First Pascal GPU’s to be Unveiled at Computex 2016?

Some of the first cards to run utilizing the all new “Pascal” architecture made by Nvidia, may debut at Computex 2016. The show is going to be in Late may / Early June in Taipei and is one of the biggest ICT shows in the world and you can be sure the eTeknix team will be there to catch the latest news from the event!

Mass shipments should start sometime in July according to Digitimes, the Taiwan based industry observer. With Nvidia unveiling the new cards via its add-in card (AIC) partners, with large manufacturers such as ASUS, MSI, and GIGABYTE being at the event.

The new GPU will be based on the GP104 chip and utilize GDDR5X VRAM; a whopping 8GB is rumored to be the amount. The leaked specs show it having a single eight-pin power connector, meaning that (due to electrical capacity) the max power usage would be 225W, though it could use a lot less power. The 980 is only 165W so this card can’t be a huge amount more. The leaked specs also tell us that it could feature up to 6144 CUDA cores and a whopping 12.6 Teraflops. We’re not sure how accurate these specs are as they have been sourced from various places, only time will tell. Either way, Computex 2016 is going to be huge this year.

So far, we can accurately say:

  • 2x performance per watt estimated improvement over Maxwell
  • DirectX 12_1 or higher
  • Successor to the GM200 GPU in the 980TI
  • Built on 16nm manufacturing process

It will be interesting to see the Polaris release too, as there is going to be some very tough competition on the GPU market shortly and that’s obviously great news for consumers.

Which cards are you most excited about this year, AMD’s or Nvidia’s latest? Let us know in the comments section below.

Two More Publishers Not Attending E3 2016

E3 is one of the biggest gaming events in the world, but it seems that E3 2016 isn’t going to be showing off some of the biggest names in the industry, and that’s a worrying sign for the event organizers and visitors. Following news earlier this week that EA and Activision won’t be having their own booth at all this year, it now appears that both Disney and Wargaming won’t be in attendance either.

Generally, you might think that if they haven’t got a game ready to show, what’s the point in showing up? However, these are huge studios that have always got something in the pipeline as well as many existing AAA franchises to show off. It’s not that they don’t want to, but that E3 is often a multi-million dollar investment in terms of showing off hardware, staff, promotional materials and more. More often these days, we’re seeing publishers and manufacturers hold their own, much smaller and more affordable events where they can ensure everyone is focused on what they want them to be.

“From a company perspective, we’re focusing a large majority of activities on events focused on our players and community,” said a Wargaming representative in an email to VentureBeat. “Whether it’s a small group of players or hundreds at one of our player gatherings, they’re our main priority.

So it seems that Wargaming are wanting to be more community focused, which certainly makes sense. But so too are Disney, who said they want to do “additional direct to fan engagements through the summer this year,” according a spokesperson contacted by VentureBeat.

Speaking to Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications at the Entertainment Software Association, Venturebeat tried to get the perspective of the show runners.

“Individual companies will make their own decisions in each iteration of E3,” said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of communications at the Entertainment Software Association. “Overall, E3 for the past several years as been among the best shows we have ever experienced. E3 remains a dynamic and valuable and preeminent show of its kind in the world for video games, entertainment, and innovation. It’s still the place to be. We had 27 companies showing virtual reality at E3 [2015], and we expect a similarly strong showing of that technology this year. It remains a very important place to be. We dominate social media. We dominate a lot of traditional media. It’s a launch pad without peer in this industry and entertainment across the board.”

E3 is far from going under, but it’s an interesting trend, as with such big names dropping out, attendance could be lower, causing other companies to play it safe and drop out too.

RollerCoaster Tycoon is Making a Comeback in 2016!

The PC platform is home to a huge array of iconic simulation games including Theme Hospital and RollerCoaster Tycoon. During my childhood, the ability to open a hospital, and try to manage the budget while offering good healthcare was a fairly enticing proposition. Admittedly, I preferred it to the theme park titles, because I’ve never been overly fond of rollercoasters. Nevertheless, the formula for any simulation game is really enjoyable and recent examples like Cities: Skylines illustrates their popularity. Clearly, one of the most fondly remembered simulation games is RollerCoaster Tycoon which allows you to build thrilling rides, and create other amenities.

RollerCoaster Tycoon was originally released on March, 31st 1999, and starting to show its age. Thankfully, a sequel entitled, RollerCoaster Tycoon World is in production and scheduled for a 2016 release. Furthermore, the development studio has promised the latest instalment will be a completely different experience from the mobile version and without any microtransactions. According to Mashable, RollerCoaster Tycoon World adopts a similar focus which properly honours the previous game. Additionally, there’s endless potential for replayability as players can share custom created content and upload them directly to the Steam Community.

