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CPU & Motherboards

A Walk Down Memory Lane: Baeca, Bulldozer and Zen

Remember when off the wall rumors at the end of 2013 told us that AMD had a monster chip coming? Pepperidge Farms remembers! At the time, the rumor was so far fetched that nobody gave it a second thought. If you’re still a bit hazy on the details, check out the following link so you can get a refresher on it. http://www.eteknix.com/amd-phenom-iv-x12-170-baeca-25nm-cpu-leaked-has-12-cores-6-ghz-core-clock-and-am4-socket-compatbility/ The rumor seemed absolutely ridiculous, yet today we’re staring into the face of a CPU that has 8 cores, 16 threads and runs off of a meager 95W of power. Here’s why I think this rumor is interesting. Jim Keller rejoined AMD in 2012 to begin helping them redesign their architecture from the ground up and it was only a year later that this rumor surfaced. It’s extremely possible that Baeca was an early engineering attempt that, while being a failure in and of itself, was a crucial step towards bringing Ryzen to the market. Let’s take a journey and see what’s bringing us to one of the most anticipated releases in quite a while. For starters, let’s hop back on the Baeca train for a little bit. The term is pretty obscure, but a quick google search led me to an interesting horoscope definition. It’s the idea of someone who’s mind is going a mile a minute, always sees the lighter side of a situation and believes something new is always on the ho-“Ryzen.” Could be a coincidence, but the...



Ryzen AM4 Motherboards Resurface: Aorus, Titanium and Crosshair VI in the Mix

For anyone looking for mini-ITX love today, I’m sorry I don’t have that for you. For those wanting to see AMD have high-end ATX motherboards again, I’ve got ya’ covered. AMD had a “Meet The Experts” webinar recently which revealed more details on the new AM4 boards coming with Ryzen. It’s been so long since we’ve seen fully up-to-date boards for team Red that I had to show off some of the great additions coming from Gigabyte, MSI and Asus. Let’s start off with Gigabyte’s big showing since this board already looks very impressive. If you’ve followed Gigabyte recently, you know they started a new branding of high end motherboards by putting them under the Aorus badge. It looks like the board from the slide is named the AX370 Gaming 5, which is interesting because that leaves room for even beefier boards down the road. I also say interesting because the Gaming 5 looks very impressive in its own right. A quick count indicates a 10 phase VRM, support for the new RGB fusion feature and other Aorus features like Smart Fan. Having been on AM3+ since Vishera, you can imagine I’m quivering with excitement at how excellent this board is looking in comparison. MSI is bringing their big guns to the designing table by introducing AM4 to their Titanium series lineup. Titanium is the overclocker’s dream in a lot of ways, but I still can’t get over how great that silver PCB looks on the design. It still see...



How did I miss this Intel Pentium Chip!?!

Let me start off by saying that a large part of the “how” is the fact that things have been quite busy as of late. That said, I still have to wonder how I missed this release!!! Intel has been upping their game in the budget sector and the Kaby Lake Pentium series are bound to open up great budget opportunities for those trying to make affordable gaming rigs. Computer Base did some pretty extensive testing of the Pentium G4560 and the results are rather impressive for a chip that is extremely cost effective. The review article isn’t in English, so I figured I should mention that you might want to use a browser that has a translation feature for the link below. That said, the graphs easily show what’s happening with this chip. While the FX-6300 has long been my favorite budget CPU, Intel really changes everything with a dual core design that can outperform a 6 core chip. When you consider that the price on this guy is $64, it’s hard to argue against recommending it, even if the 6300 can be overclocked. The hidden secret that’s giving these great performance numbers is the fact that these Pentium chips introduced hyper-threading to the dual-core design. That little bit of extra data piping adds a solid amount of extra performance, while still keeping the chip at an extremely cost effective price point. The single core performance has always been great so gaming rigs and workstations alike will see a huge benefit to using the G4560 in walle...



CES 2017 Best of Show

CES may have their own awards, but we had our own ideas of who deserved the best of show from our trip. As always, let us know what your favorite picks were in the forums and stay tuned for more news and reviews coming in 2017!



CES 2017: RBT, Samsung, Nvidia, Intel

This is it, the last bit of our coverage of CES 2017. We’ll have one more piece that will go through our top picks, but this is the last of the show floors we were able to get to. We had a mouse that’s trying to put an end to carpal tunnel, some great storage and monitor solutions from Samsung, the HDR display I’ve been dreaming of and some better explanations of what is going on with the architecture in Kaby Lake. CES 2017 was a great show and it sets us up for a great looking year for PC hardware. As always, feel free to leave your comments about what you loved in the forums and keep checking PureOC for more upcoming news and reviews!



CES 2017: Geil, Deepcool, MSI, AMD Ryzen and Vega

CES 2017 coverage marches right along with another great set of show floors from some great companies. Geil showed off some excellent peripherals, Deepcool blew our minds with awesome looking cases and fans, and MSI continues to deliver great motherboards. However, we finally got to catch up with AMD and get a solid look at what to expect with the Ryzen and Vega releases. We have a little bit longer to wait before full specs arrive, but confidence is certainly rising in what team Red is trying to deliver. As always, check out the video below for the full details and don’t forget to leave some comments in the forums!



