AOC Introduces U2879VF 4K UHD Monitor

UHD 4K resolution monitors are the best thing that happened to productivity since the introduction of multi-monitor setups simply due to the extended amount of displayable pixels. Having more pixels on the screen allows you to view a lot of things at once and have a lot bigger area visible when using extreme zooms for close-up edits and that saves a lot of unnecessary switching between apps and scrolling around. There already are quite a few 4K displays on the market by now, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for one more in the form of AOC’s newly introduced 4K UHD monitor U2879VF.

The new AOC U2879VF can display more than 1 billion colours (8-bit+FRC) with its 28-inch (71.1 cm) TN panel for a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is coupled with an ultra-fast response time of just 1 ms and the U2879VF also features Adaptive-Sync support and is thereby FreeSync compatible. While 4K still is somewhat of a gimmick when it comes to gaming, those who use it will surely appreciate this feature and the low input lag that comes along with it.

The monitor comes with both modern and legacy connectors as it features HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2a+ as well as DVI and D-Sub. Especially the HDMI 2.0 port is a great thing to see and one that has been missing on other monitors in this category in the past. The increased bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps makes it able to deliver 60fps 4K content on this port too. The HDMI port is also MHL compatible which allows you to display content directly from a smartphone or tablet device while charging its battery at the same time.

AOC also added their Flicker-Free technology to the monitor to ease the eye strain during long periods of work. A Picture by Picture (PBP) function has also been added which makes it possible to view content from two input sources at the same time.

The AOC U2879VF has a planned availability set for March 2016 and an MSRP of £279.99.

AOC Launches U2477PWQ 23.6″ 4K 60Hz Monitor

UHD 4K resolution has made its entry all the way down to smartphones and tablets, but most desktop monitors are still quite large and maybe not the best suitable solution for tight office spaces. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want the extra clarity and resolution that a 4K panel can provide and for that AOC launched the compact 23.6-inch U2477PWQ monitor sporting HDMI 2.0 and 60Hz at a 3840 x 2160 resolution.

The PLS panel delivers a good colour uniformity at any viewing angle (178/178 degrees) and exploits 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. A 4ms response time might not be the fastest, but anything below 5ms should be usable for gaming too.

The AOC U2477PWQ comes with DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, DVI and VGA for connectivity to pretty much any device. If your smart devices are compatible, then the MHL allows you to both display content from a smartphone or tablet directly on the monitor while charging it at the same time. The flicker-free technology should also help reduce eye stress while using the monitor, something everyone can appreciate that has worked at a monitor for longer periods of time.

The included and pretty stylish stand allows for a pivot, but not swivel. You can tilt it -5 to plus 23 degrees and adjust the height with up to 130mm. Should this not be sufficient, then you can mount it on a 100×100 VESA compatible arm or stand.

The AOC U2477PWQ will be available in November 2015. The MSRP will be £289. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty with on-site exchange service.

Kensington SD4000 Universal USB 3.0 Docking Station with 4K UHD Review

Introduction


For today’s review I’m venturing a little bit out of my normal area of storage, network, and server components and take a closer look at a very useful gadget for everyone that has a laptop of some sort. Kensington might be most known for their locking system that is present on almost any electronic device, but they do make a lot of different products too. Today I’m taking a closer look at the SD4000 Universal USB Docking Station for laptops.

While a docking station like this would work with any system and as such isn’t limited to portable ones, it will be a rare scenario that someone will connect it to their desktop. That said, it could still provide some beneficial uses there too.

While most laptop manufacturers also provide docking stations for some of their models, they are usually very expensive and only compatible to very few models. The use of a universal docking station like this opens a lot more options and best of all, you can take it with you to any other system that you might upgrade to in the future.

The Kensington SD4000 Universal Docking Station connects to your system via a single USB 3.0 host port and in return it offers you three USB 3.0 connectors, a DVI port, a DisplayPort or HDMI, a Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, and headset connections. Those are all useful connections to have, especially on ultrabooks and netbooks that barely have any native connections at all anymore.

The Docking Station doesn’t just serve as USB hub, it also enables 4K Ultra HD resolutions, even when your laptop doesn’t have a graphics card that supports these resolutions. You can connect a single 4K monitor or TV via an HDMI or DisplayPort connection for Ultra HD resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels.

4K Ultra HD resolution sadly only works with one monitor connected, but you can run up to 2K when using dual monitors. Ideal for users not ready to make the transition to 4K, this option can support the typical two-monitor setup with 1920 x 1200 and 2048 x 1152 resolution for each screen.

Speedy charging for power hungry devices such as tablets is also supported thanks to the 2.1 AMP fast charging USB port labeled with an extra lightning character. The Gigabit Ethernet port is also one that’s often missing on netbooks as they rely solely on wireless.

