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The Intel Core Processor Number Guide - What They Mean!

The Intel Core Processor Number Guide – What They Mean!

The Intel Core processor number system changes with every generation, including the new 10th Gen Ice Lake and 10th Gen Comet Lake processors!

In this guide, we will share with you exactly what those letters and numbers mean!

10 Generations, 10 Number Systems!

Every Intel Core processor generation varies in how they are numbered. We will go through each generation from the latest 10th Gen Core all the way to the first-generation Core processors.

 

10th Gen Intel Core Processor Number Systems

Even though they are both part of the same 10th Gen Intel Core processor family, the Ice Lake and Comet Lake processors have different processor number systems.

10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of three digits, it now uses just two digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-1068 is faster than Core i7-1065.

Level of Graphics

Replacing the Product Line Suffix, this gives us a rough indication of the processor graphics’ performance level.

  • G7 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 64 Execution Units
  • G4 : Intel Iris Plus Graphics with 48 Execution Units
  • G1 : Intel UHD Graphics with 32 Execution Units

Intel started using this graphics indicator in the 10th Gen Intel Core processor number system, because this will be a major model differentiator.

For example, they announced three Intel Core i5-1035 models, differentiated only by their processor graphics :

  • Intel Core i5-1035G7 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (64 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G4 : Intel Iris Pro Graphics (48 EUs)
  • Intel Core i5-1035G1 : Intel UHD Graphics (32 EUs)

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Ice Lake Mobile CPU Features + Specifications!

10th Gen Intel Comet Lake Processors

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • Core i7 : enthusiast class
  • Core i5 : mainstream processors
  • Core i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

This is now a 2-digit number 10 for the 10th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

Instead of two digits that Ice Lake uses, Comet Lake uses three digits, but the concept is the same – the higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general.

For example, the Core i7-10710 is faster than Core i7-10510.

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely-low power (mobile only)

Recommended : 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake : 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back!

 

9th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i9 : prosumer class, with the most processing cores
  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 9 – quickly tells us that this is a 9th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i9-9900 is faster than Core i9-9880
  • Core i7-9850 is faster than Core i7-9750

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier
  • F : Does not come with processor graphics, requires discrete graphics
  • T : Power-optimised
  • S : Special Edition
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)

Recommended : Intel Core i9-9900K Preview – World’s Best Gaming CPU?

 

8th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i9 : prosumer class, with the most processing cores
  • i7 : enthusiast class, with many processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 8 – quickly tells us that this is an 8th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-8750 is faster than Core i7-8700
  • Core i5-8500 is faster than Core i5-8400

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • G : Includes discrete graphics on package (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)

Next Page > 5th to 7th Gen Intel Core Processors

 

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7th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 7 – quickly tells us that this is a 7th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-7700 is faster than Core i7-7600
  • Core i5-7Y57 is faster than Core i5-7Y54

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier
  • H : High performance graphics
  • Q : Quad-core processor
  • U : Ultra-low power
  • Y : Extremely low power

 

6th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 6 – quickly tells us that this is a 6th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-6700 is faster than Core i7-6600
  • Core i5-6600 is faster than Core i5-6500

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)
  • HK : High performance graphics, unlocked multiplier (mobile only)
  • HQ : High performance graphics, quad-core processor (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)

 

5th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 5 – quickly tells us that this is a 5th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-5700 is faster than Core i7-5600
  • Core i5-5300 is faster than Core i5-5200

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • C : Unlocked LGA1150 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • R : BGA1364 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • H : High performance graphics (mobile only)
  • HQ : High performance graphics, quad-core processor (mobile only)
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

Next Page > 1st to 4th Gen Intel Core Processors

 

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4th Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 4 – quickly tells us that this is a 4th Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-4900 is faster than Core i7-4800
  • Core i5-4400 is faster than Core i5-4300

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • R : BGA1364 processor with high-performance graphics (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • MQ : Quad-core mobile processor
  • MX : Extreme Edition mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

3rd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors
  • M : ultra-low power mobile processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 3 – quickly tells us that this is a 3rd Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-3770 is faster than Core i7-3720
  • Core i5-3470 is faster than Core i5-3450

Letter Suffix

This primarily tells us whether it is an Extreme Edition processor or not :

  • X : Extreme Edition processor

Product Line Suffix

This tells us more about the processor features, for a particular model :

  • K : Unlocked processor multiplier (desktop only)
  • S : Performance-optimised model (desktop only)
  • T : Power-optimised (desktop only)
  • M : Mobile processor
  • QM : Quad-core mobile processor
  • U : Ultra-low power (mobile only)
  • Y : Extremely low power (mobile only)

 

2nd Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The first number – 2 – quickly tells us that this is a 2nd Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-2860 is faster than Core i7-2820
  • Core i5-2700 is faster than Core i5-2600

 

1st Gen Intel Core Processor Number System

Brand Modifier

This is what most people think of as the performance category.

  • i7 : enthusiast class, with the most processing cores
  • i5 : mainstream processors
  • i3 : entry-level processors

Gen Indicator

The lack of a Gen Indicator of 1 tells us that this is a 1st Generation Intel Core processor.

SKU Numeric Digits

This is what we consumers use as a rough indicator of the processor’s overall performance.

The higher the number, the better the processor’s performance in general. For example :

  • Core i7-990 is faster than Core i7-980
  • Core i5-660 is faster than Core i5-650

 

Recommended Reading

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The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X Quad-Core Processor Review

The AMD Ryzen 7 may have upended the CPU industry and wowed the socks of reviewers and fans alike, but not everyone can afford them. Not everyone needs eight processor cores either. Ordinary users and gamers only need quad-core processors, after all. That’s where the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X processor comes in.

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) is a quad-core processor that supports up to four simultaneous threads, and boasts a 2 MB L2 cache as well as an 8 MB L3 cache. Priced at just US$ 129, it also comes with a bundled AMD cooler. Let’s take a closer look at Ryzen 3 1300X processor and check out how well it performs!

Updated @ 2017-10-09 : Replaced all of the original charts with newer, better charts. Added a video on the Ryzen 3 1300X running CINEBENCH. Numerous other small updates.

Originally posted @ 2017-08-07

 

Introducing The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

The AMD Ryzen 3 family has some common features – 4 processor cores, a 2 MB L2 cache and a large 8 MB L3 cache. The Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) is the top-of-the-line model, with a base clock of 3.5 GHz, a boost clock of 3.7 GHz and an XFR clock of 3.9 GHz. Here is a comparison of the first two Ryzen 3 processors to hit the market :

SpecificationsAMD Ryzen 3 1300XAMD Ryzen 3 1200
TDP65 W65 W
SocketAM4AM4
Process Technology14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET
Processor Cores44
Number of Simultaneous Threads44
L2 Cache Size2 MB2 MB
L3 Cache Size8 MB8 MB
Base Clock Speed3.5 GHz3.1 GHz
Boost Clock Speed3.7 GHz3.4 GHz
XFR Speed3.9 GHz3.45 GHz
Bundled CPU CoolerAMD Wraith StealthAMD Wraith Stealth
Launch Price (2017-07-27)US$ 129US$ 109

The AMD Ryzen 3 processors lack SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) capability, which allows each core to handle two simultaneous threads, as if they are two virtual processor cores. It is only available in the higher-end Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors.

 

Unboxing The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) processor comes bundled with a low-profile AMD Wraith Stealth cooler, which adds to its value proposition. Let’s unbox it!

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A Closer Look At The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

Let’s take a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) processor, which looks exactly the same as the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) processor. It uses the same 1331-pin AM4 socket as its more powerful brothers. In fact, processors from all three Ryzen families can be used interchangeably on any AM4 motherboard.

 

Benchmarking The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

In this article, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X processor. We will it to the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), and the Intel Core i7-6700K processor. Here is a table comparing their key specifications.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Intel Core i7-6700K AMD Ryzen 5 1500X AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Cores / Threads 8 / 16 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 4
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 Cache 4 MB 1 MB 2 MB 2 MB
L3 Cache 16 MB 8 MB 16 MB 8 MB
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2133 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
Current Price US$ 499 US$ 298 US$ 189 US$ 129

Here are the specifications of the testbeds we used :

Intel Testbed AMD Testbed
Processors Intel Core i7-6700K
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X

Motherboard ASRock Z170 Extreme4 GIGABYTE AORUS GA-AX370 Gaming-5
ASRock AB350 Gaming K4
Memory Speed Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
Corsair Vengeance LPX
DDR4-2666 (4 GB x 2)
Graphics Card AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon RX 480
Storage Western Digital Black² Western Digital Black²
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit) Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Now, we would be the first to admit that this is a completely unfair comparison, but let’s see how this “underdog” performs against such a formidable field!

Next Page > 3D Rendering, Video Transcoding & Photoshop Performance

 

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3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.

CINEBENCH R15 Single Core

This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.

The Single Core test shows that the individual processor core of the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) is about 13.4% slower than the processor core of the Core i7-6700K. Of course, the Core i7-6700K has a 5% higher boost clock speed. If we adjust the results to account for that, the Intel Skylake core is about 10% faster than the AMD Ryzen core, clock for clock.

After correcting for the lower clock speed of the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) and Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check), we can determine that the smaller L3 cache size of the Ryzen 3 1300 reduced the core performance by 4%.

CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core

This shows the real-world 3D rendering performance of four processors. Even though the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) appears to be slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K, it is actually equivalent in performance at the same clock speed.

Even though they both have the same clock speeds, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) is 31% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X, because it has half the L3 cache and does not support SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading).

CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio

The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.

As we pointed out in the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) review, AMD’s SMT implementation is 5.8% more efficient than Intel Skylake’s Hyper-Threading in CINEBENCH.

Due to its lack of SMT capability, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) was 28% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

 

Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake

HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) transcoded the 1.3 GB video in just over 11 minutes2.5X slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check). That’s surprisingly good performance, considering it has half the cores and caches and does not support SMT. In fact, the Ryzen 3 1300X was just 21% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

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Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14

The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) applied the radial blur filter in 17.5 seconds – just under 3 seconds slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check). In other words, its lack of SMT support and smaller L3 cache size only sapped its performance by 18%.

Next Page > Gaming Performance : 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity

 

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3DMark – Time Spy (DirectX 12)

In the Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) was 18% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) in the CPU test. However, that only translates into a small 3.4% drop in overall gaming performance.

 

Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)

In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, we can see that the frame rates were significantly impacted by CPU performance. The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) delivered 14.7% lower frame rates than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) at the common gaming resolution of 1920 x 1080.

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Ashes of the Singularity (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K, the performance difference was greatly reduced. The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) was now just 1.3% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), 2% slower than the Core i7-6700K, and 2.2% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check).

Next Page > Gaming Performance : Warhammer & The Witcher 3

 

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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)

When we tested Warhammer at 1080p, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) delivered 9% lower frame rates than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), 11% lower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 15.7% lower than the Intel Core i7-6700K.

 

Total War: Warhammer (4K)

But when we increased the resolution to 4K, all four processors delivered practically the same average frame rates. Naturally, at this high resolution, the graphics card was the most important factor in delivering high frame rates.

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The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (1080p)

At 1080p, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) was about 1.3% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), 3.7% slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K, and 4.4% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check).

 

The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K though, all four processors were virtually equivalent in performance. That’s not to say that they are equally fast, just that the graphics card mattered far, far more at such a high resolution.

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Where To Buy, Reading Suggestions

 

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Our Verdict & Award

The AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) is not the most powerful desktop CPU in the market. That honour goes to the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Lowest Price)… at least until the AMD Ryzen Threadripper hits the market!

Unlike its higher-performance Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 brethren, the Ryzen 3 1300X only has four physical cores and half the cache and no SMT support. Even so, it delivered astonishingly good performance – it was just 31% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X in 3D rendering and 21% slower in video transcoding. Even in the Photoshop radial blur test, it was just 18% slower.

Based on its performance in work applications alone, it offers roughly a 12% better price-performance ratio than the Ryzen 5 1500X, which itself offers incredible value for money. But what about games, you say?

Depending on the game, the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) delivered between 1.3% and 14.7% lower average frame rates than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

Increasing the resolution to 4K may wipe out the difference, but that’s because the games were now GPU-limited on the AMD Radeon RX 480 we used.

If you are using a suitably-powerful graphics card like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, you should see similar drops in frame rates. Obviously, if you intend to game at 4K, you will need a suitably fast processor like the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) to complement such a fast graphics card.

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Here is our takeaway from the gaming test results…

If you want to maximise the gaming performance of the Radeon RX 480 / Radeon RX 580-class graphics card, you should pair it with a faster processor like the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X.

If you don’t mind a small 8% (average) drop in gaming frame rates, the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) offers unbeatable value – 35% better price-performance ratio than the Ryzen 5 1500X!

If that’s not enough value for your money, AMD even bundles the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) with a low-profile AMD Wraith Stealth CPU cooler!

Because it offers such great value for money, we think the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) deserves nothing less than our Editor’s Choice Award! Congratulations, AMD!

 

Where To Buy

Here are direct links to the AMD Ryzen CPU and bundles on sale on Amazon :

 

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Reading Suggestions

Don’t forget to also read our other AMD Ryzen-related articles :

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

 

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The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor Review

The AMD Ryzen is, no doubt, the most anticipated CPU to be introduced in 2017. It is the processor that AMD fans have always wanted, but AMD did not quite deliver… until now. The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X literally blew away the competition, with its 8 cores, large 16 MB cache and highly competitive price.

Even so, not everyone can afford it. That’s where the AMD Ryzen 5 family comes in. It offers a more affordable selection of AMD Ryzen processors with 4 to 6 cores. In this review, we will take an in-depth look at the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X – their top-of-the-line quad-core processor, and show you why we awarded it our Editor’s Choice Award!

 

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

The AMD Ryzen 5 family is divided into two main lines – the lower-end quad-core processors and the higher-end hexa-core processors. The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) is the top-of-the-line quad-core Ryzen 5 model. It has 4 cores and 8 threads, with a 3.5 GHz base clock and a 3.7 GHz boost clock.

