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ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U) Review - The 15-Incher On Budget

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AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and Ryzen 5 1400 Performance Review - It's finally here!

Why pay more for Intel i5 when the Ryzen 5 can give you more?

September 30, 2015

NVIDIA GPUs to Accelerate Microsoft Azure

By: Low Chern Lin

SINGAPORE — Sept. 30, 2015 — NVIDIA today announced that Microsoft will offer NVIDIA® GPU-enabled professional graphics applications and accelerated computing capabilities to customers worldwide through its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure.

Deploying the latest version of NVIDIA GRIDTM in its new N-Series virtual machine offering, Azure is the first cloud computing platform to provide NVIDIA GRID 2.0 virtualised graphics for enterprise customers.

For the first time, businesses will have the ability to deploy NVIDIA Quadro®-grade professional graphics applications and accelerated computing on-premises, in the cloud through Azure, or via a hybrid of the two using both Windows and Linux virtual machines. Azure will also offer customers supercomputing-class performance, with the addition of the NVIDIA Tesla®Accelerated Computing Platform’s flagship Tesla K80 GPU accelerators, for the most computationally demanding data centre and high performance computing (HPC) applications.

“Our vision is to deliver accelerated graphics and high performance computing to any connected device, regardless of location,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft Azure to give engineers, designers, content creators, researchers and other professionals the ability to visualise complex, data-intensive designs accurately from anywhere.”

“As a leader in advanced visualisation, NVIDIA GPUs were a clear choice for our new N-Series compute family,” said Jason Zander, corporate vice president at Microsoft Azure. “NVIDIA and Microsoft have a long history of enabling industry-wide innovation and we look forward to working with them to bring this revolutionary cloud experience to our customers.” 

Unprecedented Virtualised Graphics Performance
With NVIDIA GRID, enterprises can deliver graphics-intensive applications from companies such as Autodesk, Esri and others from the cloud to their users. Announced last month, NVIDIA GRID 2.0 provides the NVIDIA Quadro GPU driver support, features and performance that graphics-intensive applications require, as well as other enhancements including double the application performance of the previous generation of GRID GPUs and Linux OS support. 

Supercomputing in the Cloud
The Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform is designed from the ground up for power-efficient, HPC, computational science, supercomputing, data analytics and deep learning applications. 

Powering some of the world’s highest performance supercomputers, the Tesla platform delivers dramatically higher performance and energy efficiency than a CPU-only approach and unprecedented application throughput in the data centre. 

By deploying the Tesla K80 GPU accelerator in its N-Series virtual machines, Azure dramatically expands access to supercomputing-class performance, enabling enterprises worldwide to accelerate their most demanding workloads, without requiring them to invest in, build and maintain dedicated computing resources.

MSI reveals H110 PRO Series Motherboards

By: Low Chern Lin

MSI®, world leading in motherboard technology, announces its H110 based motherboards are ready to join the PRO Series product line. With new microATX sized models, available in both DDR4 or DDR3 low voltage DRAM solutions, the new MSI PRO Series motherboards completely fulfill small business needs and help to increase productivity greatly. The Windows 10 WHQL certified PRO Series motherboards offer the best in stability, security and reliability and present a plethora of new features and improvements as well as technical ingenuity.


Unique DDR4 Boost technology is designed with optimized traces and fully isolated memory circuitry. This design ensures the memory signals stay pure for optimal performance and stability.

MSI M-Cloud is a convenient and secure way of saving personal files in the cloud which simplifies complicated settings with a user friendly interface and is easy to learn.

Supports the new Intel® Small Business Advantage and Small Business Basics solutions which are unique, customizable solutions that helps improve small businesses data security, maximizes employee productivity and boosts overall office computers' performance.


Military Class 4 The best components for stability and performance in extreme conditions featuring Guard-Pro, protecting the essential elements which increase stability in the worst conditions. Carefully selected materials, multiple PCB layers and shielding ensure the best circuit protection for our motherboards, while ECO Power improves power efficiency greatly.

