Colorful GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X PCB & VRM Analysis

By Published October 31, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Buildzoid returns with an analysis of the Colorful GTX 1070 Ti Vulcan X PCB and VRM, including some brief discussion on shorting the shunts of the new 1070 Ti card. Colorful is attempting to get into the Western market, and the GTX 1070 Ti launch will be their maiden voyage in that attempt. We received the Vulcan X card first -- for which we presently have no MSRP -- and tore it down a few days ago. Our PCB analysis, embedded below, takes an XOCer's look at the VRM quality and implementation.

Learn more below:

Coffee Lake returns to the bench for its third review, with benchmarks now focusing on the Intel i3-8350K unlocked 4C/4T CPU. The 8350K (on Amazon here) essentially usurps the market of the previous i5-7600K, but is potentially squelched by CFL brethren i5-8400 CPUs, planting the 8350K in the same price/performance positioning as the 7350K in January.

The 7350K was a good idea, but the wrong launch price. Pricing later fell by ~$30 and made more sense, but the initial ~$180 retail availability was far too high to be worthwhile. Now, with the gap between an i5 and an i3 emphasized with 6C i5 CPUs, those differences become more noteworthy. The i5-8400, ignoring the absence of sensible partner boards, is priced at around the same target as the 8350K (+/-$10). Again, assuming you can find any – and assuming retailers can stick to one price. The R5 CPUs are also more appropriate comparisons against the i3-8350K, despite the i3/R3 naming equivalence. In terms of price, the R3s target a completely different market, and are not an appropriate price-to-price comparison for the 8350K.

As a reminder before getting started, we deployed a new testing methodology with Coffee Lake (our 8700K review), and have not yet fully re-populated our CPU charts.

Tripping VRM overtemperature isn’t something we do too often, but it happened when working on Bitwit Kyle’s 7980XE. We’re working on a “collab” with Kyle, as the cool kids call it, and delidded an i9-7980XE for Kyle’s upcoming $10,000 PC build. The delidded CPU underwent myriad thermal and power tests, including similar testing to our previous i9-7980XE delid & 7900X “thermal issues” content pieces. We also benchmarked sealant vs. no sealant (silicone adhesive vs. nothing), as all of our previous tests have been conducted without resealing the delidded CPUs – we just rest the IHS atop the CPU, then clamp it under the socket. For Kyle’s CPU, we’re going to be shipping it across the States, so that means it needs to not leak liquid metal everywhere. Part of this is resolved with nail polish on the SMDs, but the sealant – supposing no major thermal detriment – should also help.

Tripping overtemperature is probably the most unexpected side of our journey on this project. We figured we’d publish some data to demonstrate an overtemperature trip, and what happens when the VRMs exceed safe thermals, but the CPU is technically still under TjMax.

Let’s start with the VRM stuff first: This is a complete sideshoot discussion. We might expand it into a separate content piece with more testing, but we wanted to talk through some of the basics first. This is primarily observational data, at this point, though it was logged.

NVIDIA just posted its 388.10 drivers for Wolfenstein II, building on the earlier-launched 388.0 driver update for Destiny II. Aside from hotfixes, the driver package does not change any core functionality or performance of nVidia GTX cards. This is similar to AMD's latest hotfix for its Vega cards on Destiny II: Only download and install 388.10 if you are actively running into issues with the game at hand.

On its forums, an nVidia representative posted:

AMD’s newest driver pack should resolve player-reported issues of Destiny 2 crashes with AMD Vega hardware, including RX Vega 56 and RX Vega 64. The crash occurred during specific missions within Destiny 2, including the sixth mission (Exodus) and when nearing Nessus.

We received an email from AMD earlier notifying us of the new drivers, which can be found here.

Along with the announcement of the nVidia GTX 1070 Ti, AMD officially announced its Raven Ridge and Ryzen Mobile products, shortly after a revenue-positive quarterly earnings report. This week has been a busy one for hardware news, as these announcements were accompanied by news of the PCIe 4.0 specification v1.0 document finalization, as PCI-SIG now ramps the PCIe 5.0 spec into design.

Show notes are listed below, with the video here:

NVidia GTX 1070 Ti Official Specs & Release Date

By Published October 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

NVidia’s much-rumored GTX 1070 Ti will launch on November 2, 2017, with initial information disseminated today. The 1070 Ti uses a GP104-300 GPU, slotted between the GP104-400 and GP104-200 of the 1080 and 1070 (respectively), and therefore uses the same silicon as we’ve seen before. This is likely the final Pascal launch before leading into Volta, and is seemingly the response to AMD’s Vega 56 challenger of the GTX 1070 non-Ti.

The 1070 Ti is slightly cut-down from the 1080, the former of which runs 19 SMs for 2432 CUDA cores (at 128 shaders per SM), with the latter running 20 SMs. The result is what will likely amount to clock differences, primarily, as the 1070 Ti operates 1607/1683MHz for its clock speeds, and AIB partners are not permitted to offer pre-overclocked versions. For all intents and purposes, outside of the usual cooling, VRM, and silicon quality differences (random, at best), all AIB partner cards will perform identically in out-of-box states. Silicon quality will amount to the biggest differences, with cooler quality – anything with an exceptionally bad cooler, primarily – differentiating the rest.

As we understand it now, users will be able to manually overclock the 1070 Ti with software. See the specs below:

Seagate Technologies (NASDAQ: STX) reported their financial results for the quarter ending September 29th, 2017. Seagate is largely known for manufacturing HDDs and external hard drives, a sector that has seen a decline over the last few years in part due to decreased pricing and availability of SSDs. Flash-based memory prices are high right now, but are overall significantly lower than when the technology was being introduced to the mainstream market.

For Q1 2018, Seagate reported revenue of $2.6 Billion, gross margin was reported at 28.0%, and net income was listed at $181 Million with diluted earnings per share of $0.62. For reference, last year’s financial results in Q1 2017, Seagate showed revenue of $2.8 Billion, gross margin of 28.6%, net income of $167 Million, and diluted earnings per share of $0.55.

Internet cafes and gaming centers probably aren’t a market segment most would recognize in the US, but they’re popular in other parts of the world--in particular, Asia--and ASUS seems to target that segment with the purpose-built Expedition A320M Gaming motherboard.

The entry-level AM4 board uses the low-end A320 chipset, and offers features that appear to identify with the rigors of crowded public places, such as iCafes and libraries. One such feature is the moisture-resistant coating on the motherboard, intended to protect against higher humidity environments. This is particularly useful in places like Taiwan, where humidity is high enough to cause corrosion on some components (that we’ve seen in person, no less). Additionally, the board has certain anti-theft features to help curb theft of memory modules and GPUs.

The AM5 Silent is a new case from manufacturer Sharkoon, with noise-damping material in place of the original AM5’s acrylic side window -- but it’s far from a new chassis.

After our Antec P8 review back in September, readers were quick to point-out that the chassis (meaning the steel core of the case) was curiously similar to the Silverstone Redline 05; in fact, it appears that they’re completely identical outside of the P8’s tempered glass and the RL05’s generously ventilated front panel.

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