Sadly, it seems the current build isn’t a graphical masterpiece and doesn’t evoke the same kind of fidelity seen in Cities: Skylines. Atari also demoed the game on an Alienware laptop which just about hovered over the minimum requirements. This resulted in severe frame drops, slow loading times and various crashes to the desktop. Hopefully, this is an isolated incident and the final version will have a greater level of polish. Perhaps, the performance is improved on better hardware as the engine might not be well suited to mobile chipsets.

Even though rollercoaster simulators aren’t to my taste, it’s fantastic to see a classic being revived. Hopefully it lives up to people’s expectations and provides a fantastic experience.

Cooler Master Launched Case Mod World Series 2016

Case modding has become very popular again and it isn’t just something that a few select sponsored people do. A lot of people take it upon themselves to make their existing or new rigs just a little more fly. If you should be among those people, then you might want to pay attention to this as you could end up being one of the people walking away with 30,000 USD in cash and prizes. Cooler Master has launched the Case Mod World Series 2016 which is sponsored by ASUS, Avexir, Dremel, NVIDIA, and OCZ. Those are all some familiar names with some quality products.

The Case Mod World Series is designed to connect modders everywhere and 2016 is the seventh time it is being held where Cooler Master expanded the scope of the series to include local meet and greets, and modding sessions. The participants will be judged in four equally weighted areas that are complexity, design, originality, and overall look. The judgement will be done by the sponsoring companies as well as an international panel of judges: Ermanno Bonandini from Italy, Ronnie Hara from Brazil via Japan, Richard Keirsgieter from The Netherlands, Antony Leather from The UK, Richard Surroz and Brian Farrell from the USA.

“Modding has exploded in recent years and is taking root in every corner of the globe. The Case Mod World Series is about fuelling that growth. It’s about igniting the modding spirit – the maker spirit – on the web and right in your community,” said Michelle Wu, Global Community Manager. “This year, we will be running local events to involve modders everywhere. Together, with the generous support of our sponsors, we hope to enable the modding community the world over. ”

The registration is open now and will run until June the 12th, 2016. You need a Cooler Master Forum account to get going, but it is free and the Case Mod mini-site has all the details in that regard. The Info Hub will keep you updated with posts along the way and as previously mentioned, you can win a lot of prizes.

There are three categories with three places in each. The first place winner in the Tower Mod contest will walk away with $3000 USD in cash, any Cooler Master case of their choice, a V1200 PSU, MasterAir Maker 8 cooler, QuickFire Xti keyboard, Sentinel III mouse and Sirus headset. The motherboard is sponsored by Asus and is a Maximus VIII Formula while the GPU power comes from two GTX 980 Ti cards. Along with that, the first place winner gets OCZ SSD, Avexir Memory and a Dremel 8050 Micro tool. You can also see the full list of prizes for the different categories on the mini-site.

Best of CES 2016 – QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook

We saw a lot of great products at this year’s show, but the latest storage device from QNAP really stood out from the crowd. While deploying huge NAS systems is no bad thing, they offer lots of potential for storing huge amounts of data at a competitive price, the new M.2 SSD NASBook could be the future of NAS systems.

Offering up a super compact form factor, this little box runs quiet, hold up to four M.2 drives and offers up blisteringly fast performance. When it comes to building a connected home multimedia setup, or managing all of your personal data, this could be the perfect NAS for the job.

Equipped with 4 x m.2 SSD bays, support for 2280/2260/2242 SATA 6Gb/s SSDs, 2 RAM slots for up to 8GB of DDR3L RAM, a powerful Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core Braswell processor with built-in Intel HD Graphics, the NASBook can transcode 4K video in real-time! I know I would love one of these as part of my own home setup, it’s small enough and stylish enough to place under your TV, in your office, or anywhere for that matter. With the added bonus of great connectivity and a built in gigabit switch to make it a true hub for your home/office.

QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook

Check out our full CES coverage of the QNAP M.2 SSD NASBook here or check out our latest QNAP storage, news, reviews and competitions here!

Best of CES 2016 – NZXT CAM Software

CES 2016: NZXT has been working hard on making their CAM software the ultimate one stop shop for monitoring and getting the most out of your desktops performance. Previous versions of the software were certainly impressive, but with CAM 3 and what we’ve seen is to come in updates throughout 2016 and beyond, it’s already the best of the best.

