G.Skill Unveils Their Insanely Fast DDR-4600 Trident Z Memory Kit

Topic: Memory Kits

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In other news, G.Skill has just revealed their DDR4-4600MHz CL 19 RAM kit made specifically for any system that sports the Intel Core i9X-Series with hand selected top-tier quality Samsung-B die IC components.


The main theme with this particular memory is high octane performance and speed, meaning you probably should not install this in a plain Ole ordinary rig, its made for systems that's meant for high performance gaming. The RAM itself will come in two color variants, one will sport an all silver unibody laced with white accents, while the other will be covered entirely in black with black accents.

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Out the box, G.Skill's newest creation will come with CL19-23-23-3 at 1.5V, that's a 25% increase over any standard 1.2V memory module. The entire Trident Series DDR4-4600MHz kits will consist of a pair 8GBx2 modules totaling 16GB. What's so unique about this memory is its ability crack the 4000MHz barrier without the need for any specialize liquid cooling apparatus.

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Both variants of the Trident Z DDR4-4600MHz memory kit is schedule to be released at the end of Sept 2017, via G.Skill authorization.


Quietly Gigabyte Reveals The GeForce GTX 1080 ITX Graphics Card

Topic: ITX Graphics card

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With AMD and Intel settling down with all their new releases of processors and graphics card, its safe the say its a quiet time in the PC hardware realm. Presently smartphones are dominating the news with both LG and Samsung recently unveiling their flagship devices, with Apple on the verge of revealing their next gen iPhone. WIth all that happening, Gigabyte quietly unveils their new GeForce GTX 1080 Mini ITX graphics card.


Being the worlds smallest GTX 1080 Graphics card, it still maintains its Pascal GPU which has been in existence for a year now and going strong as its the top choice for most system builders.

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Despite its miniature stature at just 26.7cm (10-inches) , the GeForce GTX 1080 Mini packs some computation power featuring a 1607MHz base clock and 1733MHz respectively in Gaming Mode, then levels up to 1632MHz abd 1771MHz respectively in OC Mode.

The big advantage in having much bigger graphics card is the extra cooling it packs. Thankfully, the Mini GTX 1080 have a uniquely custom-design setup that features three authentic copper pipes combine with a 90mm fan, with an added 3D Active technology. Gigabyte states the compact design aids in effectively dispersing heat without an hindrance in  gaming performance even though the graphics card will likely be outfitted in much smaller compact chassis.

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As with most gaming cards manufactured by Gigabyte, its guarantee to have a AORUS Graphics Engine which will feature the one-click overclocking within an simplified interface.

At this very time there is no listed price or release date which is a bummer, once information is posted, I'll give an update via social media.


Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Has Arrived: Here's What You Need To Know

Topic: Smartphone revealed

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So here we have it, Samsung second attempt at bringing fourth the next generation phablet, the Galaxy Note 8. With hope that this time it's here to stay, exploding batteries not included. OK, a little side bar sarcasm I just had to get out of my brain, no, seriously, the Galaxy Note 8 got a lot of the good going on in terms of design and hardware, in hoping that it's enough redeem themselves from last year's disaster. So without dragging out this intro, here's what you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, read along. 


 What's Change With The Design?

The Galaxy Note 8 design footprint pretty is the same as last year's iteration. Sharply straight corners, elongated build. In fact I would say Samsung played it safe with its design, but to be fair if you examine most manufacturers smartphones the trend is to go with the more compact thin build. One glaring difference from last years model is size, the Note 8 is much bigger at 6.3-inches which is literally an handful. The Note8 also retains its IP68 water and dust proofing, the stylus falls under the same protection standard, including when it is removed from the cubbyhole. 

 Much Bigger Display

As mentioned in the previous paragraph the display is enormously big at 6.3-inches, making it the largest display on any Samsung smartphone to date. But the size of the display is no way the main attraction, it is its  brightly lit with QHD PenTile display resolution that measures (2960 x 1960) with HD support. 

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The Dual Cameras though

The biggest change to the Note 8 is the camera, rocking not one but two, making it officially the only Samsung smartphone to have a dual-camera setup. Both camera features a 12 MP sensor, for the regular lens you have a  f/1.7 aperture, f/2.5 aperture for the telephoto lens. Then there's the bonus feature which is Live Focus, this allows users to tweak background blur as you're capturing the image. If you're reading this and have an basic knowledge in smartphones cameras then you know this feature is similar to Portrait Mode that's featured in the iPhone 7 Plus.

