ASUSTOR Launches Powerful High-Capacity AS6208T and AS6210T

ASUSTOR launched two new high-capacity enterprise-class NAS units, the AS6208T and the AS6210T. The only difference between the two units is that one has 8 drive bays and the other one has 10 drive bays. They are powered by an Intel Celeron (Braswell) 1.6GHz quad-core CPU with Boost speeds up to 2.24GHz. This is backed by 4GB dual-channel DDR3L memory which is expandable.

This is a great base for a powerful system that comes with hardware encryption support and 4K capabilities. All that power can be connected through the four built-in Gigabit Ethernet ports for a read and write performance up to 398 MB/s and 355 MB/s respectively in a RAID 5 setup.

There are plenty of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports as well as two eSATA ports. With that amount of extra ports, you can expand the systems even further than with the 8 and 10 internal bays that each support up to 8TB drives.

It’s probably unlikely that a system like this will be used for as a multimedia hub, although it would be perfectly suitable for it. Instead, it is much more likely to be used for surveillance tasks. It is well equipped for both scenarios with its direct usage ability. It features both an HDMI 1.4b connector and an S/PDIF audio link.

As with all other ASUSTOR NAS units, these two new ones come with a 3-year warranty and a suggested retail price of $999 for the AS6210T and $899 for the AS6208T. That’s actually not bad at all.

Key Hardware Specifications

  • Intel Celeron 1.6GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.24GHz)
  • Read Speed of up to 398+ MB/s and Write Speed of up to 355+ MB/s Under Link Aggregation and RAID 5 Configurations
  • 4GB Built-in Dual-Channel DDR3L High Speed Memory (Expandable up to 8GB, 4GB x2)
  • 4 x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • Front of Device: 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Port
  • Back of Device: 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 GB/s) Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Ports, 2 x eSATA Ports
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
  • 1 x S/PDIF Audio Output Port
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supports RAID Volume Management: Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1/5/6/10, RAID 0/1/5/6/10+Hot Spare
  • Supports Hot Swappable Hard Disks
  • Disk Tray Locks
  • LCD Panel
  • Supports Largest Capacity Hard Disks on the Market (8TB)
  • Smart Fan Temperature Control

The AS6208T and AS6210T both come built-in with the latest ADM 2.5.4 firmware providing RAID data protection, high-grade AES-NI hardware encryption technology, a 256-bit data encryption mechanism, firewall, network defender, antivirus software for installation and other safety mechanisms to keep data safe and secure. But you will be able to upgrade to the newest firmware very soon as ADM 2.6 is scheduled to be released in April.

Key Software Specifications for ADM 2.6

  • Seamless Cross-Platform File Access (Windows, Mac, Unix-Like Operating Systems)
  • Virtualization Support: Citrix, Hyper-V, VMware (NFS)
  • Scheduled and Automatic iSCSI LUN Snapshots
  • Virtual Machine Support with VirtualBox (ASUSTOR Portal and ADM Web Interface)
  • Comprehensive Backup Solutions (Public Cloud, Local Device, PC, Mobile Devices)
  • Integrates Windows AD, Windows ACL Permissions and Batch Importation of Accounts
  • SNMP Network Management Protocol Support
  • Instant System Event Notifications (Email, SMS or Push Notification)
  • Supports 3-Step Seamless System Migration
  • Supports Online Capacity Expansion and RAID Level Migration
  • Supports N-1 MyArchive Hard Disks with Encryption and Binding of USB Devices as Encryption Keys
  • Newly Added File System Support for MyArchive (EXT4, NTFS, HFS+) Increases Compatibility of MyArchive
  • Disks.
  • Remote Access via Cloud Connect Technology
  • App Central App Repository Features Rich Variety of Apps for Multimedia, Business Productivity and More.
  • Surveillance Center Supports up to 25 Camera Channels

Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury Graphics Card Review

Introduction


The initial unveiling of AMD’s Fury X was eagerly anticipated due to the advent of high bandwidth memory, and potential to revolutionize the size to performance ratio of modern graphics cards. This new form of stackable video RAM provided a glimpse into the future and departure from the current GDDR5 standard. Although, this isn’t going to happen overnight as production costs and sourcing HBM on a mass scale has to be taken into consideration. On another note, JEDEC recently announced GDD5X with memory speeds up to 14 Gbps which helps to enhance non-HBM GPUs while catering to the lower-mid range market. The Fury X and Fury utilizes the first iteration of high bandwidth memory which features a maximum capacity of 4GB.

There’s some discussion regarding the effect of this limitation at high resolutions but I personally haven’t seen it cause a noticeable bottleneck. If anything, the Fury range is capable of outperforming the 980 Ti during 4K benchmarks while it tends to linger behind at lower resolutions. AMD’s flagship opts for a closed-loop liquid cooler to reduce temperatures and minimize operating noise. In theory, you can argue this level of cooling prowess was required to tame the GPU’s core. However, there are some air-cooled variants which allow us to directly compare between each form of heat dissipation.

