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

Check out on this review article to learn more about ther ASUS VivoBook S15 (S510U)!

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?

January 31, 2016

Apacer Panther DDR4 8GB Memory Kit Review

By: Low Chern Lin

Just months ago Apacer announced its brand new Panther DDR4 memory kit as a gaming memory kit that runs on 1.2v low voltage, memory speed of 2666MHz as well as tight memory timing of 16-16-16-36, at least that's what Apacer stated on the spec sheet.

The pair of Apacer Panther DDR4 memory kit arrived at Tech Critter's lab just 2 weeks ago and we have our thanks to Apacer for sending over the memory kit for today's review. Instead of being just a gaming memory kit that runs on low voltage and 2666MHz memory speed, we'd like to see just how far can we push the Apacer Panther DDR4 kt to its limit with the equipment we have here!

( the retail price of PANTHER DDR4, 8GB single module package: 2133MHz at USD$ 49.99, 2400 MHz : USD$ 53.99 and 2666 MHz : USD$ 59.99 )



The Apacer Panther DDR4 memory kit ships in fancy packaging with a cutout window to display the Panther DDR4 kit. 

Some highlights of the Panther DDR4 kit can be found at the back of the packaging, i.e: low power consumption, high frequency, tight timings etc.

The Apacer Panther DDR4 8GB memory kit comes with a black-gold themed heat spreader that looks very decent, giving the impression that this is one hell of a performance RAM you'll be getting. 

The heat spreader however, is made with a thin metal piece that can be damaged if it is to be taken off by force - we managed to remove it safely with a thin razor blade and no part of the Panther DDR4 kit is damaged during the removal process.

Under the heat spreader we find the Hynix IC H5AN4G8NMFR that is known for its good overclocking potential.

Test Bench Configuration
CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro Series H100i
Intel Core i7 5820K
ASRock OC Formula X99/3.1
Apacer Panther DDR4
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB SSD
Power Supply
be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Vector Bench Case

We have the Apacer Panther DDR4 installed on the system configuration as above to conduct our test as per below - Special thanks to ASRock Malaysia for sending over the OC Formula X99/3.1 motherboard, be quiet! for sending over the Straight Power 10 600W power supply to support the review.


The Apacer Panther DDR4 runs on 2133MHz by default, with timing of 15-15-15-36-2T.

Once the XMP profile is enabled, the Apacer Panther DDR4 runs on a pretty decent speed of 2666MHz with timings of 16-16-16-36-2T.

With few more attempt to push the Apacer Panther DDR4 for more speed, we settled our memory overclocking at the speed of 3000MHz, a bump on DRAM voltage to 1.35v and a pretty neat timing of 14-15-15-35-2T that is able to survive through all the other benchmarks we've conducted.

WinRAR Benchmark

The screenshot above shows the benchmark result of the WinRAR benchmark tool according to the memory speed of 2133MHz, 2666MHz and 3000MHz. For each different speed as per above, we can observe the improvement in terms of the compression performance - higher memory speed does actually affect file compression processes. 

SuperPi 32M Benchmark

When it comes to SuperPi 32M benchmark, we want to achieve the lowest possible time when it comes to completing the entire 24 cycles on tthe pi to a specific number of digits. We've ran the test by raising only the memory speed. The result shows that higher memory speed is showing an improvement of over 20 seconds in total. 

AIDA64 Memory Benchmark

The Memory Latency benchmark of AIDA64 measures the typical delay when the CPU reads data from system memory. Memory latency time means the penalty measured from the issuing of the read command until the data arrives to the integer registers of the CPU.

The most significant improvement after raising the memory speed will be the memory read speed from 16596MB/s to 23334MB/s and the latency that goes from 79.4ns to 63.1ns. That's a 40% improvement in memory read speed and reduction in latency up to 16.3ns.  

Cinebench R11.5
The test scenario in Cinebench R11.5 uses all of your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores.

The overall improvement after raising the memory speed might be difference but few decimal point, but it does somehow improved the overall performance by 11%.

Aesthetics aspects wise, the Apacer Panther DDR4 memory kit does looks pretty good in overall, but the only issue which is more subjective here is that it might not suit themed build that is not based on the black-gold theme. 

