Tech News

  • HyperX Cloud II Wireless headset review @ DVHardware

    Published: Saturday, March 13, 2021 | By: Dennis

    When it comes to affordable gaming headsets the HyperX Cloud II is pretty good both from a sound quality and fitment standpoint.  You can check out the review over at DV Hardware for more information.

    For a company that had never made a gaming headset before 2014, HyperX really took the market by storm. Millions of unit sales later, HyperX has ranked in the US as the best-selling PC gaming headset brand for several years now. One of the company's best-selling products is the sub-$100 HyperX Cloud II -- the original launched in 2015 and now there's a wireless version of this classic. The original received rare reviews at the time, it's still available and has been sold millions of times. The Cloud Wireless II gaming headset builds upon this legacy by cutting the cord -- the new model offers 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, up to 30 hours of battery life, and 20 meters of wireless range. But is it as good as the original? Read on to find out!

    I'm not sure I would fully agree with the way this review was introduced but, there is some truth to it all.

  • Miners Found A Way To Bypass NVIDIA's Hash Limits

    Published: Thursday, March 11, 2021 | By: Dennis

    As the famous movie quote goes. "Life will find a way" and in this case Miners found a way to use "cheaper" video cards to mine for their digital "get rich quick" coin.

    Key points from the post

    • However, it seems that cryptocurrency miners have continued to use GeForce RTX 3060 as their mining chip of choice, bypassing NVIDIA's deliberate restrictions in hash rate.
    • What Happened NVIDIA Corporation NASDAQ NVDA announced the creation of a new product offering the NVIDIA CMP, meant exclusively for cryptocurrency mining in February.
    • 2021 Screenshots posted by a Twitter account that documents tech leaks depicted a stack of eight RTX 3060 graphics cards operating at far above NVIDIA's imposed 2025 MH/s mining limit.

    I remember back in the day NVIDIA decided that the GTX 770 would be limited to only 3-Way SLI while the GTX 780 would be unlocked to run 4-Way SLI.  They did this in a driver update and it really crushed the hopes and dreams of overclockers.

    Given that NVIDIA controls what the driver can do it seems to reason that they could also limit the hashrate provided they could identify the card being loaded.  Well, given time and some knowledge it would seem that you can bypass just about anything.

  • Lexar Announces New PLAY microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card

    Published: Thursday, March 4, 2021 | By: Dennis

    San Jose, USA, March 3rd, 2021 – Lexar, a leading global brand of flash memory solutions, is proud to announce the Lexar PLAY microSD card.

    Key Features:

    • Compatible with portable gaming devices, smartphones and tablets
    • Fast transfer speeds for quick loading time with up to 150MB/s read
    • Large capacity options up to 1TB - Store more videos, movies, games, music and more
    • Quickly captures, plays back and transfers Full-HD video
    • Loads apps faster with A1 or A2-rated performance

    The Lexar® PLAY microSDXC™ UHS-I Card is designed to keep up with all your content, no matter if they are games, movies, music or books. Avoid slow load times with read speeds of up to 150MB/s1 and fast A1 or A2-rated performance2, so you can play more of what you love without missing a beat. With large capacities up to 1TB you can save all your favorite content and is ideal for portable gaming devices, smartphones, and tablets.

    Cut down delays with fast transfer speeds of up to 150 MB/s1 and get A1 or A2-rated performance2, so you can load apps faster on your mobile devices and play more of what you love without missing a beat.

    “The Lexar PLAY microSDXC Card is the perfect solution for gamers looking to take their game to the next level. It is compatible with the Nintendo Switch™ and other portable gaming devices including phones and tablets. With capacity options up to 1TB, you can continue to game without running out of storage space,” said Joel Boquiren, General Manager of Lexar. 

    Lexar® PLAY microSDXC UHS-I card is available this month for purchase online at an MSRP of $21.99 USD (128GB), $45.99 USD (256GB), $94.99 USD (512GB), and $249.99 USD (1TB).

    About Lexar
    For more than 20 years, Lexar has been a trusted leading global brand of memory solutions. Our award-winning lineup includes memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, solid-state drives and DRAM. With so many options, it's easy to find the right Lexar solution to fit your needs. All Lexar product designs undergo extensive testing in the Lexar Quality Labs with more than 1,100 digital devices, to ensure performance, quality, compatibility, and reliability. Lexar products are available worldwide at major retail and e-tail stores. For more information or support, visit www.lexar.com

  • MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio @ LanOC Reviews

    Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 | By: Dennis

    MSI has been building some really great video cards and while the Lightning might be a think of the past we can still be assured that MSI video cards will push the performance envelope awhile offering triple fan cooling when it is no longer needed. happy smile

    With my first look at the newly launched RTX 3060, I had the chance to take a look at the XC Black which has a stock 3060 clock and is designed to reach the target MSRP Nvidia announced. But what other kinds of options are out there? MSI sent over their RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio which has an overclock out of the box and a significantly larger three fan design. I’m excited to see what MSI has going on with their higher-end RTX 3060 and to see how the 3060 performs with an overclock. So let’s dive in and see what the Gaming X Trio is all about!

