Hardware

MSI’s new-ish GS43 Phantom Pro laptop made an appearance at PAX East this weekend, where we’re presently RNG-ing some tear-downs and live benchmark demonstrations. Our first content piece discussed keyboard input latency testing, and our second piece – this one – will open up the Phantom Pro for a closer look.

As a quick side note, MSI does have “new” camo finish GTX 1060s, Z270 motherboards, and GE62 laptops. We show those briefly in the video, though it’s really not a focal point for today.

Logitech G’s recent history at PAX events includes real-time click latency testing on mice, something the company followed-up today with its keyboard latency testing. The new latency testing contraption is a lot simpler insofar as cost to build, with the BOM almost entirely consisting of an off-the-shelf Raspberry Pi 3, a plastic shell, and some wires. Logitech’s resulting platform enables us to test the response time from key presses between the new Logitech G Pro keyboard ($130) and a Razer Black Widow Tournament Edition keyboard. As with last year’s demonstration, Logitech is less focused on “beating” Razer and more focused on providing a proof of concept for their technology. Razer just happens to serve as a good benchmark, given the company’s proliferation in the PC market.

Explaining Ryzen Review Differences (Again)

By Published March 03, 2017 at 11:00 am

We already explained this amply in our AMD Ryzen R7 1800X review, primarily on pages 2 and 3 (but also throughout the article), but it's worth highlighting in video form for folks who prefer not to read articles. It's unfortunate that the test methodology and logistical pages were largely overlooked in the review -- most folks just jumped straight to the conclusion or gaming results, sadly -- so we are highlighting again, in video format, some of the things discussed on those pages.

As stated several times in this new video, we strongly encourage checking out the article. We are delaying our R7 1700 review by a day because of the addition of this video to our release schedule. There's not much more to say here, so we'll just embed that below:

NVidia just opened the floodgate on its GTX 1080 Ti video card, the Pascal-based mid-step between the GTX 1080 and GTX Titan X. The 1080 Ti opens up SMs over the GTX 1080, now totaling 28 SMs over the 1080’s 20 SMs, resulting in 3584 total FP32 CUDA cores on the GTX 1080 Ti. Simultaneous multiprocessor architecture remains the same – Pascal hasn’t changed, here – leaving us with primary changes in the memory subsystem.

The GTX 1080 Ti will host 11GB of GDDR5X memory – not HBM2 – with a speed of 11Gbps. This is boosted over the GTX 1080’s 10Gbps GDDR5X memory speeds, resultant of work done by memory supplier Micron to clean the signal. The heavy transition cluttering of early G5X iterations have been reduced, allowing a cleaner signal in the GDDR5X cells without data corruption concerns. We’ll have some news below on how this also relates to existing Pascal cards.

AMD Vega Rapid-Packed Math Demonstration

By Published February 28, 2017 at 10:12 pm

AMD was clear from the beginning of today’s Capsaicin and Cream event that it was not a Vega product launch (the only 100% new Vega news was that the GPU would be officially branded “Vega”), but demos of the previously mentioned technologies like high-bandwidth cache controller and rapid-packed math were shown.

After some brief discussion about exactly how much alcohol was consumed at last year’s afterparty, the Vega portion of the presentation covered three major points: HB Cache Controller, Rapid Packed Math, and Virtualization.

“Virtualization” in this context means the continued effort (by both AMD and NVIDIA) to make server-side gaming viable. AMD has partnered with LiquidSky and will be using Vega’s “Radeon Virtualized Encode” feature to make streaming games (hopefully) as latency-free as possible, though limitations on internet service still abound.

Pre-Built Ryzen PC Specs from CyberPower

By Published February 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

With the impending release of AMD Ryzen comes a wave of related product reveals. CyberPower is now offering preorders for several varieties of prebuilt PCs that take advantage of the new CPUs.

The four models below were described in CyberPower’s press release, and an additional four can be found on their website: the AMD Ryzen 7X Configurator, Mega Special III, Mega Special IV, and Winter Gaming Special II. Each of these configurations can be customized with alternate or additional parts, including “high-performance gaming memory, solid state drives, graphics cards, and gaming peripherals.” During the pre-sale, Corsair Hydro H60 AIO liquid coolers are included as a free upgrade, considering the limited launch-day support for AM4. CyberPower will in fact do a general “Pro OC” for a price, but there are plenty of free resources online for those interested.

AOC is readying a multiplicity of gaming displays aimed at different price segments. All the gaming monitors belong to AOC’s AGON family and are largely similar aesthetically speaking, with dissimilarities chiefly in the panel types and feature sets. We’ll provide an overview below.

AOC is introducing two new curved displays to supplement their existing curved gaming monitors. The new displays both have 1800R curvature with a 16:9 aspect ratio, as well as VA panels capable of 144Hz refresh rates.

Corsair Lighting Node Pro RGB Controller Announced

By Published February 26, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Corsair recently released their Lighting Node Pro RGB LED kit, because no product line in 2017 is complete without RGB LEDs. The Corsair Node Pro is a dual-channel RGB LED controller that comes with four individually addressable RGB LED strips. Corsair’s Node Pro RGB LEDs will be controllable through Corsair’s LINK software via a USB 2.0 header on the motherboard, while the Corsair’s external peripherals will still be handled through their CUE software.

The Corsair Node Pro RGB will compete with the likes of the NZXT’s HUE+, which we reviewed here. Both the Node Pro and NZXT HUE+ serve the same basic function, in that they provide control and customization of lighting effects via RGB LED strips.

In this week’s episode of Ask GN, we go over a few final Ryzen questions prior to the imminent launch and reviews. We also cover some thermal questions, SSD endurance questions, and compatibility basics for PC hardware.

Of course, the looming news item is still Ryzen and its eventual review. The processor will ship on March 2, at which time it would be safe to assume reviews should be live. We already posted coverage of the AMD Ryzen tech day (thus far) in both video and written formats, if you’d like to get up to speed. Our AM4 chipset comparison is also live over here.

Following months of nonstop leaks and speculation, AMD today has officially announced its Ryzen R7 lineup, base specifications, and pricing for 8C/16T products. AMD is expected to follow-up later with lower-end SKU launches – if the leaks are to be believed, that’d be R3 and R5 – leaving today’s focus entirely on the 8C/16T “R7” lineup. The three primary CPU SKUs announced are the R7 1700, R7 1700X, and R7 1800X (in order of price/performance), each of which we hope to test in short order.

To get the immediate question out of the way: The processors will be made available on March 2 (shelf availability) at the following prices:

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