For performance and overclocking test, we didn't manage to hit an ultra high memory speed due to the limitation of our equipment, but we managed to settled with an impressive 3000MHz on the speed with a pretty neat timing of 14-15-15-35-2T - much thanks to the good quality Hynix IC H5AN4G8NMFR used. Imagine what kind of result you can achieve if you have a good motherboard that is paired with a good CPU that comes with a strong IMC?

While its advertised as a gaming memory kit that runs on 2666MHz, the Apacer Panther DDR4 memory kit can actually even better with minimal effort. If you're building at X99 or Z170 system and a 3000MHz memory kit isn't something that fits your budget, why not consider for the Apacer Panther DDR4 memory kit? 

  • Good out of the box performance
  • Use of good memory IC from Hynix
  • Decent overclocking potential
  • Backed with lifetime warranty for Apacer
  • Heat spreader is thin and could deform if handled by force

Fnatic Gear Gaming Gear Is Now Officially Available In Malaysia

By: Low Chern Lin

Fnatic Gear Malaysia today announced the availability of the Fnatic Gear in Malaysia and you can expect for the gears to be available from the authorized retailers we've familiar with: Ideal Tech PC Sdn Bhd, DotaTech IT Enterprise, Topmaid Computer Sdn Bhd, Gadget Zone Sdn Bhd and more to come.

The product launch took place at Artisan Coffee HQ located at Seksyen 13, Petaling Jaya.

After acquiring renown gaming peripherals manufacturer Func, along with the huge success from the months long of the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, renown Esports team Fnatic proudly announces its first Fnatic Gear lineup to date consists of the Rush Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, Flick Optical Gaming Mouse, Focus Soft Gaming Mouse Pad and Boost Hard Gaming Mouse Pad.

The Rush Gaming Mechanical Keyboard will be available in 3 variety of Cherry MX switches that we've commonly seen on majority of gaming mechanical keyboards nowadays, Cherry MX red, Cherry MX brown and Cherry MX blue. 

The Flick optical gaming mouse is an ambidextrous gaming mouse equipped with gaming grade Pixart ADNS 3310 optical sensor with native DPI step ups to 5000 and Omron micro switches.

Fnatic Dota 2 team make their appearance during the official product launch to show their support for the team's very own brand of gaming peripherals that could potentially be a strong contender in the gaming peripherals market - something that we'll have to keep an eye on for sure.

January 29, 2016

G.SKILL Announces New DDR4-3200MHz 128GB (16GBx8) Memory Kit

By: Low Chern Lin

Taipei, Taiwan (29 January 2016) – G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is truly excited to announce yet another breakthrough in high-performance, high-capacity DDR4 memory kit by taking a full 128GB (16GBx8), the maximum supported capacity on an X99 motherboard, to an searing speed of DDR4-3200MHz CL14-14-14-34 under 1.35V.

Not only does this massive memory kit manage to max out on supported capacity at high speeds, its latency is also improved to CL14-14-14-34, which is also more efficient than the standard DDR4-2133MHz latency of CL15-15-15-35. At this point, there’s nowhere else to go but faster.

Equipped with XMP 2.0 profiles, this massive memory kit has an easy setup and installation. The following screenshot exhibits the DDR4-3200MHz 128GB (16GBx8) memory kit running comfortably on a MSI X99A GODLIKE Gaming motherboard with an Intel® Core™ i7-5960X processor, even after 42 hours of testing.

The DDR4-3200MHz 128GB (16GBx8) kit is the latest addition to the G.SKILL Ripjaws V series, and will be available via G.SKILL authorized distribution partners by the end of February 2016, at a starting price tag of $1069.99 USD.

Free Copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider For Gamers Who Purchased a GeForce GTX 970 or Above Up Until February 16, 2016

By: Low Chern Lin

The PC version of Rise of the Tomb Raider is set to launch today and the closed beta for Tom Clancy’s The Division kicks off January 29 to 31. GeForce Gamers are Game Ready with the latest driver release today.

Today Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics released a video to promote the technology in the game. Included in the new Tomb Raider game is support for NVIDIA HBAO+ GameWorks technology for shadowing and shading.

