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AMD’s Latest Drivers Iron Out Problems With Hitman 2, Battlefield V

AMD released new Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1 drivers today to improve support for Hitman 2, Fallout 76, Battlefield V and other titles.

Of those three games named above, only Battlefield V is currently available, and that’s only as pre-release software made available to Origin Access Premier subscribers. But it won’t take long for these games to reach the masses. Hitman 2 debuts on November 13, Fallout 76 on November 14 and Battlefield Von November 15. Releasing these drivers now can help make sure AMD graphics card owners actually install them in time for the games’ launch and will also give the company a chance to identify problems with the drivers so it can further improve support for the titles when they debut.

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AMD quantified the performance improvements in Hitman 2 and Battlefield V with the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1 drivers instead of the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.10.2 release. Most people are unlikely to notice the gains–Hitman 2 saw a 3 percent increase on Radeon RX 580 (8GB) graphics cards, while Battlefield V saw 8 percent and 9 percent improvements with Radeon RX Vega 64 and RX 580 (8GB) cards at 1080p, respectively.

The new driver also includes some fixes for other titles. AMD said that it resolved a problem with the Radeon Overlay on the Windows 10 October 2018 Update that caused instability and game crashes… not that not that anyone will be affected by that bug. It also fixed issues with Assassin’s Creed Origins, Wolfenstein II and Strange Brigade that resulted in crashes or graphical oddities.

The new drivers have some known issues, though, including one that can prevent the Radeon Overlay from working on systems with multiple displays while playing Battlefield V. AMD said that “some systems running multiple displays may experience mouse lag when at least one display is enabled but powered off” and that Vega graphics cards “may experience elevated memory clocks during system idle.”

You can find the full patch notes as well as download links for the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1 drivers on AMD’s website.

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SilverStone Wins CES 2019 Innovation Award for Its Nightjar NJ450-SXL Power Supply

SilverStone puts lots of effort in the small form factor PSU category, and a few months ago released the Nightjar NJ450-SXL. It’s the only passively cooled SFX-L unit available on the market today. It’s based on an impressive platform, provided by Enhance Electronics. So it’s not exactly a surprise that this power supply has been named as “CES 2019 Innovation Awards Honoree.”

This title goes to products or technologies that score above the threshold set for a specific category, and the NJ450-SXL definitely sets a new standard in the small form factor category. So far, no other manufacturer has introduced a passive SFX-L unit, and besides dead-silent operation, the NJ450-SXL offers high performance as well, along with extremely high efficiency levels. After all, with a fanless product like this, the only way to deal with heat dissipation is to increase efficiency.

The NJ450-SXL will be on display, along with the rest of the nominees, at the Innovation Awards Showcase at CES 2019 in Las Vegas early next year.

The PSU is currently available wordlwide, with a recommended MSRPs of $189.00 for the US market, and €159.90 in Europe.

Its noteworthy features are:

  • SFX-L form factor
  • Fanless design
  • LAMBDA-A++ noise certification by Cybenetics (the best in the scale)
  • 80 PLUS Platinum and ETA-A (88-91 percent) efficiency certifications
  • Fully modular (1x EPS and 4x PCIe connectors)
  • 24/7 continuous power output at 40 ℃ ambient

The following tables show the important aspects of this product.

Specifications

Cable Configuration

Power Specifications

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Eurocom Tornado F7W Laptop Arrives With i9-9900K, 128GB RAM

Eurocom has taken the wraps off the Tornado F7W, the brand’s latest high-end mobile workstation powered by an Intel Core i9-9900K octa-core processor and Nvidia Quadro P5200 graphics.

Credit: EurocomCredit: EurocomThe Tornado F7W is a heavy-duty mobile workstation with a black, aluminium alloy exterior and backlit keyboard. It’s equipped with a 17.3-inch matte screen, and Eurocom offers two display options. The Full HD (FHD) option ($3,499 / £2,399) features a TN panel (Chi Mei N173HHE-G32) with a 120Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time and coverage of 94 percent of the NTSC color gamut. The more expensive UHD option ($3,669 / £2,516) employs an IPS panel (AUO B173ZAN01.0 I) with a 60HZ refresh rate, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 100 percent coverage of the Adobe sRGB color gamut and 400 nits of brightness (contrast and brightness for the TN panel were not readily available).

