Hardware | Asus unveils ProArt RTX 40 GPUs for content creators

Under the ProArt banner, Asus now also produces video cards for content creators, starting with an RTX 4080 and RTX 4070 Ti.

Asus announced itself through press releases and an article on the Edge Up blog. Asus’ ProArt subsidiary, intended for content producers, originally started with a production monitor scion, but soon expanded to include peripherals, all-in-one systems and motherboards. Very soon, the first video cards will also be added to the range.

Entirely in line with the ProArt promise, the first GPUs are also relatively high: Nvidia’s RTX 4080 (suggested price 1,399 euros) and RTX 4070 Ti (from 909 euros) are not the least graphic processors, with demanding PC gamers as the main target group. Only Nvidia’s top model, the RTX 4090, offers a bit more computing power.

In contrast to exuberant gaming models, the ProArt cards look quite sober. The almost black chassis is straight-lined, with only some typical, gold-colored ProArt accents to stylize the whole. Both the RTX 4080 and the RTX 4070 Ti stick to a maximum thickness of two and a half PCI slots, with a length of 300 millimeters at the latest. There is, somewhat naturally, no RGB lighting here.

Like most modern gaming cards, the ProArt GPUs stick to a three-fan cooling setup. However, these would be designed and modified to produce a maximum of 44 decibels of noise, with of course also a ‘0 decibel mode’, which completely disables the fans at lower workloads.

It is still unclear when exactly the ProArt cards should be available in the Benelux, let alone what the exact suggested retail price will be. Early versions of the cards will be exhibited these days at the 100th anniversary of the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a recurring trade show for (television) producers and other content professionals. On the same exhibition floor, Asus will also be demonstrating new ProArt displays with microLED panels and the latest ProArt motherboards.

Hardware | Seagate Unveils Star Wars SSDs with Lightsaber Heat Spreaders

Storage manufacturer Seagate now also offers Star Wars variants of FirceCuda SSDs, including three lightsaber-themed heat spreaders.

The SSD in question is the same FireCuda PCIe 4.0 gaming model that the manufacturer has been betting on for some time; an M.2 drive with maximum read speeds of up to 7,300 MB/s. In the Star Wars theme, the SSD comes in volumes of 1 TB and 2 TB, where previous FireCuda models also came in 500 GB versions.

As a unique addendum, the so-called ‘Lightsaber Collection’ edition invariably comes with three unique heat spreaders, respectively in Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker themes. Each heatsink places its iconic lightsaber right on top of the SSD, with a strip of freely adjustable RGB diodes for lighting.

Seagate seems to offer the world’s first official Star Wars-themed SSDs with the unique collaboration. Incidentally, this novelty does not characterize the first Star Wars hardware in general: at the end of 2017, for example, Nvidia launched two more Star Wars-style Titan Xp video cards, with a green-lit Jedi Order and a red-hot Galactic Empire version, respectively.

Hardware | Asus controller for Xbox and PC has built-in OLED screen

Asus has unveiled the ROG Raikiri Pro, a controller for Xbox and PC with a built-in OLED screen.

The built-in 1.3″ OLED screen is located at the top of the front of the controller. You can, for example, play animations or display the battery percentage of the battery.

It is also possible with the controller to reprogram buttons on the front and back of the controller. The triggers can also be fixed. You can switch between different profiles to quickly change the control mode, for example depending on which game is being played. Reprogramming the buttons is done through the ROG Armory Crate software.  More details can be found on the official website.

Asus has used an official Xbox license for the ROG Raikiri Pro, but the controller can also be used on PC. It is not yet known when the controller will be released exactly and how much it will cost, although it is clear that the Raikiri Pro should be available sometime this quarter.

Hardware | AMD unveils first RX 7000 GPUs for laptops

AMD has unveiled the first mobile variants of its RX 7000 GPUs at CES 2023.

The first mobile chips on the new RDNA 3 architecture were part of AMD’s extensive CES 2023 presentation. Just like competitor Nvidia, AMD unveiled a scion of laptop GPUs around the tech fair, although AMD does this less widely. For the time being, the mobile RDNA 3 range is limited to four GPUs, which according to their denominators mainly serve the middle segment.