Last week, NVIDIA announced that among the many PC graphics options you’ll discover for Tom Clancy’s The Division is the ability to enable work-in-progress versions of NVIDIA GameWorks technologies NVIDIA HBAO+ and NVIDIA PCSS.

NVIDIA HBAO+ adds realistic Ambient Occlusion shadowing around objects and surfaces, with higher visual fidelity compared to previous real-time AO techniques. HBAO+ adds to the shadows, which adds definition to items in a scene, dramatically enhancing the image quality. HBAO+ is a super-efficient method of modelling occlusion shadows, and the performance hit is negligible when compared to other Ambient Occlusion implementations.

HBAO+ is a very popular technology and has appeared in dozens of games such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, World of WarCraft: Warlord of Draenor, Call of Duty: Ghostsand many others.

Up until February 16, gamers who purchase a GeForce GTX 970 or above add-in card or a notebook with a GeForce GTX 970M, 980M or 980 will receive a free copy of Rise of the Tomb Raider. For details on the bundle visit: 

Related links:

Rise of the Tomb Raider links:

Tom Clancy’s The Division Links

New honor Band Z1 combines elegance and power

By: John Diew

Kuala Lumpur, 26 January 2016 – honor today launched its first smartband, the honor Band Z1 featuring a deceptively simple design paired with advanced and intelligent technology. The Band Z1 is the perfect accessory for active and trendy users on-the-go, thanks to its subdued and understated look.

“The honor Band Z1 is our answer to fans who are looking for a smartband that encompasses both elegance and simplicity, yet packed with the powerful technologies that honor is renowned for. As a smart accessory, the honor Band Z1 offers useful features such as health and sleep tracking, and serves as a notification centre on the wrist that is easy to access. It is the perfect partner to augment your busy lifestyle,” said Allen An, E-commerce Director, honor Malaysia.

Elegant and refined look
Inspired by Scandinavian minimalism that takes inspiration from nature, practicality, and appearance – the surface of the Band Z1 is devoid of any buttons, which in turn accentuates the simplicity of its circular surface.

To create the tough yet refined look that is the Band Z1, steel is used as its main material. A combination of CNC machining, hand polishing and sand polishing techniques were used to achieve the stylish finish. It is also scratch resistant and durable enough to withstand your active lifestyle Additionally, the beautiful strap makes it elegant enough to be worn for a night out with friends.

Convenient Notifications
The 1.06 inch 128 x 128 pixels resolution touchscreen on the Band Z1 features a touch-sensitive button-free operation. Access your notifications, alarms and the clock with just a simple swipe. Plus, the soft-lit PMOLED screen is unique as it is vivid enough when in a darkened area – such as a cinema or a club – yet is legible enough in sunlit locations as well.

With its large display and ample memory, the honor Band Z1 supports caller display and allows you to read messages and emails. It currently supports English, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese.

Accurate health tracking
Thanks to the high accuracy G-sensor, as well as honor’s advanced algorithm software, the honor Band Z1 can automatically detect and log your walking, running or sports activities accurately. The data recorded includes number of steps taken, calorie consumption, exercise time and distance – all this without the need to install any app on the smartphone.

In addition, the capacitive sensor and Polysomnography (PSG) can intelligently distinguish between wake and sleep, as well as taking users’ light and deep sleep states. Thanks to the design of the Band Z1, it will not leave any compression marks on the wrists as you sleep since it fits the curvature of the wrist perfectly.

Premium and smart functions in one
The bracelet strap material is stain-resistant and comes in three different colours – Classic White, Classic Black, and Cream. Thanks to precision design and manufacturing, the honor Band is IP68 certified, making it dust-proof and waterproof to a depth of 1.5 m

As for platform support, the honor Band Z1 supports Android 4.4.4 and above for non-Huawei smartphones, Android 5.0 and above for Huawei smartphones, as well as iOS 7.0 and above. It has a standby battery life of up to 14 days, or 3 days of continuous use on a single charge.

The honor Band Z1 retails for RM 259, and is available now from VMALL.MY, Lazada and DirectD.