Clearly, the Fury X’s water cooling apparatus adds a premium and isn’t suitable for certain chassis configurations. To be fair, most modern case layouts can accommodate a CLC graphics card without any problems, but there’s also concerns regarding reliability and the possibility of leaks. That’s why air-cooled alternatives which drop the X branding offer great performance at a more enticing price point. For example, the Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury is around £60 cheaper than the XFX R9 Fury X. This particular card has a factory overclocked core of 1050MHz, and astounding cooling solution. The question is, how does it compare to the Fury X and GTX 980 Ti? Let’s find out!

Specifications:

Packing and Accessories

The Sapphire Nitro OC R9 Fury comes in a visually appealing box which outlines the Tri-X cooling system, factory overclocked core, and extremely fast memory. I’m really fond of the striking robot front cover and small cut out which provides a sneak peek at the GPU’s colour scheme.

On the opposite side, there’s a detailed description of the R9 Fury range and award-winning Tri-X cooling. Furthermore, the packaging outlines information regarding LiquidVR, FreeSync, and other essential AMD features. This is displayed in an easy-to-read manner and helps inform the buyer about the graphics card’s functionality.

In terms of accessories, Sapphire includes a user’s guide, driver disk, Select Club registration code, and relatively thick HDMI cable.

QNAP Releases TS-x53A IoT-Centric QTS-Linux Combo NAS Series

Network attached storage devices have evolved a lot in the last 10 years from somewhat underpowered systems with the single purpose of serving your files across your network to what they are today. We first saw the introduction of the HDMI port for direct media playback, I think it was Thecus who was first with this, but the other companies were quick to follow and now they all have these entertainment combo units. Qnap’s are easily identifiable by the QvPC feature that allows you to use your NAS as an HTPC replacement too.

It does however not stop here and the world of technology keeps evolving. We recently saw QNAP announced the Hybrid QTS-Android NAS lineup and now they’ve introduced yet another great combination, the new TS-x53A series that are the world’s first QTS-Linux dual system NAS. The new QNAP TS-x53A series will be available in four different models: A 2-bay, 4-bay, 6-bay, and an 8-bay version. The features and functions of the four new QTS-Linux NAS stay pretty much the same besides the amount of drive bays available.

The new TS-x53A series is powered by a 14nm Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor with 1.6GHz (2.08GHz Boost) and hardware encryption engine. It also features the 8th generation HD Graphics from Intel that allows the TS-x53A series to provide 4K UHD HDMI output with 3K H.264 hardware-accelerated transcoding and playback. The systems are available with either 4GB or 8GB DDR3L-1600 RAM and upgradeable to a maximum of 8GB. The small 2-bay model only features two Gigabit Ethernet ports while the other models all have four Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, and all of them come with plenty of USB 3.0 ports too.

“The next-generation TS-x53A QTS-Linux Combo NAS series is specially designed as a Linux-based gateway for the IoT era” said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP, adding “Alongside its high-speed data transmission and advanced snapshot features, it supports versatile HDMI applications and 4K video playback & transcoding. The TS-x53A series greatly extends possibilities for work and multimedia use, providing users with a complete storage solution with higher value to cost.”

Technically you could already run QTS next to Linux with QvPC and the container technologies that QTS provides, but these new servers also provide the Linux Station that can act as a great base for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and development. You can naturally also run all other OSes such as Windows, Android, and MacOS through the container and virtualization station. The TS-x53A series can also provide a secure private cloud environment for file backup and sharing.

The NAS series features all the great things that we know from other QNAP NAS, but there is one more thing that sets this series a little apart. The TS-x53A series supports OceanKTV, QNAP’s NAS-based karaoke systems with two 6.3mm microphone jacks and one 3.5mm line-out audio jack. With all this storage available, you can build yourself an impressive karaoke box while you still enjoy all the other benefits.

AMD R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card CrossFire Review

Introduction


Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different and we are excited to bring you the CrossFireX review of the newly released R9 380X graphics cards.

Based on the R9 380, which was based on the R9 285, the R9 380X was designed to fit the gap that was obvious between the R9 380 and R9 390. Priced at just under £200, sales have proven strong in the first weeks and board partners have given their models the usual overclocking treatment with the average clock speed of around 1030MHz being around 50MHz higher than the ‘reference’ design.

Through our testing of both the XFX DD and Sapphire Nitro models, it was evident that performance wasn’t as high as I hoped and still left a gap to fill under the R9 390. Reviewing the Rx 200 series lineup, the R9 285 was an extremely late arrival. It was based on architecture we were familiar with, but it introduced GCN 1.2 which is the foundation of the brand new R9 Fury range. To me, this leaves a gap for an R9 385 to be introduced to the market and the next step in the graphics card race for late 2016.

When we test in CrossFireX, we aim to use two identical graphics card to ensure that everything is as similar as possible. When using the same cards, you can almost guarantee the same cooling capabilities, power draw, core clock and other variables. This then gives us the best possible outcome for maximum performance as the computer does not need to compensate for any differences.

Sapphire Nitro R9 380X 4GB Graphics Card Review with Back Plate!

