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Hier — 23 février 2020Flux RSS

Microsoft updates Windows 10 desktop icons

Ever thought the Windows 10 desktop was looking a little tired or drab? Well, Microsoft obviously thinks so since the company announced this week that it is updating the appearance of the Windows 10 desktop with new icons.

Since Windows 10 launched it has featured icons that were a bit of a mixture between old and new. Microsoft has decided it is time to give the Windows 10 desktop a refresh and bring a fresh new appearance with some updated modern-looking desktop icons.

Microsoft has already updated the icons for applications such as Word and Excel from the Microsoft Office suite. The new Windows 10 desktop icons will attempt to replicate that style to bring the appearance of the operating system into the new decade, with a bold and more up to date, modern look.

To modernise the overall style of the Windows 10 desktop, Microsoft is updating all the default application icons bundled with Windows 10, such as Paint, Calendar, Calculator and Skype etc, as well as adding new desktop icons for folders, Windows store and more, to make the appearance of the operating system more streamlined and synchronised with the Office apps icons and the new Microsoft Edge browser icon.

The updated icons are already available in a Windows 10 preview 19569 build for Microsoft Insiders. Regular Windows 10 user can expect to receive the update featuring the new icons in the following months.

KitGuru says: how do you guys like the look of the Windows 10 desktop at the moment? Do you think it was time for a refresh of the appearance and what do you think of the new icons that Microsoft is bringing to Windows 10?

Intel collaborate with QuTech to outline new quantum control chip

Intel has collaborated with QuTech this week, to outline key technical features of a new cryogenic quantum control chip codenamed “Horse Ridge” through a research paper unveiled at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

The research paper released by Intel and QuTech details features of the Horse Ridge chip that addresses a number of challenges faced in building a quantum computer that is powerful enough to demonstrate practicality, flexibility, fidelity and scalability. The integrated SoC design uses Intel’s 22nm FinFET Low Power CMOS technology with four integrated RF channels in a single device.

Each channel is capable of controlling up to 32 qubits and divides the total bandwidth into a series of non-overlapping frequency bands, meaning Horse Ridge can potentially control up to 128 qubits in a single device for efficient scaling. Intel has also optimised the multiplexing technology, to enable the system to scale and reduce errors from “Phase Shift” which helps quantum systems to automatically adapt and correct when controlling multiple qubits with the same RF line to improve fidelity.

“Quantum researchers work with just a small number of qubits, using smaller, custom-designed systems surrounded by complex control and interconnect mechanisms. Intel’s Horse Ridge greatly minimizes this complexity. By systematically working to scale to thousands of qubits required for quantum practicality,” said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware, Intel Labs.

Horse Ridge is capable of covering a wide range of frequencies which means it can control both superconducting qubits and spin qubits. Intel is exploring ways to use silicon spin qubits that have the potential to operate at high temperatures up to 1 kelvin. This research will allow devices to integrate silicon spin qubits into Horse Ridge to create a solution that delivers the qubits and controls in one package for improved flexibility.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: This new technology from Intel could greatly simplify the complex electronics required to operate quantum computing systems in the future, allowing a faster setup time and improved efficiency. What do you guys think of Intel and QuTech’s Horse Ridge design?

TeamGroup introduce two new portable storage devices

TeamGroup has introduced two new storage devices that are being added to its portable storage range. The new devices include the multifunctional T183 Stationary Flash drive and the tough PD1000 Portable SSD.

The new T193 Stationary Flash drive from TeamGroup is equipped with multifunctional stationary features such as a 180-degree protractor, a magnifying glass and a magnet are all built into the device, which brought high praise from major design awards. The TeamGroup T193 Stationary Flash Drive is available in capacities ranging from 32GB up to 128Gb and includes an aluminium top that is dustproof, waterproof and shock-resistant. A USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface offers a high-speed connection to a large range of devices.

In addition to the T193 Stationary Flash Drive, TeamGroup has also launched a new tough portable SSD. The PD1000 uses a USB 3.2 Gen 2 ultra-high-speed interface that is capable of up to 1000/900 MB/s read and write speeds and is available in capacities of either 512GB or 1TB.

The TeamGroup PD1000 complies with IP68 certification, meaning the device is dustproof, water-resistant and pressure-proof up to 1600kg load. TeamGroup’s PD1000 is built to military-grade drop protection specification which prevents data loss when the device is accidentally dropped. Due to its USB 3.2 Gen2 interface, the PD1000 is compatible with a vast range of devices and operating systems including Android, Mac OS and Windows.