Features

  • 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840×2160) to one monitor via an HDMI cable or DisplayPort connection
  • Enables 4K UHD even if laptop does not have 4K graphics card
  • 2K resolution (1920×1200/2048×1152) for two-monitor setup via DisplayPort or HDMI/DVI
  • 3 universal USB 3.0 ports for seamless productivity with your accessories
  • 2.1A fast charging port to power up a tablet or smartphone
  • Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connectivity to the Internet
  • Includes speaker port, microphone jack, Kensington Security Slot
  • Compatible with Windows 8.1/8/7

Specifications

  • UPC: 085896339830
  • Best For: Convertible and 2-in-1 Laptops, Laptops, Ultrabooks, Windows Tablets
  • Compatibility: Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1
  • Connections: 1 x RJ-45 Ethernet (LAN) Female, Host Interface: USB 3.0, Host upstream link: USB (B Type)
  • Female, HUB downstream link: USB (A Type) Female
  • Connectivity: Wired
  • Features: Extended Display, Kensington Security Slot, Mirrored Display, Power Indicator (Blue), USB Hub Link
  • Indicator (Green)
  • Dimensions: 7.71” x 3.34” x 1.08” (19.5 cm x 85 cm x 2.75 cm)

Packaging and Accessories

The package of the SD4000 Universal Docking Station comes in s a simple yet elegant wrapping. It shows what it does on the front without much extra.

The rear of the package explains what type of connectors it has, what’s in the box, and what it is compatible with. Everything you’ll want to know before you purchase.

Inside the box, we find a power supply with both an EU and UK replaceable plug, a setup guide, a USB cable to connect it and the docking station itself.

Diamond DS3900V2 UltraDock Docking Station Review

Introduction


It doesn’t matter if you got the new Apple Macbook with just one USB port or any other system, you always have too few, especially on your portable computers. The Diamond DS3900 Ultra Dock Dual Video USB 3.0/2.0 docking station enables multiple USB devices, monitors, and a network to be connected to the computer using a single USB3.0 cable. It doesn’t matter if you want to connect to your large screen displays, stereo speakers, external hard drive, optical disk drive, printer, USB keyboard, mouse or any other USB devices, the DS3900 has it covered.

Any laptop, Ultrabook, MacBook, just as well as any other PC, can connect to the Diamond DS3900 Ultra Dock docking station, eliminating the need to plug in all USB peripherals and external monitor every time you come into the office or go back home. Just plug in the one USB 3.0 cable from the docking station to any USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 port on the laptop and your displays and accessories will be activated in seconds.

Most laptop manufacturers also build some sort of docking station for their systems, but they usually come with a pretty hefty price as well as being limited for use with specific models. Not so with Diamond’s universal solution. One of the big advantages of having a docking station at home, is that you don’t need to connect every single cable when you get home, a single one will do the trick and all your hardware is hooked up. Even audio is covered.

The single USB 3.0 uplink provides two USB 3.0 ports where one of them supports quick charge (BC1/2 battery charging function) for iPad and iPhones. Further, it has four USB 2.0 ports as well as an IEEE 802.3, 802.3u, and 802.3ab compatible RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port with full support for IPv4 and IPv6, full-duplex, and flow control. Just like it should be.

On the video side of things, the DS3900 is using a DisplayLink DL-3900 chipset and it supports 1080p HDMI and DVI dual digital video output. Extend or mirror your display onto another monitor or set an external connected monitor as your default one, you won’t notice any difference between the use of this docking station and a native connection. It supports High Resolution up to 2048 x 1152 and the entire unit is DisplayLink certified. Audio connections shouldn’t be left out, and they aren’t. It has two 3.5mm stereo jacks for audio output and microphone input.

The Diamond docking station measures 234 x 86 x 33 mm and weighs just 450 grams, light enough to make it portable as well. It does require Windows 7 Mac OS X, and newer versions to work, 1GB of memory, a 1.2GHz or faster SSE2 supporting CPU and 30MB free space for the installation and 10MB hard disk space for the drivers.

Besides the large rubber foot underneath the docking station, it also features a vertical stand for different optics and a smaller footprint. The metal foot is heavy enough to give the station a sturdy stand, even when heavy cables are connected to it. The rubber foot can be slid off and then you just hang the station onto the stand. Very simple and it looks awesome.

Diamond created a what looks to be a solid docking station, one where you only need to connect one cable to your system and in return you get full connectivity including dual display, audio, network, and USB 3.0 speed.

The package includes everything that you need, including a DVI to VGA adapter, power supply, vertical stand, USB cable, manuals, and driver disk.

Diamond USB 3.0 to Multi Display Adapter Review

Introduction


There’s no doubt in my mind that if you’re using a computer, you’re using a display of some sorts; a PC isn’t much use without one. Having a single display is fine for most people, it’s more than enough for working, gaming and whatever else you need. However, what if you need to expand your display setup even further? There are other display outputs on your GPU, or at least most graphics cards have more than one output. However, what if you find yourself in a situation where you have no more outputs available? If you have 1-3 displays setup for your system, or you run your spare output to a bigscreen TV or projector, you’ve got no room left to add another display to your setup, without adding another video card into the mix.

Of course, the real market for this device is for notebooks and tablets with a single display output. Most ultrabooks only have a single display output, if they have one at all! So being able to have a cost-effective connectivity solution could be a great solution for expanding your workspace.

