This week, we have a lot of general industry news pertaining to the supply and manufacturing of semiconductors. There’s news on how the drought in Taiwan is affecting chipmakers, Europe looking to establish a certain amount of semiconductor self-reliance, and some discussion on interconnects limiting chip scaling. 

We also have news on the AMD RX 6700 XT, Fry’s Electronics ceasing operations, HP acquiring HyperX, and more. At GN, we recently reviewed Nvidia’s RTX 3060, Fractal’s Meshify 2 case, and revisited the GTX 960 in 2021.

As always, video embed and article follow below.

It’s been an interesting week or so for hardware and technology news alike, with Nvidia and LastPass making waves. Nvidia is attempting to stem the flow of GPUs to miners by artificially limiting the hashing power of its upcoming RTX 3060 GPUs, as well as announcing its new CMP HX line of dedicated mining cards. 

LastPass, makers of the popular LastPass password manager, have announced some abrupt and contentious changes to its free plan, much to the chagrin of its users. 

At GN, we recently looked at various Xbox Series X thermals, including memory, SoC, and VRM temperatures. We also reviewed the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 420 AIO, and discovered that frequently entering "Arctic 420" into search engines makes for some interesting targeted ads that aren’t about CPU cooling.

This week comes with more industry news as it relates to semiconductor manufacturing and supply chain expansion in the US. Additionally, as cryptocurrency prices heat up, miners are turning to laptops in the wake of persistent GPU shortages. Elsewhere, Raja Koduri is back with another Intel Xe Graphics tease, Intel is suing a former employee, and we have a GTX 1050 Ti rumor.

At GN, we’ve made our return to case reviews, as we recently looked at the be quiet! Silent Base 802 and MSI’s MPG Sekira 500X. We also took a look at PS5 vs. Xbox Series X airflow, where we used Schlieren photography to gauge air patterns and movement.

This round of HW News mostly features a broad focus on the industry at large and PC-centric adjacent areas, such as consoles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we have news that both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will remain elusive, owing in least part to overwhelming demand; however, the emerging semiconductor shortages appear to be playing an increasingly bigger role.

Moving on, Mercury Research has its CPU market share report for Q4’2020 available, and highlights some interesting points. Along the same lines, Steam’s latest hardware survey for January 2021 has also arrived with at least one interesting find. Elsewhere, we have Corsair with a PSU recall, some new developments within Google’s Stadia, and more. 

At GN, we’ve spent the majority of our time investigating NZXT’s H1 case. Our coverage started with our video demonstrating how the H1 could catch fire, and after further investigation, we determined that the PCIe riser posed long term risk that NZXT was not addressing. In the time since, NZXT has formally responded to GN’s H1 coverage and has plans for recalls and PCIe riser assembly replacements.  

This week, we’re covering Intel’s GPU getting a showcase, the Right to Repair movement gaining an impressive amount of traction among the states for 2021, and new product launches. On the Right to Repair front, several states will be proposing bills aimed at addressing repair laws, and the next few weeks and months will be interesting as these bills potentially get off the ground.

We’ve also got some news on the silicon manufacturing industry at large, discussing the future of GAA FETs as well as Micron’s new DRAM process. Cooler Master recently held its Virtual Showcase, and revealed a couple of noteworthy products worth looking at. 

At GN, we recently took a look at the much requested Scythe Ninja 5 CPU Cooler, and tore down the Atari VCS, which was unexpectedly impressive. We also covered the NZXT H1 fire issue, which resulted in NZXT killing sales of the product.

As we settle into 2021, hardware news continues apace. Intel has remained ever in the headlines, as CEO-elect Pat Gelsinger is set to take over, and is already bringing former Intel talent back with him. Intel also disclosed full-year earnings for 2020 and offered some clarity on the future of its process technology and manufacturing plans. Nvidia is also in the news, both with a new Pascal-based GPU and updated G-Sync Ultimate marketing language.

There’s more, of course -- Seagate, Samsung, and Arctic are all in the news this week, as well. Within GN, we recently demonstrated the fire hazard that NZXT’s H1 case poses, revisited the GTX 980 in 2021, and made an appearance over at ArsTechnica.

This round of HW News comes as an all digital CES 2021 comes to a close, so we’re focusing mostly on non-CES news here. We say mostly, because a couple of stories do have a bit of overlap as it relates to what was announced at CES 2021.

At any rate, most notably we have more confirmed price adjustments regarding graphics cards, with EVGA, Zotac, and MSI all joining Asus in raising prices due to expired tariff exemptions. There’s interesting news in Qualcomm acquiring Nuvia, and what it could mean long-term for Qualcomm’s CPU design ambitions. We also have news on TSMC possibly already receiving orders from Intel for non-CPU products, and how TSMC may be making some of Intel’s Core i3-series chips this year.

There’s more of course, so hit the article and video embed below.

As we enter 2021 and head towards CES, the pace of news has picked up considerably. To start 2021 of in earnest, we have Linus Torvalds with one of his classic diatribes, this time targeting Intel and ECC memory. Rising cryptocurrency prices are also cause for concern, as they could be forecasting a GPU market like that of 2018. Admittedly, the GPU market already isn’t in a great place, but skyrocketing Bitcoin and Etherum prices won’t help that.

We also have AMD news on a new patent as well as new AGESA microcode updates. There’s an inderting blunder on Gigabyte’s part that seemingly outed Intel’s Rocket Lake release date, NZXT revising its recalled H1 case, and more. 

As we begin the new year, GN is easing back into our more regular content schedule after an end-of-year respite. We recently reviewed the Scythe FUMA 2, Fractal Meshify 2 XL case, and you can find our coverage of the big Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA news from this week on our channel.

We started testing the Meshify 2 XL even before our Meshify 2 review went up, which should give some idea of how busy the last few months have been. The Meshify 2 XL is to the Define 7 XL what the Meshify 2 was to the Define 7: essentially the same case, but with redesigned outer panels. We’ve never reviewed a Fractal XL case before, though, so this model is all new to us.

We’re keeping the build section relatively brief this time to avoid repeating information from our Meshify 2 non-XL review. Check that content for basic information on elements that the two cases share, like cable management and the front panel design--this review fills in the blanks and adds additional information, so the original content is must-see for anyone considering buying one of these cases.

Hardware news starts in 2021 with some concluding storylines from 2020, but there are also a few new items -- mostly end-of-year stuff -- that popped-up to be covered this week. Among those, Steam has released its list of most played (by peak concurrent players) and highest grossing (revenue) PC games for 2020. We'll also be talking about Class Action complaints emerging surrounding CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, thus far related to securities law, then PlayStation 5 sales volume, NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti and 3050/3060 leaks from Lenovo, and more.

As always, the video embed and show notes both follow. We'll have an additional embedded video from our Disappointment PC 2020 video. You should watch at least the first 5 minutes of it for the special intro we made -- it was a huge amount of work.

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