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News

Hitman Taking a Contract on Asynchronous Shaders

AMD has been talking up the Asynchronous Compute Engines pretty much since DirectX 12 has been announced. In short, these are hardware components in AMD GPUs that can hopefully be leveraged to add significant performance in games. We’ve been waiting for the final say for some time and while certain Beta releases have shown some promise, it’s only official releases that will not only prove the benefit of Asynchronous Shaders, but will also help determine how legit DirectX 12 is for being the next big thing for gaming. AMD just shared some info that Hitman has been working specifically with them to take advantage of their Asynchronous Shaders and it looks like we have about a month before the official release date. Whether or not Hitman is your kind of game, this will certainly be a big moment in the PC gaming industry. So keep your eyes peeled because March 11th is the official release day for Hitman and I’m sure tech sites will be looking into the performance with DirectX 12 and various AMD and NVIDIA GPUs. Below is the full statement from AMD. AMD is once again partnering with IO Interactive to bring an incredible Hitman gaming experience to the PC. As the newest member to the AMD Gaming Evolved program, Hitman will feature top-flight effects and performance optimizations for PC gamers. Hitman will leverage unique DX12 hardware found in only AMD Radeon GPUs—called asynchronous compute engines—to handle heavier workloads and better image quality with...



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The Dune Case is a Smooth take on Mini-ITX

When I see the term Kickstarter, I default to a new video game getting made. I get it, Kickstarters are for much more than just games, but it seems to be the only time I really notice them is with a new game. (I’m looking at you Yooka-Laylee!) So I was a bit surprised to see a computer case trying to get launched off a Kickstarter. I was also surprised to see a case that’s round, but I think the Dune Case is on to something pretty cool looking. The best thing about the Dune Case is that it looks more like an air purifier than a computer case. This isn’t to pick on the case, but makes the point of how well it would fit in a living room decor. The cylindrical shape is something that you would normally see with numerous electronic devices that are designed to be used next to the sofa or the entertainment center. While that’s great for people who care about decorating, what intrigues the enthusiast inside of me is the airflow design. By using a 140mm fan in the top, the air is pulled from the bottom of the case and easily vented out the top like a tiny wind tunnel. The only thing I wish it had was a second fan on the bottom to help push the air through, but the PSU location would make that a bit tricky. The Dune Case is certainly something I would like to use for a home theater setup, especially since I cut the cable/dish chord a long time ago. My only concern for this case is that because it’s a Kickstarter, it has to swim on it’s own which...



MSI Re-Envisions Mobile Gaming with GT72S G Tobii with Eye-Tracking Technology

MSI Re-Envisions Mobile Gaming with GT72S G Tobii with Eye-Tracking Technology   World’s first gaming laptop that recognizes, reacts and controls game activity with looks, stares and gazes now available     City of Industry, Calif – February 8, 2016 – MSI Computer Corp, a leading manufacturer of computer gaming hardware and solutions, announces the availability of the GT72S G Tobii, the world’s first gaming notebook that unlocks the power of vision by harnessing and translating the eyes’ natural and intuitive movements into the game.   The world’s most advanced gaming laptop, the GT72S G Tobii with eye-tracking technology immerses gamers into a hands-free dimension by allowing them to switch targets in a game, select objects on the floor or even automatically pause a game by simply focusing or looking away. Available immediately, MSI’s GT72S G Tobii will be bundled with Tom Clancy’s The Division and currently supports a variety of gaming titles, including Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, ArmA III, Elite Dangerous and more. “The GT72S G Tobii Tobii adds another dimension to gaming and provides a level of interaction and immersion never experienced before,” says Andy Tung, president of MSI Pan America. “Our eyes will no longer be passive players, they will now direct, command and transport us into the future of PC gaming.”   MSI’s GT72S G Tobii gives streaming an added dimension by seamlessly and instantly overlay...



Phanteks Eclipse Series P400 and P400S

Walnut, California February 8th, 2016 – Phanteks today introduces two variants of the Eclipse Series, the P400 and P400S (Silent Edition). The Eclipse P400 and P400S will be available in three colors: Satin Black, Anthracite Grey and Glacier White. Eclipse P400   The Eclipse Series P400 and P400s are compact midtowers that are easy for beginning PC builders that wants to create a clean and beautiful build. The interior chassis design of the Eclipse P400 and P400S is based on the Enthoo Series and offers user-friendly features. This includes full metal exterior, RGB lighting system with color control and optional RGB interior lighting strips, equipped with dust filters, all-in-one radiator mounting location in front, power supply shroud, 2x 120mm fans, and cable management tools. FEATURES TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS Eclipse P400S (Silent Edition) The Eclipse P400S (Silent Edition) available in window version with soundproofing layers or closed panels with soundproofing layers. The P400S comes with all the included features of the P400 but with additional features for improved acoustical performance. The P400S includes top ventilation covers with soundproofing layer, front and side panels with soundproofing layers and an integrated 3-speed fan controller. Phanteks continues its user friendly design chassis with the new Eclipse Series P400S. Without much effort, the P400S allows users to create a clean and beautiful system. Ambient RGB illumination adds character while th...