The four laptop chips can be divided into two different RX 7600M GPUs,  aimed at 1080p games at high frame rates  and two RX 7000S GPUs for thinner and light notebooks. The four GPUs share a number of specifications, such as the Navi 33 chipset as a base (204 square millimeters at 5 nm), 8 GB of GDDR6 memory and an Infinity Cache of 32 MB.

AMD’s Radeon RX 7600M XT is currently the fastest mobile RDNA 3 GPU, with 32 computing units and 2048 shader processors. According to AMD, this laptop model should be able to compete with the desktop version of Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060, also with 12 GB of video memory. It is striking that AMD’s heaviest laptop chip draws a maximum of 120 watts, where the RTX 3060 manages with 170 watts.

AMD benchmarks show that the RX 7600M XT achieves up to 40 frames per second more than the RTX 3060 in 1080p games. The biggest lead can be found in games such as The Witcher 3, Hitman 3 and Borderlands 3; in PUBG: Battlegrounds, AMD admits that the RTX 3060 (12 GB) is still slightly faster than the new laptop GPU.

The non-XT model of the RX 7600M and the two S-GPUs each make up their own slightly weaker tweaks of the Navi 33 base. The GPUs all come with lower (maximum) power consumption, but still promise higher frame rates in 1080p scenarios.

For example, the RX 7700S would average 147 frames per second in Death Stranding and 142 fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Compared to the previous RX 6700S (as well as with 8 GB GDDR6), the RX 7700S offers up to 30 percent better performance.

Aside from performance in games, each of the mobile RX 7000 GPUs also come standard with AV1 encoding and decoding, just like their larger RX 7900 desktop brethren.

In addition to the first four mobile RDNA 3 GPUs, AMD is also expanding the RX 6000 range (RDNA 2). The RX 6550M, RX 6550S and RX 6450M each form a new mobile GPU based on the Navi 24 chipset with 4 GB of GDDR6 memory. The new range mainly enriches the lower segment of mobile GPUs

News | PlayStation 5 controller with additional accessibility options revealed

Sony has unveiled Project Leonardo, a PlayStation 5 controller focused on providing more accessibility options.

The company did this during the CES fair that is currently being held in Las Vegas. There is no release date for the controller yet. “More information, such as when we release the product, we will share in the future,” said an article on PlayStation Blog.

Project Leonardo is basically a flat circle that can be laid down, to which players can even add buttons. One can use one or combine two, or one Leonardo with a traditional DualSense controller. In this way, it should be easier for gamers with a physical disability to play PS5 games.

Not only Sony is trying to provide more options for players with disabilities. Microsoft has been making the Xbox Adaptive Controller available for some time now. According to Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former director of the American branch of the company, Nintendo also experimented with such a controller a few years ago.

Hardware | DualSense Edge controller releases January 26

The DualSense Edge will be available from January 26, 2023 and will cost 239.99 euros.

Sony has announced that. The controller will be available on that date for 239.99 euros via direct.playstation.com – only on February 23, the controller will also be offered through a selection of regular stores. Pre-orders for the controller will go live on October 25.

In addition to the controller itself, a braided USB cable is included, as well as a storage bag and several interchangeable buttons and triggers for the controller itself.

Sony unveiled the DualSense Edge at Gamescom last August. There have been rumors for some time that Sony would come up with its own ‘pro controller’, similar to the Xbox Elite controller.

Players can customize the controller to their own play style. Button functions can be set as desired, as well as the sensitivity of the analog sticks and their ‘dead zones’. You can also save different profiles with settings.

The top of the analog sticks can be replaced. There are three different ‘caps’ for the sticks. There are also two sets of buttons for the back of the controller.

Hardware | New system update for PlayStation 5 now available

Sony has released a new system update for PlayStation 5.

Update 22.02-06.02.00 can now be downloaded. According to the official description, the patch should “improve system performance”. There are no further details. It’s exactly the same description as that of the previous PS5 update that came out early this month.

