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CPU & Motherboards

BIOSTAR Launches Flagship RACING Z370GT7 for Intel’s 8th Gen Core Desktop Processors

Computer hardware life is looking much brighter now that AMD has forced Intel’s hand. The new 6 core, 12 thread, 8th Gen, mainstream chip is the kind of processor Intel should’ve released 5 years ago. On the plus side, Biostar keeps shelling out some surprisingly nice looking boards to handle each new iteration. Check out the latest in the Racing lineup with the Z370GT7 and stay posted for more news and reviews! October 16th, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR introduces its flagship Intel Z370 motherboard under the third generation RACING series, the BIOSTAR RACING Z370GT7. This motherboard supports the latest 8th generation Intel Core processors also known as Coffee Lake. The RACING Z370GT7 sports premium features that gamers, overclockers, professional content creators, and modders demand. It has a luxurious golden black color theme and advanced RBG lighting customizations with Advanced VIVID LED DJ. New and improved features: the smart A.I FAN and reinforced PCI-E slots to handle heavier graphics cards make the new-gen RACING Series much more robust. Push performance and harness the power of the new Intel Core i7-8700K 6-core, 12-thread processor along with dual Intel Optane-ready M.2 slots for the fastest PCIe NVMe drives available today. BIOSTAR’s 3rd Gen RACING Design BIOSTAR revamps the RACING series motherboards with a much more flashy and high-end design with a golden black color theme. Gold I/O Armor – Gold I/O Armor strongly protects I/O int...



BIOSTAR Teases Upcoming 3rd-Gen RACING Series with Z370 Chipset Motherboards

BIOSTAR Teases Upcoming 3rd-Gen RACING Series with Z370 Chipset Motherboards Maximize Your Full Gaming Potential of the 8th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processors September 29, 2017, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR RACING series continues to be at the forefront of gaming motherboards and is set to offer the 3rd generation of BIOSTAR RACING series motherboards with Z370 chipset. These motherboards will feature a new gold theme design, strong and powerful hardware design, elevated HiFi sound quality, easy-to-control software control and new advanced VIVID LED DJ for more RGB lighting customization fun. This will be available October 5th for enthusiasts such as gamers, content creators and overclockers who plan to upgrade to the recently announced 8th Gen Intel Core desktop processors: Intel Core i7, 6-core Intel Core i5 and 4-core Intel Core i3. Performance and Flexibility Fans will be pleased with BIOSTAR’s 3rd generation motherboards performance and flexibility, thanks to Intel’s performance options with unlocked “K” processors. The brand new BIOS and driver UI design will make this more intuitive and fun. There is also BIOSTAR’s brand new A.I. FAN to fully customize fan modes or auto-detect along with an easy-to-use software interface to monitor the temperature situations. More RGB LED Lighting Control BIOSTAR has a new advanced VIVID LED DJ for more customization of multiple RGB LED lighting zones. This time around, they have included dual RGB LED headers for add...



GIGABYTE Introduces Z370 AORUS Motherboards

Supercharge your gaming experience with these powerful motherboards City of Industry, California, September 25th, 2017 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has unveiled the new Z370 AORUS motherboards based on the Intel® Z370 chipset. These supercharged motherboards are equipped with a server-grade digital power design which fully support 8th generation Intel Core™ processors. Performance tuned, the Z370 AORUS Motherboards are compatible with memory modules rated for 4400MHz. With unique features like an ESS Sabre DAC, Smart Fan 5 and RGB Fusion, there’s no doubt why gamers turn to AORUS for the ultimate gaming motherboard. “Following Intel‘s release of the Z370 chipset platform, GIGABYTE has designed a new, groundbreaking motherboard,” said Vincent Liu, Senior Associate Vice President of GIGABYTE’s Motherboard Business Unit. “GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS motherboards are designed for gamers who value powerful, yet highly durable motherboards. With our new digital power design, not only will Z370 AORUS motherboards unleash the power of the 8th generation Intel Core processors’ they will easily fulfill gamers’ demands.” Designed with 14nm technology, the 8th gen Intel Core processors range from 4-Cores and 4 threads to 6-Cores and 12 threads each performing better than its predecessor. Z370 AORUS Motherboards deliver the highest video quality, 4K UHD, and uninterrupted streaming to users through the use ...



iBuyPower Element PC Review: Intel i7-7900X & Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti

Introduction Most of the readers that will frequent a hardware review site will swear by the experience of building their own custom PC. Price, performance and customization are all highlights we love to point out, but sometimes we like to overlook the problems like compatibility, DOAs, and tons of troubleshooting. If you’re a troubleshooter by nature, then building a PC is the perfect way to appeal to that need for figuring out problems. If you aren’t then the idea of building your own gaming PC is probably a nightmare! So what are gamers supposed to do if they want performance on a custom built level, but are afraid to dive into putting their own components together? The answer that you shouldn’t go to is to buy a Dell. Perhaps the real answer is to look at a company like iBuyPower. They have custom built PCs that are pre-assembled and pre-configured so that a buyer has little to worry about on their end. The only question is if the company is offering a worthwhile system to spend your hard-earned cash on. We’ll find out soon how this variant of the iBuyPower Element stacks up, but first let’s look at a statement from the company on their values. iBUYPOWER symbolizes several key beliefs: unity, strength, ambition, and perseverance. These are fundamental attributes of life inside and outside of gaming. You need them all to win. Leading the pack, iBUYPOWER is gaming, defined.Since 1999, iBUYPOWER has been delivering on its promise to build the...



This is What I Love About AMD!

The past few weeks have been miserable for myself. I had a major work project to get through and while I enjoy projects, the following weeks left my body turning against me with sickness and gout. I’ve felt my enthusiasm die down to a small ember, but sometimes I get to read an article that helps ignite my spark again. I got lucky and caught an article that talked about Threadripper being a spare time project for AMD engineers and I can’t tell you how much I love hearing that. PCGamer had a link on the article and it shows that the HEDT competition from AMD almost didn’t happen. It looks like the Red company didn’t have specific plans to design Threadripper when they did, but their engineers had enough freedom to come up with the design anyways. This indicates two huge things that make me become the biggest AMD fanboy I’ve ever been. For starters, the engineers probably have a huge passion for designing chips. Many people are content to use their spare time to gorge on entertainment, but these people saw an opportunity to take Ryzen to the next level. I not only love seeing passion, but I also see an indication of the freedom AMD’s management is giving to their builders. While this probably comes from the top with Lisa Su, AMD wasn’t afraid to let their engineers loose and try new things. As a result, we have a phenomenal product in Threadripper and a phenomenal company shaping up with AMD. I love hearing about this and even though...



AMD Threadripper: More like Thread-Demolisher

The year of Ryzen has turned out to be a very good year indeed. AMD’s new architecture only had some minor set backs to overcome, but now it’s poised to be the competitive champion of the PC market. I’m going to let you google the Threadripper reviews this time, because I’m going to focus on some incredible firsts that basically sum up how great this release is and why Threadripper is demolishing competition. For starters…. Holy Cats! Intel has dominated this chart for ages now, yet there’s a Threadripper at the very top!!! AMD is at the top of the charts!!!!! Wow! I’m sure Intel is working hard to dethrone that, but for the time being, AMD is at the top of the PassMark chart and that’s pretty incredible. However, shock and awe is just beginning….. Are we really seeing this!?! Was that Nvidia congratulating AMD!?!?!?!?!?! What’s going on? Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria! Did we ever see a day where Nvidia and AMD acted…. cordially to each other? But it didn’t end there…… AMD just high-fived Nvidia!!!!!! I’m not saying the future won’t have some sort of confrontation again, it’s just weird to see what what was thought as mortal enemies having such a great exchange. I remember during my sales years that I was told to essentially hate my competition. I think we can prove that you don’t have to hate someone to be competitive with them (all ...



AMD Ryzen: Best Motherboard and Overclocking Update

As one would expect, a huge passion of PureOC is overclocking. Needless to say, we certainly have plans to get the absolute most our of AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, but the motherboard landscape is such that improvements and bug fixes are still in the works. In the meantime, we have a quick video showing what we’ve found out about the new architecture and we even have a strong recommendation on which company is doing the best with the motherboard design at this point. Check it out and stay tuned for more news and reviews! Once again, The Hardware Hound thanks EpicGear for sponsoring his channel. Check out PureOC’s reviews of the Defiant and MorphaX below. EpicGear Defiant MMS Mechanical Keyswitches Gaming Keyboard Review EpicGear Morpha X Modular Gaming Mouse Review