How does it compare against the other Ryzen 5 processors? Find out in this specification comparison of the current AMD Ryzen 5 processors.

SpecificationsAMD Ryzen 5 1600XAMD Ryzen 5 1600AMD Ryzen 5 1500XAMD Ryzen 5 1400
TDP95 W65 W65 W65 W
SocketAM4AM4AM4AM4
Process Technology14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET
Processor Cores6644
Number of Simultaneous Threads121288
L2 Cache Size3 MB3 MB2 MB2 MB
L3 Cache Size16 MB16 MB16 MB8 MB
Base Clock Speed3.6 GHz3.2 GHz3.5 GHz3.2 GHz
Boost Clock Speed4.0 GHz3.6 GHz3.7 GHz3.4 GHz
Bundled CPU CoolerNoneAMD Wraith SpireAMD Wraith SpireAMD Wraith Stealth
Launch Price (2017-03-02)US$ 249US$ 219US$ 189US$ 169
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Unboxing The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) comes with a bundled CPU cooler – the AMD Wraith Spire. Hence it comes in a much larger box. Let’s take a look inside!

 

A Closer Look At The Ryzen 5 1500X & Wraith Spire Cooler

Let’s take a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) CPU and the bundled Wraith Spire cooler.

Next Page > Benchmarking The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X & 3D Rendering Speed

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Benchmarking The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

In this review, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor. We will compare it to the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), the Intel Core i7-6700K, and the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) processors. Here is a table comparing their key specifications.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Intel Core i7-6700K AMD Ryzen 5 1500X AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
Cores / Threads 8 / 16 4 / 8 4 / 8 4 / 4
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 3.5 GHz
Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 Cache 4 MB 1 MB 2 MB 2 MB
L3 Cache 16 MB 8 MB 16 MB 8 MB
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2133 DDR4-2666 DDR4-2666
Current Price US$ 499 US$ 298 US$ 189 US$ 129

On paper, the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) is a quad-core processor that handles up to 8 simultaneous threads like the Intel Core i7-6700K. The Ryzen 5 1500X has a 12% lower clock speed, but boasts L2 and L3 caches that are twice as large. Let’s see how it performs in real life!

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3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.

CINEBENCH R15 Single Core

This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.

The Single Core test shows that the individual processor core of the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) is about 6.2% slower than that of the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), and 18.8% slower than the Core i7-6700K.

The Intel Core i7-6700K has a 14% higher clock speed than the Ryzen 5 1500X. If we adjust the results to account for that, the Intel Skylake core is about 8% faster than the AMD Ryzen core, clock for clock.

Since both the Ryzen 5 1500X and Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) have the same clock speeds, we can determine that the Ryzen 5 1500X’s larger L3 cache size improved its core performance by 4%.

CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core

This shows the real-world 3D rendering performance of the four processors. Even though the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) appears to be 12% slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K, it is actually equal in performance at the same clock speed.

Even though they both have the same clock speeds, the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) is 31% slower than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), because it has half the L3 cache and does not support SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading).

CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio

The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.

After adjusting for their clock speed difference, we calculated that the SMT implementation in the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) was 7% more efficient than Hyper-Threading in the Intel Core i7-6700K.

Next Page > The Video Transcoding & Photoshop Radial Blur Performance

 

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Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake

HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) transcoded the 1.3 GB video in under 8 minutes and 48 seconds – just 14.7% slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K. After adjusting for the difference in clock speed, the Core i7-6700K is just 3% faster than Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check), clock for clock.

The Ryzen 5 1500X was 26.4% faster at transcoding the video than the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check). Since they have the same clock speeds, that performance advantage is entirely due to its ability to process twice as many threads simultaneously – SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading).

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Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14

The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) applied the radial blur filter in 14.7 seconds – just 2 seconds slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K. On a clock-for-clock basis, the Core i7-6700K is 2.4% faster than the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check).

The Ryzen 5 1500X was 21.6% faster at performing radial blur than the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check). Since they have the same clock speeds, that performance advantage is entirely due to its ability to process twice as many threads simultaneously – SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading).

Next Page > The 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity Performance Results

 

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3DMark – Time Spy (DirectX 12)

In the Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark, the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) was 22% slower than the Intel Core i7-6700K in the CPU test. That’s 7.5% slower on a clock-to-clock basis, and only translates into a small 2.4% drop in overall gaming performance.

 

Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)

In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, the single core CPU performance has a significant effect on the actual frame rate.

At the resolution of 1920 x 1080, the Intel Core i7-6700K delivered 4.5% and 17% higher frame rates than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) respectively.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X was 17% faster than the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check). As they both have the same clock speeds, the performance difference was due to the Ryzen 5’s SMT capability and larger L3 cache.

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Ashes of the Singularity (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K, the performance difference was greatly reduced. The Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check), Core i7-6700K and Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) were essentially equal in performance. Even the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check) was now just 2% slower than the other 3 processors.

Next Page > The Warhammer & Witcher 3 Performance Results

 

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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)

Like Ashes of the Singularity, the single core performance appeared to be crucial in Total War: Warhammer.

When we tested Warhammer at 1080p, the Intel Core i7-6700K delivered an average frame rate that was 6% and 8% faster than the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) and Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) respectively.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) was 10% faster than the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check). As they both have the same clock speeds, the performance difference was due to the Ryzen 5’s SMT capability and larger L3 cache.

 

Total War: Warhammer (4K)

But when we increased the resolution to 4K, all four processors delivered practically the same average frame rates. Naturally, at this high resolution, the graphics card was the most important factor in delivering high frame rates.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (1080p)

The CPU performance has a smaller effect with FPS games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. On the other hand, it appears support multi-core processors. Hence, the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) came out on top, albeit by a very small margin over the Intel Core i7-6700K.

The average frame rate of the Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) was 3% and 2.4% lower than the Ryzen 7 1800X and Core i7-6700K respectively, and just 1.3% higher than the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check).

 

The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K though, all four processors were virtually equivalent in performance. That’s not to say that they are equally fast, just that the graphics card mattered far, far more at such a high resolution.

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Where To Buy, Reading Suggestions

 

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Our Verdict & Award

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) is not the most powerful desktop CPU in the market. That honour goes to the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check)… unless you include the AMD Ryzen Threadripper HEDT processor! But it is an amazing processor.

Like the Ryzen 3 1300X (Price Check), it has four physical cores, a large 2 MB L2 cache, and clock speeds of 3.5 GHz to 3.7 GHz. However, its support for SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) allows you to handle twice as many threads, and it has twice as much L3 cache – a whopping 8 MB!

All that allowed the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) to come close (~14%) to the performance of the Intel Core i7-6700K. In fact, on a clock-to-clock basis, they’re basically equal in performance! In other words, if you overclock the Ryzen 5 1500X to 4.0 GHz (base clock), it performs like the Core i7-6700K.

The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X performs like the Intel Core i7-6700K on a clock-to-clock basis

Now, its big brother, the Ryzen 7 1800X (Price Check) is king when it comes to video transcoding and 3D rendering. However, if you are only interested in gaming performance, the Ryzen 5 1500X is a much better choice. It performs almost as well in games, but is much, much cheaper!

In RTS games, the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X is just 2-10% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X at 1080p.

In FPS games, the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X is just 2-3% slower than the Ryzen 7 1800X at 1080p.

Increasing the resolution to 4K totally wipe out the difference, but that’s because the games were GPU-limited on the AMD Radeon RX 480 we used. If you are using a suitably-powerful graphics card like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, you should see similar minor drops in frame rates.

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The AMD Ryzen 5 1500X‘s gaming performance makes it great value for money. Let’s not forget – AMD bundles it with a Wraith Spire cooler! That’s why the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (Price Check) deserves nothing less than our Editor’s Choice Award! Congratulations, AMD!

 

Where To Buy

Here are direct links to the AMD Ryzen CPU and bundles on sale on Amazon :

 

Reading Suggestions

Don’t forget to also read our other AMD Ryzen-related articles :

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The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 Laptop Review

The Dell Inspiron family of laptops are designed for the home or home office. As such, they offer a variety of designs in three different series – the Inspiron 7000 Series, the Inspiron 5000 Series and the Inspiron 3000 Series. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their latest 2-in-1 laptops from the Dell Inspiron 5000 Series – the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368), which recently received a minor refresh (5378).

Updated @ 2017-07-12 : Updated the article with fresh links and minor changes and corrections.

Originally posted @ 2016-11-21

 

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) Specifications

The older Inspiron 13 5368 and the newer Inspiron 13 5378 have the same build and design. They only differ in the processor and storage options. We compare their specifications for your convenience.

SpecificationsDell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368) LaptopDell Inspiron 13 5000 (5378) Laptop
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Home Single Language (64-bit)Microsoft Windows 10 Home Single Language (64-bit)
Pre-Installed SoftwareMicrosoft Office 2016 Trial
McAfee Security Center (15 month subscription)
Microsoft Office 2016 Trial
McAfee Security Center (15 month subscription)
Processor6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500U dual-core processor
- 2.5 GHz base frequency. 3.1 GHz boost frequency
- 4 MB L2 cache
6th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core processor
- 2.7 GHz base frequency. 3.5 GHz boost frequency
- 4 MB L2 cache
Memory8 GB Single Channel DDR3L-1600 memory8 GB Single Channel DDR4-2133 memory
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 520Intel HD Graphics 620
Display13.3" Backlit LED touch display
- TrueLife Technology
- Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution
13.3" Backlit LED touch display
- TrueLife Technology
- Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution
Storage256 GB SanDisk Z400s solid state drive1 TB Toshiba MQ02ABF100 hard disk drive
Optical DriveNoneNone
Wireless ConnectivityIntel 3165AC module
- 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
- Dual band (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
Intel 3165AC module
- 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
- Dual band (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz)
CameraIntegrated widescreen 720p webcam with dual digital microphone arrayIntegrated widescreen 720p webcam with dual digital microphone array
Audio2 tuned speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro
1 combo headphone / microphone jack
2 tuned speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro
1 combo headphone / microphone jack
BatteryIntegrated 3-cell lithium-ion battery
- 42 WHr / 2750 mAh @ 15.2 V
Integrated 3-cell lithium-ion battery
- 42 WHr / 2750 mAh @ 15.2 V
A/C Adapter45 watt AC adapter45 watt AC adapter
PortsHDMI 1.4a x 1
USB 3.0 with PowerShare x 1, USB 3.0 x 1
USB 2.0 x 1
Noble lock slot
SD card reader
HDMI 1.4a x 1
USB 3.0 with PowerShare x 1, USB 3.0 x 1
USB 2.0 x 1
Noble lock slot
SD card reader
KeyboardFull-sized, backlit keyboardFull-sized, backlit keyboard
TouchpadMulti-touch gesture-enabled touchpad with integrated scrollingMulti-touch gesture-enabled touchpad with integrated scrolling
Maximum DimensionsHeight : 20.4 mm (0.80")
Width : 324.8 mm (12.76")
Depth : 224.4 mm (8.85")
Height : 20.4 mm (0.80")
Width : 324.8 mm (12.76")
Depth : 224.4 mm (8.85")
Weight1.62 kg (3.56 lbs)1.62 kg (3.56 lbs)
Warranty (Default)2 Years Premium Support (Next Business Day Onsite Service)2 Years Premium Support (Next Business Day Onsite Service)
Regulatory ComplianceE-Star 6.1, EPEAT SilverE-Star 6.1, EPEAT Silver
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Unboxing The Dell Inspiron 13 5000

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) came in a white nondescript cardboard box. When we opened it up, we found the power brick and cable in a top tray. The laptop itself is cradled between two cardboard spacers below it.

A small leaflet on the laptop’s safety and regulatory compliance, as well as a Quick Start Guide, can be found inside. This is a review sample, but we are pretty sure this is what you can expect to find in the box of the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price).

Next Page > The Dell Inspiron 13 5000, Connectivity Options, Keyboard & Touch Pad

 

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The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) is a premium convertible laptop that is designed to switch effortlessly between the standard laptop mode, and a tablet mode. It can also be used in the tent mode, and the stand mode.

It only ships in a dark grey colour, and unlike some other Dell Inspiron models, you cannot swap the display cover. The grey colour may be staid but offers great contrast for the matter black keys, which are backlit for visibility in the dark.

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) is classified as convertible type, like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 laptop we reviewed earlier. You switch to the tablet mode by flipping the keyboard section all the way over. This makes for a thicker and heavier tablet, but it also allows the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 to used in different modes – laptop modestand modetent modetablet mode.

In our experience, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) works best in the laptop, stand and tent modes. Although it works well in the tablet mode, it feels rather chunky and heavy. After all, it is more than twice as heavy as the 12.9″ iPad Pro, and thrice as thick.

 

Connectivity Options

On the left side of the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price), you will find the power port, a HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and a headphone port. The USB 3.0 port next to the HDMI port supports PowerShare, which allows you to recharge your mobile devices even when the Inspiron 13 5000 is powered down.

Just under the display lid in the front is a small LED light that serves as a Power and battery status light. You can also use the Fn+H key to switch it to a SSD activity light.

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Solid white — Power adapter is connected and the battery has more than 5% charge.

Amber — Computer is running on battery and the battery has less than 5% charge.

Off — Computer is in sleep state, hibernation or turned off / Computer is running and the battery has more than 5% charge

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 does not have an optical drive (who still uses one these days?), so you will only find a USB 2.0 port and a SD card reader, a Power button and a volume control toggle on the right side.

 

The Keyboard & Touch Pad

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) has a full-sized keyboard with backlit keys. It is not spill-resistant though, so be careful with that coffee!

It also comes with a large, multi-touch touchpad that supports gestures and scrolling. Those who come from a Mac background will love it.

Next Page > The Hinge, Speakers & Vents, Power & Battery Life, Usability

 

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The Hinge, Speakers and Vents

Like all convertible laptops, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (Lowest Price) uses a special hinge. It is not just the ability to completely fold the keyboard section behind the display. The hinge also has a constant friction that allows it to be easily used to convert the Inspiron 13 5000 into four different modes.

