Category Archive: hardware

AMD B350 & X370 MEMORY SPEEDS

Some overclockers are running into problems with the AMD Ryzen AM4 platform. Part of the problem is that memory speeds are faster than JEDEC can update the standard. Intel has developed the XMP profile to support faster speeds and now with DDR4 they have XMP2. AMD supports XMP2 however the UEFI-BIOS may have to be …

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WINDOWS 10 ONEDRIVE DROPS FAT32

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OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud service for sharing photos and documents. Recently Microsoft dropped support for FAT32 and now requires NTFS for hosting OneDrive local copies. We noticed this with our HP Stream 7. We use a microSD card for supplemental storage and the default format for 32GB is FAT32. If you need to change to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/windows-10-onedrive-drops-fat32/

AMD RYZEN & WINDOWS 10

We have seen several reports recently that Windows 10 does run well on some AMD Ryzen platforms. We believe it could be some driver issues for motherboards and the processor. WIndows 8.1 seems to work better with some motherboards. Windows 10 Creators Edition may work on some. It seems to be hit or miss with …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/amd-ryzen-windows-10/

INTEL X299 VRM HEADACHES

We have seen many reports lately with Intel X299 boards. Some boards like the Asus AORUS X299 cannot get past 4.6 GHz while another vendor’s board reaches 5.0 GHz. It seems that Intel has underdesigned the regulators for the X299 which has left some OEM manufacturers to scramble to fix it. Some simply copied the …

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GIGABYTE GA-AB350 GAMING MOTHERBOARD

The Gigabyte GA-AB350 Gaming is a mainstream ATX motherboard for AMD AM4 systems, AM4 motherboards using the A320 and B350 chipsets are aimed at budget gaming enthusiasts. The GA-AB350 Gaming  motherboard is for Bristol Ridge and Ryzen processors. DIY gamers will like this board with the B350 chipset which provides a good platform for gaming. AMD AM4 …

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GIGABYTE GA-AB350M GAMING 3 MOTHERBOARD

The Gigabyte GA-AB350M Gaming 3 is a mainstream µATX motherboard for AMD AM4 systems, AM4 motherboards using the A320 and B350 chipsets are aimed at budget gaming enthusiasts. The GA-AB350M Gaming 3 motherboard is for Bristol Ridge and Ryzen processors. DIY gamers will like this board with the B350 chipset which provides a good platform for gaming. …

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AMD RYZEN

AMD is now ready to launch of the Ryzen. AMD will have processors for worldwide distribution on March 2, 2017 and motherboards will be widely available to go with the new processors. AMD R3 and R5 processors will be available for budget systems.   MODEL CORES/THREADS L3 TDP CLOCK TURBO PRICE R7 1800X 8/16 16MB …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/amd-ryzen/

ASUS HD7870-DC2-2GD5-V2 UEFI VBIOS

After much digging around we finally found a UEFI updater for the Asus HD7870-DC2-2GD5-V2 video card. Unfortunately Asus has configured the software to only work with Asus branded UEFI capable motherboards, even though the VBIOS is for a video card. That is called compulsory tied selling and it’s illegal in Canada and many other countries. Restrictive …

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ROOM SCALE VIRTUAL REALITY

oculus rift logo

Oculus Rift posted some comments recently regarding their hardware.They reported that using 3 sensors in a larger area can become too taxing for most USB 3.0 ports. Intel’s Z270 motherboards largely have only have USB 3.0 on the read panel. This is largely due to full backwards compatibility. There are still some USB 2.0 headers …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/room-scale-virtual-reality/

SEAGATE DEVELOPS LARGER DESKTOP HARD DISKS

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Seagate is presently testing some new 12TB desktop SATA hard disks. We see this disk being very handy for backups of games, iTunes and other media collections. Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo says that initial feedback has been very positive. Seagate is also working to get a 14TB disk into testing soon. Looking into 2018 Seagate …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/seagate-develops-larger-desktop-hard-disks/

MSI 970A-G43 BIOS FAULT

We have a MSI 970A-G43 motherboard which generally works fine. We have 4 hard disks attached and a BD drive. We have not had problems with the machine. We own a front panel card reader box with USB 3.0 ports. It also has fan control which was intended to augment the motherboard. When we connected …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/msi-970a-g43-bios-fault/

MSI SOFTWARE UPDATES

Today MSI delivered several new programs that actually do seem to make the machine run much better. The MSI X Boost seems to be a good disk caching program that seems to be able to speed up the system rather nicely. Modern systems have much more memory but Windows does not use it to deliver …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/msi-software-updates/

MIGRATING TO DDR4

Lots of DIY enthusiasts are still using DDR3 based rigs. These are plenty powerful to handle contemporary games. Intel changes the CPU socket every 2 years while AMD only changes it every 5 years with the memory cycle. CPU motherboard memory DDR4 speeds are faster than DDR3 and recent tests show it can reach 68 …

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DDR5 BY 2020

While AMD’s Ryzen is sill a few months away, the JEDEC is now close to finishing the DDR5 standard which is expected to be done by year’s end. DDR5 will increase the maximum capacity. At present consumer DDR4 is being mass produced at 4GB and 8GB capacities with 16GB at the high end. DDR5 will …

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DELL ULTRASHARP UP3218K

Gamers can now play their favorites on the new UltraSharp UP3218K panel from Dell. The UP3218K offers s stupendous 7680×4320 pixel resolution. All for just $4999. The UP3218K is a standard 32″ panel with a 32.5″ viewing area making it easy to install with most work spaces. 31.5″ viewing area 60Hz frame rate 220 ppi 178°viewing angle …

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INTEL KABY LAKE

Intel has released its Kaby Lake a few weeks late for the 2016 holiday season. Still they had to be sure the hardware was validated and yields adequate before they could launch them. No real surprise for desktop users. Three i7 parts with four cores and hyperthreading, one of which is unlocked and one is …

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AMD RADEON INSTINCT

AMD has introduced some new GPU produced based on the Polaris 10 under the Radeon Instinct. The new GPUs are equipped with 16GB of VRAM which is needed for running larger shader based programs. Intel, Nvidia and IBM has been more visible in the market with AI based products. Deep learning and AI are long …

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AMD NEW HORIZON: RYZEN

AMD has spent about 4 years working on the Zen CPU design. The goal of 40% better efficiency has been met. AMD now is using the Ryzen branding for the design based on the Zen work. AMD processors are seen in the Xbox One and PS4. AMD desktop processors are not as popular as Intel’s …

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BIOSTAR Z270 FEATURES

Biostar has released some new details over their new Z270 motherboards. The Z270 is already known to have a few more PCI Express lanes and some improvements for HDR etc. Biostar has also mentioned a new heatsink for the M.2 slot given the heat coming from recent Samsung SSD devices in the market. Other vendors …

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Permanent link to this article: https://hardcoregames.azurewebsites.net/biostar-z270-features/

BLUETOOTH 5

Bluetooth 5 has now been published. It’s backwards compatible with previous standards. The new standard is a 2800 page manual for device developers. Bluetooth operates at frequencies between 2402 and 2480 MHz. Guard bands 2 MHz wide at the bottom end and 3.5 MHz wide at the top extend the range. Speeds are now 2x faster. …

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