GIGABYTE launched a complete new series of High-End Desktop (HEDT) motherboards with the new X170 and X150 series motherboards that are based on Intel’s C236 and C232 chipsets and with support for Intel’s Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors as well as ECC memory. Besides the Xeon compatibility, you can also use 6th generation Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors in these new boards.
The Xeon CPUs come with quite a bit more power than the ordinary desktop CPUs and they are perfect for photographers, designers, and video editors where the software can take a real advantage of the underlying architecture. GIGABYTE is so sure of these products that Henry Kao, the Vice President of GIGABYTE’s motherboard business commented it as “the best HEDT experience” [sic]. The new Intel generation brings some great improvements. Not only are the new Skylake based Xeon’s built on the 14nm technology, the new C230 series chipsets bring along support for faster, better, and more memory. The boards support up to 64GB DDR4 memory with 2133MHz compared to the max of 32GB at 1866MHz on the previous generation. There are also the added bonuses of improved manageability, increased I/O bandwidth, and enhanced processor graphics to name a few.
In the new GIGABYTE series are boards with ECC support and some without, depending on what you need. The X170-Extreme ECC, X150-PRO ECC, and X150M-PRO ECC boards all support it and it can be a useful feature as it can eliminate small data discrepancies and prevent data corruption to ensure reliability for critical applications while also helping to reduce system crashes. Another thing that can help your productivity a lot is how GIGABYTE designed the motherboard. The first PCIe lane on these motherboards is a direct x16 Gen.3 lane to the processor that offers 128Gb/s unrestricted bandwidth to your graphics card.
The new boards also come with all other modern features such as USB 3.1, M.2, and PCI-Express connections. U.2 drives can also be used through an M.2 adapter to give you the fastest possible storage solutions available. On the flagship X170-Extreme ECC motherboard, you’ll also find the Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet Controller which is classified as the world’s most advanced networking detection and prioritization technology for consumer and enthusiast users. The adapter delivers industry-leading latency performance, offering more powerful network control, improved latency, reduced jitter and virtually eliminates video freezes so users can play, watch and stream games all at the same time. At least on the paper.
At the time of writing, not all product pages have gone online yet, so we can’t provide details on all of the boards. The X170-Extreme ECC and X150-PRO ECC are still missing. The X150-Plus WS, X150M-Plus WS, and X150M-PRO ECC are online and you can find the highlights for those below.
Supports the Intel® Xeon® E3-1200 v5 processor and 6th Gen. Intel® Core i3/ Pentium®/ Celeron® Processor
Dual Channel DDR4, 4 DIMMs
2-Way Graphics with Premium PCIe Lane
PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe & SATA SSD support)
SATA Express Connector for up to 16Gb/s Data Transfer
8-channel HD Audio with High-Quality Audio Capacitors
Audio Noise Guard with LED Trace Path Lighting
Intel® GbE LAN with cFosSpeed Internet Accelerator Software
APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities
Tech is always advancing in new and exciting ways. With the aim of developing and modernizing techniques for the 21st century, the coin production process at The People’s Bank of China placed into circulation a $10 dollar limited edition of at least 500 million coins, but when you consider China has a current estimated population of at least 1.357 billion, this may well be a limited laser blasted and multilevel “Monkey zodiac coin”.
The coins in question use materials including a Brass Alloy for the outer ring, which is illustrated by the first image below, this is coupled with a Nickel Alloy composite which is implemented for the inner core and is conveyed by the second image. The technique used to make these commemorative coins changes the traditional moulding process in favour of a lower yet more efficient manufacturing footprint.
The coins have the word “SHIYUAN” which is located next to the selected domination, this word comes from the Chinese phonetic alphabet. The coins, released to coincide with the 2016 Lunar New Year are also decorated to include a floral pattern as well as a traditional decorative monkey and also a lantern.
Collectors who wish to collect such a coin will be able to reserve a maximum of five coins, the date by which the coins will become available will be from the 16th January 2016.
CES 2016: Razer’s latest Stealth Blade ultrabook can be accompanied by an external graphics card enclosure which supports a maximum size of 5.98 in./152 mm (Height) x 1.73 in./44 mm (Width) x 12.20 in./310 mm. This is more than enough to accommodate the majority of GPUs available today including the unbelievably long Sapphire R9 290X Tri-X which measures 305mm. The installation procedure only takes a matter of seconds as the aluminium housing slides open without any effort and only requires a single screw to hold into position.
Even more fascinating, AMD GPUs are hot-swappable with a single Thunderbolt 3 USB-Type C cable. This is unlike anything I’ve seen before and a huge selling point. Please note, this is only possible due to AMD’s drivers and any NVIDIA GPUs will blue screen and require a hard reboot.
On another note, the device only requires a single PSU cable which powers the unit while charging the main laptop. This cuts down on clutter and makes the device a more portable proposition. Other features include Gigabit Ethernet, Chroma lighting, and four USB 3.0 ports. Overall, the Razer Core impressed me a great deal and the advent of hot swappable AMD GPUs is fantastic!
Before I started in this industry, I thought that most PC cases were created fairly equally. For the most part, you could get a lot of wildly varying designs, but for the most part, the were rectangle boxes and that’s that. That’s a trend that has been rapidly changing and it seems we can’t go more than a few months without seeing yet another completely bonkers and/or innovative chassis design hit the market. Not wanting to be left out of this trend, Thermaltake are back with their new Core P5 wall-mounted chassis.