Introduction


If you’ve been reading up on the latest R9 380X range, you may have seen stories and possibly even reviews that the performance wasn’t as high as many expected. I one of those who was very disappointed with the performance when compared to the R9 380 and R9 390 graphics cards by being around 10% faster than the R9 380. I really shouldn’t be complaining, at a sub £200 price point, the R9 380X is poised as a great 1440p graphics card; albeit with some settings lowered to medium or high from ultra.

Today in the test bench we have the Sapphire Nitro R9 380X. Fitting in nicely to the current Nitro range from Sapphire at just £199.99, this card features an identical cooling design as the R9 380 but with one huge visual improvement, which I will disclose later. The card features 16K capacitors for ultra long life and an increased core and memory clock to 1040MHz and 6000MHz respectively, so we should expect improved performance over what we have been witnessing so far.

Before anyone starts chanting “rebrand”, stop! As much as I agree that this is technically a rebrand, I’m now actually re-wording that to remanufacturing. A rebrand would be taking the R9 285, put a new cooling design on there and calling it an R9 380 with no other changes. However, the R9 380 and R9 380X are remanufactured with a much more precise manufacturing procedure to squeeze as much performance as possible from the Antigua GPU Core.

Packaging and Accessories

The Nitro box has changed for this card compared to the rest of the R9 Nitro range. We now have a simple portrait style box without a window to show off the contents.

I really think Sapphire want everyone to know that this card has a back plate fitted.

Accessories are simple, general paper based material, driver disk, case sticker and DVI to VGA adapter.

AMD R9 Nano 4GB (HBMv1) CrossFire Review

Introduction


Here at eTeknix, we strive to give the consumer the best possible advice in every aspect of technology. Today is no different and we are excited to bring you the CrossFireX review of the highly anticipated R9 Nano 4GB graphics cards.

The R9 Nano is the third release in the Fiji GPU core range and the third official graphics card to utilise High Bandwidth Memory (HBMv1). We’ve been impressed with the performance of the Fiji range so far with the fully unlocked R9 Fury X providing a good alternative to the NVIDIA GTX 980Ti, the R9 Fury providing a good step up from the R9 390X and the GTX 980 and the R9 Nano being the perfect option for small form factor builds. A single R9 Nano provides the perfect balance of performance, power consumption and mobility, but will combining two still be a worthwhile option?

When we test in CrossFireX, we aim to use two identical graphics card to ensure that everything is as similar as possible. When using the same cards, you can almost guarantee the same cooling capabilities, power draw, core clock and other variables. This then gives us the best possible outcome for maximum performance as the computer does not need to compensate for any differences.

Club3D R9 Nano 4GB HBMv1 Graphics Card Review

Introduction


eTeknix has fought hard over the last few months to be able to bring you the Fiji articles that we have, some may have been a little late, but we have managed to get them out to you one way or another. Stock levels of the Fiji core and HBM have been extremely limited, so AMD had to make the tough decision to only allow an severely limited number of media samples and plumb the rest to the consumer market.

So here it is, our R9 Nano article supplied by Club3D. Right up until launch, we covered a lot about the card and something we knew was almost exactly how the card would look. An R9 Fury X copy with a fan instead of a water cooling solution. From there we took guesses at other specifications, would it feature the Fiji core or a cut-down version like in the R9 Fury with my money on the latter due to the massively decreased size and only single fan; I was extremely surprised when I found out that it uses a full Fiji core as found in the R9 Fury X.

Let’s find out how this miniature monster performs in today’s review.

Packaging and accessories

I’m actually really disheartened by this box. If you are paying £500+ for a graphics card, you’d expect at least a little bit more premium quality to the box. It offers everything you could want in a box, but it just feels cheap.

The back of the box has some key features with some images to be more appealing.

Club3D have really cut down on the accessories with this card, just a simple installation leaflet and a driver disc.

Nvidia May Drop 2GB Model of GTX 960

Originally launching in both a 2GB and 4GB variant, Nvidia is reportedly planning to discontinue the lower capacity model. By offering only a 4GB tier, Nvidia is hoping to make the card more attractive to buyers as they will only see the 4GB version. At this point in time, there is no word yet if the 4GB 960 will keep its current price or drop to fill in the void left by the departing 2GB model.

The GTX 960 features the full GM206, Nvidia’s budget Maxwell die. While the card does decent against AMD’s R9 380, it does fall behind a bit in terms of overall performance. With the launch of the GTX 950 as well, the 960 has become even more of a niche product. The 950 features only 256 fewer shaders and 12 TMUs, not a large margin by any means, placing its performance to near 960 levels. With such competition, it is understandable why Nvidia will try to differentiate the card more by only having a 4GB model.

The biggest question is whether or not the GTX 960 will actually need 4GB of VRAM. While 4GB might be needed for 1440p, the 960 is solidly a 1080p performing card. That has historically been the domain of 2GB of cards and by the time 4GB is required for 1080p, the GPU core of the 960 may well be lacking. One also must consider the fact the 950 also has a 4GB model and would age about the same as the 960. Both cards are also limited by the 128bit memory interface which may hinder the use of such a large frame buffer.

Undoubtedly though, the extra frame buffer would make the 960 more future proof if only just. It will be interesting to see if Nvidia does follow through with this move in the end. We will follow this story as it develops and bring you more information as it arrives so stay tuned!