Eurocom touts the Tornado F7W as a fully upgradeable laptop. It features a LGA1151 socket for housing modern desktop processors and a modular Mobile PCI Express Module (MXM) 3.1 design for workstation-grade Quadro graphics cards. The laptop is based on the Intel C246 chipset and, therefore, supports a wide range of Coffee Lake processors, such as the recently launched Intel Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K processors, as well as the previous generation of Core 8000-series chips. Processor support extends to the hexa-core Xeon E-2176G and E-2186G parts as well.

Credit: EurocomCredit: Eurocom

Being a workstation in nature, the Tornado F7W is only available with Nvidia Quadro graphics options. Sorry, gamers. The laptop utilizes MXM 3.1 modules, which are 82 x 105mm in size. Consumers can outfit the Tornado F7W with a Nvidia Quadro P5200, P420 or P3200 graphics card.

Samsung’s 16Gb advancement has paved the way for high-density 32GB SO-DIMM modules. Equipped with four DDR4 SO-DIMM memory slots, the Tornado F7W can accommodate up to 128GB of memory with speeds up to 2,666MHz. There is only a handful of laptops on the market that are designed to support ECC (error-correcting code) and non-ECC memory, and the Eurocom’s Tornado F7W is one of them.

Credit: EurocomCredit: Eurocom

The Tornado F7W mobile workstation is equipped with three M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots and two 2.5-inch SATA III bays, so consumers can have up to five physical drives and scale up to 22TB of storage space. There is support for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 configurations with conventional 2.5-inch SSDs and RAID 0, 1 and 5 configurations with NVMe SSDs. The Tornado F7W comes with a Thunderbolt 3.0 port, five USB 3.1 ports, one Mini DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 2.0 port. As a result, the laptop can output video up to four displays for enhanced productivity.

According to Eurocom, the Tornado F7W is also rich in security features. Consumers have access to a Smartcard reader, TPM 2.0 module, fingerprint scanner and BIOS disk encryption for data protection. Eurocom even offers an “anti-hacking package,” which basically removes the laptop’s webcam, microphone and wireless connectivity.

The Tornado F7W is available for purchase at Eurocom’s website. The base configuration starts at $3,499 (£2,399).

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Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition Hits Newegg Canada

AMD hasn’t officially announced the Radeon RX 590 graphics card yet. However, the cat has been out of the bag for a while now. Today, Newegg Canada listed the the Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition on its marketplace.

First, a quick refresher. The Radeon RX 590 is rumored to be based around a revised Polaris 30 silicon, which is basically a die-shrink from the Polaris 20 silicon employed in the Radeon RX 580. According to an October 29 tweet by Andreas Schilling, an editor at HardwareLuxx, the Radeon RX 590 will come out of the 12nm FinFET oven.

Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition Specs

According to the Newegg posting, Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition measures 260 x 135 x 43mm. The graphics card features a 2.2-slot design and employs the distinctive blue Dual-X cooler. Its cooling system reportedly consists of a combination of two 8mm and two 6mm heat pipes that transfer heat away from the internal components to the heat sink, whereby a pair of 95mm dual-ball bearing fans provide it with active cooling. Newegg’s listing says the fans only spin up when the GPU temperature hits 54 degrees Celsius (129.2 degrees Fahrenheit). An eight-layer PCB with a 6-phase power delivery subsystem is said to be hidden underneath the large blue cooler. The graphics card reportedly carries Sapphire’s Black Diamond 4th Chokes, which, according to the manufacturer, are 10 percent cooler and 25 percent more power efficient than conventional chokes. Power to the graphics card runs through a 6-pin and a 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the specs say.

As expected, it looks like the Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition is equipped with 2,304 stream processors, 36 compute units and 8GB of GDDR5 memory across a 256-bit memory interface. The graphics card comes equipped two performance profiles, which users can choose via the switch on the side of the graphics card, the posting says, adding that the Nitro Boost profile cranks the graphics card’s boost clock up to 1,560MHz and the memory clock to 8,400MHz. The silent profile, on the other hand, should maintain the boost clock at 1,545MHz and the memory clock at 8,000MHz.

There is reportedly a total of five display outputs on the graphics card: two DisplayPort outputs, two HDMI ports and a DVI-D port. The Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition also features dual UEFI BIOS.