“Take presentation to the next level with the Core P5 Open Frame chassis by Thermaltake. The fully modular design of the Core P5 allows flexibility for 3-way placement layouts (Wall mount, Horizontal and Vertical), dual GPU layout locations: Horizontal and Vertical and placement locations for liquid cooling components. Uncover greatness with the Core P5’s panoramic viewing angle with its large acrylic window to protect and present. Seeing is believing, the Core P5 brings the ultimate in PC hardware viewing wherever you mount or display.”
This is certainly not your typical chassis design, as not only can you stand it on its side, you can lay it flat on its back, or even more importantly, you can mount it on the wall and have your PC displayed like a giant work of art.
As you can see, this isn’t a small chassis at all, so if you’re wanting to wall mount it, you best have a strong supporting wall to deal with it. There’s room for an ATX motherboard, a good amount of storage and a fairly significant amount of air and water cooling hardware.
In the box, you’ll find a whole host of mounting components. The chassis comes virtually flat-packed, so be prepared to do a good bit of building prior to installing your system. There are brackets here for the PSU, expansion slots and more, as well as two wide and durable feet for those wanting to display it on their desk/floor.
There’s also an extra HDD tray and a riser card for mounting the GPU at 90-degree (optional).
There’s are the corner poles which the window panel mounts on, and they’re seriously heavy! They should look great in contrast with the black paintwork of the chassis.
The main section of the chassis isn’t exactly lightweight either, but given that it has room for a huge radiator on the side, an ATX motherboard, the PSU and so much more, all laid out and separated, it’s obvious why it’s so big. The chassis is treated with a matte finish black paint, giving it a nice and uniform appearance.
There are five durable cable routing grommets dotted around the tray.
You’ll also find a series of smaller cut-outs in strategic places to help with smaller cables.
Behind the motherboard, there’s a large CPU cooler mounting cut-out, behind which you can see some of the HDD bays, which are located inside the Core P5.
There’s an additional bay on the front, which can be used to mount one of the HDD trays; perfect for showing off your favorite SSD or HDD.
The radiator mount is nicely designed, with a choice of 120mm and 140mm spacings and with room for up to a 480mm unit, it’s going to be great for custom loop cooling enthusiasts.
It’s quite thin overall, so the actually base compartment of the chassis shouldn’t protrude from the wall too much. Of course, it’s still thick enough to deal with some hard drives on the interior, as well as cable management.
The side of the chassis has the I/O panel, as well as a small Tt logo.
There’s the usual power and HDD LEDs, a large power button and reset button, four USB ports and HD audio jacks.
Around the back, there’s a little ventilation to help any water cooling hardware, some screw holes to support mounting the chassis to a wall and six thumb screws to open up the back of the case.
Logitech have a long history in the peripheral business, having created some of the most popular desktop and gaming mice around. With that in mind, we’re very happy to see their latest mouse, the G502 Proteus Core in the eTeknix office, as it comes equipped with some pretty awesome features that should make it a lot of fun to test.
The G502 Proteus comes equipped with a high-end 12,000 DPI sensor, which Logitech claim is the most accurate sensor on the market, a claim I won’t be taking lightly in our testing. An accurate sensor is obviously something we all want in our mice, be that for gaming or otherwise, how well it tracks can be the difference between catching that all important headshot or defeat.
A fast built-in 32-bit microcontroller, a (hopefully) super accurate sensor, weight tuning system, and so much more on offer with this mouse, the G502 is certainly ticking a lot of boxes.
Most accurate sensor on the market
3 on-board profiles
1 millisecond report rate
Primary buttons rated to 20 million clicks
Improved keyplate design for better click feeling and performance
Braided cable with hook and loop cable tie
Sleep mode disabled
3 DPI indicator LEDs
Magnetic weight-cavity door
The new sensor promises great performance, but to ensure you can get the best out of it, it can be tuned to your surface of choice.
“Wood, Laminate, Steel, Mouse Pad, all surfaces have different properties. Proteus Core makes sure that no matter where or what you game on, your mouse is optimized.”
If tuning the sensor isn’t enough, there’s also a weight tuning system to allow you to tweak the balance and overall feel of the mouse.
“Proteus Core allows you to change the weight, balance, and enables you to adapt to wherever you choose to play. Customize it to the way you game and make it yours!”
The box shows a cool picture of the mouse, as well as some of the tuning weights.
Around the back, a quick breakdown of some of the features of the G502, such as the programmable buttons and surface tunable sensor.
In the box, you’ll find a small plastic box with the Logitech logo on it.
It’s a handy little storage box that houses five 3.6g weights.
The PlayStation 4 is evidently winning the current console market and outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One at around a two to one ratio. Part of its appeal is the better performance in multi-platform releases and enhanced power to reach 1080p. Technically, both consoles utilize a custom 28nm Jaguar 8-core APU from AMD. Although, up to this point, the PlayStation 4 offset two cores to make the operating system run smooth and create a pleasant user-experience. Not so long ago, Microsoft overclocked the Xbox One’s GPU core clock from 800MHz to 853MHz. to try to improve graphical performance.
According to a changelog from audio software, FMOD, Sony has now unlocked the 7th core to improve performance in games. The change log reads:
“Firelight Technologies FMOD Studio API
Detailed Revision History 17/11/15 1.07.03 – Studio API patch release (build 69975)
LowLevel API – When using System::recordStart the provided FMOD::Sound can now be any channel count, up/down mixing will be performed as necessary. LowLevel API – Improved performance of convolution reverb effect when wet is 0 or input goes idle. LowLevel API – PS4 – Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core.”
Theoretically, this could be used to power the PlayStation 4’s upcoming PS2 backwards compatibility or simply enhance performance on PlayStation 4 titles. Sony have managed to optimize the operating system and reduce overheads. This means there’s no longer a 2-core requirement to power the OS. Despite this, it’s unclear how the extra core will be used and if it will make a tangible difference.
Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX and heck, even ATX chassis are great, but they’re just too small, at least for some builds. What do you do when you need to fit an absolutely ridiculous amount of hardware into a single build? What if you have the biggest graphics cards money can buy, gigantic water cooling radiators, huge amounts of storage, multiple PSUs and more that you want to fit into your chassis? You get an absolutely freaking huge chassis, that’s what you do!
Thermaltake are known to make quite a few monster-sized chassis and one of their latest efforts, the Core X9 is certainly one of the biggest. Not only is this chassis big to start with, but it comes with a rather cool feature that allows you to take two or more of them, bolt them together and make it even bigger. This means it’s possible to have one system which spans both chassis, or even simply stack multiple systems, the choice is yours.
The specs are not for the faint of heart, with room for E-ATX motherboards, a huge amount of storage drives and a dizzying array of cooling configurations.
In terms of air cooling, you’ll find extensive room for 120mm, 140mm and 200mm fans in an extremely versatile range of configurations.
Water cooling isn’t exactly lacking in options either, with radiators of up to a staggering 480mm being supported in the top and/or bottom, but even more crazy is that you can get 420mm, 480mm and even 540mm in the front when you use two of these chassis in a stacked configuration. Basically, this chassis can hold more radiators than most people’s in-home central heating.
To help wrap you head around some of the aspects of this chassis, which I think may be lost in pictures alone, please check out this handy product animation courtesy of Thermaltake.
The left side of this chassis features a massive side panel window. This is perfect for showing off your fancy build and to make it even more versatile, the left and right side panels are interchangeable, so you can have the window on the other side if you really want to.
Also on the left side, the main I/O which comes equipped with the usual power and LED hardware, as well as four USB 3.0 ports and HD audio jacks.
The right side panel features two huge ventilated section, each backed with a magnetic washable dust filter for easy maintenance.
On the right front edge, there’s a plastic cover, this can be removed and you can move the entire I/O panel to the right side of the chassis if you so desire.
The front panel really puts this chassis into perspective, as the three 5.25″ drive bays sitting in the middle look tiny when compared to the rest of the panel. There’s extensive ventilation here too, which dust filters on the interior, giving you lots of airflow for any front mounted cooling.
Overall, a pretty bold looking unit, assuming you have the space to situate it on, under or even next to your desk.
Around the back, you’ll find a 120/140mm fan mount with elongated screw holes to allow for height adjustments, two huge routing grommets, as well as some extra ventilation at the bottom. What’s really important here is that you can see how the motherboard is orientated; it’s not every day you see an E-ATX motherboard being supported with a horizontal mount!
Why have one PSU when you can have two? By default, only one is open on the rear left, but you can quickly remove the cover/fan mount in the bottom right to install another should you need it; like more useful for those using two of these chassis stacked together.
Each of the expansion slots come fitted with reusable ventilated covers, as well as a screw guard. Hilariously, there’s also a Kensington lock fitting on the back of this chassis, not that anyone could make a fast getaway with this behemoth.
The top panel has even more ventilation, and just like the right side panel it also has two large magnetic dust filters on the interior for quick and easy maintenance.
On the base of the chassis, you’ll find four large feet that provide good ground clearance for any base mounted cooling; there are two clip-in mesh filters here too. The base of the chassis has a large removable section, allowing you to bolt it to the top of another Core X9 and let radiators run right up the front panels of each.
Some people are waiting with high anticipation for Intel to release their newest platform, Skylake, while others don’t care as much as they’ve recently upgraded to the current platform. If you are a member of the first group, then you won’t have to wait much longer as the release date for the first CPUs in the series as well as the first motherboards have been revealed.
Benchlife got the scoop and they weren’t slow to release it – meaning that we also can bring you this news. The first CPUs to be released are the Core i7-6700K and the Core i5-6600K and they will be released on August 5th and not between the 6th and 9th as previously reported.
A new CPU also needs a new motherboard to go along and we saw a lot of gorgeous ones during out visit to Computex last month. The Z170 chipset will be the new flagship and it will be released on the same day. After all, what good is a brand new CPU without a motherboard?
The i7-6700, i5-6600, and i5-6400 as well as the i7-6700T, i5-6600T, and i5-6400T processors are scheduled for a release between August 30th and September 5th. The same goes for the H170, B150, and H110 chipset based motherboards. Enterprise level Q170 and Q150 will have to wait until at least October before they get the newest technology out of the house of Intel.
Cooling is an important factor in compact builds such as SFF and 1U rack mounted systems, but it’s something that can be tricky at times. You either get something that isn’t very effective or you get something that is loud.
Gelid has just launched their newest cooler, the Polar, and it is designed for just this. It is a low-profile CPU cooler compatible with Intel’s LGA 1150, 1155, and 1156 sockets. The tiny cooler supports Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, and Core i5 processors with a TDP up to 65W.
The heatsink height is just 27mm, so it will fit almost any chassis and the fan is inserted into it and won’t take up any extra space. Speaking of the fan, it is a 75mm fan and it features an intelligent PWM Fan Control and has an RPM between 1400 and 2000. It is a silent ball bearing fan and it can push an air flow of 29.6/50.3 CFM/CMH.
The width and length are both 92mm so it shouldn’t interfere with any other components such as RAM or PCIe slots, nor power or fan connectors. The noise level is rated between 16 and 28.9 dBa.
It is rated for 50 thousand hours of lifetime and is backed by a five-year warranty. Best of all, the suggested retail price is just $14 USD or €12 Euro.