Thank you HWBattle for providing us with this information

Gainward Phoenix GTX 970 4GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


The GTX 970 has been with us for around a year now and in that time it has cemented itself as possibly one of the best Maxwell-based cards available. Obviously the Titan X is the most powerful and the GTX 980Ti is the obvious option if you have £600 to spend, but the GTX 970 is the right amount of power to sustain consumers into the next generation of cards without taking a massive hit come resale when Pascal and HBM v2 is released.

Today in the test bench is the Gainward Phoenix GTX 970. It’s nice to see manufacturers still pushing this lower line considering how popular the GTX 980Ti has been and how saturated the market already is with competing cards.

I can’t really go into a GTX 970 review without at least touching on the issues that were present with the VRAM and miss advertised specifications. When it was first released, the GTX 970 seemed like the perfect card, 980 performance at a reduced price, then reviewers and consumers started to notice the drop in performance at high VRAM loads even though it was well within the VRAM limit of the card. NVIDIA decided to utilise an altered DDR5 memory architecture on this card which increased the speed of the first 3.5GB, but severely hindered the last 512MB. Along with that, the cores, ROP and TMU’s were all advertised higher than they really were. All that being said, the GTX 970 is still a cracking card and one of my all time favourites.

Packaging and accessories

When I opened the shipping box, I was surprised to how large the actual retail box was; the bright colours are certainly enticing.

The rear of the box is simple with key information listed. Some of the more important features regarding NVIDIA and the power of the GTX 970 are outlined with graphics.

The accessories are the usual lot, molex to PCIe 6-pin connector, DVI to VGA adapter, driver disc and installation manual.

G.Skill Demonstrates 4266MHz DDR4 Memory Kits

Breaching the 4GHz memory speed wasn’t enough for G.Skill, so they put two on top of that and showcased two new kits running at 4133MHz and 4266MHz. These speeds are something that we’d only get close to with the older DDR3 memory modules when cooled with LN2, but this isn’t DDR3 anymore.

That is a seriously impressive stock speed that G.Skill’s achieved with these new TridentZ DDR4 memory modules that are specially optimized for the new and 6th generation of Intel Core processors, Skylake, and the accompanying Z170 based motherboards. The two motherboards used in the demonstration at IDF 2015 were an ASRock Z170 OC Formula and an ASUS Maximus VIII Hero. The ASUS ran the slower of the two kits at 4133 MHz while the ASRock got the pleasure of showcasing the impressive 4266MHz DDR4 memory.

Both kits used had a total capacity of 8GB, distributed on two 4GB modules. There sadly weren’t any news on when the modules would be available nor what they’d cost, but I’m sure G.Skill will catch up on that shortly and release the relevant information. Until then, we can dream of having our own system with memory running at 4.3GHz.

“We are truly excited to demo such extremely high memory speed on live demo systems, since DDR4 4000+MHz speeds were traditionally only achievable under extreme overclocking on liquid nitrogen cooling,” says Frank Hung, Product Marketing at G.SKILL. “We see amazing performance potential for the new DDR4 memory technology on the newest Intel platform, and very excited to see where it will take us in the near future.”

EVGA Offers Cashback on Nvidia GTX 960 In July

What’s better than getting a relative good graphics cards cheap? Easy, getting some of the money back after you purchased it. That is exactly what you can do now as EVGA offers European customers a €25 cashback on GeForce GTX 960 cars in July.

The exact period of purchase must be between the 6th of July and 2nd of August 2015 to be eligible and the end-user is required to register their new graphics card and follow the steps of the cashback claim process online at eu.evga.com. As always with these cashback programs, you need to purchase the unit from participating partners and the list is quite long. Among them are prominent players such as CaseKing, Scan Computers, dabs, Webhallen, and many more.

The EVGA GeForce GTX 960 comes as either a 2GB or 4GB version and it is equipped with the pretty amazing ACX 2.0+ cooler.

It features a memory MOSFET cooling plate (MMCP) that reduces MOSFET temperatures by up to 11°C and optimised Straight Heat Pipes (SHP) that additionally reduce GPU temperature by 5°C. The fans are optimised for the perfect airflow and run on double ball bearings with an extreme low power motor. More air with less power. The fans turn off completely if the card is below 60 degrees and the graphics card also features a dual BIOS with quick-switch.

Sapphire Tri-X R9 Fury 4GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


Something that we don’t really get much of a buzz from is the ‘second best’ graphics card, Okay the R9 390 is good, but we all want to know about the R9 390X; so why has the hype kept momentum even after the R9 Fury X launch, ready for the R9 Fury? The main reason is likely the fact that it’s water cooled from the factory, even though most people want water cooling, it can be problematic or even just too large to fit inside some cases. Those who held off buying the Fury X are now in for a treat thanks to AMD allowing sub-vendors the ability to customise the R9 Fury.

Sapphire is one of the manufacturers who take the reference card and just make it better without over-complicating the process, which pushes the price up. By using the reference PCB, Sapphire has tweaked components and the legendary Tri-X cooler to make the Tri-X R9 Fury as good as it could possibly be.