The Diamond USB 3.0 to DVI/HDMI/VGA does exactly what it says on the box, it allows you to turn a USB 3.0 port into a video output, giving you as many more display ports as you could need, at a significantly lower price point than adding an extra dedicated GPU. Of course, there are some shortfalls to this, such as the solution may not be ideal for gaming, but for work and content creation, it could be the flexible solution you need.

Specifications and features

Product weight 0.10 lbs.
Package weight 0.65 lbs.
Product Dimensions 3.2(L) x 1.9(W) x 1.0(H) Inches
Package Dimensions 8.6 x 6.4 x 2.1 Inches

Connectors

DVI (Native)
DVI to HDMI (with included adapter)
DVI to VGA (with included adapter)
USB 3.0 Micro

Chipset

DisplayLink DL-3500

Number of Displays Supported

1 per BVU3500 adapter

Max resolution

2048 x 1152 and 1080P

HDCP

Yes, Protected video playback HDCP 2.0

In the box, you will find a USB 3.0 cable, the USB to DVI adaptor, a DVI to VGA adaptor and a DVI to HDMI adaptor; virtually any monitor you can think of should be able to connect with ease.

The main unit is simple enough, with the USB connection on the end and a small LED indicator on the top.

The DVI port is self-explanatory and what is nice to see is that all the connectors are gold-plated, so they should last a lot longer without corroding.

On the underside, you’ll find a small sticker with the product model number (UGA250000S REV.A) and four small screws should you need to open the device for repairs, which is very unlikely.

Both of the connectors are of a very high quality and come with metal thumbscrew fittings to ensure your cables don’t drop out; with the exception of HDMI, which is a self-supporting cable.

The HDMI connector may not screw into place, but the mount does swivel and twist, which should further ensure that your cable doesn’t get pulled from its fitting.

Colorful Announces Their iGame GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN Mini-ITX Graphics Card

Colorful has revealed their iGame GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN Mini-ITX graphics solution, featuring a custom PCB design and factory overclock frequencies.

The GeForce GTX 960 KUDAN is said to be one of the very few Mini-ITX designs with a GM206 chip, making it very popular in the $200 range market. The graphics solution is said to have a low-wattage percentage and provide great 1080p performance.

In terms of specs, the graphics card comes with 1024 CUDA cores, 64 texture mapping units, 32 raster operation units and a 2 GB GDDR5 VRAM with a 128-bit memory interface. While the memory is clocked at 7010 MHz, the GPU clock comes in two blocks.

The factory overclocked specs that come with the card are set at 1127 MHz base and 1178 MHz boost, but a second OC BIOS is said to be available that can ramp up the card to 1152 MHz and 1216 MHz respectively at the push of the button.

Looking at the aesthetics of the card, we see that it features the same design as the iGame GeForce GTX 980 KUDAN, only a bit smaller. It boasts only one fan, but given its low-budget design, it is enough to keep the Mini-ITX card cool.

Power is said to be provided via a 6-pin connector, having the card coming with a 120W TDP. There is also a single SLI connector present on the card and comes with a single DVI, HDMI and three DisplayPort connectors.

Colorful has already listed the card on its website, but details regarding its availability and pricing have yet to be made available.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Iiyama Expands Its Display Offering with the New 24″ ProLite X2481HS and XB2481HS

Iiyama has added two new products to its 24″ display lineup, the ProLite X2481HS and XB2481HS, featuring a slim bezel design, FullHD resolution, LED backlights and the enhanced VA panel technology.

The company states that due to their VA LCD panel technology which is able to provide vivid and bright colours, along with high contrast and superior viewing angles, the display solutions are perfect for anyone working in the Photography, Graphic or Web design industry. Also, their multi-monitor configuration makes it a perfect solution for people working to manipulate multiple applications at the same time.

The ProLite XB2481HS features an ergonomic stand which rotates, tilts and its height can be adjusted by 13cm. Another feature consists of its ability to pivot between landscape and portrait mode. Both solutions are stated to come with integrated speakers and a wide range of connectivity options as shown below.

Iiyama says that the new generation ProLite XB2481HS and X2481HS are now available across Europe and are standard offered with 3 years ‘on-site’ Advance Exchange Warranty.

Source: Iiyama

New 34″ Ultra-Wide Display Released by Philips Featuring MHL-Capable HDMI

Philips has just added a new 34″ ultra-wide display to their range of products. The new display product code is BDM3470UP and it looks perfect for anyone who is looking for a display to work with in applications that require a big landscape-mode solution.

Brief specs can be seen below:

  • 3440 x 1440 pixel resolution
  • 5ms G2G response time
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • 1000:1 contrast ratio
  • 320 cd/m2 brightness
  • 178/178 viewing angles
  • 1.07b colour depth
  • W-LED backlight offering sRGB gamut

The BDM3470UP screen also features Philips’ SmartUniformity mode, using dedicated metrics to assess colour accuracy and deliver at least 95% average luminance uniformity. In terms of connectivity, the display comes with MHL-capable HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA display ports, as well as 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0 ports.