Flipping the Inspiron 13 5000 over, you will find two small speaker ports on each side. Each speaker has a 2.5 W peak power output. Near the back is a small black label with the Service Tag and Express Service Code.

There are two rows of cooling vents at the back. This is where the warm exhaust from the CPU cooler are vented out. Both the 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500U (Inspiron 13 5368) or the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U (Inspiron 13 5378) processors use and dissipate relatively little heat – just 15 W.

 

Power & Battery Life

Powered by the low-power 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6500U (Inspiron 13 5368) or the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U (Inspiron 13 5378) processor, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) sips power. Hence, it comes with a small and light 45 W power adaptor, which is always a good thing when you travel.

That said, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 comes with a small 3-cell lithium-ion battery. As efficient as the Intel Core i7 processor may be, there is only so much battery life you can squeeze from such a small 42 Whr (2,750 mAh @ 15.2 V) battery.

In our real world tests, we could use it for 6 hours before we had to recharge it. This is decent, but a little disappointing in an age when laptops and tablets can last 8-12 hours. Dell would do well to pack in a little more battery life into the next version, especially when this battery is only rated for 300 cycles. This would mean that its battery life will fall quite rapidly after a year or so of use.

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Usability

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) is really just a smaller version of the Inspiron 15 7000 we reviewed earlier. It uses the same 2-in-1 design with the same hinges. It just comes with a plastic build, a smaller 13.3″ form factor and is consequently 25% lighter.

Even so, it is a handful to use in the tablet mode. It may be much lighter than the Inspiron 15 7000, but it still weighs 1.62 kg. You will end up using it in the regular laptop mode, or in either the tent or stand mode, where you don’t actually have to carry it.

In the non-tablet modes, it is great. Its TrueLife display with a full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) delivers bright, crisp images with a wide 160° viewing angle. Perfect for presentations or movies.

We have to wonder though about the USB 2.0 port on the right side. There is really no reason why there should still be a USB 2.0 port in any laptop sold today. In fact, Dell should have included at least one Type C USB 3.1 port.

Next Page > Performance & Storage, Our Verdict

 

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Performance & Storage

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) is powered by either the Intel Core i7-6500U (Inspiron 13 5368) or the Intel Core i7-7500U (Inspiron 13 5378) processor.

Windows will show that there are four cores, but they are both dual-core processors that supports HyperThreading – hence, the four logical cores. Backed by 4 MB of L2 cache, both are fast dual-core processor. Impressive when you consider the fact that they only use 15 W of power.

The newer Intel Core i7-7500U is slightly faster and more power-efficient than the Intel Core i7-6500U, but without benchmarking them, you won’t be able to tell the difference. The Inspiron 13 5000 won’t have any problem handling office applications. You can even edit photos on its full HD display without breaking a sweat.

The Intel processor is a little hobbled by the Inspiron 13 5000’s default single-channel design. There are two SODIMM slots, but only one is populated so the processor is running with half of its peak memory bandwidth. This can be remedied by simply adding another memory module. This would also give you more memory to use.

The good news is the older Inspiron 13 5368 model comes with a 256 GB SanDisk Z400s solid state drive. The newer Inspiron 13 5378, on the other hand, comes with a 1 TB hard disk drive. The solid state drive really makes a big difference – it boots up very quickly, and does not feel sluggish like the Inspiron 15 7000 we reviewed earlier.

Unless storage space is critical to you, we still think an SSD would have been a better choice due to the way these 2-in-1 laptops are used. SSDs are virtually impervious to shock and vibration, while hard disk drives are not.

 

Our Verdict

Unlike the Inspiron 15 7000, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) can actually be used as a large tablet. You will end up laying it on your lap or a tabletop most of the time though. It is best used in the laptop mode, the tent mode and the stand mode.

Our Inspiron 13 5368 review model came with a great 256 GB SanDisk Z400S (Lowest Price) solid state drive. However, Dell currently offers a smaller 128 GB SSD option, or a 1 TB hard disk drive option, in the Inspiron 13 5378 refresh model. Always opt for the SSD option. It makes a HUGE difference in the laptop’s performance.

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You will love the performance of the Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price). The dual-core Intel Core i7 processor is fast enough to handle any work application you throw at it. The HD Graphics processor graphics is also good enough to handle full HD video playback and light gaming.

The TrueLife display is a real pleasure to use. Once you try it, you will never want to go back to the cheap TN panels that are used in many low-cost laptops. The battery life of the Inspiron 13 5000 though is pretty limited at about 6 hours. We sure wished Dell gave it a bigger battery. The small 3-cell battery will give you “range anxiety” on a long trip.

The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 laptop (Lowest Price) is a great option for anyone who wants a relatively light and powerful 13.3″ laptop. Why settle for a cheap laptop with a TN panel, when you can get a convertible laptop with a high-resolution touch screen display?

 

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The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Octa-Core Processor Review

The AMD Ryzen 7 is, no doubt, the most anticipated processor to be introduced in 2017. This is the 8-core processor that AMD fans always wanted, but AMD did not quite deliver… until now. That changes with the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor.

Based on current benchmarks, the AMD Ryzen 7 processors give even the latest 7th Generation Intel Core i7 processors a run for their money. And with AMD pricing them so competitively, they will make you wonder – why opt for a quad-core processor when you can have an 8-core processor?

 

Introducing The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

The AMD Ryzen 7 family has some common features – 8 cores that can handle 16 threads simultaneously, a 4 MB L2 cache and a large 16 MB L3 cache. The 1800X is the top-of-the-line model, with a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz, with a boost clock of 4.0 GHz. Here is a specification comparison of the three AMD Ryzen 7 processors :

SpecificationsAMD Ryzen 7 1800XAMD Ryzen 7 1700XAMD Ryzen 7 1700
TDP95 W95 W65 W
SocketAM4AM4AM4
Process Technology14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET14 nm FinFET
Processor Cores888
Number of Simultaneous Threads161616
L2 Cache Size4 MB4 MB4 MB
L3 Cache Size16 MB16 MB16 MB
Base Clock Speed3.6 GHz3.4 GHz3.0 GHz
Boost Clock Speed4.0 GHz3.8 GHz3.7 GHz
Bundled CPU CoolerNoneNoneAMD Wraith Spire
Launch Price (2017-03-02)US$ 499US$ 399US$ 349

The AMD Ryzen 7 processors do not just boast 8 cores, they are also the first AMD processors to support SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading). SMT allows each core to handle two simultaneous threads, as if they are two virtual processor cores.

 

Unboxing The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor does not come with a bundled CPU cooler, so you will need a Ryzen 7-compatible cooler. It comes in a rather large but light cardboard box. Let’s unbox it!

 

A Closer Look At The Ryzen 7 1800X

Let’s take a closer look at the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor. After all, AMD took the effort to laser-etch the RYZEN logo into the heatspreader! 😀

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Benchmarking The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X

In this article, we will take a look at the work and gaming performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X processor. We will compare the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X to the Intel Core i7-6700K processor. Here is a table comparing their key specifications.

AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Intel Core i7-6700K Difference
Cores / Threads 8 / 16 4 / 8 + 100%
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 4.0 GHz – 10%
Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz – 4.8%
L2 Cache 4 MB 1 MB + 300%
L3 Cache 16 MB 8 MB + 100%
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2133 + 25%
Current Price US$ 499 US$ 298 + 67%

Now, we will be the first to admit that this is a rather “unfair” comparison because the Core i7-6700K is a quad-core processor that costs only as much as the Ryzen 7 1700. However, this is the fastest Intel processor we have on hand, so let’s just roll with it, and see what we find…

Next Page > 3D Rendering, Video Transcoding & Radial Blur Performance

 

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3D Rendering Speed – CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 is a real-world 3D rendering benchmark based on the MAXON Cinema 4D animation software. This is a great way to accurately determine the actual performance of a processor in 3D content creation.

CINEBENCH R15 Single Core

This Single Core test is not reflective of real world performance, but it is useful to find out the performance of the individual core.

The Single Core test shows that the individual processor core of the Ryzen 7 1800X is about 13.4% slower than the processor core of the Core i7-6700K. Of course, the Core i7-6700K has a 5% higher boost clock speed. If we adjust the results to account for that, the Intel Skylake core is about 10% faster than the AMD Ryzen core, clock for clock.

CINEBENCH R15 Multi Core

This shows the real-world performance of both processors. Having twice the number of cores allowed the Ryzen 7 1800X to beat the Core i7-6700K by 81%. Adjusting for the average 7.5% difference in base and boost clock speeds, the Ryzen 7 1800X would deliver 94% better performance than the Core i7-6700K at the same clock speeds.

CINEBENCH R15 MP Ratio

The analysis of the Multi-Processing Ratio is useful in checking the efficiency of the SMT implementation. The MP Ratio is independent of the processor’s clock speed.

The multi-threading capability of the Intel Core i7-6700K delivered a 22% boost to its Multi-Core processing speed. The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, on the other hand, recorded a 27.4% boost to its Multi-Core processing speed. This means the AMD Ryzen’s SMT implementation is 5.8% more efficient than the Intel Skylake’s Hyper-Threading.

 

Video Transcoding Speed – HandBrake

HandBrake is a free, open-source video transcoding utility. Video transcoding basically converts a video file from one resolution / format to another. As you can imagine, it’s very compute-intensive. In our test, we converted a 4K video of 1.3 GB in size into a 1080p video (HQ1080p30).

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X transcoded the video in less than 4.5 minutes, while the Intel Core i7-6700K took just under 7.5 minutes. This makes the Ryzen 7 1800X 68% faster than the Core i7-6700K.

If we adjust for the average 7.5% difference in base and boost clock speeds, the Ryzen 7 1800X would deliver 81% better performance than the Core i7-6700K at the same clock speeds.

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Radial Blur Speed – Photoshop CC 14

The radial blur filter adds the perception of motion to a picture. This is a compute-intensive operation that benefits from multiple processing cores. This radial blur test was performed on a single 13.5 megapixel photo, with a filesize of 4,910,867 bytes.

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X applied the radial blur filter in just 7.3 seconds, while the Intel Core i7-6700K took 12.6 seconds. This makes the Ryzen 7 1800X 73% faster than the Core i7-6700K.

If we adjust for the average 7.5% difference in base and boost clock speeds, the Ryzen 7 1800X would deliver 85.5% better performance than the Core i7-6700K at the same clock speeds.

Next Page > Gaming Performance – 3DMark & Ashes of the Singularity

 

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3DMark – Time Spy (DirectX 12)

In the Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark, the Ryzen 7 1800X was 60% faster than the Core i7-6700K in the CPU test. Obviously, not all of its 8 cores were being used.

But when it came to the two graphics tests, all that extra boost in CPU performance only gave it a small 0.6% to 1.25% boost in frame rates. The overall DirectX 12 performance improved by 5.7%.

 

3DMark – Fire Strike (1080p)

We ran the Fire Strike benchmark in the 1080p resolution, because this is the most common resolution gamers use today. The CPU is used exclusively to process Physics, and the Ryzen 7 1800X was 48% faster than the Core i7-6700K.

Surprisingly, the Graphics Score was 1.5% lower with the Ryzen 7 1800X, than it was for the Core i7-6700K. The Overall Score though was 3% better with the Ryzen 7 1800X.

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Ashes of the Singularity (1080p)

In the RTS game, Ashes of the Singularity, we can see that the frame rates were consistently lower with the Ryzen 7 1800X, albeit only by by 2-7% (4% on average).

 

Ashes of the Singularity (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K, the results were flipped. The Ryzen 7 1800X was slightly faster in the Normal and Medium batches. Overall, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X was identical in performance to the Intel Core i7-6700K.

Next Page > Gaming Performance – Total War: Warhammer & The Witcher 3

 

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Total War: Warhammer (1080p)

When we tested Warhammer at 1080p, it ran about 5% slower with the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X.

 

Total War: Warhammer (4K)

But when we increased the resolution to 4K, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X was identical in performance to the Intel Core i7-6700K.

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The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (1080p)

At 1080p, The Witcher 3 was about 1.5% slower with the Ryzen 7 1800X on average.

 

The Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt (4K)

When we bumped up the resolution to 4K though, the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X was identical in performance to the Intel Core i7-6700K.

Next Page > Our Verdict & Award, Where To Buy, Other AMD Ryzen Articles

 

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Our Verdict

The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is definitely a far more powerful processor than the Intel Core i7-6700K. It has twice as many cores, and far more memory bandwidth. It was fantastic in 3D rendering and video transcoding, delivering 70-85% better performance. Sadly, most games are unable to make use of all those cores.

Games that run in the lower, mainstream resolution of 1920 x 1080 will be slightly slower with the Ryzen 7 1800X. It’s not much slower though – just 5% on average.

But that performance deficit is completely erased at the higher resolution of 3840 x 2160. The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is virtually identical in performance to the Intel Core i7-6700K.

Obviously, at the 4K resolution, the graphics card is far, far more important than the CPU. But as the Warhammer and The Witcher 3 results show, the Ryzen 7 1800X actually helped to push up the minimum frame rate.

If you are going to buy the Ryzen 7 1800X for gaming, you are not going to worry about the small 5% deficit in 1080p frame rates, because you will most likely be playing in 1440p or 2160p resolutions.

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What is our takeaway from the test results? Simple.

In games : The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is more or less equivalent to the Intel Core i7-6700K in performance.

In work applications : The AMD Ryzen 7 1800X is about 75% faster than the Intel Core i7-6700K.

If you plan on building a gaming machine, you might want to go for the cheaper Ryzen 7 1700 CPU (US$ 329 with a Wraith Spire LED cooler), or the Core i7-6700K.

But if you are building a workstation for 3D rendering or video transcoding, you can’t do wrong with the Ryzen 7 1800X. Especially if you want the best computing performance for under US$ 500. For that reason, we think the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X deserves no less than our Reviewer’s Choice Award! Congratulations, AMD!

