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Latest News & Reviews

Intel Working on Discrete GPUs Sounds Good, but Might be Bad

At the end of last year, news came out that Raja Koduri was leaving AMD and moving over to Intel. I guess I can’t gauge what the general response was from the enthusiast community, but I personally felt like that was a bit of a slap in the face for those hoping for a Radeon turn around. Vega sounded interesting, but the end results were no where near what expectations were building it up to be. Now, it looks like a leak is showing that Intel is developing two discrete GPU solutions and while more competition is typically a good thing, the move could be a net negative to the industry instead. The most obvious ramification of this news is that we could end up with a more competitive environment to combat Nvidia. While the Green Giant has certainly fared well in the graphics division, they also have a price tag to match. I’m not saying they don’t deserve it, but it’s always nice when tough competition gives builders more value for their money. On the other hand, there’s a couple of things here that really bother me. First, this adds a third driver to the arena that developers will have to take seriously. Sure, Intel iGPUs pose a similar issue, but the low level performance of the hardware indicates it might not be as huge of a concern to AAA. This may be a concern that’s completely non-legitimate, but the concern of Intel hiring Raja may be of more concern. As much as I hate to say it, Vega is a failed launch in terms of gaming and Raja pro...


Phanteks Announces Revolt X and Revolt Pro, Dual System or Dual PSU

The hardware industry revolves around upgrading systems through replacement. Out with old and in with the new works for some, but many of us have budgets that limit what we can replace. Modular upgrades is the ticket and Phanteks has a great option coming that will do just that in the PSU world. The Revolt Pro allows you to add a PSU to an existing one, but first let’s look at the Revolt X. I’ll admit, I can’t think of a ton of situations where having one PSU to individually power two systems would be useful. It could save money to have one strong unit, but simultaneously hooking up two systems to one PSU is more suited to reviewers. The Revolt Pro definitely peaks my interest, but I think it needs a bit of a tweak. It’s great to be able to combine two units to work for one system. Not only can it save a reasonable amount of wear with load balancing, but it leaves a buyer open to easily upgrade their power down the road when it’s needed. Right now it has an 850w and 1000w option, but the wattage seems a bit high, even for many enthusiasts. A 500w and 650w would be great options for first builds, giving the buyer a chance to upgrade to a wattage that’s not quite as over the top. Everything being said, the 850W Revolt pro is marked at $130. If you told me I could have a 1700W PSU for $260, I’d definitely be interested. Seriously! You can go to Newegg and check the 1500W+ PSUs to see that this ends up being a fantastic deal. On top of...


Gigabyte Gives us our First Taste of X470 with the Aorus Gaming 7, Great Audio Please?

I hate living vicariously through others, but I couldn’t get to CES this year so I have no choice. PC Perspective managed to answer my one major question though, so I’ll point you in their direction for the meatier details of the new motherboard after this. I’ve been waiting for Aorus to give us a Gaming 7 AMD board for a while now and I’m not completely surprised that it’s coming to the next chipset in the Ryzen family. The Aorus X470 Gaming 7 has plenty of cool features and a great VRM heatsink, but I really hope they do a very important thing with the built in audio. Right off the bat, we can see that we’ll have built in WiFi connectivity and the M.2 heatsinks look great. Cooling relies on surface area and these covers actually have fins to help dissipate NVMe heat production. Speaking of surface area, it feels like it’s been a real long time since I’ve seen actual fins on the VRM heatsinks. Even the smallest amount of airflow will make a much larger impact in keeping the power delivery cooler for overclocking, which happens to have 10+2 phases. The only thing I wouldn’t mind seeing changed is a black powder coated finish on the heatsinks, which I believe would look a little nicer, but that’s just a matter of personal preference. What I REALLY hope for on this board though, is that they are going to use a very specific audio chipset. PC Perspective said there wasn’t details on the audio yet, so I’m ...


Crucial Announces MX500 SSDs….. Again?

This one confused me for quite a bit because I saw the tweet and immediately thought of the numerous MX drives I’m currently using. Turns out they are all MX300 variants, which cleared up all of my confusion. Crucial is looking to upgrade the MX lineup by using Micron’s 2nd generation 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. On paper, the speed improvements seem small, but it certainly puts the drives in closer range to some of the stalwarts of the SATA SSD realm. The charts will give you a great side-by-side comparison of the performance specs. Just click on the thumbnails to make them larger. The other difference that isn’t readily available there though, is the updates in the controller. The MX300 series used a Marvell one, but the new MX500 series will use the Silicon Motion SM2258. I had read that the MX300 suffered in performance because of the Marvell controller and even though my personal experience is great with them, it does give opportunity for the MX500 to give a significant improvement. Check out the link below to see more info at Crucial’s site, especially since the MX500 will likely be a great option for a storage upgrade. http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/ct1000mx500ssd1