    All jokes aside this is a pretty good looking card.

  • Intel Stops the Performance Tuning Protection Plan

    Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Yesterday, it would seem, Intel announced that they are going to discontinue the Performance Tuning Protection Plan which was basically overclockiing insurance for your X and K edition processors.  

    They had this to say on the Intel website.

    The Performance Tuning Protection Plan program has been discontinued.



    As customers increasingly overclock with confidence, we are seeing lower demand for the Performance Tuning Protection Plans (PTPP).

    As a result, Intel will no longer offer new PTPP plans effective March 1, 2021.

    Intel will continue focusing on delivering amazing processors with tuning flexibility and overclocking tools like Intel Performance Maximizer and Intel XTU.

    All existing plans will continue to be honored through the duration of the processor warranty period.

    For questions, contact Intel Customer Support.


    Note about the intel xeon W-3175X Processor

    The intel xeon W-3175X Processor is automatically covered for overclocking, No additional plan or activation code is required

     

     

    Thank You,
    PTPP Team

     

     

    It is nice to see that the $3000 USD W-3175X will still be covered under the PTPP, however for those with pockets deep enough to buy one I'm not sure the insurance is really a driving factor for using the processor as it was intended.

    When Intel first launched the PTPP it was met with skepticism.  Some saw it as a quick cash grab and a way to take advantage of those who always seemed to break their computer hardware, You know the types, they are always sending stuff in for RMA and will likely frequent pawn shops.  Others welcomed the insurance and saw it as proof that they could take advantage of what K and X edition processor(s) had to offer.

    Personally, I was on the "cash grab" side of the fence.  I have overclocked quite a few processors in my day, some on air, some on water and even more under Phase and LN2.  I have yet to actually burn up a processor doing this.  Sure, I have degraded plenty but nothing that required sending a processor back to Intel.

    In fact, I have only used the Intel warranty once, and was when a memory channel died on my Core i7 980X.  The process was very easy with the only "sticky" bit being that everything in the build had to be "Intel Approved" else the warranty return would be denied.  That is really the primary reason for the PTPP as the warranty exchange became a "no questions asked" sort of deal and might have been a good way to “bin” your processors.

    Overall, I am not heartbroken that PTPP is going away.  Overclocking on Intel processors has really gone downhill over the past several years with processors becoming “heat bound” with very little headroom.  Despite this I will always recommend a K or X processor as it gives you higher clocks out of the box.

  • Fry's Electronics suddenly calls it quits

    Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Fry's is/was the last major big box electronics store and on Feb 24th annoucned that it will be closing all 31 stores and shuting down permanently.  They had the following to say on their website.

    After nearly 36 years in business as the one-stop-shop and online resource for high-tech professionals across nine states and 31 stores, Fry’s Electronics, Inc. (“Fry’s” or “Company”), has made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Company will implement the shut down through an orderly wind down process that it believes will be in the best interests of the Company, its creditors, and other stakeholders.



    The Company ceased regular operations and began the wind-down process on February 24, 2021. It is hoped that undertaking the wind-down through this orderly process will reduce costs, avoid additional liabilities, minimize the impact on our customers, vendors, landlords and associates, and maximize the value of the Company’s assets for its creditors and other stakeholders.

    This news makes me increadbly sad and yet I am not suprised.  When visiting LA, Vegas and Seattle I would make a point of visting the local Fry's to check out what deals they had and maybe buy an electronics kit.  It was an awesome experence and reminded me of visiting CompUSA back in the day.

    Sadly, it was extremely clear that Fry's must have done the bulk of their business on holidays because during the week the store(s) were dead.  Most of the shelves were empty, demo units were damaged and the prices were 10-15% more than what you would pay online. 

    It would seem that "the situation" is what killed this iconic chain of electronic stores leaving a huge void in that retail space.

  • The US Air Force Quietly Admits the F-35 Is a Failure

    Published: Thursday, February 25, 2021 | By: Dennis

    The interesting thing about Jets is that they work well when they have a single purpose.  Airliners work well at moving people and things.  Bombers work well at carrying heavy things and dropping things on things.  Fighters like to fight even if their only reason for existence is the threat of fighting.

    When the lines between what a user wants a product (jet) to do and what the product (jet) can do well is when you run into problems.  Personally, I never liked the F-35, from a visual standpoint it was an ugly jet and when I heard it was going to be used across all branches of the military that seemed like a good idea but had my doubts it would ever become a reality.

    Case in point, there has always been a huge backlash from the community when there are announcements that the F-35 was going to be stationed at a nearby airfield.  People complained it would be too loud, fly too low, etc..

