GALAX Teases Upcoming HOF PCI-E SSD

GALAX, formerly known as GALAXY, is well-known for their amazing graphics cards that push the hardware to the limits of what’s possible and we have also seen them create the same great things with memory modules. The next logical step for the company is to branch out and enter the SSD market.

During our visit to CES in January, we had a first look at the HOF PCI-E SSD although the details were sparse at the time and we didn’t find out when it was to be released either.

What we do know is that it is a PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and the drive is using NVMe rather than AHCI for its connection. This in return results in a much better performance and the officially given ratings will allow the drive to read with up to 2600 MB/s and write with up to 1300MB/s. The random performance is equally impressive with 300K IOPS at 4K read operations and 200K at write operations.

The PCB itself was hidden from us at the time and we could only see the beautiful casing with signature HOF engravings. That changed today as GALAX published more photos, renderings, and real benchmark results on their Facebook page. While the information still is sparse, we get some more information from just looking at these newly shared pictures.

While the finished product is a full-sized card, the PCB itself seems to fit the HHHL standard (half-height, half-length) which should make it compatible with low-profile brackets. Whether such a solution will be released is another matter, but it does open up the options for modders.

Below are the officially released benchmark results which look pretty good to me, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be tweaked a little more with firmware optimizations. There’s still a little work to be done by GALAX and the HOF PCI-E SSD is now officially classified as “near completion”.

Are you looking forward to this storage drive or do you prefer something less extravagant and smaller such as the newer M.2 type drives? Let us know in the comments.

Dutch Researchers Develop Flexible Ceramic for Circuit Boards

A Dutch startup from the University of Twente has developed a flexible ceramic material that it intends to use to create the next generation of circuit boards. Eurekite – founded by two if the university’s students and their academic supervisor – is calling its new tissue-like material Flexiramics, which is fireproof and non-conducting.

“The discovery of flexiramics came as a surprise,” Eurekite  CEO Gerard Cadafalch Gazquez told Ars Technica. “It happens sometimes that you discover something you’re not looking for. I took [the samples] out after an experiment and saw it was a flexible material, so my first reaction was—okay, it didn’t work. But soon after I realised it didn’t burn.”

Even when exposed to temperatures of up to 1,200oC for 24 hours, Flexiramics does not melt or burn. That, combined with it being lightweight, flexible, and non-conductive, makes the material perfect for creating a new breed of printed circuit boards (PCBs), and will cost around the same as current PCB builds to manufacture (around €1 per 10x10cm).

While similar materials exist, a patent for Flexiramics has been filed by Eurekite, and its uniqueness is marked by how thin it can be manufactured.

“We are capable of varying the thicknesses of our material,” Gazquez said. “We go from a few micrometers to over a millimetre.”

MSI Z170A XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM Edition (LGA 1151) Motherboard Review

Introduction


Intel’s Skylake has been with us for a little over a month now and reports are coming back extremely positive, with retailers struggling to maintain stock and very few reviews having anything negative to say. We are now at the stage where motherboard manufacturers have had the chance to tweak and update drivers to ensure the best possible performance and prices have stabilised thanks to increased stock levels hitting retailers.

Today in the test bench we have the simply stunning MSI XPOWER Z170A motherboard, but this isn’t any old XPOWER version, this is the Titanium Edition. The entire PCB has been created with a non-reflective silver finish, which is designed to make you think that the entire motherboard has been made from Titanium, ignoring the electrical impossibilities of course. This new design has been inspired by MSI’s use of new Titanium chokes which was introduced on Military Class 5 component range. These new chokes are capable of withstanding higher temperatures, which results in longer lifespan and potentially higher overclocking capabilities.

Along with the new chokes, this motherboard features a unique OC Dashboard. This little addition is a small rectangular PCB with additional buttons and switches with could help overclocking and troubleshooting. The best part of this is that you can fix this onto the front of your case with the extension cable provided. This is the most expensive MSI Z170 motherboard option to date, let’s find out if this motherboard isn’t just smoke and mirrors and can actually perform well.

Specifications

Special Features

Motherboard manufacturers need to maintain a competitive edge over the competition, so bundle in all sorts of special features and programs. MSI is at the forefront of useful features and includes the following with this motherboard:

  • Command Center
  • Live Update 6
  • Fast Boot
  • Super Charger
  • Gaming App
  • Eco Center
  • M-Cloud
  • RAMDISK
  • Gaming Lan Manager
  • Nahimic Audio
  • XSplit GameCaster V2
  • SteelSeries Engine 3
  • MSI Branded CPU-Z
  • Audio Boost 3
    • Isolated Audio PCB
    • EMI Shielding
    • Dual Headphone Amplifiers
    • High-Quality Audio Capacitors
    • Gold Audio Connectors
  •  Game Boost
    • Easy Overclocking
    • 7 Gear Clock Change
  • Gaming Network Manager
    • Electric Wave Surge
  • Gaming App
    • System Mode Switching
    • Gaming Hotkey
    • Gaming Mouse Control
    • Gaming LED Remote Control
  • OC DASHBOARD
    • Easy Button 3
    • Direct OC
  •  Gaming Certified
  • Click BIOS 5
  • BIOS Flashback+
  • Military Class 5

Packing and Accessories

The packaging is just as impressive as the motherboard inside. Overall silver colouring to match the motherboard and the usual MSI and Intel branding logos. The front is actually really plain with no mention of any specifications or special features.