The most recent substantial PS5 update came out in September. This added a sort of folders to sort games in the form of ‘game lists’. The update also added support for 1440P HDMI video.

In related news, Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia has released a new PlayStation commercial that focuses on the console’s games lineup. This will feature (upcoming) games such as God of War: Ragnarök, Final Fantasy 16, Sonic Frontiers, Hogwarts Legacy, The Last of Us: Part 1 and Gotham Knights.

Hardware | Intel shows new NUC 13 Extreme at TwitchCon

At TwitchCon, Intel showcased the new NUC 13 Extreme system. 'Raptor Canyon' will be the most powerful and largest NUC to date.

The complete NUC 13 Extreme system is a PC casewith a volume of 13.9 liters. The largest NUC to date, Intel’s 12th-generation gaming-focused Extreme model, was 8 liters. With the introduction of a larger chassis, it becomes possible for the first time to equip NUC systems with video cards with a thickness of approximately three PCI slots. During the TwitchCon broadcast, a decent RTX 30 video card was inserted into the NUC 13 for demonstration purposes.

The so-called compute element has also been renewed with Raptor Canyon. The mainboard is once again built as a PCIe component, this time incorporating a thirteenth generation Intel Core processor (Raptor Lake). Intel has not yet revealed which (different) CPUs will be used in the new generation of NUC systems. Usually the choice consists of at least two or three different and sometimes unique chips.

NUC systems are usually supplied without a ‘dedicated’ video card, although that may change with this generation. Earlier, Intel already demonstrated NUC systems with Intel Arc GPUs. There is a chance that Intel will soon also offer NUC options that include proprietary Arc video cards. Coincidentally, the Arc A770 desktop card will officially appear tomorrow, the first GPU where Intel also manufactures ‘Limited Edition’ variants.

Intel didn’t say anything about the expected prices of the new NUC systems, let alone the specifications of CPUs or potential GPUs. Further details should follow in the coming weeks; a kick-off for the first NUC 13s will follow soon.

News | Asus seems to be working on cable-concealing hardware

After Gigabyte and MSI, Asus also seems to have plans for cable-concealing hardware, under the guise of 'DIY-Ape Revolution'.

Earlier this year, it was mainly Gigabyte that scored highly with the launch of Project Stealth. The interplay between a unique motherboard, accompanying video card and computer case makes it possible to hide otherwise rather ostentatious cables completely out of sight.

Asus now seems to have a similar plan, albeit apparently as a larger ecosystem of cable-closing components, starting with a few motherboards from its own stable. An almost twenty-minute long Chinese promotional video for what Asus seems to call the ‘DIY-Ape Revolution’ for the time being was published on BiliBili.

Asus would in any case include the H610, B660, B760 and B650 chipsets in the ‘revolution’ of cable-concealing motherboards. On the new components, virtually all connectors (including power, fan headers, and SATA connectors) are milled on the back of the motherboard — out of sight and often slightly easier to access. Apparently the new motherboards come in white or black, with fairly minimalist heat spreaders.

To keep the rear ports accessible, compatible cabinets must leave unique cutouts. The video shows that Lian Li is already offering a suitable cabinet; Asus is also said to have entered into collaborations with Cooler Master, Phanteks and Cougar, among others.

For now, Asus’ DIY-Ape Revolution seems like a project to try out slowly, probably starting in China. Presumably, the components are not yet made available in large numbers (or worldwide), while Asus and its partners are measuring enthusiasm for the cable-closing hardware.

Hardware | RTX 4090 Ti video card prototype leaks out

An early photo of an alleged RTX 4090 Ti video card has leaked via Twitter.

The footage was published by @greymon55, now known as an insider in the video card industry. Initially, the photo was shared without context, but in a later response the Twitterer clarifies that it would be Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4090 Ti, a still unannounced video card on Nvidia’s heaviest AD102 GPU.

For the time being it remains unclear where this specific prototype comes from, all brand indication has been made unrecognizable. In its basic form, the card resembles a Gigabyte model or perhaps a new Suprim card from MSI. Nvidia itself seems out of the question; typically, high-end Founder’s Edition cards have a “blower” design, consisting of fewer fans.