I’m So in Love with the Enermax Saberay and LiqFusion

Enermax is a crazy amazing company in my opinion. It’s always hard to review certain products because sometimes, price is a hard factor to ignore. If I could take 5 years to review a product, I could quantify quality much better, but in a short time period, it puts us reviewers in tight spots. Then again, there are products that just blow me away beyond imagination. So while I take a second to shed my tears for not being at the Enermax booth this year (#newborn), let’s dive into some amazing looking products with the Saberay, the LIQFusion, and a mining version of the MaxTytan. Oh Saberay, I’ve dreamed of you every day since the moment I first saw you in 2017! It may have taken a year, but it looks like it will be well worth the wait. For starters, Enermax puts a TON of space in a mid-tower design. I almost feel like it should be a full tower. The space available makes this design excellent for liquid cooling, custom or closed loop. The features I loved most about this case was the one latch, easy to remove panels. Enermax still has those, but you can see the big change that happened from 2017. Enermax added their 4 ring RGB fans to the mix. The lighting is absolutely gorgeous on these fans and it’s even better in this case. The best news is seeing an available date for 2018. The release can’t make it here fast enough! Next, we need to talk about CLCs and reconsider who makes the best looking unit. Before we do that though, let’s talk ab...


Samsung Announces HBM2 Aquabolt, Getting Closer to Really Mainstream

How did I miss that Samsung is producing HBM? Maybe I didn’t miss it, but I just forgot by the time I saw this announcement. Samsung has improved the performance of HBM2 by a pretty large margin and they’re continuing to ramp up production in order to provide supply to manufacturers abroad. We get it! HBM2 is really fast and since you can get the technical details from the link below, I want to explain what I hope to see in the near future with better/cheaper HBM2. The biggest gaping hole in the market that I see is the lack of HBM in RAM sticks. I’m sure this will mean new motherboards, chipsets, the whole nine yards, yet I can only imagine what this development could mean. Not only would we have aggressively impressive memory performance, but I would be willing to bet that RAM slots would get trimmed down to the size of a SODIMM slot on a regular ATX sized motherboard. While mainstream and gaming boards wouldn’t require an excess of 4 slots, imagine a platform like Threadripper being able to squeeze 16 slots into one board! Even then, we may see a day when CPUs have HBM2 built into the die and RAM slots could be completely obsolete, though I feel like having a small slot is better for upgrade or replacement purposes. We’ve already seen the power and size efficiency of HBM on graphics cards, but wouldn’t it be great if every card came equipped with the technology, rather than only high end GPUs? Samsung is definitely helping make HBM2 a...


Ain’t Your Daddy’s ASRock! Killing it with M-ATX Threadripper Board

ASRock used to be the company you sort of settled with because of your budget, while you wished you could afford something better. Lately though, ASRock has been the must have company, yet they still fit into that nice budget. While I can’t vouch for their Intel boards as much, I’m finishing up a review of the X370 Taichi and, spoiler alert, that board might be the best AM4 one on the market to date. With CES in full swing, it looks like ASRock has a M-ATX Threadripper board as well as some others to announce. Squeezing Threadripper into an M-ATX factor may not seem possible, but the X399M Taichi proves it can be done. Of course, ASRock proves more than the simple fact it can be done. Sure, you do end up with only 4 RAM slots, but there’s still an 11 power phase design, Purity Sound 4 and a decent number of USB 2.0 and 3.0 connections. The heatsink design also looks excellent with it’s grey color design, especially since it will easily complement nearly any component or case. ASRock managed to do a similar concept with the X299M Extreme4, which supports LGA 2066 Intel chips and they also announced a new mini desktop system. Those are bit less on the overclocking features I usually queue in on, but you can check out more details in the link below. I have to admit, going smaller on the form factor is becoming more appealing to me, especially when power isn’t sacrificed. Full ATX boards are still offering more in overclocking and features, but th...


Nvidia’s CES 2018 isn’t Super Exciting, but still Relevant

For the most part, the only real news we want to hear from Nvidia is what’s coming down the pipes for graphics card releases. This makes sense because we’re a hardware site, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t other important announcements to keep an eye out for. Many of us get into PC hardware because of gaming and Nvidia just made two very important steps in the gaming arena. For starters, we have the announcement of the BFGDs, or Big Format Game Displays. Sure, a 65″ display would be fun to play on, but most of us live in the real world and even if we could afford such a monstrosity, would still have no where we could put it. No, what’s really important is the specs behind these displays. We’re talking full 4k support AND 120 Hz refresh rate. While it will take hefty hardware to support this, the ability for more than 60 Hz on a 4k display is a great step in the right direction. In light of this, Nvidia also announced the free beta for the Geforce Now app. Does your computer suck? Geforce now let’s you play games remotely using Nvidia’s top notch hardware, while streaming it back to your display at a much higher quality than what the computer could normally handle. These announcements could really change PC gaming for the masses. A consumer could invest in a high-end 4k display, hook it up to even a laptop that has just enough power to support it, and enjoy high quality gaming without spending thousands of dollars on m...





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