A server grade Intel LGA 2011-3 socketed motherboard along with the Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 processor have been spotted on sale over at EBay (via Part of Intel’s upcoming Haswell-EP processor line, the new Xeon E5 V3 chips will feature improved IPC performance to meet demands of high-performance computing.Intel Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3

Intel LGA 2011-3 Motherboard and Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 Processor On Sale At EBay

The server grade motherboard we are looking at is designed for 2S operations so it makes use of dual LGA 2011-3 sockets which are fully compatible with the upcoming Haswell-EP processors. The sockets resemble the LGA 2011 socket since the design for both is kept the same if you have noticed the earlier X99 motherboard leaks. The LGA 2011-3 server motherboard is large and built for workstations and server environment hence the odd design and form factor. It features a total of 24 DDR4 DIMM slots and a total of 384 GB DDR4 memory using 16 GB memory sticks and more if using denser memory sticks or if the motherboard can actually support them but it possibly will given its workstation nature. The motherboard comes with several connectors and ports while the C610 chipset is hidden beneath the silver colored aluminum heatsink.

The motherboard is damaged from several areas as mentioned by the seller on EBay but it is in working condition so you can try your luck to get this working perfectly if you buy one but there’s no guarantee. Aside from the LGA 2011-3 motherboard, there’s also a Haswell-EP Xeon E5 V3 processor on sale which is in engineering state. The specific processor known as QFGH ES 2.10 GHz is clocked at 2.10 GHz and was manufactured in USA but aside from that, there are no details given. 2.10 GHz is a low clock so this chip could boast a higher core count but that is just speculation from my end. A few of you may ask, how do I even know this ES processor is an Haswell-EP CPU?

CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2

VisionTek has expanded their CryoVenom series of liquid cooled and limited edition graphics cards lineup with the latest CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 offering superior cooling performance and easier installation then the stock variant of AMD’s flagship Vesuvius graphics card. The CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 ships in a standalone liquid block version at $1750.00 US, 240mm radiator variant for $2000.00 and 360mm rad variant for $2025.00 US. The company also ships their liquid cooling kits and bundles seperately which can be bought  for $299.99 and $329.99 US respectively.CryoVenom

VisionTek’s GPU Lineup Expands With CryoVenom Radeon R9 295X2 Liquid Cooled Graphics Card

High-Performance Liquid Cooled CryoVenom Graphics Card Line

Press Release - VisionTek Products LLC, (VisionTek), a leading manufacturer of award-winning, high-performance upgrades and accessories for PCs and Macs®, today announced the addition of new graphics cards models, complete cooling kits, and card/cooling kit bundles to its high-performance liquid cooled PC compatible CryoVenom line.

Complete Kits Solve Four Major Liquid Cooling Concerns

To complement the CryoVenom R9 290 liquid cooled graphics card, the “quietest, coolest, and fastest” single AMD GPU ever tested by PC Magazine, and Finalist in the Best New Product – Computer Hardware category of The 2014 American Business Awards, CryoVenom Liquid Cooling Kits were developed in conjunction with EKWB to solve four major concerns of those considering liquid cooling:


The PC fans of Rockstar’s eminent open world action-adventure video game known as GTA 4 must be very overjoyed nowadays, all thanks to the PC modding community. There is a famous mod known as iCEnhancer that completely redefines the way GTA 4 looks like on PC, and just recently, the mod was updated to version 3.0. The new version takes things to a whole new level by boosting the visuals and graphical aspects of GTA 4 such that the game looks even better than some recently released major next-gen video games. Check out the 4K video shared below to see how GTA 4 looks like while running with iCEnhancer 3.0.


GTA 4 Looks Stunning Running on PC With iCEnhancer 3.0 in This 4K Gameplay Video

It appears that the latest iCEnhancer 3.0 mod is the only thing that everyone is talking about in the online Grand Theft Auto and PC modding community right now. Making a six-year-old game shine like something new out of the box, this mod improves the overall gameplay and visual quality of the game by enhancing the in-game effects such as lighting, raining, color processing, and adding new depth of field. There is no doubt that if you run GTA 4 with iCEnhancer 3.0 on highest settings on PC, you won’t realize you are playing more than half a decade old game.

