Tech News

  • Creative SXFI Gamer @ TechPowerUp

    When it comes to headphones some popular names come to mind, Sennheiser, Sony, Philips along with some PC brands like HyperX, SteelSeries and ASUS.  And while I only rattled off a select few there are tons of other brands out there.

    Sound card maker, Creative also sells headphones and some of them are extremely good so, what do you get when you match up a great gaming headset from a quality audio company and then infuse that headset with software to make it sound like you aren't wearing headphones?

    You get the Creative SXFi Gamer with Super X-Fi built in.

    The Creative SXFI Gamer is an amazing USB gaming headset, offering excellent sound and microphone quality, intuitive controls, and an advanced Super X-Fi technology with the addition of their so-called Battle Mode, which will give you a competitive edge in multiplayer shooters.

    I've been trying to get a pair of these in the Hardware Asylum Labs for review but, things have been slow with the "situation".

  • Thermaltake launches DIVIDER 300TG ATX Mid-Tower Chassis

    The new DIVIDER series demonstrates the perfect mixture of a minimalist aesthetic, advanced mechanism, and thermal performance design

    Walnut, California-January 11th, 2021-Thermaltake, the leading PC DIY premium brand for Case, Cooling, Gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory solutions, announces the launch of the new Divider Series Chassis line up. The Divider 500TG, 300TG, 200TG, 100TG models, including standard and ARGB versions, available in black and white colors. A picture containing text, electronics, different Description automatically generated

    The Divider Series offers a range from M-ATX to ATX form factors, divided by 3mm tempered glass to provide a custom split difference for the next PC build. The Built-in triangular side panel includes side venting to improve airflow. Patented PCIE expansion slots offer secure options for vertical GPU mounting or direct to motherboard with a variety of GPU length support across the series.

    "A good PC case design should be more than just fascinating RGB illumination and overall appearance. It needs a perfect balance between practicality, aesthetic, and thermal dissipation," said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake. "More powerful CPUs and GPUs are launching every day, making heat dissipation a significant concern for a gaming PC. The DIVIDER offers essentials to create the perfect ratio between material utility and the control of thermal conditions. It is also the next-gen gaming PC case for enthusiasts, modders, and gamers in sheer quality, and we're proud to present this whole new series at our Thermaltake Expo."

    The DIVIDER 300TG mid-tower chassis supports ATX form factor motherboards and is available in black and white colors. Divided into both sides, combing 3mm tempered glass and ventilated steel side panels provide a balance of view while including ventilation for better cooling performance. Supporting up to 360mm GPU lengths with the radiator mounted in front, take advantage of side radiator mounting for even larger GPUs while keeping the fans in the front. Top-mounted I/O ports include USB 3.2 (Gen2) Type-C with USB 3.0 ports and HD audio for easy connectivity.

    Add color to the next build with the DIVIDER 300TG ARGB, also available in black and white case colors, including (3) 120mm ARGB PWM fans preinstalled on the front. SYNC up with ASUS Aura, ASROCK Polychrome, BIOSTAR RGB, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion 2.0, and MSI Mystic Light through the included ARGB controller allowing users to add on even more ARGB products all controlled through one software.

    The DIVIDER 300TG Series offers cooling customizations with both front and side radiator mounting options (280mm/360mm Front | 240mm Side) to provide multiple cooling fitments for both CPU and GPU AIO cooling options. Additional fan options on the top and back of the case offer more cooling and RGB. Filters included around the case help prevent dust and easy to remove for cleaning. Go vertical with Patented PCIE expansion slots to rotate the GPU vertically or direct to the motherboard, all built into the case.

    Built-in full-length PSU cover allows users to hide the mess and let the case look its best. They offer a window view to the PSU, with multiple pass-through for the cables, radiator, HDD/SSD storage options, and ventilated top. Larger cable grommets give users better cable positions and more space. Modular side plate offers storage when not using a radiator with SSD mounting also included behind the motherboard.