Introducing the Alchemy 2.0 Modular Cables

Introduction of Alchemy sleeved cables allowed many end users customized their computers. Now, BitFenix is ready to help ease modding with Alchemy 2.0 Sleeved Cable Kit. With input from some of the world’s most prolific case modders, BitFenix Alchemy Modular Multisleeved Cables offer a premium ultra-dense weave and a unique multisleeved construction for an unparalleled look. These premium cables feature precision molded connectors and come in a variety of colors and cable types, enabling modders to transform normal PCs into objects of wonderment. Alchemy 2.0 quality is manufactured to premium standards with the use of premium materials. These connectors use High Current Alloy Terminals to provide the best connection on the terminal and minimize the efficiency drop in modular connections. Using pure copper strand cables that are up to 16AWG thick, Alchemy 2.0 reduces the resistance while increasing efficiency in modular cables. The premium quality of Alchemy 2.0 cables is achieved through a heat shrink-less sleeving process. The special cables used in the manufacturing improve the flexibility of the sleeved cables and extend the lifetime of the product. To improve aesthetics, Alchemy 2.0 cable kits come with rubber cable combs which prevent damage to the sleeve unlike plastic combs. These combs can be cut into different sizes to fit with different cables. Alchemy 2.0 sleeved cables are designed to replace the standard modular cables of the modular power supplies from the ...



ADATA Reveals HD650X and HD710M USB 3.0 External Hard Drives

ADATA Reveals HD650X and HD710M USB 3.0 External Hard Drives Durable and stylish Xbox and military-themed instant storage expansion Taipei, Taiwan – Feb. 4, 2016 – ADATA® Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and storage devices today launched the HD650X external hard drive for Xbox One and the HD710M camouflage-styled drive. Both are available in up to 2TB and connect via USB 3.0. The HD650X delivers high speed storage expansion for Xbox gamers that want more space for an ever-growing library of games and apps. The drive features a green color scheme that matches Xbox branding and style and is based on the ruggedized ADATA HD650 for enhanced durability and portability. The HD650X is compatible with Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. The HD710M provides high-grade water, dust, and shock proofing, clad in a special edition woodland camouflage design. Keeping up with ever-larger games Xbox One consoles currently ship with 1TB drives, and gamers quickly find themselves wanting additional storage as major game releases regularly clock in at above 50GB per title with patches, updates, and downloadable content. This is where the HD650X comes in. Users can choose 2TB, doubling available storage on their Xbox and ensuring ample capacity for the remainder of the console generation. The HD650X helps gamers avoid having to choose between getting new content and deleting previously-installed games, apps, and media. The HD650X is an...



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A Tech Report Review may Inadvertently Point to something Huge for Overclocking

I’d have to hang up my writer’s badge if I failed to mention what I just saw. Sometimes it’s helpful to have nothing to do but slowly watch the Twitter feed tick down to the next, newest thing. In this case, ASUS pointed out a review in which their ROG Maximus VIII Impact had achieved nearly as high of an overclock as other full ATX boards that The Tech Report had previously reviewed. While that’s impressive for a mini-ITX system to achieve such potential, the way it happened could signify a design change for all high end overclocking boards in the future. Apparently, 3D concepts aren’t meant to only be used by memory and storage chips. Even motherboards themselves can decide to go up rather that out. This is how the Impact manages to squeeze in an eight-plus-two phase VRM on that tiny mini-ITX form factor. By using a daughterboard that juts up from the top of the mainboard, ASUS can squeeze those extra VRMs on there while still keeping the small size. I think this could have another inadvertent effect. We all know those VRMs are right next to the CPU socket and we know that both parts are the largest heat sources on the actual mainboard. By sticking the VRMs on a separate board, it could possibly create a little heat island that doesn’t affect the CPU socket nearly as much and allows the cooling to more thoroughly handle the chip, allowing it to be pushed farther! I could be reading way too much into this. Of course, the biggest reason ...



