The DeepCool Captain 240 EX RGB AIO Cooler Review: Pump it Up, Without the Noise

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Today we are taking a look at the latest AIO liquid cooler from DEEPCOOL, the Captain EX 240 RGB. As its name hints, one of the major features of the cooler is RGB lighting. Its design and stock fans suggest a product designed for low-noise operation, trying to combine the fanciness of RGB lighting with good everyday performance.  

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition: Overlay, App & More for 2017

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Today, AMD’s Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition is finally upon us. Succeeding Crimson and Crimson ReLive, Adrenalin continues AMD’s yearly cadence of driver software features, again pushing the user experience (UX) angle. For the headliners, Adrenalin introduces the new Radeon Overlay and the AMD Link mobile app. Beyond that, this update is quite reminiscent of Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.2, bringing a number of widespread improvements and expanded support for current features. Among the other highlights is Enhanced Sync ‘E-Sync’ for all GCN GPUs, a generic Radeon Chill profile, WattMan profile saving/loading, a number of new ReLive streamer features, and streamer-oriented social media integration.

The ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming Motherboard Review: Strix Refined

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Today we have a chance to dig down on the ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming. The XE Gaming differs from the non-XE by adding a larger VRM heatsink and includes a 40mm fan and mounting hardware to further assist VRM cooling. A number of companies are releasing ‘XE’ models with larger heatsinks, although the fan will be an interesting addition.

NVIDIA Announces “NVIDIA Titan V” Video Card: GV100 for $3000, On Sale Now

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Out of nowhere, NVIDIA has revealed the NVIDIA Titan V today at NIPS 2017, with CEO Jen-Hsun Huang flashing out the card on stage. A mere 7 months after Volta was announced with the Tesla V100 accelerator and the GV100 GPU inside it, NVIDIA continues its breakneck pace by releasing the GV100-powered Titan V, available for sale today. Or in other words, the 815 mm2 behemoth die that is GV100 is now available to the broader public.

NVIDIA GPU Specification Comparison
  Titan V Tesla V100
(PCIe)
Tesla P100
(PCIe)
Titan XP
CUDA Cores 5120 5120 3584 3840
Tensor Cores 640 640 N/A N/A
Core Clock 1200MHz ? ? 1485MHz
Boost Clock(s) 1455MHz 1370MHz 1300MHz 1582MHz
Memory Clock 1.7Gbps HBM2 1.75Gbps HBM2 1.4Gbps HBM2 11.4Gbps GDDR5X
Memory Bus Width 3072-bit 4096-bit 4096-bit 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth 653GB/sec 900GB/sec 720GB/sec 547GB/sec
VRAM 12GB 16GB 16GB 12GB
L2 Cache 4.5MB 6MB 4MB 3MB
Half Precision 30 TFLOPS? 28 TFLOPS 18.7 TFLOPS 0.19 TFLOPS
(1/64 rate)
Single Precision 15 TFLOPS 14 TFLOPS 9.3 TFLOPS 12.1 TFLOPS
Double Precision 7.5 TFLOPS?
(1/2 rate)
7 TFLOPS
(1/2 rate)
4.7 TFLOPS
(1/2 rate)
0.38 TFLOPS
(1/32 rate)
Tensor Performance
(Deep Learning)
110 TFLOPS 112 TFLOPS N/A N/A
GPU GV100
(815mm2)
GV100
(815mm2)
GP100
(610mm2)
GP102
(471mm2)
Transistor Count 21.1B 21.1B 15.3B 12B
TDP 250W 250W 250W 250W
Form Factor PCIe PCIe PCIe PCIe
Cooling Active Passive Passive Active
Manufacturing Process TSMC 12nm FFN TSMC 12nm FFN TSMC 16nm FinFET TSMC 16nm FinFET
Architecture Volta Volta Pascal Pascal
Launch Date 12/07/2017 Q3’17 Q4’16 04/07/2017
Price $2999 ~$10000 ~$6000 $1299

If the golden shroud didn’t already suggest so, the Titan V is also carving out a new eye-watering price point, dropping in at $3000 and on sale now at the NVIDIA store. As NVIDIA’s new flagship video card, this succeeds the $1200 Pascal Titan X announced around 16 months ago. This release also marks NVIDIA’s first HBM2-equipped consumer graphics card, matching the 12GB capacity of the Pascal Titan X.

Given that this was a surprise announcement without advance notice, watch this space for more details as the evening progresses.

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform: Tocks Next-Gen CPU Cores, GPU, AI, & More

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Today as part of its media event, Qualcomm finally announced the much expected Snapdragon 845, successor to last year’s very successful Snapdragon 835. The Snapdragon 845 is a large step in terms of SoC architectures as it’s the first to employ ARM’s DynamiQ CPU cluster organization. Quickly explained, DynamIQ enables the various different CPU cores within an SoC to be hosted within the same cluster and cache hierarchy, as opposed to having separate discrete clusters with no shared cache between them (with coherency instead happening over an interconnect such as ARM’s CCI). This major transition is probably the largest to date that we’ve seen in modern mobile smartphone ARM consumer SoCs. 