    The DIVIDER 300TG will be available from US retailers in February. More DIVIDER Series models will be available later this year.

    MSRP:
    DIVIDER 300TG ARGB: $ 109.99
    DIVIDER 300TG ARGB SNOW: $ 114.99
    DIVIDER 300TG: $ 79.99
    DIVIDER 300TG SNOW: $ 84.99

  • ASUS boosts Intel Z590 into the AI future with ROG Maximus XIII, ROG Strix, TUF Gaming, and Prime

    The Intel Z590 is shaping up to be one of the more exciting launches at least when it comes to motherboard designs.  ASUS has a full lineup of motherboards to announce and I would urge everyone to check to the "Edge Up" article linked below.

    It’s a rare thing when life lets you have it both ways, but that’s exactly what you’ll find from Intel’s Z590 desktop platform, launching today at CES 2021. Z590 motherboards maintain support for the stratospheric clock speeds and impressive multithreaded performance of Intel’s 10th Gen Core processors. At the same time, they’re ready for lift-off with all of the next-gen features of the upcoming 11th Gen Core CPU family, code-named Rocket Lake. A full array of ASUS Z590 motherboards is on its way, and whether you choose from the top-shelf ROG Maximus XIII series, the sleek and speedy ROG Strix line, the rugged TUF Gaming family, or the purposeful Prime lineup, you can be sure of a smooth and reliable PC build. We’ll have full details on all of those motherboards soon, but we want you to have a taste of what to expect today.

    For the ASUS Z590 lineup, we’re tapping into all of the platform features offered by 11th Gen Core CPUs to offer Intel PC DIY enthusiasts a thoroughly cutting-edge experience. When paired with those upcoming CPUs, ASUS Z590 motherboards will offer up to 16 lanes of PCI Express 4.0 connectivity direct from the processor, delivering up to 32GB/s of bandwidth for today’s highest-performance discrete GPUs. The Z590 platform also taps four dedicated PCIe 4.0 lanes from the processor for maximum performance with the latest solid-state drives.

    I've been able to look over the available photos and all of the motherboards look amazing including the two version of the ASUS Maximus XIII Extreme. 

    The first version features a full coverage waterblock with full Aura RGB lighting support for excellent cooling performance and maximum lighting.

    If watercooling isn't your thing you can opt for the regular version of the Maximus XII Extreme that features a full coverage shroud and heatsinks over the VRM, Chipset and M.2 drives. 

    For those that need more storage make note of the Dimm.2 riser card located to the right of the memory sockets.  This has been a stable on high-end ASUS motherboards for awhile and goes a long way to expand the available storage solutions.

  • The EVGA Z590 Motherboard Series

    It would seem that we just got down with the Intel Z490 series and here we have something new.  So new in fact that the press photos are computer renderings!

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    EVGA Z590 motherboards paired with 11th Gen Intel® Core™ processors bring unprecedented speed and bandwidth to the latest graphics cards and M.2 NVMe SSDs, along with improved performance across the board. Built with the Intel® Z590 Chipset, these motherboards are PCIe Gen4 ready with a data transfer rate up to 16 GT/s, doubling the previous generation. As befitting this milestone, EVGA designed and engineered these new motherboards from scratch, resulting in a pair of sleek-looking motherboards jam-packed with the latest features. Introducing the EVGA Z590 DARK and Z590 FTW WIFI motherboards – the first of a new generation of EVGA motherboard excellence.

