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Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660



The successor to the Snapdragon 653 is finally here and it’s called the Snapdragon 660. Qualcomm made the switch to the 14nm manufacturing node with the Snapdragon 820, which started rolling out at the beginning of 2016. The company also made the 14nm node accessible to the mid-range segment with the Snapdragon 625, the successor to the Snapdragon 617. The 14 FinFET node allowed for vastly increased efficiency, with the SD625 consuming 35% less energy when compared to the 28nm SD617.

As a result, the Snapdragon 625 turned out to be extremely popular, powering everything from the $150 Redmi Note 4 to the $500 BlackBerry KEYone. Looking ahead to the latter half of 2017, Qualcomm has rolled out key updates to the Snapdragon 600 series with two new chipsets — the Snapdragon 630 and the Snapdragon 660.

The Snapdragon 630 is the direct successor to the Snapdragon 625, offering 30% faster cores, support for Bluetooth 5, a faster LTE modem, USB 3.1 with USB-C, a new ISP, and Quick Charge 4.0. The Snapdragon 660 is the more interesting of the two, as it is the successor to the Snapdragon 653. The Snapdragon 660 is designed to bring flagship-class performance to the mid-range segment, with Qualcomm rolling out a slew of updates.

The chipset features custom Kryo cores — a first for this segment, a new Adreno 512 GPU, Snapdragon X12 LTE modem with download speeds of 600Mbps and 3x carrier aggregation, Wi-Fi ac with 2×2 MU-MIMO, a Spectra 160 image signal processor, Bluetooth 5, Quick Charge 4.0, and USB 3.1. Qualcomm is touting a 20% increase in performance when compared to the SD653 from the new Kryo 260 cores, and a 30% uptick for the GPU.

There’s no information on the underlying ARM core the Kryo 260 is based on, but it’s likely Qualcomm is using a semi-custom design, much like what it did with the Kryo 280 on the Snapdragon 835. The core configuration is split into two sectors — performance and efficiency, with the former featuring four 2.2GHz cores and the latter four 1.8GHz cores.

The Spectra 160 is particularly interesting, as it enables a lot of camera experiences that have thus far been limited to flagship chipsets. The ISP supports hybrid autofocus, dual rear camera setups (up to 16MP for each imaging sensor), dual photodiode autofocus, smooth optical zoom, and EIS for video.


CORSAIR Simplifies Custom Cooling by Integrating iCUE LINK with the Hydro X Series



CORSAIR has launched the next generation of its world-renowned Hydro X Series custom cooling products, integrating them with the revolutionary iCUE LINK Smart Component Ecosystem. With the new ELITE lineup of CPU and GPU water blocks, pump/reservoir combo and more, the Hydro X Series utilises iCUE LINK to make building a custom cooling loop simpler than ever before.

Using a unified cable standard, iCUE LINK now drives component power coupled with digital communications to each device – from RGB and RPM control to temperature probes. Furthermore, new Hydro X Series components are now Smart, housing individual microcontrollers that manage and report performance and temperatures to the hub and iCUE software. iCUE LINK’s reversible connectors across all components vastly simplify the process of building computers, making the DIY hobby more inviting and accessible to all.

The iCUE LINK XC7 RGB ELITE CPU Water Block also features a new and improved Hexa-flow cooling engine, with a design that leverages laminar flow to ensure improved cooling across the entire CPU and its cores. A nickel-plated copper cold plate with more than 120 high-efficiency micro-cooling fins draws heat away from the processor, and a built-in temperature sensor enables you to fine-tune your cooling control. 24 RGB LEDs behind a transparent nylon flow chamber deliver mesmerizing visuals to match the iCUE LINK XC7 RGB ELITE’s cooling performance. With tool-free installation on Intel LGA 1700 and AMD Socket AM5 and AM4, plus pre-applied CORSAIR XTM70 Performance Thermal Paste, this is the centrepiece of your custom cooling loop.

For those looking to add even more personalization to their system, the iCUE XC7 RGB ELITE LCD CPU Water Block shares the same design and cooling performance, with the addition of a crisp 2.1” 30 FPS IPS LCD screen with 480×480 resolution surrounded by 31 RGB LEDs. The screen is fully programmable via iCUE software to display system temps, custom images, or animated GIFs.

Keep your graphics card in the loop with the iCUE LINK XG3 RGB HYBRID GPU Water Block, available in three models to ensure near-universal compatibility with a multitude of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 and 30-Series and AMD RX 7900 XT(X) cards. Its hybrid design directly cools your GPU and memory ICs with a split flow manifold ensuring even distribution of coolant over the copper cold plate, while a dedicated fan also cools the circuit board and VRMs. Lit by 18 RGB LEDs and featuring a built-in temperature sensor for precise control, the XG3 RGB HYBRID’s robust nylon and copper construction make it a reliable and durable addition to your PC.