Both these new portable storage devices offer unique and innovative features to provide consumers with multifunctional uses and high-speed data transfer with high levels of protection from physical and data damage.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: The T193 Stationary Flash drive offers an almost swiss army knife style in a USB flash drive. What do you guys think of these new portable storage solutions from TeamGroup?

Kioxia announce PCIe 4.0 SSDs for enterprise

Kioxia has announced that its CM6 and CD6 series of PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives for enterprise customers are now being shipped, this means that Kioxia is the first company to ship these next-generation PCIe 4.0 SSDs to enterprise and data centre partners.

Both the CM6 and CD6 SSDs are compliant with the latest NVMe specification, with key features built-in such as in-band NVMe-MI, namespace granularity, shared stream writes and persistent event log, as well as being SFF-TA-1001 (U.3) conformant, allowing the drives to be used in tri-mode enabled backplanes that can accommodate SATA, SAS or NVMe SSDs.

Kioxia CM6 series enterprise PCIe 4.0 SSDs provide best-in-class performance with sequential and random transfer speed of up to 6.9GB/s and up to 1.4M input/output operations per second (IOPS). This performance offers customers with bandwidth improvements of up to 2x PCIe Gen 3 device performance and is 12x faster than traditional SATA drives. The CM6 series is designed for enterprise applications such as AI, caching layer, data analytics, financial trading and is available in 800Gb to 30.72TB capacities.

The CD6 PCIe 4.0 SSD series from Kioxia are single-ported drives designed for data centre use, aimed at large-scale deployments and general use scenarios, such as cloud computing, web servers and media streaming. The CD6 PCIe Gen 4 (1×4) NVMe SSDs are available in capacities from 960GB up to 15.36TB with 6.2GB/s throughput and 1.0M IOPS.

“For more than a year, OEM customers have been providing cutting-edge storage performance to end-users thanks to KIOXIA’s CM5 and CD5 Series NVMe SSDs,” noted Alvaro Toledo, vice president of SSD marketing and product planning at KIOXIA America, Inc. “We’re continuing our commitment to lead in the NVMe space by delivering the fastest available 2.5-inch4 PCIe 4.0 SSD solutions.”

Both of Kioxia’s PCIe 4.0 enterprise SSD series include security and encryption features such as self-encryption and FIPS, as well as being on the UNH-IOL Integrator’s list for NVMe 1.4 device compatibility. The CM6 series also successfully passed PCI-SIG Workshop compliance.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: Kioxia was the first company to demonstrate PCIe 4.0 SSD devices and has now become the first to ship next-generation SSDs to enterprise customers. What do you guys think of these CM6 and CD6 SSDs from Kioxia?

Samsung begins mass production of 7nm EVU chips at new production line

Samsung announced this week that mass production of 7nm extreme ultraviolet (EUV) chips for partners at its cutting-edge fabrication line at Hwaseong in Korea has begun, with its first batch of products produced at the fab expected to be delivered to customers in the first quarter of 2020.

The Hwaseong manufacturing line named V1 broke ground in 2018 and began testing wafer production during the second half of 2019. The V1 line will be Samsung’s first production line dedicated to manufacturing EUV chips using the company’s 7nm process node and below.

Currently, the V1 manufacturing line is producing 6nm mobile chips alongside the 7nm process. Samsung claims it will continue to invest in research to adopt finer circuitry and will manufacture products based on a 3nm process node at the Hwaseong V1 production line in the future.

“As we ramp up production, the V1 line will enhance our ability to respond to market demand and expand opportunities to support our customers,” said Dr. ES Jung, President and Head of Foundry Business at Samsung Electronics.

By the end of the year, Samsung will have invested $6 billion USD in the Hwaseong fab, according to the company’s plans and total capacity coming from 7nm and lower process node will be triple that from 2019. Combined with the S3 line in Hwaseong, the V1 line is expected to play a huge role in meeting the growing demand throughout the industry for 7nm and lower foundry technologies.

With its V1 line in Hwaseong now up and fully functional, Samsung has a total of six foundries in South Korea and the U.S, that includes five 12-inch lines and one 8-inch line.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: The announcement of Samsung beginning mass production of 7nm EUV chips at its V1 line in Korea will be welcome news for the industry which has had shortage scares in the past, lets hope that the latest worry about the corona virus doesn’t affect the production of Samsung 7nm EUV chips.

