Tech News

  • XPG Gammix S50 Lite 2 TB M.2 NVMe SSD @ TechPowerUp

    I have a hard time following the ADATA memory train.  First they claim to be the largest memory maker in the world and now have the best gaming hardware in the industiry.  Thing is, I actually have to do a specific search just to find ADATA products at my local e-tailer and rarely get a call back when asking for samples to write articles on. 

    You'd think a company this grand would be on point when it comes to global sales and marketing.  But, they, TechPowerUp has a review of their 2TB NVMe drive so, I guess that is something.

    The ADATA XPG Gammix S50 Lite is one of the most affordable PCIe Gen 4 SSDs on the market, with a price of $260 for the 2 TB version. In our testing we saw great random IO results, for both read and write. Thanks to a preinstalled heatsink, temperatures remain low, even when heavily loaded.

    PCI Express 4 and priced at $260!!  That is pretty impressive.

  • SilverStone SUGO 14 mITX Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    I have a review of this case coming out in just a few hours so be sure to check it out.  The case is quite good, small and yet has room to become a real gaming powerhouse supporting large AIO coolers, triple slot video cards and the latest in Mini ITX motherboards.

    Despite its small appearances, the SilverStone SUGO 14 is a well-built chassis that can hold a power-packed PC with very little compromises.

    I think cooling could be improved but, considering what the case is and how differently people will use the case the current design is solid!

  • Patriot presents EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards

    4K recording under extreme temperature and harsh environments Now available in capacities of 32GB/64GB/128GB.

    FREMONT, CALIFORNIA — January 14th, 2021 – PATRIOT™, a global leader in performance memory, SSDs, gaming peripherals, and flash storage solutions, today is excited to announce the market launch of its EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards. These new microSDHC/XC cards are designed for video recording devices needing to operate under extreme weather conditions and harsh environments with outstanding reliability and durability. This new series fully supports Class 10, V10/V30, and offers improved write speed reaching 30MB/per sec to meet the most demanding recording circumstances. The EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards can achieve a sustained 95MB/per sec transfer for superior stability and playback of FHD or UHD videos. Now available at major retailers with 32GB/64GB/128GB capacities.

    "The EP series High endurance microSDHC/XC cards are tested under rugged conditions, and their specifications have been reinforced, which include high levels of vibration, shock resistance, extreme temperatures, and endurance under a wide range of temperature fluctuations. These cards are also waterproof, dust resistant, and immune to X-ray radiation," said Roger Shinmoto, Vice President of Patriot Memory. "Patriot is dedicated to bringing a total solution with outstanding reliability for the professional user who needs to capture video in a variety of extreme environments, including security system cameras, dashcams, and home monitoring. These cards will work even if you are recording video in the arctic or desert."

    An SD card's read and write performance can affect stability and overall system performance, especially in apps dealing with ultra-high-density video. Professional users demand a lot from their devices and need them to work without compromising performance, regardless of weather and environment. The Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC has a wide operating temperature of -40°C to 85°C and can deliver 95MBps reads and up to 30MBps writes to eliminate lag while playing ultra-high-density videos in 4K.

    Backed by Patriot's customer service and 5-year warranty, Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDXC is a trustworthy solution for capturing crucial videos from the dashcam, home monitoring, or security system and ultra-high-definition across multiple platforms. Our high endurance microSD cards are part of our great reviewer award winning EP Series line.

    FEATURES:

    • SDA 6.X/ 5.X/ 3.0
    • Video speed class : C10/V10/V30
    • Read Speed up to 95MB/s
    • 4K Video recording supported
    • Wide temp supported: -40°C to 85°C
    • Water proof
    • Shock proof
    • High and low temperature cycle work
    • Enterprise grade endurance
    • TBW: 48TB-192TB
    • SD Adapter included

    To learn more about the Patriot EP series High Endurance microSDHC/XC cards: Click here

  • Intel Kills Off All Optane-Only SSDs for Consumers

    Well, this is interesting, and yet, not much of a surprise.  According to this article at Toms (and other places around the web) Intel is killing off the Optane-Only SSDs, at least for the consumer market.

    Optane was that technology that hardware reviewers never really talked about because nobody could ever figure out what it was for.  Basically, it was a caching drive to help speed up your PC but, if you were already running NVMe SSDs or had fast SATA based SSDs the performance gains were basically nothing.



    So, why would people be upset that Intel is killing a technology that nobody needs?  Well, seems the drives were actually pretty fast when used as a drive. (or so I am led to believe)

    Intel's discontinuation notices are quite clear that the company will no longer offer Optane-only drives for desktop PCs, but we followed up for further clarity. Intel responded to our question, 'Does that mean Intel has effectively ended its Optane-only product lines for consumers?' 

    "Your statement is technically correct, but consumers do benefit from Optane based-solutions like the Intel Optane Memory H20, since it is for mobile consumer." - Intel representative. 

