As many of our regular visitors know, our DIY GTX 1080 Hybrid project revealed that nVidia's GTX 1080 could yield additional clock-rate increases if accompanied by a custom VBIOS and more advanced power management. The Founders Edition of the card has a few points of capping with regard to overclocking: The first is thermal, which was resolved with our Hybrid solution, as sustained clock-rates become impossible when the GPU saturates its heatsink and hits 82C; a 100% VRM blower RPM will mitigate this issue, but that is unusable in a real-world environment. The second issue, once thermal is resolved (and it will be by these AIB partners), is voltage regulation. Not power – we weren't fully tapping the available power supply to the card – but voltage.
The stock GTX 1080 is limited by its 5+1-phase VRM in some ways, but is more limited by VBIOS restrictions that prohibit extreme overvoltage in order to protect the card. This makes sense in some regard – allowing the users full voltage control would result in an insurmountable wall of RMA'd bricks – but does feel a bit like a tease to enthusiast users.
While at an MSI press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, in preparation for Computex, we pulled aside MSI Corp. Executive Vice President Charles Chiang, VGA Product Marketer Ernest Liu, and Product Marketing Manager Joran Schoonderwoerd to discuss the new Twin Frozr VI GTX 1080 cards. We'll discuss the new SeaHawks in another post.
NZXT's manufacturing birthplace is in Shenzhen, China, but the company moved to a new, high-end facility in 2000. The company now works with Godspeed Casing, a factory that NZXT is largely responsible for 'raising' from the ground-up. Over 1200 employees work at the factory, working with tens of millions of dollars of equipment on a daily basis. One of the largest, most impressive machines in the factory is the SAG-600, which can apply upwards of 600 metric tonnes of downward force to create case paneling. That machine alone costs $2 million (USD) and towers a few times over its operator.
This NZXT factory tour is part of our Asia trip, and marks the second stop in our extended “How Cases are Made” coverage. In-Win was the first factory we visited, based in Taoyuen, Taiwan, and we've now spent a day in China for NZXT's facilities. We'll soon be back in Taipei for further Computex and local factory coverage.
Let's look at NZXT's setup:
GN's embarking on its most ambitious trip yet: Taipei, then Shenzhen, China and neighboring countries, then back to Taipei. There are many reasons we're doing the Asia tour, but it's all rooted in one of the world's largest consumer electronics shows. Computex rivals CES in size, though arguably has a bigger desktop hardware / component presence than CES (hosted annually in Las Vegas). This year, we're attending – should be a good show.
Here's a quick recap of what PC hardware to expect at Computex 2016.
This Computex, Be Quiet doesn’t appear to be jumping into any new markets, but rather improving their current case, fan, cooler, and power supply product lines.
Corsair's Computex announcements began with “Bulldog,” the company's attempt at a DIY kit for “console-sized” 4K gaming. Bulldog is effectively a barebones kit of core components, to include a small form factor case, CLC, PSU, and motherboard. Users must purchase other necessary components separately.
PC cases are most simply a box. Sometimes, they’re expensive boxes. Yet throughout the years, we have seen cases transform from being “just a box” with a couple added features to being incredibly polished and feature-rich cases, putting enclosures from a more beige era to shame.
Despite the simple concept of a case, PC case manufacturers have continued to add new and creative features that make their cases more than “just a box.” Phanteks is a fairly well-known name in fans and CPU coolers, but as of late, their new Enthoo case line has generated interest in the PC building community.
FreeSync was first announced as a variable refresh rate technology at CES 2014, legitimately taking nVidia by surprise on the show floor. Immediately after the technology was unveiled, we happened to be scheduled for a meeting with nVidia's Tom Peterson and Vijay Sharma to discuss G-Sync. I'd slipped in a question about the technology, announced an hour beforehand, and Peterson told us: "I don't know. We just heard about that today. I haven't read about it yet - ask me after the show."
"Hicookie" isn't an easily-forgotten name. The RAM overclocker last made a major appearance using G.Skill's TridentX RAM, which he pushed to nearly 4GHz. Just a couple of days ago, Gigabyte and
Case, power, and cooling manufacturer NZXT announced new products in their liquid cooling (CLC) lineup today at Computex. The company debuted the Kraken X41 and Kraken X61 to members of the media at the Taipei-based computer electronics convention, alongside a new "GRID+" fan controller hub.
The closed-loop liquid coolers are follow-up products to the Kraken X40 and Kraken X60 that we reviewed last year. The X41 and X61 have kept the same 140mm / 280mm CLC design, but make additions in the form of variable pump speed control and increased radiator thickness.
Intel entered the SSD market in late 2008 with the X25 and has continued to release quality SSDs such as the most recent Intel 530 series. Intel is set to release their newest SSDs at Computex on June 4th. As I mentioned in my Z97 motherboard roundup, SATA III has become a bottleneck for SSDs; due to this bottleneck, interfaces like M.2, SATA express (otherwise called SATAe), and PCI-e are being implemented specifically for high-performance SSDs. Intel’s newest SSDs will be using NVM express (NVMe), a specification for SSDs attached through the PCIe bus. NVMe will allow for much higher queue depth, lower latency, and a host of other improvements that could considerably increase performance.
Next Wednesday--June 4th at 2AM--Intel has an announcement from its Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. This is the same time as Intel's Computex keynote, so in my opinion, it’s very likely that this will be Intel’s next big SSD announcement. It has already been spoiled that Intel will bring NVMe-based drives to that field this year, and Computex would be just the event to launch them.
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