Clever solutions such as EZ Debug LED, Overvoltage Protection and VGA Armor make the PRO Series motherboards easy to work with for system integrators.

Benefit from great compatibility and a worryfree user experience when using Microsoft Windows 8 / 8.1 or Windows 10 with MSI PRO Series motherboards. MSI is world's first motherboard manufacturer to receive official Microsoft Windows 10 WHQL certification.


With Audio Boost we're delivering the highest sound quality through the use of premium quality audio components. So you can enjoy breathtaking, crystal clear sound through 6-channel Audio or high impendence headphones.

Supporting professional monitors, televisions, beamers and other displays, a legacy DVI and/or VGA video output is featured. Enjoy crisp clear 4K UHD (2160p ultra-high definition) video playback with HDMI or DP.

MSI's new Z170/H170/B150/H110 PRO Series motherboards for Intel 6th Generation core processors deliver an unprecedented choice of technical features and clever business solutions. Make your life easier and boost your business with the super stable, reliable and long-lasting PRO Series motherboards. More information on MSI PRO Series motherboards is available at 

Available H110 Models

September 26, 2015

Mobile Weekly Byte: Nexus Rumour Roundup Special

By: John Diew

So we're coming near to the d-date of the Google's event on 29th September 8:00am (11:00pm Malaysia Time). Here's the roundup of all the leaks we have in regards of the upcoming Google Nexus phones.

September 25, 2015

Giada Introduces Fanless Mini PC – F103D

By: Low Chern Lin

September 21st, 2015, Brea, California – Giada Technology, an industry leader in Mini PCs, embedded systems and servers for small & medium enterprises, is proud to unveil a compact fan-less mini

PC system - the F103D. With a powerful new Intel® Baswell Processor and lower power consumption, the F103D primarily targets organizations in industry control applications and will provide a perfect solution for digital signage including electric white boards, outdoor ads, cinema trailers and other types, all in glorious 4K resolution.

The F103D adopts the latest Intel® Braswell N3150/N3050/N3000 Processor using the 14nm process technology that is greatly improving data processing performance while reducing the power consumption. (TDP 4-6W), thus offering a well-balanced cost/performance ratio. With the latest Intel® HD graphics GPU core, the F103D ensures stunning 4K output for digital signage. The Giada F103D supports Dual Channel Memory with onboard 2GB DDR3 memory for standard use. If more performance is required for e.g. video playback of 4K@30Hz, an additional 2GB DDR3L SO-DIMM is required to guarantee smooth operation.

F103D’s fanless design and excellent cooling solution makes it stable during high performance running. In addition, it applies the Giada self-developed and patented JAHC (Jehe Active Hardware Control) unmanned technology, making it competitive in secure operations and during maintenance. Additionally, Giada’s unmanned hardware/software feature allows for power automation and supports 3 key functions: RTC Wake Up, Auto Power On after AC Loss and IR Remote Control before the OS is on. These features are almost tailored made for unattended harsh environments usage such as factories, outdoor info devices, hotels, and educational and financial institutions and are easily set up and controlled with the JAHC software that is included.

Featuring a slim design in a robust metal casing and an ultra-compact size – only 190mm x 149mm x 26mm, the Giada F103D offers unprecedented performance in its category. The modularized design makes assembly and disassembly of Giada F103D very easy. This design allows a swift installation of hard disk, memory and Wi-Fi/3G modules.

The F103D is equipped with dual Gigabit LAN ports supporting 1Gb/s data transfer rate, ideal for seamless internet/intranet connections, 3 USB 3.0 connectors along with Dual COM Ports enable more device connection possibilities.

With the optional WIFI/BT/3G module, the F103D provides extended 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth® and 3G wireless connectivity.

The F103D is specially designed to support both Windows® & Android. For Windows® OS, the F103D is compatible with Windows® 7, Windows® 8.1 and Windows® 10. The Android support is planned for 2016.