The 34″ display also features 2 x 3W stereo speakers and PiP / PbP support and allows the user to tilt, height, swivel and rotate as per preference. Philips is said to be selling the BDM3470UP at a price of €799.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Phillips MMD Announces the 28″ 4K Ultra HD Display Featuring Over 1 Billion Colours

For those who are unaware, MMD (Multimedia Displays) is a company of TPV established in 2009 through a brand license agreement with Philips, and its role is to exclusively market and sell Philips branded LCD monitors and displays worldwide. Having said that, the company has just announced the latest Phillips 4K Ultra HD display, bearing the 288P6LJEB model number, which is said to deliver unbelievable detail and colour in the sharpest and most brilliant picture ever seen.

The Phillips 4K Ultra HD display is said to have a 4K resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 pixels, which should pack four times the pixel density compared to the traditional Full HD. Coming with a 28-inch display, users are also said to be able to spread out more and thanks to the high number of pixels, texts and images deliver extra brilliance, clarity and a more true-to-life picture.

The 28″ 4K UHD monitor is stated to be suitable in homes as well as business. Normal home users are said to benefit from upcoming 4K TV streaming, as well as view their UHD pictures and videos perfectly and clearly on the Phillips solution at hand. Looking at the business sector, the 4K UHD can help with large text documents as well as complex spreadsheets thanks to its crystal clear image and big 28″ diagonal, making work with the latter more easy and enjoyable.

It is said that the Phillips 4K Ultra HD display is one of the fastest 4K displays on the market thanks to the 1 ms response time, as well as it being calibrated to support over 1 billion colours, having it be able to reproduce the finest colours with total accuracy. Gamers can also benefit from the response time, having the Phillips display boasting the company’s overdrive technology, which is able to automatically adjust the response time to suit the application’s needs.

MultiView is another technology added to the Phillips 4K Ultra HD display solution, giving users the ability to split two sets of content and place them in parallel. Users can for example connect a notebook to the display and display the content on half of the screen, while streaming video content on the other half.

In terms of connectivity, the Phillips 4K Ultra HD display comes with one Display Port 1.2 digital PC-to-Desktop with a speed of up to 10.8 Gbps, a MHL-enabled HDMI port, a DVI-D and a VGA port, while also offering data connectivity support with the help of its two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports.

Other features included consist of the Smart ErgoBase, enabling the display to be lowered almost to desk level for a comfortable viewing angle, having the low bezel-to-table height able to deliver a perfect viewing experience for users who use bifocals, trifocals or progressive lens glasses for screen work.

The new Phillips 288P6LJEB 4K Ultra HD display is said to become available this summer, having a recommended retail price tag of £599 including VAT.

Galaxy Launches 6 GB Variant of its GeForce GTX 780 Hall Of Fame Edition Graphics Card

Galaxy has just launched another NVIDIA variant of GeForce GTX 780 Hall of Fame graphics card, bearing the GF-GTX780-E6GHD/SOC model name, featuring the company’s white PCB signature and performance-oriented cooling solution.

In terms of specifications, the card comes with 6 GB if memory, having the rest be similar to the original Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 HOF Edition released in July last year. The 6 GB variant also comes with a big factory overclock, having the core GPU clocked at 1019 MHz compared to the original variant clocked at 863 MHz and its boost speed capped at 1071 MHz compared to 928 MHz from its predecessor.

The GDDR5 memory apparent has been left untouched, having it clocked at 6008 MHz as the original Galaxy GeForce GTX 780 HOF. Other aspects of the 6 GB GTX 780 HOF variant include the 28 nm GK110 silicon architecture, offering 2,304 CUDA cores, 192 TMUs, 48 ROPs and a 384-bit memory interface. The graphics card also features a 10-phase VRM, drawing power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.

The graphics card is said to feature a dual-BIOS configuration as well, having the toggle switch located near the I/O bracket. The card offers four display outputs, having two dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one Display Port configuration, while its cooling solution features a Hybrid Vapor Chamber which directs heat to a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink with the help of four nickel-palter copper heat pipes. The heatsink is then ventilated by a pair of 90mm fans, having the base-plate with heatsink fins cooling the VRM and memory.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechPowerUp

AOC Reveals First Affordable High-End 4K Resolution 28″ Display In London

The display industry has been cooking up new ways to improve our visual experience for some time now, from 3D features to Virtual Reality gear which isn’t quite ready just yet. However, the latter is not always useful in all areas, therefore the focus has been shifted to 4K technology it seems.

Whether designing, gaming or entertainment activities is in order, 4K technology will always do the trick. This might have sounded appealing to most in the past, but actually acquiring one meant selling an arm and a leg, since the prices were well into the thousands and even more in some cases. No, the price has drastically dropped to around £600 or less for most 4K displays which also meant a drop in specs, but not for AOC and their new 28″ display it seems.

AOC has revealed this first affordable gaming high-spec 28″ display, the U2868Pqu, at the PC Retail Bootcamp event in London. It features a 1ms response timing, which means users do not have to worry about ghosting problems at all, a 300 cd/m brightness rate for high contrast and a 60 Hz refresh rate. These features can be found on its 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution, making it a must-have item when it comes to enthusiastic gamers or even designers.

