CM01
CM02

Win a trip to Hollywood with Cooler Master!

Check out Cooler Master's Power Rangers movie campaign now to learn more.

MSI Gaming GT73VR 6RF Titan Pro Gaming Notebook Review

The portable gaming powerhouse packed with the latest GeForce GTX 1080 desktop grade graphics and 4k resolution.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5 Dual Tone Review

Great features and modularity at smaller size and lower price.

Unboxing and Review: Logitech K380 Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard

It's a pain to get just a bluetooth keyboard for each device. Why not go for one that actually works with multiple device altogether?

Unboxing and Preview: Raijintek Triton 280 Liquid Cooler

This is probably the best AIO we have tested to date.

July 31, 2016

NVIDIA Ansel Support Coming To The Witcher 3 On August 15th


NVIDIA announced its revolutionary in-game screenshot and 360° view back in May 2016 and The Witcher 3 is among the list of games which will be receiving this proprietary update. If you're one of those who love the the great view in The Witcher 3, August 15th is the day for you to see more that just that fixed view you're seeing for the past few months - NVIDIA Ansel update is on its way!


Teasers can be seen on the Facebook page of The Witcher 3 and official announcement on NVIDIA's official Facebook page with a 360° screenshot attached is a solid proof for those who has already bought the game to expect the NVIDIA Ansel update to arrive when they launch the game on August 15th. 

The NVIDIA Ansel isn't limited only to the latest Pascal architecture GPUs, as a full list of supported GPUs can be found on NVIDIA's website. That's right, you don't own the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card with its latest Pascal GPU to enjoy this proprietary feature. 

(Source: WCCFTECH)

Unboxing & Review: Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition


Palit has been on its JetStream and Super JetStream cards with the all familiar red-black, silver-black and gold-black accents for years and they have finally decided to come up with new branding this year, the GameRock series. A new white-blue accent has been added to its new cooler design and it's specially designed for enthusiast gamers who desire to have the ultimate gaming experience.  

Special thanks to Palit for the provision of the GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition for today's review and with no further adieu, let's proceed with the review!

(The Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock will be available in both Standard Edition at RM2998 and Premium Edition at RM3280)

Specifications
Graphics Processing
GeForce GTX 1080
Core Clock
Boost: 1885 MHz / Base: 1756 MHz ( with 2560 CUDA Cores)
Memory Clock
10500 MHz
Process Technology
16 nm
Memory Size
8 GB
Memory Bus
256 bit
Card Bus
PCI-E 3.0 x 16
Memory Type
GDDR5X
DirectX
12
OpenGL
4.5
PCB Form
ATX
Digital max resolution
7680x4320 (requires 2*DP1.3 connectors)
Analog max resolution
4096x2160
Multi-view
4
Output
Dual-link DVI-D *1
HDMI-2.0b*1 (Max Resolution: 4096x2160 @60 Hz)
Display Port-1.4 *3 (Max Resolution: 7680x4320 @60 Hz)
Recommended PSU
500W
Power Connectors
8 pin*1
Card size
H=58 L=285 W=133 mm


Unboxing

The Palit GameRock logo design reminds us of the renown rhythm game 'Guitar Hero' but just to make things clear, the GameRock is Palit's latest graphics card lineup meant for the gamers and it has nothing to do with the Guitar Hero we know.


Prominent features of the graphics card can be found under the front lid.  


Inside the box, you'll find the Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock graphics card, a 2 x 6-pin PCIe to 8-pin PCIe adapter, drivers CD and a Quick Installation Guide.


The GTX 1080 GameRock comes available in both standard and premium editions that with a higher Base Clock, Boost Clock, and Memory Clock. The standard edition comes with a lower Base Clock of 1645MHz, Boost Clock of 1784MHz and Memory Clock of 10000MHz. Those who prefers higher GPU Clock and Memory Clock can opt for the premium edition with some top-up for Base Clock of 1746MHz, Boost Clock of 1885MHz and Memory Clock of 10500MHz.  