To learn more about Giada’s F103D please visit:

September 24, 2015

Unboxing & Review: ASUS Trooper B85

By: Low Chern Lin

Since Intel first launched their first generation Core-i processors, the TUF series motherboards from ASUS earns its reputation of being outstanding reliability and durability. as well as with the iconic thermal armor and a promising 5 year warranty that no other motherboard manufacturers offers. Throughout the years, the once Sabertooth only TUF series motherboards has diversified into a number of models i.e Sabertooth, Gryphon, and Vanguard to suit users with different needs. 

In today's review, we'll be examining the latest member in the TUF Series motherboard, the TUF Trooper B85. The Trooper B85 is a rugged, high-value motherboard designed to withstand all conditions and heavy loading, tested to exacting military standards for total protection to offer exceptional durability and long-term reliability and it comes with the 5 year warranty from ASUS.

(The B85 Trooper retails at RM365)

ASUS Trooper B85
5 Years
Form Factor
Supported CPU
Intel® Socket 1150 for 4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors 
Intel B85
Expansion Slots
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black) 
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x1 mode, black) 
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Memory Support
2 x DIMM, Max. 16GB, DDR3 1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory 
Rear I/O Panel
1 x PS/2 keyboard (purple)
1 x PS/2 mouse (green)
1 x DVI
1 x D-Sub
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.0 (blue) 
4 x USB 2.0 
3 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O Connectors
1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin, beige)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM header
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
2 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (2 x 4 -pin, [Black])
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) 
1 x Chassis Intrusion connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)

The box of the Trooper B85 comes in the usual sleek design as the other TUF series motherboards, with the 5 years warranty badge visible at the bottom left corner of the box.

A preview of the motherboard and it's prominent features such as TUF LANGoard, TUF ESD Guard 2, TUF Component etc is mentioned at the back of the box.


The accessories is pretty straight forward for the Trooper B85, a user's guide, 2 x SATA cables, accessories guide, TUF certificate of reliability, TUF 5-year warranty notice, TUF inside sticker, drivers CD and a rear I/O shield.

The Trooper B85

Being an entry level TUF board, you won't be getting any of the fancy accessories and thermal armor. Same goes for the back, there's nothing much worth mentioning on back of the motherboard, no TUF fortifier of course.

A closer look shows that the components used on the Trooper B85 is somewhat beyond what we would normally see on a standard B85 chipset motherboard - Japanese-made 10K black metallic capacitors that offer 20%-better temperature endurance for a lifespan that’s up to five times (5X) longer, and TUF’s chokes are manufactured using high-grade anti-oxidization materials to provide better heat dissipation and unbeatable durability.

4+4Pin power for CPU, DIGI+ VRM for that extra reliability in terms of power delivery at the usual place. 

TUF LANGuard socket has advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors to improve throughput, protects the motherboard from lightning strikes and static electricity. Aside of that, the TUF Trooper B85 also features the upgraded TUF ESD Guard 2 to defend numerous ports against sudden electrostatic discharge which covers all USB sockets and audio connectors — an exclusive pin-level testing on specific rear input-output (I/O) connectors that is 30% higher than the previous TUF standard.

As B85 chipset wasn't made for overclocking, the TUF Trooper B85 can only go as far to 1333 /1600MHz with a total 16GB DDR3 memory

Nothing is particularly special with the connectors either, but you'll still get the necessities such as USB 3.0 header, SATA ports, etc on the Trooper B85.

The expansion slots consists of 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16, 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black), 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x1 mode, black), 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1. The positive side is that multiple GPU setup is made available on the Trooper B85, but it's only limited for AMD Crossfire.

The usual Nuvoton NCT55350-A chip for monitoring of temperatures, voltage, fan speed, etc.

TUF Trooper B85 comes with audio design with ASUS boasts to feature physical shielding and premium components to ensure precise separation of analog and digital signals, as well as minimizing crosstalk interferences. 