When you flip the box over, you are hit by a wealth of information. The biggest features are pictured with the lesser features having large titles and a centre placement. The general features and I/O configuration are then towards the bottom in a much smaller print.

I love opening up an MSI motherboard box, there is always so much to read and use. The first accessories are the manuals, drivers and other paper-based reading material; there is also a premium Gaming Series case badge if you wish to use it.

Moving to the more interesting accessories, 6x SATA cables, a triple lane SLI bridge, IO shield and V-Check cables; an extremely comprehensive range with no useless items that will never see the light of day.

 

ASUS With All New White PCB Motherboard

ASUS have announced their new iteration of the white, Sabertooth series. Containing a white PCB and named the Sabertooth Mk S, this hot piece of tech is created on the Z97 platform and was previously seen under the codename ‘Sabranco’ at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan this year.

Similar in style to their previous white PCB models, the new version is said to offer a shroud and metal back plate both containing a snow camouflage design. The shroud design contains a small fan to help keep your board cool, alongside this board offering an advanced and extended shroud covering when compared to previous models.

As for features, the Sabertooth Mk S will feature four slots of dual channel DDR3 capable RAM bays, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots and 3 PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots to enable different methods of SLI or Crossfire configurations. The board also has your data storage covered with eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and supports display outputs of HDMI and Display Port and LAN capabilities through it’s two Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The shroud covering is said by ASUS to be manufacturerd to cover the generally ugly components located within a motherboard, allowing for a sleek and neat design.

This board offers a very love or hate style design we feel, the specifications of the board are rather impressive but it’s a little sad that DDR4 isn’t yet incorporated.

We’d love to see any white case mods that you may have at eTeknix, please feel free to send us PM with some images and we may very well share them on our social media.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Add Wi-Fi to Anything for $19

A company that goes by the name of Spark has announced it’s Photon board, a $19 device that makes adding Wi-Fi connectivity to electronics easier.

The board is being marketed to people making their own gadgets who want a much more efficient and less technically demaning way to get them connected to the internet. The little board contributes to the idea of “the internet of things”, making anything and everything connected. The company, that grew out of successful Kickstarter campaign, is calling the device “the next Raspberry Pi”, as it believes it will be used by the same sorts of people – educators, artists, designers, children and tinkerers.

Source: Engadget, The Next Web

 

Rumour: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 790 Specs Reveal 4992 CUDA Cores

The graphics industry is moving at a faster pace than ever. The latest flagship GPUs have yet to make an impact on the market and dual-GPU cards are already in the talks. First it was AMD’s dual Hawaii XT based Vesuvius which made the news and now NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 790 featuring dual GK110 chips with a total of 4992 CUDA cores, 10 GB of memory and 640-bit memory interface.

NVIDIA holds the crown of the fastest single GPU in the world and is now looking forward to become the ultimate king with GeForce GTX 790. The specifications are rather surprising since GTX TITAN features 2688 CUDA cores and the newly launched GTX 780 Ti features 2880 cores while GeForce GTX 780 comes with 2304 cores but the GPUs in GTX 790 are rumoured to feature 2496 CUDA cores. With two GPUs on a single PCB you do have to make compromises but if this is true then its a disappointing news.

Other specifications include a massive 10 GB memory split in to two 5 GB dedicated to each GPU along with a 640-bit memory interface also split between the two dies. On the other hand, AMD’s Vesuvius will feature fully unlocked Hawaii XT silicons and 12 GB of memory. This might be troublesome for NVIDIA in terms of performance but we do know that GeForce GPUs run relatively cooler compared to Radeon chips.

Secondly, a GTX 790 doesn’t makes sense when Maxwell is on the verge of launch. Maxwell is going to be an upgrade over Kepler and surely outperform GK110 so why not make a GTX 890?. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 790 is expected to launch in February which has put a question mark on the 6 GB variant of GTX 780 Ti.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information

Gigabyte GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition Specs Released

GIGABYTE has applied the same GHz Edition touch on the GTX 780 Ti as it did with the GTX 780 graphics card, rising the GPU core to over 1 GHz as stock operating frequency.

In terms of benchmarking, the graphics cared is above the GTX 780 Ti OC Edition released early last month. The GHz Edition features a new custom-design PCB by GIGABYTE, having a strong VRM coupled with the same WindForce 450W cooling solution that’s featured on the GTX 780 GHz Edition. The GTX 780 Ti OC Edition, on the other hand, is a combination of the WindForce 450W cooler and NVIDIA reference PCB, with a factory-overclock.

GIGABYTE’s GTX 780 Ti GHz Edition PCB comes with a 10+2 phase VRM that draws power from a pair of 8-pin PCIe power connectors. The cooler is a complex aluminium fin-stack heatsink to which heat is fed by five 8 mm-thick copper heat pipes, and which are cooled by three 100 mm fans. The large heatsink is supported by a base plate that draws heat from the memory and VRM, a support brace that runs along the top of the card, and a back-plate.

Gigabyte tuned the card with clock speeds of 1085 MHz core, 1150 MHz core in boost mode, and a 7.00 GHz GDDR5 memory. Based on the 28 nm GK110 silicon, the GTX 780 Ti features 2,880 CUDA cores, 240 TMUs, 48 ROPs, and a 384-bit wide GDDR5 memory interface, holding 3 GB of memory. There is no news about the release date or pricing, but it should be released soon enough.

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