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ASRock X99 Extreme 4 Motherboard
Hardware

ASRock has teased their X99 OC Formula over at their Facebook page showcasing a powerful 12 Phase design that supports 1300W of power for overclocking. While the ASRock X99 OC Formula is geared towards the overclocking fanatics, ASRock has also showed off several upcoming boards over the last few weeks which include their legacy Extreme 6, Extreme 4 and gaming X99 Killer and X99M Killer FATAL1TY motherboards.ASRock X99 OC Formula

ASRock X99 OC Formula Motherboard Features 12 Phase Design With 1300W Support 

While little is known about the X99 OC Formula, we do know that the OC series from ASRock are designed with the Super Alloy components. ASRock X99 OC Formula will be the first OC series board in the HEDT lineup from ASRock, built and tested by ASRock’s in-house and legendary overclocker, Nick Shih. The motherboard features a impressive yellow and black color theme which show that it sticks loyal to the OC series design from ASRock. The motherboard features the X99 Express chipset and the LGA 2011-3 socket which will support the latest Haswell-E processors.The ASRock X99 OC Formula will feature a 12 Phase supply featuring a Digi Power, Dual-Stack MOSFET (DSM), Multiple Filter Cap (MFC) (Filters different noises by 3 different capacitors: DIP solid cap, POSCAP and MLCC) and Premium Alloy Choke (Reduces 70% core loss compared to iron powder choke). The X99 OC Formula has a 1300W power rating which will make it one of the best choice for overclocking Intel’s next generation processors.

In addition to the ASRock X99 OC Formula, we are also looking at the X99 Extreme 6 and X99 Extreme 4. We have already detailed these motherboards but ASRock has just released the official pictures of these boards fitted with their retail heatsinks and designs so let’s do a quick round-up of their specifications. The details for the X99 WS, X99 Killer and X99M Killer FATAL1TY can be found in their respective links provided.

Drivers are very interesting things; they usually work out of sight but are just as important as the GPU itself. It is with these thoughts in mind that I would like to post something very interesting today: a benchmark comparison (courtesy of DG Lee over at IYD.KR) of all the driver releases between and including Catalyst 13.9 WHQL and 14.7 RC. I would also like to point out a very interesting anomaly that I noticed in the benchmarks.AMD A-Series Old Robot

Curious Watch Dogs Anomaly – Catalyst 13.9 WHQL to 14.7 RC Shows 4% Improvement Overall

Let me begin by saying that the benchmarks were conducted by DG Lee and all measures were taken to ensure that the system remained constant and only the drivers were changed. Catalyst versions were completely and thoroughly removed before the next version was benchmarked, since drivers are notorious for sticking around after they have out stayed their welcome. Lets begin with the testing rig used:

  • Intel Core i7 4770K
  • AVEXIR DDR3 PC3-12800 CL9 16GB (4×4)
  • AMD R9 280X 3GB
  • ASUS Maximus VII Hero
  • Team L3 SSD 240GB
  • Corsair AX 750 GOLD
  • Windows 7 Ultimate
Gigabyte Logo
Hardware

Press Release - GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced its latest overclocking contest hosted on HWBOT.org, the GIGABYTE Z97-Pentium AE Beat the Heat Challenge. The main focus will be centered on the latest GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards and the G3258 Intel® Pentium® Anniversary Edition CPU.

GIGABYTE-Z97-Pentium-AE

GIGABYTE Z97-Pentium AE beat the heat challenge to be hosted on HWBOT.ORG

The challenge is open to all HWBOT.org overclockers and will be separated in 5 stages running various benchmarks on air/water cooling and LN2 cooling. A total of USD $2,000 in cash prizes and two GIGABYTE Z97X-SOC LN2 will be offered to the winners, as well as a lucky draw with 5 participants winning a GIGABYTE G-Powerboard kit.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pentium® brand, Intel delivered to the overclocking community an unlocked processor with great potential at a very fair price. To put this bad boy to the test, GIGABYTE is giving HWBOT’s community the opportunity to see if they can keep their cool under pressure and win big from August 24th until September 28th, 2014.