Computex 2015 – Gigabyte didn’t just bring along their laptops at Computex, they also got their motherboards with them and we took a look at them. The highlights are with no doubt the new Z170 based motherboards for Intel’s next and 6th generation processors.
The motherboards are packed with the best of features, from the new high-speed USB 3.1 type-C ports that can provide up to 36W power, 4-way SLI capabilities and 4K output in 60Hz thanks to the HDMI 2.0 connector. We’re used to a lot from Gigabyte, and they didn’t let us down.
Intel H170 chipset based boards such as the GA-H170-Gaming 3 were also on display, perfect for people that don’t overclock their processors and don’t need as many amazing features in their PCs.
Computex 2015: We love Thermaltake chassis’ products, they’ve often proven a great choice for most system builds, especially gaming systems. Thermaltake have a lot of great looking products, but many of my favourites are from their Snow Edition line and at this years show, Thermaltake were keen to show off their upcoming Snow Edition products. Which one would you want for your next build?
Computex 2015: Here we are once again at the Thermaltake booth and as you can see, they’ve rolled out their latest and greatest Core series chassis. As you can see, these chassis offer superior water and air cooling options, huge side panel windows, making them fantastic solutions for high-end gaming systems.
AMD’s new flagship graphics cards with HBM memory are just around the corner and it looks like Nvidia is trying to steal the show a bit. We’ve seen more and more leaks about the upcoming GeForce GTX 980Ti recently which points in the direction of an eminent release date.
The newest information comes from the same Korean tech-publication as the previous “leaks”, only this time we get a GPU-Z screenshot revealing the clock frequencies.
The GeForce GTX 980Ti is clocked at 1000MHz and has a GPU boost frequency of 1076MHz, very close to that of the GTX Titan X. The memory is clocked at the usual 7012MHz GDDR5 speed.
Other previously revealed specifications include 2816 CUDA cores and 176 TMUs. You’ll get 6GB video memory running on a 384-bit memory bus with 336 GB/s bandwidth. The card is powered by a 6-pin and 8-pin power connector and comes with one DVI, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort connectors.
What we don’t know for sure yet are the ROPs that are expected at 96, the TDP and the MSRP.
There are also some 3DMark benchmark results coming from the same direction, both Fire Strike and Cloud Gate. The Fire Strike test clocks in with a score of 14,071 while the Cloud Gate reaches 29,444.
Fractal Design is well-known for their high-end chassis products. They’ve won many awards for their clean designs, exceptional build quality, water cooling support and much more, which has made them a popular choice with the enthusiast system building crowd. However, that’s not all Fractal Design do and as many of you are no doubt well aware, not everyone has the kind of money required for an enthusiast-grade build, sometimes we just want an affordable product that ticks the right boxes for our build.
A compact full-ATX case with bottom-mounted PSU, designed for exceptional airflow and cooling
Brushed aluminum-look front panel with a sleek, three-dimensional textured finish
Superior water cooling support for its size, supporting one 240/280mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator in the top
Featuring a 120mm rear exhaust fan for great cooling
Total 7 fan slots with two 120mm fans included
Extruded motherboard plate allowing space for additional cable routing; 18.5mm around the motherboard and 13.5mm directly behind it
Supports tall CPU cooler towers, up to 162mm in height
Multiple easy-to-clean dust filters designed into the case to help maintain a dust free interior
Innovative vertical HDD bracket, which simultaneously holds three 3.5″ drives and three 2.5″ drives
One additional SSD position behind the PSU area with easy installation and access
The Core 2300 chassis that I’m looking at today is from Fractal Designs more budget focused range, but keep in mind, cheap prices don’t always translate to a cheap product, not forgetting that Fractal Design has a reputation to uphold, so let’s get stuck in and take a close look at what it has to offer.
The chassis is certainly nothing fancy at first look, but it’s not exactly ugly either, it’s just a fairly straight forward looking black chassis. The left side panel is flat and is held in place by two thumb screws at the back, plus there’s a 120mm fan mount on the panel for extra airflow should you need it.
Again, another flat panel on the right side, which is also held in place by two thumb screws.
The front panel is fairly straight forward too, with a neat and tidy design. There’s two pop-out 5.25″ drive bay covers, should you need them, as well as two strips of ventilation, one down each side.
Around the back, you’ll find a 120mm fan pre-installed at the top, seven expansion slots and the PSU mount. Again, nothing fancy, but ticking all the right boxes for the kind of things you’ll need.
In the top of the 2300, there’s two more fan mounts, which support 120/140mm fans or up to 240/280mm radiators.
The front panel has all the basics covered, with a single USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port, HD audio jacks, power, reset and a HDD LED.
On the underside, there’s a clip in mesh filter that covers both the PSU air intake, as well as an optional bottom fan mount. There’s four hard rubber feet to provide good ground clearance and they’ll also help hold the chassis in place on harder surfaces.
Intel’s Broadwell generation ran into some trouble last year and as a result of this, the launch got delayed. In return, this means that the new 5th generation Intel Core processors will have a short lifespan until the 6th generation launches later this year. The Broadwell range of processors might however still be a valid option for many people as it retains the current socket and will be supported by current generation 9-series motherboards.
Major pre-built desktop manufacturers have begun to list systems with the new Broadwell processors and the highlights are the Core i5-5675C and the Core i7-5775C. These processors aren’t exactly successors to the current flagships, but they do come with an unlocked multiplier and a reduced power consumption. Whether the reduced 65W TDP will result in better overclocking abilities is yet to be seen, but in theory it should and they could come out as a winner on that front.