For customers who already own an iCUE XG7 RGB GPU Water Block, a simple GPU RGB Adapter will be launching soon that will integrate it into an iCUE LINK setup. Future XG7 GPU blocks will support iCUE LINK connectivity out of the box. To drive your cutting-edge custom cooling system, equip it with the iCUE LINK XD5 RGB ELITE Pump/Reservoir Combo. Built with a Xylem D5 high-performance pump and a 440ml nylon transparent reservoir lit by 22 RGB LEDs, this is all you need to keep your loop’s cooling flowing and looking great.

The XD5 RGB ELITE uses a rubberized mounting system to minimize pump vibration and comes with multiple G1/4” inlet ports to support diverse configurations. Like the water blocks, it features an in-loop sensor to give you real-time coolant temperatures for smart control. A version of the XD5 RGB ELITE equipped with an LCD screen is also coming later this year. The CORSAIR iCUE LINK XC7 RGB ELITE, XG3 RGB HYBRID, XD5 RGB ELITE, 4-Way Signal Splitter, and iCUE XC7 RGB ELITE LCD are available immediately from the CORSAIR website and the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. The iCUE LINK GPU RGB Adapter is available to preorder from the CORSAIR webstore and will become available in September.

The iCUE LINK CPU Water Blocks and XD5 RGB ELITE are backed by a three-year warranty and the XG3 RGB HYBRID and 4-Way Signal Splitter are backed by a two-year warranty, alongside the CORSAIR worldwide customer service and technical support network.

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‘Overwatch 2: Invasion’ Ultimate GeForce RTX 40 Series Bundle Now Available



NVIDIA has announced a new bundle today. For a limited period of time, if one buys a participating GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics card, desktop PC or laptop, they will also receive the Overwatch 2: Invasion Ultimate GeForce RTX 40 Series bundle.

The bundle includes:

  • Overwatch 2:Invasion Story Missions
    • Vigilante Sojourn Legendary Skin (*Earned)
    • Sojourn Hero Unlock (*Earned)
  • Premium Battle Pass
  • 20 Battle Pass Tier Skips
  • The C-455 Sharpshooter Cassidy Legendary Skin
  • The K-2000 Blademaster Kiriko Legendary Skin
  • 3,000 Overwatch Coins

Overwatch 2: Invasion Ultimate GeForce RTX 40 Series bundle is available with the purchase of a qualifying GeForce RTX 4090, 4080, 4070 Ti, 4070, 4060 Ti, 4060 desktop or GPU, or a laptop with a GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, or RTX 4060 Laptop GPU at numerous system builders and retailers worldwide.

To unlock the ultimate graphics experience in each battle, upgrade to a select GeForce RTX 40 Series graphics card, desktop PC, or laptop for class-leading performance, and unbeatable responsiveness courtesy of NVIDIA Reflex. NVIDIA Reflex reduces system latency by up to 60% in Overwatch 2, and the raw power of GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs, which can run at over 360 FPS at 1440p.

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NVIDIA Expands DLSS Support With Two New Game Releases



NVIDIA today announced the availability of Portal: Prelude RTX as a free download on Steam for anyone who owns the original version of the critically-acclaimed game Portal. Portal: Prelude is an unofficial Portal prequel first released in 2008 and features an extremely challenging 8-10 hour campaign. It is the highest-rated Portal modthe 2008 Portal ModDB winner, and #3 overall Player’s Choice mod of 2008.

Portal: Prelude RTX is a community remaster of this classic Portal mod, created with NVIDIA RTX Remix and featuring full ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS 3, NVIDIA Reflex and NVIDIA RTX IO to deliver the ultimate Portal Prelude experience for GeForce RTX gamers. It is the first remaster created entirely by modders with the RTX Remix creator toolkit.

To bring Portal: Prelude RTX to life, NVIDIA collaborated with Nicolas “NykO18” Grevet, the original creator of Portal Prelude, and famous modder David “Kralich” Driver-Gomm to modernize Portal: Prelude’s assets and relight the game with stunning full ray tracing.

Portal: Prelude RTX is the latest showcase title for NVIDIA RTX Remix, a free, upcoming modding platform built on NVIDIA Omniverse, which enables modders to quickly create and share RTX mods for classic games, with enhanced materials, full ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS 3, and NVIDIA Reflex.

Also releasing on PC is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the highly anticipated action-adventure-platformer from Insomniac Games. The game is loaded with technology including real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA DLSS 3, NVIDIA DLAA, NVIDIA Reflex, and NVIDIA RTX IO for a superb PC gaming experience. It joins a growing list of games that support NVIDIA DLSS including Remnant II, NARAKA: BLADEPOINT, SYNCED, and Wuthering Waves.

To support the release of Portal: Prelude RTX, NVIDIA released a new GeForce Game Ready Driver which is optimized for Portal: Prelude RTX, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and other games, and gives you the highest levels of performance when using NVIDIA RTX IO and DirectStorage for Windows in the two titles.

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