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The Guts Of It All, The Hardware

The Note 8 hardware is impeccable as expected with one dash of disappointment, Samsung for unknown reasons decided to not go with the recently upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 836, instead its embeds an 835 processor which is no slouch by the way, with its quad-core processor ( 4 x Kyro 280 at 2.35GHz 4 x Kyro 280 Efficiency at 1.90GHz) . Other countries will will be receiving their Note 8's with Samsung's very own Exynos 8895 chip. On the memory front, there's plenty of it at 6GB,  if 64GB storage capacity is not enough to store your precious content, like all Samsung smartphones users have the option to expand up to 128GB via microSD.

 

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   Still Styling With The Stylus

Aside from the big display of course, the Note main staple feature is the Stylus pen.  Once thought of as a gimmick, the stylus pen actually serves a useful purpose for many who have purchased past Gen models. The Stylus pen on the new Note 8 I would say has gone through an incremented change, a hinge of added features that includes a Screen Off Memo that lets users start writing down reminders the moment you remove the pen from  holding cubby hole that's at the very bottom of the smartphone. Users have the ability to still jot down notes on a locked screen. Writing mode remains on as needed, you can actually convert your jotted down notes into background as an always-on display. 

The screen-off Memo can save notes right directly to the Samsung Notes app, which you can add  100 pages with every new note per session. 

Interestingly, the Note 8 stylus is not just for note taking, you can get very creative and make animated GIFs from a YouTube video with the Smart Select feature that's available in your Note 8 Command menu. Note  8 stylus also includes a Live Message feature, this turns your entire scrawl into glitter filled animated image, a feature that's is easily accessible through the Samsung Keyboard app. 

 

Then There's The Battery 

 The Note8 have all the attributes of being  the perfect smartphone, or phablet. It has gorgeous display, impeccable hardware, dual cameras, and a much improved stylus pen. Not of that means anything if the battery doesn't hold up. The same praises were being said  about the Note 7 last year before the inevitable happened, random reports of smartphones actually catching fire, some  even exploding. According to Samsung, the lack of space for a high capacity battery was the main cause, leaving Samsung no choice but to implement a mass recall.

Hoping history dose't repeat itself, Samsung has scaled down the size of the battery from 3500mAh to 3330mAh. The Note8 battery has gone through a "8-point Battery Safety Check" process, giving full validation of the Note's8 design and manufacturing. How to battery holds up remains to be seen, fingers should definitely be crossed once you purchase this device.

 

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 What about That Price and Release Date?

As of now, customers can preorder the Note8 with the device expected to go on sell in the US on September 15th, which is a mere three weeks away. The Pricing? Well it goes as follows:

For AT$T which my current carrier, the Note8 will run $950, or you have the option payment  $31.67 for 30 months on an AT$T Next installment plan.

Verizon on the other hand will have the Note8 for $960, or for $40 a month for 24 months.

Sprint, yes Sprint which still exist will also be carrying the Note8 and will offer the full retail price, but will have a deal of their own for the customer. If by chance you're switching to Sprint, you can purchase the Note8 with a entire new activation line for $20.00 per month, all through Sprint Flex plan.

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Then there's T-Mobile, arguably have the better deals of the four major carriers, the Note8 will run you $930. As an option, the carrier is offering the smartphone for a $210 down payment and $30 monthly installments right along with T-Mobiles own Equipment Plan, or for $0 down and $39 a month from the Jump on Demand customers.

As with past smartphones from Samung where you have storage flavors to choose from, the Note8 will only come in a 64GB variant in the US, color scheme choices will be orchid grey or midnight black, while other countries will have choices of maple gold and deep sea blue.

 

 

 

 

 


AMD Raises The Curtains and Reveals The RX Vega Graphics Card, Starting At $399

Topic: High End GPUs

With all the bits of information and leaks that's been thrown around these past couple of months, the full unveiling of the RX Vega graphics card by AMD which took place a couple days ago should not come as a surprise, we all knew it would eventually come to full fruition, it's just a matter of when. Well the time is now, AMD gives us hardware pundits the full details on the graphics card specs, features and  accurate pricing.


The  launching of the Ryzen processor has certainly  brought respectability back to the company in the gaming PC platform. With RX Vega, it'll now  definitely compete with NVIDIA  high end GPU's.  As you well know, Nvidia have been the dominant players in the PC gaming market for the past couple of years, launching some of the most powerful graphics cards in the business, the GTX 980 Ti and The GTX 1080 series certainly comes to mind. The Fury X, which was launched in 2015, two years since AMD launched a graphics card that was buzzworthy. 