Intel Comet Lake-S desktop processors spotted for sale

Earlier this week, details of Intel’s 10th generation desktop F-series processor SKUs were leaked out online and it seems that now there has even been listings of the new processors spotted for sale in some European online stores.

Even though Intel has still not officially given us a firm release date or a hint of pricing for its new 10th generation desktop processors codenamed Comet Lake-S, it is expected that they will hit the online shelves sometime within the next eight weeks. However, it seems as though a couple of Czech/Slovakian distributors may have jumped the gun and listed the new CPUs for sale already.

The listings were first noticed by serial CPU leaks specialist momomo_us on Twitter a couple of days ago and include new Pentium, Core i3 and Core i5 processors. Pricing in the premature sale listing didn’t include VAT and whether the prices accurately represent what they will be at the official launch remains to be seen.

However, it could give us an indication that when the processors finally release in the UK, the Intel Core i5 10600 non-K version may be priced around £260-£280, which is similar to how previous generation Coffee Lake processors were priced at launch. The most glaring omission from the listing was the missing core i7 and core i9 SKUs and there was no sign of any unlocked K series CPUs listed either.

We assume that the listing has now been taken down, but since a retailer has now actually listed them for sale, whether this was on purpose or not, it gives us a good indication that the official release is very close and could be a little earlier than some may have been expecting. Since this is still not an official listing, we could see prices adjust depending on the situation at launch.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: What do you guys make of this potential listing of the new Intel 10th generation Comet Lake-S processors and how prices look compared to Coffee Lake or more importantly, how do they compare to current Ryzen offerings from AMD?

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Gigabyte Brix now available with Intel Comet Lake mobile processors

Gigabyte’s line of Brix Mini-PCs has been treated to a refresh, the Brix series is being equipped with the latest Intel 10th generation Comet Lake mobile CPUs offering even more power inside the tiny form factor PC.

The Brix range of Mini-PCs from Gigabyte features an ultra-compact form factor measuring just 46.8 x 119.5 x 119.5 mm and an internal capacity of 0.6 litres, with the upgrade to 10th generation Intel Comet Lake mobile CPUs inside the Gigabyte Brix means even more processing power will now be available in this tiny package.

Gigabyte has equipped the Brix Mini-PC series with a range of different Intel processors in the past, with the likes of 6th generation Skylake and more recently Celeron J1900 CPUs offering a range of different configurations to suit the needs of various users. The latest Intel Comet Lake mobile processors seem like the ideal candidate for the Brix with their 15W TDP meaning they should be easy to keep cool and maintain optimal core frequencies.

New Gigabyte Brix devices will include anything from the dual-core Intel Core i3-10110U right up to the hexa-core Intel Core i7-10710U powerhouse, with memory support in the form of two SODIMM slots allowing for up to 64Gb RAM to be installed. The new Brix systems also include dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity with dual HDMI 2.0a output to support 4K/60 resolution.

I/O connectivity includes six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, 3.5mm audio output, Gigabit Ethernet and a single RS232 COM port. The Brix supports add-in cards for an additional Ethernet port and second RS232 COM port to be added, as well as VESA wall mounting support via 75×75 or 100×100 wall mounting brackets.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: the Gigabyte Brix Mini-PC range already offered plenty of power in its tiny form factor, the addition of Comet Lake mobile CPU equipped Brix devices means even more productivity can be achieved from his tiny system now.

Sony announces a new Xperia L4 smartphone

Sony has announced a new handset is being added to its Xperia portfolio of entertainment based smartphones. The new Xperia L4 features a sleek 21:9 wide display, triple rear camera setup and a powerful 3,580mhA battery.

The new Xperia L4 handset from Sony is equipped with a 21:9 wide 6.2-inch display that the company claims to offer more browsability and multi-tasking productivity. The 6.2-inch display format provides a slender form factor that fits perfectly in the hand, with a 21:9 ratio allowing more content to display on the screen. The new Sony multi-window user interface allows two apps to be launched simultaneously and viewed on-screen at once.

A triple rear camera on the Xperia L4 is the first for a Sony Xperia L series handset. The main lens offers 13MP photo quality with a 5MP ultra-wide and 2MP depth lenses allowing users to capture creative photos of landscapes and close-ups which benefit from bokeh effect. An 8MP selfie camera is also located on the front of the handset.

Sony has outfitted the Xperia L4 with a powerful 3,580mhA battery that gives users enough power to stay connected all day long. As well as this powerful battery, the Xperia L4 also features fast charging via an optional USB Type-C UCH32C fast charger.