Broadwell is essentially a shrunken Haswell, but Intel did add a couple new features such as ADCX that will improve things, but nothing that is a real game changer. The i5-5675C has 4MB L3 cache and the i7-5775C has 6MB L3 cache, but both feature the Iris Pro 6200 iGPU with full support for DX12 and 4K resolutions. The added 128MB eDRAM cache helps to achieve the new resolution standards such as 4K and 5K by keeping the most relevant information stored here and only using the system memory for the lesser uses resources. The Iris Pro 6200 also supports the VP8 decoder to achieve full hardware decoding that works on any resolution and with cropping.
Where this 5th generation is an entry into the 14nm CPU world, the real change will come with the 6th generation Skylake with support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory, and that will hopefully also be the time where we’ll see DDR4 memory prices fall to a more consumer-friendly level.
One of the real pains in building computers comes at the times where you need to upgrade several components in order to keep everything compatible to the one new component that you actually had the intention to upgrade. This won’t be an issue if you plans are to invest in the upcoming and fifth generation of Intel Core processors and you own a Gigabyte Z97 or H97 based motherboard.
GIGABYTE’s engineers have been busy in their labs and they have tested and verified that the new generation of Intel Core processors all work perfectly on their H97 and Z97 chipset based motherboards and offer an optimal performance.
So users who wish to take advantage of Intel’s new processor generation as soon as possible can rest assured that their GIGABYTE motherboards will support it. You will need to download and install the latest BIOS to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that every function is properly supported, but that is kind of a normal thing and one that you have to do with each new generation of processors.
You can find and download the latest UEFI BIOS files for your 9 Series motherboards directly on GIGABYTE’s own website and be ready for the upcoming launch.
Thermaltake has launched a Snow White edition of their gorgeous Core X9 e-ATX cube case. The case is particular suited for liquid cooling setups, but that doesn’t stop you from using it for something else, a file server for example, or whatever comes to your mind.
The cube design allows for endless stackability, so the height of your ceiling is your only limitation, next to maybe your wallet size when it comes to expanding to more and beyond.
Users can customize the chassis for the best viewing presentation with interchangeable window and I/O panel design. The dual chamber concept is made to improve the cooling performance and the efficiency, but also to allow you to display your expensive components even better. You have the bottom chamber for drives and PSU and the top chamber is used for your motherboard, graphics cards, and other add-ons.
The case is fully modular and you can take everything apart. A 3 +9 drive bay concept design for accessory and storage devices makes setting up the best storage solution on the market super easy and flexible. In addition, a customizable 5.25” & 3.5” drive bay feature enables users to freely interchange the 3.5” hard drive cages to suit their particular needs.
Even when you build a high-end system full of components you’ll have plenty of spare space inside. Pay attention to the amount of fans built into this case in the demo shot below, that are enough fans to make one or another artist jealous. There is room for graphics cards up to 590mm length and tower CPU coolers up to 250mm. Even the biggest PSUs will fit with the spacious 200m room in that area.
I could just keep on writing about this chassis, because I think it’s one of the most amazing ones ever built – may it be the black or this new Show White version – but if you’d like to know even more, then I’d recommend to check out the official product page where you can find all the details and extra information you might be looking for before making your final purchasing decision.
Intel’s 6th generation Core processors codenamed Skylake got some extra attention on the first day of the IDF15 in Shenzhen and it looks like everything is going as scheduled with the chips. One of the mentioned highlights was the RealSense 3D technology that allows for much better facial recognition support that works much faster than current methods and apps.
The new family of processors will feature the upgraded 9th generation graphics core and the memory controller will support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. The socket will be the LGA1151 and it will use the new 100 series chipsets. The flagship chipset will be the Z170 with support for RST 14 storage technology, SRT intelligent response technology, and up to 14 USB ports of which the 10 are USB 3.0. It will support 6 SATA ports and have 20 PCI-E channels with support for up to three SATA Express x2 interfaces, and three PCI-E with RST storage device support.
More and more companies set on alternative login methods besides the manual password and the new Intel processors will support facial recognition based on the RealSense 3D technology. Different from traditional face recognition, the new face unlock on RealSense is much faster and will unlock your system in just a second.
Using photos or cell phone shots to login won’t work, as the stereoscopic 3D will notice that. So it won’t be that easy to get past this security feature. The first products with this technology are said to come out before the end of the year and it’s expected to gain large popularity.
Thanks to DigiTech for providing us with this information
MediaTek wants to take Intel’s place in Chromebooks and expand its reach beyond Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Up until now, MediaTek has been the leading chip manufacturer for Android devices.
Kevin Jou, vice president and chief technology officer at MediaTek, stated that MediaTek’s new high-performance chip, the Helio X10, already has support for Chromebook OS. Google’s low-cost alternative to Windows PCs seems to be growing a lot in popularity and since the Chromebooks require Internet connectivity for most of its applications, it would make sense for MediaTek to grab a piece of the pie.
At the moment, Chromebook applications do not require a lot of processing power to run its cloud-based applications. However, together with MediaTek’s eight-core Helio X10 solution, we could see a lot of potential in Chromebooks, including support for 4K videos and 64-bit architecture support for apps.
The Helio X10 comes with four Cortex-A57 cores set to handle a lot of demanding tasks in applications and four Cortex-A53 for the less demanding operations, such as audio playback. In terms of benchmarking, the Helio X10 is currently competing with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, considered to be one of the fastest mobile chips on the market.
Thank you PC World for providing us with this information
Intel officially announced the availability of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro 14nm processor family that’s designed for the rapidly shifting workplace and create a more dynamic workflow. The new generation offers wireless innovations, built-in security, faster performance and improved manageability.