CES 2017: HyperX, Enermax/Lepa, Gigabyte

The Hardware Hound continues his coverage of CES 2017! We’re already to the point that it isn’t quite what day it is, but how much we could fit in one episode for a given episode, so sit back, enjoy the hardware news and keep checking back because more is still coming. This time we get to see some more RGB RAM kits from HyperX, some great cases and reservoirs from Enermax, plus some excellent motherboards from Gigabyte. Does anyone smell some Z270 and X370 chipsets?



CES 2017: Corsair, ECS, Ability 3D, ViewSonic

We’re bringing yet another new thing to you at PureOC this year with all new coverage of CES. Sure, we’ve covered CES before. but this time the Hardware Hound is taking the time to do full video coverage of as many stops as possible. 2017 is already beginning to look like a good year for PC builders, but check out the video below to get closer looks at hardware from Corsair, ECS, Ability 3D and ViewSonic. Keep checking back with the site for even more coverage as the week unfolds and leave your comments in the forums for anything you’re really looking forward to this year! Also, here’s a quick intro showing a bit of the trip there, as well as a quick peek at the Hardware Hound’s hotel command station…. or room if you prefer.



It’s about Freakin’ Time! INTEL has an Unlocked i3

It’s not asking too much! Budget builders like to overclock their CPUs, even if they can’t spend $200+ on them. So INTEL releasing an unlocked version of their i3 lineup of CPUs is huge news, in spite of some of the other news that doesn’t seem so good lately. While an unlocked i3 is a great idea for the budget enthusiast, I’m wondering what this means for the i5. The i3-7350K has quite a few features going for it. Not only do we have an unlocked multiplier (Finally!), but we have 4 threads in 2 cores, a 4.2 GHz boost clock and 4 MB of L3 cache. This would make it an amazing budget chip and if it wasn’t for AMD working on ZEN, I might have to kiss the FX series goodbye entirely. If the chip prices at $180, that would be steep but it could range as far down as $150 which is much more reasonable. The big issue with this release is what it does to the i5. Both chips offer 4 threads, although the i5 at least has 4 individual cores. Still, I’d be surprised that the performance on an i5 would really justify the extra cost at this point. Where does INTEL go from here? I think INTEL could’ve have destroyed the CPU market if they had done one more change with their Kaby Lake lineup. Rather than release a chip that has 4 cores, what if the i5-7600K kept the multi-threading, but only had 3 cores? With 6 threads, you’d have the perfect middle ground processor that splits the difference between the i3 and i7. Each tier could have it’...



Is INTEL Stalling Out?

A while back, I posted an article talking about what looked to be impressive performance gains coming from Kaby Lake. Performance leaks had been good to me up till that point, but now you can see my shame here. Today, a Chinese review of the i5-7600K has released ahead of NDA and the results aren’t looking good. Even though Kaby Lake has some minor improvements, the IPC performance is running the same as Skylake. Granted, this review is ahead of NDA which also means any tweaks INTEL planned before released aren’t being considered yet, but it’s really feeling like INTEL is stalling out when it comes to pushing the limits of performance. Honestly, releasing a new chip series that essentially has no performance improvement is probably worse than holding back performance for the sake of sales. Technically, Kaby Lake has almost a 10% performance increase, but that number is so minuscule that the average user will never notice it. If this was coming to the professional market, it would make a bit more sense since 10% increases can actually translate to added dollars. As it is, IPC improvements are the things that really make a computer feel faster, as proven by comparing the current FX series to anything INTEL has had in the past couple of years. The FX chip can get it done, but the INTEL one makes it feel a lot smoother while doing it, while pulling better actual performance numbers. IPC for the 7600K is showing the same performance as Skylake and even if som...



October News Round Up: SWIFTECH Apogee XL2, GAMER STORM Genome II, GTX 1050 Ti and More!

Welcome back to our second roundup of hardware news that happened this month. The CPU and GPU side of things may have slowed down a tad, but there’s a lot that happened with cooling and cases. Let’s dive in and get excited about what’s coming down the road! CPUs Let’s start out with an update on Kaby Lake. Geekbench came out with some impressive results and the story made it look like INTEL has merely been holding back for a while. Recently however, an i5-7500K sample was benchmarked and only showed about a 10% improvement over Skylake. This is actually pretty disappointing, especially considering that the 4970K is still a top tier single thread performer. On the plus side, it looks like all 100 series motherboards will be able to support Kaby Lake with a BIOS update, but I doubt many will see the need to upgrade from Skylake in such a short time table. At the time being, ASUS is the only brand this is confirmed for, but that’s a good indication that other manufactures will follow suit. We’re still a ways out from release so we can almost expect performance to fluctuate a bit more until closer to release. http://wccftech.com/intel-core-i5-7600k-kaby-lake-cpu-benchmarks/ http://wccftech.com/kaby-lake-support-asus-100-series-motherboards-confirmed/ GPUs The big news this month was the release of the GTX 1050 Ti and the 1050. Each GPU offers a great budget option for 1080p gaming while being extremely energy efficient. Rather than reinvent ...