 

Where To Buy

Here are direct links to the AMD Ryzen CPU and bundles on sale on Amazon :

 

Other AMD Ryzen Articles

Don’t forget to also read our other AMD Ryzen-related articles :

 

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2016 ThinkPad P40 Yoga & ThinkStation P410 Launched

8 November 2016Lenovo today introduced two new devices, the ThinkPad P40 Yoga Mobile Workstation and ThinkStation P410 Workstation. Powered by Intel, these high-performing devices brings the best performance to run powerful applications with the stability and speed that customers need. Whatever your professional needs may be, Lenovo creates the tools that are relied upon by industry leaders – be it architects, product designers, UX/ UI designers, or engineers.

The ThinkStation P410 Workstation is also certified to run Autodesk’s 3D design software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and entertainment industries at the highest levels of reliability and stability.

 

ThinkPad P40 Yoga Mobile Workstation

The ThinkPad P40 Yoga is a high-performing mobile workstation that helps unleash the full power of professional creativity, delivering first-class digital sketching experience with the ultimate in mobile workstation performance and reliability.

From digital artists storyboarding the next award winning short film to engineers designing the next technological marvel, creative professionals need to deliver the sensitivity and accuracy of a premium sketching experience and a robust workstation to render designs in powerful applications, all the while catering to their busy mobile lifestyle.

As the first-ever multimode mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P40 Yoga offers the versatility to work across four modes—laptop, stand, tent and tablet—giving professionals the flexibility to do more no matter the requirement. The system provides the utmost in sketching precision through a highly responsive pen and touchscreen powered by the Wacom Active ES technology, offering a full, 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity on a high-res (2560 x 1440) IPS display.

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Along with its premium sketching capabilities, ThinkPad P40 Yoga offers mobile workstation performance without compromise. Powered by an Intel 6th Generation Core i7 CPU and up to 16GB of RAM, the ThinkPad P40 Yoga is certified to run a full range of professional applications such as Autodesk CAD and CAE software, including Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor without compromise.

And for the first time in a mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P40 Yoga features Lenovo’s innovative Lift ‘n Lock keyboard with a frame that automatically rises around the keys when the Yoga device switches into tablet mode, giving users the ability to work in a more comfortable and efficient manner. The machine features tried-and-true ThinkPad reliability for maximum uptime in or out of the office, with long battery life, Mil-SPEC tested construction to ensure uptime under the toughest conditions, and a lightweight design using advanced materials.

 

ThinkStation P410 Workstation

The latest update to our workstation line is part of Lenovo’s commitment to constantly listen to Lenovo’s customers and evolve our products based on their needs. The ThinkStation P410 offers a higher core count and memory capacity than any entry-level workstation in the market, closing the gap in price and performance between entry-level and mainstream workstations.

Featuring the latest high-performance Intel Xeon E5-1600 v4 processors with Intel Turbo Max 3.0 Technology, the ThinkStation P410 is unlike any system available, delivering mainstream workstation performance with entry-level affordability.

The ThinkStation P410 is also enhanced with cutting-edge storage technologies, including M.2, and innovative Flex module support for easy customization.

 

Pricing & Availability

The ThinkPad P40 Yoga Mobile Workstation and ThinkStation P410 Workstation are now available and will be priced from RM5,999 / ~US$1,499 and from RM4,999 / ~US$1,249 respectively, inclusive of GST.

 

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The Intel Kaby Lake Processor Tech Briefing

On August 25, we received an exclusive tech briefing on the new 7th Generation Intel Core processor, formerly known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake is not a new microarchitecture, but a refresh of the Intel Skylake microarchitecture. Even then, it boasts the following improvements :

  • improved 14 nm process technology, yielding 12% higher clock speeds
  • 10-bit HEVC and 8-bit VP9 hardware encoding and decoding
  • Native HDCP 2.2 support
  • Four additional PCI Express 3.0 lanes from the PCH
  • Support for Intel Optane (3D XPoint) technology

For an in-depth understanding of the new 7th Generation Intel Core processors, check out this video we prepared from the Intel Kaby Lake tech briefing.

 

How Much Faster Are The Intel Kaby Lake CPUs?

Ultimately, the 7th Generation Intel Core processors will deliver 12-19% better performance over the 6th Generation Intel Core processors (formerly known as Intel Skylake), mainly due to higher clock speeds.

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That is probably not particularly exciting news for users of Intel Skylake or Broadwell (5th Generation Intel Core) processors. However, Intel is hoping that it will be enough to encourage users of old PCs (which they define as 5 years or older) to upgrade to the faster and more efficient Kaby Lake processors.

According to Intel, the 7th Generation Intel Core processors are 1.7X faster in work applications, 8.6X faster in working with 4K videos, and 3X faster in 3D games, compared to the 2nd Generation Intel Core processors launched 5 years ago.

The new video encoder in the 7th Generation Intel Core processors also allows them to be 15X faster at creating video highlights, and 6.8X faster at transcoding a 4K video to 1080p, than comparable 2nd Generation Intel Core processors.

 

Intel Kaby Lake Tech Briefing Slides

If you prefer to check out the slides in detail, here they are for your perusal :

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CPU Differential Amplitude – The BIOS Optimization Guide

CPU Differential Amplitude

Common Options : Auto, 700mV, 800mV, 900mV, 1000mV

 

Quick Review

This is an Intel Core i7-specific BIOS option. It allows you to increase the amplitude of the differential clock signals to increase their noise immunity.

As clock speed increases, so does the noise level. If the noise level is high enough to be mistaken for a proper clock signal, this results in errors in the transmitted data. Thus, it is important for the differential clocks to generate a clock signal with sufficient amplitude (voltage difference) to avoid noise from introducing errors.

When set to Auto, the CPU will use the default differential amplitude of 610 mV.

When set to 700mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 700 mV.

When set to 800mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 800 mV.

When set to 900mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 900 mV.

When set to 1000mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 1000 mV.

Increasing the CPU differential amplitude increases the noise immunity of the processor’s reference clocks and indirectly increases the overclockability of the processor. Thus, if you face problems overclocking the processor, try increasing the CPU differential amplitude.

 

Details

This is an Intel Core i7-specific BIOS option. It controls the amplitude of the processor’s differential clocks.

The Intel Core i7 processor uses pairs of differential clocks to generate reference clock signals for the processor core, the QuickPath interconnect and the DDR3 memory controller. Each pair consists of a positive (P) signal and a negative (N) signal. Combined, they generate a clock signal with twice the voltage difference, which greatly increases the clock signal’s resistance to noise.

Take for example, a single clock signal with a voltage of +1 V. The high logic level would be +1 V while the low logic level would be 0 V, resulting in a voltage difference of 1 V. A pair of differential clocks, on the other hand, would have a high logic level of +1 V and a low logic level of -1 V. This results in a voltage difference of 2 V, twice that of a single clock signal. It is this increased voltage difference that improves the signal’s immunity to noise.

As clock speed increases, so does the noise level. If the noise level is high enough to be mistaken for a proper clock signal, this results in errors in the transmitted data. Thus, it is important for the differential clocks to generate a clock signal with sufficient amplitude (voltage difference) to avoid noise from introducing errors.

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This is where the CPU Differential Amplitude BIOS option comes in. It allows you to increase the amplitude of the differential clock signals to increase their resistance to noise.

When set to Auto, the CPU will use the default differential amplitude of 610 mV.

When set to 700mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 700 mV.

When set to 800mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 800 mV.

When set to 900mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 900 mV.

When set to 1000mV, the CPU will use an increased differential amplitude of 1000 mV.

Increasing the CPU differential amplitude increases the noise immunity of the processor’s reference clocks and indirectly increases the overclockability of the processor. Thus, if you face problems overclocking the processor, try increasing the CPU differential amplitude.

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AORUS GeForce GTX 10 Series Laptops Launched

AORUS has unveiled their highly anticipated full AORUS GeForce GTX 10 series lineup – the 13.9” AORUS X3 Plus v6, 15.6” AORUS X5 v6, and 17.3” AORUS X7 DT v6 & X7 v6.

Announcing the inclusion of their all-new exclusive and innovative AORUS RGB Fusion keyboard (optional) with per-key backlighting in 16.8 million colors, as well as the addition of the world’s first 120 Hz laptop display, AORUS is continuing to push the envelope in the mobile gaming industry.

 

AORUS GeForce GTX 10 Series

17.3” AORUS X7 DT & X7 v6

Desktop-Grade Performance | Enhanced Cooling Design

The 17.3” AORUS X7 DT has been recognized for its innovative design; possessing superior performance while retaining a slim, mobile form factor as the recipient of the 2016 Computex Design and Innovation Award. With the announcement of the all-new GeForce GTX 10 series graphics, the X7 DT has taken a huge jump in performance.

Retaining the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7 overclocked processor and upgrading to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphic, all within a thin and lightweight chassis, it is a mobile powerhouse. The other alternative for the AORUS 17.3” is the X7 v6. Also providing superior performance with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, as well as the full range of features as the X7 DT.

With all that performance, comes the look display to back it up. The X7 series also now provides the world’s first 120 Hz laptop display with 5 ms response time, paired with Killer DoubleShot Pro to reduce game lag by utilizing connection priority for a smooth and fluid gaming experience.

With subtle ID changes to the X7 design includes a welcomed improvement to thermal cooling with the addition further air intake. Along with the upgrade in spec, the X7 gets an upgrade in look with the all exclusive AORUS RGB Fusion Keyboard, providing full customizable, per-key RGB function.

 

15.6” AORUS X5 v6

Performance Breakthrough for Gaming On-The-Go

Maintaining the X5’s signature slimness and light weight, the X5 v6. offers a 15.6” option with one of the world’s most powerful all-new mobile GPUs, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, as well as the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7 overclocked processor. The 15.6” display now comes in two options: WQHD+ 2880×1620 IPS display for the stunning visual detail; or a Full HD

120Hz refresh rate display for the most fluid gameplay for the FPS enthusiasts, while Killer DoubleShot Pro prioritizes gaming ports and connections for a lag free experience. Adding to the aesthetics, the new X5 now features orange logo back-lighting and the per-key fully customizable RGB backlight keyboard, the AORUS RGB Fusion Keyboard.

 

13.9” AORUS X3 Plus v6

Most Portable Gaming Laptop for VR

The 13.9” AORUS X3 Plus v6 puts an emphasis on mobility, but does not stray away from performance, continuing its reign as the most powerful and light (22.9mm/1.8kg) 13.9-inch gaming laptop in the world.

Its 6th Generation Intel Core i7 overclocked processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics is powering the QHD+ 3200×1800 IGZO display. The astonishing display of the X3 has the highest pixel density among the AORUS family, enabling it to provide gorgeous visuals and to be the complete.

The amazing performance with such mobility also makes the X3 one of the most portable gaming laptop to meet the requirements for premium Virtual Reality experience.

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AORUS All-In-One Streaming Solution

As streaming is becoming more and more an important part of the gaming community, AORUS has been committed to providing an all-inclusive solution for streaming. The newest addition to this is TriDef® SmartCam. SmartCam will now allow you to remove backgrounds without the hassle of using a green screen. Through the SmartCam application you can now apply live filters, and fully control your background, not only while streaming, but also through other video applications such as Skype.

The AORUS Hardware Live Stream Engine gives gamers an edge while streaming. Now available on the X5 and X7 models (optional), the fully integrated encoder card eliminates the fuss of connecting an extra compressor and enables you to record and stream simultaneously in high-definition quality without compromising system performance, or the loss of FPS. Along with the 1-year Premium subscription to both XSplit Gamecaster and Broadcaster, AORUS allows you to record, edit, and stream anytime, anywhere.

 

AORUS Exclusive Software

Fan Control

Exclusive fan control allows you full customization of your fan speeds, providing either Smart Control where the system automatically adjust your fans, or manual control that allows you to specifically set your fans at the RPM you choose.

OC Gauge

The best policy to win any game is to make sure your system is 100% with you. OC Gauge presents the user comprehensive system information with one-click overclocking control. A simple glance is all it takes to keep track of how your system status and Overclocking settings.

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AORUS Audio

Enhance your audio experience with various audio modes, the AORUS Audio provides you lifelike sound which allows you to immerse yourself in any usage situation. The Game mode even includes profiles specifically tuned for different game types, like FPS or RPG games. Every sound is produced with accuracy and clarity, bringing battlefield to life.

 

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Huawei Matebook Now Available In Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, 29 July 2016 – The world witnessed the launch of the Huawei Matebook earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress 2016 held in Barcelona, Spain, and now the Huawei Matebook will finally be available in Malaysia tomorrow!

The Huawei Matebook, a 2-in-1 device designed to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s modern business users, marks the company’s next step in delivering high-end mobile devices to its consumers. Three versions of the Huawei Matebook (m3, m5, m7) will be available in Malaysia priced at RM3,999 (~US$ 999), RM5,399 (~US$1,349) and RM6,699 (~US$1,675) respectively.

 

The Huawei Matebook

Huawei Malaysia will be introducing the first of three versions of the Huawei Matebook tomorrow which comes with an Intel 6th Core m3 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB of storage space and a Huawei Keyboard, all for RM3,999 (~US$ 999) (inclusive of tax)!

The Huawei Matebook answers the need for an ultimate portable business performance tool that comes with a touch of minimalism and sophistication in the design. The Huawei Matebook, the perfect balance between productivity, design and mobility, will be available in all Huawei Experience stores and Vmall.my!

Equipped with Windows 10, the Matebook also delivers the best of productivity tools and features offered by Microsoft, including its latest browser, Microsoft Edge and new innovations, such as Windows Ink.

 

Design

The Huawei Matebook comes with beautiful minimalistic design that is pleasant to the eye. The device boast a 6.9mm ultra slim body, one of the slimmest in the market, which is also designed to be comfortable at hand, making it a device pleasurable not only in terms of aesthetics, but also ergonomics.

The Huawei Matebook is made of a full metal aluminium unibody, giving it a sleek and sophisticated finish. The Huawei Matebook comes with a 12-inch IPS LCD screen accompanied with an impressive 84% screen-to-body ratio, which truly gives working in style a whole new definition.