In terms of connectivity, the U2868Pqu comes with Dual-Link DVI, HDMI and Display Port support, having additional built-in speakers. However, gaming enthusiast will not be quite fond of the speakers, but nonetheless it comes as an additional support when in need of an output device.

In terms of a specific price, Amazon.co.uk has listed the display at a price of £537.60, giving it a release date set for the 1st of June.

Thank you KitGuru for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of KitGuru

MSI Announces The H81M-E35 V2 Motherboard

MSI has released the H81M-E35 V2 motherboard, an M-ATX board featuring a LGA 1150 socket and support for Intel’s Haswell processors. The main feature of this motherboard is its Military Class 4 components, having Humidity Protectionm ESD Protection EMI Protection and High Temperature Protection.

Looking at the motherboard’s technical specs, we can see it has support for the latest 4th generation Intel core (i3, i5, i7), including Pentium and Celeron processors. However, the motherboard has entry-level features due to its two DIMM RAM sockets and the presence of only one PCIe socket. The DDR3 RAM modules can work in dual channel with up to 1600 MHz frequency. Also take into account that its PCIe is 2.0, not 3.0.

Other features consist of two PCIe x1 and one PCI slot for additional components such as NICs, wireless adapters, and so on. In terms of SATA connectors, it has two SATA-III and two SATA-II ports which the user can use to easily install a RAID HDD and SSD configuration using the SATA-III and other peripheral devices such as optical drives with the help of the SATA-II ports.

The back of the motherboard reveals two PS/2 for keyboard and mouse peripherals, although very few keyboards and mice use the PS/2 technology nowadays. The USB configuration is made out of four USB 3.0 ports (with additional support for two more in the front) and two USB 2.0 ports, having the possibility of adding an extra four on the front.

The motherboards NIC is 10/100/1000 Mbps compatible and is controlled by a Realtek RTL8111G chip, while we can also find a Realtek ALC887 chip capable of 7.1 channel support on the motherboard as well. And with an Intel HD graphics processor, the H81M-E35 V2 also provides one HDMI, one DVI and one VGA port having support for 4K UHD display.

MSI is providing the OC Genie 4 for a quick 1 second overclock feature, along with its Command Center tool and Click Bios 4 for easy PC customization and Fast Boot for a quick startup process.

All in all, the MSI H81M-E35 V2 is a handy motherboard, though it is not suited for gaming or overclocking purposes. The price has yet to be announced, though we are expecting it to hit the shelves at a price tag of less than $100.

Thank you TechPowerUp and MSI for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of MSI

Radeon R9 270X OC with 4 GB Memory Launched By GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE launched the Radeon R9 270X graphics cards with double the standard memory amount. The GV-R927XOC-4GD, available in a standard edition and one with a Battlefield 4 Origin key, features 4 GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit wide memory interface, clocked at 5.60 GHz, at which the GPU has 179 GB/s of memory bandwidth at its disposal. The card features a long, non-reference design PCB, and the company’s new generation WindForce 3X cooler, which together give the card a high-end look when installed. 4 GB of memory makes the R9 270X meet the recommended system requirements of Battlefield 4.

The factory-overclocked card offers 1050 MHz base GPU clock, and 1100 MHz PowerTune Boost frequency. The card draws power from a pair of 6-pin PCIe power connectors, display outputs include a pair of dual-link DVI, and one each of HDMI 1.4a and DisplayPort 1.2. Based on the 28 nm “Curacao” silicon, the Radeon R9 270X features 1,280 GCN2 stream processors, 80 TMUs, and 32 ROPs. It features a 256-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface. Its API support includes DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, and Mantle. GIGABYTE didn’t reveal pricing of the two.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of TechPowerUp

MSI Announces Its Radeon R9 290 GAMING 4G and Radeon R9 290X GAMING 4G

The long expected MSI R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G are now available. Packed with all of the power and features to drive UltraHD gaming resolutions the MSI Twin Frozr IV Advanced now ensures your card runs cool so you can enjoy maximum performance because AMD’s PowerTune technology enables the R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G to run at their highest clock speeds. With support for the latest industry standards and exciting new technology such as Mantle support in Battlefield 4.

Thanks to the bundled MSI GAMING App gamers can quickly switch between three pre-sets including a silent mode optimized for power efficiency and an overclocking and OC Mode to get the most power out of your graphics card, without worrying about learning how to overclock. The R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G have been designed to give you a gaming experience that delivers you true next-gen performance for ultra HD resolutions without sacrificing on thermals to kick-start your gaming rig for 2014.

MSI Radeon R9 290X Gaming 4G
MSI Radeon R9 290 Gaming 4G

Stay cool in combat
The MSI Twin Frozr IV Advanced has been completely customized for the R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G to deliver the best thermal experience. The design uses a larger copper base for heat absorption and the heat pipes are in contact with a bigger part of the heat sink and exposed to more airflow to ensure the highest performance of the GPU because of optimal temperatures. Combined with the dual form-in-one heat sinks that add both cooling ability and structural reinforcement the R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G stay cool and safe.

