Hardware stub

HW News: Vega Over-Hype, Major Blender Update, NAND Prices

Posted on June 27, 2017

As we do each week, we’ve rounded-up the major hardware news topics for the past week of industry announcements, all headlined in today’s video. The show notes are also posted in this article, if that format is preferred.

Major news topics seem to pertain to Vega: Frontier Edition – which has had fresh hype attached to it, following a newly published preview – and special edition mining cards, with additional news covering industry topics and launches. SSD and RAM prices remain a mainstay discussion topic for us, though we’ve also got some information on a Blender update, LGA2066 cooler compatibility, SilverStone’s Strider PSUs, and G.Skill’s new memory. More below.


The show opens with a brief discussion on Vega hype, which we’ll leave to the video, and then feeds into the below topics:

Major Blender Update & OpenCL Support

Blender update 2.79 is introducing a new internal scene information analyzer for improving denoising, done primarily by collecting data from image textures and model geometry. The denoiser will improve image clarity and detail with minimal quality loss, in theory.

OpenCL optimizations are also on the horizon, and promise to largely invalidate tile size configurations as the GPUs will now be kept at 100% utilization under OpenCL.

Version 2.80 is on the horizon, and will introduce new physics simulations (e.g. soft body and plasticity emulation).

LGA2066 Cooler Compatibility

Cryorig has made it known that any users owning a Cryorig CPU cooler that supports Intel’s LGA2011v3 socket will now also support Intel’s new LGA2066 socket type. Users in possession of such coolers should have no trouble upgrading to an X299 platform, as the mounting mechanism is identical for both sockets. Supported models include anything that uses LGA2011v3.

SilverStone Strider PSU Line Expansion

Silverstone is expanding their Strider line of Titanium PSUs to include three more models: ST1100-TI (1100W), ST1300-TI (1300W), and ST1500-TI (1500W/1.5kW). All new models are 80 Plus Titanium rated, fully modular, use a 135mm fan, offer semi-passive operation, offer all HD protections, and come with a 5-year warranty. Pricing and availably is not currently known.

These PSUs could be in response to the resurgence of cryptocurrency mining, as such endeavors require reliable and efficient PSUs.

GSkill X299 Memory Kits

G.SKILL is rolling out new DRR4 kits with higher capacities and tighter timings, aimed at Intel’s new X-series chips and X299 chipset motherboards. All the kits will be available under the Trident Z, Trident Z RGB, or the new Trident Z Black series. Pricing and availability are TBA.

DDR4 Frequency








8x4GB / 8x8GB

16x4GB / 16x8GB





8x4GB / 8x8GB

16x4GB / 16x8GB





8x4GB / 8x8GB

16x4GB / 16x8GB




8x4GB / 8x8GB






ASUS is adding a new add-in network card for enhanced gaming support, increased bandwidth, and better leveraging NVMe SSDs across networks. The XG-C100C supports 10GbE, as well as the latest 2.5 and 5GbE standards. Furthermore, the card supports IEEE 802.1p Priority Queuing and Quality of Service (QoS) technology, which will allow users to prioritize game packets over other network traffic.

ASUS’s new NIC uses a Aquantia AQtion Client Controller, and thus requires x4 PCIe lanes.

DRAM/NAND Shortage

We’ve covered some of the nuances of the DRAM/NAND shortage before, and those include but are not limited to memory upgrades in servers and cellphones, the pervasive SSD market, autonomous cars and IoT devices, and memory makers transitioning to 3D NAND and new fabrication processes. It was expected that the market supply might see relief around the second half of this year, but new reports indicate the supply could remain constricted into 2018. What this means for consumers is RAM and SSD prices will remain high if supply is tight, and prices could continue to shift upwards.

Gigabyte Aorus 1080 Ti Waterforce

Gigabyte’s new 1080 Ti variant comes fitted with full coverage waterblock, ready to be dropped into an open loop. The block is outfitted with RGB LEDs, controllable via Gigabyte’s Fusion software. The card itself runs out of the box with a core clock of 1607MHz, and 1721MHz boost. The GDDR5X VRAM runs at 11GHz. Gigabyte has not revealed pricing.

Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman
Reporting: Eric Hamilton