After speaking with NZXT, they told us how they’ve focused on pushing new features to the software, doubled the number of staff working on its development and the end results are certainly starting to show. There’s still a stigma in the community that you need NZXT products, such as Hue lighting, Kraken coolers and more to use the software, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth, as it’s compatible with any desktop Windows system. However, if you do own other connected NZXT products, they can all be controlled from extra tabs that will appear in the software, giving you even more control over your system.

Innovative features such as the average temperature monitoring are really cool. If you have a GTX 980Ti and 5000 other users of the software do, you can see what the average idle and load temperatures for that card are amongst other users, allowing you to better detect if your card is really reaching its full capabilities in terms of performance and cooling. Another in development feature looks to do the same for overclocking, monitoring what other models of the same card achieved and allowing a one-click apply of the average; super easy overclocking for all.

Colour customisation, customisable in-game performance overlays, performance logging so you can compare your per-game, daily, weekly, monthly figures to see how your system is doing, or if updates and overclocks have made a real world difference. There’s also a rather fantastic full-screen mode, great for tracking performance on multiple display systems.

The list goes on and on for features of CAM, and we highly recommend you try it out. If you’re still a little sceptical, we’ll be bringing you an in-depth review in the very near future.

NZXT CAM Software

Check out all our latest NZXT CES 2016 content, news and reviews right here.

League of Legends 2016 Ranked Season Begins Soon!

League of Legends’ popularity is difficult to exaggerate and showcases the viability of the free-to-play business model. When MMOs were still primarily opting for a subscriptions, Riot Games decided to implement free access with various micropayments. This worked superbly for the company and League of Legends is one of the most successful MOBAs worldwide today. More specifically, as of January 2014, over 67 million people played League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours. Not only that, the prize pool in 2014 and 2015 are some of the largest ever seen in eSports history, amounting to 2.3 million dollars. Even though I’m not a seasoned League of Legends player, this success has caught my attention and encouraged me to give the game a try!

The 2016 ranked season is scheduled to begin on January 20th and here is a complete rundown of the key changes:

Seeding

As usual, you’ll have ten placement games to fight through before settling in to your tier and division, ready for the climb. Your placement is still heavily influenced by where you ended up last season and what you accomplished during preseason. If you’ve never played ranked, then your placements will be all that matters!

Preseason brought some substantial changes to the game (learn more about preseason here, so we’re again running a soft reset before placements kick off. As with previous years because of the soft reset, you’ll likely place lower than where you ended last year.

New Champ Select and Dynamic Groups

Now each player chooses two positions (or fill!) before queueing up to find a team. We’ve also replaced the solo/duo queue with a dynamic group queue, where you’ll be able to climb the ladder with any number of teammates. You’ll still need to be of similar rank to your queue-buddies, and we designed the system so groups will almost always play against similarly grouped opponents. We’re watching this very closely, but we’re confident this change makes it easier to compete with friends of similar skill levels and better emphasizes the team nature of League.

Check out more on new champ select and dynamic groups at the Season 2016 update.

Promo Helper and High MMR Queue Time Adjustments

Promo Helper means when you’re in a division lower than Gold 1, if you lose a promotional series, the next time you enter your series, you’ll start with at least one win.

We’re also optimizing high-level matchmaking to identify epically skilled players faster and widen the MMR range for finding games at the pinnacle of amateur competition.

Learn more about Promo Helper and high MMR adjustments here.

Rewards

This year we’re exploring new possibilities for ranked rewards, but we don’t have anything ready to share just yet.

Do you play League of Legends extensively or find the skill barrier is too high?

New Form Of “SmartShoe” Shown Off At CES

The tech industry is focused on pushing forward with the notion of “Smart Tech” from washing machines, self-driving cars and also intelligent fridges, gadgets are quickly moving forward, but a SmartShoe? It is not too unusual when you take into consideration Nike’s inspiration for a Back to the Future-style smart self-lacing trainer which was shown off by Marty Mcfly himself, Michael J Fox in 2015.

Now, a new SmartShoe has been conveyed to audiences at CES and includes functions to warm your feet, which is handy, tighten automatically and are controlled by an app. The company in question goes by the name Digitsole and below is an image to convey this SmartShoe.

As you can see, they look futuristic but I feel the design looks rather clumsy and dated, perhaps they will be refined before launch. The company stated that the warmest these shoes can be heated to is 38 degrees, now, when I read this I thought Fahrenheit, erm, no, it has been reported that it is Celsius or 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Hopefully, the companies inbuilt thermostat will be able to control the heat within the shoes, otherwise, one can see you will also need an inbuilt fire extinguisher.