QNAP-NASes
Hardware

Press Release - QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced the release of the new tower-based Turbo NAS TS-x53 Pro series (available in 2, 4, 6, 8-bay) and the 2.5”-drive SS-x53 Pro series (4 and 8-bay) that provide a powerful and reliable solution for data storage and mission-critical business applications for small and medium businesses. Coupled with exclusive QvPC Technology, these new series can serve as cost-effective PC substitutes that enable direct access to stored data, real-time surveillance monitoring with local display, XBMC digital entertainment, and more.

QNAP-NASes

QNAP Releases New NAS Products Featuring Quad-core Intel Celeron Processor and QvPC Technology for SMBs

The TS/SS-x53 Pro series is powered by a quad-core Intel® Celeron® 2.0GHz processor with burst speed up to 2.41GHz and 8GB/4GB/2GB energy-efficient DDR3L RAM (expandable to 8GB), supports 2 or 4 LAN ports that provide up to 400MB/s read & write speeds in port trunking mode, and achieves 70+MB/s read & write AES-256bit encryption performance.

Radeon Logo
Hardware

[Rumor] This new leak is courtesy of CHW.com who have spilled some of the beans on AMD’s upcoming GPU architecture code named “Faraway Islands” & has revealed some very interesting information with regards to this new architecture but before we dive into the details keep a pinch of salt handy as always.

Volcanic-Islands

AMD To Introduce Faraway Islands Based Graphics Cards Next Year

AMD has been awfully quiet on its GPU roadmap as of late.  Ever since the launch of Hawaii back in October of last year nothing major about AMD’s upcoming GPUs has leaked, except recently about Tonga. And even information regarding Tonga only appeared a while after information surfaced regarding GM204 & the GTX 880 which it’s based on. So even though Tonga is going to be released before GM204, information surrounding it was much more scarce & much more difficult to come by. All of this can be attributed to AMD’s relatively recent re-invigoration of its old culture of secrecy.

Thankfully the silence has been broken and we have a few very interesting pieces of information to dig into. The first being a new code name “Faraway Island’s”. Now a quick google search would net you a few results about Pokemon and nothing resembling a real location on planet earth that is until I stumbled on The Faroes. Whether indeed these are the referenced Faraway Islands or not I still cannot confirm.

m234_2
Hardware

Applied Engineering Software Group turned to the EUROCOM Panther 5SE Mobile Server for its X79 chipset in a laptop that could run an Intel Xeon class server processor for managing storage, network and server operations for third party contractors.

m234_2

Applied Engineering Software Group turns to EUROCOM Panther 5SE Mobile Server for its X79 chipset in a laptop

The Mobile Server is an all in one system that results in a compact 12 lbs, 16.76 x 11.44 x 2.31 inch mobile server solution. It is designed for world-wide deployment and easy network set up. It is easy to transport, move around and relocate as it can fit into a single carrying bag because of its all-in-one, compact design.

The EUROCOM Panther 5SE is a 12 lbs system that evolved from high-end notebook and workstation designs.  In addition to all the standard notebook features, the Panther 5SE offers the following server oriented features:

Intell Haswell-E, the latest iteration of the HEDT Platform, has a launch date of 29 August (originally mid September) and now it seems that a few days before release we are are getting some confirmation on the PCIE lanes. It turns out that the information leaked by Coolaler was correct and the i7-5820 will only have 28 lanes of PCIE 3.0 while the 5930 and the 5960X will have 40 lanes of PCIE 3.0 each. Intel Broadwell and Haswell Refresh Platform

Intel Core i7 5820K Haswell-E HEDT Processor to Feature Only 28 PCIE 3.0 Lanes

The leaked image (courtesy of EXPReview.com) shows some very interesting wording, stating that when the  i7-5820K is used, the number of PCI-E lanes will decrease. This will ofcourse result in the hexacore processor becoming unattractive to Multi GPU users although they should still have some playing room. With 28 lanes you are looking at 16x, 16x/8x, x8/x8/x8/x4 maximum GPU configuration while a normal 40 lane configuration would be 16x, 16x/16x, 16x/16x/8x or 8x/8x/8x/8x depending on the amount of GPUs you have. Considering the fact that this is PCI-E 3.0 we are talking about there is enough bandwidth for a 3-Way SLI or 4 Way Crossfire. However, if you really want that extra edge then you will have to upgrade to the i7-5930k.

