AMD confirm AM4 motherboards will be supported until 2020

AMD AM4 motherboard

After months of murky rumours, vague interview statements and subsequent but equally unclear clarifications, AMD have confirmed once and for all that their AM4 motherboard platform will continue to receive support until the year 2020. This will come as excellent news for existing Ryzen users and incoming Ryzen+ buyers, as it means that any potential new motherboard purchase isn’t about to go the way of every other tech purchase these days and be made redundant in six months. Good times.  Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen+: Everything you need to know about AMD’s 2nd Gen CPUs and more

AMD CES 2018

AMD’s second generation of Ryzen CPUs are finally here. Also known as Ryzen+ or the 2000-series, these four new desktop chips are set to replace last year’s Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 families, offering more competitive performance compared to Intel’s 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPUs.

There’s a fair amount to get your head round, though, especially when you start throwing AMD’s 2000-series (but not Ryzen+) Ryzen Vega APUs into the mix as well, so I’ve put together this hopefully helpful guide that sets out all things Ryzen-related, including the price and specs of all the chips you can buy right now, as well as the proposed release dates for the rest of AMD’s upcoming Ryzen roll-out plan.

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Best DDR4 RAM 2018: Our top memory for gaming and buying guide

Best DDR4 RAM 2018

Let’s face it, RAM isn’t the most exciting part of any PC build, but getting the right type, the right amount and the right speed can make a difference to how your system performs. Plus, the latest RAM even has RGB lighting. Here you’ll find our comprehensive guide to what to look for when buying RAM for your system, plus our pick of the best options for a range of budgets. Read the rest of this entry »

3D-print your own RGB light bar with Ballistix’s new DDR4 RAM

Ballistix Tactical Tracer RAM

Just when you thought the pinnacle of RAM madness was chucking a load of LED lights into the mix, Crucial, or rather their gaming-orientated Ballistix division, have gone one step further. Say hello to the 3D-printable Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB DDR4 gaming RAM. That’s right. You can 3D-print your own light bar onto each 8GB or 16GB module – and you can do it right now. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G review: Impressive 1080p gaming without the need for a dedicated graphics card

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

Graphics card prices have been up in the clouds so long that the idea of them ever falling back down to something that doesn’t make us weep with despair seems almost as fanciful as the idea of earning more than six pence from the dreaded ongoing crypto-mining craze. They will, of course, come down at some point, but that’s of little comfort to us in the here and now, especially if you’re in need of a new PC.

But let me ask you a question. Do you really need a fancy new graphics card? Because if money’s tight and you’re willing to put up with a few compromises, the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G could be just what you’re looking for.
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Asus unveil new series of Arez AMD RX graphics cards

Asus AREX AMD graphics cards

Brands. I love brands. Especially new ones, because they make things so much easier to understand among all the other brands. I am therefore incredibly excited about Asus’ new AREZ brand for their AMD Radeon RX graphics cards, because ROG, STRIX, TUF, Turbo, Dual, Expedition, Phoenix and Mining just weren’t brandy enough.

This one, you see, is named after the Greek god of war Ares (no, not that God of War), and features new and improved ‘superior cooling technology and a robust software ecosystem’. Because that’s what Greek gods of war are all about now, apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G review: The Vega CPU with 1080p gaming chops

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G

Graphics card prices continue to outrage and frustrate almost every PC person on the planet. No one likes spending more than they have to in order to play the newest, shiniest games, but the current cost of GPUs is almost enough to make you want to throw your PC out the window and turn tail to join the console brigade. It’s that bad.

Before you do that, though, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s some very good news to be found in AMD’s recently released Ryzen Vega CPUs. Thanks to their built-in Radeon Vega graphics – Vega being the same name given to AMD’s top-end GPUs like the Radeon RX Vega 64 and Radeon RX Vega 56 – both the quad-core 3.5GHz AMD Ryzen 3 2200G on test today and the quad-core 3.6GHz Ryzen 5 2400G (which you’ll be hearing more about later this week) offer a surprisingly decent stab at 1080p gaming without the need for dropping hundreds of pounds on a dedicated card. Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: A 15in gaming laptop in disguise

surface-book-2-15-inch-review

Microsoft have been striving to present a stark alternative to Apple’s coffee-shop-ubiquitous Macbook line for a while now. In the past, their Surface range of (mostly) hybrid laptops/tablets have hardly been gaming machines, but that’s now changed with current range-topper, the shockingly expensive Surface Book 2. Its industrial edges and muted silver tones mean it announces itself as all business in the streets, but the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 tucked inside its detachable keyboard base makes a case for more than casual gaming in the sheets.

In theory, then, a gaming laptop not to feel hideously embarrassed by – not least because removing the keyboard and brandishing a hilariously large 15in tablet on the train will generate all the self-consciousness you could ever require.
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AMD’s RX 500X graphics cards specs show they’re actually just OEM rebrands

AMD RX 500X

Earlier this week, AMD suddenly put up a load of blank product pages for what seemed to be a new series of graphics cards on its website. The so-called RX 500X series looked as though they might be slightly fancier, faster versions of AMD’s current RX 500 line-up, such as the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 570. Sadly, it turns out they’re nothing of the sort, as AMD’s newly revealed specs for the RX 500X series show they’re pretty much identical to their non-X predecessors. Booo.