Sapphire are undoubtedly the largest AMD graphics card supplier in the world and that shines through to the products. All of the cards have support for the likes of Liquid VR, FreeSync, Eyefinity, and VSR technologies, which really give them the edge against the competition.

Liquid VR is AMD’s take on the VR support, providing the most comfortable and realistic experience possible through compatible headsets and graphics cards. VSR is one of the newer technologies, standing for Virtual Super Resolution, the graphics card renders the detail of a higher resolution screen and displays that detail on your current monitor. For more information, please consult the AMD Catalyst 15.7 driver release notes.

Looking at the R9 Fury, it is essentially a cutback R9 Fury X, by reducing the shader units and TMU’s, AMD was able to decrease the overall performance by around 10%, however this card is roughly 25% cheaper; so what gives?

AMD released the R9 Fury X to compete with the Titan X and GTX 980Ti; which it did. So the only competition left was the GTX 980 and 970, which are priced around the £450 mark. AMD decided to cut back on performance to enable the R9 Fury to compete not only on performance but price also.

Let’s just jump into the testing to see if the wait has been worth it.

Sapphire has taken a slightly different turn with the new Tri-X box styling. The R9 390X followed the same style of the R9 290X, where this seems to resemble the R9 390 Nitro box with a window cut out for a sneak peak of the card itself.

Inside the box, we find the usual array of manuals and leaflets, along with a 1.8m HDMi cable and DisplayPort – DVI adapter cable.

 

The card is the same length as the R9 390X Tri-X thanks to the Tri-X cooling shroud, however, this one is more aesthetically pleasing.

Around the back, we can see the absolutely huge heatsink. The PCB is very small, the same size as the R9 Fury X.

Focusing on the Power connectors, 2x 8pin PCIe allow the Fiji GPU to get all of its power. On the opposite side of the ports, we see the trademark Fury load LED’s. Unlike the Fury X, these are blue when under load, which could be a differentiating feature or maybe a Sapphire special.


Turning the card over, we see the full length of the card vs the PCB length. This card would have been perfect for the R9 380 Nitro cooling shroud due to the length, but that would have detracted from the premium Tri-X branding. The backplate is very nice, thankfully Sapphire has taken note and added one to this high-end card.

At the business end of the card, we have 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMi ports.

Sapphire has taken the new Tri-X cooling design as seen on the R9 390X and improved it. I liked that the new design was understated, but this design is even better.

Side by side you can see what has changed between the two cards. Sapphire has held back on the colour of the Sapphire logos and added more detail around the fans.

Turning the cards over, you can see that the R9 Fury Tri-X edition has more heat pipes and a much larger heatsink.

AMD Catalyst 15.7 WHQL Driver Adds Cross Generation Crossfire Support

Something that AMD have been falling behind on lately is the WHQL drivers, well drivers in general. Beta drivers are released every few months, but a certified WHQL driver has taken over 200 days to reach us. Let’s not dwell on the past, we have one here, we’ve tested it and it works perfectly fine. However, it seems AMD has returned to form and opened up cross generation Crossfire again. Over at VideoCardz.com, Crossfire has been tested between the new R9 390X and an R9 290X.

The cards used weren’t matching, so the R9 390X 8GB was the only available variation, but it was tested with an R9 290X 4GB. This then limits the R9 390X to use just 4GB as Crossfire utilises the lowest VRAM quantity. Scores are around where we previously tested 2x R9 290X 8GB cards, so there is little a performance penalty for using the previous generation.

We will be confirming this new feature for ourselves by testing the R9 390 with an R9 290 and an R9 380 with an R9 285. If it works across most of the new generation, it could prove a nice upgrade to those who already own the 200 series equivalent.

With the Crossfire options opened up, would you be willing to purchase one of the newer cards to Crossfire or even buying an older card to bridge the gap until a 300 series card becomes cheaper? Let us know in the comments.

AMD R9 Fury X CrossfireX 12K Eyefinity Review

Introduction


Triple monitor configurations were massively useful a few years ago when the ‘new’ standard was 1080p and everyone wanted to have huge workspaces to process more information at once. While this was good back then, nowadays monitors can have up to 4x the resolution of 1080p in the form of 4K (2160p) and workers can fit a huge amount of information onto a single monitor.

How about when it comes to gaming? The surround monitors engulf you in a wealth of visual stimulation and even presents some details which you cannot normally see in a typical single monitor setup.

Last time we looked at our current top end cards, they all faired reasonably well when stacked against the mighty triple 4K configuration, but what about when we pitch the R9 Fury X crossfire duo against it? Let’s find out in today’s article.

Gigabyte Launches Tiny GeForce GTX 960 ITX Windforce

Gigabyte has just announced its low-end GTX 960 model, the GeForce GTX 960 ITX, boasting a Windforce 2x cooling solution. This looks to be dedicated to people who use their PCs mostly for office and multimedia activities, though the card can also be used for some casual games that don’t require a powerhouses rig just start it.

