What happened in hardware - June 5-11 edition

We're still trying to catch our breath from all the developments in graphics as of late—Nvidia's kicking tail with its for Pascal parts, the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070, and AMD responded with its first Polaris card, the affordably priced Radeon RX 480. And just when we thought we'd be able to move to other things, out comes this mysterious board with an integrated GeForce GTX 1070 GPU!

That wasn't all that happened over the last week. There have been new case and storage releases, we've updated several of our buyer's guides, and seen some cool new builds.

Colorful motherboard wields integrated GeForce GTX 1070 GPU

We suspect there's going to be a lot of interest in Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1070 when it hits retail later this week (June 10), and rightfully so—it's faster than a Titan X and costs half as much. Equally intriguing are the rumors that Nvidia might use the same Pascal GPU variants for its mobile offerings. That notion gained some steam when a picture emerged showing a Colorful brand motherboard with an integrated GP104-200 GPU.

The photo was taken by LG Nilsson at Computex, who sent the shot to Videocardz.com. The aforementioned GPU, which is the same from the desktop GeForce GTX 1070, is shown sitting in a B150 chipset motherboard surrounded by mounting holes for the cooler and flanked by memory chips. 

Grab new drivers from AMD and Nvidia for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst

It doesn't matter if you're rocking a graphics card from AMD or Nvidia; if it's been more than a day since you last you updated your drivers, there are new ones available.

We'll start with AMD, which released its Crimson Edition 16.6.1 Hotfix on Monday. The main reason for the driver update is the release of Mirror's Edge Catalyst, a sequel to Mirror's Edge from 2008 (check out our full review). AMD's latest driver includes optimizations for the title, as well as Paragon, which is scheduled to have a Double Reputation weekend from June 9-12.

The 16.6.1 Hotfix also includes a new CrossFire profile for Dark Souls III, along with the usual round of general performance and stability improvements. Beyond that, there are several fixed issues. 

New York Attorney General bashes Time Warner Cable for crappy Internet service

The New York Attorney General's office didn't pull any punches in criticizing Time Warner Cable's Internet service. In an open letter to Charter Communications, Tim Wu, senior enforcement counsel for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said the results of an investigation into TWC's Internet service were "abysmal," noting that customers were suffering through unreliable video streams and poor gaming performance, especially during peak hours, USA Today reports.

Wu called the preliminary results "troubling," adding that in multiple advertisements TWC promised "blazing fast" and "super reliable" Internet connections. He also accused TWC of failing to take the necessary steps required to keep up with customer demand, the result of which is a congested network that often loses or discards data.

"This translates into degraded performance for customers, including those using popular on-demand video services, like Netflix—despite specific promises from Time Warner Cable that they could stream video content reliably and with 'no buffering'... Customers have been frustrated, as movies freeze, websites load endlessly, and games become non-responsive," Wu stated. 

Gigabyte’s GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming goes all-in for VR

Nvidia clearly had VR gaming in mind when it launched its GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 graphics cards, both based on Pascal and both offering better than Titan X performance for less money. Taking things a step further, Gigabyte announced its customized GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming (GV-N1080XTREME-8GD) card with Power Pack accessories. We'll get to those in a moment.

The card itself sports Gigabyte's new Windforce Stack Cooling cooler. It's similar to Gigabyte's Windforce 3X cooler with three cooling fans that cover the length of the graphics card, but in this new iteration the center fan is recessed to allow the blades of the other two fans to sit above it, and spins in the opposite direction. Gigabyte says this patent-pending arrangement helps reduce turbulence. 

 Vertagear wants to be the Herman Miller of gaming chairs

I spotted a new company called Vertagear at Computex this year, and it is determined to put your butt on one of its chairs. Up until now, DXRacer was essentially the only name on the PC Gaming scene. However, more choices are usually better

.Vertagear reps tell me the company's chairs are much higher quality than any other in their class. My first impression is that they're telling the truth. I've sat in a couple of DXR chairs in the past, and although they're initially comfortable, they're either not as adjustable, and or not made with the same eye for detail.