 

Mobility

A device with a minimalistic design should come with minimal weight. The Huawei Matebook weights only at 640g, making it the ideal device for users always on the move. Huawei also give users the freedom to accessorize with the detachable Matebook keyboard case. Made from environmentally friendly, soft PU leather, the Matebook keyboard case with its four colours to choose from: Black, Brown, Orange and Beige, makes it the ideal accessory for the Huawei Matebook users.

Battery life will also not be an issue as the power consumption and battery were top priority when designing the Huawei Matebook. It comes with a 33.7Wh high-density Lithium battery, providing power for nine hours of work, nine consecutive hours of Internet use and 29 hours of music playback, and can also be fully charged within two-and-a-half hours.

 

Productivity

The Matebook keyboard case not only serves as a layer of protection, the keyboard features a 1.5mm keystroke and an ergonomic curvature design, which allows for larger key surfaces to minimize typing errors. For usage in low light situations, the Matebook keyboard case has an auto backlit feature to allow easy typing wherever you are. Topping it off, the Huawei keyboard case also comes with a spill resistant feature so users need not worry about replacing one after a spill accident.

The built-in touchpad employs a five-point multi-touch technology on a glass track pad that allow users to enjoy smooth and precise finger movements.

The MatePen is not your typical stylus that combines style and productivity. The MatePen offers up to 2,048 levels of sensitivity, capable of capturing the most subtle movements. The MatePen comes equipped with a powerful 100 hours of battery life and can be used as a presentation clicker and laser pointer as well.

 

Usability

As a company that pioneers and excels in terms of fingerprint technology, the Huawei Matebook is the world’s first notebook with a side fingerprint sensor, where now you will just need a light touch to unlock the Huawei Matebook – the fastest fingerprint recognition in the industry.

User also do not have to concern with the Huawei Matebook overheating as the device comes with an eight layers of Heat Conduction Structures that not only provides comfort for long term usage, but also lowers power consumption which leads to better performance.

The Huawei Matebook is powered by a 6th Generation Intel Core M-Series processor, giving users the perfect tool to handle their business needs. The device offers up to 8GB of LPDDR3 memory and a solid-state hard drive with capacity up to 512GB. Huawei is also able to deliver a fanless design, ensuring zero noise when the MateBook is in use.

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Huawei Matebook Pricing

 

Huawei Matebook Specifications

 

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BIOSTAR TB85 Motherboard Announced

Taipei, 7 July 2016BIOSTAR is proud to announce the release of the latest motherboard intended for people pursuining cryptocurrency mining. The new BIOSTAR TB85 motherboard features multiple expansion slots to allow usage of multiple cards simultaneous for maximum efficiency for cryptocurrency mining.The board supports Intel 1150 processors and features the B85 chipset. The MSRP for the BIOSTAR TB85 motherboard is $69.99 giving it a quick and high ROI.

The BIOSTAR TB85 supports 4th-generation Intel processors and allows home users, gamers and businesses to take advantage of its wide feature set for work or play. Support for Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) for fast boot-ups and application load times, and Intel Small Business Advantage (Intel SBA), which delivers business-centric security protection, such as after-hours virus scans and data backup, and blocks recognition of unwanted USB drives.With up to 6 PCI-e slots, you can maximize this motherboard for cryptocurrency mining and earn back your investment quickly.

 

BIOSTAR TB85 Key Features

The BIOSTAR TB85 is made to last featuring X.D.C. solid capacitors with a VRM heatsink installed for more efficient cooling of the motherboard components. The board features Intel Small Business Advantage allowing users to monitor the status of their motherboard as well other security features to protect their mining investment.

100% Solid Caps

With armor-plated BIOSTAR Technology, all capacitors are placed with 100% solid capacitors that have a lasting life cycle, durability and stability for crucial components.

PCI-E Gen 3.0

PCI-E 3.0 is the next evolution of the ubiquitous and general-purpose PCI Express I/O standard. At 8GT/s bit rate, the interconnect performance bandwidth is doubled over PCI-E 2.0, while preserving compatibility with software and mechanical interfaces.

OC / OV / OH Protection

Specialized circuit design detects overvoltage and surges to your BIOSTAR motherboard and actively cuts off overvoltage supply to protect your system.Over-current protects your motherboard from damage when high-current is detected. Heat protection adds another layer of protection by detecting high heat from the motherboard and CPU to avoid burn damage.

BIOSTAR 6+ Experience

This motherboard features exclusive BIOSTAR 6+ Experience feature set which delivers the best BIOSTAR has to offer: Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+.

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BIOSTAR TB85 Specifications

 

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ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA Announced

Taipei, 2 April 2016ASUS today announced ZenBook Flip UX360CA, the first ZenBook model to feature a 360° hinge with a flippable display. The 13.3-inch UX360CA marks the debut of the convertible form factor in the highly acclaimed ZenBook Series, which is a family of premium multiple-award-winning ultraportable laptops noted for its elegant and stylish design values.

The 13.3-inch up to QHD+ (3200×1800) display features an ultra-reliable 360° stepless hinge, allowing UX360CA to be used as a traditional touchscreen laptop, as a convenient lightweight tablet, or any option in between.

With its thin 13.9mm profile, light 1.3kg weight and up to 12-hour battery life, UX360CA is the perfect choice for business travelers, commuters and professionals — or anyone who needs a truly versatile laptop that can adapt instantly to any situation.

 

ZenBook Flip UX360CA

360° freedom. 100% ZenBook.

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA inherits all the DNA of the classic ZenBook design, adding a distinctive touch of individuality to its convertible form factor. It has a unibody chassis crafted from a single block of solid aluminum, with the lid featuring the signature spun-metal ZenBook finish with its Zen-inspired pattern of concentric circles.

A masterpiece of lightweight design, UX360CA measures just 13.9mm thick and weighs a mere 1.3kg. Its elegant looks are further enhanced by the two stylish color options of Icicle Gold and Mineral Gray.

Lifelike color, from every angle

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA has up to an ultra-detailed 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1800) touchscreen display, with in-plane switching (IPS) technology for wide 178° viewing angles and better off-center color reproduction and contrast than other panel technologies.

The display has an extremely high pixel density of 279ppi, with up to 40% more pixels than many competing 13.3-inch laptops. Its incredible clarity and detail, combined with a brightness of 350cd/m2, makes UX360CA ideal for viewing high-resolution movies, digital photos, graphics or office documents in unmatched detail.

A wide color gamut of 72% NTSC and exclusive ASUS Splendid technology ensure outstanding color reproduction, a boon for applications like movie viewing and color-critical graphics work.

Video performance is also enhanced with exclusive ASUS Tru2Life technology that automatically optimizes the sharpness and contrast of every pixel in every video frame, so that videos look clearer, more detailed and more realistic.

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No-compromise connectivity

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA is fully equipped to make work more productive and play more enjoyable. It is one of the first laptops in the market to feature the powerful yet battery-frugal 6th-generation Intel Core M (‘Skylake’) processor, a key contributor to its outstanding up to 12-hour battery life that offers all-working-day convenience for serious mobile users. The clever fanless design, with its specially designed ultra-thin heatpipe, ensures totally silent operation.

The ZenBook family is renowned for its use of high-quality components and the latest technology, and UX360CA is no exception. Its powerful specification includes 8GB of high-performance LPDDR3 RAM and a high-speed up to 512GB solid-state disk (SSD). It also features two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and a reversible next-generation USB 3.1 Type-C port for fast and easy connections to existing and future devices.

ZenBook Flip UX360CA is also fitted with a precision noise-reducing array microphone that not only makes sound recordings clearer, but also allows accurate voice interaction with Windows Cortana, for which it is certified.

Accurate and intuitive navigation is ensured by the large touchpad, which supports ASUS Smart Gesture multi-touch gestures. The touchpad also has intelligent palm-rejection technology that automatically recognizes and rejects accidental palm presses for easier, interference-free typing.

 

Availability & Pricing

ASUS ZenBook Flip UX360CA is available now in Malaysia from ASUS dealers (SRP: RM 3,099 / ~US 775).

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AORUS Computex 2016 Tech Overview

On the third day of Computex 2016, we were invited to the GIGABYTE VIP Showroom up on the 36th floor of Taipei 101. Part of their VIP Showroom was dedicated to AORUS, their premium, gaming brand. Let’s show you what’s new in the AORUS Computex 2016 showcase!

 

AORUS Computex 2016 Tech Overview

In this video, Cyril Largent, GIGABYTE Senior Marketing – Europe, gives us an overview of the new technologies that will be introduced into new and upcoming AORUS gaming laptops. Check them out!

 

AORUS RGB Fusion Keyboard

After AORUS introduced their individual key backlit keyboard at CES 2016 earlier this year, they received a lot of requests to add RGB colour functionality to that keyboard. During Computex 2016, they introduced the AORUS RGB Fusion Keyboard with individual RGB backlit keys!

The new RGB Fusion Keyboard features per-key backlighting, with up to 16.8 million colour variations. Because there is a dedicated LED behind each key, you can customise the keyboard to light up only certain keys. You can also create animated illumination patterns, like breathing, waves or ripple effects.

The new RGB Fusion Keyboard will be introduced in the next-generation of AORUS X5 and X7 gaming laptops.

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AORUS X7 DT Gaming Laptop

AORUS won the 2016 Computex Design and Innovation Award for the new AORUS X7 DT gaming laptop. The AORUS X7 DT is powered by an overclocked 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, and a desktop-class GPU – the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980. Yet it is just an inch thick and weighs only 3.2 kg.

The AORUS X7 DT also claims to be the thinnest and lightest VR-Ready gaming laptop. In fact, it is the only laptop to win the “Gaming & Virtual Reality” category of the 2016 CES Innovation Awards.

 

2016 Limited Edition MultiCam Design

The 2016 Limited Edition MultiCam design is an AORUS trademark style, offering a military-style look that is subtle enough to look sophisticated. This year, they will make the Limited Edition MultiCam Design available worldwide on the AORUS X3, X5 and X7 models.

 

All-In-One Streaming Solution

AORUS will be making their Hardware Live Stream Engine part of their AORUS X5 and X7 models. This fully-integrated video encoder card eliminates the fuss of connecting an external compressor to record and stream your full HD video simultaneously without compromising system performance.

The AORUS X5 and X7 gaming laptops will also come with a 1-year Premium subscription to both XSplit Gamecaster and Broadcaster, allowing you to record, edit, and stream anytime, anywhere.

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Dell Embedded Box PC 3000 And 5000 Series Launched

Kuala Lumpur, 16 June 2016Dell today announced the launch of its first purpose-built industrial PC (IPC) products, Embedded Box PC 3000 Series and 5000 Series, aimed at taking the embedded PC market mainstream.

Available in Malaysia starting end-July, the products are fanless, ruggedized and built to provide customers fast time-to-market. With a long history of rugged engineering innovation and extensive experience in OEM Solutions, the products expand Dell’s Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio. Dell will bring the benefits of short lead times, enterprise-class lifecycle, stability, service and support to customers who may be underserved by current embedded solutions.

Embedded computing is now everywhere. According to a Technavio study , the embedded systems market was valued at more than US$11 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach US$23.10 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of almost 15 percent. Organic growth is being fuelled by falling component costs, improved power efficiencies, increasing business ROI needs and demand from the IoT. However, the reality of long lead times, low device reliability, limited scalability, lack of security and manageability options and limited support hinder the development of the market.

 

Embedded Box PC 3000 & 5000 Series

Dell’s Embedded Box PCs are fanless, important as the fan is the often most common component failure in embedded use cases, and also ideal for environments that require little noise. They are highly reliable devices that can be used “headless” or with keyboard, mouse and monitor. Flexible and powerful, with extensive wired and wireless input/output (I/O) options, they run on Intel processors. The 3000 Series is powered by Intel Atom  processors and designed for space-constrained applications, such as retail kiosks, automated vending devices and vehicles.

The 5000 Series is optimized for performance and I/O scalability. Powered by Intel Core processors, it includes two PCI/PCIe card slots for adaptability. It provides high-bandwidth ideal for industrial PC and IoT use cases (multi-HD video streaming apps and high frequency sensor data sources) as well as manufacturing and automation control.

Other features:

  • Operating temperature range from 0°C to 50°C
  • Designed to MIL-STD 810G specifications
  • DIN-rail, VESA, or wall mount options
  • 5-year lifecycle and OEM-ready options
  • Global availability with Dell Support and Deployment services
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Embedded, Windows 10 Pro* and Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSB and Ubuntu Desktop operating systems

Customers can take advantage of Dell’s global availability, trusted security and manageability options, and Dell Support and Deployment services including ProSupport which provides up to five years of end-to-end hardware support for the entire IoT product lifecycle, helping customers maximize their environment and minimize time spent on maintenance.

Mark Taylor, president, OEM Computing Solutions, Arrow Electronics, said, “Dell’s technology strength and commitment to excellence matches our vision for the OEM and independent software vendor (ISV) marketplaces incredibly well. We are delighted to work with Dell and look forward to continued growth together.”

“Security and reliability are of the utmost importance to embedded PC customers,” said Jon Melamut, VP of Commercial Devices Operations at Canonical Ltd. “We are very excited to partner with Dell as they launch the Dell Embedded Box PC 3000 Series and 5000 Series with Ubuntu Desktop, which provides software security and reliability to match that of Dell’s hardware.”

Chet Hullum, general manager of Industrial Solutions at Intel, said, “The Dell Embedded Box 3000 and 5000 Series Embedded Box PCs based on the 6th gen Intel® Core Processor family and Intel® Atom processor E3800 product family are designed to bridge the data needs of traditional operational technology with the manageability demands of information technology. The result is a solution that meets the needs of industrial and IoT customers.”

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GIGABYTE Aero 14 Gaming Laptop Revealed

On the third day of Computex 2016, we were invited to the GIGABYTE VIP Showroom up on the 36th floor of Taipei 101. On display was the new GIGABYTE Aero 14 gaming laptop [Amazon]. It claims the title of the world’s most portable 14″ gaming laptop. Let’s find out why.