Dimensions of the Xperia L4 are 159 x 71 x 8.7mm and the device weighs in at 178g. It features dual sim support so you can keep work and personal calls separate and the handset is powered by a Mediatek MT6762 processor with 3GB RAM and 64Gb internal storage, with a built-in microSDXC slot supporting up to 512Gb additional storage capacity.

In terms of connectivity, the Xperia L4 includes 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB Type-C, with a 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting headphones. The handset also features a fingerprint sensor, a display resolution of 1680×720 and comes pre-installed with Android 9.0 Pie operating system.

According to the Sony website, the Xperia L4 will be available to purchase soon, in a choice of either black of Blue colours, however, no price has been announced just yet.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: The 21:9 ratio display on the Xperia L4 looks great for multitasking and viewing those landscape photos. What do you guys think of the new Xperia L4 smartphone from Sony?

AMD B550 motherboard with PCIe 4.0 support spotted online

AMD’s previous B350 and B450 motherboards gave savvy PC gamers and enthusiast a more cost-effective way to migrate to the AM4 platform compared to X370 and X470 with the first two generations of Ryzen processors. Since Ryzen 3000 launched in the middle of 2019, very little has been officially revealed about the specification of a potential budget B550 platform.

Even though the B550A platform has been available to OEM system builders for some time, there is still quite a bit of mystery surrounding retail B550 motherboards and just what spec they will arrive in when they become available to consumers. B550A officially supports the Latest 3rd generation AMD Ryzen processors and to reduce cost, some of the new specifications that arrived with Ryzen 3000 are missing from the B550A OEM motherboards.

The most noticeable omission in B550A motherboards is PCIe gen 4 support. All B550A motherboards are supposed to feature PCIe 3.0 and obviously the lower bandwidth that it provides. However, a recently leaked document on Twitter, found by Komachi Ensaka from an ASRock motherboard tells us a different story.


— 比屋定さんの戯れ言@Komachi (@KOMACHI_ENSAKA) February 13, 2020

It is a little uncertain whether this B550AM Gaming motherboard is an OEM system builder only B550A motherboard or a new mainstream B550 motherboard that would be a welcome addition for retail customers. One thing that isn’t uncertain is that the leaked user manual for this ASRock B550AM Gaming motherboard clearly states PCIe 4.0 support in the specifications for ASRock Hyper M.2 (PCIe Gen4x4) and shows a PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slot for AMD Ryzen Matisse, Summit Ridge and Pinnacle Ridge processors.

As well as posting the B550AM Gaming user manual on Twitter, Komachi Ensaka also posted an image of the motherboard in question. Since AMD’s Robert Hallock officially confirmed on Reddit back in October 2019 that B550A motherboards will not feature PCIe 4.0, it is likely that this ASRock B550AM Gaming motherboard could be one of the first B550 motherboards available for consumers and the fact that PCIe 4.0 is present, will make potential customers very happy.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: Although PCIe 4.0 support in the cost-effective B550 platform will be welcomed by many, early adopters to the X570 platform may feel a little hard done by if the cheaper platform does support the premium features of the more expensive X570 motherboards. What do you guys think?

EK Water Blocks introduce the EK-Loop Connect hub

EK Water blocks has announced a new addition to its water-cooling products line up with the introduction of a control hub capable of providing the user information from all relevant parameters of a liquid-cooled system. The EK-Loop Connect can control RGB lighting effects, fan RPM and pump speed all in one compact unit.

With the EK-Loop Connect, custom water cooling enthusiasts can keep a keen eye on all aspects of the cooling system via a single module. The control hub allows for customisation of RGB lighting effects, as well as complete control over PWM fan/pump speeds and noise levels, with a total power output of 170W able to deliver 20W per 4-pin fan header and industry-standard addressable D-RGB headers receiving 8W of power each.

The EK-Loop Connect is equipped with six 4-pin PWM fan headers meaning that users can connect PWM fan splitter cables to allow for dozens of fans to be connected. The same can be applied to the D-RGB headers since there is a total of 50W available for RGB, which is enough power for up to 20 EK-Quantum Vector D-RGB water blocks.