Mass Effect

Next installment in the famous and most critically acclaimed science fiction action role-playing third person shooter video game series known as Mass Effect was rumored for long until BioWare finally took the wraps off and presented a gameplay preview of the next Mass Effect, which is rumored, but not officially confirmed, to be called Mass Effect 4, at Electronic Art’s E3 2014 press conference. This small reveal made quite a fuss in the online gaming community, but in coming days the dust settled down. However, now, the developer has uncovered a load of new details about the next Mass Effect in a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and fans are getting excited again.

Mass Effect

BioWare Shares New Details and Images for the Next Mass Effect Title at Comic-Con – Male and Female Armors Showcased and New Video Shows New Mako in Action

It is somewhat a trend now that video game publishers reveal their major upcoming titles either at Electronic Entertainment Expo or at Gamescom, but that doesn’t mean you should stop looking around when these two events are not near to happen. Just recently, BioWare revealed a ton of new stuff and details about the next big Mass Effect game at its “Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect” panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and contrary to the rumors, the developer confirmed that the next game in the hit sci-fi franchise will not be called Mass Effect 4.

The panel was being conducted by a mix of developers from Bioware’s Edmonton and Montreal Studios, and Carl Boulay (lead animator), Mike Gamble (producer), Noel Lukasewich (senior artist), Fabrice Condominas (producer), and Jessica Merizan (community manager) were taking the covers off some new important details such as the design of new in-game male and female armors and the first look at the new Mako in action.

Intel Logo

Intel is releasing their HEDT Haswell-E processors in the coming months which includes the flagship Core i7-5960X CPU. Since the processors are built for the high-end desktop market, their target audience would be overclocking fanatics and enthusiasts. My friend, Kevin Owi at OCDrift has revealed an interesting feature regarding the new processors which will help overclockers in setting the fastest frequency records.Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X De-lid

Intel’s Flagship Haswell-E Core i7-5960X Processor De-Lidded – Uses Soldered TIM

Kevin was able to get hold of an Intel Core i7-5960X processor which will be the flagship part of the Haswell-E lineup and de-lidded it to reveal that it makes use of soldered thermal interface material instead of inferior thermal paste material which was featured on Ivy Bridge and Haswell processors which is blamed as one of the reasons for the high temperatures we got to see on those processors aside from the fully integrated voltage regulator (FVIR) which is being phased out after Broadwell generation of processors.

The Core 4000 series processors based on the Haswell microarchitecture were launched a year ago at Computex 2013. The processors featured the latest 22nm core 3D Tri-gate transistors technology which improved the IPC and efficiency by a decent amount of Ivy Bridge. While the Haswell processors were met with a great response and backed by a variety of overclocking features, the processors didn’t happen to be great at overclocking due to the cheaper application of TIM between the IHS (Internal HeatSpreader) and the Haswell silicon itself which resulted in the heat to remain trapped between the chip due to poor contact.


During a presentation held in Taiwan, motherboard manufacturer ASRock unveiled their latest HEDT X99 chipset motherboards which include the X99 Extreme 6, X99 Extreme 4 and X99 Killer. XFastest was able to grab shots of these new motherboards which we saw back at Computex where they were displayed in engineering state, while now they have been updated with the final heatsink designs and layout for Intel’s upcoming Haswell-E CPU lineup.ASRock LGA 2011-3 Socket

ASRock’s High-Performance X99 Extreme 6, X99 Extreme 4 and X99 Killer Motherboards

ASRock has showed three high-end desktop motherboard based on the X99 chipset which include the ASRock X99 Extreme 6 and X99 Extreme 4 which were seen back at Computex 2014 and a new addition to the lineup, the X99 Killer which is more of a gaming oriented and feature packed offering. Each motherboard supports its own set of features for overclocking and the latest LGA 2011-3 socket to support Haswell-E processors which will be shipping in the month of September in retail. The latest X99 Express chipset features featuring 14 USB ports (6 USB 3.0 and 8 USB 2.0), 10 SATA 6GBps ports, integrated clock support, 8×1 PCIe 2.0, Clarksville GbE PHY and the Realtek Audio Codec.The chip has a max TDP of 6.5W and measures 23x22mm which is larger than the X79 chipset. The platform would also be the first to support DDR4 memory.


There is no match to the things that the modding community on PC can carry out with some fairly old games. It doesn’t matter if the game is an year or so old, if modders put their magic into it, it starts shinning like a newly polished product. The latest example is Rockstar’s open-world action-adventure video game, which has been completely redone by some very talented PC modders. The game is more than half a decade old, but the recently released 3.0 version of iCEnhancer mod makes it look like it was just released yesterday.