    Thing is, jets are loud, get over it.

    But, I digress

    One of the other issues with the F-35 (from my opinion) is that we had one company designing it and 100's of contractors building the parts.  They claim it was to make the jet cheaper, create jobs and make the manufacturing process faster.  Well, if that was the case we wouldn't be 14 years later with only a handful of jets, millions of complaints and the following comment from the military.

    The Air Force has announced a new study into the tactical aviation requirements of future aircraft, dubbed TacAir. In the process of doing so, Air Force chief of staff General Charles Q. Brown finally admitted what’s been obvious for years: The F-35 program has failed to achieve its goals. There is, at this point, little reason to believe it will ever succeed.

    -- snip --

    “I want to moderate how much we’re using those aircraft,” the general said. “You don’t drive your Ferrari to work every day, you only drive it on Sundays. This is our high end, we want to make sure we don’t use it all for the low-end fight… We don’t want to burn up capability now and wish we had it later.”

    In my memory the last time there was a jet shared by all branches of the military it was the F-4 Phantom and we (the US) were in the middle of the Vietnam War.  The jet is iconic, pilots complained about it but, it was cheap to fly and operate, they made a ton of them and some are still in use today.

    It makes you wonder if the reluctance to embrace new technology is centered on inflated operating costs, inflated price tags or the realization that the Cold War is over but the arms race is still in full effect and not properly funded or run by the right people.  I’m pretty sure the budgets are right and I will be the first to agree that we need new planes but we also need cheap planes if, the companies and entities using these planes insist on flying them non-stop and using up their operational budget in the process.

  • Fractal Meshify 2 Compact Launch Day

    Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | By: Dennis

    Be sure to check out our review of the Fractal Meshify 2 Compact.  The design is quite good and features a realistic number of features instead of the typical "over the top, look at me ma I made the big time" overindulgence.

    Web Reviews
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact chassis @ Guru3D
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Computer Case Review @ APH Networks
    Fractal Design Meshify 2 Compact Case Review @ ThinkComputers

    I'm sure there are more but, the phj34r of the Google ban hammer is strong with the review world.

  • GeForce Is Made for Gaming, CMP Is Made to Mine

    Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | By: Dennis

    We’re limiting the hash rate of GeForce RTX 3060 GPUs so they’re less desirable to miners and launching NVIDIA CMP for professional mining ~NVIDIA

    One thing that gamers know is that drivers are key.  When a new game is released the first thing a good gamer does is download the latest driver in hopes that it will give you the best performance.  Drivers are weird like that too.  In some cases a new driver will boost one game while making other games suffer.  The same is true when benchmarking when your driver choice can make or break your run.

    Thing is, drivers can also limit a card and is what NVIDIA is doing with the new RTX 3060 that launches later this week.  Given that this is a new card NVIDIA can limit performance however they want and unless you reverse engineer the driver there isn't much you can do about it.

    RTX 3060 software drivers are designed to detect specific attributes of the Ethereum cryptocurrency mining algorithm, and limit the hash rate, or cryptocurrency mining efficiency, by around 50 percent.



    That only makes sense. Our GeForce RTX GPUs introduce cutting-edge technologies — such as RTX real-time ray-tracing, DLSS AI-accelerated image upscaling technology, Reflex super-fast response rendering for the best system latency, and many more — tailored to meet the needs of gamers and those who create digital experiences.



    To address the specific needs of Ethereum mining, we’re announcing the NVIDIA CMP, or, Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, product line for professional mining.



    CMP products — which don’t do graphics — are sold through authorized partners and optimized for the best mining performance and efficiency. They don’t meet the specifications required of a GeForce GPU and, thus, don’t impact the availability of GeForce GPUs to gamers.

    Finally, NVIDIA is addressing the demand of GPU mining by offering a dedicated mining card that not only will address what miners are looking for but also NOT impact GPU supply to gamers.  They will be doing this by detecting algorithms used by miners and then shut down the card by 50%.

    To offset this NVIDIA is also launching cards that use the same GPU but have no video output.  They will be worthless to gamers and won't be limited to miners which is what I call a Win Win.

    Check out the blog post for more information.

    Of course, now the question remains.  Why didn't NVIDIA do this sooner?  I mean ASUS had dedicated mining cards back when the 10 series launched and the 20 Series was released during the great cryto bubble burst so what made them think it wouldn't come back?

  • be quiet! Silent Base 802 Computer Case Review @ APH Networks

    Published: Monday, February 15, 2021 | By: Dennis

    I will admit this is one HUGE computer case and comes with all the bells and whistles.

    The be quiet! Silent Base 802 is a Goliath-sized mid-tower case that truly offers users the ability to change up their build on the fly. 

    One nice thing about cases like this is that they do allow you to reconfigure just about everything.  You can't make the case magically smaller but you can move things around inside and add all sorts of cooling options.

    The real question is, what will you do with all the extra room?