    The EVGA Z590 DARK
    The EVGA Z590 DARK once again strikes fear into the hearts of other Z590 motherboards by combining every ounce of power available to the Intel® Z590 chipset and fine-tuning it to perfection. This armed and fully-operational motherboard is born from a 10-layer PCB and powered by a 22-Phase VRM. With support for PCIe Gen4 graphics cards and M.2 NVMe SSDs, overclockers have nothing to fear when shooting for the highest scores in any benchmark. For everyone else demanding the ultimate in performance, the Z590 DARK is loaded with over a dozen USB options, eight SATA ports, two 2.5Gbps NICs + WiFi 6/BT 5.1, 7.1 Channel HD Audio, three M.2 Key-M slots, and two fan headers dedicated to AIO CPU Coolers. We’ve even included a nightlight with the DARK’s first-ever ARGB cover for those times when you might need to see what you’re doing. As a wise overclocker once said, “Once you start down the DARK path, forever will it dominate your destiny.” and with the EVGA Z590 DARK, that destiny is sure to be filled with shattered records and countless victories on the battlefield.

    The EVGA Z590 FTW WIFI
    The EVGA Z590 FTW WIFI is what you’ve been waiting for to bring out the best of the 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 processors, which now feature support for PCIe Gen4 graphics cards and NVMe SSDs. This motherboard redefines what it means to be For The Win with a completely updated aesthetic, a rededication to maximizing the features on an ATX form factor, and an unrelenting desire to give enthusiasts all the power, performance, and stability they can handle with a 17-Phase VRM and 8-layer PCB. In addition to blazing-fast 4800MHz+ memory support, WiFi 6/BT 5.1, DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0, and an excessive number of USB options, the EVGA Z590 WIFI also features multiple ARGB headers to customize your system lighting, a gigabit NIC, and 7.1 Channel HD Audio. The EVGA Z590 FTW WIFI is truly the next generation of FTW motherboards.

    To learn more about EVGA Z590 motherboards, please visit https://www.evga.com/articles/01470/evga-z590/

  • ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme @ TechPowerUp

    Of the ROG motherboards out there I have always been impressed with the "Extremes"  They tend to pack in the most features and have this unique ability to handle LN2 like a boss.  As they say there is only one better, the Apex and in the Z490 generation that board has been rather quiet.

    ASUS once again delivers with their Maximus line of high-end motherboards. The Maximus XII Extreme represents the best ASUS has to offer: top-tier connectivity, a massive VRM, great aesthetics, and a host of high-end accessories. Is there anything the Maximus XII Extreme does not offer?

    The one major thing to note is that the Maximus doesn't have much in the way of expansion.  You will find only two video card slots, an OLED screen and 4x PCIe slot, ideally for a sound or capture card.

    High-end, yes.  Much better than a Micro ATX, not so much.

  • Porsche Design AOC Agon PD27 @ LanOC Reviews

    It would seem that Porsche has started expanding.  Not only have they started designing boats but have a hand in consumer electronics too.

    Porsche Design is a subsidiary of Porsche SE or better known as the company that makes Porsche cars. Porsche Design has been around for 48 years, designing car accessories early on but in the last four years moving also into the electronics markets including working with AOC on a few of their highest-end monitor designs. They have partnered up once again with the PD27 which incorporates a car roll cage like design for the monitor stand with a high-end gaming monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate, Freesync Premium Pro, HDR, and a 1000R curvature for a premium gaming experience. Today I’m going to check out the Agon PD27’s design and performance and see if it lists up to the high pedigree of the Porsche name and its premium price.  

    This is a curved 27" with HDR support with a very elegant monitor stand.  Sadly I see this as the "apple" of the monitor world and only the 50+'ers with Porsche stock or has one in their garage will consider buying one.

    But, hey it is a gaming monitor so that has to acount for something.

  • Gigabyte Z490I AORUS Ultra @ TechPowerUp

    When it comes to small form factor motherboards you cannot beat the Micro ITX.  They are not only super small but super powerful packing full desktop processors, two memory channels, a single expansion slot.  Some boards come with M.2 drives and the Aorus Ultra comes with two.

    While it might not sound too impressive when you stop and think about it THAT is exactly what anyone actually NEEDs.

    The Gigabyte Z490I AORUS Ultra comes with a lot of hardware packed into a small form factor. Among the features are 2.5 Gb/s Ethernet, WiFi 6, dual M.2 slots, and top-tier 90 A power stages. Let's see just how good this SFF Z490 entry from Gigabyte really is!