With that said, for now, AMD's RX Vega is the star of the  show sporting some pretty interesting  features and specs. 

From all the information I've gathered, AMD will be releasing  three different  RX Vega graphics cards all based on the same GPU, those with eyes and ears to the industry should be familiar with Vega 10 as it powers the current Vega Frontier graphics card, having similar features and specs. AMD presents you the Radeon RX Vega 56 standalone edition, the Vega 64 air cooled and the top tier liquid cooled edition. As a bonus, in purchasing these graphics cards, AMD is throwing together a bundled package, it'll include  two video games,  Prey and Wolfstein II,  $200 discount on a Samsung 34-inch curved ultrawide display with AMD's own FreesSync technology, $100 discount on the Ryzen 7 1800X processor and 370X motherboard combo. You get all this impressive bundle package just forn purchasing a AMD RX Vega graphics card, not a bad way to entice consumer spending. 

 Anyway, bundled package and all, what matters most with any piece of hardware is specs, features and of course performance. Heres the main core specs that is of importance,  it goes as follows: RX Vega 64 liquid cool edition which packs some serious components inside its metallic shell boasts 1407MHz base clock, a 1677 boost clock, 8GB VRAM, 14nm process, 256 texture units. Now a graphics card of this magnitude will require immense power,  which in the case of this particular variant has 345W TDP. This explains the need for a liquid cooler unit.

Like with Nvidia's CUDA core technology, AMD have a pretty unique technology of their own call HBM which is acronym for High bandwidth Memory. Without going into the whole Wikipedia details, the technology achieves much higher bandwidth all while consuming less power. Its different  from VRAM and GDDR5 in terms with how the memory is constructed, HBM is much smaller stacked in 8 DRAM dies. The data travels within memory cells are fast, in the case of the RX Vega, the HBM2 memory is clocked at 1.89Gbps.

The other RX Vega 64 graphics card, though its rocking the same Vega 10 GPU is considered to be somewhat a watered down version as it minuses the liquid cooler with good reason, it has a slightly lower clock speed with a 1247MHz base clock and 1546 boost clock speed. The reduction in the GPU's frequencies is about the only thing that differs from the Vega 64 pairing as it retains the same VRAM 8GB capacity, still running a 1.89Gbps memory bandwidth. The card have a much lower TDP than the liquid cooled card at 295W,  down by 50W.

Then there's  the third member of the RX Vega series, the Vega 56,  the low end variant of the three. The overall GPU clock speed is reduced running at 1156MHz base and 1471MHz boost, the HBM2 memory bandwidth is also reduced at 1.6Gbps. With spec numbers being lower, there's less power consumption, making it most power efficient card of the trio as the wattage is well below the Vega 64 with a 210W TDP.  On the memory front, nothing changes as the  graphics card retains 8GB capacity. 

As for the design, the Vega RX Vega graphic cards mirrors the The Vega Frontier Edition with it minimalist brush metal structure,  solid black, space gray and silver gray as the main color schemes. With the Vega emblem place directly on the middle of the graphics card. Even the cooling setup is the same as the Vega Frontier. 

 

Good news, there is price options, it goes as follows:

  •  Radeon Red Pack RX Vega air cooled-$499
  • Radeon Black Pack RX Vega air cooled-$599
  • Radeon Aqua Pack RX Vega liquid cooled edition-$699

For the Standalone Graphics cards:

  • Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Cooled-$499
  • Radeon RX Vega 56-$399

                                                                                                                         

As best as I can, I've given you all the information on the new Radeon RX Vega series graphics cards and from my vantage point like with the Ryzen processor, AMD is once again winning over the masses with what appears to be a very impressive piece of hardware, on paper that is. How the graphics performs remains to be seen. 

What we're witnessing here  from  AMD is rise from the doldrums of mediocrity in the graphics card arena, bringing about stiff competition into the PC gaming market.  There will be an expected clap back from Nvidia once they launch their much anticipated Volt series GPU in 2018, which by have their own version high bandwidth memory. I mean isn't that how it always works in the graphics card industry? The proverbial anything you can do, I can make it better.

Anyway, you won't be waiting long to get your hands on AMD's latest creation as the launch date is set to take  place on Aug 14th, which is a mere week away.


