RGB Elegance Crazy amounts of colorful lighting can look impressive. It also tends to lend itself to a gaudy appearance. A large reason for this is the lack of precise control of the lighting schemes. NZXT is tackling this problem head on with their latest addition of HUE 2 accessories. The goal is to allow a builder to have a plethora of lighting, while being able to expertly synchronize color schemes as well.
Merging Classic and Modern Lian Li is one of the elegant case manufacturers. They typically use aluminum construction, but certain designs come with some hefty price tags. The other issue buyers can have with aluminum designs is that they can feel like the case is a bit boring. What’s a company to do? If you’re Lian Li, you make an amazing, innovative design. The Lancool One mixes the best of classic aluminum, and the best of modern beauty.
The Best AIO Just Got Better! I had the opportunity to test out the Drive X2 all-in-one CPU cooler from Swiftech. It was easily one of the best liquid coolers I’d ever seen! Essentially, Swiftech created a pre-assembled custom loop. CLCs pail in comparison to what their units can offer. As expected, the company has improved the design yet again and the Drive X3 was released about a week ago. There looks to be some serious improvements on the design that will likely increase performance, but definitely increases the aesthetic quality.
Who is Eluktronics? You would be forgiven if you asked who Eluktronics is. To be fair, I was actually looking for a completely different NVMe drive when I stumbled across them. On the other hand, I’m glad I did. The company looks like it became an official business in 2011. All considering, that’s incredible young even for a tech biz. The large portion of their products seems to come from laptops. If you’ve ever wanted a BYO option for a gaming laptop, this is the company to check out. I might address that more later, but let’s get back to the NVMe drive.
More Arctic in the US If you don’t know Arctic Cooling, now is a great time to get acquainted. The company has some impressive CPU cooling designs that focus on performance. They may not be the company for flashy RGB right now. On the other hand, it’s one of the great things about them. In fact, the Liquid Freezer line of CLCs has great performance at a great price as well. The opening of a warehouse in Florence, SC should help with better product availability in North America.
The Mother of All Boards I’m a huge fan of Gigabyte’s Aorus branding. The latest addition to their lineup is the X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard. Since Threadripper Gen 2 is about to release, it makes sense that we’ll see some board refreshes. It looks like the Xtreme pulls out all the stops. The design continues what the X470 Gaming 7 introduced in fins on the heat sinks, RGB covers and addressable lighting. That said, there is a large gamut of solid performance features as well.
Intro to LIQTech TR4 II With Threadripper Gen 2 on the horizon, CPU cooling is becoming a subject of importance. Enermax introduced the LIQTech TR4 as a solution for the large IHS on the chip. Now, AMD isn’t the only company with a redesign. The LIQTech TR4 II can support 500W+ TDP of cooling, which should help with overclocking as well. The pump has a 450 l/h flow rate, a huge amount for a CLC unit. All around, the features are great for Threadripper, but I theorize that these same features could improve cooling performance for all CLCs.
ChinaJoy Say What? The SUBOR announcement is something you would think would make a huge splash. AMD has a new gaming console? That’s big news! That said, announcing a new console at ChinaJoy may not mean a whole lot to you. It might help if I told you that this particular trade show is the largest gaming and digital entertainment show in Asia. The company is actually called Subor, but the console appears to have the same name. This is a new gaming PC expected to launch later this year in China.
Software News? Really!?! Look! I get it. This is a hardware site and you probably want hardware news. But here me out. NZXT has been doing great things with their CAM software. Forge is a company that specializes in capturing and sharing PC game play. If you put two and two together, it looks like NZXT is heading towards making a capture device that doesn’t hamper gaming performance during use.
Less than Stellar Releases When AMD first announced the chipsets for Ryzen, the B350 should have caught most everyone’s eye. It would still handle the premium features of other boards with overclocking and connection options. However, less PCIe lanes meant that it would only have what the majority of builders needed. A buyer could save some money, but still have excellent performance. That said, B350 boards axed too many high end features to make them worth it in comparison to X370. The B450 chipset was looking to have similar problems with most manufacturers, but Aorus stood out from the crowd.
P850W for mGPU Gigabyte is moving it’s Aorus branding to PSUs now. The P850W is being touted as a mGPU level unit that can handle 4k ready systems. If you’re running to 1070s or 1080s, or even a couple of RX 5xx series cards, then 850W is plenty. Two 1080 Tis would probably benefit from having a 1000W and when you start looking at two Vega GPUs, 1200W isn’t a bad idea. This makes the new units a solid release from Aorus, but we need something a little more interesting to get excited here.
Sport AT for TUF Gaming I may be an RGB-oholic, but I appreciate companies showing love to those who aren’t. Ballistix added the Sport AT model to their lineup. While it takes some rugged design notes from the Tactical Tracer RGB series, it forgoes the fancy lighting for a more mature design. (I know, I admit to my immaturity!) In particular the yellow highlights on the heat spreaders match particularly well with the Asus TUF branding of motherboards.
NZXT Launches E Series Remember when NZXT was just a case and cooler company? Pepperidge Farm remembers. The company has upped their game in some incredible ways. First they introduced a motherboard, and now they have PSUs. Okay, they’ve had PSUs, but these ones are special. The E Series gives builders a choice between a 500W, 650W and 850W model. All three are rated with an 80 PLUS Gold efficiency, which quite frankly is more than enough for normal use. You might think NZXT is just jumping on a bandwagon, but that’s seriously not the case here.
It's addressable!!! I also keep emphasizing that Raijintek is a company you should keep an eye on. There isn't much we can add to on the CWB-RGB CPU Block cooling without testing, but the light ring around the edge, as well as the light rings around the ports, looks fantastic.
My quest for the perfect price/features monitor isn't over yet, but I found another intriguing entry that's worth taking a look at. A Japan based company named iiyama has a 32" curved monitor that also has a VA panel, and a 144 Hz, FreeSync refresh range. The listed price is only $377, which is fantastic!