A couple of days ago I wrote a piece about a GPU from AMD called the ‘R7 250XE’ and I mentioned that this is either a GPU with lowered TDP or a new core altogether. Turns out, the former was right. The R7 250XE is AMD’s answer to the Maxwell GTX 750/Ti which was a power house in the “no power connector” required sector. This GPU as you might have guessed is a highly efficient variant of the 250X which requires no external power connector and takes all its power from the PCI-E.Radeon_R7_250X_1

AMD R7 250XE ‘Eco’ GPU Revealed – No External Power Connector Required, TDP <75W

Now that I have more details on the GPU I can confirm that the GPU is infact just a more efficient revision of the Cape Verde GPU which is featured in the R7 250X and HD 7770. The ‘E’ stands for Eco, not Expert as I previously thought it did. The card is ideal for compact builds and should be priced around $65. That’s as cheap as a dGPU gets. Since the card takes all its power from the PCI-E, we can be rest assured that TDP is less than 75W (the max wattage PCI-E can provide). The current spotlight for connector-less cards is occupied by 1st Generation Maxwells and though, the 250XE will not be able to beat them on performance, it will surely be able to beat their Price Point.

HIS-Radeon-R7-250X-iCooler-1-GB_Official_4
Hardware

Introduction

Here we are back again to review another one of AMD’s latest Radeon R7 graphics card from their AIC partner HIS (Hightech Information Systems). Almost two and half years have been passed since AMD introduced their GCN core architecture and it shouldn’t be a surprise if I told you that the architecture is still being featured on AMD’s latest Volcanic Islands Radeon R7 and Radeon R9 series graphics cards.

The Volcanic Islands family is branded as the Radeon R200 series and takes performance and value to the next level. Technically speaking, the Radeon R200 series cards which include the Radeon R9 280X, Radeon R9 270X, Radeon R9 270, Radeon R7 265, Radeon R7 260X, Radeon R7 260, Radeon R7 255, Radeon R7 250X, Radeon R7 250 and Radeon R7 240 are GCN rebrands aside from the latest Hawaii based Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 290, with the addition of new features but rather than giving away the same cards at the same price ranges, AMD added a few new features which we will detail in this article and slashed the prices so much that the Tahiti chip that once was $549 can now be bought for $299 US.

AMD-Radeon-R9-280X-Photo
Hardware

Videocardz was the first site to unveil the upcoming Radeon R9 285 graphics cards and they are first again in unveiling the launch date of the Tonga based cards. According to their information, AMD’s Radeon R9 285 is officially geared for launch on 2nd September while the Radeon R9 285X will be unveiled later during the same month.AMD Radeon R9 285

AMD Radeon R9 285 “Tonga Pro” Officially Launches On 2nd September

AMD has already mentioned that they have a event planned for 23rd August which will be livestreamed to the public audience. The so called “30 Years of Graphics and Gaming Commemoration” will take place on Saturday where Richard Huddy, AMD’s Chief Gaming Scientist is going to brief and detail their next generation of graphics appliances and products. AMD has already teased that there are going to be announcements regarding a GPU over at the event and they showed us a large “Evolution of AMD Radeon GPUs” infographics a few days ago that leaves room for a new announcement that remains to be seen on 23rd August 2014.

A slide posted from Videocardz which is part of the NDA material sent to press and reviewers has revealed that the announcement will be regarding AMD’s next generation Tonga GPU architecture which has higher efficiency that translates into almost half the power consumption of Tahiti yet being faster than the Radeon R9 280 series cards. But it should be pointed out that the entire conference is not restricted to a single announcement and we may even see some new surprise announcements regarding the software side of things such as Mantle or DirectX 12 API support from AMD, even at this point of time, AMD is working on the much awaited HBM (High Bandwidt Memory) which is expected to make its way into GPUs sooner or later so something about that would be really interesting however don’t take my word on this.