GTA 4 Stock Trailer vs iCEnhancer 3.0 Enhanced Trailer; Rockstar’s Six-Year-Old Game Looks Like it Was Just Released Recently

No matter how much people berate the gaming scene on PC platform, one thing is for sure, you can’t question the talent of modding community on PC. For proof, just check out the iCEnhancer mod for GTA 4 running on the world’s most powerful platform. It has been updated once again to the latest 3.0 version and it continues to make a six-year-old game look better than some recently released major video game titles.

With the release of version 3.0, iCEnhancer mod further improves the visuals and graphical aspects of GTA 4, taking the graphical fidelity and in-game effects of the game to a whole new level. The mod introduces a variety of new features for GTA V and also packs some tweaks for the preexisting ones to improve the over all visuals of the game. Ultimately, it makes GTA 4 look like something that could be released this year. Check out the full changelog for iCEnhancer 3.0 here.

Hardware Industry

NVIDIA’s next generation Maxwell core architecture based GeForce GTX 880, GeForce GTX 870 and GeForce GTX 860 will launch in October this year, as reported by GDM.OR.JP. The site which is part of one of the most major hardware retailers in Japan have been pretty accurate with their earlier leaks so we will assume that the October launch time-frame is quite accurate considering the launch was planned for Q4 2014 was narrowed down to October / November a few weeks ago and now we have a much more accurate schedule of NVIDIA’s Maxwell GPU launches.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880

NVIDIA Maxwell Based GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870 To Launch in Early October

The first two Maxwell cards to launch in the consumer market would be the high-performance GeForce GTX 880 and GeForce GTX 870. These cards will feature the GM204 core architecture which is the successor of the GK104/GK114 core from the Kepler generation. From little things we know thanks to the leaked PCB shot of NVIDIA’s alleged GeForce GTX 880 graphics card, we come to know that the core being used for the sample variant was GM204-INT41684-A1 however there has been a little variation in the codename and it is now called GM204-CS0-A1 (note that the CS stands for Consumer Sample) which means that final testing is under way and the chip will soon end up in the consumer market as the GeForce GTX 880. The chip is also the first of four variants which will make their way to the rest of the lineup including the GeForce GTX 870.

The GeForce GTX 870 on the other hand will be a cut down variant of the GK204 core featured on GeForce GTX 880 with some disabled SMM (Streaming Multiprocessor Maxwell) units. Its not know what specifications does the GM204 hold in general but it does feature a die size larger than its predecessor which is due to the existing 28nm process technology and the card will make use of high-frequency SKHynix H5GQ4H24MFR 0.5G clocked at 7 GHz. We will most probably be looking at a 256-bit since the memory arrangement as seen on the ES board is similar to the GeForce GTX 680 ES board and the final consumer variant. The card was shown with 8 GB GDDR5 memory which is a lot of VRAM for a reference card but we believe that the cards will ship in 4 GB variants. Aside from that, the total power consumption would be similar to Kepler around 195W but it will deliver performance on scale with some of the overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti’s we have seen. If the recent GeForce GTX 880 benchmark is taken for reference, we might be looking at a 20-30% performance uplift from Maxwell over GK110 which is insane and makes us wonder the performance uplift with the GM200 core which won’t ship to consumers till next year.

Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is one of the two highly anticipated and most awaited first-person shooter video games that are scheduled to launch later this year. Unlike previous game in the series, the upcoming blockbuster title is being developed by Sledgehammer Games, an American video game studio that is known for co-developing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Currently, Sledgehammer is celebrating its five-year anniversary in the business as an independent development studio, and doing so, the developer has released a brand new screenshot from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare showing off gaming changing exoskeleton mechanic.

Call of Duty Advanced (10)

Sledgehammer Games Releases Shinning New 1080p Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Launching on November 4, 2014 for all major video game platforms except Nintendo Wii U, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a cross-gen title that will feasibly wipe out the stains left on the Call of Duty brand by Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Ghosts. Being eleventh primary installment in the series, the upcoming shooter features a brand new thought-provoking story and several gameplay changes. Set in 2054, the game features futuristic weaponry and advanced combat schemes, and a storyline that follows the largest military force in the world, which belongs to powerful private military corporations rather than a country.

Sledgehammer Games, developer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is putting everything in work to create the best Call of Duty game ever. Recently, the developer started celebrating its five-year anniversary as an independent development studio, and doing so, the team is looking to include fans in the celebrations and share some free #HammerWeek stuff with them.

