Tech News

  • Sound Blaster X5: Make Your Audiophile-grade Headphones Sing

    SINGAPUR – 31. January 2023 – Creative Technology today launched Sound Blaster X5, its latest USB DAC and amplifier sound card that ticks all the boxes on a discerning audiophile’s gear wish list. Decked with class-leading components, breakthrough audio technologies, a comprehensive connectivity profile and sporting a premium look and feel in a sleek build, the X5 simply pulls out all the stops as a compelling audio solution like no other.

    This is It for Pristine Audio

    Sound Blaster X5 personifies the best of Creative’s audio engineering and design expertise, equipped with audiophile-grade components to achieve exceptional audio quality. It is the first Sound Blaster to feature a dual-DAC design - 2 Cirrus Logic CS43198 DACs deliver high-resolution lossless playback in 32-bit / 384 kHz over PCM with ultra-high dynamic range of up to 130 dB DNR. These DACs can also decode audio formats in DoP128 and DSD256 for high-fidelity audio streaming. Audio distortion is practically non-existent with an oversampled multi-bit modulator for an incredibly low Total Harmonic Distortion rating of 0.00018%.

    From studio-grade headphones with impedance of up to 600 ohms, including the most demanding planar-magnetic headphones, to sensitive in-ear monitors with 1 ohm output impedance, Sound Blaster X5 drives them all effortlessly. The award-winning Xamp discrete headphone bi-amplification technology, which is found in the high-end Sound Blaster AE series and Sound BlasterX G6, receives a design upgrade that, coupled with a dual-DAC and dual-Xamp configuration, delivers a fully-balanced headphone output and experience on the X5. A next-level design for audio fidelity makes its debut, using 2 dedicated Xamp circuits that amplifies the left and right channels separately in isolation throughout the entire chain of amplification, effectively eliminating in-circuit interference, noise and cross-talk. What makes the X5 stand out even more is the fact that this type of audio design is a rare find in its price category (sub-US$300).

    Audiophiles with a lean to customize their own audio signatures can do just that with the Sound Blaster X5. When connected to the Creative app, they can make adjustments with a 10-band equalization frequency graph, add on Acoustic Engine effects like Surround, Crystalizer, Bass or Dialog+, or use CrystalVoice to improve communication quality. When in the mood for gaming, Scout Mode enhances in-game audio cues to highlight details for a competitive edge.

    Sound Blaster X5 also supports ASIO 2.2 for low-latency playback and recording, as well as easy access to multiple audio inputs and outputs.

    Full Marks for Connectivity

    Sound Blaster X5 is a competent audio hub in its own right; its versatility means it is also compatible with various devices, including gaming consoles, DVD players and other living room entertainment systems. There are two-way RCA and TOSLINK Optical connectors, a convenient USB-C audio and power port, as well as a 3.5 mm microphone-in port with an easy-to-access mic gain knob. There is also a 4.4 mm port for studio-grade balanced headphones, and a 3.5 mm port for regular headphones. All 3 ports use premium gold-plated connectors for better performance. It features a Bluetooth 5.0 receiver and a dedicated USB-A host audio port for connection to wireless audio transmitters, as well as external USB speakers, headsets and microphones.

    With a set of controls designed for an intuitive user experience, Sound Blaster X5’s front-mounted buttons and switches are easy to access and right at the fingertips for the audiophile’s convenience.

    Pricing and Availability
    Sound Blaster X5 is priced at US$279.99 and is available at the Creative online store.

    For more information on Sound Blaster X5, visit The Sound Blaster X5 Product Page.

  • Noctua introduces NA-FG1 fan grills with offset push-pin mounting

    One of the things I loved about "old" computers was modifying them.  This was mostly done to increase performance but I did love me a tasty case mod, the smell of fresh paint and the joy of proper airflow.

    One item from that era that seems to have fallen out of popularity was the fan grill.  These wire devices did an excellent job at keeping animals and "stuff" out of your fans and were available in a variety of styles and sizes.  It would seem with the advent of RGB fans and "smarter" end users (*omg I almost fell out of my chair writing that*) it seems we no longer need proper fan protection.

    I guess youngsters are having less fan these days!  wink smile

    Noctua has announced the NA-FG1 Fan Grills.  These are a wire grill with a raised profile and flat black finish.  They are available in sizes ranging from 40mm to 200mm and come with push pin mounting hardware.

    Noctua today introduced its new NA-FG1 series of fan grills for 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 92, 120, 140 and 200mm fans. Available in sets of 2 (Sx2) or 5 (Sx5) including screws and a tool-free mounting system that can help to reduce turbulence and thereby improve both airflow performance and noise levels, Noctua’s NA-FG1 are premium grade fan grills for the highest demands in acoustic optimization and ease of installation.