For more information, do visit

honor 5X and 7 enhanced edition join the impressive honor line-up

By: John Diew

Kuala Lumpur, 26 January 2016 - Together with the Band Z1, honor also unveiled the new honor 5x to Malaysians today, bringing digital natives a meticulously designed metallic device that features a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 pixels Full-HD display, and a second-generation frame-free metallic fingerprint reader. Packed with an array of innovative functions and multimedia capabilities, the honor 5X is equipped to provide advanced yet intuitive experiences 24/7.

Also introduced was the new honor 7 enhanced edition, an updated model of the popular honor 7 smartphone. It now features 32GB of built-in storage, EMUI operating system version 4.0, and includes a Fast Charging Adaptor. It also now comes in Gold as an exclusive colour for the model.

“We are proud to unveil the honor 5X and 7 enhanced edition today. These devices were built with our finest craftsmanship skills and have undergone rigorous and extensive testing, which involved the participation of 500 customers from 11 countries to ensure both products deliver long-lasting performance capabilities and multimedia might for digital natives. Both the honor 5X and 7 enhanced edition are statements of our capability to offer quality-built products that employ creative technology, and reinforces our commitment to creating and bringing superior mobile internet experiences as we expand our worldwide presence,” said Allen An, E-commerce Director, Honor Malaysia.

Premium Metal
Inspired by the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, honor 5X’s sleek body blends the museum’s distinctive curved design with ergonomics principles to sit comfortably in the users’ hands. Made with a diamond-polished aluminium alloy and accentuated with a ceramic coating applied with a special brushing technique, honor 5X features a unique finish that stands out in the crowd.

Smarter fingerprint technology
honor 5X’s rear panel houses a second-generation, frame-free fingerprint sensor that offers stellar performance, accuracy and a 0.5-second unlocking time. The adaptive sensor boasts a self-learning capability that enhances scanning precision over time through the re-recording of registered fingerprints. The reader also supports intuitive gesture controls such as making a call or launching an app during locked mode, taking photos, pulling down and hiding the notification bar as well as cancelling alarms.

Spectacular Full HD display
Featuring a 5.5-inch 10-point multi-touch Full-HD IPS panel with a 1920x1080 pixel display and 16.7 million colours, the honor 5X also boasts a high 72.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. The pixel-by-pixel dynamic contrast adjustment control enables improved contrast under different lighting conditions and visibility through glare.

Professional camera at your fingertips
Capture every special moment with the honor 5X. Its cutting-edge cameras capture high-quality images with excellent clarity and dynamic colour reproduction.

The 13MP back-facing camera features an F2.0 aperture, 28mm wide-angle lens, a blue glass infrared filter, and a macro mode for close-up shots. With a SmartImage 3.0 image processor and anti-reflective coating on the camera lens, the 5X can easily capture vivid images even in low light.

The 5 MP front-facing camera includes a wide-angle F2.4 aperture lens, 22mm wide-angle lens, and an 88-degree viewing angle - making the honor 5X the perfect selfie tool. It is also complemented by a host of exciting new photo shooting modes such as ultra-snapshot, watermarks and object tracking, as well as video recording modes, which includes time-lapse and slow motion mode.

Smooth and responsive experience
Powered by a Qualcomm 64-bit octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board memory, the honor 5X has the muscle to offer a high-performance experience, and to run modern 3D games. It also comes with a large 3,000mAh battery, integrated SmartPower 3.0 technology and an eight-point power saving plan that reduces power consumption by up to 30 percent.

As the first metallic honor phone to feature three different card slots — nano-SIM, micro-SIM, and microSD —you no longer need to make the difficult choice of either having extra storage, or an additional SIM for your second line. Both SIM slots are 4G enabled, and the microSD slot supports up to 128GB.

Enhancing the Honor 7
Based on the current top-seller model, the honor 7 enhanced edition adds a few new features to the already solid and superb model. It now comes with 32GB of on-board storage, up from 16GB. It also comes with a 9V2A Fast Charger, giving the honor 7 enhanced edition the ability to charge at twice the rate of the standard charger. It will come pre-installed with EMUI 4.0 out of the box, with updates planned in the near future.

The honor 5X will be available in three colours —  Gold, Grey, and Silver, while the honor 7 enhanced edition will be available in Gold colour. Registration for interest for both devices begins today, and the official retail prices will be announced at a later date.

