It’s been a slow news week, with the holidays coming and CES just around the corner a lot of companies are saving their good stuff. However there are some minor news items that you might be interested in:
Thecus releases 8 bay RAID50/60 NAS units Do we care? To be honest if you’re running 8 drives, you’re likely to want to expand and have more than 8 bays. There seems to be very little between the small home/SMB NAS user wanting 3-4 drives and those building mega storage 24 drive units.
AMD release more low end GPUs
AMD launched the R7 260 GPU retailing at around $110. This as expected is a bit worse than the 260x. Do we care? Not really there’s plenty of low end cards already, and this has no pretentions to being a serious gaming card as it only has 1GB of memory. At best a HTPC/Workstation card, but there’s plenty of options for those niches that would be better. Save your coppers!
Speaking of AMD…
AMD finally releases 13.12 WHQL
After months of beta, it’s here! Frame pacing fixes for crossfire, crossfire efficiency boosts and 290 support. Of course you’d have been using the beta which already had those. We still don’t have the frame pacing fix for eyefinity however – for that the estimate is january. Expect the non-beta by oooooh maybe october.
And while we’re making fun we’ve had some other non reference cards announced:
PowerCooler R9-290x LCS – Ok well this one is a reference 290x but it comes with the EK waterblock pre-fitted.
MSI 290x Gaming OC – Another non reference design from MSI, improved VRMs and clocks but it ain’t no lightning.
Asus announces the 290x DCII This was expected and nice to see a non reference card out finally. At least they didn’t fit the stupid Poseidon cooler.
Sapphire announces the R9-290/290x Tri OC – This one is just a reference 290 with a better cooler.
Well enough of AMD – what about NVidia?
EVGA officially announces the 780 TI Classified K|ngP|n edition – Well it had been rumored and then leaked, then teased and it’s finally here! Well it’s not, because it’s only been announced. You have to wait a month or two to actually buy it but it is at least compatible with the EK Classy water block NOT the Swiftech. We are officially excited though. Pricing should be ~$800 and the chips are binned.
Galaxy announced the 780 TI HOF – same as the 780 HOF but with the TI chip. EK’s block will therefore be compatible and much sexier than the reference cooler. We’d like to take credit for suggesting the use of white Acetal. Modders rejoice!
Asus announces the 780 Poseidon – Another card that was rumored and leaked and of course mocked. We like that Asus is trying to make water cooling more mainstream. But there is no mention of this being a copper water block, so just like the Maximus VI Formula it’s useless and will most likely put off noobs from water cooling due to corrosion issues. The end result is that it only contributes to becoming a compromised air cooler. Oh yes and its the 780 – not the TI…
Gigabyte announces a “GHz” edition 780 TI – Non reference design with improved VRMs and the windforce cooler. Nothing too exciting here – save your money and get a Classy or a Lightning, or if ROG fanboi-ism possesed you then a DCII.
Well that’s enough of graphics cards. EVGA did however announce something unexpected:
EVGA announces DisplayPort Hub
EVGA in an unlikely move decided to release a Display Port Hub. It supports DP 1.2a which gives up to 17.3 GBPS of bandwidth. It can support 3 displays up to 1920×1080 resolution and is hot-pluggable. It also supports 120Hz though it’s not clear if it can support 120Hz on 3 independent 1080p displays as by my calculations it would need 20GBPS of bandwidth.
It’s also not clear if it can be used to fool NVidia surround to have more than 3 displays. Most likely not, but if some EDID reprogramming was done and using ToastyX’s custom resolution creator it might be possible to trick Nvidia into thinking each group of three displays was a single display leading to a 3×3 19 megapixel display. We expect Callsign_vega to try this with those $600 strobed Eizo screens lulz.
Speaking of monitors:
LG Pre-announces 4K wide and super wide screens
Yes this is a pre-announcement. The real one will be at CES. Anyway these monitors are 4K wide but not all the same ratio:
The pricey super wide UM95: 34″ & 29″ 21:9 (3440×1440) IPS with 99% sRGB, Thunderbolt 2
The cheaper fully pixelled UM65: 34″, 29″, 25″ 21:9 (3440×1440) IPS
The “Real 4K” 31MU95: 31″ 18.9:1 (4096×2160) IPS 99% sRGB, Thunderbolt 2
We’re excited to see more competition in the 4K space, and 21:9 is great for movies, and it will be great for games once it’s more supported. However we suspect that the Dell 28″ 4k screen will be cheaper with it’s rumored <1000 price tag. The Dell 24" 4K is also now available to buy with a 10% off coupon for $1170. Considerably cheaper than the 31.5" IGZO versions from Dell, Asus and Sharp. Enough of displays though let's turn to cases: Lian Li launches a mATX case with a hood.
Similar layout to the CaseLabs S5 with a horizontal board up top and PSU, HDDs underneath. Less watercooling support though as it can only handle thinner 240 rads. Looks like a normal Lian Li case, the only exciting thing about is how the case opens up:
Corsair finds out that you can buy paint in more than one color:
Corsair finally found out you can sell cases which aren’t black. Ok well they knew that before but there is finally a white and a silver edition of it’s cube case the Air 540. The Air 540 reviewed well and even though it’s designed as an air cooler case has been popular with water coolers. We prefer the M8 for cube based water cooling, but this one does look sexy in white, the silver however is a bit meh:
Now for some CPU news:
Intel Haswell-E engineering sample leaked
Yes Haswell-E is coming, but then we knew that from Intel’s roadmaps. Samples are however being shipped out and this is what they look like:
Nothing much to see – but this is the 2011-3 socket which is slightly different to the current 2011 socket which interfaces with the X79 chipset. Haswell-E however will use the X99 chipset and will get a bunch of new tech – Sata Express, DDR4 and for the first time from Intel an 8 core desktop CPU. Hopefully we’ll see the IPC improvements that consumer Ivy and Haswell saw, and that overclocking is not as terribad as consumer Haswell is.
Lastly and leastly:
Apple launches an overpriced trashcan
Oh how we joke. It’s actually an overpriced computer that just looks like a trashcan:
We applaud Apple for their ability to mainstream some technologies that otherwise may not have happened like “retina” screens, thunderbolt and display port. However we’d always rather build our own PC or Hackintosh if you just have to have a native Apple OS.
That’s it – Stren out!