The card features a reasonable 2GB of GDDR5, a 128-bit memory interface and a core base clock of 1127 MHz, going to up to 1178 MHz in boost mode. By the looks of it, Gigabyte plans on rolling out a OC version of the card with a base clock of 1152 MHz and boost clock of 1203 MHz. Taking into account the latter and the GeForce GTX 960 ITX already on the market, I’m fairly certain that Gigabyte will roll out a 4GB model soon enough, should 2GB be not enough for what you have in mind.

Taking a look at the Windforce 2x, the cooling solution looks to be promising in keeping the ‘little monster’ cool under full load. The blades are specially designed with triangle shapes at the edge and special 3D stripe curves to efficiently enhance and keep the card cool. In addition to that, the pure copper heat pipe direct touch (HDT) helps in keeping the card cool at an extremely low noise level, so you don’t have to worry about it buzzing your ears off when you put it to the ultimate test.

There is no official confirmation of any price for it, but EXPReview puts it at ¥1499, which is roughly £155.

Images courtesy of Gigabyte

AMD Radeon R9 370 and M390X Become Standard at Alienware

Alienware announced on their twitter feed that they now have the R9 370 and the M390X GPUs as standard earlier this week. The R9 M390X is a mobile, High-end graphics card for laptops. It will most likely be based on the M295X that was used in the iMac 5k in 2014, meaning it should be based on the third generation of the desktop Tonga chip. The amount of shader cores is identical, but the clock speed is slower (by 15%) and will run at 723mhz and the memory will also be clocked slower at 5000mhz. This means that the performance will be a bit below the M295X and will be somewhere between the GTX965M and the 970M. Meaning that it will be suitable for 1080p gaming and high detail gaming.

The announcement on twitter stated that the card will also have 4GB of Vram too.

Notebookcheck.net have a list of stats as follows:

Codename Tonga
Architecture GCN 3
Pipelines 2048 – unified
Core Speed * 723 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed * 5000 MHz
Memory Bus Width 256 Bit
Memory Type GDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory 4096 MB
Shared Memory no
DirectX DirectX 11.2, Shader 5.0
Power Consumption 125 Watt
Transistors 5000 Million
technology 28 nm
Features DirectX 12, OpenCL 1.2, OpenGL 4.3, Vulkan, Mantle
Notebook Size large
Date of Announcement 09.06.2015

Sounds good right? The power consumption will be around 100 watts TDP and will be used in the larger and more powerful gaming laptops such as the Alienware m17x.

The specs for the R9 370 were leaked earlier this year too, with impressive specs of 4GB DDR5 vram, 130 watt TDP. It will have the Curacao Pro chip to do all the hard work and will also pack a whopping 179GB/s of available bandwidth.

Will you be getting one of these new cards? let us know!

GALAX Hall Of Fame DDR3 Memory Modules Officially Released

GALAX is well-known for their graphics cards and recently they also ventured into the space of storage with their new Gamer SSDs. This time GALAX is reaching into the memory department and release a new set of DDR3 memory modules in the Hall Of Fame (HOF) series.

The new memory modules feature a huge heatsink with aluminium fins (1.5mm thickness unilateral and 3mm bilateral). They modules are hardened against corrosion, anodised, sandblasted, and look great.

The new memory modules are released as 2400MHz kits in either single 4GB or 8GB dual-channel kits, coming with timings of 11-13-13-30.

This memory chips are made by SKhynix and are well-known and liked by enthusiasts for their reliability and performance and easily clock up to 2600-2933MHz.

A high-end computer part needs LEDs these days, for some reason. So GALAX also added LED strips on the top of the heat spreaders to light it up.

It doesn’t look bad tho with the lighting and I could see this look good in many systems and mods.

There’s also a video available demonstrating the new modules, but it is located on a Chinese video site. It worked fine for me while writing this article, but that’s not guaranteed to be the same everywhere.

GTA V – The Way It’s Meant to Be Played – 4K and Nvidia Shield

Introduction


In September 2013, Grand Theft Auto V finally hit our screens, albeit via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, consoles that I loved playing on, but which were kept as a lead platform for far longer than they should have been. They weren’t incredibly powerful systems to begin with and time wasn’t kind to them. The buffed up release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sure looked pretty, but they still weren’t the way I wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V, not even close.

The PC release of the game was a mystery for so long, but I kept my faith. I was sure that it will be happening and it comes as little shock that I was right on the money. The only downside to the PC release was that it took so much longer than the console editions to be released. I’ve stuck to my guns and since the original console release, I haven’t played a single minute of GTA V, I don’t know the story and the only things I have seen of the gameplay are funny videos that get posted to YouTube and Reddit.

So why did I wait so long? The promise of 4K gaming, frame rates that are at least above 30, increased texture detail, longer draw distances, mods and the multitude of other graphics enhancements that PC gaming provides us. On top of that, I love my Nvidia Shield and use it to stream games around my house, the prospect of playing GTA V on a tablet while laid in bed is just too tempting. The prospect of playing it streamed to my big screen TV in 1080p at 60FPS with the graphics dialed up to ultra, even more so.

Sony Xperia Z4 Photos Leaked

With LG and Sony yet to reveal their 2015 flagship phones many have been eager to get some information on them. Today photos of a Sony Xperia Z4 have emerged and do look authentic, though with leaks it is always best to take them with a grain of salt.

