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HW News - Intel 10-Core Thermals & Packaging Change, DDR5-8400 RAM, NVIDIA Out of GDDR5

HW News - Intel 10-Core Thermals & Packaging Change, DDR5-8400 RAM, NVIDIA Out of GDDR5
In this week's hardware news, we have an exclusive news item pertaining to Intel's 10-core CPU thermal packaging for the Z490 mainstream desktop part. We've verified the news as accurate and are working to verify additional information sent to GamersNexus by industry partners. In the meantime, DDR is in the news again, GDDR5 is almost out of the warehouses as GDDR6 replaces it, and Atari further taints its name. Show notes continue after the video embed.

"E-ATX" Is A Lie: XL-ATX, E-ATX, ATX, EEB, and SSI-CEB

EATX is bullshit wannabe half-specification, not a real form factor. At least, not the way it’s being treated right now. It doesn’t mean anything. The name “EATX” implies a standard, but it’s not a standard, it’s a free-for-all. That’s not even getting into EE-ATX, or Enhanced Extended Advanced Technology eXtended, which is actually a name. Things would be a lot easier for everyone if motherboard manufacturers stuck to the dimensions of SSI-EEB without trying to wedge custom form factors in between, or correctly referred to 12”x10.5” boards as SSI-CEB, but that’d require actually trying to follow a spec. Then case manufacturers would have no reason to write “EATX (up to 11 inches)” in every single spec sheet for normal-sized mid towers, and customers would know at a glance exactly what they were getting. We’ve had a hell of a time lately trying to find cases that fit our “E-ATX” motherboards, which range in size from “basically ATX” to “doesn’t fit in any case that says it supports E-ATX, but is still called E-ATX.” We took that frustration and dug into the matter. Other than technical discussion, we’ll also get the fun of unrolling the acronyms used everywhere in the industry, and talking about how stupid form factors like XL-ATX have three different sizes despite having one name, or how E-ATX has been split into “True E-ATX” and “Full Size E-ATX,” which also don’t mean anything to anyone.

HW News - AMD Blackmailed by Hacker of GPU Code, DDR5 Mass Production in 2021

HW News - AMD Blackmailed by Hacker of GPU Code, DDR5 Mass Production in 2021
Hardware news this week is abuzz, largely thanks to updates from AMD and Microsoft. AMD confirmed this week that it had confidential files stolen, with the hacker demanding blackmail to stop them from leaking the files publicly. Microsoft, meanwhile, has temporarily paused non-essential updates while its teams work from home, but is also facing a zero-day exploit. In a positive story, Folding @ Home has passed the ExaFLOP threshold in its growing research efforts for COVID-19. The show notes continue after the embedded video.

HW News - F@H Faster Than 7 Supercomputers, Motherboard Sales Fall 30%

HW News - F@H Faster Than 7 Supercomputers, Motherboard Sales Fall 30%
Our recap of hardware news for the past week follows-up on plans to RIP somebody -- but we're not sure who that should be just yet -- in a Folding @ Home points-chasing competition. To a similar tune, Folding @ Home has now surpassed the top 7 supercomputers in compute power totaled, something that NVIDIA, F@H, and the PCMR sub-reddit all drove together. Other positive news has Razer turning production lines toward N95 mask production for Coronavirus/COVID-19 use in hospitals and elsewhere. Bad news includes hits to the economic side of computer hardware, with motherboard sales falling 30-50%.

HW News - Coronavirus vs. Hardware Industry, AMD Zen Vulnerability, No More Blower

HW News - Coronavirus vs. Hardware Industry, AMD Zen Vulnerability, No More Blower
We're still in Taiwan this week for factory tours, but that's given us a unique perspective to get first-party information on how COVID-19 is impacting the computer hardware industry. In particular, we've been able to glean information on how companies in the US and Taiwan are handling risk mitigation and limiting spread of the virus in their companies. This has wider impact for consumers, as production will be limited over the next month or two and product delays are inevitable. There are also implications for Computex -- namely, whether it happens or not. In addition to this specific news, we have reporting on new AMD vulnerabilities, the death of the blower fan, and more.

