A week for new milestones
Fresh gear comes fast and furious in the wide-open world of PC hardware—so quickly that even computing faithful like us can’t possibly cover it all. Nobody wants to miss out on an interesting launch though. So welcome to “This week’s new PC hardware,” our weekly roundup dedicated to keeping you informed of the most intriguing, important PCs, PC components, and peripherals announced over the past seven days.
This week was a busy one! AMD finally revealed speeds, feeds, and prices for 2nd-gen Ryzen Threadripper mega-chips that push high-end desktops to 32 cores, the first-ever consumer SSD with quad-level cell NAND launched (and promptly earned a spot on our list of the best SSDs), NZXT unveiled an awesome Fallout-themed case, and more. Let’s go!
This week, AMD formally unveiled details about its 2nd-gen Ryzen Threadripper chips, spearheaded by a monstrous 32-core CPU. Here are the raw speeds and feeds:
- Threadripper 2990WX: 32 cores, 64 threads, 3GHz to 4.2GHz clock speeds, launches August 13 ($1,800 on Newegg or Amazon)
- Threadripper 2970WX: 24 cores, 48 threads, 3GHz to 4.2GHz, launches in October for $1,300.
- Threadripper 2950X: 16 cores, 32 threads, 3.5GHz to 4.4GHz, launches August 31 for $900.
- Threadripper 2920X: 12 cores, 24 threads, 3.5GHz to 4.3GHz, launches in October for $650.
For more information and comparisons against Intel’s Core-X CPUs, check out our 2nd-gen Threadripper coverage, as well as a special episode of The Full Nerd with AMD computing chief Jim Anderson. The 32-core chip is scheduled to hit the streets on Monday.
Intel SSD 660p
Storage hit a new milestone this week, too. The Intel SSD 660p is the first-ever consumer solid-state drive based on quad-level cell NAND, which in practical terms means it can offer more capacity for lower prices. And it does: At $100 for 512GB or $200 for 1TB of storage, this is the only NVMe drive that matches the price of slower SATA-based SSDs.
This thing blows through benchmarks, and while it can slow dramatically when shifting large piles of data around—like 80GB-plus transfers—it nevertheless claimed the best budget NVMe SSD title in our list of the best SSDs.
Cooler Master MasterBox MB530P
Several new PC cases launched this week. First up: Cooler Master’s MasterBox MB5530P, an affordable $110 ATX chassis featuring three customizable 120mm RGB fans up front and tempered glass galore. The front and both sides of the case comes enclosed in glass, but with some thoughtful touches. The front panel is slanted to allow large mesh intakes for airflow on either side, while the tempered glass covering the rear of the motherboard includes a dark honeycomb pattern to better hide your rat’s nest of cables, as shown above.
Now for the bad news: There’s no word on when it will actually ship.
Deepcool Matrexx 55
But you don’t need to spend upwards of $100 to get RGB and tempered glass in a case. Deepcool’s Matrexx 55 E-ATX PC case includes a tempered glass front and side panel, plus a preinstalled RGB strip for the low, low price of just $40, which seems utterly wild. And even though this is a budget case, there’s still room for up to a 360mm liquid-cooler up front or a 280mm radiator at the top, but be careful: This case doesn’t come with any preinstalled fans whatsoever.
Color me intrigued. Look for the Deepcool Matrexx 55 to arrive sometime in August.
NZXT H700 Nuka-Cola
The last fresh case is a doozy. This week, NZXT revealed the second chassis in its limited edition CRFT lineup. The H700 Nuka-Cola is the first officially licensed Fallout-themed computer case, NZXT boasts, blending the company’s terrific H700 with a ‘50s-tinged paint job complete with worn spots from too much time in the wasteland. It’s utterly gorgeous, and comes with one of Fallout’s iconic Vault-Tec bobblehead dolls.
Only 2,000 of these cases will be made, but the Fallout theme comes at a higher premium than its predecessor. The first CRFT case turned the H700 into a PUBG crate for $200, but the Nuka-Cola costs $300 on NZXT’s website.
NZXT Nuka-Cola motherboard cover
But the Fallout gear doesn’t end there. NZXT also announced a matching $50 Nuka-Cola cover for its already-gorgeous N7 motherboard ($250 on Amazon) for Intel processors. The all-metal cover is scheduled to launch in August—but order one soon if you’re interested. Only 500 are being made.
Zotac Zbox C-series mini-PCs
On the opposite side of the size spectrum, Zotac unveiled its latest Zbox C-series mini-PCs. These fanless itty-bitty rigs pack no moving parts, relying instead on passive cooling and abundant ventilation to stay cool. The CI660 Nano, CI640 Nano, and CI620 Nano measure in at a mere 8.03 x 5.08 x 2.68 inches. Despite their small stature, the top-of-the-line models squeeze in a quad-core Intel Core i7-8550U chip capable of hitting up to 4GHz boost speeds (presumably in very short bursts). The mini-PCs all tap Intel’s integrated graphics solutions, with support for HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2.
You can find the CI660 Nano, CI640 Nano, and CI620 Nano listed on Zotac’s Zbox C-series page.
Cryorig tower coolers
Cryorig released two new CPU air-coolers this week, the H7 Plus ($45 on Amazon) and M9 Plus ($25 on Amazon), but you’d be hard-pressed to spot what’s new unless you look closely. They’re simply a step-up version of Cryorig’s existing H7 and M9/i air-coolers with two fans instead of one.
“Adding an additional fan makes the overall heatsink airflow even better optimized to expel heat directly into the rear system fan and out of the PC case,” Cryorig says. Push-pull fan configurations are nice.
Gigabyte Aorus 5 gaming mouse
Finally, Gigabyte announced the Aorus M5, a customizable mouse that comes with five weights to help you fine-tune its feel in your hand, similar to our favorite gaming mouse, the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum ($50 on Amazon). Also like the G502, the Aorus M5 is flush with RGB lights that you can control via Gigabyte’s Aorus Engine software, and the new mouse is actually even more sensitive, with support for up to a whopping 16,000 DPI, adjustable in 50 DPI segments. Whoa. You’ll also find seven total buttons and Omron switches rated for up to 50 million clicks.
Some big questions remain however. First, when will the Aorus M5 be available and how much will it cost? Gigabyte hasn’t said, though you can expect it to cost a lot more than the ultra-basic Aorus M3 mouse ($40 on Amazon). And how will it feel in-hand? Gigabyte claims the design caters to both palm and claw grip styles, but we’ll need to get our grubby paws on the Aorus M5 ourselves to validate the claim.