Optimized for Gamers
The new R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G are packed with features that benefit every gamer. AMD TrueAudio technology allows far more realistic positional audio and the added benefit of surround sound over connected displays. Mantle allows game developers to directly speak to the GPU optimizing GPU performance. This can all be displayed in a glorious UltraHD / 4K resolution as the new R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G is leading in performance at 4K resolutions. This can be easily connected through the DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors. Up to six dedicated displays can be connected to the R9 290 GAMING 4G and R9 290X GAMING 4G for an amazing Eyefinity experience.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of MSI

AOC Q2963PM 29″ UWHD AH-IPS Monitor Review

Introduction


Over the last few years, we have been [in general] demanding higher and higher resolutions from our monitors, and before we even think about using a multi-screen setup – the most common resolution of choice has to be 1920×1080. Over the last year or so, we have been seeing a slow transition over to the 2560×1600 bandwagon as some users opt for bigger 27″+ panels. The problem with these through is that the cost is far greater than a 1920×1080 panel so having a pair of 22″ or 24″ panels is not uncommon – it gives a balance between the desktop space and cost that many people look for.

In a bid to give users the best option of desktop space and display aspect ratio, the 2560×1080 resolution has slowly been cropping up within the market place and in effect it is an ideal alternative for anyone that is looking at a dual 1920×1080 screen setup. The super-wide aspect of this 29″ monitor gives a single desktop space to work within, however when we move over to the gaming side of things, the extra pixels allow for a wider peripheral vision without the distraction of a bezel right in the middle of your view.

AOC’s super-wide monitor is just one of the few to now offer the new resolution, but it doesn’t just give more pixels; it also has one of the best panels on the market to show the image as well. The AH-IPS (Advanced High-Performance In Plane Switching) panel that AOC have chosen produces a mixture of supreme colour accuracy, high pixel density and a high level of brightness, oh and let’s not forget that it has a superb viewing angle as well. All the ingredients are there for certain, but does having a 21:9 aspect monitor really make that much of a difference?

Before we even get a chance to delve inside the box, AOC are keen to show off the screens super-wide aspect ratio and its ability to house multiple windows with ease. The blue box also has a row of the panels highlighted features laid out along the lower edge with a front and back view of the monitor found to the right.

Taking everything out of the box, we find the monitor in two parts and alongside a two-part DC power adaptor we also have a VGA display cable, HDMI cable, 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, a cable tie, rubber feet and a CD containing a set of display drivers and AOC’s accompanying software for this panel.

GIGABYTE Launches the Z87X-SLI, A Low-Cost Gamer Oriented Motherboard

GIGABYTE has announced a new motherboard supporting the LGA1150 socket for Haswell CPUs, the Z87X-SLI. What makes this motherboard different from all the other gaming-oriented motherboards is that GIGABYTE is targeting gamers who just want to play games and not overclock their gear. The Z87X-SLI comes with all the basic necessities with the addition of SLI support, stripping all the extras and making the motherboard more affordable than the rest.

GIGABYTE has only equipped the Z87X-SLI with six SATA III ports, six USB 3.0 ports along with HDMI (with support of 4K resolution @ 24 Hz), DVI and VGA for display output. To keep the cost down, GIGABYTE has attached the Realtek ALC892 audio codec and Realtek gigabit Ethernet LAN. In terms of expansion slots, it comes with one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, one PCIe 3.0 x8 slot, three PCIe x1 slots and two legacy PCI slots. In case of SLI, both the PCIe slots will shift to x8/x8 mode.

Looking at the Haswell LGA1150 socket, we see that GIGABYTE has gold-plated it to add better conductibility between the motherboard and CPU (and it also looks good either way). In terms of RAM, the Z87X-SLI provides 4 sockets and a 32 GB of maximum DDR3 RAM support with speeds of up to 3000 MHz O.C. GIGABYTE included a Hardware Monitoring feature as well, having support for System voltage detection, CPU/System temperature detection, fan speed detection, overheating warning, fan fail warning and fan speed control.

The GIGABYTE Z87X-SLI will soon be available in stores for £95 (inc VAT) or $130 in US. Though GIGABYTE is targeting the mid-low budget market, there are quite a lot of motherboards in this price range which are equivalent or more performance-oriented than the Z87X-SLI.

Thank you Chip Loco and GIGABYTE for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of GIGABYTE

AOC Unveils New Budget Friendly 24″ White LED Monitor

We all love a good bargain and AOC look set to strike that much loved balance of value and performance with their new e2451Fh monitor. With a sleek white exterior there is no doubt that this is one sexy looking monitor that wouldn’t look out of place on many desks. The a classy white finish is topped off nicely with a detachable stand. The Full HD panel utilises the latest in LED-backlit LCD technology to match a stunning picture performance to its excellent looks, and  a pixel response time of two milliseconds makes it a prime choice for gaming.

AOC decks out the latest model from its Style Line 51 series with a state-of-the-art TN panel. Delivering a luminosity of 250 cd/m², a native contrast of 1000:1 and a response time of only 2 ms, the e2451Fh provides brilliant images without blurs or ghosting effects. Suited for office applications, multimedia and gaming alike, this Full HD all-rounder is the perfect choice for all those who seek extraordinary picture quality combined with an attractive design.