The three specific key areas Intel has focused on are PC design innovation, Wireless Display, and Wireless Docking. Businesses can choose from a ‘never before seen’ PC designs across 2-in-1s, Ultrabooks, Ultrathin Clamshells, and Mini PCs with up to twice the battery life and more than twice the performance.
“Our goal is to enable all users to simply work better by offsetting the growing challenges of today’s businesses,” said Tom Garrison, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Business Client Platforms. “With new devices based on 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors, we aim to transform the user experience by helping them compute from virtually anywhere without the clutter and burden of wires.”
Intel Pro Wireless Display (WiDi) turns presentations and conference rooms into a cable-free zone. It supports key IT requirements such as wireless channel management to mitigate network congestion risk and security vulnerabilities, and the ability to efficiently update and manage adapters remotely.
Intel’s Wireless Docking allows users to be connected and ready to work the moment they walk up to their desk. This secure and manageable, wire-free technology is based on Intel’s Wireless Gigabit technology and enables systems to automatically dock to monitors, keyboards, mice, and USB accessories, all wireless.
The 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors also provide hardware-enhanced security and manageability capabilities. When paired with the Intel SSD Pro 2500 Series, ‘IT departments can implement built-in data encryption capabilities, while users enjoy protection so smart, they’ll never feel the difference’.
New 2 in 1s, Ultrabooks, Ultrathin Clamshells, and Mini PCs based on 5th generation Intel Core vPro processors are available now from 12 leading PC manufacturers with more expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Thanks to Intel for providing us with this information
Timed for the release of the 5th generation of Intel Core processors, Intel released a new version of their graphics drivers that also brings along a long row of benefits for the current 4th generation.
Benefits of updating to this driver include addition of video playback of VP9 video format, for Chrome video playback and Google Hangouts for example, through partial hardware acceleration. Accelerated decoding of the HEVC video format for 4K Ultra HD video playback with both 8-bit and 10-bit support was added as well as and expanded Open CL and Open GL extension support.
Intel also fixed a long row of issues ranging from log off screens being displayed when changing display mode to ordinary bluescreen situations and issues with a long row of games such as Call of Duty, Quake 4, Sleeping Dogs, AC:Unity and more.
You can view a list of changes in the Release Notes and download the new drivers from Intel’s official website for 32bit and 64bit systems.
Thanks to Intel for providing us with this information
Why have one chassis, when you can have two for twice the price! That’s the motto I’m sticking to for today’s review, because the new chassis from Thermaltake, the Core V21, has a funky trick I would like to show you.
Thermaltake are one of the biggest names in the business and they have a rock solid reputation with the enthusiast PC market, thanks in no small part to their efforts in creating some of the most capable chassis products on the market. The Thermaltake chassis range is packed full of feature heavy chassis’, capable of extreme air and water cooling, holding epic amounts of hardware and there’s no shortage of innovative features along the way; hopefully the new Core V21 is no exception.
The coolest thing about these cube-style micro-ATX chassis is that you can buy more than one and fix them together to make a bigger chassis; perfect for some enthusiast grade system building.
The Core V21 is a cube style chassis, but don’t be fooled, it’s not as small as it may look! There’s a large window panel on the left side, which is held in place by a pair of thumb screws at the back. The side panel has a nice trick too, but we’ll come back to that later.
The right side panel has a huge ventilated section, covered with a magnetic dust filter for quick and easy maintenance.
The front panel is styled the same as other “core” series chassis, a thick metal cover with loads of ventilation, as well as that nice looking curve around the top and bottom edges.
Around the back you’ll find an optional 120/140mm fan mount, a routing grommet, five expansion slots and a small bit of ventilation near the PSU cut-out. Here you can see that each panel, including the top and bottom, is held in place with two thumb screws, as all these panels are removable and interchangeable.
The routing grommet is handy for external water cooling or for running extra cables and controller for things such as LED lighting, or fan switches.
The top panel is identical to the one on the right side of the chassis; as I said before, all side panels are interchangeable with each other.
Down the left side of the chassis you will find a small I/O panel with all the usual functions included.
The bottom panel has four large rubber coated feed, which should help reduce vibrations as well as provide good ground clearance for the bottom ventilation, as well as the removable PSU dust filter.
Thermaltake are easily one of the best chassis manufacturers around. This is especially true for those who want to utilize the latest and greatest technology in their system builds, even more so with those who love to modify their rigs. Thermaltake has proven time and time again that they’re able to provide innovative and practical features that can help you build a better high-end gaming rig, with extensive support for advanced features such as water cooling.
The Core V1 caught our attention earlier this year at Computex 2014 when we saw this tiny chassis fitted out with a glorious custom loop water cooling setup. This was very impressive, as the chassis exterior dimensions are just 276 x 260 x 316mm! Despite its small size, the V1 still promises to house up to four hard drives, a 285mm graphics card, plenty of cooling hardware and a PSU of up to 200mm. There is no doubt that you can get a lot of high-end hardware in here. If you’re looking for a super-compact gaming rig for LAN or for your living room, then the V1 certainly sounds promising.
The V1 may be tiny, but it has a massive amount of ventilation. This extensive amount of airflow will help keep your high-end build as cool as possible, but it may cause some issues with dust if you’re not careful.
The main I/O panel is tucked away on the left side of the front panel and comes equipped with everything you should need.
The right side panel is the same as the left, so much so that you can actually remove the panel and swap them around.
The curved metal mesh of the front panel looks a little industrial, but its very nicely finished and provides a huge amount of airflow to the 200mm fan which is mounted behind it.
Around the back you’ll find a pair of 80mm fan mounts, the motherboard I/O, two expansion slots and the PSU mount. The PSU cut-out and the expansion slots really put into perspective how small that chassis really is.