 

GIGABYTE Aero 14 Overview

In this video, Cyril Largent, GIGABYTE Senior Marketing – Europe, gives us an overview of the new GIGABYTE Aero 14 gaming laptop’s key features.

 

Unique Aesthetics

The GIGABYTE Aero 14 uses a unique and environmentally-friendly Nano-Imprint Lithography process to impart a 3D look while retaining the solid metallic feel with its full aluminium chassis.

You may be surprised to learn that the Aero 14 is only 19.9 mm thick, and weighs just under 1.9 kg. The Aero 14 will come in three colour options – black, green and orange.

 

Gaming Performance

The GIGABYTE Aero 14 is no ordinary Ultrabook. It is a gaming Ultrabook  powered by the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with dual-channel DDR4 memory and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M/965M GPU.

It also features M.2 SSD internal storage, with a Type C USB 3.1 port for external storage. Even with so much high-end hardware, the Aero 14 has a battery life of 10 hours, thanks to its large battery capacity of 94.24 Wh.

Gamers will also enjoy the customisable Macro keys on the keyboard. They can use the GIGABYTE Macro Hub software to customise them to assign them to launch key combinations.

 

Brilliant Display

The GIGABYTE Aero 14 also comes with a magnificent IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440, so gamers will have a great gaming experience on-the-go.

Gamers who prefer larger, and higher-resolution displays will love the fact that it comes with both a HDMI 2.0 port and a Mini DisplayPort. This allows the Aero 14 to display out to, not one, but two 4K monitors simultaneously!

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GIGABYTE Aero 14 Launched @ Computex 2016

GIGABYTE continuing its proven track record for innovation and takes ultra-portable mobile performance one step further, and unveiled the GIGABYTE Aero 14 and announcing its launch at Computex 2016. Putting an emphasis on maximizing mobility and performance, it claims the title of most portable 14” high performance laptop with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M while being only 19.9mm thin.

Now enjoy both superior performance and mobility along with the latest platform: DDR4 memory, M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 SSD, HDMI 2.0, and USB 3.1 Type-C. With the top-level performance and extended battery life in a slim-profile of an Ultrabook, Aero 14 is the mobile solution for both professionals and gamers alike.

 

GIGABYTE Aero 14 : The New Breed of Slim-Line, High Performance Laptops

The balance between mobility and performance has finally been bridged. The GIGABYTE Aero 14 breaks the paradigm of needing to sacrifice mobility for performance.

For the Professional : An Ultrabook Chassis with Stunning Performance

Through innovative design the GIGABYTE Aero 14 takes the mobility and extended battery life, the strengths of an Ultrabook to the next level with its 94.24Wh battery, which is able to provide battery power for an entire day and also make up for what an Ultrabook lacks by providing high performance with the NVIDIA GeForce  GTX 970M GPU and Intel quad core i7 H-series CPU, and a QHD 2560×1440 IPS display. Allowing the Aero 14 to support any and all resource heavy applications yet also retain the convenience of the conventional Ultrabook.

For the Gamers : Gaming On the Go

The GIGABYTE Aero 14 brings mobile gaming solutions to the next level. With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M graphics within its Ultrabook-like chassis, it is able to power even the most graphics intensive game titles. Included on the Aero 14 keyboard is the highly customizable Marco keys. Combined with GIGABYTE exclusive Macro Hub software you can simplify complete key combos to the press of a button.

Refreshing Design : Unique Aesthetics

Through Nano-Imprint Lithography the Aero 14 has a sleek and unique design. This unique and environmentally friendly process grants the Aero 14 a 3D look, and feel, while retaining its original solid metallic feel with its full aluminum chassis. The Aero 14 comes in three colors: black, green, and orange. Putting extra emphasis on ultra-mobility, the Aero 14 is as thin as an Ultrabook yet still retains the high quality metallic finish.

The GIGABYTE Aero 14 features the latest processor, the 6th Generation Intel Skylake Core i7 CPU, which comes exclusively with four complete features. The M.2 SSD adopts rapid PCI-Express 3.0 technology reaching a speed of 2000 MB/s, which is 4x faster than traditional SATA SSDs. Also included is the all new DDR4 RAM. With faster frequency and lower power consumption, the DDR4 grants a faster and smoother gaming and computing experience. In addition, the Aero 14 features a USB 3.1 Type-C connector adding speed and convenience.

Generally Mobile Portability and battery life go hand-in-hand and are both essential for a mobile workstation. As an ultraportable, the Aero 14 takes it a step above the rest by also providing a large capacity battery of 94.24 Wh, generating up to 10-hour usage, providing power for running any resource-demanding applications throughout an entire day.

Next Generation Graphics : True High Definition Support

Paired with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and its high end graphics allow you to enjoy more frames per second supporting any high resolution applications. With the QHD 2560×1440 IPS display with great viewing angles, the GIGABYTE Aero 14 provides a premium viewing experience plus precise color accuracy and clear images at any angle. Aero 14 also provides the option to expand true 4k resolution to external display, with HDMI 2.0 and its 12-bit color and up to 60Hz refresh rate.

 

[adrotate banner=”4″]Gigabyte Aero 14 Specifications

  • 6th Gen Intel Core  i7 “Skylake” Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M/965M
  • QHD 2560×1440 IPS Display
  • M.2 PCIe SSD x2 / DDR4 Memory x2
  • 94.24 Wh Battery
  • Dual-4k output with HDMI 2.0 and Mini-DisplayPort
  • Dimensions: 335(W) x 250(D) x 19.9 (H) mm / 1.89kg

*Specifications are subject to change.

 

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Lenovo YOGA 900s First Look

The Lenovo YOGA 900s is the world’s thinnest convertible laptop at 12.8 mm thin. Thanks to its carbon fiber chassis, it is also very light at just under 1 kg / 2.2 lbs. Yet it sports a large 12.5″ display, and a full-sized keyboard with a large trackpad. Its display  uses a brilliant IPS panel with a resolution of up to 2560 x 1440.

The YOGA 900s is powered by the latest 6th Generation Intel Core M processor with 50% greater battery density and 30% better cooling than before. It also retains the trademark watchband hinge, which allows for smoother rotation between its four operating modes – laptop, stand, tent and tablet.

For connectivity, it comes with two USB 3.0 ports – one Type C and one Type A, as well as a USB 2.0 port that doubles as a Power Input port.

 

Lenovo YOGA 900s First Look

After its official launch, we had some hands-on time with the Lenovo YOGA 900s. Here is our first look video of the Lenovo YOGA 900s. We hope you like it!

 

Price & Availability

The Lenovo YOGA 900s is available right now with the recommended retail price starting at RM 5,999 / ~US$ 1,579.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon First Look

At just 1.17 kg, the new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the world’s lightest 14″ business-class Ultrabook. It is amongst the thinnest Ultrabooks in the market with a thickness of just 16.5 mm. All this is thanks to its satellite-grade carbon fiber chassis.

Its carbon fiber construction also makes it tougher – the ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been qualified using nearly a dozen military-grade specification tests. So it will withstand the harshest conditions you can put it through.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is powered by the latest 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6600U processor running on Microsoft Windows 10 Professional, and comes with up to 16 GB of DDR3 memory and up to 1 TB of SSD storage. Yet you never have to worry about battery life, because its 52 WHr battery allows you to work and play for up to 11 hours.

Lenovo offers two display options – a standard full HD IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and a higher-end 2K IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. Both displays have a maximum brightness of 300 nits. To ensure the security of the data, it even comes with a fingerprint touch sensor and the Intel TPM (Trusted Platform Module).

 

ThinkPad X1 Carbon First Look

After its official launch, we had some hands-on time with the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Here is our first look video of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. We hope you like it!

 

Price & Availability

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is available right now with the recommended retail price starting at RM 7,000 / ~US$ 1499.00.

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MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard Announced

MSI is proud to announce the latest X99 Performance GAMING motherboard, the MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON, world’s first motherboard offering front USB 3.1 Type-C.

This new motherboard has been built from the ground up and has a completely new design for its heavy plated heatsinks and covers, based on the latest CARBON look & feel. Besides this totally new design, the MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON motherboard also comes packed with several new and unique MSI features such as new Mystic Light with smartphone control over WIFI including a Mystic Light extension RGB cable and pin header.

Onboard Turbo U.2 is present to support the latest and greatest SSDs available in the market supporting NVMe. DDR4 Boost is accompanied by DDR4 Steel Armor to ensure the best memory performance. The MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON is the first X99 model featuring Game Boost with 8 gears up to 5GHz of one-second-overlocking!

Last but not least, this model has been designed and optimized for next-generation Intel ‘Broadwell-E(P)’ processors. So whether looking for extreme performance or endless customization, the new MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON is sure to deliver.

 

World’s first motherboard offering front USB 3.1 Type-C

Direct USB Type-C is compatible with next generation PC chassis, perfect for the latest smartphones and great for next generation mobile storage devices, the MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON is world’s first motherboard to feature front USB 3.1 Type-C.

 

Perfect for gamers who love customization and demand great performance

One of the features of the MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON motherboard is its Mystic Light RGB LED feature, supporting up to 16.8 million colors and 17 LED effects to style your rig in any way possible. You can now even do it simply through WIFI by using your smartphone as you skip through all the colors. Mystic Light Extension, dedicated pin header for 4-pin RGB-strip & lighting control, extends your style to everything.

 

Game changing sound experience with Audio Boost 3 featuring Nahimic

Enjoy the best and purest sound through Audio Boost 3. Audio Boost 3 comes with a selection of best audio components to deliver a studio-grade sound experience, onboard! This high-end dedicated onboard sound card delivers game changing sound quality. Nahimic places your user experience right at the heart of their software, offering you highly sought-after gaming benefits: Virtual Sound, Voice Leveler, Bass Boost, Noise Gate & Reduction and HD Audio Recorder.

Audio Boost 3 with Nahimic makes sure you dominate the battlefield through crystal clear sound and pin-point precision. Sound tracker let you dominate enemies in every game and Audio Launchpad make you interact easily with your audience when streaming awesome gameplay.

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Take advantage from next-gen storage solutions

Enjoy a blazing fast system boot up and insanely fast loading of applications and games with MSI GAMING motherboards. MSI offers a whole new generation of high speed storage support through onboard Turbo M.2 and now also onboard Turbo U.2, transfer data through a PCI Express 3.0 x4 interface up to 32 Gb/s, making it 5x faster than SATA 3.0 solutions.

By offering this wide variety of storage solutions the MSI X99A GAMING PRO CARBON motherboard supports the latest and greatest high performance SSDs such as the new Intel 750 series with support for NVMe. USB 3.1 Gen2 is 2x faster than USB 3.0 and as a result of innovative engineering the MSI X99A GAMING PRO motherboard offers both a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C interface for the most convenient and fast mobile storage solutions.

 

 

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ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Motherboard Review

ASRock is a relatively new motherboard manufacturer, and it shows in their designs. They are more willing to come up with edgier designs, with a particular emphasis on marketing-friendly features. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their Fatal1ty-branded motherboards based on the Intel Z170 chipset – the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4.

 

ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Specifications

SpecificationsASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4
ChipsetIntel Z170
CPU Support6th Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors (Socket 1151)
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK & Hyper BCLK Engine Full-range Overclocking
CPU Power10-phase digital power design
Memory SupportUp to 64 GB of non-ECC, unbuffered DDR4 memory
- Four DDR4 DIMM slots with 15 μ gold-plated contacts (dual-channel)
- Supports up to DDR4-3866+ (OC) with a single memory module
- Supports DDR4-3600 (OC) / DDR4-3200 (OC) / DDR4-2933 (OC) / DDR4-2800 (OC) / DDR4-2400 (OC) / DDR4-2133
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operating in non-ECC mode)
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOSTwo 128 Mbits AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 5.0 & SMBIOS 2.7 Compliant
- Supports CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA voltage adjustments
Processor Graphics Support- Supports Intel HD Graphics with up to 1792 MB shared memory
- Built-in DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 output supports triple monitors
- Maximum DVI-D resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Maximum HDMI resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
- Maximum DisplayPort resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Audio SupportASRock Purity Sound 3
- Realtek ALC1150 7.1-channel HD audio codec
- Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors, 115 dB SND DAC with two Ti NE5532 amplifiers
LAN SupportKiller E2400 Gigabit LAN
- Supports Energy-Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Lightning & ESD Protection
Expansion Slots2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots
- x16 (PCIE2) and x4 (PCIE4)
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX and CrossFireX

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots (Flexible PCIe design)
Storage Ports2 x SATA Express (10 Gb/s) ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- each can be converted into two SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) ports

2 x SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) ports

1 x Ultra M.2 socket
- Supports Type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 M.2 modules
- Supports M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen 3 x4
Connectors- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 4 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
Rear Panel I/O- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 2.0 Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 2.0 Fatal1ty Mouse Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 5 x USB 3.0 Ports (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Type C Port (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Hardware Sensors- CPU & chassis temperature sensors and fan tachometers
- Voltage monitoring for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form FactorFull ATX : 30.5 cm x 21.8 cm / 12.0" x 8.6"
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7
Certifications- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)
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Unboxing The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 comes in a typical motherboard box – a large cardboard box with its key features printed on the underside. Let us show you what’s inside the box in this unboxing video…

Inside, the box is divided into two layers by a simple cardboard insert. Under it is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard in an anti-static bag with a pink polyethylene anti-static sheet wrapped around it.

When you remove everything, you will find the following items :

Next Page > The Motherboard, CPU Power & Performance, PCI Express

 

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The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 Motherboard

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 is a full ATX-sized motherboard that boasts the following key features :

  1. [adrotate banner=”4″]ASRock Super Alloy
  2. Gaming Armor – Memory / VGA Card / Cooling / Internet / Audio
  3. Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  4. Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  5. Supports DDR4 3866+(OC) memory modules
  6. 2 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  7. AMD Quad CrossFireX and CrossFireX
  8. Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound 3 & DTS Connect
  10. 2 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  11. 8 USB 3.0 (5 Type-A & 1 Type-C) – 2 Front, 6 Rear)
  12. Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop, F-Stream, Key Master, XSplit

We also prepared a special video to show you the key design features of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard. Enjoy!