The Z4 is rumored to have a 20.7MP camera, Snapdragon 810, 4GB of RAM, IP68 certification and two different 5.2″ screens with one being FHD and the other QHD. These would mean that there may be Z4 devices at varying price points with varied hardware specs. With the LG G4 being unveiled later this month, many are hoping to see what Sony will bring to the table so that they can figure out which device they want for their next upgrade.

Source: XDA Developers

Thecus Announced RAM Upgraded WSS NAS

It isn’t that long time ago that we had a closer look at Thecus’ amazing W4000 Windows Storage Server 2012 r2 Essentials NAS and it did really great in our review, but the 2GB RAM they come with might not be enough for everybody’s needs. And while they are RAM upgradeable, a lot of people don’t want to fiddle with it and rather buy it pre-made and eliminate the risk of incompatibility. Thecus knows that and they’ve just announced the new plus series of the three that come with 4GB DDR3 RAM from the factory, the W2000+, W4000+, and W5000+.

Thecus WSS NAS line is the first to deploy WSS 2012 R2 Essentials software and it offers enterprise-class features with a user-friendly and familiar experience. It allows users to utilize a host of Windows features including Storage Spaces, Data deduplication, and integrated cloud services such as Office 365 and Azure as well as easy administration through the Essentials Administrative Dashboard.

You won’t have to wait long for the availability of the new WSSE PLUS Edition as they will begin shipping globally in April 2015.

Thanks to Thecus for providing us with this information

Microsoft Is Planning to Release $149 Laptops Running Windows 10

Microsoft is said to be working on delivering record low-priced laptops running Windows 10 which are due to launch this summer. The company is aiming for a $149 price tag for the cheap laptops, which are intended to target the educational markets.

The laptops are expected to feature a 11.6-inch display and be powered by Intel’s Atom Bay Trail-T CR SoC. Other specifics are not yet known, but rumours are that it will come with around 4GB of RAM, low-end SSD storage, Wi-Fi support, USB 2.0 (or possibly even 3.0) and other necessary features required for a laptop to function.

Elitegroup Computer Systems is said to take the centre stage in making one of the laptops and selling it through the educational channel which Intel and ECS built for their Classmate PC products. The final price for the laptop is stated to be $179.

Another Chinese-based PC maker is said to be planning on making consumer versions of ultra-low priced personal computers designed by Microsoft and selling it at around $149. The company is said that it will sell their product “via brand vendors”, but it is still unclear if the products will be China-based or would sell in different parts of the world as well.

Microsoft might also make this move as a response to Google and its attempt to dominate a significant share of the low-end PC market with its Chrome OS devices. However, the move might also backfire on Microsoft due to the fact that offering low-end PCs could degrade profit margins for its partners in the long run.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information

AMD Fiji Comes with Two GPUs

AMD’s latest GPU, AMD Fiji, has been announced a while back that it will come with High Bandwidth Memory. Shortly after CES in Las Vegas, Oculus was said to be toying around with the latest AMD hardware and we even saw it in action in the “Showdown running on the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay, being powered by an unannounced Radeon R9 flagship ultra-enthusiast product”. Even Valve and HTC are rumoured to have a Fiji-powered demo, but have yet to confirm or give any sort of detail about it.

However, a few suspicions were raised once AMD has released the news about LiquidVR SDK, where it was clearly stated it needs two GPUs. The slide below also confirms that it needs Affinity multi-GPU rendering in order to reduce latency and increase content quality.

“Affinity Multi-GPU for scalable rendering, a technology that allows multiple GPUs to work together to improve frame rates in VR applications by allowing them to assign work to run on specific GPUs. Each GPU renders the viewpoint from one eye, and then composites the outputs into a single stereo 3D image. With this technology, multi-GPU configurations become ideal for high performance VR rendering, delivering high frame rates for a smoother experience.”

This makes more sense now and it clarifies how AMD got to 8GB of RAM. Nobody thought it would be 4GB times two, meaning two separate GPUs, each with their 4GB of HBM1 memory. Also, AMD confirmed that it is already working on a next generation High Bandwidth Memory HBM card that is smaller than 20nm, but it is no clear just yet what type of note or memory it will use. It could be HBM1 or HBM2.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information

Palit Announces GeForce GTX 960 JetStream 4GB Graphics Card

Palit seems to be a little late with its GTX 960 offering, though better late than never as it goes. The company is now offering its GeForce GTX 960 JetStream Edition featuring 4GB of graphics memory.

While the graphics card solution sure looks amazing, it does have more than just its design to offer. It is said that the GTX 960 JetStream offers a very silent cooling solution, with temperatures reaching levels of under 70 degrees Celsius under full load.

The GPU core clock is set to have a frequency of 1127 MHz and can be boosted up to 1178 MHz, while the 4GB memory comes with a 7000 MHz. Also, given the 128-bit memory interface, the graphics card solution is able to boost a memory bandwidth of 112 GB/s.

GIGABYTE Gives Their GTX 960 the 4GB Treatment

GIGABYTE has given two of their GeForce GTX 960 graphics cards an upgrade to 4GB of memory, the WindForce 2X and the G1.Gaming. The two GIGABYTE cards feature better cooling solutions and are factory overclocked.