EK-Loop Connect technical specifications:

  • Dimensions (L x H x W): 126 x 18 x 70mm
  • Power Output for Fans: 20W per header
  • Power Output for LEDs: 8W per header
  • Mounting Holes: 2.5″ drive mounting holes


  • 1x (PWR) 4-Pin Female Molex (2x Female SATA to 1x Male Molex Adapter Included)
  • 6x (F1-F6) Standard 4-pin PWM Fan Header
  • 6x (L1-L6) D-RGB Header 3-Pin 5V Digital LED Header (Pinout: +5V, D, Blocked, Ground)
  • 3x (T1-T3) Temperature Probe Headers
  • 1x (FLO) Flow Meter Connection (upcoming product)
  • 1x (LVL) Coolant Level Indicator (upcoming product)
  • 1x USB 2.0 Data Header
  • 1x (EXT) Data Header for Daisy Chain (upcoming product)

EK-Loop Connect Software features:

  • Fan Speed PWM Curve Control
  • PUMP Speed PWM Curve Control
  • Addressable D-RGB Lighting Control
  • Physical Thermal-Probe Readouts
  • Hardware Temperature Readouts
  • Manual Air Bleeding Activation
  • Safety Coolant-Level Sensor (upcoming feature)
  • Coolant Flow Readout (upcoming feature)
  • Coolant Replacement Reminder (upcoming feature)

In case of the unlikely event of connecting too many components, EKWB has included an overpower protection system to make sure you will not damage the controller or your RGB components. If the system is overloaded, all LEDs will be set to a static red colour as a visual warning and also because static red will only use 1/3 of the power, which will avoid damaging the controller. The EK-Loop Connect is powered by a single Molex connection and is hooked up to the motherboard via a USB 2.0 header cable.

EK-Loop Connect is available to purchase via the EK webstore and from official EK Water Blocks retailers now, priced at €55.36.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: The new EK-Loop Connect controller looks like a handy bit of kit for easily controlling all the parts of a water-cooling setup via a single unit. What do you guys think of this new control hub from EK Water Blocks?

Deepcool launch the Matrexx 30 SI Micro-ATX case

Deepcool has rolled out a new Micro-ATX desktop PC case this week, designed for users that don’t need to show off the internal components of their pc and prefer the more understated appearance of a small form factor system.

The Deepcool Matrexx 30 SI is a reworked version of the cost-effective Matrexx 30, with the only real noticeable visual change in the Matrexx 30 SI being the black steel side panels that replace the tempered glass side panels in the Matrexx 30. The SI features the same front panel combination of a machined line effect with mesh ventilation for optimal airflow.

Inside the Matrexx 30 SI has a spacious feel to it with an open style layout, an ODD bay is present but only makes a minimal intrusion into the top of the case. There are no luxuries like a power supply shroud so the majority of cable management will need to take place behind the motherboard tray, however, Deepcool has designed the steel side panels to allow for extra cable management space.

In terms of hardware support, the Matrexx 30 SI has space for the installation of either Mini-ITX or M-ATX form factor motherboards. Graphics cards up to 250mm long fit inside the case and CPU coolers up to 151mm tall can also be installed. Space for storage devices includes a 3.5-inch drive cage that can house up to three 3.5-inch HDDs with two mounting locations for 2.5-inch drives available, along with the 5.25-inch ODD bay.

To keep system temperature under control, Deepcool has pre-installed a 120mm rear exhaust fan with space available at the front of the case to install a second 120mm fan, 120mm radiator or all-in-one CPU cooler behind the honeycomb style mesh vent. The top of the case doesn’t include any ventilation, so all warm air is exhausted from the rear.

Currently, the Deepcool Matrexx 30 with a tempered glass side panel is available on Amazon UK for under £30, so we expect the SI version to be very similarly priced, maybe even a little cheaper.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: production of new Micro-ATX cases has become pretty scarce in recent years, so its good to see a manufacturer making new options available. What do you guys think of this new, understated Micro-ATX case from Deepcool?

Intel Comet Lake-S 10th Gen F-series processor specs revealed

Even though there has still been no official word from Intel regarding a firm date for when its 10th generation Comet Lake-S series desktop processors will finally launch, it feels as though it is getting ever closer as each day passes, more specifications and sightings of the CPUs leak out in the media.

One of the latest 10th gen Intel desktop processors leaks to surface this week was the news of the return to F series SKUs. Intel used the F marque on its previous generation of desktop CPUs to describe a processor that has its iGPU chopped off, with processors such as the Coffee Lake Core i3-8100KF, i7-9700KF, i9-9900KF and so on. It looks as though Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake-S F-series will include the 65W Core i5-10400F, i7-10700F, i9-10900F and 125W Core i5-10600KF, i7-10700KF and i9-10900KF SKUs.