The price for these shoes will be around $450 dollars or (£307) and are likely to contain Digisoles heated insoles which are already on sale for $198 dollars or (£130)

The company also plans to launch both a slightly more stylish pair of trainers and also a smart high-heeled shoe, both these styles will also come with the hot heated sole function as well as motion tracking and also other options, below are images to convey both these styles of SmartShoe.

Smart shoes will have a market as tech involves into this sector, it will be noteworthy to see how fast consumers are willing to adopt such tech within their daily lives.

Images courtesy of Mashable and digitsole

Razer Showcase Nabu Watch @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The new Razer Nabu Watch is on show in Las Vegas, and it’s clearly a big departure from the current Nabu wristband, it’s a lot bigger for starters! This is, at the very basic level, a digital watch. It features a separate battery that can last about 18 months and has a nice green LCD display for telling the time, it’s a watch and that’s about it. However, tucked just below the display is a secondary display, powered by its own rechargeable battery, This second display is a smaller version of the Nabu wristband, so it still gives you all the smart fitness tracking features you’ve come to know and love from that, as well as notifications, facebook messages and more. The battery life on this will be a few days long, so you’ll need to remember to charge it, just remember that the watch will keep on ticking under its own battery for a very long time.

I’m not completely sold on the rugged and somewhat oversized design, but it does look pretty cool and the softer wrist strap feels comfortable to wear.

Overall, it’s a cool two in one device and the price is said to be around £129.99 / $149.99, which is certainly more affordable that some similar devices on the market. What do you think of the new design?

Mushkin Display Latest Memory Products @ CES 2016

CES 2016: We’re here at the Mushkin suite in Las Vegas, and we’re very happy to see they’ve rolled out several new storage products for 2016. First up we have the Eco3, which features the Silicon Motion SM2256 controller, SATA 3.1 6Gb/s, and read and write speeds of 560MB/s and 515MB/s respectively with up to 87,000 IOPS. Additional features include SLC caching, Enhanced Data Protection Suite and a 3-year warranty.

The Eco3 is said to be exclusive to Newegg, at least for now, but the Triactor is virtually identical and will be available globally. No firm pricing at the moment, but expect it to be fiercely competitive.

The new 2TB reactor features the 2246 Silicon Motion controller and will launch in Q2.

The Striker, an enterprise focused SSD, is expect to launch late Q1. It will feature 565MB/s 88,000 IPS read and 550MB/s 92,000 IOPS write.

Pro camera users will be happy to see their new ICON compact flash cards, featuring 1066x speed with data transfers of 160MB/s and 256 and 512GB models being available in late Q1. Most interesting is that they’re expect to undercut the market prices of popular cards by a big margin, so keep an eye out for these.

Their latest prototype, two SM2246 controllers in RAID. The system will still handle this as a single drive, and performance will take a little bit of a hit, but when it comes to capacity for NAS setups, but expect a fantastic price per gigabyte option somewhere in Q2.

New and Upgraded Phanteks Chassis Products Revealed @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Phanteks are one of my all time favourite chassis manufacturers, and after visiting their suite in Las Vegas, it’s easy to remember why. Their Evolv ATX and Pro M chassis are already impressive in terms of design, but their new models now come with  a tempered glass side panel. While the chassis remains unchanged, this new model gives you a great way to show off your hardware and gives them an even more premium visual appreance.

Phanteks are known to be a premium brand, which means premium prices. However, their new Eclipse looks to take many of their high-end features down to a more affordable price point. Equipped with room for cooling, featuring a built-in lighting kit and a fan controller, the P400a is the best of the bunch. It comes with a side panel windows, PSU shroud, cable routing and more, so you can expect you system build to look fantastic, but there will also b ea more enclosed silent version as well as a more affordable model without the lighting or fan controller, giving you lots of options to choose from.

Expect these to be at retailers very soon and a full review from us as soon as they’re available, but either way, it’s nice to see them taking a shot at a slightly more consumer (and wallet) friendly part of the market.

Insteon Smart Home Technologies @ CES 2016

CES 2016: One of the biggest tech trends right now is a connected home, from Bluetooth-connected lightbulbs that you can control from your phone to smart TV’s, there are a lot of devices out there doing some amazing things. The latest range of products from Insteon work in harmony with a lot of the latest tech on the market, from Logitech products, Amazon Echo, Cortana, Milocks, Sonos, Apple HomeKit and many more. They add physical connections to your home, that are a far cry from the humble light switches you likely already have.

Control your remote multimedia, lighting, mobile devices, connected TVs and more as you enter the room. Set a button that plays your favourite song, sets your favourite lighting mood, puts the kettle on! The choice is really yours and it’s that kind of freedom of connectivity that is so attractive.