 

CPU Power & Performance

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard features a 10-phase power design. This is most likely an 8+2 design, with 8 phases dedicated to the CPU. That ensures a cooler and more efficient power conversion compared to voltage regulator modules (VRM) with fewer phases. Its MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which helps ensure reliability and longevity of the VRM.

The Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 uses digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control its VRM. The PWM is critical in ensuring a stable power supply. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

ASRock also equipped the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 with Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors, which not only boasts faster response times and lower voltage noise but also a much longer lifespan (12,000 hours @ 105 °C). In general – this motherboard is designed to last.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, or a DIMM cooler, The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 has two CPU fan headers – one on each end of the four DIMM slots.

 

PCI Express Slots

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has 5 PCI Express slots – 2 full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and 3 much smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The upper PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE2) operates at full x16 speed while the lower PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE4) only operates at x4 speed.

The three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots are of the flexible design. That basically means an open-ended slot. This allows you to use any PCI Express card in those x1 slots, even x16 cards. The only downside is that they will only run at x1 speed.

Next Page > DDR4 Memory, Ultra M.2, SATA Ports, Purity Sound 3, Dual BIOS

 

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DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots, their contacts gold-plated to protect them against oxidation and corrosion. Even though the Intel Z170 chipset only supports non-ECC memory, these DIMM slots can accept ECC memory modules – with their ECC capability disabled.

The Intel Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz in frequency, but the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz with selected modules. It even supports 3866 MHz, but only if a single memory module is installed.

 

Ultra M.2 Socket

The Ultra M.2 socket is a unique ASRock feature. The M.2 socket is usually connected to the Z170 chipset using two PCI Express lanes. ASRock has instead connected the M.2 socket directly to the Intel Core processor using four PCI Express lanes. This not only doubles the maximum bandwidth to 32 Gbits/s (4 GB/s), it also reduces the M.2 socket’s latency.

Of course, you will need an M.2 SSD that supports PCIe x4. Even so, PCIe x2 SSDs may benefit slightly from the lower latencies associated with the Ultra M.2 socket being directly connected to the CPU, bypassing the Z170 chipset.

 

SATA Ports

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 specifications officially quotes 2 SATA Express ports as well as 6 standard SATA 3 ports. However, this is not really the case – it only comes with 2 SATA Express ports and 2 SATA 3 ports.

Of course, each SATA Express port can be “converted” into 2 standard SATA 3 ports. After all, the SATA Express port is really just two SATA 3 ports with a smaller PCI Express port that delivers two PCIe lanes. In other words, it supports up to 2 SATA Express drives and 2 SATA drives, or up to 6 SATA drives.

Depending on how many drives you intend to use in your system, this may or may not be sufficient. But the good news is that they did stack the connectors, like they did in the ASRock Z170 Extreme4. This makes the Z170 Gaming K4’s connectors must easier to access.

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ASRock Purity Sound 3

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard comes with the ASRock Purity Sound 3 audio solution. This is a combination of the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec with a 115 dB SNR DAC, two Ti NE5532 amplifiers as well as EMI and PCB shielding.

One of the Ti NE5532 amplifiers is used as a differential amplifier, which avoids the distortion caused by audio capacitors. The other Ti NE5532 amplifier is dedicated to driving the headphone port, allowing you to use high-impedance headphones without a separate amplifier or sound card.

 

Dual BIOS

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 was designed with techies in mind. It sports two 128 Mbit BIOS chips, with a physical switch. This allows you to quickly switch to the backup BIOS if you make an unrecoverable mistake in the BIOS setting, or the BIOS is corrupted after a flash failure.

Next Page > Fatal1ty Mouse Port, I/O Ports & Armor, Other Accessories, Our Verdict

 

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Fatal1ty Mouse Port

This is the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4‘s “killer feature” – the Fatal1ty mouse port. This red-coloured mouse port is supposed to impart Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel‘s skills to the user when a mouse is plugged in. How is that supposed to happen?

With the ASRock F-Stream software installed, the Fatal1ty mouse port is set to use Fatal1ty’s personal preferred mouse polling rate of 500 Hz. The ASRock F-Stream software also allows you to change the mouse polling rate from 125 Hz to 1000 Hz. Of course, the higher polling rates may not be supported by some mice.

Frankly speaking, this is really just marketing fluff. Any gamer who takes gaming even half-seriously would be using a half-decent gaming mouse. And most (if not all) half-decent gaming mice allow you to change the mouse polling rates, amongst other things. There is no need to even use a special mouse port to achieve this.

If you have a good gaming mouse, it will even allow you to change the polling rate or sensor resolution on-the-fly… and yes, it would work with any USB port. So why bother with the Fatal1ty mouse port?

 

I/O Ports & Armor

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 has a ton of I/O ports at the rear, including a legacy PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports (the top port being the Fatal1ty mouse port), a Type C USB 3.0 port (note that this is not the faster USB 3.1 port) as well as 5 standard USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the 5 audio and line-in port, it also sports a single Gigabit LAN port. For display purposes, it offers a DVI-D port and a HDMI port.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 also features what ASRock calls their I/O Armor. It is ostensibly a protective cover that protects the rear I/O ports from static damage. Frankly speaking, this is only useful if you are using the motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

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Other Accessories

Here is a closer look at the other accessories included in the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 package – the manual and driver CD. A case sticker can be found inside the driver CD sleeve.

It also comes with four SATA 3 cables and a small plastic bag with a single small screw – this is used to lock the Ultra M.2 SSD in place.

 

Our Verdict

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 motherboard has all of the hallmarks of a decent gaming motherboard. It boasts a 10-phase power design with a digital PWM and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. The entire power supply is further cooled by large aluminium-alloy heatsinks. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring an efficient power conversion, stable power supply and longer lifespan.

There are decent expansion options with 2 full-sized PCI Express x16 slots and 3 small PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x1 slots are even the “flexible” type that will accept any PCI Express card. Audiophiles will appreciate the better audio quality courtesy of its Purity Sound 3 module. Their Ultra M.2 socket is also a nice touch although it has minimal effect on your M.2 SSD’s performance unless it supports PCIe x4.

The ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 comes with plenty of USB ports and headers, and even a Type C port. However, we should point out that it does not support the latest USB 3.1 standard. Even the Type C port is a USB 3.0 port. It allows you to attach USB 3.1 devices but it will only transfer data at USB 3.0 speeds, which is roughly half that of USB 3.1. If you must have USB 3.1 support, you need to consider the higher-end ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard.

But the greatest disappointment is the Fatal1ty Mouse Port feature. It is really nothing more than marketing fluff, since it is just a USB 2.0 port. Its ability to adjust the mouse polling rate is through the bundled F-Stream software. This is a standard feature in all gaming mouse software that does not require any special USB port.

If you are looking for a decent gaming motherboard based on the Intel Z170 chipset, the ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 is worthy of consideration. It has plenty of genuine hardware features that will ensure long lifespan and high reliability. Just don’t expect the Fatal1ty brand or the Fatal1ty Mouse Port to impart any gaming benefit. That’s pure marketing. Focus on the real features and you won’t be disappointed.

Go Back To > First Page | Reviews | Home

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Review Rev. 2.0

ASRock is a relatively new motherboard manufacturer, and it shows in their designs. They are more willing to come up with edgier designs, with a particular emphasis on marketing-friendly features. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their Intel Z170-based motherboards – the ASRock Z170 Extreme4.

Updated @ 2016-05-03 : Updated the review with additional information, particularly with regards to its PCI Express and SATA Express ports.

 

ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Specifications

SpecificationsASRock Z170 Extreme4
ChipsetIntel Z170
CPU Support6th Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron processors (Socket 1151)
- Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology
- Supports Intel K-Series unlocked CPUs
- Supports ASRock BCLK & Hyper BCLK Engine Full-range Overclocking
CPU Power10-phase digital power design
Memory SupportUp to 64 GB of non-ECC, unbuffered DDR4 memory
- Four DDR4 DIMM slots with 15 μ gold-plated contacts (dual-channel)
- Supports up to DDR4-3866+ (OC) with a single memory module
- Supports DDR4-3600 (OC) / DDR4-3200 (OC) / DDR4-2933 (OC) / DDR4-2800 (OC) / DDR4-2400 (OC) / DDR4-2133
- Supports ECC UDIMM memory modules (operating in non-ECC mode)
- Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 2.0
BIOSTwo 128 Mbits AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual GUI support
- Supports Secure Backup UEFI Technology
- ACPI 5.0 & SMBIOS 2.7 Compliant
- Supports CPU, DRAM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA voltage adjustments
Processor Graphics Support- Supports Intel HD Graphics with up to 1792 MB shared memory
- Built-in DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 output supports triple monitors
- Maximum DVI-D resolution : 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Maximum HDMI resolution : 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 30 Hz
- Maximum DisplayPort resolution : 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz
Audio SupportASRock Purity Sound 3
- Realtek ALC1150 7.1-channel HD audio codec
- Nichicon Fine Gold series capacitors, 115 dB SND DAC with two Ti NE5532 amplifiers
LAN SupportIntel I219V Gigabit LAN
- Supports Energy-Efficient Ethernet 802.3az
- Supports Lightning & ESD Protection
Expansion Slots3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots
- x16 with single card / x8-x8 with two cards / x8-x8-x4 with three cards
- Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX
- Supports NVIDIA Quad SLI and SLI

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots (Flexible PCIe design)
Storage Ports3 x SATA Express (10 Gb/s) ports with RAID 0/1/5/10 support
- each can be converted into two SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/s) ports

1 x Ultra M.2 socket
- Supports Type 2230 / 2242 / 2260 / 2280 / 22110 M.2 modules
- Supports M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen 3 x4
Connectors- 1 x COM Port Header
- 1 x TPM Header
- 1 x Power LED and Speaker Header
- 2 x CPU Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 3 x Chassis Fan Connectors (4-pin) (Smart Fan Speed Control)
- 1 x 24 pin ATX Power Connector
- 1 x 8 pin 12V Power Connector (Hi-Density Power Connector)
- 1 x Front Panel Audio Connector
- 1 x Thunderbolt™ AIC Connector
- 2 x USB 2.0 Headers (Support 4 USB 2.0 ports) (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.0 Header (ASRock Full Spike Protection)
- 1 x Dr. Debug with LED
- 1 x Power Switch with LED
- 1 x Reset Switch with LED
Rear Panel I/O- 1 x PS/2 Mouse/Keyboard Port
- 1 x DVI-D Port
- 1 x HDMI Port
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Optical SPDIF Out Port
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C Port (10 Gb/s) (ASMedia ASM1142) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 6 x USB 3.0 Ports (Intel Z170) (Supports ESD Protection)
- 1 x RJ-45 LAN Port with LED (ACT/LINK LED and SPEED LED)
- 1 x Clear CMOS Switch
- HD Audio Jacks: Rear Speaker / Central / Bass / Line in / Front Speaker / Microphone
Hardware Sensors- CPU & chassis temperature sensors and fan tachometers
- Case Open detection
- Voltage monitoring for +12V, +5V, +3.3V, CPU Vcore, DRAM, VPPM, PCH 1.0V, VCCIO, VCCSA
Form FactorFull ATX
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 / 8 / 8.1 / 7
Certifications- FCC, CE, WHQL
- ErP/EuP ready (ErP/EuP ready power supply is required)

 

Unboxing The ASRock Z170 Extreme4

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 comes in a typical motherboard box – a large cardboard box with its key features printed on the underside. Let us show you what’s inside the box in this unboxing video…

Inside, the box is divided into two layers by a simple cardboard insert. Under it is the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard in an anti-static bag with a pink polyethylene anti-static sheet wrapped around it.

When you remove everything, you will find the following items :

Page 2 > The Motherboard, CPU Power & Performance, DDR4 Memory

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The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 is a full ATX-sized motherboard that boasts the following key features :

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  1. ASRock Super Alloy
  2. Supports 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  3. Digi Power, 10 Power Phase design
  4. Supports DDR4 3866+(OC) memory modules
  5. 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  6. NVIDIA Quad SLI, AMD 3-Way CrossFireX
  7. Graphics Output Options: DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2
  8. Supports Triple Monitor
  9. 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports Purity Sound 3 & DTS Connect
  10. 3 SATA Express, 6 SATA3, 1 Ultra M.2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3)
  11. 2 USB 3.1 (1 Type-C & 1 Type-A), 8 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 6 Rear)
  12. Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop

We also prepared a special video to show you the key design features of the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. Enjoy!

 

CPU Power & Performance

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard features a 10-phase power design. This is most likely an 8+2 design, with 8 phases dedicated to the CPU. That ensures a cooler and more efficient power conversion compared to voltage regulator modules (VRM) with fewer phases. Its MOSFETs and inductors are kept cool by large aluminium alloy heatsinks, which helps ensure reliability and longevity of the VRM.

The Z170 Extreme4 uses digital pulse-width modulation (PWM) to control its VRM. The PWM is critical in ensuring a stable power supply. Although high quality (and expensive) analog PWM exists, digital PWM allows for more accurate control of the power frequency and modulation.

ASRock also equipped the Z170 Extreme4 with Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors, which not only boasts faster response times and lower voltage noise but also a much longer lifespan (12,000 hours @ 105 °C). In general – this motherboard is designed to last.

To support CPU coolers with two fans, or a DIMM cooler, the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has two CPU fan headers placed at the top of the board, right next to the four DIMM slots. Finally, the Z170 Extreme4 features an external base clock generator, which gives you finer control of the BLCK frequency- in 0.0625 MHz steps. Of course, the utility of such fine control of the BCLK clock is questionable…

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DDR4 Memory Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has four DDR4 DIMM slots, their contacts gold-plated to protect them against oxidation and corrosion. Even though the Intel Z170 chipset only supports non-ECC memory, these DIMM slots can accept ECC memory modules – with their ECC capability disabled.