AMD Core Logo

AMD has just posted their “Core is Back” teaser over at their Facebook page which hints at an imminent CPU announcement. Now this may sound crazy but this actually coming from AMD’s official Facebook and Youtube pages makes this so much more interesting that we couldn’t wait to find out what this announcement is about actually.AMD Core is Back


AMD Teases “Core Is Back” Teaser and Core Evolution Video

AMD is teasing their upcoming CPU announcement with a picture on their Facebook page and a CGI Video on their YouTube channel. The Facebook page and Youtube Video lists down the following statements:

The war continues to rage and battles may be lost but heroes will evolve.#AMDEvolved via AMD Facebook

“In your PC, applications battle for resources. While powerful CORE hardware fights to maintain the balance. But the war never ends. And the applications only get stronger. Battles may be lost. But heroes will EVOLVE. CORE IS BACK!” via AMD YouTube

When I first saw this picture, I thought it was some fan prompting AMD to release a new CPU but after looking at the teaser video, I become quite excited myself. As you can note, the “Core is Back” title is a conformation that a new CPU announcement is coming and some might even say that core can also be used for GPU but if you take a look at the video, you will notice that applications and CPU have a mutual relationship and makes it the only device to do such a teaser announcement for. The video itself is called “Core Evolution” which hints that the new core technology is an evolution of an existing architecture. So this could be a new FX launch, an updated Kaveri APU or a FX APU based on Steamroller architecture with the iGPU disabled for faster core clock speeds.

WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top

Intel launched their Z97 platform earlier this year which brought new motherboards in the performance platform, aiming support for Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and the upcoming Broadwell CPUs. Intel’s Z97 platform is filled with a variety of boards and each board is targeted towards key segments.WCCFTech Z97 Motherboard Round-Up OC Top

Round-Up of The Best and Top-Tier Overclocking Z97 Motherboards

With such a large list of products that are currently offered in the Z97 chipset based product portfolio, it gets quite frustrating for consumers to find a board that suits their demands. To make it easier for consumers, the board manufacturing companies have separated their products into three categories; Gaming, Overclocking and Mainstream.  Although this helps a bit but even then, the products themselves offer similar specifications, naming schemes and priced equally.  For instance, the MSI Z97 Gaming 3 and Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming 3 are both gaming branded motherboards priced at $137.99 US and with “Gaming 3″ in the title, it would more or less confuse the buyer into deciding which product should be bought. While reviews do give a better insight at the products comparing the little details, features and components of products, we couldn’t find a good article which compares these boards against their similar priced counterparts from other manufacturers.

To address this issue and to help ease the process for buyers to get the right product, today we will be doing a round-up of the Z97 “Overclocking” motherboards. We will obviously not be comparing performance based on benchmarks but design schemes, feature set and the components used on these Z97 motherboards which will tell us why they are better than the other similar priced option or why does a $399 US overclocking board is a better option for enthusiasts then a $249 US overclocking board. The products we will be comparing are strictly the flagship overclocking boards from each separate manufacturer so you might see us talk about a XPOWER board and not the MPOWER board so please excuse me but that doesn’t mean that I won’t ever do a similar comparison on the other segment based boards, so stay tuned for that. Regardless, let’s start off these round – up with the beastly, Z97 XPOWER AC from MSI:

AMD Kaveri APU

Evidence regarding stacked DRAM on next generation AMD APUs has surfaced once again which gives hints that the upcoming Carrizo APU or its successor will be the first APUs to enable high-bandwidth stacked DRAM design on-chip.AMD APUs Carrizo APU Stacked Memory

Evidence Regarding AMD APUs Featuring High-Bandwidth Stacked Memory Surfaces

It has been known for a while that AMD is sampling their first generation HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) and we can find official specifications in slides dating back to December 2013. While there was no mention of what product or application may make use of HBM back then, the latest slides from AMD’s official Fast Forward presentation talks regarding stacked DRAM specifically on APUs. The Fast Forward project’s objectives are to enhance the high volume APU architecture and investigate in next generation processor and memory tech for exascale and consume scale systems.

Within the presentation, you can find several references of stacked memory and new APU technologies such as HSA+, PIM (Processing In Memory) and Two Level memory. Some of these are already part of the current AMD APU family such as Kaveri which introduced several new features such as HSA on software and steamroller, gcn or hardware side.