The ASUS TUF X299 Mark I Motherboard Review: TUF Refined

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Today we have a chance to look at our first ASUS motherboard, the TUF X299 Mark 1. The Mark 1 is listed as a durable and reliable motherboard for enthusiasts and gamers. The TUF Mark 1 sits in the middle of the ASUS product stack and carries over the armor found on previous generation TUF boards and adds an updated theme and features to the latest iteration. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit: Day One Live Blog (6:30pm UTC)

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This week, in Hawaii, Qualcomm is holding its annual Snapdragon Tech event. This year we’re expecting to hear news on the latest Snapdragon 800-series SoC, movements in Qualcomm’s 5G and IoT activities, how Qualcomm is pushing into the server space with its Centriq 2400 line of processors, and also the latest news on how Qualcomm and Microsoft are bringing Windows to a new class of Snapdragon-powered, always connected devices set to attack the mid-range laptop, notebook and perhaps tablet markets, with most major OEMs on-board. 

Live Blog will start at 6:30 pm UTC (1:30 pm ET).

The $80 Power Supply for Almost Everyone: The Corsair TX550M 80Plus Gold PSU Review

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Today we are having a look at the Corsair TX550M, a product designed to compete in the mainstream market by combining good overall performance, high quality, and reasonable cost. It comes with an 80Plus Gold efficiency certification and with a power output perfect for the vast majority of single GPU gaming systems. We are having a closer look at its quality and overall performance in this review.

Dissecting Intel’s EPYC Benchmarks: Performance Through the Lens of Competitive Analysis

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Although the AMD EPYC is definitely a worthy contender in the server space, AMD’s technical marketing of the new CPU has been surprisingly absent, as the company not published any real server benchmarks. The only benchmarks published were SPEC CPU and Stream, with AMD preferring for its partners and third parties to promote performance. And, as our long-time readers know, while the SPEC CPU benchmarks have their merits and many people value them, they are a very poor proxy of most server workloads.

In every launch, we expect companies to offer an element of competitive analysis, often to show how their platform is good or better than the rest. At the launch of Intel’s latest Xeon-SP platform, analysis to EPYC was limited to a high-level, as the systems were not as freely available as expected. However now, Intel’s data center engineering group has been able to obtain a few EPYC systems and has started benchmarking, and finding ways to prove Xeon-SP dominance over the competition. This benchmarking, along with justifications of third-party verification, was distributed to the small set of Xeon-SP launch reviewers as a guide, to follow up on that high-level discussion some time ago. The Intel benchmarking document we received had a good amount of detail however, and the conference call we had relating to it was filled with some good technical tidbits.

Best Consumer Hard Drives: Holiday 2017

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Data storage requirements have seen an exponential increase over the last several years. Despite SSDs taking over the role of the primary drive in most computing systems, hard drives continue to shine in areas requiring storage of large amount of data. Hard drives are also suitable for workloads that are largely sequential and not performance sensitive. SSDs are yet to achieve the low $/GB metric that makes HDDs attractive in that market segment. Modern games run into 100s of GBs in terms of install size. As flash prices continue to stay high, high-capacity SSDs have tended to carry a significant premium. In this scenario, the gaming crowd may find hard drives attractive. This guide will help readers choose the appropriate hard drive based on their workload, while also keeping the price factor in mind.

There are three active vendors in the consumer hard drive space – Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. While Seagate and Toshiba offer hard drives targeting desktop workloads at their leading capacity points, Western Digital reserves the leading edge for enterprise and NAS drives. As of today, Toshiba’s highest capacity hard drive for the power user / NAS market is only 8TB. Western Digital has 10TB drives, while Seagate has 12TB ones. Toshiba’s 8TB offerings (the N300 and the X300) didn’t make it to our testbed in time for this guide. With a focus on comparison of metrics for the purpose of recommendation, we restrict our options pool to the following drives:

  1. Seagate BarraCuda Pro 12TB
  2. Western Digital Red Pro 10TB
  3. Seagate BarraCuda Pro 10TB
  4. Seagate IronWolf NAS 12TB
  5. Seagate IronWolf NAS 10TB
  6. Western Digital Red 10TB

Device Characteristics and Firmware Features

HD Tune Pro provides us a quick look at the supported SATA feature set of the drives. We find that the Western Digital drives offer features such as advanced power management and host protected areas.

Drive Information
;

The WD Red also has a spindle speed of 5400 RPM compared to 7200 RPM in other drives. This lower spindle speed is also responsible for its excellent power consumption pofile.

Performance Benchmarking with HD Tune Pro

The first set of benchmarks that we look at is from HD Tune Pro. The program allows us to test different workloads. They make it clear as to how the performance woould vary as the drive gets filled up. In particular, we can see significant difference when the area being accessed is on the outer side of the platter compared to the points closer to the center.

Sequential Read / Write Benchmark
;

Out of all the considered drives, the BarraCuda Pro 12TB version performs the best. At the 10TB point, both the BarraCuda Pro and the Red Pro perform similarly. The 5400 RPM speed of the Red puts it in the last place.