The main hub is sleek and stylish, simply add power and network connections and you’re good to go.

They’ll be shipping a starter kit, allowing mobile control of a few connected devices, but there’s no limit on how far you can expand your setup, the only limit will be your imagination… and maybe your budget.

EVGA Reveal Hydro QRG Expandable Cooler @ CES 2016

CES 2016: EVGA may be better known for their PSUs, graphics cards and other hardware, but now they’re expanding into the world of CPU coolers too! This isn’t the first time EVGA has dabbled with cooling through, having had many water cooled GPUs in recent years, so I have high expectations for their new QRG CPU Cooler.

The pump design is certainly unique and comes with a gorgeous LED-lit EVGA logo behind the clear top panel. The hoses are a good length, and come with a thick braiding over the top, and better yet, they come with quick release interlinks, allowing you to easily add a GPU into the mix; such as the Hydro EVGA series!

The cooler is set to launch soon, with just the 120mm version available initially, but expect other models to follow afterwards and if it’s successful, EVGA will be eager to expand on this range even further.

Synaptics Showcase Latest Innovations @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Synaptics are one of those huge brands that you may not have heard of, but it’s most likely that you’ve used or are using their products on a daily basis. When it comes to sensors, trackpads and more, they’re the masters of their craft and if you’ve got a notebook with a touch mouse, or a fingerprint sensor, tracker or more, chances are that Synaptics made or designed it.

One of my personal favourites is the TteSports Poseidon Z Touch, which comes with a SmartBar. You can slide and pinch control the space bar, allowing you to select things, change volume, zoom and more.

This is only a mockup, but a sensor has been installed into this Corsair keyboard. This means you can have a private system fingerprint scanner; no more password reminders for you!

The IronVeil sensor is just limited to a keyboard either, as it can easily be deployed into a huge range of products. Here you can see that Synaptics have installed one into some very popular gaming mice, albeit just to prove it can be done. With quick online payments becoming more common, as well as people being hacked or passwords being insecure, this is a great little tool and one that could pave the way for more security for your desktop.

Would you use a fingerprint sensor on your computer?

New Creative Audio Products Demonstrated @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Creative are one of the most recognisable audio brands in the PC market, and their latest products at CES 2016 prove exactly why that is.

First up, their new Blaster X headset, which looks a little like the Cloud 2 headset from Kingston, but thanks to a powerful amp module, it sounds far superior to virtually anything else in its class. The build quality is exceptional, it’s super comfortable and better yet, it’s multi-format ready.

Their new in-ear P5 headset is another winner, with titanium-coated diaphragms, FullSpectrum drivers, noise isolation, this is some seriously audiophile grade tech that will simply blow you away. And once again, they’re multi-format ready.

We didn’t get chance to test these, but as you can see, the Live!2, Aurvana Gold and the Aurvana Platinum are some of their latest premium grade headsets, and we’re really looking forward to testing them later in the year.

A range of mobile speakers, featuring premium build quality and promising great sound. We didn’t get to test them, but if they’re on par with the other products we’ve seen from them recently, they’re going to be pretty special.

Need something that can really kickstart the party? The Roar Pro has all the extra grunt you’re likely to need.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to explore all the new products or demo everything, but we’ve reached out to Creative to bring you some great product reviews in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more info on these products are they hit the market.

NZXT Take CAM Software to the Next Level @ CES 2016

CES 2016: NZXT may be best known for their chassis, cooling and power supply products, but this year it’s all about software. Their new CAM software is currently making a mockery of the current crop of desktop overclocking and performance monitoring tools and after chatting with their software manager, it’s only going to get better and better throughout 2016. The software is extensively updated, bringing it up to version 3.0 and adding a whole host of new features. All the basics are here, temperature monitoring for your hardware, storage report, usage, etc.

One thing that really caught my eye is how the software uses the cloud to track your stats, so you can check multiple devices in your setup, or from remote locations. The cloud data is then used to compare to other users. If you have a certain GPU, you can see what the average user temperatures for that card are for all the other users, which could let you know that your card is running higher (or lower) than expected.

The overlay at performance tracking software is the best we’ve ever seen. Need performance stats and FPS overlay? You got it. You even get a breakdown report afterwards that are all backed up, allowing you to track performance over time, great for system testing and overclocking, aswell as bragging rights that you’re hitting 60FPS+ in whatever you run.

There’s also a full-screen interface, which is great for multi-display setups. If you’re using a workstation, test-bench, rendering system or just doing performance analysis, this is going to be a fantastic tool to have.