MSI X99S Gaming 7
Hardware

It looks like we have more X99 motherboard teasers which include the X99S Gaming 7 from MSI and X99-UD4 from Gigabyte. We have already seen various X99 motherboards over the last and current week which feature enhanced new design schemes, overclocking and gaming features which were introduced on the Z97 series of motherboards.MSI X99S Gaming 7 Motherboard

MSI’s X99S Gaming 7 and X99S SLI Plus Black Motherboards Spotted In The Wild

The Japanese hardware retailer GDM.OR.JP has revealed that the X99 motherboards are already on retail in APAC market. The motherboards shown by the retailer include the MSI X99S Gaming 7 and MSI X99S SLI Plus black edition motherboard which we have already detailed. The MSI X99S Gaming 7 is a new board which we haven’t seen before. Both motherboards were pictured with their box packaging which are the standard card board packages with several logos and features detailed on them. The boards displayed by MSI under their X99 series have so far been outstanding in both looks and features. Performance remains to be seen but with boards such as the X99S XPOWER AC, I believe that MSI will be the first and foremost choice of enthusiasts.

AMD FX Processors
Hardware

If you thought Intel were the only one doing a processor refresh this year, then you were wrong. AMD is going to launch a refreshed processor lineup of their own based on their x86 Piledriver core architecture which will launch in the first week of September along with price cuts for the existing processor models. The new processors from AMD include the FX-8370, FX-8370E and the FX-8320E.AMD FX-9590 2014 Relaunch

AMD To Introduce x86 Piledriver Based Flagship FX-8370 Processor

A few weeks ago, AMD announced the Athlon II X4 860K and 840K processors along with the new FX-8300 series CPUs at ChinaJoy 2014. The details weren’t made public until one of our sources provided us the details later on. The technical details regarding the FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX-8320E were still sparse until now since Xbitlabs did a round-up of the specifications along with their prices which seem quite affordable. But before we move to the details, I should acknowledge first that the FX-9000 series which is based on the x86 Piledriver architecture that include the FX-9590 and FX-9370 processors are receiving a major price cut starting 1st September. The FX-9590 will retail at $215 US (tray version) and $199 US for the FX-9370 (tray version). The boxed variants should cost a slight bit more since they come with the AIO liquid cooler bundle but we should expect them to remain under the $250 US barrier.

Let’s get started with the FX-8370 now which will become the flagship x86 Piledriver processor of the original FX-8000 lineup until AMD plans to launch a new processor line (hopefully no refresh). AMD does have steamroller but they aren’t focusing it towards the high-end desktop market instead focusing it towards the APU market with their Kaveri APUs and Athlon processors. The FX-8370 is clocked at 4.10 GHz base and 4.30 GHz boost clock and ships with a 8 MB L3 cache, 8 cores. 125W TDP and a price of $189 US. Surprisingly, the FX-8370E seems to be a power optimized model which has the same specifications but features a 95W TDP and the same price of $189 US.

G.Skill Ripjaws IV DDR4 Memory Black
Hardware

G.Skill is ready for the launch of Intel’s next generation high-end desktop platform codenamed Haswell-E with their latest Ripjaws IV DDR4 memory kits which will be available in 16 GB and 32 GB variants. G.Skill’s Ripjaws DDR4 memory kits are now unveiled and readily available for pre-order at Overclockers.Co.Uk who have listed nine models of the Ripjaws IV memory kits in different color flavors of red, black and blue.G.Skill-Ripjaws-IV-DDR4-Memory-Black

G.Skill Ripjaws IV DDR4 Memory Kits Unveiled and Available For Pre-Order

While the Intel X99 chipset motherboards and Haswell-E processors are expected to launch on 29th August, the memory kits will be available in retail on 25th so system builders can gear up their PCs. You can still pre-order the various memory kits from online retailers including OCUK who have listed down a large variety of DDR4 memory kits from G.Skill, Corsair, ADATA, Crucial and Avexir. Kingston so far hasn’t been listed but we will be looking at their HyperX series DDR4 memory in a few days.