Gigabyte Kills it at Computex 2017

I’ve become a huge fan of Gigabyte in recent months. Not only did their Z270 platform stand out in performance, but the Aorus branding and lighting design is fantastic and I had a great experience using them for my Ryzen reviews. (More testing in the works as you read this) At the very least, it comes as no surprise that Gigabyte has come away with some awards and records since Computex. Not only did they come away with a Best Choice Award, but the Aorus X299 set a few world records in overclocking performance. The Aorus Z270X-Gaming 9 ended up winning the Computex 2017 Best Choice Gold Award and while I can’t say whether the award is hard to earn or not, I can say the Gaming 9 is certainly deserving of recognition if the Gaming 7 has anything to say about it. What really caught my eye was the fact that their new Aorus X299 board reached a 7.5 GHz overclock on the upcoming i7-7740K chip. The team was able to set 4 related records in the process. Check out the press releases below for the full details and don’t forget to keep Gigabyte in mind the next time you’re looking for a solid motherboard for your system. Computex Award AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9’s Functionality and Innovation Stands Out Among Competitors City of Industry, California, May 24, 2017 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, is excited to announce that its AORUS Z270X-Gaming 9 motherboard has won the prestigious Computex 2017 Best Ch...



Threadripper is AMD Responding to Intel Responding to AMD

That title is fun right? Yesterday AMD had it’s Financial Analyst Day which turned out to be quite the product announcement. Zen was a pretty disruptive release and it seamed to prompt Intel to add more core options to their X299 platform releasing sometime this year. It looks like AMD doesn’t want to be outdone though, so they’re releasing a monstrous 16 core, 32 thread chip that will thoroughly compete with Intel’s enthusiast offerings, but there might be some slightly disappointing news from yesterday as well. Technical details are pretty scarce right now, but PCWorld as an excellent slide showing the major highlights of yesterdays event. We only know the core and thread count of Threadripper for the time being, but seeing as how it’s based on Zen architecture, it will most likely have super competitive TDP and multi-threading performance numbers. AMD also announced Epyc, which looks like it will have 32 cores and 64 threads. This is completely designed for the enterprise market though, since it appears to have lower clockspeeds as well. The other fun announcements were related to Vega, but gaming seems like a minor focus in comparison to the professional uses mentioned during the FAD. This where things get a bit murky. It’s looking more and more like AMD isn’t releasing a card that directly tackles the GTX 1080 Ti initially. While Vega, labeled Frontier Edition, has high levels of compute power, Raja had a straightforward menti...



Latest X299 Response to Ryzen Indicates AMD has a Great Release

AMD’s Ryzen release has been picked apart pretty well now, but it still stands as a solid release from team Red. Performance has been under the microscope so much, that power efficiency could get overlooked. Part of that is the fact that Intel doesn’t offer the wide range of variety in core counts that Ryzen has right now, but the other part is the fact that the wait for Intel competition has been long as well. However, with Skylake X about to release on the X299 platform, it strange to say that Intel looks like they’re struggling with power efficiency compared to AMD. WCCFTech has more info on the upcoming chips from Intel, including TDP ratings. I still can’t wrap my head on around the 7740K that is supposedly the “fastest” chip in the Kaby Lake lineup. When you go down the chart, the specs are identical accept for the socket type. Oh, and it somehow has a higher TDP in spite of having the same clockspeeds and L3 Cache. Moving on to the new i9 chips though, their TDPs range from 140W to 160W. This seems to show us two really important things about Intel. The great news is that Intel hasn’t been holding back single-thread performance for the purpose of squeezing the market dry. Their IPC architecture is truly a marvel. The bad news is that Intel could’ve been offering more cores to buyers way before now. Considering the flagship gives us 12 cores and 24 threads pretty easily, it’s hard to imagine why mainstream has bee...



Corsair One Shakes Up PC Gaming

Corsair is releasing a fully built gaming PC? Let me go over to Newegg and see how much cheaper it would be if I built it my….. Huh. Normally, we don’t cover pre-built systems because we believe in the rewarding experience of building our own. While that never changes, there are times that a fully built system can catch our eyes though. Let’s face it, occasions arrive where we need to recommend a good pre-built system, or even want something compact to use in place of carrying our main rigs to things like LAN parties. What really surprised me was the fact that I could MAYBE match the price of this Corsair One system if I built it myself. While I’ll list the full details in the press release below, I mainly want to cover the specs of the base system. The MSRP starts at $1,799.99 and here’s what you end up with. The processor is the locked version of the 7700, but it still has a 240mm Corsair cooler on it. Of course you can expect Corsair Vengeance for the RAM and a Corsair PSU, but they also include one of their Force 240 GB SSDs. There’s also a terabyte HDD for additional storage. The big bonus is the fact that this system includes a solid gaming graphics card in the form of a GTX 1070. When the marketing claims VR ready, they mean that in a solid way. At this point, when I was mirroring these components on a Newegg list, I was having a hard time matching the MSRP that Corsair is offering in the One series. When you top off the final pr...