Of course, that’s not all! There’s colour customisation, screenshotting features, and more settings than you can shake a stick at. On top of that, there’s soon to be overclocking features added for your GPU, as well as a cloud-based overclocking tool that will help you get the most power from your GPU settings at a single click, achieved by checking the average OC for your particular card and easily applying it.

There’s more functionality here than we can capture in a few simple images, so expect us to take a much closer look at the software in the coming weeks.

Steelseries Rival 700 Vibrating + OLED Equipped Gaming Mouse @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The latest gaming mouse from Steelseries is on show today, and it has got a lot of very unique features. First of all, this is a great looking mouse in general, it comes with all the usual features we have come to expect from a gaming mouse, such as fully programmable buttons, customisable lighting, tough grips on the side panels and more. There have been improvements to the side grips, though, as they’re now more durable after users said they had worn through them on previous mice.

The first and most noticeable addition is the OLED display on the side, great for giving in-game information such as round number, stats and more, but it can also show off customisable gifs, giving you room for your team logo and more.

The mouse also comes equipped with an inverted motor, which adds a tactile vibration feedback. The orientation of the motor means that the vibration won’t interfere with tracking, but it adds a new level of interaction with your games. We tried it with CS:GO and the mouse gives you a little nudge when ammo is low, meaning you instinctively know when to reload. It’s a really cool feature and something we’re eager to see expanded on by developers.

The next big innovation is the sensor. By default, the mouse will come with a high-end optical sensor. However, Steelseries will also release a laser sensor, and you can simply detach this one and plug in the new one! There’s even scope for more sensors in the future, so it’s the mouse that just keeps on getting better. No details on price but Steelseries are aiming at $20-30 for the new sensor.

It also comes equipped with a detachable cable, and you’ll find a 6ft braided and a 3ft rubber cable included, making it great for desktop and notebook use. Obviously, you’ll also find the new Steelseries management engine, allowing extensive customisation of the settings.

 

This is easily one of the most customisable and configurable mice we’ve ever seen and our testing at the show left us very impressed, so keep an eye out for this one in the coming weeks, as it has the potential to be one of the best mice of this year.

Phanteks Demonstrates Amazing New Products @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Phanteks have been creating some of the best chassis money can buy over the last few years and it looks like that is a trend that is set to continue, as they demonstrate their latest and greatest products here in Las Vegas. This first one is still a prototype, but Phanteks say we can expect the final one by Computex this year.  IT comes with room for an ATX motherboard, as well as a mini-ITX motherboard, much like the Enthoo Primo did with Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX boards. Obviously, this means it’s freaking huge, and with room for high-end water cooling in the front, back, top and bottom it’s obviously aimed at the enthusiast user.

In the base, there’s a separate compartment for the PSU and additional water cooling hardware, as well as a some lovely built-in RGB lighting that goes around much of the chassis.

The use of an SFX PSU is no longer required either, thanks to the PSU splitting hardware that allows you to power dual systems from a single PSU, freeing up more room in the chassis for hardware.

The external panels are thick cut aluminium, giving it a fantastic premium look and feel. Normally aluminium is lightweight, but with this much of it, the chassis is extremely heavy.

We can’t wait to see this chassis once it is completed and ready for consumers!

The new Enthoo Primo also supports dual systems and once again the SFX PSU mount from the old model is gone, allowing you room for a GPU mount using a riser card, giving you a much more visually appealing build.

The Mini XL dual system looks great too, featuring the same sleek and high-end built quality and component support of any other Phanteks chassis we’ve ever seen.

The power splitter card is certainly a cool bit of kit, and as you can imagine, it’s pretty darn handy for these dual-system chassis designs. Just remember, if you’re running two high-end systems, you’ll need a pretty beefy PSU. With built-in load sharing, the unit is far from a dummy splitter, ensuring each system is getting the power it needs.

The power combo is the same idea, albeit in reverse. Not only can it bridge two high-end PSUs, something that can be a vital tool for those doing extreme system builds, or enthusiast/competitive overclocking, you can bridge two lower grade PSUs  to get the power you need, giving you a lot of unique and interesting options for your build.

Just look at this monster gaming system, powered by two 750W EVGA PSUs and using the power combo! Pretty cool, right?

 

Steelseries Numbus iOS Game Controller @ CES 2016

CES 2016: We’re here at the Steelseries suite in Las Vegas, and the first thing to catch our attention in their lovely new Nimbus controller. Equipped with all the features that you would expect from a modern gaming controller. It’s obviously quite similar to many other popular controllers, but familiarity with the button layout is no bad thing. The ergonomics are very comfortable and it comes with support for all the latest and greatest Apple devices, perfect for playing on your TV, iPad and more.