    I do like how the Aorus motherboard features RGB lights even though in most Mini ITX cases there isn't enough room to see the motherboard, much less the RGB.  But, the market demands it and Gigabyte delivers.

  • CES 2021: Thermaltake Presents the Next-Gen THOUGHLIQUID ULTRA and TOUGHLIQUID ARGB Sync AIO CPU Liquid Cooler

    Equipped with TOUGHFAN 12 and water blocks to ensure the most substantial liquid cooling performance. Smart 2.1" LCD monitor brings unique customization for hardware monitoring and visual amusement
     
    Walnut, California, January 7th, 2021-Thermaltake, the leading PC component brand offering premium solutions for cooling, gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory, today is proud to announce the TOUGHLIQUID Series, the newest member of the Thermaltake AIO liquid cooler line up. TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA and TOUGHLIQUID ARGB Sync are built using the TOUGHFAN 12 high-performance fans to deliver superior cooling performance and stability for system builders. Offering a variety of models, supporting radiators sizes including 240mm, 280mm and 360mm, equipped with a LED display or RGB on the pump.

    "Intuitive hardware monitoring and advanced personalization are what the THOUGLIQUID ULTRA series brings to the market," said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake. "The important information like CPU temperature, frequency, and performance usage can be displayed in real-time on the smart 2.1" LCD monitor. Users can also personalize the display with GIF pictures or with custom RGB lighting modes through our RGB software. Thermaltake is giving PC builders even more customization options with this next-gen AIO watercooler."

    TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA series
    The TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA comes packed with additional features and upgrades, including the high-performance TOUGHFAN 12 Turbo series radiator fans with an impressive 2,500RPM maximum speed offering stronger airflow for enhanced cooling. This new fan incorporates the 2nd-generation hydraulic bearing and LCP blades for maximum cooling performance and quiet operation. The TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA features a redesigned radiator with more fin surface area for excellent thermal efficiency and is now available in 240mm or 360mm form factors. The integrated water pump comes with a full copper base plate for outstanding heat conductivity and the entire cooler comes pre-refilled for zero maintenance and long-lasting operation.

    The water block mounted LCD screen is able to display real-time monitoring of multiple hardware components, lighting effects, and customized GIF files featuring out new TT RGB Plus 2.0 software. Sync up with other TT RGB Plus products to create beautiful lighting effects, across multiple levels, all from our NEW 2.0 Software.

    TOUGHLIQUID ARGB Sync
    The TOUGHLIQUID ARGB Sync follows in the series designed more budget-friendly, adding some RGB instead of an LCD screen, gain great performance with our high-performance TOUGHFAN 12 radiator fans with 2,000RPM for strong airflow and enhanced radiator cooling. The TOUGHFAN utilized the same fan bearing and blades as the ULTRA series for superior cooling performance and quiet operation. This ARGB Sync Edition also uses the same upgraded radiator with more fin surface area and will be available in 240mm, 280mm, and 360mm form factors.

    Six addressable LEDs are embedded in the pump block. Featuring a copper cold plate design and rotatable LED cap with 360° rotational orientation. Built-in controller integrated with the water saves space without the need for an external controller to manage, allowing users to connect and set lighting modes, speeds, and colors. SYNC UP the TOUGHLIQUID ARGB to a variety of 5V+ capable motherboards for easy SYNC and control of the RGB all from one software.

    Backed by a limited 2-year warranty, TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA, and TOUGHLIQUID ARGB Sync will be available in the USA and Canada in Q1 2021.

    MSRP:
    TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA 240: $209.99
    TOUGHLIQUID ULTRA 360: $239.99
    TOUGHLIQUID ARGB 240 $119.99
    TOUGHLIQUID ARGB 280 $129.99
    TOUGHLIQUID ARGB 360 $149.99

    CES 2021 and Thermaltake Expo
    While CES 2021 moves to an all-digital experience, Thermaltake will launch their new products by hosting Thermaltake Expo on 1/11/2021 at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time on the YouTube channel. TOUGHLIQUID series, more PC cases, power supplies, and gaming peripherals will be revealed with live demonstrations.   