NVIDIA SHield logo

NVIDIA has posted a new teaser on their official site which hints at the announcement of an upcoming product which sources have confirmed to be the Tegra K1 powered Shield Tablet. But while we wait to see a glimpse of the new tablet, Videocardz has managed to reveal the official presentation of the upcoming tablet which will be launching on 29th July in the US market.NVIDIA Shield Tablet

Image Credits: Videocardz!

NVIDIA’s Tegra K1 Powered Shield Tablet Launches on 29th July

While the announcement takes place on 22nd July, the Tegra K1 powered Shield tablet won’t hit the market until 29th July in the US/Canada market followed by Europe launch in August 14th and availability will be expanded to more regions in Fall 2014. The Shield tablet will be available in two variants, a 16 GB WiFi model which will retail at $299 US and a 32 GB LTE model which will retail at $399 US. The Shield tablet will also come with additional accessories such as a wireless shield controller and a shield cover which will retail for $59 and $39 respectively.

Coming to the specifications, the Shield tablet is impressive considering it features the Tegra K1 SOC which was unveiled by NVIDIA at CES 2014. From a technical perspective, the NVIDIA Shield Tablet boasts the Tegra K1 SOC with 192 Kepler GPU cores and a 2.2 GHz Quad Core Cortex A15 CPU. This along with 2 GB memory offers better performance than the competitors in the same price range. For connectivity, NVIDIA Shield Tablet offers Wi-FI + LTE on the 32 GB variant which is priced at $399 US while the $299 variant will only feature Wi-Fi connectivity.

AMD logo

During the Q2 financial conference call, AMD’s SVP and COO, Lisa Su, assured that their company will out 20nm products next year followed by 16nm FinFET later on. While there have been rumors that AMD might introduce 20nm products in late 2014, I believe that this statement is an end to all those reports since AMD’s entire lineup is to stick with the current 28nm process node this year.AMD 20nm

AMD Assures 20nm Products in 2015 – 16nm FinFET Later On

In Q1 2014, AMD forwarded the same statement that their graphics and semi-custom business products will both stick with 28nm. We have seen several 28nm products across AMD graphics and processors designs which include the Radeon R9 and Radeon R7 series for graphics while Steamroller, Jaguar powering AMD’s processors and accelerated processing units were also based on 28nm.

“We (AMD) will be shipping products in 20 nanometre next year and as we move forward obviously a FinFET is also important,” Lisa Su (Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at AMD) via Fudzilla

This news is interesting for the moment since AMD is on the verge to introduce new graphics processing units for the consumer industry. These include the Tonga, Iceland and Maui which are reportedly launching in Q3 and Q4 2014. So we can more or less confirm that all three of these chips will feature the existing 28nm process design while their replacements which are now believed to arrive 2015 will be based on 20nm. The same goes for AMD’s upcoming semi-custom APUs which are part of AMD’s Skybridge initiative which allows pin-to-pin compatibility for x86 and ARM based processors. The Cambridge APU will feature this technology leveraging the efficiency while the K12 ARM core which is a 64-bit ARM custom designed core will use 16nm FinFET technology. It should be noted that AMD also has a true x86 architecture in development to feed high-performance needs which should not be expected prior to 2016-2017 so we may see it based on a smaller node.

Battlefield Hardline

At this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, Electronic Arts revealed Battlefield Hardline as the next upcoming installment in its most applauded first-person shooter video game series. Currently being developed by Visceral Games in collaboration with DICE, the game went through its beta testing phase last month and just recently, Visceral revealed a check list of ten changes that has been made to the game according to the feedback submitted by beta testers.

Battlefield Hardline

Visceral Reveals 10 Fan Requested Battlefield Hardline Fixes and Improvements

Unlike previous titles in the series, the upcoming Battlefield Hardline is not a game about world warfare or uprooting terrorist organizations, instead the game breaks away from the military background of the series and introduces a new form of gameplay, keeping the main focus on police and state crimes. The game takes place in urban areas and features Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto type cops and robbers gameplay, where players either play as cops or as robbers.

EA has already announced that Battlefield Hardline will be available in the local markets in October, and so currently, the game is going through its testing phases. The first Beta of the game was launched last month and was played by many beta testers, who also submitted their feedback recommending the changes that the developer should consider to make the multiplayer gameplay better. Recently, Visceral Games published a check list of ten changes on Battlefield Blog, revealing the changes that were suggested by the beta testers, and are now being implemented in the game.

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