HW News - AMD Zen 3 & 4, Intel Behind Until 2021, New 80-Core CPU

HW News - AMD Zen 3 & 4, Intel Behind Until 2021, New 80-Core CPU
Hardware news was filmed in Taiwan this week, where we've begun our annual factory tour. We've already visited several factories in the deeper supply chain, but need to begin scripting and voice-over work. In the meantime, we're covering hardware news pertaining to CPU updates, YouTube monetization updates, Intel's process commentary, and more. Show notes continue below the embedded video.

Why Most Cooler Tests Are Flawed: CPU Cooler Testing Methodology

Why Most Cooler Tests Are Flawed: CPU Cooler Testing Methodology
The biggest rule in testing coolers is to never trust anything: Don’t trust the numbers, don’t trust the software, don’t trust firmware, and don’t trust the test bench. Every step of the way is a trap lying in wait to sabotage data accuracy. We’ve spent the last 3 years refining our liquid cooler bench and the last 6 months refining our new testing that will feature air coolers and liquid coolers alike. With millions of cells of data, we now know enough to have identified nearly every hidden pitfall in testing and finally feel confident in providing a full picture for accurate CPU cooler performance. The downside is that we’ll never trust anyone else’s numbers again, but the upside is that we can finally start really collecting data. This dissertation will be on the most common and the most obscure landmines for testing, laying a plan for our CPU cooler reviews and helping establish a baseline for quality and data accuracy. We promised a CPU air cooler round-up back at the end of 2016 or 2017, and we’re finally getting around to it and will be publishing a lot of cooler content over the next month or so. We’ll start with an A500 review after this methodology piece goes live, then we’ll break for our factory tour series, then we’ll be back to coolers. This content is detailed and specific to CPU cooler testing methodology and processes. We will be using this as a reference piece for years, as it…

HW News - SK Hynix Dispels BS Big Navi Rumors, Intel Memory Encryption vs. Vulnerabilities

HW News - SK Hynix Dispels BS Big Navi Rumors, Intel Memory Encryption vs. Vulnerabilities
As we prepare to fly out to Taiwan for factory tours, we've got another hardware news round-up to carry through the week: Our final donation count for the wildlife rescue charities is included, followed-up by SK Hynix's response to some Big Navi spec "leaks," JPR's GPU marketshare reporting, Biostar's H61 resurrection, AMD's chiplets aiding in cost reduction, and Intel promising Total Memory Encryption. We also talk about Plague Inc getting pulled due to the coronavirus scare.

HW News - AMD Responds to 3990X Windows Version Concerns, Phanteks Rips Off Lian Li

HW News - AMD Responds to 3990X Windows Version Concerns, Phanteks Rips Off Lian Li
AMD's been in the news a lot this week, but for various reasons. One of the bigger stories was that of the Threadripper 3990X and its compatibility with various Windows versions, like Windows 10 Pro versus Windows 10 Enterprise. AMD has officially responded to some of those concerns, all discussed in our news recap today. AMD was also in the news for Google's adoption of more Epyc CPUs. Accompanying AMD, Samsung makes the news for advancements in its EUV fabs for 7nm and 6nm products, and Phanteks makes the rounds for its blatant rip-off of the Lian Li O11 Dynamic. Show notes continue after the embedded video.

Fractal Define 7 Case Review: High Build Quality & Thermal Challenges

Fractal Define 7 Case Review: High Build Quality & Thermal Challenges
We’ve been hot and cold on Fractal over the past couple years. Their whole lineup has had consistently high build quality, but our opinions have ranged from the highly-rated Meshify cases that have excellent cooling potential (with some aftermarket fans added in) down to the highly-priced and unexciting Define S2 Vision RGB. Today we’re reviewing the Define 7, successor to the Define R6, a case that fell on the positive end of that scale in our review. We’re sure there’s some reason for Fractal dropping the “R,” but we neglected to ask. As soon as the Define 7 was out of the box, we noticed how lightly tinted the glass was. The Define 7 TG comes in both dark tint and light tint versions, and the light tinted version with a white interior is a stark contrast to almost every other tinted glass case we’ve reviewed. For whatever reason, case manufacturers have tended towards extremely dark glass tints for years, which is a step back from the transparent plastic windows that were more common in the olden days (a decade ago). The choice is there for customers who want the dark tint, but we much prefer clear glass that lets the white interior shine.