Large trigger around the back are great for ergonomics and they have a really nice throw and grip to them.

We’ve got the Nimbus in the eTeknix office, so expect a full review of this great new controller very soon.

Cooler Master Masterkeys Keyboard @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Keeping with Cooler Masters “Maker” philosophy, their latest keyboard at CES 2016 is one of their best so far. Following on from their popular QuickFire series of keybaords, the new ones come with a wide range of Cherry MX switch choices, so you should have no issues finding the ones you truly love. There’s also full RGB lighting, and Cooler Master have worked hard to find the best possible RGB lights they can find. Equipped with the brightest RGB LEDs around, the keyboard is a joy to look at, and of course, with RGB, you have 16.7 million colours to pick from for any switch.

The internal redsign of the keyboard means that we not only get better lighting, but also more direct, as it doesn’t bleed through to the other keys, giving you much more defined colour patterns when customising the visuals. All the usual features are here too, such as on-the-fly macros, profile support, desktop software customisation and it all comes bundled in a very durable and slim chassis. Stay tuned for more information on the Masterkeys Pro L and Pro S in the coming weeks here at eTeknix.

Cooler Master Showcase Latest Cooling Products @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Cooler Master may have been in a little hot water last year over pump designs, but that’s old news and something they’ve easily worked around with their a new cooling design of their own making. The new water cooler still has a fairly straight forward radiator design, but now features super flexible tubing, as well as a very unique pump design.

As you can see, it has a clear top, giving you a great view of the liquid chamber in the pump. The demo hardware was running dry to show off the hardware, and CM also said that while there’s only a single LED here, it will be fully LED lit when it comes to market. This is going to look great when it’s done and we cant wait to test it out when it is completed.

Then we have their new fan series, gone are all the previous brandings, now focusing on three ranges, AirFlow, Balance and Air Pressure. Obviously, the usual sizing variants will be available, but they’ll com ewith all black fittings, a sleek design and anti-vibration rubber mounts for the screws.

The new Masterair Maker 8, which features a sleek design for high-end air cooling. It uses a 3D vapor chamber in the base, a thick tower and a push/pull fan configuration for excellent cooling performance.

It’ll support 120mm and 140mm fans via removable clip-on brackets, allowing for quick and easy fan changes/maintainance.

It’s also very colourful. The LED lighting is actually from the fans, but there’s a cool lighting pass-through design that helps illuminate the top cover and the area around the heat pipes.

This is a stunning looking cooler and once again we can’t wait to see it in the eTeknix office and put it through its paces.

Air cooling not your thing? Expect to see this range of custom loop cooling hardware on the market very soon too!

 

 

 

Cooler Master Masterwatt 1200w Titanium Digital PSU @ CES 2016

CES 2016: As we take our tour of the Cooler Master suite at this year’s show, I had to stop and admire their latest power supply. PSUs are nothing new, but this one is a real winner, with a brushed aluminium exterior design that looks unlike anything I’ve seen before. The Masterwatt 1200 is a beautifully designed unit, delivering up to 1200W of power with a mighty impressive 80 Plus Titanium efficiency rating.

It also makes use of the new CM Connect Software and app, allowing you to fully monitor and control the efficiency, power delivery and stats of the unit. And as you can see below, it’s a great looking mobile app with an intuitive layout and connect via USB 3.0, meaning you don’t even need to power the PC to get access.

Equipped with the latest 135mm Silencio FP fan, it’ll be whisper quiet, fully modular cables, as well as an updated connector and cable design that can handle higher loads. To top it all off, it’ll come with a fantastic 7-year warranty. Keep an eye out for this one latest this year, because it could be one of the best PSUs we’ve seen for a long time!

Latest Cooler Master Chassis Products Displayed @ CES 2016

CES 2016: We’re here at the Cooler Master suite at CES 2016 and be prepared, as they’ve got a lot of fantastic products to show us this year! First up, their new Master Concept chassis, which represents the best of the best of what CM can do these days. It’s a big chassis too, easily on par with the Cosmos II, and it’s clearly inspired by it too. The case comes with FreeForm Modular System, allowing you to remove and rebuild all major components on the interior, move things around, you can even detach those big exterior rails, mod them, make your own, rebuild; if you want freedom in terms of design, this is where you’ll find it. Of course, like a concept car, this is just CM showing what they can do, perhaps even what they’re aiming for with future entries in the MasterCase series! Only time will tell.