The Intel Z170 chipset only supports DDR4 memory up to 2133 MHz in frequency, but the Z170 Extreme4 allows for overclocked memory clock speeds of up to 3600 MHz with selected modules. It even supports 3866 MHz, but only if a single memory module is installed.

Page 3 > PCI Express, Ultra M.2, SATA Ports

 

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PCI Express Slots

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard has 6 PCI Express slots – 3 full-sized PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, and 3 much smaller PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots. The top-most PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (PCIE2) operates at full x16 speed with a single card.

If you have two graphics cards, you will need to install them in PCIE2 and PCIE4 and they will both run at x8 speed. If you install a third graphics cards in the PCIE6 slot, it will only run at x4 speed.

The three PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots are of the flexible design. That basically means an open-ended slot. This allows you to use any PCI Express card in those x1 slots, even x16 cards. The only downside is that they will only run at x1 speed.

 

Ultra M.2 Socket

The Ultra M.2 socket is a unique ASRock feature. The M.2 socket is usually connected to the Z170 chipset using two PCI Express lanes. ASRock has instead connected the M.2 socket directly to the Intel Core processor using four PCI Express lanes. This not only doubles the maximum bandwidth to 32 Gbits/s (4 GB/s), it also reduces the M.2 socket’s latency.

Of course, you will need an M.2 SSD that supports PCIe x4. Even so, PCIe x2 SSDs may benefit slightly from the lower latencies associated with the Ultra M.2 socket being directly connected to the CPU, bypassing the Z170 chipset.

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SATA Ports

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 specifications officially quotes 3 SATA Express ports as well as 6 standard SATA 3 ports. However, that is not really the case – it only comes with 3 SATA Express ports.

Of course, each SATA Express port can be “converted” into 2 standard SATA 3 ports. After all, the SATA Express port is really just two SATA 3 ports with a smaller PCI Express port that delivers two PCIe lanes. So you can attach up to 3 SATA Express devices, or 6 SATA devices, or any combinations in between.

Depending on how many drives you intend to use in your system, this may or may not be sufficient. The stacked side-facing SATA ports also may prove to be troublesome. In tight cases, you may not be able to access the lower SATA Express port, depriving you of the opportunity to attach a SATA Express device, or two SATA devices.

Page 4 > Purity Sound 3, Goodies For Techies, I/O Ports & Armor, Other Accessories

 

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ASRock Purity Sound 3

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard comes with their Purity Sound 3 audio solution. It is a combination of the Realtek ALC1150 audio codec with a 115 dB SNR DAC, two Ti NE5532 amplifiers as well as EMI and PCB shielding.

One of the Ti NE5532 amplifiers is used as a differential amplifier, which avoids the distortion caused by audio capacitors. The other Ti NE5532 amplifier is dedicated to driving the headphone port, allowing you to use high-impedance headphones without a separate amplifier or sound card.

 

Goodies For Techies

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 was designed with techies in mind. It sports two 128 Mbit BIOS chips, with a physical switch. This allows you to quickly switch to the backup BIOS if you make an unrecoverable mistake in the BIOS setting, or the BIOS is corrupted after a flash failure.

They also include physical Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard, for enthusiasts who prefer to use the Z170 Extreme4 outside of a chassis. There is also a 2-digit Dr. Debug LED display that displays an error code during any failure. Very useful indeed.

 

I/O Ports & Armor

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 has a ton of I/O ports at the rear, including a legacy PS/2 port, a physical Reset button, two USB 3.1 ports (one Type A, one Type C) as well as 6 standard USB 3.0 ports. In addition to the 5 audio and line-in port, it also sports a single Gigabit LAN port. For display purposes, it boasts a DVI-D port, a HDMI port and a DisplayPort.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 also features what ASRock calls their I/O Armor. It is ostensibly a protective cover that protects the rear I/O ports from static damage. Frankly speaking, this is only useful if you are using the motherboard outside of a chassis. When installed in a chassis, that job is fulfilled by the I/O shield (also included) that is installed into the chassis.

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Other Accessories

Here is a closer look at the other accessories included in the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 package – the manual and driver CD. A case sticker can be found inside the driver CD sleeve.

It also comes with four SATA 3 cables and an SLI bridge card. There is a small plastic bag with a single small screw – this is used to lock the Ultra M.2 SSD in place.

Page 5 > Our Verdict & Award

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Our Verdict

ASRock has been accused of focusing a bit too much on marketing, at the expense of quality. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the ASRock Z170 Extreme4 motherboard.

The ASRock Z170 Extreme4 boasts a 10-phase power design with a digital PWM and Nichicon 12K Platinum capacitors. The entire power supply is further cooled by large aluminium-alloy heatsinks. A lot of effort has gone into ensuring an efficient power conversion, stable power supply and longer lifespan.

We also like the fact that they added support for USB 3.1. Not just the more common Type C, they also added the larger Type A port. Their Ultra M.2 socket is also a nice touch although it has minimal effect on your M.2 SSD’s performance unless it supports PCIe x4.

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Audiophiles will appreciate the better audio quality courtesy of its Purity Sound 3 module. Enthusiasts who prefer using the motherboard “in the nude” will love their addition of physical Power and Reset buttons as well as a Dr. Debug LED.

There is plenty of expansion options with 3 full-sized PCI Express x16 slots and 3 small PCIe x1 slots. The PCIe x1 slots are even the “flexible” type that will accept any PCI Express card.

The only downside is the limited number of SATA ports. This will be a problem in tight cases because 4 of them are stacked and bent perpendicularly. Only two of the SATA ports are conveniently located at the lower right corner of the motherboard.

Overall, this is one sweet Intel Z170 motherboard, especially for a hardware enthusiast who prefers not to use a chassis. We think it deserves at least our Reviewers’ Choice Award. Congratulations, ASRock!

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BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 Motherboard Launched

Taipei, April 29 2016 – BIOSTAR proudly announces its latest PRO Series motherboard addition: the BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4. This motherboard allows system builders to utilize DDR4 memory modules with their builds to accommodate the transition from DDR3 to DDR4 and gain the benefits of the newer standard including lower operating voltages and higher speeds at lower latencies.

The BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 supports the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors and uses the Intel H110 chip to support DDR4-2133 and DDR4-1866 memory modules of up to 32 GB capacity. The board integrates the core features of the BIOSTAR PRO series notably the Tough Power Enhanced power design for improved stability and AudioArt capacitors that deliver an incredible listening experience versus similar motherboards.

The BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 strikes a perfect balance of price and features. Allowing support for modern technology, users now gain the benefit of modern standard to help them setup a robust and reliability system for their daily needs for both work and entertainment.

 

6+ Experience


The new BIOSTAR PRO Series will carry on the exclusive BIOSTAR 6+ Experience feature set which delivers the best BIOSTAR has to offer: Speed+, Audio+, Video+, Durable+, Protection+ and DIY+.

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BIOSTAR H110MD PRO D4 Specifications


 

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Iron Man-Inspired ROG GT51 Gaming Desktop Revealed!

During the launch of the ROG GX700 liquid-cooled gaming laptop, Republic of Gamers also unveiled the ROG GT51 gaming desktop. This Iron Man-inspired system is a winner of the 2016 CES Innovation Award, as well as the iF Design Award. But it’s not all beauty without brawn. Under the steely facade is an awesome gaming machine. Let’s take a look!

 

ROG GT51 – Inspired By Iron Man

Inspired by Iron Man, the ROG GT51 has an sharp-angled polygonal design with an Arc Reactor motive in the front. The “Arc Reactor” is actually a fully-functional turbine fan with pulse-width modulation (PWM) control that draws in fresh air. There is even a 4-zone LED lighting feature that supports up to 8 million colours, and a preset OC lighting mode that is activated when the system is overclocked.

 

Overclocked For Maximum Performance

The ROG GT51 gaming desktop is powered by a 6th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, that is cooled by the ROG-patented liquid-cooled Hydro Overclocking System. That allows you to overclock all cores to 4.6 GHz using the Turbo Gear one-click feature. Even its DDR4 memory is overclocked from 2133 MHz to 2800 MHz.

For UHD gaming at over 60 frames per second, the ROG GT51 supports up to two NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X graphics cards. And to ensure that everything loads at maximum speed, it features up to two 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSDs. When paired in a RAID 0 array, the SSDs deliver transfer rates of up to 400 MB/s – 6X faster than SATA SSDs.

To ensure that nothing overheats, even during marathon gaming sessions, the ROG GT51 boasts a multi-zone cooling design that lowers its internal temperature by up to 31%. In addition to the Hydro Overclocking System, there are dedicated air channels to draw cool air to cool the graphics cards. Even its power supply unit is isolated with its own dedicated airflow.

Raw performance isn’t its only goal. The ROG GT51 also boasts an ESS Sabre headphone DAC and amplifier that powers the front audio jacks. This gives the gamer audiophile-grade sound with high dynamic range, low noise and low distortion.

The ROG GT51 will come with the ROG Band. This is a NFC-enabled band that can be used to authenticate the user for quick access to Shadow Drive. Shadow Drive is a hidden and encrypted partition that provides safe storage of confidential data. The ROG Band can also be used to quickly activate the overclocking mode.

 

ROG GT51 Price & Availability

The ROG GT51 will be available in June 2016. As such, the local price has yet to be determined.

 

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ROG GX700 Liquid-Cooled Gaming Laptop Revealed!

Water and computers don’t mix well. That’s a fact that hardware enthusiasts have to deal with when they keep their overclocked computers cool using water cooling systems. The weight and bulk of these water cooling systems as well as the need to ensure water-tight connections have, so far, kept them from ever being used in a laptop. That changes with the ROG GX700 – the world’s first liquid-cooled gaming laptop.

 

ROG GX700 Liquid-Cooling Technology Revealed

On April 27, 2016, Republic of Gamers (ROG) unveiled the ROG GX700 with a detachable Hydro Overclocking System cooling module. During the event, they revealed how they accomplished this feat – creating a liquid-cooled gaming laptop. They also revealed the performance boost ROG GX700 users can expect from using the Hydro Overclocking System.

The ROG GX700 is powered by the 6th Generation Intel Core i7 (Skylake-K) mobile processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics processor to give users the best possible performance in a mobile form factor. Once docked to the ROG Hydro Overclocking System, the GX700 is automatically overclocked to perform like a high-performance gaming desktop. [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

ROG GX700 & Hydro Overclocking System Preview

This video starts with two ROG beauties showing off the ROG GX700 liquid-cooled gaming laptop. Also check out the awesome luggage case it comes with. When an ROG gamer goes to a LAN party, it’s in style. Then we take a close look at the Hydro Overclocking System.

Next Page > Hydro Overclocking System, Extreme Overclocking, Price & Availability

 

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The ROG Hydro Overclocking System

When the ROG GX700 is attached to the ROG Hydro Overclocking System, a pump in the center pumps a liquid coolant into GX700 where it absorbs heat from the CPU, graphics processor and the memory modules. The heated coolant is then channeled back into the cooling module where two radiators help to dissipate the heat. The coolant is then recirculated back into the GX700.

To ensure water-fastness, the Hydro Overclocking System uses a patented connector design between the cooling module and the ROG GX700 notebook that prevents leaking. They even made sure that the pipes are kink-proof so the liquid coolant flows smoothly. To reduce maintenance, ROG uses a liquid coolant with organic-acid inhibitor to protect the internal components from corrosion. They also designed the system for very low depletion rate of the additive.

 

Extreme Overclocking

Thanks to the Hydro Overclocking System, the ROG GX700 can deliver much better overclocking potential. According to Republic of Gamers, users can overclock the Intel Core i7 processor by up to 48% with a BClock boost of 31% – boosting the clock speed from 3.2 GHz to 4.0 GHz.

The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU can be overclocked by 43%, delivering 3DMark 11 score in excess of 17,000. Even the DDR4 memory modules can be overclocked by 31%, from 2133 MHz to 2800 MHz.

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Price & Availability

The ROG GX700 has an recommended retail price (RRP) of RM 18,999 here in Malaysia, inclusive of the 6% GST. That’s roughly US$ 4899 (with GST) or US$ 4599 (without GST). It is available for purchase right now, from ASUS authorised retailers.

 

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If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participate in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donate to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 Laptop Review Rev. 2.0

The Dell Inspiron family of laptops are designed for the home or home office. As such, they offer a variety of designs in three different series – the Inspiron 7000 Series, the Inspiron 5000 Series and the Inspiron 3000 Series. Today, we are going to take a look at one of their latest 2-in-1 laptops from the Dell Inspiron 7000 Series – the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568).

Do note that Dell offers two Dell Inspiron 15 7000 models. The standard (non-convertible) version has a specific model number of 7559, while the 2-in-1 convertible version has a specific model number of 7568.

Updated @ 2016-04-07 : Updated many aspects of the review. Clarified the official name as the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 Laptop.

 

Unboxing The Dell Inspiron 15 7568 2-in-1 Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 laptop (Amazon) comes in a brown, nondescript Dell laptop box. Inside, the laptop itself is cradled between two cardboard spacers. A small compartment on the side contained the power brick and cable, while a small leaflet on the laptop’s safety and regulatory compliance can be found inside as well.

The Inspiron 15 7568 did not come with any manual or CD. Since this is a review unit, we are not sure if this is the standard kit. After all, it didn’t even ship with the correct power plug.

 

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (7568) 2-in-1 laptop (Amazon) is a premium convertible laptop that is designed to switch effortlessly between the standard laptop mode, and a tablet mode. Although 2-in-1 convertible laptops are not new, this model is unique in that it has a large 15.6″ display, making it one of the very few 15.6″ convertible laptops in the market.

It ships with a matte black display cover and base. Unlike some other Dell Inspiron models, you cannot swap them for different coloured covers. The palm rest area has a brushed aluminium finish, which feels cool to touch and makes it easier visually to pick out the individual keys of the black keyboard.