This was first picked up on by Informatica Cero who published an image of an Intel 10th Gen Core presentation slide which was actually part of a presentation in December 2019, however, this slide has only just surfaced online this week. Usually, these F series processors would be gobbled up by gamers and enthusiasts who use a discreet graphics card in their systems and therefore wouldn’t necessarily need a CPU with a built-in iGPU, saving a little on the cost of the processor.

Image credit: Informatica Cero

According to Intel, the F-series processors use exactly the same quality silicon to the non-F processors, the iGPU has been chopped off simply because there would have been some kind of fault in the iGPU during manufacture that rendered it useless. Rather than just throwing the processors with a faulty iGPU in the bin, Intel sells them at a slightly reduced price. According to an Overclock3D report, 9th generation F series processors sold for $25 less on average compared to non-F variants.

According to the recently leaked presentation slide, it seems as though this strategy will be implemented again by Intel since the F series processors are listed as having the same core frequencies and core/thread counts as non-F models. However, Intel has still not yet released official price information, so for now, we are not sure how much will be saved by purchasing a 10th generation F series processor.

Discuss on our Facebook page Here.

KitGuru says: Intel is expected to release 10th generation Comet Lake-S processors along with the new 400 series socket LGA 1200 platform next month. Are you guys looking forward to getting the chance to see what kind of performance improvements they will bring over the previous generation?

Thermaltake partners with Ubisoft for Rainbow Six Siege Tournament

Thermaltake’s esports gaming division the Thermaltake Esports League has announced it will partner up with Ubisoft to host this year’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Tournament in Taiwan. The Thermaltake Esports League is planning to host tournaments across the globe and will start from its base in Taiwan hosting the Rainbow Six Siege Tournament from 2nd March.

The Thermaltake Esports League was established in 2019 and will be hosting this year’s Rainbow Six Siege tournament in partnership with Ubisoft. The event will be broadcast live on the Thermaltake Gaming Twitch channel from 2nd March, full details of the event can be found on the newly launched Thermaltake Esports League website.

Registration to participate in the Thermaltake Esports League ‧ Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Tournament is currently only available to contestants in the Taiwan region. However, Thermaltake is planning to bring future tournaments to worldwide regions, something which will be announced on the Thermaltake Facebook page in the near future.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Tournament schedule and format:


  • 18th Feb to 1st March – Online Registration
  • 2nd March – 16 teams announcement & Group draw results
  • 7th March to 28th March – 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Online Qualifiers
  • 11th April to 12th April – 1:00pm – 5:00pm Quarterfinals
  • 25th April – 12:00pm – 8:00pm Semi-finals & Grand Finals

Location: Thermaltake LCGS Flagship Store in Taipei, Taiwan, All times listed in GMT+8.

Tournament format

  • 16 to 8; BO3 Single Elimination
  • 8 to 4; BO3 Single Elimination
  • Top 4; BO3 Single Elimination
  • Grand Finals; BO3 Single Elimination

The tournament has a total prize pool of $7,800 USD plus premium gaming equipment. The winner will take home £4,500 with second place receiving $1,6655, $1,000 for finishing in third place and fourth place will net $665. Teams that advance into the semi-finals will receive five Level 20 RGB Gaming Keyboards, five Level 20 RGB Gaming Mice, five Level 20 RGB Extended Gaming Mouse Pads, five E1 RGB Headset Stands and five Riing Pro 7.1 Gaming Headsets per team.

KitGuru says: Any Rainbow Six Siege fans out there looking forward to tuning in on Twitch and watching the action at the Thermaltake Esports League ‧ Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Tournament?

Jaybird introduce special edition Vista True Wireless headphones

Since Apple introduced the Air Pod Pro wireless earbuds last year, we have seen a stack of manufacturers bringing similar true wireless earbuds to market. Companies such as Razer, 1MORE and Master & Dynamic have launched their own True wireless earbuds over recent months and now Jaybird has a new set of True Wireless earbuds available.

Jaybird is best known for its range of sporty headphones aimed at runners and adventurers. The company has announced a new special edition of its Totally Wireless Sport Headphones this week sporting a Planetary Green appearance. The special edition Jaybird Vista Planetary Green wireless headphones have been launched to celebrate their EarthProof best-in-class durability.

The Vista headset series from jaybird is the company’s first True Wireless headphones designed to meet U.S Military MIL-STD 810G rugged compliant standards, which means they passed repeated shock, vibration, drop and crush tests. They are also capable of withstanding high humidity levels, Hurricane-force water and desert sandstorm conditions to make them the ultimate companion for adventurous sporting lifestyles.