QNAP Releases QTS 4.2 for QTS-Android Dual-system NAS TAS-168/268: Empowering Home Entertainment with New Features

QNAP Releases QTS 4.2 for QTS-Android Dual-system NAS TAS-168/268: Empowering Home Entertainment with New Features Taipei, Taiwan, February 4, 2016 – QNAP® Systems, Inc. today officially released QTS 4.2, the smart NAS operating system, for the QTS-Android Combo NAS TAS-168 and TAS-268. Now users can enjoy the streamlined UI design and enhanced new features on TAS-168/268 for rich multimedia entertainment and for smarter, smoother and more spectacular cloud experiences with stronger security. “QTS 4.2 introduces a new interface design for its desktop, Storage Manager, and multiple other applications for an improved user experience. The TAS-168/268 combines QTS 4.2 and Android™ dual systems to further enrich users’ needs for multimedia applications,” said Hanz Sung, Product Manager of QNAP, adding “The system core of QTS 4.2 is more streamlined and efficient compared with previous versions, providing the Android system with additional resources to run apps smoother, bringing better home entertainment experiences.” TAS-168/268 is the world’s first NAS-Android Combo. Supporting QTS & Android dual systems that share the same storage database, the TAS-168/268 allows users to simultaneously access media files and documents from either system. With a compact mini-tower design, the TAS-168/268 comfortably fits in homes and small offices/workspaces. Coupled with up to terabytes of storage capacity and 4K (H.264 & H.265) HDMI-out, the TAS-168/268 is the o...



AMD Releases a Desktop Processor Update

At this point, refreshes on old architecture is becoming even older news. Zen is getting closer and closer with each passing day, but in the mean time AMD is trying to keep some refreshes coming our way so that sales won’t completely stagnate until their whole line-up gets a much needed refresh. In looking at these releases, it’s not the products themselves that piqued my interest, but certain changes that indicate good things about Zen. Let’s look at two in particular. The first thing I liked was the 8370 being offered slightly cheaper without the Wraith cooler. For serious overclockers, even a stock cooler as nice as the Wraith is something we’ll never use. If AMD starts offering chip-only packages that save the buyer a few dollars that can go towards the high end cooler of choice, that’s a great deal for enthusiasts. I understand that this could also lead to some headaches when certain buyers don’t pay attention to what they’re getting, but I hope it’s something that becomes a trend with upcoming releases. The second thing I liked was an impressive amount of power savings on a new APU coming up. The A10-7860K is replacing the 7850K, but even with the same CPU boost frequency and a higher GPU frequency, the chip is only rated at a low 65W TDP. Saving 30 watts in power consumption is impressive considering the stats and it makes me think think that between this and the demo at CES, AMD’s next GPU lineup is going to m...



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SWIFTECH Keeps Reshaping the AIO Market for the Best with the Drive X2 Series

Companies that can take an amazing product and say it wasn’t good enough scare the daylights out of me! SWIFTECH gave me a heart attack. The H220-X and H240-X were the first coolers to really bring the AIO product to the level of a custom loop. The use of a high quality block with a custom quality pump and reservoir was bound to mean great performance. That wasn’t good enough for SWIFTECH however, so now they have improved the previous versions, as well as adding larger 360mm rads in the H320 X2 Prestige and H320 X2. The Drive X2 series comes in three different sizes and while the 240mm and 280mm units are pretty normal, it’s the 360mm unit that is adding a new selection to the previous versions. The H320 obviously caught my eye, especially since each variant still comes with a full brass/copper radiator. Most AIOs are built around aluminum rads which can keep cost down, but can certainly lack in the quality and performance the H320s can bring. Currently, the main differences between the Prestige and the regular version are some slightly better fans and fittings. Performance wise, there’s likely to be little difference, but expand ability should be a bit easier on the Prestige. The $215 price on the Prestige is expected, but I was pleasantly surprised with the $165 price on the regular H320 X2. Let’s look at some other key features that really set the Drive X2 series apart, some more than others. First, we have RGB lighting in the reserv...



BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 Available Now

BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 Available Now  Drive your game with the new BIOSTAR H170GT3   January 28th, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR proudly introduces the latest addition to its new flagship gaming series with the BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3. Meeting the needs of gamers’ by providing features perfect for an all-around gaming system. Like all BIOSTAR RACING series motherboards, the H170GT3 features improved features dedicated for gaming and entertainment with the RACING H170GT3 focusing on a balance of features and accessibility for light-purpose machines to heavyweight muscle rigs. Balanced and Tuned  The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 simplifies decision-making for gamers by providing a platform which can scale with the gamer. Supporting the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors, the RACING H170GT3 enables gamers to have the latest technology powering their systems for the best experience when they play. Support for high-speed storage via M.2 and SATA Express enables high-speed access to data so games load faster so you can get to the action quicker. Gamers will also be able to show-off their personal style via VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED FUN features allowing customizable lighting for gamers who want a color-themed rig.  The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 supports dual-GPU configuration via AMD Crossfire for upgraders looking to get more FPS in their systems with another AMD Radeon GPU which supports AMD Crossfire technology. The motherboard has optimal spacing in-between the P...