The cooling fans used is the TurboFan Blade which Palit claims to generate powerful air streams and pressure to improve cooling performance compared to NVIDIA's reference design. However, the cooling fans don't light up like any of Palit's previous graphics cards.


The GameRock series graphics card is given an ultra-thick heatsink with a copper base to handle the heat from the GPU, mainly for its GTX 1080. The cooler itself is more than enough to tame the heat from this GTX 1080 which has a slightly higher TDP of 200W compared to the GTX 1080 Founders Edition with a TDP of 180W. 


The shroud has a built-in RGB LED that changes color according to the GPU temperature on default and may be customized with the ThunderMaster software with up to a total of 16.8 million colors that suits your rig and its theme.


While both the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 Founders Edition now runs only on a single 8-pin PCIe power and PSU requirement as low as 500W, AIB partner's offer will usually comes with extra. The GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition appears to be a more powerful one with 8+2 power phase design compared to the 5+1 power phase design on the Founders Edition, but the power requirement has gone up from a single 8-pin to 6+8pin PCIe connector.


The GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition comes with a metal backplate with brushed metal finish and GameRock logo printed on. Like any metal backplate you've ever seen, the metal backplate here does pretty much the same by enhancing the overall rigidity of the card to prevent PCB sagging that usually occurs on graphic cards with a large heat sink.


There are also features that support the overclocking elites, where extra modification can be done to achieve better results in benchmark scores.


The dip switch located at the back of the graphics card is Palit's playing safe feature which allows you to toggle between the 2 BIOS available. BIOS 1 is Palit's overclocked version for higher GPU Clock and Memory Clock while BIOS 2 is what appears to be the BIOS for the Founders Edition card as the GPU Clock and Memory Clock observed is identical to the GTX 1080 Founders Edition. If you're a power user in mind and plan to flash the GPU with a much powerful BIOS, you can backup the BIOS via Palit ThunderMaster software as a safety measure in case if you still need the original BIOS.


SLI fingers are still available on the card, but as NVIDIA discourages any setup beyond 2-way SLI. NVIDIA and its partners have released a new SLI bridge that is supposed to support only 2-way SLI and improved performance compared to the older version of SLI bridge that used to come along as an accessory with motherboards.


The display output option is pretty common nowadays, 1 x DVI-I connector, 3 x DisplayPort and 1 x HDMI port.

Performance Test
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Raijintek Triton 240
CPU
Intel Core i7 4790K @4.6GHz
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus Hero VII
Memory
G.Skill TridentX 2400MHz
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 600W
Chassis
Vector Bench case

We mounted the GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition on our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room of about 30C° ambient temperature.


Performance 

We ran a few graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmarks in our possession on a selected settings at 1080p, which is considered as high for much of our test as usual.The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:



Performance Comparison With NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
We've done a performance comparison with a Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1080 and the result of the clash between the two beast of a card is as following:



Overclocking
We ran the same graphically demanding games and synthetic benchmark on 1080p with the highest achievable clock speed for both its memory and GPU that is stable enough to be able to complete each benchmark with the following values:
  • 77MHz raise on the GPU core clock
  • 584MHz raise on the memory clock
  • Extra 20% gain on the power
That isn't much due to the card has been highly overclocked by Palit, but we managed to hit a beefy 2108MHz GPU clock speed on boost during our benchmark session. 



Performance Comparison With NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition
We've done a performance comparison with a Founders Edition of the GeForce GTX 1080, both overclocked and we're seeing a quite near results as following:



Temperature
Temperature wise, the GameRock cooler is doing its job very well as we've observed a very decent temperature record of 45°C during idle and 72°C on load while running on default clock speed when the card is stressed with the FurMark burn-in test for an hour. Bumping up the GPU core clock with an extra 77MHz results in slightly higher temperature of 74°C for the FurMark burn-in test.  