    “Fan grills may seem like a trivial accessory, but many available solutions can seriously hamper your fans’ acoustics and performance, so we decided to offer our own selection of grills”, explains Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO). “Our NA-FG1 use a proven, highly efficient design and top it off with a convenient tool-free mounting system that introduces an extra offset and can thereby help to improve both airflow and noise levels.”

    While fan grills may not be the hot thing anymore it is nice to know there are still options to buy them, which has always been a challenge.

    Check out the press release on the Noctua website and watch the installatoin video.

  • YEYIAN Gaming Presents the Ultrawide 34" 2K SIGURD 4000 Curved Gaming Monitor

    VA Panel with 165Hz refresh rate, HDR400, and adaptive-Sync technology fully compatible with AMD FreeSync and NVidia G-Sync

    San Diego, California, Jan 31, 2023 - YEYIAN Gaming, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of innovative pre-built gaming PCs, peripherals, and computer components, is proud to announce the market launch of the latest YEYIAN Ultrawide 34" 2K SIGURD 4000 WQHD curved gaming monitor (sku: YMC-VA34-01). YEYIAN SIGURD 4000 is an ultra-thin bezel design with WQHD resolution, delivering excellent resolution and brightness on a LED VA panel with a 3000:1 contrast ratio. It provides gamer-oriented features, including six scenarios presets for optimized screen settings when playing games, watching movies, and a standard text display. 

    The Adaptive-Sync technology is fully compatible with AMD FreeSync and NVidia G-Sync to ensure every frame is displayed correctly without artifacts or tearing. The monitor is also built using an advanced HDR processing chip to offer more than 16.7 million colors in a higher dynamic range and a broader color gamut for vivid gaming graphic visibility. A 1ms response time combined with a 165Hz refresh rate and Low Blue Light technology ensures that the YEYIAN 34" SIGURD 4000 2K can deliver superior gaming performance for hardcore gaming sessions and content creation. 

    "The brand-new Ultrawide 34" 2K SIGURD 4000 Curved Gaming Monitor is another masterpiece from YEYIAN. The monitor is built with an advanced VA panel for excellent response time, refresh rate, color accuracy, and performance across a wider range of viewing angles. It was born to bring an immersive panoramic viewing experience with a rock-solid built quality. 

    Large monitors like our 34" curved ultrawide panel help maintain a high degree of immersion in games and other forms of visual entertainment. Adaptive-Sync technologies such as FreeSync, and G-Sync help to maintain the best visual performance, while YEYIAN's Low Blue Light Technology intends to soothe eye strain for longer and more enjoyable viewing sessions. The YEYIAN SIGURD 4000 also supports showing two different visual sources simultaneously using PIP (Picture-in-Picture) and PBP (Picture-by-Picture) technologies. These practical features are intended to provide the best gaming experience by protecting the gamer and offering comfortable and long-lasting gaming sessions, making it a great monitor for gamers and content creators." explained Frank Lee, the VP of YEYIAN.

    Screen tearing is a common annoyance for gamers who love fast-paced FPS and 3D Open World Games. These visual deformations are common with LED panels when the monitor refresh rate differs from the signals sent by the video card. The 34" SIGURD 4000 2K curved gaming monitors feature built-in Adaptive-Sync Technology. It fully supports AMD FreeSync and NVidia G-Sync, allowing AMD or NVidia GPU users to experience a low latency, low flickering, tearing-free, and fast-responding gaming experience. These adaptive-sync technologies also offer frame rate compensation to eliminate unexpected blur motion during movies or high-resolution gaming. 

    The monitor supports the latest DisplayPort 1.4 x 2 and HDMI 2.0 x 2 for full compatibility with current and future video cards and consoles. The YEYIAN SIGURG 4000 monitor has six preset scenarios: Movie, RTS, FPS, Text, Standard, and general games. These optimized-display screens allow the user to change the monitor settings with a single key press dynamically. The PIP and PBP functions also allow the user options to display two separate visual signals at the same time simultaneously; the real-time videos from their game console and game desktop/laptop can be shared on the same monitor.  

    The ergonomic design provides a wide angle of tilt and swivels for an ideal viewing position and to prevent users from neck and shoulder discomfort. The tilt angle can allow 5° to the front and 15° to the back. These significant features allow you to work on documents, watch movies, or play games longer and more comfortably. 

    Backed by a 3-year warranty, the YEYIAN Ultrawide 2K SIGURD 4000 34-inch Curved Gaming Monitor is now available in major US e-tailers.