    As noted in the article below, the Optane Memory H20 is a Flash+Optane module that doesn't offer comparable performance to the Optane-only drives for the desktop PC. The H20 is only compatible with mobile 11th-gen Core U-series chips or later, and not with desktop PCs. Intel's statement also clarifies that those drives are destined for mobile applications, marking the end of Optane solutions for desktop PCs. ~ Toms Hardware

    Intel kills off technology for various reasons and this is one I will not lose any sleep over.

  • Thermaltake Introduces ARGENT Gaming Peripherals with Immersive Gaming Ecosystem

    ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard equipped with Cherry MX Mechanical Switches. M5 RGB Gaming Mouse comes with an ARM-based microcontroller

    Walnut, California – January 12th, 2021 – Thermaltake, the leading PC component brand offering premium solutions for cooling, gaming peripherals, and enthusiast memory, today announced the ARGENT series, which includes ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, ARGENT M5 RGB Gaming Mice, ARGENT H5 RGB 7.1 Headset, ARGENT HS1 RGB Headset Stand, ARGENT Gaming Desk, ARGENT Gaming Chair, ARGENT MP1 RGB Mouse Pad, and ARGENT MB1 Mouse Bungee.

    "We have decided to create a gaming series that can be enjoyed at all levels, including visual, auditory, and tactility while providing users to game and compete at the highest levels. The ARGENT series is a concept about creating an ecosystem, the hardware, software, and even the illumination can evolve to a state-of-the-art level. A truly immersive gaming and art enjoyment!" said Kenny Lin, the CEO of Thermaltake.

    ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Keyboard
    The ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard utilizes a silver aluminum faceplate with an understated aesthetic incorporating a floating keycap design, offering excellent dust extraction and water-resistance. With 16.8 million RGB color illumination and 13 dynamic lighting patterns, users can create stunning RGB illumination for any occasion.  Customizing the ARGENT K5 can be done through the TT iTAKE software, including macros, game profiles, and RGB lighting effects. The ARGENT K5 is fully compatible with TT RGB PLUS products for RGB illumination, syncing with other TT RGB products.

    The Thermaltake engineering team has incorporated Cherry MX Speed Silver and MX Blue series switches with the ARGENT K5, which aims to provide the most durable, precise, and responsive tactile feedback to the user. In addition, the ARGENT K5 comes with eight additional keycaps (Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, F) and an exclusive keycap puller allowing users to customize their keyboard to fit their gaming style. Dedicated multimedia keys offer one-touch access to common multimedia functions. It also features a car-audio style rotary volume control knob made of aluminum and allows for audio output volume adjustments, or presses the knob to mute/unmute the audio output. The detachable leather wrist pad, wrapped up in synthetic leather, gives gamers extra ergonomic protection under day-long gameplay. 

    ARGENT M5 RGB Gaming Mouse 
    ARGENT M5 RGB Gaming Mouse will be available in wired and wireless options. To ensure a stable and uninterrupted wireless signal within a 10-meter wireless range, the ARGENT M5 RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse utilizes the 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5.0 connection and supports USB mode, which gives a faster mouse polling rate under 1ms and long-lasting for the battery. The mouse is designed for both right or left-handed users and allows switching of button functions as required. In order to deliver excellent accuracy, the M5 wireless supports on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment with six selectable default options from 100 to 16000 DPI, with adjustments allowed even during gameplay.

    ARGENT M5 RGB Wireless Gaming Mouse is built with world-class OMRON switches for supreme reliability and rated up to a lifecycle of 50 million clicks. ARM-based 32-bit microcontroller and a 64Kb flash memory provide excellent agility and super-fast response time to meet hardcore gamers' needs. The mouse offers 16.8 million RGB color illumination across two separated lighting zones and allows users to customize the dynamic lighting effects using the TT iTake software engine. ARGENT M5's RGB lighting can be fully synchronized with TT RGB PLUS and compatible products, including the Razer Chroma ecosystem.

    The ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, ARGENT M5 RGB gaming mice, ARGENT MP1 RGB mouse pad, ARGENT MB1 RGB mouse bungee, and ARGENT HS1 RGB headset stand will be available in the USA and Canada in Q1 2021. More ARGENT Gaming Peripherals such as the headset, headset stand, RGB mouse pad, gaming chair, and gaming desk will be available later in 2021.

    MSRP:

    • ARGENT K5 RGB Mechanical Keyboard:
    • - Blue Switch                             $179.99
    • - Silver Switch                           $189.99
    • ARGENT M5 RGB Mouse                        $59.99
    • ARGENT M5 RGB Wireless Mouse         $89.99
    • ARGENT H5 RGB 7.1 Headset                $109.99
    • ARGENT HS1 RGB Headset Stand         $89.99
    • ARGENT MP1 RGB Mouse Pad              $69.99
    • ARGENT MB1 Mouse Bungee                 $29.99
  • 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!

    -----------------

    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.