    Watch Thermaltake Expo at the link below:
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Thermaltakereview

  • Thermaltake Launches High-performance TOUGHAIR CPU Air Cooler

    Next-gen heatsink tower features the hardcore fan for unparalleled cooling performance
    Available in topflow, single and dual fan configurations

    Walnut, California- January 5th, 2021-Thermaltake, the leading PC component brand offering premium solutions for cooling, gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory solutions, today is proud to present a new series of TOUGHAIR CPU Air Cooler. he TOUGHAIR CPU Air Cooler is equipped with an advanced Gen.2 hydraulic bearing, LCP fan blades, and anti-vibration mounting system to offer outstanding reliability. The TOUGHAIR CPU Air is available in three configurations, including horizontal tower (110), single (310), and dual fan (510) vertical tower designs supporting exceptional performance on the latest Intel and AMD series processors.

    "We are tough when it comes to thermal performance insisting on design without compromise, and from that, the TOUGHAIR CPU Air Cooler was born," said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake. "Air cooling is a simple and convenient way to cool your PC, and it is rare to see a new air cooler launch in the market. Thermaltake Engineering team has worked hard to design a new air cooler worthy of the TOUGH name and delivers what PC users are expecting."

    TOUGHAIR 110/310/510 CPU Air Cooler
    The TOUGHAIR CPU Air Coolers come in three different models: 110, 310, and 510. The 110 is a horizontal tower design offering a low-profile design for smaller system builds. The 310 and 510 are vertical tower designs featuring single and dual fan configurations. Cooling these heatsink designs pushing 58.35 CFM @ 2,000 RPM. Each TOUGHFAN 12 offered a controllable fan speed between 500 RPM and 2,000 RPM and built using an advanced Gen.2 hydraulic bearing for long and silent operation.

    TOUGHAIR CPU Air Coolers are built using four direct contacted 4 x Ø6 mm copper heat pipes with a maximum power handling of 180W TDP. Each cooler features an optimized fin structure for increased air intake and direct contact heat pipes. The universal socket design of the TOUGHAIR makes installation easy, and its retention system is fully compatible with all the latest Intel and AMD CPU sockets.  

    Backed by a limited 2-year warranty, TOUGHAIR CPU Air Coolers will be available in the USA and Canada in Q1 2021.

  • Happy New Year 2021 from Hardware Asylum

    Myself and everyone here at Hardware Asylum would like to wish you a Happy New Year.  The world is a changed place by now everyone knows about the 2020 Pandemic and what it did to the world economy.  As a result, world travel has come to a halt and lockdowns prevented people from attending work, school and friends.  Despite the global trouble operations at Hardware Asylum continued and for the second time ever, the podcast was recorded “virtually” with video editions giving listeners a slightly different look into what it takes to plan and record content.

    One thing that did change was computer hardware.  The spring time lockdown prevented shipments of components and created worldwide shortages of everything from cases and coolers to video cards and processors.  I spent several days attempting to buy a Threadripper 3 only to later find out the processor was overhyped and under preformed.  The new NVIDIA RTX 30 Series was handled poorly and while I think there were alternative motives behind this the massive price drop and filtered benchmark numbers caused demand to skyrocket. 

    Overall, this is not a bad thing for NVIDIA or the Crypto Miners who bought up the available cards.  It just makes things difficult for the rest of us.

    Welcome to 2021, I hope this year serves you well and, if you voted for Pedro, then shame on you.  (read my post from last year to know why)

    It will be weird to skip CES this year.  Due to the “situation” the show has gone 100% virtual and I decided to just send emails off to my mfg partners asking again for their support. 

    Happy New Year big grin smile

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