The rear I/O panel:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard port
  • 1 x PS/2 mouse port
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 2 x USB 3.0 (blue) 
  • 4 x USB 2.0 
  • 3 x Audio jack(s)
  • 1 x VGA port 
  • 1 x DVI-D port


Accessing it the first time will lead you to the Ez Mode interface that has all the basic functions to allow quick and easy system optimization even to entry level users. Pressing F7 allows you to access more tweaking options to enhance your overall system performance. Though the interface somewhat reminded us the UEFI BIOS interface of the Sabertooth Z77, with the color scheme as the only notable different.

Pressing F7 allows you to access the Advanced Mode (pressing F7 again will revert you back to the Ez Mode) for more tweaking options. The main tab details the basics of your system and also the option to adjust your system date, time and language.

The Ai Tweaker is where advanced users usually spend most of their time tuning their system clock speed, voltage, strap, etc for the Z-series motherboards especially for overclocking. The only thing you can do with the AI Tweaker here is to change the XMP profile to push your memory frequency to 1600MHz at most.

At the Advance tab, users can further adjust the settings of CPU, storage devices, USB ports, On-board Devices, APM, Network Stack, Platform Misc and so on.

Monitor tab allow users to monitor components temperature and fan speed, adjust fan speed with profiles so the fans will behave accordingly.

The Boot tab allows you to adjust both boot options and POST options.

The Tool tab comes with some useful function such as the ASUS EZ Flash Utility for BIOS update via flash drive (similar to the BIOS flashback button) and the ASUS Overclocking Profile to backup your stable over-clocking profiles.

Software - ASUS AI Suite 3

Thermal Radar Core

Fan Control, a feature that allows you to optimize your overall system cooling with the help of the thermal tuning and CPU assessment that helps to evaluate how well is your cooling system.

Thermal tuning on progress, loading your system while intelligently tuning each fans attached to the Trooper B85 to effectively remove heat from your system.

After thermal tuning, CPU assessment helps to put these adjusted fans to the test! 

Up next is the recorder, a function that allows you to monitor the temperature, voltage and fan speeds to see how your system reacts under idle and load. There is also an option to record the reading form the graph for your future reference. 

DIGI+ VRMl here allows you to adjust the CPU Power Phase Control, CPU VRM Switching Frequency etc for a balanced thermal and power performance.

USB 3.0 Boost improves transfer speeds for UASP enabled devices so you'll be able to notice the improvement in standard USB 3.0 device.

The EZ Update is a BIOS update utility that automatically checks for the latest BIOS updates from ASUS and can be done easily with a single click on the update button after the latest BIOS file is selected.

System information utility allow users to navigate the details of their motherboard, CPU and Memory - similar as the CPU-Z often used by advanced users during over-clocking session.

No function that affect any of the system performance, the version viewer only display the version of the programs in the AI Suite 3.

Final Thoughts
Let's put it this way, the TUF series motherboards are like cars. Sabertooth stays on the higher tier while Vanguard and B85 Trooper B85 is basically something like the most basic car to own in the series that comes with the most basic features you need.  

While it looks basically just like a normal entry level B85 chipset motherboard, the Trooper B85 is made to be tougher than most ordinary B85 chipset motherboards. Built with pretty much the same technology found of a TUF series boards (ESD protection, Solid capacitors, TUF chokes, etc), a good alternative for those who are looking for an affordable TUF board but doesn't need those fancy features, besides it comes with a considerably long warranty period. The only problem is, it comes with only 2 memory slots and for those who require more than 16GB of memory might want to opt for the Vanguard B85 instead.

  • 5 year warranty
  • Affordable
  • Uses high quality components - Japanese-made 10K black metallic capacitors, TUF chokes, etc
  • Easy thermal management with Thermal Radar Core
  • ASUS AI Suite III has many useful features gathered in a single piece of software

  • Limited memory slot (only 2)
  • Very limited features for a TUF series

September 23, 2015

GeForce GTX 980 Notebooks: Built For The Incredible Demands of PC Enthusiasts

By: Low Chern Lin

Sep 22, 2015 - The needs of the PC enthusiast go far beyond those of the average PC gamer. They’re not interested in just GTX gaming-grade performance, but also in owning an elite and customizable system with the very best hardware, the likes of which can only be found in desktop PCs.