  • Thermaltake Presents a New Lineup of CTE (Centralized Thermal Efficiency) PC Chassis

    A Leap-ahead in thermal solution design and heat dissipation through increased chassis ventilation

    Walnut, California - January 5th, 2023 - Thermaltake - the premium brand for PC Case, Cooling, Power, and memory solutions, is proud to introduce its brand-new CTE (Centralized Thermal Efficiency) lineup of PC cases and will be showcased during CES 2023. Thermaltake's CTE series PC chassis is crafted to offer optimal thermal performance and heat dissipation through increased chassis ventilation. The CTE chassis will be available in three different models and include both TG and Air-focused panels, offering a choice of cosmetic options. Additionally, with the optimization for air, AIO/DIY Liquid cooling, the CTE lineup is intended to deliver a high degree of thermal performance to support the latest graphics cards in the market and future high-performance gaming PC builds.

    Key Features of the CTE Series:

    • 90 Degree Rotation of the motherboard provides more efficient airflow pathways.
    • Full Mesh Airflow and TG Panel options are available.
    • Increased Efficiency for Cold Air intake and heat extraction.
    • Multiple AIO and LCS radiator mounting locations support up to 420mm. 
    • Patented rotational PCI-E slots to display graphics cards horizontally or vertically.
    • New CT Series Fans are available in black or white and RGB or non-RGB, with new housings.

    The new CTE technology by Thermaltake broke through the conventional chassis design with its reformatted internal arrangement. It was created from the ground up with the ever-increasing need for thermal efficiency. This approach provides a robust and efficient airflow path inside the chassis by moving critical heat sources closer to intake and offering a more efficient exhaust path. Furthermore, the abundance of mounting locations for cooling fans and AIO/DIY radiators, up to 420mm in sizing, make the CTE series ideal for all types of cooling, whether water or air. The overall approach has allowed CTE to offer a better and more efficient solution while still providing users with a large amount of customization for building and modding to create unique works of art.

    With the CTE lineup are the all-new CT series fans, available in both 120mm and 140mm, black or white, and with or without RGB for build compatibility. The CT series fans feature a new-generation PWM motor and hydraulic bearing for unprecedented reliability, combined with a unique blade design to push the air further than a traditional fan, even at speeds under 1500 RPM.

    The CTE series will be available in major retailers starting April 2023

    C750 Air/C750 TG ARGB, C700 Air/C700 TG ARGB, T500 Air/T500 TG ARGB

  • Thermaltake Unveils Ceres 500 TG ARGB Gaming PC Cases

    The mid-Tower configuration supports the latest generation of high-performance graphics cards

    Walnut, California - January 4th, 2023 - Thermaltake - the premium brand for PC Case, Cooling, Power, and memory solutions, is excited to announce the brand-new Ceres 500 TG gaming PC chassis set to debut during CES 2023. Thermaltake's Ceres 500 TG ARGB is built to bring optimal thermal performance through the three-meshed metal panels, which are intended to obtain more cooling air intake for excellent ventilation. Thermaltake Ceres 500 TG ARGB gaming chassis is optimized for both Air and AIO water cooling options and includes support for up to 420mm radiator sizes. In addition, the chassis comes preinstalled with four CT140 ARGB Fans for robust air-cooling efficiency out of the box. 

    Key features of the Ceres 500 TG ARGB Mid Tower Chassis

    • Four new CT140 ARGB fans are pre-installed, with three at the front and one in the rear.
    • Hinged 3mm Tempered Glass Side Panel
    • Support for 3.9" LCD panel kit through TT RGB Plus 2.0 software
    • Patented rotational PCI-E slots to display graphics cards either horizontally or vertically,
    • Riser cable bracket allowing for 90-degree or 180-degree riser cable installation
    • Storage support for up to a total of five 3.5" HDDs or up to eight 2.5" SSDs

    The Ceres 500 TG ARGB boasts a unique mesh front and top panel with removable air filters, a solid metal frame, and four pre-installed CT140 ARGB fans, and it can accommodate AIO radiators up to 420mm. Furthermore, the 3mm thick tempered glass side panel is hinged for convenience and creates a framed view of the components inside. With its optimized cooling performance, customization options, and modern aesthetics, the Ceres 500 TG ARGB would be an ideal chassis for the next custom gaming build.

    Ceres 500 TG ARGB will be available in the middle of January in major retailers.

    Ceres 500 TG ARGB Black and Ceres 500 TG ARGB Snow

  • Holiday Hardware Giveaway With Thermaltake - Winners Picked

    Hello Readers!

    I wanted to thank EVERYONE who entered the Holiday Hardware Giveaway featuring products from Thermaltake.

    Winners for the giveaway have been picked and notified via email.  Please check your inboxes or check the following Gleam.IO page to get a list of winners.