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NZXT is taking the Edge off with the Manta

I keep thinking I’m looking through a fish lens, but it’s actually the new design on a mini-ITX case just revealed from NZXT. The Manta is bringing a new aesthetic design to the computer case, challenging the idea that everything has to be box shaped. It looks very sharp and it seems to give a bit of a modern edge to an already modern industry. The Manta may be bringing a new aesthetic design, but there’s a practical purpose behind it as well. The first thing I latched onto about this case was how the rounded design gives more space for cable management. That’s hugely advantageous for smaller systems, especially since the Manta can house a full sized PSU. What’s also intriguing is the amount of liquid cooling space this case has. It can handle a full 280mm rad on top, as well as one in the front. It’s great to be able to fit a Kraken X61 in there, but custom loop builders will be able to do a great setup for overclocking the CPU, motherboard and the GPU. On top of all of that, there’s matte finishes, some nice color choices, a PSU cover and an included fan hub. NZXT seems to be outdoing themselves on this case which is impressive considering their offerings. Looks are important, but functionality has to be right as well. The Manta seems to have the best of both worlds. Personally, I’d love to see what some good case mods could do with this shape. Sure, I have Star Wars on the brain, but I can’t help wishing for a good K...



ECS announces brand new LIVA mini PC at CES 2016

ECS announces brand new LIVA mini PC at CES 2016 One liter book-size Core i mini PC [Taipei – Taiwan] World’s leading hardware manufacturer – Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) is proud to introduce its brand new LIVA mini-PC – One at CES 2016. It features a flexible hardware configuration in a book-size, one-liter form factor. In addition, LIVA mini PC with Windows 10 will have a remote control application natively built-in; providing full wireless usage with your own mobile devices. ECS will also display the World’s first HDMI 2.0 motherboard – LEET Gaming Z170-CLAYMORE, which offers doubled FPS (up to 60) UHD 4K screen with an advanced video experience. About ECS ECS, Elitegroup Computer Systems, was established in 1987. In recent years, ECS’s main focus has expanded from motherboards to All-in-One PCs, notebook computers, Mini PC and other mobile products. ECS is strongly committed to developing cutting-edge technology in order to create innovative products under environmentally friendly designs. ECS’s comprehensive quality control system ensures all of ECS products can be counted on for stability and reliability. Visit http://www.ecs.com.tw to learn more.



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Everything else we saw at CES 2016

Intro CES was a ton of fun and we already saw a ton of great releases coming up. Now it’s time to sum up the rest of what we could get to. Some parts of the show may not have been as relevant to high end computer components as others, but it didn’t stop the exhibitors from showing us some impressive feats. If you want to jump to a specific page, just click on the exhibitor below to take you straight there, or you can see each one by going through each page. So without further ado, here’s the rest of what we were able to see at CES 2016!   ADATA MSI INTEL NZXT CREATIVE D-LINK MYCHARGE



CableMod WideBeam LED Strips

CableMod® WideBeam™ LED Strips Premier Purveyor of Premium PC Cables Perfects the LED Strip (January 22, 2015) – With the release of premium CableMod cables just one short year ago, PC enthusiasts can see the difference some innovation and care makes to PC cables. Today, CableMod announces our foray into the world of PC lighting with CableMod WideBeam™ LED Strips – the ultimate PC lighting solution. CableMod WideBeam LED Strips exhibit the very same care and attention to detail that CableMod brings to PC cables. We’ve rethought virtually every component – from the adhesive and power connector, to the LEDs themselves. The result of all of this is a series of LED strips that truly have no equal – a perfect lighting solution for the discerning PC enthusiast. The story begins with the specially-designed LEDs used on these LED strips. Dubbed WideBeam™, these LEDs are not only some of the brightest available, but also feature a beam angle that is up to fifty percent wider than conventional LEDs for a more even lighting effect. With WideBeam LEDs, you can be sure that your prized components are lit evenly and beautifully. Modern PC cases are being made from a wide variety of materials, which means one adhesive doesn’t fit all. To address this, WideBeam LED Strips come in two series – Magnetic and Foam. Designed for cases made out of steel, the WideBeam Magnetic Series have several rare earth magnets underneath the waterproof resin. These magnets are super...






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