For more information, do visit

BIOSTAR Announces the availability of RACING H170GT3

By: Low Chern Lin

nuary 28th, 2016, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR proudly introduces the latest addition to its new flagship gaming series with the BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3. Meeting the needs of gamers’ by providing features perfect for an all-around gaming system. Like all BIOSTAR RACING series motherboards, the H170GT3 features improved features dedicated for gaming and entertainment with the RACING H170GT3 focusing on a balance of features and accessibility for light-purpose machines to heavyweight muscle rigs.

Balanced and Tuned
The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 simplifies decision-making for gamers by providing a platform which can scale with the gamer. Supporting the latest 6th-generation Intel Core processors, the RACING H170GT3 enables gamers to have the latest technology powering their systems for the best experience when they play. Support for high-speed storage via M.2 and SATA Express enables high-speed access to data so games load faster so you can get to the action quicker. Gamers will also be able to show-off their personal style via VIVID LED DJ and 5050 LED FUN features allowing customizable lighting for gamers who want a color-themed rig.

The BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 supports dual-GPU configuration via AMD Crossfire for upgraders looking to get more FPS in their systems with another AMD Radeon GPU which supports AMD Crossfire technology. The motherboard has optimal spacing in-between the PCI-e X16 slots for maximum airflow so both cards operate at optimal conditions.

With upgraders in mind, BIOSTAR has placed legacy PS/2 ports in the RACING H170GT3 to allow players who prefer legacy peripherals to still use their devices on this motherboard. Support for dual HDMI output and DVI are also available on this motherboard together with plenty of USB3 ports for your high-speed devices.

Super 5 Design
Biostar has built the RACING series motherboard from the ground up, taking into consideration the ever-changing needs of gamers and enthusiasts. The new BIOSTAR RACING Series is proud to introduce the Super 5 Design Concept:
  • Super Face – all new RACING design theme for visual appeal
  • Super Power – powerful hardware design
  • Super Sound – signature BIOSTAR HI-FI audio experience
  • Super Easy – User- friendly design and accessible touch control
  • Super Fun – unique DIY concept for enthusiasts and modders

January 28, 2016

Synology® Introduces DiskStation DS216+

By: Low Chern Lin

Taipei, Taiwan—January 28, 2016—Synology® Inc. today launched DiskStation DS216+, a high-performance 2-bay NAS server aimed at home and small office users who want an efficient and secure storage solution to protect and share data as well as enjoy on-the-fly video transcoding. 

"Having a powerful NAS storage solution allows small offices to deliver high-speed file sharing, application serving, and online collaboration, or lets home users transcode and stream high quality video to multiple devices. DS216+ is designed for exactly such purposes and demonstrates our commitment to meet our users’ high expectations," said Jones Tsai, Hardware Design Director of Synology Inc. 

Equipped with an Intel® Celeron® Processor N3050 with Intel® AES New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) encryption, DS216+ delivers high-speed performance, exceeding 111 MB/s reading and writing, while ensuring encrypted data transmissions at over 113 MB/s reading and 109 MB/s writing. In addition, DS216+ can perform on-the-fly H.264 4K to 1080p video transcoding, making it possible for high definition enthusiasts to stream to their multimedia files, regardless of bandwidth or device potential limitations. 

“Home and small office users are seeking new levels of performance, security, and intelligence in their storage systems. With the Intel® Celeron® N3050 processor and Intel® AES-NI encryption, Synology DS216+ satisfies these needs. Together, Intel and Synology are able to deliver greater efficiency and ROI to their customers,” said Andrea Nelson, Director of Storage Marketing, Storage Group, Intel.

By implementing Btrfs file system, DS216+ offers advanced data protection by enabling point-in-time snapshot and restore, built-in data integrity checks, metadata mirroring, as well as quota control for shared folders (in addition to existing quotas for user accounts). DS216+ also comes with tool-less drive tray design with hot-swappable support, and thoughtful front LED controls, allowing users to adjust LED brightness according to desired schedule settings. 

DS216+ runs DiskStation Manager (DSM), the most advanced and intuitive operating system for NAS devices. Featuring a wide range of applications from backup, network management to multimedia, DS216+ provides all essential services and increased productivity at work. Synology was voted as "PC Mag Business Choice Award winner" and received the highest rating in every element of the survey, including reliability, overall satisfaction, value, and likelihood to recommend.