Should you use all AMD for your Next Build?

The debate of AMD vs Intel vs Nvidia is an age old one that will probably never cease. As long as there’s innovation in the PC market, there’s bound to be a new top dog in the fight. Intel still has the IPC lead in processing and Nvidia is killing it in performance and energy efficiency with their GPUs. So why, when given a sizeable budget and asked by my friend to build a PC, would I go all out with an AMD base? Check out the video for the full answer because the Red side seems to be offering one of the best, non-compromised experiences we’ve ever seen from them. As always, remember that experiences vary and feel free to add your thoughts to the equation by heading over to the PureOC forums!



Intel’s Response to 7700K Overclocking Makes Us Laugh (and cry a little)

Oh, Intel! Couldn’t you at least PRETEND you care a little for your enthusiast customer base? It looks like complaints about the 7700K having heat issues went farther than even I knew. If reports are true, some users have tried de-lidding, running at stock, and placing their CPUs under liquid to still see spikes go up in the 90s with minor tasks. I have to say I can believe it though, but it’s Intel’s response that is almost laughable, at least until you think about the true ramifications. I finally got a hold of a 7700K so I could review a couple of Z270 boards during CES. I’ve complained a number of times about the abnormally high temps, especially since I like to test overclocking on a day-to-day use, rather than simply going for the absolute highest clockspeed possible. In my testing, I would see massive temperature swings during idle periods, but didn’t think too much of it because they weren’t quite as extreme as what other users are reporting. In short, while the cheap thermal interface material between the chip and the heat spreader is a big part of the problem, it could be something to do with the architectural design as well. Intel finally decided to give an official response to the reports and while some of this can be expected, the whole package is kind of hard to swallow. They basically say that the chip is designed to run this way, to adjust dramatic changes in fan speed by using your motherboard fan curves, and that they...



AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X CPU Review

Introduction AMD has officially shaken up the CPU market in a great way with Ryzen. While I know some of you wanted to see Intel brought to their knees with every single benchmark, the reality is we now have a clear picture of what the strengths and weaknesses are in the industry. Single-thread performance has certainly improved well over the past 5 years, but quality measures and multi-threaded ceilings needed a shot in the arm. The Ryzen 7 series does an amazing job of opening up professional performance to a wider audience of PC buyers. That leaves us answering the question of exactly how Ryzen 5 fits in the market. In fact, we’re only going to worry about tackling that question in this review. I’ve been squeezing everything I can in trying to complete review content, but life is catching up with me and I have to slow my pace down slightly. There’s just too many fun things to test and not enough time to do it, at least in fast of a time frame as I would like. While this focus will be on Ryzen 5 performance, I’ll be adding two more reviews down the road with one focusing solely on the newly designed Wraith Coolers performance and another focused entirely on overclocking guides and performance for the Ryzen 7 and 5 lineups. Let’s begin with a look into the philosophy behind AMD’s CPU designs, then we’ll start looking at the details of the 1600X and 1500X.  



MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard Review

Introduction This is it! Right here is the last piece of hardware that I received as a result from my trip to CES back in January. It only took me four months, but that’s the inadvertent side effect of being the solo act for a bit. The good news is it looks like those days are about to be behind me, with new content trickling in from fresh and familiar faces. But enough about me, let’s talk about MSI. We truly live in a golden age of computer hardware. It wasn’t too many years ago that only one motherboard manufacturer stood out as the go-to company for top performance motherboards. Today, I can think of three or four really great companies that all compete for being the best in their own particular ways. MSI is one of those companies. Quality, performance and competitive pricing makes this company a clear contender when shopping for a new motherboard, but we’ll need to flesh out the full details of the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon to determine if this is the board you should have for your Kaby Lake build. We’ll do that soon enough, but let’s first look at a statement from MSI, especially since it’s been a while since we’ve covered one of their products. (Shame on us!) MSI Vision Profile As a world leading gaming brand, MSI’s goal is to become the most trusted name in gaming and e-sport. We’ve dedicated countless hours and committed numerous resources to the eSports community to support the world’s most aspiring ...






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