All posts by Tom Li
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September 13, 2016

Rumor: AMD Zen “Summit Ridge” CPU Coming February 2017

Word has it that AMD’s new flagship desktop CPU will hit the market in February 2017. Although we’ve heard previous rumors that Zen would be delayed from 4Q2015 to 1Q2016, this is the first time we’ve heard news of a possible release month.

Code-named “Summit Ridge”, the new silicon is set to be a hallmark in AMD’s CPU development history. It packs 8 cores/16 threads built using GlobalFoundries’ 14nm FinFET transistors. The new architecture has a huge facelift compared to Bulldozer that can potentially bump the IPC by up to 40% and massively improves power efficiency.

Complementing the new CPU [...]

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August 31, 2016

Guide: How to Retrieve Your Microsoft Windows and Office Product Key

We’ve all lost a few hairs when trying to find Microsoft product keys. Digging through the registry for them is a time waster for tech gurus, and flat-out daunting for the less experienced. Luckily, a nifty program called ProduKeys can save you some headache–and maybe money, too.

ProduKey has been around for a while now. While its download page looks less than trustworthy, the product itself isn’t laced with any malware.

Using ProduKey only takes a few clicks. Simply download and execute the installation file. If you choose not to install, then you can also download the portable version.

Once installed, double click on the launch [...]

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July 29, 2016

Thermaltake Releases Toughpower SFX Power Supplies with Universal Compact Design

If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t sit. Form-factor is the foremost factor in purchasing a power supply. But with the Thermaltake Toughpower SFX series 80+ Gold power supplies, maybe the decision becomes a little bit easier.

As its name suggests, the Toughpower SFX series power supply is built around the SFX form-factor. The SFX form-factor is more compact than the standard ATX form-factor, allowing them to be squeezed into tight builds like mATX or uATX. With that said, Thermaltake also includes a SFX to ATX adapter bracket so it can be used for ATX cases as well.

The 80+ Gold rated Toughpower SFX power supplies are [...]

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July 26, 2016

Review: Tesoro Excalibur V2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

The New Best in the Entry Level Segment

As awesome and essential as mechanical keyboards are, it’s often difficult to justify tossing a benjamin or two on a keyboard when a cheap $10 one works just fine. However for PC enthusiasts, gamers and typists, a good mechanical keyboard is not just a commodity, but a necessity.

So what’s out there for those who aren’t looking to drop some serious money on a keyboard? Well, there honestly weren’t a whole lot of options for a long time until recently when Cherry’s mechanical switch patents expire making way for cheaper cloned designs.

Manufacturer Tesoro Model Excalibur V2 Layout ANSI 106 [...]
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July 26, 2016

Xbox One Prices Slashed, Now Starts at Just $249

Microsoft has slashed its Xbox One gaming console to half of its MSRP price. This is the third and final price cut to the Xbox One console before the launch of the Xbox One S on August 2nd. This is in addition to the “Buy a Microsoft Surface, Get $400 Towards an XBox One” deal that Microsoft is currently running.

At the time of press, the Xbox One 500GB can be purchased for just $249 while quantities last. The console comes bundled with one of several titles including Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Forza Motorsport 6, Watch Dogs, The Crew, and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Microsoft is looking to clear its existing inventory in preparation for the launch [...]

 
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July 22, 2016

Nvidia Unexpectedly Unleashes Pascal Titan X and It’s a Beast

Nvidia recently surprised the tech world by revealing their brand new Pascal architecture based Titan X graphics card not at a Nvidia press event or a technology tradeshow, but rather at an AI meetup at Stanford University. After a presentation by Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng, Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang unexpectedly presented Ng with the new Titan X carrying an inscription that described Ng as “a pioneer, an amazing scientist, and a hero to us all.”

Despite the launch of the Pascal Titan X being quite unexpected, the beast-like specs of the Pascal Titan X is almost exactly as you’d expect. It’s insane.

While [...]