This 24″ monitor receives video signals via its analogue VGA port as well as digitally over DVI-D or HDMI. A 3.5 mm output can be used to loop sounds to an external audio set-up. The tiltable monitor also comes with a number of practical software: While “e-Saver” and “Eco Mode” use intelligent picture modes to further decrease energy consumption, i-Menu allows for the monitor settings to be conveniently changed with the mouse in addition to the touch keys on the monitor bezel. “Screen+” is a program that divides the large 16:9 screen into different panes, which are accessible through keyboard shortcuts.

The e2451Fh fulfils numerous demanding sustainability certificates such as EPEAT Silver, TCO 6.0 and Energy Star 6.0, also thanks to its sophisticated LED backlights with their power consumption of a mere 25 W. As for all monitors, AOC offers a 3-year warranty for its Style Line model. The e2451Fh will be available as of December 2013, the MSRP will be 139.99 GBP.

Thank you AOC for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of AOC.

Philips 242G5 144Hz LCD Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction


Over the last few months, monitors that are built for gaming have been cropping up within the marketplace and at last people can get a panel that compliments their high performance gaming system, delivering better image quality and faster refresh rates with a typical 144Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is the key part to what sets this new type of panel apart from the rest of the crowd. As I’ve highlighted before, it’s all and well having a GPU that can pump out in the region of 100fps, but if your monitor is only running at 60Hz as the vast majority do, then it can only show a maximum of 60 frames per second itself. As a result there are frames that have been rendered effectively going to waste and it may be one of those frames that could make a crucial difference to the outcome of a tournament for example.

This is where the new 144Hz standard comes into play. With this higher refresh rate, the panel is able to display up to 144 frames per second. This means that not only are those extra frames not going to waste, but the image will appear to be much smoother and fluid in motion as scenes are displayed.

Recently I took a look at one of these new 144Hz panels from AOC, namely the G2460PQU and on the whole I was impressed with the quality of the build and the feature set on offer, but most importantly, the difference that the faster refresh rate made to not only game play but also during day-to-day usage.

Philips as some may or may not know is related to AOC through a parent company known as TPV. Whilst the two rand names run side by side, it is worth noting that some aspects of the monitors from each brand may appear to be the same, but on the whole they are run as two completely separate brands within the market place.

Philips ship the monitor in is probably one of the biggest boxes that I’ve seen for a screen of this size. The box is wrapped in a bold space styled scene with an image of the screen itself and along the lower edge are a set of smaller images highlighting certain aspects of the screen.

With everything taken out of the box, it’s immediately apparent why the box is so thick. Where most screens come with the base plate completely separate from the rest of the stand, the 242G5’s stank is one complete unit and as a result the dimensions of the box are increased. Alongside the stand and the LCD panel, there are a set of manuals and an information and driver CD, IEC power cable, USB3.0 cable, two display cables (VGA and DL-DVI) and finally an OSD remote control pad.

New Radeon R9 and R7 Series Of Graphics Cards Unveiled By XFX

XFX has unveiled Friday, the 11th of October, the XFX Radeon R9 290X, R9 290, R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X and R7 250 graphics cards. They are XFX’s first series of AMD GPUs with AMD’s 2nd Generation GCN Architecture and PowerTune Technology designed for super optimized gaming performance. XFX’s new GPUs also feature AMD’s Mantle and AMD TrueAudio technology, the latest innovations that redefine the GPU by enabling both gamers and game developers with unprecedented audio and performance enhancements for compatible games.

XFX Ghost 2.0 Thermal Technology
The XFX Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics cards are also the first introduction of the all-new XFX Ghost 2.0 thermal design, which is a substantial design evolution from the original Ghost thermal design introduced in 2012. XFX’s new Ghost 2.0 features the same open airflow design for maximum cooling as well as a new lightweight poly carbonate construction for super high durability and heat resistance. A new two-piece design which protects PCB components from damage and dust and created a beautiful modern design unlike any other graphics card in history.

Unlocked Voltage
XFX graphics cards now feature higher voltage caps giving gamers the power to customize and truly push their graphics cards to the limit.

2nd Generation PowerTune Technology

The XFX R-Series of graphics cards will feature the second generation of AMD’s PowerTune technology, which offers a substantial improvement over the previous generation. PowerTune features real-time voltage and clock speed optimization enables intelligent power monitoring to enable higher clock speeds and better performance in your favorite games. Tuning the card’s settings allows you to hit its peak clock rate more often.

Mantle and Graphics Core Next (GCN) Architecture
The award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture in the AMD Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics cards continues to serve as a driving force behind the Unified Gaming Strategy, now comes together with the introduction of Mantle. Mantle empowers games like DICE’s “Battlefield 4” to speak the natively with the Graphics Core Next architecture for a deeper level of hardware multi-platform compatibility.

TrueAudio Technology: World’s First Programmable Audio Pipeline
XFX R-Series GPUs featuring AMD TrueAudio technology empowers game developers with a programmable audio pipeline on the GPU through a built-in audio signal processor which supports 150 sound sources vs the previous limitation of only 50 sounds. TrueAudio enables 7.1 surround through headphones and zero CPU overhead. This enables game to utilize more realistic environmental dynamics, a richer tapestry of sound effects, breathtaking directional audio and more.