Verdict
Performance wise, the Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Premium Edition is no doubt one of the most powerful GTX 1080 around based on its out of the box performance.  It can easily overpower the GTX 1080 Founders Edition without needing to overclock the card. While you can overclock it to squeeze for more performance, its overclocking headroom appears to be limited to 77MHz at most. Still, the effective boost clock recorded are very close to an overclocked GTX 1080 Founders Edition with extra 248MHz boost. 

The cooling performance with the GameRock series graphics card cooler is just awesome, with the temperature topped only at 
72°C on default clock and 74°C after overclocked.
An even better performance can be achieved with the fans running at 100% without sacrificing too much of its acoustic performance, all thanks to its TurboFan design and ultra-thick heat sink. 

Down to the prize, both Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock Standard Edition and Premium Edition comes at the price of RM2998 and RM3280 respectively. It's not really a friendly price to begin with but if we were to compare it with all custom GTX 1080 in the market, Palit is probably one of the few brands with the best deal around - it has a way better performance and it's few hundred bucks cheaper than a Founders Edition card at RM3399. 


Pros
  • Combination of both aesthetics and solid build quality
  • Easily overpowering both GTX 980Ti and GTX Titan X
  • Dual BIOS feature allows user to play safe with custom BIOS
  • Good overclocking headroom on BIOS 2 
  • One of the best performing and most affordable GTX 1080 in the market
Cons
  • BIOS 1 has limited overclocking headroom due to its already high GPU Clock and Memory Clock
  • Not easy to match with themed build that is not white and blue
  • It takes up to 2.5 slot, which is not an ideal choice for SLI if you're using a mATX form factor motherboard 
  • ThunderMaster software GUI needs some improvement - the blue is overwhelming

July 30, 2016

Alleged Synthetic Benchmark of NVIDIA Pascal Titan X Surfaces


NVIDIA's Pascal Titan X launch is just around the corner and it seems that NVIDIA has started sending out the Pascal Titan X samples and some have already arrived in the hands of reviewers and relevant organization or individual. 

The alleged synthetic benchmark on Chiphell shows that the Pascal Titan X performs much better than the Maxwell Titan X. But, the difference in numbers isn't reflecting any of the gaming performance difference between the Maxwell Titan X and Pascal Titan X, but the synthetic CUDA-based software that uses different and more architecture optimized cuDNN4 and cuDNN5 libraries, which can be used in deep learning neural networks.  


(Source: Chiphell)

July 29, 2016

AMD To launch Radeon RX 470 and RX 460 On Early August 2016



It's only a week after we've attended the RX 480 launch event, AMD has finally revealed the official specs and availability of both RX 470 and RX 460 today. As what has been mentioned earlier during the launch event, AMD is aiming straight at the $100 ~ $200 mainstream graphics card with both of its RX 470 and RX 460, bringing affordable yet brilliant HD gaming, Cool and Efficient E-Sports gaming experience to the mainstream gamers. 

Radeon RX 470 - Tailored For Brilliant HD Gaming

The RX 470 features the Polaris 10 PRO GPU which has 32 Compute Units and 2048 Stream Processors in total, 4GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 1650 Mhz, 256-bit interface that offers bandwidth up to 211GB/s, GPU that has an effective boost clock of up to 1206 MHz and it's capable of 4.9 TFLOPs peak compute performance. While AMD is offering the RX 470 with a total of 4GB GDDR5 memory, AIB partners may offer a different variant of RX 470 with up to 8GB GDDR5 memory if needed.

While it's using 6-pin power connector just like the RX 480, the RX 470 is reported to have a lower TDP of 120W and theoretically, should be able to deliver more overclocking performance.The RX 470 is expected to be available later next month by August 4th at the price of $149 for the 4GB variant and $179 for the 8GB variant.


According to the above details from AMD, the RX 470 is capable of delivering ‘brilliant HD Gaming’ experience. We're assuming the RX 470 to be 1.5 to 2.4 times faster than R7 270 in certain games running on 1080p.