Pricing

The Sapphire Radeon RX 590 Nitro+ Special Edition is listed by a third-party seller for 600 CAD (~$450 / £349). With the rebate applied, the price goes down to 500 CAD (~$378 / £291). Nevertheless, the pricing should be taken with a pinch of salt as the Newegg posting could just be a placeholder

 

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Adata XPG Spectrix D41 RGB Value At DDR4-3600 review

data has finally established itself as a performance-value brand in the U.S. by assuming the lead in recent performance memory price drops with its RGB-enhanced D41 DDR4-3600 kit, which is priced well below that of recent competitors. This isn’t the best DDR4-3600 that any amount of money can buy, but it may be the best DDR4-3600 many builders can afford.

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Lenovo Release Intel Cascade Lake Xeon CPU processor Lineup

Even though we’ve finally got word from Intel about Cascade Lake server processors, the release schedule for Cascade Lake-X is kind of a mess.

There are some Cascade Lake Xeon processors hitting the street today. Intel has released, the Xeon E-2100 line processors, aimed at small businesses, with up to 6 cores. Intel also hinted at up to 48-core server-grade Cascade Lake processors hitting the market in early 2019, according to a report from Ars Technica. We can’t wait to see what those higher-end chips can do.

That’s all we know for now, but something tells us that there will be much more to Cascade Lake over the next few months, so stay tuned for all your Cascade Lake release date information.

 

 

Coincidence or not, Intel made two processor announcements one day ahead of AMD’s Next Horizon event. The Santa Clara chipmaker disclosed its intentions to expand the Xeon family of processors with the upcoming Cascade Lake-AP (Advanced Performance) and Xeon E-2100 entry-level processors.

Intel also recently announced its Cascade Lake-SP (Scalable Performance) processors, but its announcement had very little technical information. The company also kept quiet about the planned models. Intel probably won’t reveal those specifics until the official launch, which is supposed to be at the end of the year. However, Lenovo did the work for Intel and listed the entire Cascade Lake lineup with detailed specifications.

 

Lenovo’s listing includes up to 39 different models from the Xeon Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum product lines. Curiously, Intel’s confirmed 48-core Cascade Lake-AP monster wasn’t among the processors listed. It’s a good indication that the 48-core part isn’t ready yet, and Intel is probably still putting the final touches on the chip. Cascade Lake-AP is expected to come out sometime in the first half of 2019.

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Platinum Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280M 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280L 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 28 2.7 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276M 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276L 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8276 28 2.3 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8270 26 2.6 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8268 24 2.9 GHz 205W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260M 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260L 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260 24 2.4 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Platinum 8260C 24 / 20 / 16 2.4 GHz / 2.6 GHz / 2.8 GHz 165W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Gold Processors

Model Core
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Gold 6252 24 2.1 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6238T 22 2.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6248 20 2.6 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6230 20 2.1 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6254 18 3.2 GHz 200W
Intel Xeon Gold 6240 18 2.6 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 6240C 18 / 14 / 8 2.6 GHz / 2.8 GHz / 3.1 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 5250 18 2.9 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6242 16 2.8 GHz 150W
Intel Xeon Gold 5218 16 2.3 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5128T 16 2.2 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Gold 5117 14 2.0 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215M 10 2.6 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215L 10 2.6 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Gold 5215 10 2.6 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 6244 8 3.7 GHz 165W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217M 8 3.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217L 8 3.0 GHz 125W
Intel Xeon Gold 5217 8 3.0 GHz 85W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Silver Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Silver 4216 16 2.2 GHz 100W
Intel Xeon Silver 4214 12 2.2 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4214C 12 / 10 /8 2.1 GHz /2.2 GHz / 2.3 GHz 105W
Intel Xeon Silver 4210 10 2.2 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4215 8 2.5 GHz 85W
Intel Xeon Silver 4209T 8 2.2 GHz 70W
Intel Xeon Silver 4208 8 2.1 GHz 85W

Intel Cascade Lake Xeon Bronze Processors

Model Cores
Base Clock TDP
Intel Xeon Bronze 3204 6 1.9 GHz 85W
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AMD Ryzen 7 2700X vs Intel Core i7-9700K processor Which CPU Is Badass ?