Jaybirds new Planetary Green special edition pattern is inspired by the planet and the places we explore. The headphones feature IPX7 water and sweat resistance with high-quality 6mm milled drivers to produce excellent audio, with a comfortable and secure fit for sports use. The battery inside the headphones is able to achieve up to 16 hours use, the Jaybird app offers a personalised listening experience and the headphones can be stored away in a matching USB Type-C charging case.

Special edition Planetary Green Jaybird Vista Totally Wireless Sport headphones are available to purchase from the Jaybirdsport website store now, priced at £159.

KitGuru says: The Jaybird Vista true wireless headphones offer rugged construction for sports use in harsh environments while looking great at the same time. What do you guys think of the Jaybird Vista Totally Wireless Sport headphones in the new Planetary Green camo?

MSI offering cashback on AMD Ryzen motherboard and CPU bundles

During the next few weeks, MSI will be running a promotion that offers customers cashback on purchases of participating AMD motherboards, AMD Ryzen CPUs and/or MSI PC cases. Depending on the combination of components purchased, customers will be eligible for up to £86 cashback via a refund process.

Customers who purchase a qualifying MSI motherboard and AMD Ryzen CPU combination in a single transaction throughout the promotional period will be eligible for a cashback reward of varying value. Additionally, customers who also add a qualifying MSI PC case to their basket with a motherboard and AMD Ryzen CPU could be entitled to an increased cashback reward.

The promotion is only available to customers in the UK, with multiple retail outlets participating in the cashback reward deal. Those retailers include Overclockers UK, Ebuyer, Scan, Currys PC World, CCL, Box, AWD-IT and Flacon Computers.

The promotion started on 17th February and will run until 17th March 2020. For customers to claim their cashback reward, they must visit the MSI cashback promotional page between 17th March and 30th April to fill in the claim form online. Customers will need to keep their invoice of the qualifying purchase as it will be required to claim the cashback reward.

All of the qualifying motherboards are for the AMD Ryzen platform and include the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE, MPG X570 GAMING PRO CARBON WIFI, X470 GAMING PRO MAX as well as many more. Qualifying AMD Ryzen CPUs in the cashback promotion include the whole series, so anything from the Ryzen 5 3600, right up to the flagship Ryzen 9 3950X will qualify for cashback. All full and comprehensive list of included motherboards and CPUs in the promotion can be found on the MSI page.

Discuss on our Facebook page HERE.

KitGuru says: Who doesn’t love a bit of discount on PC parts? Well if you are looking to build an AMD Ryzen powered PC in the next few weeks, then check out what’s available in the MSI cashback promotion to save a few quid!

Asus unveils a new line of RTX 2060 Dual Mini graphics cards

Asus has added a pair of new graphics card to its Mini form factor series, the RTX 2060 Dual Mini could be built to compete with the likes of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT and possibly arrive in a similar price bracket to the recently launched EVGA RTX 2060 KO.

Asus RTX 2060 Dual Mini series is comprised of two identical-looking cards, the DUAL-RTX2060-6G-MIN SKU features reference GPU clock speeds while the DUAL-RTX2060-O6G-MINI provides a mildly overclocked GPU frequency. The PCB in both Mini cards measures 197mm long, 121mm tall and that cards take up 2 PCIe slots, so they should fit perfectly in almost any desktop PC case.

The OC Edition boasts a GPU core frequency of 1755MHz in OC mode and 1725MHz in gaming mode. Both cards are equipped with a dual Axial-tech fan cooling solution built with the Intel NUC 9 Extreme and NUC 9 Pro kit in mind and are said to bring the thermal performance of larger graphics cards to the small form factor market.

A two slot cooling solution also features Asus 0dB technology with an advanced onboard controller that stops the fans spinning when the GPU temperature is below 55°C, to allow for light workloads to be undertaken in relative silence. As temperature rises the fans automatically kick in to cool the GPU again. IPX55 dust resistance ensures the cooling solution is easy to clean which means the card can run at maximum performance for longer.

The design of the card looks somewhat understated with its all-black appearance, however, Asus has implemented subtle RGB Led lighting to the fan shroud to add a hint of style. Each card is put through a rigorous 144-hour stability test procedure as well as a series of benchmark test to ensure the card runs as expected in top titles while being stable when pushed to the limit.

Asus is yet to confirm a launch date or official pricing for the RTX 2060 Dual Mini series.

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KitGuru says: We expect Asus to place these new cards in a price bracket similar to the EVGA RTX 2060 KO card and complete with the AMD RX 5600 XT series. What do you guys think of these RTX 2060 Dual Mini cards from Asus?