HW News - Intel i7-10700K 5.3GHz Rumors, Apple Malware Surge, & Sony PS5 Pricing

HW News - Intel i7-10700K 5.3GHz Rumors, Apple Malware Surge, & Sony PS5 Pricing
We've decided, clearly, to cancel the China leg of our upcoming factory tour series as a result of the Coronavirus, which is a word that YouTube is currently demonetizing for being "controversial" (working around that one is fun). That said, it has enabled us to extend our Taiwan trip, and we've found new factories we didn't know even existed. More on that in the news video, if interested, but rest assured that we'll be safe in Taiwan as it has very few cases and, despite being a neighbor to China, seems to have things under control. We're greatly looking forward to visiting power supply factories, supply chain factories, raw metal factories, and more in Taiwan in March.

Corsair 220T Airflow Case Review: Shortening the ATX Form Factor

Corsair 220T Airflow Case Review: Shortening the ATX Form Factor
In the proud tradition of the Phanteks P400A, the Lian Li PC-O11 Air, and the entire Cooler Master HAF family, the Corsair iCUE 220T RGB Airflow is another case that has the bravado to put “airflow” right in the name. As we’ve seen in the past, though, sometimes a name is just a name, and it’s our job to put that to the test. The original H500P was an example of this, and it tucked its tail between its legs and released a fix later. The 220T comes in black and white and in two variants, “airflow” and “tempered glass,” of which we’ve received the former for review. The tempered glass version is $10 more and has a glass front panel rather than a steel one. We’re more interested in this one, clearly, and so we’ll be reviewing the 220T Airflow today.

HW News - Stadia vs. GeForce Now, 'AMD Lost vs. Intel,' & Intel CPU Updates

HW News - Stadia vs. GeForce Now, 'AMD Lost vs. Intel,' & Intel CPU Updates
We've received a loaner AMD Threadripper 3990X to work with for an upcoming review, but we also will be streaming with the CPU for multiple overclocking efforts. In the meantime, hardware news is still pushing ahead. News on Intel CPU refreshes, AMD x86 marketshare reports, market analysis on AMD's positioning, and more. Show notes continue after the embedded video.

Antec P120 Crystal Case Review: Lian Li O11 Dynamic Lookalike

Antec P120 Crystal Case Review: Lian Li O11 Dynamic Lookalike
The last case we reviewed from Antec was the P8, so we started out with very low expectations for the P120. The P8 performed badly, but its greatest offense was being a boring version of the same chassis everyone was selling that year. It had the feel of a cheap rebrand from an old company (by PC hardware standards) that was unwilling or unable to keep producing the weird concepts that they did in The Old Days, like the Skeleton or the Razer Cube. The P120 Crystal we’re reviewing today is a mixture of solving and doubling down on that problem, by making a relatively exotic chassis that just so happens to look the same as an existing one. The Antec P120 Crystal takes some obvious inspiration from the Lian Li O11. That’s the first thing we noticed when we saw this case, and that’s why we bought one to review. It doesn’t use the same tooling, it doesn’t even use exactly the same layout, but one glance is all it takes to reveal the inspiration. We regard the original O11 Dynamic and the O11 Dynamic XL highly--check our reviews for more in-depth analysis--which makes it hard to accept a design that borrows so freely from them. That doesn’t make the P120 a bad case, and we’ll do our best to give it a fair shake.

HW News - RDNA2 Incoming, New Intel CacheOut Vulnerability, Coronavirus vs. GN China Trip

HW News - RDNA2 Incoming, New Intel CacheOut Vulnerability, Coronavirus vs. GN China Trip
Hardware news is busy this week. We've been in the throes of planning a trip to China for several months now, including a leg to Taiwan to visit several HQs, but may have to postpone due to the recent Wuhan flu outbreaks near some of the regions we were scheduled for. We're also talking about RDNA2, AMD's quarterly earnings and YOY reports, Intel's CacheOut vulnerability, and people who want Windows 7 for free. Show notes continue after the embed.

DIYPC Zondda-O Case Benchmarks: Sorting by Lowest Price

DIYPC Zondda-O Case Benchmarks: Sorting by Lowest Price
The DIYPC Zondda-O is a Newegg sort-by-lowest-price staple. It currently costs $34, falling in a price bracket that’s almost entirely occupied by other cases from DIYPC, but the price fluctuates constantly by $1-$2 in a way that suggests it exists on the razor’s edge of profitability. The most expensive enclosure they have for sale directly from Newegg is only $80, for an obviously HAF-inspired “full tower” called the Skyline 06. We’ve never mentioned DIYPC before this month, but over the years we’ve watched them quietly refining the art of selling cases that look twenty years out of date for alarmingly low prices. We should note that we copied the below spec sheet directly from DIYPC’s website, so we can’t vouch for the “radiation protection design, safe and environmental.” Use with radioactive material at your own risk.