Radeon RX 460 - For Cool and Efficient E-Sports Gaming

Unlike both RX 480 and RX 470 with Polaris 10 GPU, the RX 460 features the Polaris 11 GPU which has 14 Compute Units (896 Stream Processors), 2GB or 4GB GDDR5 memory clocked at 1750 Mhz, 128-bit interface that offers bandwidth up to 112GB/s, GPU 1200 MHz MHz and it's capable of 2.2 TFLOPs peak compute performance. 

As what AMD claims to be a cool and efficient GPU, the RX 460 will be all powered only through PCI-E interface. While AMD didn't actually mention the exact number for its TDP, the specs available showed that the RX 460 will have a TDP of below 75W. The RX 460 is expected to be available later next month by August 8th (after the RX 470) at the price of $99 for the 2GB variant and $119 for the 8GB variant.



Specially designed for E-Sports gaming, the RX 460 It should be 1.2 to 1.3 times faster than Radeon R7 260X in games like Dota 2, CounterStrike GO, Overwatch, Rocket League or even GTA5.

(Source: videocardz)

Western Digital Announces World’s First 64 Layer 3d Nand Technology


Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that it has successfully developed its next generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS3, with 64 layers of vertical storage capability. Pilot production of the new technology has commenced in the Yokkaichi, Japan joint venture facilities and initial output is expected later this year. Western Digital expects meaningful commercial volumes of BiCS3 in the first half of calendar 2017.

“The launch of the next generation 3D NAND technology based on our industry-leading 64 layer architecture reinforces our leadership in NAND flash technology,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, Western Digital. “BiCS3 will feature the use of 3-bits-per-cell technology along with advances in high aspect ratio semiconductor processing to deliver higher capacity, superior performance and reliability at an attractive cost. Together with BiCS2, our 3D NAND portfolio has broadened significantly, enhancing our ability to address a full spectrum of customer applications in retail, mobile and data center.”


BiCS3, which has been developed jointly with Western Digital’s technology and manufacturing partner Toshiba, will be initially deployed in 256 gigabit capacity and will be available in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip. Western Digital expects volume shipments of BiCS3 for the retail market in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 and to begin OEM sampling this quarter. Shipments of the company’s previous generation 3D NAND technology, BiCS2, continue to customers in retail and OEM.

July 27, 2016

Unboxing & Preview: Bitfenix BPA600 Power Supply


Let's face it, among all the components that sit in your desktop chassis, the power supply unit is the least interesting piece of tech. Even so, it is one of the most important components that would determine how stable your system would run.

Today what we have in our labs is the entry level and budget friendly PSU - Bitfenix BPA600. Let's take a look how the renowned casing manufacture fares in producing power supplies.

Retails for RM200.00+-

Unboxing & Review: Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L Keyboard Mouse Combo


Fancy RGB lightings and endless customization with custom keycaps started as a trend that only the mechanical keyboard users get to enjoy. With the expiry of Cherry MX switch patent (US 4467160A), more and more users get to enjoy cheaper mechanical keyboard alternatives with imitation switches such as Kailh, Gateron, Outemu, etc has sprung up like mushrooms after the rain but not all these lower cost alternative are able to deliver a smooth transition on its LED lighting. 

We have the MasterKeys Lite L here at Tech Critter's lab today, Cooler Master's latest keyboard and mouse combo in the MasterKeys lineup. Unlike the Pro model in the MasterKeys lineup, the MasterKeys Lite isn't actually a mechanical keyboard but rather, a "memchanical" keyboard just like the Devastator II with a twist RGB goodness. 

A big thanks to Cooler Master Malaysia for the provision of the review unit for MasterKeys Lite L and with no further adieu, let's check out what makes the MasterKeys Lite L a worthy set of peripherals to own.


(The Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L will be available at the price of RM299)

Packaging

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L ships in a stylish black minimalist packaging that shouts "premium" on this keyboard mouse combo from Cooler Master.



