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.


Hardware | Leaked photo confirms AMD's X670 Extreme chipsets

Leaked photos from an MSI meeting confirm that AMD is indeed preparing Extreme variants of the X670 and B650 chipsets.

The footage was published by Twitter user @wxnod, who recently shared a prototype AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs. The new photos show a presentation in an MSI office, presumably by or with AMD experts.

Apparently AMD is currently working on four different chipsets for the Ryzen 7000 platform. This includes the aforementioned X670 and B650 models, but also the previously mysterious Extreme variants (X670E and B650E) of that pair.

The differences between them seem quite clear. Where the regular chipsets come with a PCIe 5.0 slot or a PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot, the Extreme motherboards do both. Both a PCIe 5.0 graphics card and a new PCIe 5.0 SSD can use the new interface simultaneously.


Hardware | Dock for Steam Deck is delayed

Valve has announced that the official dock for the Steam Deck has been delayed again. Delay will not impact production of Steam Decks themselves.

When the so-called Steam Deck Docking Station could appear, remains unclear for the time being. In February of this year, Valve itself indicated that the official release period would fall somewhere “in the spring”, but that season now seems to be no longer feasible.

Valve indicates in a blog post that the postponement is (once again) due to shortages in material, as well as the ongoing impact of the corona pandemic. “We are working to improve the situation and will provide more information as soon as we have it.”

Valve does point out that the delay will have no impact on the production of the handheld itself. The Steam Deck was also delayed at the end of last year for roughly the same reasons and still has long reservation periods, but according to Valve, the dock is in no way slowing down the rollout of the Steam Deck itself. “Different parts, different factories,” said the Valve development team.


Hardware | Phison's PCIe 5.0 SSD reaches 12.5 GB/s on X670 chipset

Storage manufacturer Phison has demonstrated a new SSD controller over PCIe 5.0 interface, with read speeds of up to 12.5 GB/s on AMD's new motherboard chipset.

Phison’s new SSD card is the PS5025-E26, a first token of the E26 platform on PCIe 5.0 (x4) interface. On paper, the total bandwidth of that interface is 15.8 GB/s which is double that of PCIe 4.0 (x4).

For now, Phison achieves a read speed of 12,457 MB/s and a write speed of 10,023 MB/s, using an early sample SSD. The SSD in question uses an on-board Phison E26 controller and 3D TLC NAND flash storage from Micron.

Phison’s demonstration shows the controller paired with Asus’ X670 Crosshair Hero motherboard, featuring AMD’s new X670 chipset. The motherboard will most likely run on an early sample of a Ryzen 7000 CPU. AMD had previously indicated that it already wants to use PCIe 5.0 storage with the first Zen 4 CPUs and motherboards.

It’s still unclear when Phison’s new PCIe 5.0 products should hit the market, let alone when alternatives will be rolled out to consumers — or at what prices. The company had previously indicated that it plans PCIe 5.0 products for “the second half of 2022”, although “end of 2022” now seems plausible.

The demonstration on an X670 platform is especially relevant, now that AMD is publicly betting on Zen 4 as the first chip generation to embrace the new storage generation, with a generous 24 lanes on PCIe 5.0. According to AMD, the first PCIe 5.0 SSDs should launch simultaneously with Zen 4, later this year.


Hardware | Galax Shows DDR5 Memory With Lego Compatibility

In the 'something different' category, Galax unveils a quirky range of DDR5 memory modules. Galax's so-called Gamer RGB DDR5 discs have, in addition to a standard RGB bar on top, a series of Lego-compatible studs on the top.

The official reveal was picked up by EXPreview, complete with renders of the two different colors: light blue or bright red. The Gamer RGB DDR5 line initially launches as a 2x 16 GB kit, later followed by 2x 8 GB and 2x 32 GB alternatives.

The clock frequency is initially at 4,800 MHz; later, faster modules could be on the horizon. An official release date or suggested retail price for the first Lego-compatible memory kits has not yet been announced, but Galax promises that the Gamer RGB DDR5 series will follow shortly after the official introduction of Intel Alder Lake CPUs.

It is also unclear whether these Galax products will come to the West at all. The Taiwanese manufacturer previously launched RTX 30 video cards with studs for the popular building blocks, but the same craft cards have never been available outside of China.

Intel itself has not yet released a release date for the next generation of processors — which offer DDR5 support as a first. However, a sales embargo would expire on November 4, which suggests that the Alder Lake generation will be officially unveiled sometime shortly before.


Hardware | AMD unveils Radeon RX 6600

AMD unveiled their latest GPU yesterday afternoon: the RX 6600 (non-XT). The new video card focuses mainly on 1080p gameplay, albeit with higher refresh rates.

The Radeon RX 6600 video cards have a target price of $329, exactly fifty dollars below the previously released Radeon RX 6600 XT.AMD’s latest budget GPU runs on the same Navi 23 chipset, 8 GB of GDDR6 memory and 32 MB of Infinity Cache, but has slightly fewer cores, at a lower clock speed. The 32 compute units here are scaled back to 28, with a default clock of 2.044 MHz and Boost frequency to 2.491 MHz.

In the unveiling video of the RX 6600, AMD already shows some performance examples. A game like Far Cry 6 hits 75 frames per second at 1080p resolution, on the highest settings with ray tracing and FidelityFX Super Resolution. For less bombastic games, such as Anno 1800, the GPU can also switch to 1440p resolutions.

With the somewhat reversed computing power, the non-XT card has also become slightly more economical. The AMD-specified total board power is 132 watts, which can be supplied via a single 8-pin power connector.

In terms of physical design, there is little difference between the RX 6600 XT and this newer model. AMD’s own reference design again uses the same shape and single fan; with partner manufacturers, the new GPU is often soldered into the existing housings, as is the case.

The Radeon RX 6600 graphics cards should be available immediately. Sales have also started in the Benelux, but by no means all models are equally available. At the time of writing, retailers are asking about one and a half times the suggested retail price for the new budget card: approximately 579 euros.