Both AMD and Intel have compelling consumer CPU platforms. In a previous article, we compared AMD’s second-generation Ryzen against Intel’s new 9th generation Core processors to see which platform deserves to capture your hard-earned money. Looking at the company lineups as a whole, we concluded that Intel’s Core i9-9900K is the fastest consumer-class CPU available for almost anything.

However, many people—even enthusiast gamers—can’t justify spending $499 (£432.59) on their processor. Presumably, most people shopping for a higher-end consumer CPU would be more inclined to consider a less-expensive option than a Core i9-9900K, like Intel’s Core i7-9700K or AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X.

To help you choose, we put the two popular processors through a seven-round face-off, based on their features, overclocking, coolers, motherboards, performance and value.

Features

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is an eight-core 16-thread 3.7 GHz processor, with a top stock Precision Boost speed of 4.3 GHz and a 105W TDP. It is AMD’s top-of-the-line second-generation Ryzen processor.

AMD’s second-generations Zen architecture features support for DDR4-2933 memory, whereas first-generation Ryzen platform officially supports DDR4-2667. The new architecture also includes improvements to AMD’s SensMI suite, which dynamically adjusts the performance of the CPU to ensure maximum performance efficiency.

SenseMI consists of five components: Pure Power monitors temperatures, voltages and currents, and adjusts the power delivery in real time to limit power usage; Precision Boost dynamically adjusts the CPU’s frequency in 25MHz increments to match the performance needs of the current task; XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) works with Precision Boost to unlock a higher clock ceiling if ample cooling is detected.

The Ryzen 7 2700X features AMD’s second-generation Precision Boost 2, which can address core clocks individually, and it includes XFR2 technology, which now unlocks up to 7 percent more headroom.

  Intel Core i7-9700K AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Architecture Coffee Lake Zen+
Socket 1151 AM4
Cores / Threads 8/8 8/16
Base Frequency (GHz) 3.6 3.7
Boost Frequency
(Active Cores – GHz)
1 Core  –  4.9
2 Cores – 4.8
4 Cores – 4.7
8 Cores – 4.6
4.3GHz
L3 Cache 12MB 16MB
Process 14nm++ 12nm
TDP 95W 105W
Memory Speed DDR4-2666 DDR4-2933 (single rank)
DDR4-2677 (dual rank)
Memory Controller Dual-Channel Dual-Channel
Integrated UHD Graphics GT2
(Base/Boost MHz)
350 / 1200 no iGPU
Recommended Customer Pricing $374 – $385 $329

After trailing AMD’s eight-core 16-thread Ryzen CPUs in core count for a couple of generations, Intel gave its Core i7 and Core i9 9th generation CPUs the same eight physical cores. Unfortunately, the new Core i7-9700K doesn’t support Hyperthreading (that technology went to the new i9-9900K only), which means that it has half as many threads as its AMD competitor.

The Core i7-9700K features a base frequency of 3.6 GHz, which can reach a boost clock of 4.9 GHz in single threaded applications, 4.8GHz across two cores, or 4.7GHz across four cores, and 4.6GHz on all eight cores. Intel’s 9th Generation Core architecture supports DDR4-2666 memory speeds, which is somewhat lower than the new Ryzen platform. Although, you should have no trouble running much faster memory. We ran DDR4-3466 for our review of the i7-9700K.

Base
1 Core
2 Cores
3 Cores
4 Cores
5 Cores
6 Cores
7 Cores
8 Cores
Core i7-9700K (GHz)
3.6 4.9 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6
Ryzen 7 2700X (GHz) 3.7 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3

Intel’s 9th generation Core processors now also feature solder-based thermal interface material (STIM), which in theory should improve heat dissipation. The improved thermal interface doesn’t enable much extra headroom for overclocking, but it allowed Intel to add two extra cores without deploying a smaller manufacturing process. These new chips are built on the same 14nm++ manufacturing process as the 8th generation CPUs.

Winner: AMD. In a matchup between the Core i7-9700K and the Ryzen 7 2700X, we have to give AMD the slight edge because both platforms offer dynamic core clock adjustments, but Ryzen features eight cores and 16 threads, whereas Intel’s i7 doesn’t offer thread doubling like AMD.