At the back of the box, you'll find a labelled diagram depicting Cooler Master's exclusive "mem-chanical" switch along with multilingual description on its prominent features.



Inside the box, you'll find this quick start guide, the only extras that comes together with the keyboard and mouse combo.

MasterKeys Lite L: Keyboard

Keyboard Specifications:
Switch Type
Cooler Master Mem-chanical
Color
Black
LED Color
RGB
Polling Rate
125 Hz
Repeat Rate
Normal 1x / Turbo 8x
On-the-fly system
Lighting / Multimedia / Win LK
Cable
Non-Detachable Rubber Cable
Connector Cable
USB 2.0
Cable Length
1.8 Meters
Dimensions
439*129*41mm
Product Weight (without cable)
967g
Warranty
2 years

The Keyboard


At first glance, we can see that the MasterKeys Lite L keyboard are kept simple and clean to maintain that minimalism wow factor throughout the MasterKeys lineup - no more exaggerated design for good!


The cable used rather soft compared to all previous MasterKeys keyboard we've come across and the USB connector isn't the gold plated ones that we usually see on a gaming keyboard. However, it's good to see that Cooler Master decided to attach a ferrite core to the cable to eliminate any potential noise and interference that could affect your overall experience with the keyboard.


The favorable ergonomic curve that's been a standard for most gaming keyboard nowadays. 



The function keys to adjust the keyboard LED modes to your personal preference. While the pre-programmed LED modes on the MasterKeys Lite L keyboard are limited, you'll still be able to adjust the LED modes to your preference on certain LED modes i.e. static color that can be adjusted with F2~F4 keys, programmable region.


Other functions such as input rate adjustment between 1x to 8x, keyboard lock and Windows key lock are some extra features that will come in handy in the time of needs, i.e. increase input rate for MMO games, keyboard lock to prevent accidental trigger when you're working on other tasks on your desk, Windows key lock to prevent accidental trigger that has been troubling gamers for years.  


Cooler Master has opted for the design where multimedia function keys are located right above the arrow keys since the Quick Fire Rapid-i, which makes it a lot easier to access compared to the traditional design that places these keys at the F1 to F12 row.


"Mem-chanical" switch, also known as plunger switch to the keyboard veteran but with a twist of Cherry MX compatible stem design is Cooler Master's exclusive design to bring the maker concept not only to the mechanical keyboard section but also a cheaper alternative when it comes to keyboard customization.


The keycaps are made of ABS material with very high translucency to allow more lights to shine through the keycaps. 


Metal wire stabilizer is used on longer keycaps like the spacebar, modifier keys for a better overall experience.


The bottom of the keyboard looks nice and clean, no screw holes, no cable routing path.


The keyboard feet comes with a large rubber base and rubber tip to provide that extra grip to keep the keyboard stationary on your desk.


The MasterKeys Lite L keyboard with its LEDs on rainbow wave mode.




Unlike individual mechanical switches with dedicated slot for LED, the MasterKeys Lite L keyboard got its fancy lighting from these very bright LEDs shining through a translucent acrylic sheet and the rubber domes to light up each and every key on the keyboard.  

LED Modes Preview



Key Rollover Test


We started off with the key combination used by renown music rhythm games, the maximum amount of keys that can be registered without involving the modifier keys is 11 in total - good news for those who needs more keys getting registered at the same time.




For FPS games wise, we're glad to report that the major key combination for movement is clear from any signal blocking nor ghosting effect.




MMO games that need the combination as above is safe from both signal blocking and ghosting effect, CLEAR!




The arrow keys are clear from signal blocking and ghosting as well.


MasterKeys Lite L: Mouse

Mouse Specifications:
Sensor
Optical AVAGO 3050
Switch Type
Omron 10M
Color
Black
LED Color
RGB
On-the-fly system
Lighting / DPI
Cable
Non-Detachable Rubber Cable
Connector Cable
USB 2.0
Cable Length
1.8 Meters
Dimensions
114*64*39mm
Product Weight (without cable)
91 g
Warranty
2 years

The Mouse

The mouse included in the MasterKeys Lite L is none other than the very basic version of the MasterMouse that we saw during our visit to Cooler Master's booth at Computex 2016.