For more information, please visit

Synology DiskStation DS216+ is now shipping globally.

January 27, 2016

ASUS Announces TUF Sabertooth Z170 S

By: Low Chern Lin

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (27th January, 2015) — ASUS today announced the immediate availability of TUF Sabertooth Z170 S here in Malaysia. The new ATX motherboard with stunning arctic-white digital camouflage and packed with many exclusive features for ultimate cooling. These include TUF Thermal Radar 2 fan management, TUF ICe temperature sensors, the TUF Detective 2 companion app for remote monitoring and control, and a color-matched Q-LED indicator light for boot analysis.

The new Intel® Z170 Express-based motherboard for 6th-generation Intel Core™ processors also boasts the latest connectivity with both USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C ports on board, and delivers 24/7 durability with military-grade TUF Components, upgraded TUF ESD Guards 2 to fend off electrostatic discharge, TUF LANGuard for reliable networking, and a five-year warranty[1] for complete peace of mind.

Designed tough, built to last: Arctic-white digital camouflage and ice-white Q-LED indicator
ASUS TUF was the world’s first motherboard brand to produce a motherboard with an all-white printed-circuit board (PCB), and Sabertooth Z170 S takes the arctic-camouflage concept even further — by stenciling the military-inspired digital pattern directly onto the board. The all-new look is both unique and evocative of might, enabling Sabertooth Z170 S to form the centerpiece of futuristic battle-ready rigs.

Sabertooth Z170 S’s arctic-white aesthetic is complemented by the Q-LED indicator light. With a design inspired by an armored cockpit, Q-LED keeps users informed of vital boot actions — all cast brightly by an ice-white LED. It’s the perfect complement for any arctic-themed build.

Ultimate cooling solution: TUF ICe, Thermal Radar 2 and TUF Detective 2
TUF Sabertooth Z170 S combines three thermal-management technologies to ensure the ultimate cooling for any build — TUF ICe, TUF Thermal Radar 2 and TUF Detective 2.

TUF ICe is a dedicated onboard processor that monitors onboard temperature sensors and fan speeds for ultra-accurate cooling.

TUF Thermal Radar 2 offers 11 fan connectors. The multiple onboard sensors hand users the power to monitor the temperature of the graphics card and other key components in real time, as well as the ability to adjust cooling manually or optimize it automatically with one click.

The free TUF Detective 2 companion app puts detailed system information and a user-friendly interface on a smartphone or tablet display — right at users’ fingertips. With TUF Detective 2, users are able to detect and diagnose errors and adjust their TUF Sabertooth Z170 S-based system with touchscreen ease, including the ability to control fans wirelessly via the app.

24/7 durability, latest connectivity: TUF Components, ESD Guards 2, 5-year warranty, and USB 3.1
TUF Sabertooth Z170 S is engineered with TUF Components so it’s tough enough for the most demanding conditions, even under heavy loading. Japanese-made 10K black metallic capacitors offer 20%-better temperature endurance for a longer lifespan, and TUF alloy chokes are manufactured using high-grade anti-oxidization materials to provide heat dissipation that’s 13% better than before for unbeatable durability.

It’s also constructed with upgraded TUF ESD Guards 2 to defend numerous ports against sudden electrostatic discharge. Engineered to be two times (2X) stronger than before, TUF ESD Guards 2 covers all USB sockets and rear I/O connectors — and exclusive pin-level testing on specific rear I/O connectors is 30% higher than the previous TUF standard.

TUF Sabertooth Z170 S also has LANGuard on board. This hardware-level networking protection, certified for military use, employs signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors to ensure a more reliable connection and better throughput. It also has electrostatically-guarded and surge-protected components for greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5X-greater surge tolerance.

Every TUF motherboard undergoes the industry’s most-punishing tests to ensure they’re ready for permanent duty in all scenarios. In our development labs we heat them to 95°C, freeze them all the way down to -45°C, bend them, shock them and drop them — meaning TUF Sabertooth Z170 S is certified for 24/7 durability. This is why we have the confidence to back every TUF Sabertooth Z170 S board with a five-year warranty.