Motherboard Options

Intel’s 9th generation Core processors share the Intel 300-Series chipsets with the 8th generation processors, which means you have several possible motherboard options to pair with a Core i7-9700K.

Intel’s H310 is the company’s budget-class 300-series chipset. It technically supports the top-tier Core i9-9900K, but it forgoes features such as Optane memory support, PCIe 3.0, and more than two DIMMS for memory to keep the costs down. The Intel B360, H370, and Q370 chipsets offer varying features for different situations, but you shouldn’t even consider those options with the Core i7-9700K, because none of them let you overclock.

Intel doesn’t allow you to overclock your processor unless you have a motherboard equipped with one of Intel’s top-tier Z-series chipsets. The Z370 (with the latest BIOS installed) supports the new Core i7-9700K, but the new Z390 chipset offers additional features such as native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports and integrated Wireless-AC 2×2 160 MHz WiFi hardware.

AMD also offers a wide selection of chipset options for different use cases. The A300 and A330 chipsets are meant for budget-minded consumers who require just the bare minimum. The B350 and B450 chipsets are performance-oriented options that don’t support multi-GPU configurations. And the X370 and X470 are the high-performance options with all the bells and whistles, including support for dual-graphics card configurations.

AMD doesn’t limit overclocking to the top-of-the-line hardware, though. Every Ryzen processor comes unlocked from the factory, and you can overclock them with any motherboard with any chipset, save the lowest-end A320. However, we wouldn’t expect to see the same kind of performance gains as you would with an enthusiast-grade X470 motherboard.

Winner: AMD offers the better platform for motherboard choice. Intel’s options are restrictive and somewhat elitist, which arbitrarily raises the entry costs for Intel-based setups.

MORE: AMD Ryzen 2 vs. Intel 9th Gen Core: Which CPU Deserves Your Money?

MORE: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2 vs. Intel Skylake-X: Battle of the High-End CPUs

Overclocking Potential

Intel and AMD both support overclocking, but each company has a different philosophy about the practice. All AMD Ryzen processors come unlocked from the factory, which means you can take the cheapest Ryzen CPU and push it to new limits. Intel, on the other hand, restricts overclocking to the expensive K-variants of its CPU lineup.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X features a base frequency of 3.7 GHz, and we managed to get another 500MHz out of our sample before hitting the voltage limitations. Intel’s Core i7-9700K starts at a lower base frequency of 3.6 GHz, but it’s not uncommon to hit 5GHz or more on all eight cores.

More importantly, overclocking an Intel CPU nets a substantial performance increase in most tasks, whereas overclocking a Ryzen CPU doesn’t offer much in the way of noticeble performance gains because AMD’s Precision Boost 2 technology already dynamically pushes the CPU to its performance limits, provided you have a capable motherboard and cooler.

Winner: Intel. With higher maximum clock speeds and more performance gains, an Intel Core i7-9700K offers better overlocking potential.

Cooling Solutions

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X includes the company’s top-of-the-line “Wraith Prism” cooler, which features four copper heat pipes and a downward firing fan. The Wraith Prism also offers two modes; “L” mode is rated for 116w and operates at 2800 RPM, and “H” mode can dissipate 124w of heat and operates at 3600 RPM. And for the RGB fans out there, the Wraith Prism also features three RGB zones which you can control independently.

The Wraith Prism isn’t the most powerful cooler available, but it certainly gets the job done. In our tests, the cooler kept all eight cores of the Ryzen 7 2700X below 83°C even under our most extreme load tests. Most workloads don’t push your CPU to its limits like our stress tests, so you would likely see somewhat lower average temperatures. You could even manage a moderate overclock on the stock cooler.

However, the Wraith Prism’s performance comes at the expense of sound. AMD said the cooler should produce approximately 39 dB of noise, which is true at idle. But under full load, we recorded 44 dB coming from the bundled heatsink solution.

The extra noise that the Wraith Prism produces isn’t enough to knock it off the podium in this matchup, though. Intel doesn’t even offer a stock cooler for the Core i7-9700K, which means you must factor in the cost of a cooler when budgeting.

Winner: AMD, without question. Although, you should consider an aftermarket cooler if you wish to overclock your CPU to its fullest.