We're changing that beginning today with the launch of a new class of ultra-performance notebook, designed specifically for PC enthusiasts. At the heart of this new breed of mobile performance powerhouses is the very first desktop GeForce GTX GPU in a notebook form factor. Specifically, the desktop GeForce GTX 980 GPU, which exploded onto the scene a year ago, delivering unprecedented performance, unprecedented efficiency, and an unprecedented list of game and experience-enhancing technologies such as DSR, MFAA and VXGI, and future-proof support for DirectX 12 and Virtual Reality.

Powerful notebooks and desktop replacements have existed for years, but now it’s possible to have the same desktop hardware in a notebook. In each GeForce GTX 980 notebook you’ll find the GPU gamers the world over know and love, and new Intel Skylake CPUs that are identical to their desktop counterparts. And like the GPUs and K-series CPUs you find in desktops, the parts in new GeForce GTX 980 notebooks can be overclocked to your heart’s content.

To reiterate, you can now get the same GeForce GTX 980-class performance, and features, in notebooks engineered for the incredible demands of PC enthusiasts.

Overclocking is deeply rooted in the DNA of any PC enthusiast. The idea that they can push the limits of their system and squeeze every ounce of “free performance” is on every enthusiast’s mind as they select components. When designing this new breed of enthusiast notebook, we've have done the same: from meticulously designed components, to adding in the fastest video memory you’ll find in notebooks, we have defined a system that will handle the rigors of overclocking and deliver record breaking performance.

Newer cooling systems with up to 2x the cooling efficiency of existing GTX gaming notebooks keep these components ticking in the tight confines of a mobile form factor, and new fan and overclocking controls enable users to tweak fan speeds, fan control curves, and clock speeds.

Combined, desktop hardware and world-class notebook cooling equals desktop-equivalent performance in a mobile form factor that you can carry in a backpack. In tests using the same GPUs and CPUs on desktops and in notebooks, performance is nigh on identical in all of our benchmarks, delivering record-breaking single GPU mobile gaming performance.

Virtual Reality is even more demanding than the latest blockbusters, requiring the GPU to render significantly more detail at even higher framerates. With the new GeForce GTX 980 notebooks that’s not a problem though, and with GameWorks VR, and each notebook’s HDMI outputs, you simply plug and play.

Surround gaming is similarly demanding due to its use of three monitors in an immersive super-wide setup. With the necessary display outputs, and the required performance, new GeForce GTX 980 notebooks are equally capable of playing games like Shadow of Mordor, Grand Theft Auto V and War Thunder in Surround, at a high level of fidelity.

And if you have the horsepower to run surround gaming, you’ll have the horsepower to game on the newest ultra-wide monitors. Imagine running your favorite game at 3440x1440 with NVIDIA G-SYNC, driven by a notebook with the GeForce GTX 980. Just attach the new Acer Predator X34 into the display port on your new enthusiast notebook, and you’re ready to game like never before.

As of today, six GeForce GTX 980 notebooks are being revealed, each redefining all expectations of the performance available in a form factor. And further bolstering their gaming chops is the inclusion of G-SYNC displays, eliminating screen tearing and stuttering, and delivering an all-round improved viewing experience (learn more about notebook G-SYNC).

Of the six models announced, the ASUS ROG GX700 has likely caught your eye, boasting a removable liquid cooling unit that decreases operating temperatures and raises the bar for overclocking, enabling even faster performance when you’re back in the comfort of your own home. With desktop hardware now in play, just about anything is possible.

If you want a desktop replacement, a high-performance notebook, a portable VR-ready system, or a small form factor system, these new Enthusiast class notebooks with GeForce GTX 980 GPUs can do all of the above, and more. And like a desktop GeForce GTX 980, all game and experience-enhancing technologies are available to you, extreme overclocking is an option, and NVIDIA-exclusive innovations like GeForce Experience GameStream Co-Op await.

Source: NVIDIA