The WindForce 2X (N960WF2OC-4GD) features a the twin fan WindForce 2X cooling solution and comes with a factory-overclock of 1241 MHz core and a 1304 MHz GPU Boost speed. The G1.Gaming (N960G1 GAMING-4GD) comes with the bigger WindForce 3X cooler that has three fans and a bigger heatsink. It comes with a core speed of 1266 MHz and the same 1304 MHz GPU Boost speed. Both of these cards now feature 4 GB of GDDR5 memory on their 128-bit wide memory bus running at 7 GHz.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

EVGA Introduces 4GB GeForce GTX 960 SSC Graphics Card

EVGAs graphics cards are well-known for their impressive specs and efficient coolers, and now you can also get their GeForce GTX 960 SSC with 4GB GDDR5 memory instead of the previous 2GB reference.

EVGA also added their new EVGA ACX 2.0+ cooler that comes with a Memory MOSFET Cooling Plate (MMCP) that reduces MOSFET temperatures up to 11°C, and optimized Straight Heat Pipes (SHP) that reduce GPU temperature by 5°C. ACX 2.0+ coolers also feature optimized Swept fan blades, double ball bearings, and an extreme low power motor that delivers more air flow with less power.

New Features:

  • 4GB of High-Performance GDDR5 Memory – Improved 4K gaming performance and higher texture qualities!
  • dBi (dB Noise Inverter) – EVGA’s ACX 2.0+ fan turns off below 60C, generating 0dB of noise.
  • MMCP (Memory MOSFET Cooling Plate) – Full-size cooling plate makes direct contact with memory and MOSFETS, reducing memory up to 9°C and MOSFET up to 11°C.
  • QSD (Quick Switch Dual BIOS) – Multiple integrated BIOSes allow you to switch to the secondary with the flick of a switch.
  • OPT (Optimized Power Target) – The power target is precisely tuned for the perfect balance of thermal, power and performance, offering 33% more power over reference.
  • SHP (Straight Heat Pipes) – Triple 8mm straight heat pipes offer 6% better heat dissipation than bent heat pipes with reduced thermal resistance.

The card runs at a 1279MHz base clock and has a Boost to 1342MHz. The 4GB memory runs at 7010MHz on the 128 Bit memory bus with 112.16GB/s bandwidth. It supports up to four monitors, 240MHz refresh rate, and 4K resolution.

Thanks to EVGA for providing us with this information

“We’ll Do a Better Job Next Time”, NVIDIA Admitting Defeat

 

Over the last few weeks we’ve all heard of the scandal relating to the 3.5GB VRAM buffer on the GTX 970 graphics cards. Yes, the card comes with 4GB, but the last 512mb is extremely slow compared to the rest. Well today, NVIDIA’s Jen-Hsun, came forward to elaborate on this unfortunate turn of events.

“We invented a new memory architecture in Maxwell. This new capability was created so that reduced-configurations of Maxwell can have a larger framebuffer – i.e., so that GTX 970 is not limited to 3GB, and can have an additional 1GB. GTX 970 is a 4GB card. However, the upper 512MB of the additional 1GB is segmented and has reduced bandwidth. This is a good design because we were able to add an additional 1GB for GTX 970 and our software engineers can keep less frequently used data in the 512MB segment. 

Unfortunately, we failed to communicate this internally to our marketing team, and externally to reviewers at launch.”

So they tried to push the boundaries with as little as possible, resulting in a very fast and usable 3.5GB VRAM, but failed to tell anyone outside of the company of this groundbreaking memory architecture; something that could have played so well to their advantage has seemed to have backfired.

“The 4GB of memory on GTX 970 is used and useful to achieve the performance you are enjoying. And as ever, our engineers will continue to enhance game performance that you can regularly download using GeForce Experience. This new feature of Maxwell should have been clearly detailed from the beginning. We won’t let this happen again. We’ll do a better job next time.”

Good guys NVIDIA for admitting defeat, let’s hope future driver updates will increase the speed of the last 512mb.

Have you returned or received any form of refund for your GTX 970? Are you content with the performance and think this has been blown massively out of proportion by a small population? Let us know on Facebook and our Forums.

Thanks to NVIDIA for sharing this with us.

Nvidia Reporting Less than 5% Returns on GTX 970s after VRAM Controversy

Amid all the controversy that has been surrounding NVidia, the aftermath seems much less severe than was to be expected. So how bad is it actually? President of Jon Peddie Research, Jon Peddie, has stated not that bad. He had this to say: “I have had heard as many as 5 per cent of the buyers are demanding a refund from the AIB suppliers.” By comparison, retailers are only reporting 1-2%, including two of the biggest in the UK offering full refunds through till the end of the month.

If you missed out on the controversy, although the GTX 970 does have a full 4GB of VRAM, the last 512MB is accessed differently and therefore runs at a slower rate. This causes slowdowns and stuttering in games when the extra 512MB is accessed. This design additionally affects the ROPs (Raster Operating Pipelines), reducing them from 64 to 56, and the L2 cache falls from 2048KB to 1792KB.

Source: Tweaktown