Same goes to the mouse, the USB connector isn't gold plated and a ferrite core is attached to the cable to eliminate potential noise and interference that goes through the cable for a better overall experience with the mouse.


Its ambidextrous design that will do just well for both left-handed and right-handed users, except for the side buttons that goes really awkward for left-handed users. 


Easily reachable DPI toggle button and solid scroll wheel on this mouse are the traits that you don't usually get on a mouse from a keyboard mouse combo.


The side buttons are made to go along with the curve on the side of the mouse for a more comfortable grip and ease of tringger, but it feels less clicky, rather mushy to our liking.


The translucent lining at the end of the mouse that is meant for LED to shine through, aesthetics matter.


At the bottom of the mouse, you'll find these Teflon mouse feet for the best gliding experience. The AVAGO 3050 Optical Sensor used supports a wide range of DPI from 500 to 3500 with 4 DPI level that can be changed with the use of the DPI change button on the mouse.


The mouse with its LED lit - looks much better than we've expected!


Testing


We've tested the mouse  on one of our favorite game so far, Tom Clancy's The Division and here's what we think about it, tip to the end: 
  • Glide: The mouse glides smoothly on hard rigid mat but not on soft mat due to its mouse skates that is rather thin, causing the side of the mouse to brush against the surface of the soft mat if additional force is exerted to the mouse while gliding on thicker soft mat (5mm thickness). 
  • Grip: The mouse is rather small in size and not really favorable to those with larger palm size. Still, palm grip and claw grip style work great if you have smaller palm size, its ambidextrous design allows right-handed and left-handed users to have a good grip without much issue, but the side buttons are made much more comfortable for right-handed users. 
  • DPI Button: The DPI toggle button is fairly easy to reach with minimal movement on the index finger and is less prone to be triggered by accident.
  • Weight: The mouse itself is a little light for our preference but it'll work great for fast paced games like RTS, MMORPG, etc. 

Verdict

Custom keycaps is definitely a plus but just so you know, Cherry MX keycap compatible plunger switches isn't exactly something new and it's not really something that makes it stand out of the competition. Its RGB lighting however, is definitely the best we've seen to date, even better than most value mechanical keyboard with limited RGB lightings and modes. In addition, you're getting not only the keyboard, but a pretty decent mouse with RGB lighting and is capable of 500 to 3500 on the DPI selection as well.

Aside of its RGB lightings and compatibility with Cherry MX keycaps, the MasterKeys Lite L keyboard also comes with input rate toogle function, Windows key lock and full keyboard lock function, and gaming optimized key matrix to meet the demand of gamers nowadays. The mouse too, is able to meet most of our demand as a gamer, but due to its size and design, there are minor compromises such as not being able to do a comfortable palm grip for users with large palm size, and the brushing sensation while gliding sideways if too much force is exerted to the mouse.

The Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L's RM299 price tag might sound a little ridiculous for a keyboard mouse combo with non-mechanical keyboard, but it's pretty obvious that the MasterKeys Lite L managed to pull this off with a few of the qualities mentioned above which makes it worth of that price tag. 

Pros
  • Keyboard is clean and sturdily built
  • UV Coating on the peripherals ensures long lasting pleasant experience
  • Unique plunger switches design 
  • Compatible with Cherry MX keycaps
  • Smooth transition on the RGB lighting 
  • Mouse comes with wider range of DPI selection - 500 to 3500
  • Tracks well on both cloth and hard mat
  • Gaming optimized key matrix 
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • Limited LED modes
  • While it's ambidextrous design, the mouse side buttons are designed only for right-handed users
Subjective
  • The mouse will brush against the surface of a cloth mousepad if too much force is exerted to the mouse while gliding sideways

 
CM03