Hardware

NVidia has added to our pile of pre-CES hardware news with the announcement of GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti-equipped laptops. 30+ models from various OEMs will be arriving in Q1 2017, including several using Intel’s new Kaby Lake CPUs this week at CES. Confirmed manufacturers include Acer, Alienware/Dell, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and MSI.

As mentioned in our laptop 1060/1070/1080 benchmark, improvements to power management mean that nVidia’s 10-series notebook GPUs are the real deal, rather than the neutered “-M” versions that laptops have gotten in the past. The specs listed for the notebook GPUs confirm this, with the only major difference being higher core clock speeds in the notebook 1050 and 1050 Ti. This doesn’t indicate a change in the physical hardware, it mostly seems that nVidia has increased the clock-rate given the high thermal headroom (room to increase heat) as a result of the efficient 1050/Ti GPUs. Like other 10-series laptops, OEMs will probably be allowed an additional +/-10% for overclocking their GPUs.

ZOTAC Announces Mini GTX 1080 for SFF Builds

By Published December 31, 2016 at 5:29 pm

CES is right around the corner and with that, ZOTAC has announced their new GeForce GTX 1080 Mini (ZT-P10800H-10P), which should prove to be useful for SFF systems.

ViewSonic has made public the existence of their new WQHD 27” professional monitor, the VP2771. Following BenQ’s announcement of their newest flagship photography monitor, the ViewSonic VP2771 also wishes to be the display of choice for professional users residing in the realm of photo and video editing, modeling, graphic design, and other content creation.

A common thread shared between both displays is the vowed color accuracy and uniformity, on which color-critical work is no doubt dependent. As such, the VP2771 claims a precise, factory calibrated Delta E ≤2 value. For those who may be unversed in color science, Delta E is the standard metric that quantifies the difference between a primary (source/input) and secondary (reproduced) color. The idea, although somewhat unempirical, is that a dE value of 1.0 is the smallest perceptible difference the human eye can see. The higher the dE value, the greater the distance is between the two samples, producing a more observable dissimilarity.

In this last episode of Ask GN for the year – number 39 – we open a holiday gift from NZXT, talk GeForce Elite & Red Team Plus, and dive into power supplies and their qualities.

The gift was a bit funny. NZXT undoubtedly saw our mostly positive S340 Elite review, but saw within said review that we made fun of the “puck” for VR and cable management. The team took it upon themselves to send us more pucks, along with a signed (from Johnny Hou, CEO) holiday card.

Cheeky bastards.

A bit of fun for the opening, then. After that, we talk about why quality power supplies are a good thing, and why it’s worth considering one. Typical nVidia and AMD discussions follow, including G-Sync and FreeSync physical differences.

PNY announced their CS2030 line of M.2 NVMe SSDs this week. The CS2030 will be available in two capacities at 240GB and 480GB, and both drives will follow the M.2 2280 form factor.

The new CS2030 drives will utilize a Phison PS5007 controller with MLC NAND Flash memory to provide sequential read speeds of 2,750 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 1,500 MB/s for the 240GB model. The larger CS2030 480GB version will provide sequential read speeds of 2,800 MB/s and sequential write speeds of 1,550 MB/s.

In-Win X-Frame v2 Case Shipping for $1500

By Published December 25, 2016 at 2:15 pm

As its Xmas present to the world, In Win has now finalized its X-Frame 2.0 case that we saw during our factory tour. Part of that exchange, though, is that they want $1500 for the unit.

Yikes.

The enclosure is effectively an open air test bench, but made with aluminum and some allowance for modularity. In Win’s X-Frame 2.0 can be deployed vertically or horizontally atop its stand, includes an In Win-made 1065W PSU, and… there’s probably something else to justify the cost, but we can’t much find it. It’s an artsy thing, as In Win seems to like, and that’s not as easy to quantify in price.

Official product video:

Popular memory manufacturer G.SKILL has announced its answer to the RGB LED movement: the Trident Z RGB series. At this point, it may be hard to pinpoint the derivation of the RGB trend, yet its perpetuation across components and peripherals is one we predicted here at GN, along with some other fads.

The Trident Z RGB series will be—you guessed it—adorned with RGB LEDs in the form of a translucent lightbar affixed to the aluminum heat spreaders. The aforesaid lightbar will run the length of the DIMM operating by default in a “wave-style” effect, offering a range of hues. Such effects are capable of being modified with a future software launch, scheduled for February 2017. The Trident Z RGB lineup is somewhat inimitable in its implementation, chiefly that it does not require any additional power connections from the motherboard for user control; all necessary power is drawn from the DIMM slot. This offers divergence from the Geil EVO X RGB memory, which must be tethered to the motherboard for proper function of the LEDs, and from other LED memory options (Vengeance, Avexir) that are mono-color.

We’re still cranking through content as we roll into the weekend’s holiday, and that’s not going to stop. We’ll be posting on the 25th, as we do each year, and I’ll likely be working on server upgrades. It’s somewhat of a Christmas tradition for GN, it seems.

But until that time, we’ve still got a solid week of production to cut through. This week starts off with the usual Ask GN episode, now #38, and will briefly highlight advantages of the Xeon or i7 CPUs in different use cases, frequency and core count discussion, and threats to Intel’s dominance in the computing world.

We’ll have a new PC build article going live within the next day, too. That’ll feature a few sales for Christmas, so be sure to check that guide. There’ll be a few fairly big ones.

Episode below. Timestamps below that.

LG 32UD99 HDR Display Announced

By Published December 16, 2016 at 12:20 pm

LG has made a preliminary announcement heralding the arrival of a new flagship display: the LG 32UD99. Poised to entice creative professionals, gamers, and prosumers, the LG 32UD99 suggests targeting a more encompassing demographic; a contrast to the fairly recent announcement of LG UltraFine 4K and 5K panels that seemingly left Windows users in the cold. LG plans to demonstrate the 32UD99 at CES next month alongside some other panels. Naturally, many specifications were left undisclosed. Here is what we know so far:

The LG 32UD99 touts a 32” IPS panel at a native resolution of 3840 x 2160, making this a UHD 4K display. The IPS panel is of 10-bit color depth and can reproduce 1.07 billion colors. That’s vs 8-bit with 16.77 million colors. The panel of the LG 32UD99 allegedly saturates 95% of the DCI P3 color space, and LG has reported nothing of other color spaces such as sRGB and Adobe RGB. The LG 32UD99 also supports 3D LUTs (look-up tables), but again, there are no details on the LUTs. As look-up tables are primarily for color enhancement and correction, this is a feature more prepared for users working in digital media.

Hardware news has, somewhat surprisingly, maintained its pace through the late months of the year. We normally expect a slowdown in December, but with AMD’s onslaught of announcements (Instinct, Ryzen, Vega), and with announcements leading into CES, we’ve yet to catch a break.

This week’s hardware news focuses on the RX 460 unlocking discovered by Der8auer, new SSDs from Corsair (MP500) and Zadak, and TSMC’s fab expansion.

Video below:

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