Their latest range of chassis products doesn’t disappoint either, with the Master Case Maker 5 being the new king. Of course, CM are also looking into more affordable versions of their highly modular chassis, and you can expect to see the smaller and more affordable versions hitting the market later this year. We loved the Master Case when we reviewed it, so we’re eager to test more products in this range later this year.

The modular nature of the chassis means there are a lot of customisation options available too. Here we can see a range of aftermarket parts that are available for their chassis, such as the range of side panels, including standard, windowed, silent and tempered glass.

Modular top panels, giving you closed, open, silent and more.

As well as a range of storage bays, radiator mounts, GPU support brackets, SSD mounts and more to play around with.

 

 

 

 

 

QNAP Display TAS-268 Android Powered NAS @ CES 2016

CES 2016: We’ve seen all kinds of NAS hit the market over the years, but the latest from QNAP, the TAS-268 Android, really stands out from the crowd. It’s no secret that operating a NAS can be a little daunting for the average consumer, but Android OS is something a lot more people are familiar and comfortable with using. The Android-powered NAS boots right up to the Android desktop, giving you access to the Play Store and all the apps that come with it, meaning you can tap into Netflix, Amazon Prime, Plex, and so much more right out of the box.

With 2 x 3.5″ bays giving you up to 12TB of storage, this could be ideal for those who need to backup all their data from smartphones, tablets, desktop systems and more, while also offering a full suite of multimedia features for the family entertainment system(s). Those wanting to dive into more advanced features will still find the amazing QTS interface too, giving you the choice of an Android multimedia station and standard NAS at the touch of a button. With HDMI output, four USB ports, Gigabit LAN and more, this is a great little unit.

The unit is tool-free, making it very user friendly and QNAP also said there will be a more affordable 1-Bay unit available soon too. Stay tuned for more information on this one in the coming weeks.

QNAP HS-251+ Silent NAS @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The latest Silent NAS from QNAP, the HS-251+, is on display here at CES 2016, a well-equipped multimedia hub that supports 2GB of DDR3L RAM, up to 16TB of storage via 2 x 8TB hard drives, and as the name would suggest, completely silent operation thanks to its passively cooled design.

Equipped with a pair of Gigabit LAN ports, dual HDMI, high-speed USB ports and more, it offers up fantastic connectivity, allowing you to hook up to your home network and get the faster transfer speeds when you need them. It’s going to be great for those who use multimedia apps such as Plex, or even for those who need a compact and silent way to backup their important data. It’ll certainly beat out any of the current crop of smart TVs in terms of performance and features, making for a great AV setup upgrade or addition to your desktop.

With such a compact form factor and a completely silent design, this is certainly an attractive solution for those who don’t want, or don’t have the space for, bigger 2 bay NAS systems, which are often a bit noisier too. Would you add the 251+ to your network? Or do you prefer a bigger, more traditional NAS unit?

QNAP TSV0871T Thunderbolt NAS @ CES 2016

The latest NAS from QNAP was on display at CES 2016, and it’s a serious powerhouse targeted at the professional video and image editing market. To facilitate the needs of those who do a lot of multimedia processing, the TVS-871T Thunderbolt comes equipped with an Intel Core i7-4790S, although an i5-4590S is also available; each comes equipped with 16GB of DDR3 RAM.

You’ll find a lot of great features here, such as QTS 4.2, Qsirch, mobile access and more. Connectivity is amazing too, with dual thunderbolt ports, 2 x LAN and 2 x 10GbE ports (10GBased-T), four three USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0. This means we’ve got wide support for high transfer speeds over network, direct to PC and MAC.

Of course, this 8-bay powerhouse won’t come cheap, and prices will be $4399 and $4799 for the i5 and i7 models respectively.

 

QNAP Demo Latest Braswell Power NAS Range @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The latest range of NAS from QNAP may look fairly similar to the current range, but they’re so much better than ever before! The new TS-253A comes equipped with an updated 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 4GB of DDR3L RAM (upgradable to 8GB). The new CPU setup not only means faster processing and performance in general, but it’ll also unlock the power needed for Ultra HD 4K and 2K video playback, ideal for those of you who use a HTPC, Plex, or the built-in media functions on the NAS its self.

To add to the multimedia performance, you’ll now also find a pair of HDMI ports, and two microphone sockets for Karaoke functions. Overall, a pretty fantastic setup, and don’t worry about storage, as there is also the 4-bay, 6-bay and 8-bay models featuring the same set of upgrades.

Finally, the NAS now features native Linux OS, so you can boot directly to the desktop OS or right into the NAS, giving you a whole host of extended functionality. We’ll have details on pricing for you shortly, look out for full reviews in the coming weeks.