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Sennheiser GSP 600 review: Bass overload

Sennheiser GSP 600

It’s a stupid thing to get excited about in the grand scheme of things, but Sennheiser’s new ‘contact pressure slider’ on their flagship GSP 600 gaming headset really caught my eye when it was announced at this year’s CES tech bonanza. It wasn’t exactly clear what it did at the time thanks to Sennheiser’s rather vague description in its press materials, but it gave me hope that maybe, just maybe, it might help alleviate my ongoing battle with the dreaded headset headband pinch. Here’s how I got on.
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Samsung T5 review: A fast external SSD that costs just a bit too much

Samsung T5

If you thought the WD My Passport SSD was a dinky external SSD, the Samsung T5 really takes the cake. Measuring just 74mm tall, 57mm wide and 10.5mm deep, the T5 is almost exactly the same size as a small box of matches. Weighing a featherweight 51g, it’s exceedingly light, too, its cool metal chassis putting bigger, bulkier external hard drives to shame.

This is external storage done right. The only problem is that you’ll have to pay through the roof for the privilege.
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Nvidia stop driver support for Fermi GeForce GPUs and 32-bit OS owners

GTX 550 Ti

No one likes updating their graphics card drivers. Yes, they improve performance yadda yadda yadda, but I really wish they weren’t quite so irritating. Well, they’re about to get even more exasperating for certain Nvidia card owners, as the GPU giant has announced that not only are they moving away from supporting 32-bit operating systems, but that their Fermi series of GeForce GPUs (see here for a full list) are also now officially ‘old news‘ and won’t be receiving any more support. Hooray! Read the rest of this entry »

WD My Passport SSD review: Good external storage that doesn’t cost the earth

WD My Passport SSD

Having a fast SSD inside your PC is all well and good, but they’re pretty useless if you want to transport large files to a different machine for a bit or back stuff up for safe keeping. In times like this, you need an external SSD, and today I’m taking a look at the WD My Passport SSD.

Portable storage devices have, of course, been around for donkey’s years, but while external hard drives (HDDs) are much cheaper than their SSD counterparts, they’re also a lot more liable to break when you chuck them in a bag due to the number of moving parts they have inside them. They’re also generally a lot bigger and bulkier to carry around.

The WD My Passport SSD, by comparison, measures just 90mm long, 45mm wide and a mere 10mm deep, making it exceedingly easy to slip into a jeans or jacket pocket without much fuss. It also has 256-bit AES hardware encryption to keep it secure, and it’s shock-resistant up to 6.5ft (or just under 2m), too, giving it extra durability if you accidentally send it flying because it’s so damn diddly.
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AMD could be readying new RX 500X graphics cards

AMD Radeon RX

Graphics card gossip circles have rather devolved into Nvidia Ampere this and Nvidia Turing that of late, but today brings news that AMD may be about to release a fresh batch of graphics cards to replace their mid-range RX 500 line.

Eagle-eyed Redditors spotted an official product page listing for the Radeon RX 500X series over the weekend, and sure enough the page still exists even now. There isn’t anything there at the moment, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find individual product pages for cards known as the RX 580X, RX 570X, RX 560X and RX 550X.

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Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC review: An AMD-powered 1080p machine

Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC

Most gaming laptops are Intel this and Nvidia that these days, making the fully AMD-powered Asus ROG Strix GL702ZC something of a rarity. Indeed, while AMD’s Ryzen CPUs may be a familiar sight on desktop PCs, this is the first time their top-end Ryzen 7 1700 chip has been taken out for a spin in laptop form, making it an admirable adversary for its Intel Core i7-7700HQ-equipped competition.

Backed up with one of AMD’s 4GB Radeon RX 580 graphics chips and a massive 17.3in 1920×1080 IPS display, the Asus ROG GL702ZC could be just the ticket for those after smooth 1080p gaming you can (sort of) take on the go. Let’s see whether it’s any good. Read the rest of this entry »

WD’s Black 3D NVMe SSD is about to give Samsung’s 960 Evo a run for its money

Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD

Western Digital have a new NVMe SSD on the block. Dubbed the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, this super-fast storage stick finally brings some much needed competition to Samsung’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro, as it will be going on sale later this month with prices starting from just $120 in the US. Read the rest of this entry »

Intel stop Spectre and Meltdown updates for older CPUs

CPU

Bad news for anyone still rocking a really, really old Intel processor today, as the CPU giant has announced it’s going to stop developing microcode updates to deal with the ongoing security problems caused by Spectre and Meltdown for certain types of architecture. The news comes with the release of a new microcode revision guide that sets out the current schedule of planned updates for each type of affected CPU.

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Dell’s Alienware laptops get a boost thanks to Intel’s Core i9 Coffee Lake CPUs

Dell Alienware

Dell’s Alienware aesthetic may not be to everyone’s tastes, but there’s no denying that their gaming laptops are seriously beefy bits of kit – especially the dinky Alienware 13 I reviewed earlier in the year. The larger Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 laptops, however, are about to get even more powerful, as Dell’s just announced it’s bringing Intel’s souped up Core i9 Coffee Lake CPUs to both ranges.

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Asus unveil new H370 and B360 motherboards for Intel’s Coffee Lake CPUs

Asus motherboards

Asus have announced a string of new motherboards for the launch of Intel’s latest 8th Gen Coffee Lake CPU chipsets. Arriving in ROG Strix, Prime and Tuf Gaming brand flavours, these new H370 and B360 boards aim to bring more connectivity at a price that should (hopefully) keep those tears of despair at bay if you decide to use as the foundation for your next PC – which is a lot more than can be said for current graphics card prices right now. Read the rest of this entry »