HW News - Fake AMD Cooler, AMD GPU Vulnerabilities, Intel Earnings

HW News - Fake AMD Cooler, AMD GPU Vulnerabilities, Intel Earnings
All the classic news staples appear in this recap: Vulnerability and exploit patches, earnings information, shortages and price cuts, and fake products. One of the more interesting stories was a last-minute addition about counterfeit AMD Wraith coolers that AMD has now publicly commented on, but there's plenty else going on. Show notes continue after the video embed.

Guide: How to Flash AMD GPU VBIOS for RX 5600 XT and Navi Video Cards

Guide: How to Flash AMD GPU VBIOS for RX 5600 XT and Navi Video Cards
The AMD RX 5600 XT Jebaited Edition video cards launched yesterday, and the company created a mess by completely changing what the video card was meant to do before launch. Basically, it initially shipped as more of a 1660 Super competitor, but ended up being overhauled to become a 2060 competitor. This is overall a good thing from a price competition standpoint, but a horrible mess for buyers and manufacturers of the cards. The update came in the form of a VBIOS flash that can increase performance upwards of 11%, but not all the shipped cards have the VBIOS applied, meaning customers will be buying cards that perform worse than what reviews show. Worse still, some cards will never have that VBIOS available, with some partners splitting their 5600 XT into two SKUs. It’d sort of be like if the 1660 and 1660 Super were sold under a single name, but with two completely different performance classes. In today’s content, we’re going to help you flash 5600 XT cards to unlock the full performance, assuming your card has made such a VBIOS available. This will also apply to other AMD video cards.

HW News - Inaccurate AMD Big Navi Rumors, X670 Chipsets, & Cyberpunk 2077

HW News - Inaccurate AMD Big Navi Rumors, X670 Chipsets, & Cyberpunk 2077
In this hardware news episode, we're announcing our charity drive to support Australian wildlife affected by bushfires, including a special charity auction modmat, and we're also covering notable topics in the industry. Cyberpunk 2077 gets coverage, X670 / 600-series chipsets for AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs are up for discussion, big Navi rumors are debunked, Microsoft is going carbon negative, and more. Show notes continue after the video.

HW News - RAM & SSD Price Increases in 2020, Unrealistic GPU Expectations

HW News - RAM & SSD Price Increases in 2020, Unrealistic GPU Expectations
This is just a quick hardware news recap before we get buried by CES 2020. We wanted to get a few of the industry stories covered before product-centric coverage takes over for the week (which you'll mostly find on our YouTube channel). For this week, the main story is combination of both Samsung's power outage and other stories of increasing DRAM and SSD prices in 2020. We'll also talk about over-reaching expectations for both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs.

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF CPU Review & Benchmarks: Best CPU Under $100 in 2020

AMD Ryzen 5 1600 AF CPU Review & Benchmarks: Best CPU Under $100 in 2020
This isn’t a revisit of the old AMD Ryzen 5 1600 – it’s a review of the new variant, named the AMD Ryzen 5 1600 “AF” by the community, dubbed as such for its SKU change from AE to AF. The AMD R5 1600 AF is a brand new CPU with an old, old name from 2017. It’s mostly an R5 2600, in that it’s a slower variant of the Zen+ CPU from the 2000-series, but with a 1000-series name. AMD silently released the 1600 AF as an $85 option, but it’s on 12nm instead of 14nm and carries other 2nd-Gen Ryzen features. In today’s review of the new $85 processor, we’ll look at performance versus the original R5 1600, the R5 2600, and overclocking performance, since a 12nm 1600 AF should do about the same OC as a 12nm Ryzen 2000 part, which were typically 100-200MHz higher than the 1000-series. The R5 1600 AF is a weird, weird refresh. It’s mostly odd that AMD didn’t just name it Ryzen 3 3300X or Ryzen 5 3550. They already have the 3000 family with Zen+ architecture and the 3000G with Zen1 architecture, so it wouldn’t dilute the naming and it’d be a much more successful, higher selling product with a lot of media fanfare. Instead, it just sounds like a two-year-old part, but it’s really not. We can’t fault AMD for its naming and it doesn’t particularly bother us, it’s just a bit odd from a marketing standpoint. Maybe AMD doesn’t…