The top panel features a large clear perspex window.
On the base of the chassis you’ve got four hard feet and a slide out dust filter for the PSU section. Here’s where things get interesting, the top, bottom and side panels are all the same dimensions. This means you can put them in any order you want. If you would like the top window panel on the side? No problem, want to go crazy and put the feet on the side of the chassis? You can! It’s a little strange, but chassis modders are going to love this flexibility.
Christmas time is almost here and as we wrap up warm over winter, we’re also wrapping up on a year of incredible products here at eTeknix HQ. We’ve had hundred of reviews this year, but no doubt many of you are eagerly writing your letters to Santa, or at least dropping hints to your parents, partner or friends for what you want for Christmas. Of course, there’s no doubt a fair few of you who are eager to treat themselves to something cool this Christmas. We’ve scratched our heads and had a really good think about what some of our favourite bits of technology are from this last year, and if you’ve still got some money left after the manic Black Friday sales, perhaps some of these products will be perfect for you.
While I admit that I couldn’t fit all of our favourites onto this list, its certainly a killer list of great products and they’ve all won awards from us here at eTeknix for one reason or another. If you’re after a headset, a chassis, a new keyboard, graphics card, or other cool gadget, you’ll find something that’s right for you in our guide.
Astro A38 Wireless Gaming Headset
The Astro A38 headset really stood out for me, not only is it one of the more stylish looking headsets I’ve ever reviewed, but the sound quality is nothing short of incredible. They’re a little expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for and Astro have yet to create a product that was anything less than stunning. They’re a perfect gift for yourself or someone else and ideal for those who love to listen to music and play games on the go, and the wireless technology and NFC pairing makes them very user friendly.
A great PC deserves a great chassis and the H440 is certainly one of my all-time favourites. It’s not the biggest, and it may not even be the best chassis ever, that much is subjective, but it’s certainly got a lot of great features. From the PSU shroud that helps keep cable management looking neat and tidy, to the comprehensive set of dust filters, thick sound dampening material lined panels and the large side panel window; you’ll find a lot to love about this chassis.
Not all chassis’ are created equally, the Core V71 packs an incredible range of features that make it an ideal choice for high-end systems. The Thermaltake Core V71 looks great, but the real magic comes from its extreme flexibility. It has class leading radiator and fan mounting support and there’s no doubt that you’ll be able to build a stunning air-cooled system thanks to its array of 200mm pre-installed fans, or an incredible custom water cooling loop thanks to its modular interior. If you need extreme performance without spending crazy amounts of money, this chassis needs to be at the top of your list.
Treating yourself to a high-quality mechanical keyboard is a solid investment for anyone who uses their computer a lot. Mechanical keyboards are expensive, but their overall build quality and performance goes a long way to justifying the cost. The NovaTouch TKL isn’t your average mechanical and features something called Hybrid Capacitive Switches that offer a truly premium and luxurious typing experience. If you want to treat your fingers to a more enjoyable typing experience, try out this keyboard!
I have yet to use a Zowie mouse that wasn’t impressive and the FK1 is by far one of their best. While this mouse only offers minor revisions over its previous model, such as a slightly larger body and an improved sensor, it’s performance is second to none. It’s ambidextrous, has one of the best performing sensors available, great ergonomics and a stylish design. If you’re serious about your gaming and want something that offers eSports levels of performance, then you’ll love what the Zowie FK1 has to offer.
Mobile gaming is something that never really excited me, but Nvidia have really pulled out all the stops with their Shield Tablet. It’s powered by the incredibly powerful Tegra K1 graphics chip and it’s one of the fastest tablets on the market. It recently received an update that added the latest Android 5.0 operating system, as well as enabling Nvidia’s GRID cloud gaming service and all this comes on top of features like in-home game streaming, 4K video output, wireless controller support and a whole lot more. The Shield Tablet is easily one of the most versatile portable on the market.
Nvidia are on our list once again, first they dominate the mobile gaming market, now they’re showing their worth once again in the desktop GPU market. While we admit that the GeForce GTX 980 is an incredible graphics card, you’ll not be disappointed by their GTX 970 as it offers most of the performance of its bigger brother at a much more affordable price tag. This card is packed with the latest features, it looks fantastic and for gaming, it’s one of the best cards you can buy right now. If you want to welcome your computer into the world of high-end PC gaming, this is a great place to start.
Intel really set a new standard for PC performance this year with the launch of their consumer X99 chipsets. It’s not a cheap upgrade right now, but a new support for the latest high-end CPUs, DDR4 memory and a wave of new features make this motherboard perfect for the enthusiast and professional markets. The Asus Rampage motherboard series has long been a popular choice and the V Extreme is certainly one of the best available right now.
Extreme motherboards are one thing, but they’re a little out of the reach of your average consumer. The Gigabyte X97X Gaming 5 series of motherboards offers a lot of exciting features that make them a great choice for high-end gaming PCs, without the colossal price tags that you’ll find with enthusiast grade products. We loved this motherboard when we review it and while the black and red colour scheme is getting a little bit repetitive in the gaming market, it’s still a great looking board that is perfect for a wide range of systems.
A lot of the fame and glory goes to big gaming rigs with multiple graphics cards, loads of hard drives, water cooling and all that other crazy stuff, but this system turns all that on its head. The Brix may be small, but it packs enough power to be worthy of our Extreme Performance award! When space is limited, this little rig will fit on the back of your monitors VESA mount and it packs enough performance to get through a heavy workflow with ease. It’s a little expensive, but for a full-fledged PC that’s small enough to fit in a backpack, it’s a bargain!
