I’ve never personally been a fan of the desktop monitor stands, they’re large, heavy and expensive. Although the main reason I’ve never liked them is because I’ve never had enough monitors to buy one; until now. Since upgrading our test bench to triple 4K 28″ monitors, I’ve had to resort to putting the monitors in portrait just to fit on my desk; despite it being custom-made and a lot larger than most other that you can buy on the market.
There are many options on the market, but something caught my eye back at iSeries in April that OverclockersUK had made available. It was an OCuK designed monitor stand that could support up to THREE 32″ monitors. The stand looked simply stunning and was finished off with red highlights to incorporate the colour scheme from the OCUK logo. This was announced around a year ago and seemingly went under the radar, it seems monitor stands just aren’t that important to review, yet make a triple monitor set-up so much easier and pain-free.
The Neptune stand is an absolute beast with one of the largest base plates I’ve seen and it weighs just under 15Kg excluding monitors. There’s not much more to say, so let’s just get cracking and see what this thing can do.
1080p, 1440p, 1660p, 2160p; just a random bunch of numbers with a ‘p’ after them can mean nothing to some people; however, to gamers it means a whole world of display quality goodness. For the last few years, 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) monitors have been the normal standard for a ‘decent’ gaming setup and what most graphics cards are tested at. Then we started moving up to higher resolutions such as 2560 x 1440p and 2560 x 1600p.
For some, this wasn’t enough; despite the pixel densities growing larger, as humans we wanted even more pixels. This resorted to users buying multiple monitors and connecting them one next to another and activating AMD ‘EyeFinity’ or NVIDIA ‘Surround’ to have an almost 180° viewing range. Even though the latter part of the pixel count didn’t change, this meant that monitor set-ups were hitting 5760 pixels wide by using three 1920 x 1080p monitors.
Then we move onto today, 1080p and 1440p has been surpassed by what has now become the new ‘standard’ of gaming, 2160p, or 4K. At this resolution, even the most powerful of graphics cards can struggle to churn out the desired 60FPS which we have come to accept as the acceptable standard. So what about when you put three 4K monitors next to each other and ask for 11520 x 2160 of pixelated goodness (or 6480 x 3840 if you prefer your monitors in portrait mode.)
Before we go rushing into things, there are some issues regarding our particular test system. The provided AOC monitors (U2868PQU) has known issues with AMD graphics cards and 60Hz refresh rate. Symptoms can present themselves as minor screen flickering to a complete system freeze. This was made worse when trying to display at 11520 x 2160; however, after multiple tests, we found the issue was subdued by putting the monitors into Portrait mode. This isn’t the ideal gaming set-up, however, in the interest of bringing you the information; I endured the pain of a 2″ thick bezel between each monitor.
To get to the technical nitty gritty, a typical 4K monitor at 60Hz refresh rate can present 497 Million information pixels per second, so this set-up can present almost 1.5 Billion pixels per second; yes 1.5 BILLION. To put that into perspective, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has a screen size of 1440 x 2560 and a refresh rate of 60Hz; that works out to a mere 221 Million pixels per second in comparison.
The battery life of our mobile devices – and anything that contains a battery for that matter is something which ranks quite high in everyone gripe list. Although manufacturers are discovering new ways to design components the need less power to run, there is only a certain amount of power that can be crammed into the battery, thus limiting the overall life of the device. This could all be about to change though as scientists have created a new type of lithium-ion battery that offers three times the life of a standard li-on battery using nothing more than sand.
Naturally we are not talking about pouring sand like we find on the beach into a battery. Instead of using graphite to make the anode end of the cell, refined sand is used to create a pure silicone compound which gives the extended life span.
To create the compound the sand, right in quartz, is ground down to minute particles nanometres in size and then is refined and purified by heating it to remove any oxygen which is present. The pure mixture is added to a salt and magnesium mix to create the pure silicone mix.
Whilst this process may sound like it will result in a battery which costs much more to buy, the resulting product is actually cheaper due to the use of common elements which do not create any harmful waste materials after processing. How long it will take to get this new type of battery into mass production and finally into the market is unknown, but as and when it does we could finally be looking at mobile devices that last days instead of hours before they need plugging in to charge – imagine a smartphone that has the heroic battery life of the old Nokia 3310’s? I know that is something we’d all love to have.
SilentiumPC has announced a new predecessor to its current Fortis 2 XE1226 cooler, it being in the shape of the high-TDP twin-tower Grandis XE1236 heatsink. It features a twin-tower design with a pair of bundled 120mm fans, and mounts for an optional third fan if required.
The Grandis XE1236 Twin-Tower Cooler features SilentiumPC’s XE Technology in the shape of a solid-copper heat spreader, specifically designed with the means of transmitting energy from the processor to the cooler’s six 6mm U-shaped heat pipes more efficiently.
Following the heat distribution, the pipes then lead to a pair of cooling fin stacks made in a twin-tower shape, being cooled by the stock GF12025 120mm PWM-controller fans. The company also praises the XE1236 Twin-Tower’s extremely silent working environment, producing only 21 dBA. The company also states that the previous makes the cooler at hand a perfect candidate for high-end systems having high thermal design profile chips.
In terms of specs, the Grandis XE1236 Twin-Tower measures in at 130mm x 105mm x 158mm and weighs an impressive 1.16 kg. It features two 120mm fans with additional support for attaching a third fan for those who need the extra cooling power.
SilentiumPC is also looking to make the cooler’s design universal, having support for all modern Intel and AMD sockets. The company also states that it will fit in almost any ATX case with at least 185mm width available.
The price for the SilentiumPC Grandis XE1236 Twin-Tower cooler has yet to be officially confirmed. However, the retail pack including the Pactum PT-1 thermal compound is stated to have been given an European recommended value of €39 / £32.
Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information Image courtesy of Bit-Tech