HW News - 80-Core CPU Newcomer, LGA1200 Socket, GDDR6 Price Hike in 2020

HW News - 80-Core CPU Newcomer, LGA1200 Socket, GDDR6 Price Hike in 2020
For this hardware news recap, we're starting out with an update of our recent charity PC build we did for Cat Angels, a local-to-us cat shelter, then moving on to the Ampere Computing 80-core CPU. Other news topics include the LGA1200 socket and Z490, demand for GDDR6 potentially inflating video card prices for 2020, an auction for a Nintendo "PlayStation," and NVIDIA insists that it's better than consoles. Show notes continue after the video embed.

HW News - Intel Z490 Might One Day Launch, AMD RX 5600 XT, Xbox Name Walkback, & X299 Not Selling

HW News - Intel Z490 Might One Day Launch, AMD RX 5600 XT, Xbox Name Walkback, & X299 Not Selling
Hardware news is still rolling into the holidays, as one might expect, because this industry doesn't let its occupants sleep. We're also leading into CES 2020, which means leaks abound. Coverage today includes a few rumor topics -- the RX 5600 XT and Intel Z490, mainly -- with some other industry topics mixed-in. Kioxia (Toshiba) is developing new NAND, motherboard makers can't get rid of X299 fast enough, and Microsoft is talking about its Xbox Series X. Again.

AMD Ryzen Heatpipe Orientation Benchmark & Cooler Myths

AMD Ryzen Heatpipe Orientation Benchmark & Cooler Myths
Back when Ryzen 3000 launched, there was reasonable speculation founded in basic physics that the asymmetrical die arrangement of the CPUs with fewer chiplets could have implications for cooler performance. The idea was that, at the root of it, a cooler whose heatpipes aligned to fully contact above the die would perform better, as opposed to one with two coolers sharing vertical contact with the die. We still see a lot of online commentary about this and some threads about which orientation of a cooler is “best,” so we thought we’d bust a few of the myths that popped-up, but also do some testing on the base idea. This is pretty old news by now, with much of the original discussion starting about two months ago. Noctua revived the issue at the end of October by stating that it believed there to be no meaningful impact between the two possible orientations of heatpipes on AM4 motherboards, but not everyone has seen that, because we’re still getting weekly emails asking us to test this hypothesis.

HW News - Xbox Series X Console Announced, Intel's 2013 CPUs Come Back, & Plundervolt CPU Vulnerability

HW News - Xbox Series X Console Announced, Intel's 2013 CPUs Come Back, & Plundervolt CPU Vulnerability
We're always sort of surprised when hardware news steamrolls right through major holidays. It doesn't slow down. As we approach end of year, Microsoft dropped a major bombshell with its Xbox Series X console announcement, Intel has committed to making more 22nm CPUs, Plundervolt threatens CPU security, and more. As always, show notes continue after the embedded video.

GN Special Report: Intel vs. AMD Volume - AMD Moves 93% of CPU Sales to GN Readers

GN Special Report: Intel vs. AMD Volume - AMD Moves 93% of CPU Sales to GN Readers
Our latest GN Special Report is looking at sales data to determine the popularity of both AMD and Intel CPUs amongst our readers, with dive-down data on average selling price, popularity by series (R5, R7, R9, or i7, i9, and so on), and Intel vs. AMD monthly sales volume. We ran a similar report in April of this year, but with Ryzen 3000 behind us, we now have a lot more data to look at. We’ll be comparing 3 full years of affiliate purchases through retail partners to analyze product popularity among the GamersNexus readers and viewers. This year’s busy launch cadence has meant nearly non-stop CPU and GPU reviews for the past 6 months, but that also gives us a lot of renewed data to work with for market analysis. Intel’s supply troubles have been nearly a weekly news item for us throughout this year, with a few months of reprieve that soon lapsed. With Intel’s ongoing supply shortages and 10nm delays, and with its only launch being refreshes of existing parts, the company was barely present in the enthusiast segment for 2019. Even still, it’s dominating in pre-built computer sales, and ultimately, DIY enthusiast is an incredibly small portion of Intel’s total marketshare and volume. AMD, meanwhile, has had back-to-back launches in rapid succession, which have managed to dominate media coverage for the better part of this year.
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