Archive for January, 2020
Gigabyte gave us our first taste of the AMD X470 chipset with their Aorus Gaming 7 motherboard. The features look great overall, but the choice of audio codec is still a mystery. Realtek is the standard choice, but Creative Sound Core 3D has audio card levels of quality.
Sometimes, a single number change can be overlooked. The MX500 SSD is a new release that follows in the footsteps of the MX300. This drive has a new controller though, as well as decent improvements in read and write speeds across the board. Pricing looks great on these drives as well.
Enermax showed off two products that really stood out at CES. The first is the Saberay PC case, which made its first appearance a year before, but has some notable changes before release. The LiqFusion is a new CLC that really sets a high standard for RGB lighting. It also has an external pump!
High Bandwidth Memory has amazing performance, yet it's expensive and only adopted in a minor amount of products. Samsung's announcement of Aquabolt puts HBM2 closer to being a mainstream product that will hopefully end up in more graphics cards, and maybe even RAM sticks eventually.
ASRock may be looked at as a budget company, but their quality is reaching impressive levels as of late. They also innovate and decided to bring AMD Threadripper to an M-ATX motherboad. The X399M Taichi looks like a fantastic home for a monster CPU, yet pricing will probably be great as well.
We all want to see a new graphics card, but the announcements Nvidia made should not be overlooked. The BFGDs, or Big Format Gaming Displays support 120 Hz at 4k, a big new step. The other huge new is being able to play games at high settings on low end computers using GeForce now.
Phanteks has announced several releases worth noting. The Enthoo Pro case has tempered glass now, the Halos Lux fan frames are an easy RGB upgrade, and the Glacier reservoirs are an elegant addition to the custom loop cooling scene.
AMD just revealed their Ryzen APUs with Vega graphics and the specs look great. The cores and multi-theading will hand many tasks, while the Vega graphics will give a budget friendly gaming experience. The integrated GPU market just got interesting again.
In yet another futuristic leap in hardware design, Deepcool has introduced the Fryzen CPU Cooler. Can anyone top the design on that thing. The Quadstellar already had an extremely futuristic design, but Deepcool is also releasing a limited edition of the case. Not sure about the orange though.
If I didn't believe in an alternate reality before, I certainly do now...and we're living in it! The real world would never allow Intel and AMD Radeon to join forces and develop a CPU and dGPU solution. Yet here we are. The good news is that this is a great step for low power gaming.
Many companies are hesitant to veer outside of their norm, but NZXT did a Superman into motherboards. The N7 Z370 is an Intel board. NZXT seems to have a solid VRM for overclocking, but what really sets their board apart is the built-in RGB LED control for products like the Kraken, Hue and Aer.
NVMe SSD speeds are expected if you have an M.2 or PCI storage slot. Patriot brings fast read and write speeds to an external SSD though. Using USB Type C and Thunderbolt technology, the Evlvr will give incredibly fast file transfers for users and shock resistance.
Raijintek only needs a little more polish on the Asterion, but the full tower chassis is still a pleasure to build in. The Thetis however, is a great design that would make a great SFF computer with room to build. Both cases are strong offerings though.
Have you wondered why there are so many chipsets? Z170, Z270, Z370, 990FX, X370, X299, X399, etc. Intel and AMD have a lot of motherboards and we try to make sense of all the changes that make each one different. Also, we find out that Intel doesn't have a clear reason for changing their chipset with every CPU release.