Gaming Performance

If raw gaming performance is what you’re after, the choice is abundantly clear: Intel’s Core i7-9700K tramples the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X in almost every game we tested. And in several cases, the i7 with stock clock speeds outpaced our overclocked Ryzen

 

, but the Ryzen CPU doesn’t compete on the same level as Intel’s latest offerings. In fact, Intel’s Core i5-9600K often outperforms the Ryzen 7 2700X in our game lineup.

That said, the Ryzen 7 2700X still falls within the upper range of the best gaming CPUs that we’ve tested over the years. And keep in mind that once you start raising your gaming resolutions above 1080p, these performance difference tend to shrink as the GPU becomes the bottleneck. When gaming at 4K with the same high-end graphics card, frame rates between the Intel and AMD CPUs here tends to be about the same.

Winner: Intel. Intel’s Core i7-9700K is the best overall gaming CPU. The i9-9900K may outperform it in some cases, but the extra costs overshadow the small performance delta. AMD’s CPUs aren’t as competitive at the highest level of gaming performance.

Productivity Performance

The battle between Intel’s Core i7-9700K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X gets much more interesting when you factor productivity into the equation. AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is better at certain tasks, such as rendering with Cinebench and Blender and compressing files with 7-Zip. However, some tasks, such as encoding with Lame or Handbrake, run faster on Intel’s Core i7-9700K.

Intel’s latest CPUs also favor

inner: Tie. Both Intel’s Core i7-9700K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X offer ample performance for day-to-day productivity work. AMD’s higher number of threads give it in the advantage in some applications, while Intel’s higher clock speeds help in others.

Value Proposition

While its true that Intel’s Core i7-9700K offers more raw performance than AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X, AMD’s chip offers the better value overall because of its dramatically lower price. When you factor in the cost of a motherboard and cooler, a PC based on Intel’s Core i7-9700K can easily cost $130 more than a system equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X ($329/£299.99). For most consumers, the extra performance you get with the i7-9700K isn’t worth the money.

Intel’s Core i7-9700K currently carries an MSRP of $385 (if you can find one), but these chips are in short supply and are currently selling for closer to $420 (£499 in the UK) and you need a Z370 or Z390 motherboard to go with it to unlock the CPU’s true potential.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is much cheaper, and these CPUs have been available for a while, so you shouldn’t have trouble getting one at a reasonable price. At press time, we found the 2700X selling for as low as $295 in the U.S. and £295.99 in the UK.  What’s more, AMD’s decision to enable overclocking on most chipsets means that you can pick up a compatible motherboard for well under $100, or £80. We even found a couple of B350 boards for under $60 in the U.S. and under £50 in the UK. You can expect to pay $100 and up for a Z370 motherboard in the U.S. and usually more than £90 in the UK.

Winner: AMD. The Ryzen 7 2700X offers much better performance for the money, especially when you factor in the cost of a cooler and motherboard.

The Bottom Line

Intel’s Core i7-9700K excels in two areas that AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X can’t touch: raw gaming performance in games and overclocking potential. If you’re after the absolute highest frame rates in your games, then the choice is clear: The i7-9700K is stronger in most games than a Ryzen 7 2700X. And if eking out the most performance by overclocking is important, you should stick with Intel’s platform.

However, Intel’s hardware comes with a hefty price premium. Not only is the CPU quite a bit more expensive than AMD’s option, the Z370 and Z390 motherboards that you need for overclocking are also costlier than AMD’s alternatives. And to top it off, you also need an aftermarket cooler for the i7 processor, which widens the price gap even further. And, as of this writing, Intel’s new processors are in short supply, so if you manage to find one, you’ll probably pay significantly more than the MSRP for it.

AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700X is a much more reasonable option for most people. With its eight cores and 16 threads, it should have no trouble crunching through any task you throw at it, including video rendering, audio encoding, image editing, file compression, and modern gaming. Intel’s chip is faster in some tasks, but we’d rather run AMD’s platform and spend the extra $100 (£80) or more on other components than brag about a few extra FPS in our favorite games.

Overall Winner: AMD

Round Intel Core i7-9700K AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
Features
Overclocking
Stock Coolers
Motherboards
Gaming Performance
Productivity Performance
Value
Total 3 5
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Deepcool Gamer Storm New Ark 90 Best Review it Design Favors Looks Over Function

Elegant. That’s the first thing that comes to mind upon seeing Deepcool’s New Ark 90 case. The next thing is probably ‘fingerprint magnet,’ but that’s expected from any chassis with multiple tempered glass panels. The most unique aspect of this case chassis is its built-in 280mm all-in-one cooler. The downside is integrated cooling significantly increases the cost of an already expensive case and severely limits your cooling options when it’s time to upgrade.