BIOSTAR Unleashes New RACING Series Products in Thailand

BIOSTAR Unleashes New RACING Series Products in Thailand BIOSTAR Debuts Racing B150GTN motherboard and BIOSTAR SSD G300 to Thai Media and Power Users   October 11th, 2016, Bangkok, Thailand – BIOSTAR is excited to announce its formal launch of the SSD G300 series and the RACING B150GTN mini-ITX motherboard for the Thailand market. Held last September 27 at Bangkok, BIOSTAR unveiled its latest addition to its ever-growing list of solutions for gamers, power users and enthusiasts. The new products will be available in the Thai market via STREK. In attendance were Thailand’s media and power users who were treated to try the latest and greatest line-up of BIOSTAR’s RACING series as well as its mainstream series of motherboards and other products.   On display were numerous builds and systems in cooperation with various partners including Thermaltake, Apacer SSD & Memory, Cooler Master and AMD Radeon graphics which together with BIOSTAR showcased their excellent line-up of enthusiast products as well. BIOSTAR’s own Justin Wang addressed the attendees and states that “BIOSTAR intends to expand its line-up further and this is just us getting started. For now while we grow, we’re also showing our regional partners and customers that BIOSTAR is still committed in showing them that the company still invests in building a healthy relationship with them by holding this regional events and giving the opportunity to personally showcase our excellent products and give f...



INTEL Kaby Lake has a 40% Single Thread Performance Boost!?!

When it comes to overclocking leaks, I’ve learned to take those with huge grains of salt. Websites love finding these ridiculous clock speeds and getting our hopes up that this is going to be the new normal for overclockers, until we find out that overclocking is pretty standard in the reviews after release. (Btw, Guilty!) On the other hand, preliminary benchmark leaks are usually close to what to expect when a CPU actually releases. If what Geekbench is showing is true, then Kaby Lake is about to blow everyone’s mind, but I’m gonna hold a bit of irritation for what this could mean about the previous generations. WCCFTech has an article showing the INTEL i7-7700K scoring a 6131 in single and 20243 multi-core scores. This ends up being a massive 40% increase over Skylake in the single thread department. The multi-core score is a 20% increase. This is the kind of thing people who’ve been holding on to the 3770Ks have been waiting for. What’s upsetting is the fact that INTEL managed to pull this out of the hat at the perfect time when Zen was about to release. This begs the question, “Has INTEL purposely been slamming minor 10-15% increases down our throat simply because they wanted to make more money?” I could be completely wrong on this, but there’s no escaping the feeling that team blue has been cash grabbing consumers for the simple reason that they could, rather than taking the high road of trying to push the boundaries wi...



September News Round Up: Zen, Kaby Lake, GTX 1050 and More

How does a freelance writer keep up with everything happening in the industry when he has a full time job, a family, reviews to keep up with and a puppy in training? It’s worth pointing out that a lot has happened in the month of September this year. AMD has been making announcements about Zen, INTEL has had some details about Kaby Lake and NVIDIA is talking about the GTX 1050. Rather than try to keep up with every piece of news as it releases, we’re going to try something new by having a once a month update to catch you up on the things that are happening in the industry. Welcome to the PureOC Monthly News! On the last Friday of each month, we’ll pull together all the news that feels relevant and give a one stop location to get your info from. So without further ado, let’s get into what’s happened this month. CPUs, Motherboards and Chipsets  AMD Zen, Grey Hawk, X370 Chipset and A12-9800 We’ll start with AMD this time around since much of the anticipation of what will happen in the CPU sector relies on them. We got some more detailed shots of the new Zen chip and the 1331 pin design is confirmed. As far as new info is concerned though, we didn’t get much this month for that. The A12-9800 on the other hand had some very interesting leaks. Some performance scores showed up and even though the new AM4 chip is still using Steamroller cores, it has some reasonable improvements. What was really interesting was an overclocking result. So...



AMD FX-6350 Overclocking Review

Introduction Wait! Where’s the Zen chips already? Just keep being patient a little longer because the new architecture is coming soon enough. On top of that, Zen isn’t going to replace every budget range when it first releases. Unless AMD has a surprise up their sleeves, we can only expect Zen to target the high-end at first. In the mean time, Piledriver chips will still be filling the other budget slots until the rest of Zen arrives. Today, we’re going to take a look at the FX-6350 and see how it does. Some of you may be thinking that the 6350 has been beaten to death in reviews and that would be pretty close to accurate. However, we do have the new Wraith Cooler bundled with this chip so that will give us a little bit of a new angle to look at. The other thing we want to do differently is abandon the stock clocks. This is Pure Overclock! Who needs stock clocks anymore? Seriously though, the FX-6350 has been around long enough that we have a great idea of how it performs, even overclocked. This will be more of a review in seeing how well the Wraith Cooler does in comparison to some other slightly heftier coolers. We’ll get into those details in a bit so sit back and enjoy a quick word about the philosophy driving AMD. At AMD, we live our core values through our actions. This helps drive our business. Being a socially and environmentally responsible business is an important part of AMD’s culture – The AMD Way. We believe that our employees are m...






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