If you’re looking to upgrade to an X99 equipped system, then it’s likely that you’ll also be investing in DDR4 memory, a new CPU and a whole host of other components, so why not take all the fuss out of the process and invest in one of the best systems we’ve reviewed this year, the PC Specialist Vortex 440. We loved this system, partly because it was packed full of high-end hardware, but also because it was incredible value for money. Despite what the high price tag may suggest, the Vortex 440 actually worked out cheaper to buy than it would to build it yourself; now that’s a deal we can get behind!
There’s a lot of SSD hard drives on the market right now and there are so many great ones that it’s now very easy to find one suitable for your system. The OCZ ARC 100 really stood out for us as it offers excellent performance, solid reliability, lots of features and it’s also competitively priced (per GB). Upgrading to an SSD is a great way to give your system a new lease of life, your system will boot faster and all of your games will benefit greatly from the speed boost. There is a cheaper 120GB model available, but the 240GB is the best balance of storage and value, making it a great choice for a boot drive.
A really great router is something a lot of people overlook, it can be daunting spending a lot of money on tech like this, but the rewards soon pay for themselves. With more and more devices becoming internet connected, it’s likely that you’re not reaching the full potential of your devices networking capabilities. If you’re wanting to stream movies around your house from a NAS, play games online, while browsing the web from smartphones, tablets, consoles and other devices, then you’re going to see huge benefits from a router that can handle the most demanding workloads without sacrificing performance. The Asus RT AC68U looks great and offers a simple way to improve your home network. It’s expensive, but you certainly get what you pay for.
DDR4 memory marks the first major update to RAM memory formats in desktop systems in years, but it comes with a steep price tag. However, should you choose to make the leap for your high-end X99 platform build, then you should really consider the Crucial 32GB 2133MHZ kit. If you’re not too bothered about the aesthetics, this memory really does impress in terms of performance and offers excellent value for money vs many of the other DDR4 products on the market.
We’ve recently reported on Linshof’s i8 smartphone offering, allowing users to utilize their 80GB of storage space through an interesting 64GB and 16GB memory module paring technology. Just now, news has come to light that this German manufacturer has announced that they will launch ‘clean Android’ offerings of these smartphones and tablets as soon as the first-quarter of 2015. This is an expanded news article, with more pricing and product information being made available to us.
This new OEM has been officially revealed to the public, utilizing Android’s 5.0 Lollipop software at a reported low price. Linshof claims that their i8 5-inch smartphone and their 10-inch tablet will be released on the market with an unnamed octa-core processor @ 2.1GHz, paired with 3GB of RAM and the aforementioned 80GB storage modules. They sent out an email this last Saturday, further clarifying that their 80GB modules are split up between a 64GB and 16GB chip – with this 16GB chip being a “super-high data rate” device, allowing for SSD-like upgraded performance contained within your mobile phone.
The tablet is set to be listed at $360 US, alongside their Smartphone at $380 US. These sharp-angled products are expected to see a slight change in pricing upon release according to reports, however it will be based around the same mark.
Linshof is looking to prove that Germans have what it takes to enter the phone market globally, can they compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung?
Quite often University or High School students are looking for a simple solution to type up their reports and complete various simple processing tasks to get them through the day-to-day grind.
ASUS have replied with their sub-$200 category laptop, the X205TA Signature Edition. Coming in at $179 US on the Microsoft stores (lower than the $199 announced RRP), this laptop should complete the task with ease.
Coming complete with Windows 8.1 displayed on an 11.6-inch panel at 1366×768 resolution, the Signature Edition utlizes Intel’s Z3735F Quad-Core processor running at 1.33 GHz. There’s also the standard turbo options up to 1.83 Ghz available and comes with a handy secondary cache of 2 MB. The laptop functions through 2GB of DDR3-1333 memory, built in eMMC storage and an expandable microSD card slot.
Given all of the specifications above and the overall look and ‘feel’ of the product, it seems that it will be $179 well-spent. We’d like to see it included with a little more ram however, as windows 8.1 might start to chug when running on only 2GB.
As for accessory and connection options, this model comes with two USB 2.0 ports, a 480p webcam, a combined audio and microphone port, HDMI output, 802.11n WiFi and Blutooth 4.0. Measuring at a total 11.25 x 7.61 x 0.68 inches at a weight of 2.11 pounds (0.96kg), this laptop will be small and light enough to carry around for days on end around campus.
Further advancing on the success of their Exynos54 processor, Samsung have snuck underneath the new Nexus launch release hype and announced their new heart – the Exynos7 Octa Core.
Said to be featuring a 57% performance increase compared to its predecessor, the Exynos7 has doubled the cores and upped Samsung’s game. This new processor features four Cortex-A57 cores (for performance), on top of four Cortex-A53 cores for improved energy efficiency. Together these eight cores enable a 1440 x 2560 and 1600 x 2560 resolution output whilst limiting power consumption when compared to previous models.
This new processor once again uses ARM’s big LITTLE Heterogeneous Multi Processing (HMP) technology, enabling the ability to scale loads across the most applicable processor cores – balancing power consumption and performance output. On top of this, the Exynos7 will be built on a 20nm manufacturing process.
There has been no say as the clock speeds of the new processor yet, but Samsung are claiming a 57% performance increase alongside a 74% increase in GPU capabilities. The SoC now has the ability to simultaneously record high-definition video through both front and back cameras, alongside the ability to transmit a 4k signal to a TV at native resolution.
We’re interested to see exactly what the clock speeds and power efficiency this core offers; in the mean time however you can do the math and most likely figure it your for yourself using the diagram below.