 

 

 

 

 

The Ryzen 3 1300X and 1200 Quad Cores Processors: Here's What You Need To Know

Topic: AMD CPU's

Its official,  AMD has just officially launched their new Ryzen 3 series quad core processor. This particular processor is priced under $150. The consumer target is the PC builder who want a processor that performs well,  that can multitask and can be overclocked right out of the box without breaking the bank.


The Ryzen 3 series lineup full branding name is the 1300X and 1200, both processors will feature four cores with four processing threads. Missing from these processors are SMT technology (simultaneous threading), deploying a 2+2 CCX (CPU complex) configuration instead.

The main theme with the Ryzen 3 processor is its price friendly delivering decent application and gaming performance. The Ryzen 3 processor is on par with Intel's  Core i3 lineup which also features four cores and  falls in the price friendly category.

Lets examine the important meaningful spec numbers shall we? First up we have the Ryzen 3 1300X, it have a base clock frequency measuring in at 3.5GHz, a 3.7GHz boost clock frequency.  A 3.6GHz all-core-frequency, a 8MB L3 cache, a AM4 socket, 14nm process and a 65W TDP.

Onto the Ryzen 3 1200, it have a base clock frequency that measures at 3.1GHz  a 3.4 boost frequency,  3.1GHz all-core-frequency,  8MB L3 cache, a 14nm process and a 65W TDP.

Now interesting enough, both processors will come with a stock Wraith Stealth CPU cooler which a pretty decent cooler. I myself prefer after market cooler as there are plenty that can be outfitted for the AM4 socket. Plus after market coolers do a better job at lowering temperature and noise level.

First time PC builders who don't want to expend a great deal of currency on a processor or you're an experienced builder looking to put together a low budget gaming system, then the Ryzen 3 processor should be the ideal purchase. The Ryzen 3 1300 X retails for just $129.99, while the 1200 retails for $109.99. Both processors can be purchase at respective vendors, Amazon and NewEggg.


Asus XG-100C 10 Gigabit Ethernet-Yes The NIC Still Exist

Topic: Networking technology

In reference to the title of this post NIC, better known as network interface controllers do still exist. Before we talk about the hardware of topic, the Asus XG-C1000 Gigabit Ethernet, here's a brief history of NIC. Back in the early days of desktop computers, circa early 2000's, you included NIC cards as part of your PC build mainly because networking interface controllers or Ethernet ports weren't included on the motherboard at that time. So in order gain access to the broadband Internet via Ethernet, you had purchase and install a NIC card and hope the drivers you installed actually work because they were sort of a bitch trying to connect the NIC to the Internet.


To speed things up and bring it all into present day 2017, installing a NIC card is not a necessary option anymore as motherboards today come outfitted with a Ethernet ports or NIC controller that's embedded onto the motherboard in a form of a chip. Today, one would feel the need use a NIC card for two reasons, add more Ethernet ports or add a high end NIC so you can  increase bandwidth speed, this brings us to the Asus XG-1000 Gigabit, if you want to add bandwidth power then you should certainly purchase this piece of hardware.

 Speed is definitely the name of game with the Asus XG-1000 Gigabit Nic as its part of the 10GbE ecosystem capable of delivering over 1,000MBps. The main priority with this particular NICis queuing enhancing gaming support. 

Though the XG-1000 does support 10GbE and the latest 2.5 and 5GbE standard, and a much lower bandwidth standard, there seems to be no presence of a consumer branded switch that's used basically in homes and small businesses. When they are readily available, it will allow consumers to use the legacy CAT5e cabling which will avoid any expense of running any type of new wiring in the home. A battery of test performed by various published websites have discovered 10GbE speeds can be achieved in shorter distances when using CAT5e cable.

For me the standout feature on the Asus XG-C100C network card is its support of Priority Queing. This feature will give users full access of QoS, better known as Quality-of Service technology. This technology allows any user to prioritize gaming packets. This is will enable a much smoother gaming experience during heavy networking traffic.

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For the casual PC user Asus XG-1000C is definitely not it, with it outputting 1,000MBps is a bit overkill for even the most experienced hardware enthusiast, but there are certainly advantages of having the extra bandwidth power, one of them we already mentioned, a smoother gaming experience. The other advantage is streaming media content such as movies will be made easy without any type of throttled bottle necking.

Networking hardware such as the Asus XG-1000C usually don't come cheap, price is usually range between $200- $400. Good news, Asus won't have consumers dive deep into the pocket for cash as the network interface card retails for just $100.

Vendors  such as New Egg and Amazon currently have the Asus XG 1000C 10 Gigabit NIC up for sell if you are interested in purchasing such hardware.