Specifications

Type Mid-Tower ATX
Motherboard Support Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, ATX (E-ATX support up to 12 x 10.7 inches)
Dimensions (HxWxD) 21.5 x 9.1 x 20.9 inches (545.5 x 232 x 530mm)
Space Above Motherboard 3 inches (78mm)
Card Length Horizontal: 12.2 inches (310mm), Vertical: 25.75 inches (400mm)
CPU Cooler Height 7.4 inches (186mm)
Power Supply Format Standard ATX PS2-style PSU
Weight 31.8 lbs (14.4kg)
External Bays
Internal Bays 3x 3.5 inches
3x 2.5 inches (+ 3 convertible for a total of 6)
Card Slots 8 + 2 vertical
Ports/Jacks 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB, 1x audio jack, 1x mic jack, 1x fan speed switch
Other Integrated 280mm all-in-one cooling
Front Fans ✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Rear Fans 1x 140mm
Top Fans ✗ (Up to 3x 120mm)
Bottom Fans
Side Fans 3x 140mm on all-in-one cooler
Dampening
Warranty 3 year, limited

The chassis’ built-in all-in-one cooler means you are giving up your choice of CPU cooler. Less obvious is that because the cooler is integrated into the chassis, you can’t easily swap out the all-in-one cooler for a different brand / style without possessing above average modding skills and a significant amount of effort. Put it this way: if the cooler fails for any reason, it is almost easier to swap out the entire case than to put in a new cooler.

Exterior

There are tempered glass panels on the top, front and side of the New Ark 90. Constructed of steel painted black inside and out, it measures 530 x 232 x 545mm (L x W x H) and weighs in at a rather hefty 31.6lbs. Overall, this is a very attractive case.

The top of the chassis is divided into two sections with a half-inch wide metal mesh area for ventilation between the two sections. The tempered glass panel covers roughly three-quarters the width of the top of the case. The remaining quarter is made of steel and is home to a pair of USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, an HDD LED, an LED controller button and power and reset buttons. Directly below the top panel are mounting locations for three 120mm fans.

The front of the chassis mimics the look of the top panel with a tempered glass panel on one side and a metal panel on the other. Nestled into the half-inch ventilation channel separating the two panels is an RGB-lit vertical tube that spans from the top to the bottom of the front of the case. This tube also acts as a flow indicator.

The full-coverage tempered glass side panel is darkly tinted and held in place by rubber-coated locating pins and thumbscrews. The opposite side panel is stamped steel and features ventilation holes that cover an 18 x 6-inch area at the panel’s leading edge. Oddly, this chassis is designed in such a way that these large vent holes actually exhaust hot air from inside the case. We will talk about that later in this review.

In the rear, you’ll find an opening for a bottom-mounted PSU, seven expansion card slots, a standard motherboard I/O area and an exhaust fan mounting location equipped with a 140mm fan.

On the bottom are two 6-inch plastic mesh filters. One is removable from the front, the other from the rear. The four square, rubber-coated feet elevate the case approximately 0.25 inch.

The fan filtration system is almost non-existent. The entire front and top and side of this chassis is unfiltered. In fact, the two bottom filters are the only ones. Considering that the rear filter covering the PSU measures just 6-inches-long, servicing it shouldn’t be an issue. But the overall lack of filters is unacceptable in a $300 chassis. The vent holes in the steel side panel directly behind the integrated all-in-one cooler also lack any form of filtration.

There seems to be a some serious oversights in regards to this case’s ventilation system. The fans mounted to the all-in-one cooler force the warm air inside of the chassis through the radiator before exiting the case through the vent holes in the side panel. If you flip the fans to draw cool air in, you lose the majority of the fans’ RGB lighting effects.

Ideally, it would have been best to have the all-in-one cooler fans pulling colder outside air into the chassis where it can be vented out the rear. Adding insult to injury, these issues could have been avoided simply by installing the integrated cooler in the fan mounting locations in the front of the chassis.