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July 18, 2016

Intel Basin Falls-X, Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X to Debut 3Q2017

Broadwell-E launched just last month, but rumors of its successor is already swirling around on the interwebs.

According to a recent article by Chinese technology publication, BenchLife, Intel will be launching three different product ranges on their upcoming Basin Falls-X platform.

This will include Skylake-X, Skylake-W and Kaby Lake-X. Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X will feature the new LGA2066 Socket AKA Socket R4 and use the Kaby Lake-X PCH. Skylake-W is targeted towards workstations and won’t have much impact on the consumer market.

The successor to Broadwell-E will be Skylake-X, which is fairly similar to what we [...]

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July 8, 2016

Review: Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Poseidon Z RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

Thermaltake’s Legendary Keyboard Gets an Upgrade

One of the most cost-efficient ways to improve the looks of a keyboard is to slap on some pretty lights. This is an easy way to boost the “wow” factor without complicated modifications and additional investment from the manufacturer.

That’s exactly what Thermaltake did with its hugely popular Poseidon Z keyboard. The Poseidon Z is well-known around the web for being one the most affordable and value-oriented keyboards on the market. Not only does its price give gamers an incentive to upgrade from membrane, it does so without compromising on build quality.

Today we’ll be taking a look at round [...]

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July 6, 2016

AMD Aims to Reduce RX480 Power Consumption With Upcoming Graphics Driver

AMD will be releasing a new driver that addresses “power gate” plaguing its Radeon RX 480 graphics card.

The AMD RX 480 made headlines not only with its leap in performance but also with its notoriety in excessive power consumption. According to several review sites, the RX 480 consumes more power than its rated Thermal Design Power (TDP). Concerns also stirred when testing showed that the reference card needed an 8-pin power connector instead of a 6-pin and that the card was drawing more power from the PCIe slot than the standard 75W it’s designed to supply.

AMD has claimed several times that it can be fixed with a driver update. [...]

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July 5, 2016

Memory Unlock Mod for AMD Radeon RX 480 Can Double Your Memory Capacity

Some early adopters of AMD’s Radeon RX 480 graphics card have reported that their 4GB model actually comes with 8GB of physical memory installed. This raised the question of whether the additional memory can be accessed via a software hack. AMD addressed this in an AMA on Reddit, stating that some press samples can be unlocked by flashing the card’s BIOS.

Turns out that wasn’t the case. The gurus at TechPowerUp managed to unlock a retail card using the BIOS. They first extracted the BIOS of the 8GB model using the ATIFlash, then flashed it onto the 4GB model. The BIOS image can be found here.

If you purchased an AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB, [...]

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June 29, 2016

AMD Radeon RX480 Possibly Exhibiting Excessive Power Draw on PCIe

Just hours after the launch of AMD’s newest graphics card, several reviewers have reported that the AMD Radeon RX480 is drawing too much power from the PCIe slot due to the inadequate power supplemented by the 6-pin PCIe connector.

Tom’s Hardware has reported that the Radeon RX480 drew 86W through the motherboard’s x16 PCIe slot in their power consumption breakdown. This exceeds the typical 75W power limit of the x16 PCIe slot. On average, the Radeon RX480 drew 164W in total, a figure replicated by many other sources. Tom’s Hardware suggests that an 8-pin power connector should replace the 6-pin power connector currently installed on [...]

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June 27, 2016

Review: Samsung 950 Pro 256GB NVMe SSD

Samsung’s First PCIe/NVMe Drive for the Consumer

Last year I had the opportunity to be one of the first to witness the launch of the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD at Samsung’s Global SSD Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Prior to its launch, we had already tested both the AHCI and NVMe version of the OEM-oriented Samsung SM951 SSD, which was a precursor to the final retail Samsung 950 Pro.

At its launch, the Samsung 950 Pro took the top spot for the fastest consumer SSD Samsung has to offer. It’s primarily targeted towards professionals, content creators, and enthusiasts who require the highest performance possible.

Samsung SM951 [...]
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