TUF Sabertooth Z170 S has the newest, fastest and most convenient connectivity built in, with both USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible Type-C sockets for data-transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps — or twice (2X) as fast USB 3.0. USB 3.1 is completely backward-compatible with existing USB devices.

The ASUS TUF Sabertooth Z170 S will be available from authorized retailers at the price of RM 1,109.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Maximus VIII Hero Alpha

By: Low Chern Lin

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (27th January, 2015) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the immediate availability of Maximus VIII Hero Alpha here in Malaysia. The ATX Z170-based gaming motherboard packed with advanced gamer-friendly features and the very latest connectivity — and the world’s first motherboard with an integrated RGB header compatible with standard 12V RGB LED strips for instant custom illumination.

Maximus VIII Hero Alpha is the latest evolution of ROG’s gamer-delighting Maximus VIII Hero motherboard, upping the game with the two new four-pin headers for RGB strips, 2x2 (2T2R) 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO), USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C powered by an Intel® USB 3.1 controller for super-speed data transfers of up to 10Gbit/s, and dual NVM Express (NVMe) U.2 sockets and M.2 for extreme 32Gbit/s transfers and up to three-way RAID setups. 

Based on the latest Intel Z170 Express chipset, Maximus VIII Hero Alpha is engineered with multiple exclusive technologies for the best gaming performance and epic overclocking experiences with Intel 6th-generation processors and DDR4 memory. These advanced features include 5-Way Optimization auto-tuning for instant performance boosts, second-generation T-Topology for next-level DDR4 memory overclocking, and Pro Clock technology for turbo-charged base-clock (BCLK) frequencies.

Maximus VIII Hero Alpha also includes the best gaming audio with SupremeFX 2015 with Sonic Studio II, the best gaming networking with the latest Intel Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst IVBeta technologies.

Best gaming connectivity: RGB Strip Header, 2x2 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi, U.2, M.2 and USB 3.1
Maximus VIII Hero Alpha builds on the success and popularity of Maximus VIII Hero by adding loads of great new connectivity options, plus an exciting new instant-illumination RGB pathway. With two patented four-pin Aura RGB-Strip headers and included extension cables, it’s quick and easy for users to cast brilliant colors across their gaming rigs and room. It takes just a moment to slide a standard 12V RGB strip onto the Aura RGB-strip header, then the user is able to weave their lighting any way they like. Maximus VIII Hero Alpha also has the Aura lighting-control utility to command the motherboard’s powerful built-in RGB LEDs or attached RGB strips, or both — and in perfect synchronization. With Aura, users enjoy the creative freedom of six different lighting schemes, including controls for customized static, strobing and pulsating effects. Tempo-tracking and CPU-temperature-indication modes are also available.

Maximus VIII Hero Alpha has next-level 802.11ac Wi-Fi built in, with 2x2 (2T2R) dual-band 2.4/5GHz antennas for up to 867Mbit/s transfer speeds — and the very latest Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology to ensure that every connected user experiences the best wireless and online speeds.

To unlock the full potential the latest solid-state drives (SSDs), Maximus VIII Hero Alpha has dual NVMe U.2 connectors. This revolutionary specification enables SSDs to scream at top speed, while offering plug-and-play ease for users to experience data-transfer speeds of up to 32Gbit/s. Maximus VIII Hero Alpha also has an M.2 connector with x4 PCI Express 3.0/2.0 bandwidth, enabling up to three-way RAID setups for stupendous speed or data redundancy. In internal labs tests, Maximus VIII Hero Alpha has achieved write speeds of 3386MB/s and read operations of an incredible 3575MB/s — exploiting its optimized layout to deliver the best storage performance on Intel’s 6th-generation platform (‘Skylake’).

Maximus VIII Hero Alpha also has the newest USB 3.1 built in, including both USB 3.1 Type-A ports and reversible USB 3.1 Type-C sockets for superb convenience and data-transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s — or twice (2X) as fast USB 3.0. USB 3.1 is completely backward-compatible with existing USB devices, and ASUS-exclusive USB 3.1 Boost technology automatically accelerates USB 3.1 performance even further.