    With luck we will have more giveaways in the coming months.  With that I wanted to wish you all the best for 2023 and thank you again for your support.

  • it is CES week

    Hello Everyone,  I don't normally post things like this but, it is CES2023 week and while I away attending the show the majorty of the cool things I see will be posted on the Hardware Asylum Social Media channels.  (and my personal Instagram)

    If you are wanting to see what is going on check out the Hardware Asylum Twitter

    Of course, after the show you can hear all about CES2023 on the Hardware Asylum Podcast and a few follow up articles.

  • Funky Kit Review - Yeyian AKIL 3500 TKL Gaming Keyboard

    We recently reviewed the Yeyian Spark gaming keyboard and found it to be a nice entry into the mechincal keyboard gaming space.  Of course, the Spark was a slightly larger TKL whereas the AKIL 3500 is a little smaller

    If you’re after a 65% TKL wireless keyboard with the option for Bluetooth or wired USB-C connectivity, then take a look at the Yeyian AKIL 3500 TKL Gaming Keyboard. It features responsive OUTEMU Red switches which are hot-swappable, and comes with RGB illumination, as well as Anti-Ghosting and N-Key Rollover technology!

    If you are looking for an inexpensive mechincal gaming keyboard the Yeyian should make the short list to check out.

  • Lexar Unveils New Gaming Products and Enhanced Pro Photo and Video Products at CES 2023

    LAS VEGAS, NV, USA, January 3, 2023—Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, is unveiling new products specifically made for gaming at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 (CES® 2023). The new gaming portfolio includes a variety of products, including DRAM, internal SSDs, portable gaming SSDs, and to keep up with increasing mobile category growth, microSD™ cards.

    Among the gaming lineup are the new ARES DDR5 RGB 6000MHz, as well as existing products NM800PRO with Heatsink M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4x4 NVMe SSD, the SL660 BLAZE Gaming Portable SSD, and the PLAY microSD™ UHS-I Card.

    “We are excited to bring the quality, performance, and reliability you expect in our professional photo and video products to the gaming market. Our gaming products are designed to meet the unique needs of gamers and enable them to play at their peak without worrying about load times, game lag, or stuttering graphics,” said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar.

    In addition to their new gaming products, Lexar will also showcase their extensive photography and videography portfolio, including the new 512GB Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series, the Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card GOLD Series—now available in 1TB and 2TB capacities, and the Professional CFexpress™ Type A 320GB + RW530 card and reader bundle.

    “Our photography and videography products enable both the professional and the enthusiast to get their best shot. Our high-capacity cards allow content creators to capture for longer, while our high-performance products offer blazing transfer speeds to accelerate workflows," said Joey Lopez, Director of Marketing.

    Lexar at CES 2023

    The ARES DDR5 RGB 6000MHz, NM800PRO with Heatsink M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4x4 NVMe SSD and the SL660 BLAZE Gaming Portable SSD will be showcased in the Lexar CES suite in a live demo display. Lexar CES will take place at The Venetian, Suite #29-211 (3355 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109) from January 5th to 7th, 9 AM - 6 PM. Media, industry analysts, influencers, and YouTubers are welcome to visit and experience innovative new products.

    Note: The ARES DDR5 RGB 6000MHz, the 512GB Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card DIAMOND Series, and the 1TB-2TB Professional CFexpress™ Type B Card GOLD Series are not yet available in the US. They will be available in the latter part of Q1.

  • SiSoftware Sandra 20/21-R19 Released

    I just got word that a new version of SiSoftware Sandra has been released and you should check it out if you are interested in benchmarking your current build. 

    Sandra has been used here on Hardware Asylum and since the beginning making it one of the longest running benchmark programs I have ever used.  The package supports a variety of CPU and Memory benchmarks that I use when overclocking to test stability and measure a performance gain.

    Later I started using the storage benchmarks to test SSDs and that is just touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the SiSoftware Sandra benchmarking suite offers.

    New in this version

    * Benchmarks, Hardware Support updates and fixes

    • GP-GPU – CUDA Updated to CUDA 11.8 Support for 8.9/9.0 devices nVidia 4090 series FP16 validation failure (too low precision for image size)
    • GP-GPU Memory Bandwidth Corrected DirectX Compute (11/12) bandwidths with internal graphics
    • Memory Detection Intel XMP 3.0, AMD EXPO DDR5 detection missing in some instances Jedec, Intel XMP 2.0 DDR4 write timings if provided by newer standard revision Corrected timings (tRP, tRAS) for some Intel ADL/RPL systems Missing memory timings for some mobile Intel ADP-P/U systems Added support for more chipsets (both AMD and Intel)

    Check out their website to get your copy and consider buying a registered version to experience the power of the registered package.