I spent some time examining the material and stitching on Vertagear's offerings and they appeared well made. Interestingly, Vertagear said these chairs are pre-production, and pointed out that some seams weren't actually meeting company standards yet. Without being shown the areas, I would have missed them.  

NZXT and Team EnVyUs consummate partnership with pimped out H440 case

If you follow the esports scene, then you're undoubtedly familiar with Team EnVyUs, a perennial pro gaming squad; among their list of achievements is a first place finish in CS:GO at the Game Show Global eSports Cup Season 1. In an attempt to up its street cred in the esports category, case maker NZXT recently sponsored Team EnVyUs and today announced its first themed product to come from that partnership.

It's the H440 EnVyUs, a special edition version of NZXT's popular H440 mid-tower chassis donning a black, white, and blue color scheme and the Team EnVyUs logo on the front panel.

The Team EnVyUs H440 is one of two specially themed versions of the H440, the other being the H440 Razer, a mostly black model with Razer's logo on the front and a green under glow. There are also half a dozen other non-themed color options to choose from, plus an all-black one without a side window. 

Corsair promises 'blisteringly quick' 2TB SSD very soon

Corsair launched a new line of SSDs today, the Neutron XTi series, which pairs the "blisteringly quick quad-core Phison" controller with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory.

Chalk that up to marketing hype over what's probably the Phison S10 controller, a decent but not necessarily exceptional controller, though for gaming storage it's more than sufficient. It's the same controller used in Patriot's Ignite series, which recently got a bump in capacity to 2TB. Not to be outdone, Corsair also plans to offer a 2TB-class option (1,920MB) as part of its Neutron XTi series sometime in the "near future." When it emerges, it will be Corsair's highest capacity SSD to date. 

Taking a crash course in overclocking with the pros at HWBot

I feel like a decently experienced overclocker until I watch someone pour liquid nitrogen into a frozen block above their CPU, tapping away at a keyboard as they balance the temperature just long enough to keep the system stable for a short benchmark. The overclockers gathered at the HWBot competition at Computex are the real pros, and I’m most definitely an amateur by comparison.

HWBot is one of the largest communities online dedicated to PC overclocking, with more than 85,000 registered members in its various “leagues.” All it takes to enter one of those leagues is a free account and an uploaded score from the HWBot benchmark, which allows you to see how your own rig compares to systems with the same hardware.  

Build of the week: Tt D3sk

The Thermaltake CaseMOD Invitational is back, and so is Peter Brands (aka, L3P) with another very fancy computer attached to a wall. An electrician based in the Netherlands, Brands is no stranger to attaching things to walls and it shows in his previous builds. This guy knows his walls, no joke. Perhaps more impressive than his wall-attaching skills is Brands’ affinity for efficiency and showmanship in liquid cooling. Tt D3sk consists of a beautiful maze of pipes and pumps split between two main chassis boards. The wide spread of components means heat distribution isn’t an issue and wires have plenty of places to hide. And with adjustable lighting throughout, it’s possible to set the perfect mood for whatever game you’re playing. For once, I don’t find a deep LED red appalling—pop on Doom and it all makes sense.  

EVGA's DG-8 full tower gaming cases available for pre-order at discounted prices

EVGA is best known for its graphics cards and power supplies, but it also dabbles in cases—you might recall the Hadron Air and Hadron Hydro, a pair of small form factor enclosures for mini-ITX motherboards. If building small isn't your thing, EVGA has now begun taking pre-orders for its DG-8 line of full-tower cases for gamers.

The DG-8 series is designed to keep your graphics cards cool with an optimized airflow path that blows right over your GPUs. These cases also sport a built-in fan controller and temperature controller, along with removable fan filters to keep dirt and dust from cutting the party short.

There are four different models in the DG-8 line. They include the top of the line DG-87 followed by the DG-86, DG-85, and DG-84. All but the DG-84 have a side window. Other differences amount to the number of drives they can hold and I/O ports. Both the DG-87 and DG-86 support up to a dozen drives, all of which can used to install 2.5-inch SSDs (up to eight of them support 3.5-inch HDDs). They also have two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, HDMI, and dedicated headphone and microphone ports on the front panel. 

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).