Multi-Display Technology: Redesigned for Ultra-resolution Gaming
XFX Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics cards are made for gaming on UltraHD (3840×2160) displays. Additionally, with AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology, gamers are free to use virtually any combination of display outputs when connecting matching monitors to the DVI or HDMI outputs on their system.

XFX Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics cards will be available for purchase in the near future. For more information about the XFX cards you can visit XFX’s official website here.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

HannsG Announces The Company’s First Touch Screen Monitor

HannsG has today announced its first Touch Screen monitor. Having price tag of only £199.99, the 23″ HT231HPB is set to turn the futuristic touch screen computing experience into reality for everyone. The new monitor which boasts advanced 10-Point touch control is certified to work with Windows 8 and is launched to coincide nicely with the release of Windows 8.1.

To be noted is that the HT231HPB offers the ultimate touch experience with highly responsive 10 point touch control technology to navigate the Windows 8 operating system with ease. This enables users to fully appreciate finger tip screen control at its best promising no lag, better accuracy and zoom capabilities.

The perfect host for demanding HD multimedia content, the HT231HPB boasts Full HD credentials with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and features HannsG’s proprietary active contrast technology delivering clarity and true colour with an 80,000,000:1 contrast ratio. In addition, the HT231HPB has a full connectivity line up including HDMI, DVI and VGA on board and has built-in stereo speakers as standard.

Part of the HannStar Display Corporation one of the largest glass panel manufacturers in the world and HannsTouch the third largest touch technology manufacturer in the world, HannsG benefits from a rich heritage and world class, technological AV prowess. Consequently the new HT231HPB boasts advanced proprietary touch control technologies which deliver the very best user experience and an industry leading glass panel for the ultimate visual display. It also enables HannsG to confidently offer customers an industry leading 3 year warranty.

For those who would like to acquire a 23″ HannsG HW246HPB display can do it from Ingram Micro, Micro-P, and Midwich. There is also a bigger model in the works, a 27″ Touch Screen model, but no official confirmation of its release date has been made available. More information about the HW246HPB model can be found here.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Hannspree.

AOC G2460PQU 24″ 144Hz WLED Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction


As we have seen recently, there are a huge number of components that make up any system setup and unfortunately there is one key component that many people fail to put any attention to, thus making that gloriously expensive graphics card not give as good as it can. This of course is the monitor that we spend every minute looking at whilst using the system for whatever the task may be – whether it be office work, watching a film, image editing or even gaming. What these panels do for each task has a major impact on our user experience as a whole. If the image that we see is not crisp and defined with a great balance of colour, brightness and vibrancy, in the long run there is the chance of the poor image having an effect on the eyes or in the mind of a gamer, this can have a detrimental effect on the outcome of a game.

On the market there are so many generic ‘all-round’ performing monitors that are designed to perform for any task with reasonably good results, but nothing special. As we have seen recently though, there are many panels as well that are built for a specific user group in mind and this was a prime case when I looked at the ProArt PA249Q from Asus not too long ago. This panel is optimised for professional users who perform tasks such as image and video editing, where the need for precise colours and a definitively sharp display is fundamentally important.

Across many users, there is one task as such that many people carry out and this is where many people spend hundreds, if not thousands of pounds getting the best system they can. This of course is gaming. As highlighted in my ProArt review, its quite a sad sight so see when someone has spent hundreds of pounds on the latest and greatest graphics card, only to have a cheap, generic TFT panel connected up to it that can only give a mediocre / average image that consequently doesn’t do the card much justice. As a result this is where gaming orientated displays come into the playing field.

The most critical gamers on the planet are the professional team players. This select group of dedicated people strive to win and being able to see and respond to what they see with accuracy – and fast, is what can be the make or break of any match. Anyone who has seen a professional team in action will note that each and every one of them can have differing mouse and keyboard setups and this comes down to what they find is the best for them and what they are comfortable with and all the time they are looking at the best screens they can get their hands on.

AOC have been developing some of the most sought after panels for a number of months now, including the super widescreen 29″ Q2963PM with its 2560×1080 UWHD resolution and the i2369Vm IPs panel which AOC market as the IPS panel for everyone. One of the more recent focus points for the AOC development team has been the gamer. Whilst the vast majority of screens sold worldwide for offices and professionals alike will never see a game displayed upon them, we cannot forget that the world of gaming is growing ever more rapidly and the need to have the best screen for the job is too. To develop this new panel, AOC have taken their development to the people who will push them to their limits – the professional gamers. By working with this select group of users who know specifically what they are after, AOC have been able to craft a screen that has been made for gamers – by the gamers.

Like many a large number of other panels on the market, the G2460PQU comes in a brown based box with some simple monochrome styling around it to show what model is inside.

Inside there is the usual selection of cables included with the panel, including VGA and DVI display cables, a UK kettle lead, USB2.0 A-B, 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, clip on cable tidy, a CD with the user guide and some software and last of all a copy of Shoot Mania to play.