One of the most interesting features regarding the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT platform is the fact that it will be the first consumer platform to support DDR4 memory (optimized for quad channel operation). Being Intel’s high-end platform, it will also include the first 8 core processor from Intel codenamed Core i7-5960X based on Intel’s Haswell microarchitecture. While we still have to see real-time performance benefits of DDR4 memory in action, we know now what kind of prices to expect from the upcoming memory kits for future generation platforms.

Remember the Radeon R7 SSD launch we told you about a few days back? Well, the official launch happened earlier today. The Radeon R7 SSDs are basically an initiative of AMD and OCZ to sell OCZ based Solid State Drives under the AMD brand name, therefore reaching more customers and targeting a specific market (gaming). I have the entire slide deck with me, but I am afraid I still don’t have word on what the pricing will be and how it will compare to the rest of the SSDs.

AMD Radeon R7 Series Page 01

AMD Officially Announces OCZ Based Radeon R7 SSDs – 120G, 240G and 480G

The Radeon R7 SSDs slot in between the ‘Mainstream’ Vertex 460 Series and the ‘Workstation’ Vector 150 SSDs. The R7 SSDs use the same controller as the Vector 150 and the only difference lies with the flash. Where the Vector 150 uses the 19nm MLC (Toshiba Multi Level Cell) node, rated for 50GB of write per day for 5 years, the R7 uses A19nm MLC (notice the added A) rated for 30GB of write for 4 years. The interface is ofcourse SATA III 6GB/s and the form factor is 2.5 Inches with an ultra slim 7mm width. The disk is 256 Bit AES path compliant and contains the usual features such as SMART and has an expected life span of 4 Years (30GB per day) or 42.7 Terabytes of write. It consumes a marginal 2.7W of power and can operate from 0c to 70c. The Radeon R7 SSDs can withstand shocks of upto 1500Gs and an operational vibration of 7-800Hz. Here are the specs and the complete slide set of the Radeon R7 SSDs.

WCCFTech
Radeon R7 120G SSD
Radeon R7 240G SSD
Radeon R7 480G SSD
Capacity120GB240GB480GB
Max Read 550MB/s550MB/s550MB/s
Max Write470MB/s530MB/s530MB/s
Max Random Read IOPs85,00095,000100,000
Max Random Write IOPs90,00090,00090,000
Steady State Random Write IOPs12,00020,00023,000

Update #1: The E suffix stands for ‘Expert’ as can be seen on this Amazon listing here. This seems to be shaping up to a professional card.

AMD is planing a grand reveal on the 23rd of August and while this is probably where the Tonga GPU will be launched, some more interesting information is beginning to crop up on Hermitage Akihabara. A new AMD GPU was spotted codenamed the Radeon R7 250X-E 1GB. Now the R7 250X is based on the Cape Vede XT Core with a TDP of 95W so I find it very interesting that they have added an ‘E’ suffix at the end.Radeon_R7_250X_1

AMD Radeon R7 250XE 1GB Variant Spotted – New Core or Lowered TDP?

Now the R7 250X has a clock speed of exactly 1 Ghz and a memory clock of 4500 Mhz, the same specs that the Radeon R7 250XE boasts. Now before we delve into this matter further, I want to point something out. Some very similarly named products are available on the internet, namely the “VTX 3D R7 250 X-Edition” and the “VTX3D R7250X X-Edition”.  The SKU codes are VXR7 250 1GBD5-HXE and VXR7 250 1GBD5-HE respectively but these are not the same thing as this GPU. Where the VTX counterpart is named” R7 250X X-Edition” this GPU is named “R7250X-E”. Slightly confusing, I know, but if you take a moment to look at it, it should become clear.



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