PC for high-performance gaming and content creation.

    For faster networking, the latest COLORFUL Z490 series motherboards come equipped with the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard and 2.5 Gigabit LAN. The motherboards also sport new looks with futuristic styling with immersive RGB lighting. It also features advanced thermal technologies to keep the system running smooth and stable.

    iGame Z490 Vulcan X V20: Serious Power for Power Users
    The iGame Z490 Vulcan X V20 packs serious firepower to knockout triple-A games and demanding content creation workloads with a combination of the latest technologies and cutting-edge thermal cooling. The iGame Z490 Vulcan X V20 supports up to a 10-core 10th generation Intel Core processor and its 12+2 power phase design offers superb CPU overclocking for advanced users. Furthermore, it sports futuristic CyberPunk styling with immersive RGB lighting in multiple lighting zones. The motherboard has dual Turbo M.2 slots with Intel Optane Technology support for the latest and fastest NVMe drives. For lag-free gaming, the iGame Z490 Vulcan X V20 comes with an Intel 2.5 Gigabit LAN and an Intel Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking. The iGame Z490 Vulcan X is the perfect choice for power users that wants to harness the full power of the 10th generation Intel Core processors.

    Key Features:
    14-phase I.P.P iGame Pure Power: 12+2 Power Phase design with 8+4-pin ATX power connectors to deliver superb overclocking stability to the 10th generation Intel Core processor.

    Silver Shark 2.0 Cooling Armor: Made using advanced Aluminum extrusion, the heatsink armor has an improved air fin design that increases contact area delivering improved heat dissipation.

    iGame Vacuum Heating Tube: COLORFUL’s advanced VRM MOSFET heatsink with improved heat transfer efficiency that effectively reduces power supply temperature in CPU overclocking.

    COLORFUL Advanced BIOS: Update BIOS without CPU and memory. The BIOS has a Simple Mode offering average users a user-friendly BIOS interface and an Advanced Mode offering full functionality that meets the needs of advanced users.

    Intel Networking: Latest Intel I225-V 2.5Gigabit LAN controller and Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 wireless network card to deliver ultra-fast networking for gaming and content creation.

    CVN Z490 GAMING PRO V20: Ultimate Gaming Motherboard
    The CVN Z490 GAMING PRO V20 is the ultimate gaming motherboard sporting all the essential features for building a high-performance gaming PC. The motherboard supports up to a 10-core 10th generation Intel Core processor and comes with a 10-power phase design. The motherboard features the new iGame Dynamik Light software that controls addressable RGB lighting and synchronize with other supported ARGB devices. The CVN Z490 GAMING PRO V20 delivers immersive gaming audio with its Realtek HD audio chip with Hi-Fi Audio Chip Guard and Nichicon Audio Capacitor to deliver pure high-definition audio.

    Key Features:
    iGame Dynamik Light Software: Controls supported ARGB lighting connected on the three 5V 3-Pin ARGB and two 12V 4-Pin RGB connectors of the motherboard. Software offers full customization and synchronization with other supported ARGB devices.

    Hi-Fi Audio and Audio Golden Line: Realtek Audio Chip with Hi-Fi Audio Chip Guard to eliminate interference and deliver pure high-definition sound while Audio Golden Line effectively reduce high frequency noise.

    Nichicon Audio Capacitor: Premium-grade capacitors that delivers high quality sound.

  • ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 @ TechPowerUp

    Motherboards have come a long way.  What was once just a PCB has transformed into industrial works of art with epic shrouds, integrated lights, strategic reinforcements and amazing performance.  The only thing missing is not knowing what will happen next.

    During Computex 2019 I got to see the ASUS X299 refresh motherboards and one of the highlights was their 30 year anniversary X299 Prime.  The board is an amazing work of art with just the right amount of everything.

    The ASUS Prime X299 Edition 30 is a celebration of 30 years of design innovation by one of the world's most prominent hardware manufacturers. Featuring active VRM cooling, 16 Vcore power stages, an OLED display, and a new Smart Control Console, can this flagship stand up to 30 years of high expectations?

    I like how the reviewer baits us with a question asking if the board can stand up to 30 years of high expectations.  I’m pretty sure 30 years ago nobody at Asus could have imagined a board like this would ever get released or even see the need for all that fluff just getting in the way and raising the cost.

    30 years ago was a different time and this is the board of the future.

    Actually, the board isn't much different from what you would find with any X299 ROG, just a different paint job and a few less gaming features.

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