Best gaming performance: Second-gen T-topology, 5-Way Optimization, Pro Clock and DDR 3800+
Maximus VIII Hero Alpha benefits from 5-Way Optimization technology with automated overclocking and unrivaled fan control for instant, highly-controllable performance boosts. This exclusive technology dynamically optimizes essential system aspects based on real-time use for superb CPU performance, everyday energy savings, ultra-stable digital power, cool and quiet fans, and even includes networking and audio settings tailored for favorite games and apps.

The latest ROG gaming motherboard also has second-generation ASUS T-Topology built in, enabling users to take DDR4 memory overclocking to new heights: over 3800MHz is possible with Maximus VIII Hero Alpha’s memory slots fully populated. Featuring a customized trace layout for reduced crosstalk and coupling noise, second-generation T-Topology ensures time-aligned signal transfer for improved memory stability and compatibility.

For the ultimate in cooling and quietness Maximus VIII Hero Alpha features advanced fan and water-pump controls, coupled to onboard thermal sensors and hardware-level 4-pin/3-pin PWM/DC mode detection — all controlled by the intuitive simplicity of Fan Xpert 3. A dedicated onboard water-pump header ensures that best water-cooling efficiency is instantly accessible, and another fan-extension header is also built in for better upgradability 

Maximus VIII Hero Alpha also packs Pro Clock technology, a dedicated base-clock (BCLK) generator designed for 6th-generation Intel processors that allows overclocked base-clock frequencies of 400MHz — and even beyond. This custom solution works in tandem with ASUS ROG’s TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) to enhance voltage and base-clock overclocking control. Boot times can be reduced, jitter is lowered and stability is increased under heavy overclocking — providing an exciting new way to boost performance to extreme heights.

Best gaming audio: Champion-level SupremeFX 2015, Sonic Studio II, and one-click auto-tuning
Maximus VIII Hero Alpha has champion-level audio, inside and out. ROG’s engineers have reinvented integrated audio, with the very best gaming-audio inputs and outputs, special shielded designs, and a collection of carefully-selected, professional-grade audio components, including an ESS® ES9023P digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with Hyperstream™ technology, ultra-low-jitter clock, Nichicon® capacitors, 2VRMS headphone amp, and Sonic SenseAmp that automatically detects and optimizes any headset (32-600ohms) for purest sound quality.

SupremeFX 2015 also features intuitive Sonic Studio II to apply different audio effects for the most enjoyable entertainment, plus Perfect Voice noise-cancellation technology for both incoming and outgoing communications to give team conversations total clarity. This intuitive audio-tuning suite includes one-click virtual-surround function that emulates 7.1 channels, through even stereo (2.0-channel) headsets. It offers five more superb audio controls, including Reverb, Bass Boost, Equalizer, Voice Clarity and Smart EQ — ensuring that everything emitted by Maximus VIII Hero Alpha sounds just amazing.

Sonic Studio II incorporates Casting Enhancer to improve both streaming and recording audio quality, reducing noise artifacts and stabilizing overall voice volume. It also enhances all the rich details and boosts the bass effects of in-game sounds and music to deliver audio experiences with real feeling.

Best gaming networking: Lag-banishing Intel Gigabit Ethernet, LANGuard and GameFirst IVBeta
Maximus VIII Hero Alpha combines superior hardware and software technologies to deliver a knock-out blow to lag for online gaming without stutter.

The very latest Intel Gigabit Ethernet (I219-V) reduces CPU overhead and offers exceptionally-high TCP and UDP throughput, freeing up more computing power for gaming and gameplay, while exclusive LANGuard signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted components ensure reliable connections and better throughput. The new gaming boards also have electrostatically-guarded and surge-protected components (ESD Guards) for 1.9X-greater tolerance to static electricity and 2.5X-greater protection (up to 15KV) against surges.

All-new and exclusive GameFirst IVBeta technology prioritizes game-related packets and allocates more bandwidth to games, eliminating laggy gameplay, streaming stutters and file-sharing slowdown — users need only choose the Optimization, Game, Media Streaming or File Sharing preset to watch their networks fly. GameFirst IVBeta also includes Multi-Gate Teaming to team all available networks for maximum bandwidth and the smoothest-ever gameplay.

The ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VIII Hero Alpha will be available from authorized retailers at the price of RM1,569.