AOC launch the AGON AG353UCG 200Hz ultrawide gaming monitor

AOC has just launched a brand new 35-inch ultrawide gaming display that includes some seriously impressive features, such as 200Hz refresh rate, 2ms pixel response time and Nvidia G-Sync ultimate compatibility, to make it the perfect partner for sim racers and competitive multiplayer gamers.

The new AGON AG353UCG is part of AOC’s next generation AGON gaming display series and offers features to please even the most hardcore PC gamers. AOC has equipped the AGON AG353UCG with a 3440 x 1440 resolution, 35-inch ultrawide panel that is capable of reaching 200Hz refresh rate with a 2ms (GTG) pixel response time to offer high FPS and fluid gameplay in even the most demanding fast-paced titles.

Thanks to Quantum Dot technology and 1000 nits peaks brightness from DisplayHDR 1000 support, the AOC AGON AG353UCG will provide a stunning visual display with a 2500:1 contrast ratio and 90% DCI-P3 coverage offering users true to life colour reproduction. A 10-bit VA panel with a 1800R curvature and 21:9 aspect ratio helps gamers feel more immersed in the game, compared to traditional flat-panel monitors, while the three-sided frameless design and RGB lighting on the back provides a stylish appearance that fits with any gaming PC setup.

As well as the high 200Hz refresh rate, the AOC AGON AG353UCG features Nvidia G-Sync Ultimate technology to offer minimal input lag while retaining silky smooth content in games to give users the edge over the competition in sim racing, FPS shooters and other fast paced multiplayer games. The monitor also features 512 local dimming zones to deliver a wide dynamic range and an elegant looking stand that offers height, swivel and tilt adjustment.

In terms of connectivity, the monitor can hook up to a PC via a DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 connection, with a single USB 3.1 Gen 1 x4 input port and a built in USB hub with four USB Type-A output ports, as well as audio input (microphone in / line in) and headphone/microphone 3.5mm output jacks. The AOC AGON AG353UCG is also equipped with built-in speakers and can be wall-mounted with a VESA 100 x 100 compatible wall bracket.

The AOC AGON AG353UCG is available to purchase now from Overclockers UK priced at £1,999.99 and is backed by a 3-year manufacturers warranty for peace of mind.

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KitGuru says: With a huge 35-inch panel, 200Hz refresh rate and G-Sync Ultimate technology, the AOC AGON AG353UCG offers some great specifications even the most hardcore gamers will be impressed by. What do you guys think of the new 35-inch ultrawide gaming monitor from AOC?

Overclocker Splave and ASRock break five world records with AMD Threadripper 3990X

Overclocking and tuning your system can be great fun and is very rewarding when you see the results of your work pay off in benchmarks and real-world performance gains. While most of us overlock our systems at home as a hobby and to extract a few more FPS in games, there are some individuals that take it far more seriously.

One of those individuals is a professional overclocker who goes by the name of Splave. Just recently Splave, with the help of the ASRock TRX40 Taichi motherboard and an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X CPU, managed to break five world records including the highest recorded operating frequency of a Threadriper 3990X CPU at 5748.66MHz, a seriously impressive achievement.

As well as recording the highest ever CPU frequency for a Threadripper 3990X CPU, Splave also broke numerous benchmark records such as the wPrime 1024m benchmark. With the CPU frequency clocked at 5400MHz, Splave broke the 12-second barrier by recording a time of just 11sec 541ms which set a new world record.

Splave also broke other records including the GPUPI – 1B benchmark record in a completion time of 21.622 seconds, a new Cinebench R20 multithreaded world record of 39518 points was set, as well as a breaking the record for Geekbench 3 Multi-Core score of 293,771 points and a HWBOT X265 Benchmark at 1080p, recording an average FPS score of 384.389 FPS. All the records were validated with HWBOT and can be found on the ASRock website.

Not only does this world record-breaking achievement prove that the AMD Ryzen Threadripper is one of the most powerful desktop CPUs available, it also shows that the ASRock TRX40 Taichi platform is a must-have for overclocking and achieving maximum performance with its 16 Digi Phase, 90A Dr. MOS power delivery solution providing smooth and stable power to the CPU, even under extreme scenarios.

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KitGuru says: Overclocking desktop CPUs has become very simple in recent years with many CPUs and motherboards designed for the job. If you have thought about getting into overlocking to extract a bit more performance from your desktop CPU, there are plenty of guides out there to help. It’s really not that difficult, give it a go!