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$449 Asus ROG Azoth Extreme gaming keyboard boasts an OLED touch screen and aluminum build with a carbon fiber plate

75% Gaming keyboards are very popular among gamers and everyday users as they often provide a quality mechanical switch experience with more reasonable pricing. However, the lower pricing aspect goes out the window with the ROG Azoth Extreme, which packs an abundance of features while commanding a hefty price of $499.99. To provide comfort during use while providing that ‘thock’ acoustics many users prefer, the Azoth Extreme has multiple foam layers and a carbon fiber plate, much like how companies like Meletrix provide, with an exception being that the Azoth Extreme is a complete build ready to work out of the box. Asus bundles a silicone wristrest to provide additional comfort. It also includes wired and wireless connectivity to both Windows and macOS through its USB connectivity, Bluetooth 5.3, and radio frequency for wireless. To enable higher polling rates for the keyboard, Asus bundles a dongle that allows polling up to 8,000 Hz. During Computex 2024, Asus reps mentioned the option to choose between tactile and linear feedback NX switches, though the website does not show this option.The NX switches use stems for Cherry MX compatible keycaps and hot-swap its mechanical switches. For the price, however, you wouldn’t want to hot-swap either of the switches or change the keycaps, which hopefully would improve over the previously released ROG Azoth. Additionally, Asus’ propriety software didn’t provide a good experience when we reviewed that keyboard.Apart from foam pads and gaskets, a standout feature is the OLED touchscreen towards the top right and the inclusion of a three-way knob and a generous number of accessories accompanying this keyboard.  The mechanical keyboard market is aflush with options like Keychron and several others. New players like FiiO are experimenting with a built-in DAC and headphone amplifier.It will be interesting to see if enthusiasts are receptive to the ROG Azoth Extreme’s features and high price tag, given that $500 will get you a nice RTX 4070 these days.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Nvidia’s latest RTX 4070 Ti Super AD102 GPUs are in stores now — custom models start at $819

The GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super, one of the best graphics cards, recently emerged with a larger AD102 silicon, which differs from the original AD103 silicon. Newegg has started selling these GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super AD102 SKUs with custom models from Zotac and Gigabyte.The Zotac GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super 16G Solid OC sells for $869.99, while the Gigabyte GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Super WindForce Max OC retails for $819.99. The AD102-based variant can be easily identified by its new capacitor configuration since it has four SP caps with two MLCC clusters. Gigabyte’s counterpart has its backplate covering the capacitor layout, but the spacing between the screws around the core is larger, typical with AD102 silicon, as it measures 331 x 136 x 55.5mm. The AD103 silicon has a 261 x 126 x 50mm footprint.The new AD102-based RTX 4070 Ti Super variant has 8,448 CUDA cores and supports up to 16GB GDDR6X memory. Likely, the AD102 silicon used inside these graphics cards did not meet the standards required for upper-end RTX 40-series GPUs, but it was acceptable to be configured as an RTX 4070 Ti Super. Such practices are widespread and not exclusive to a chipmaker. CPU makers also do them as they help not to waste a perfect die. It is also an excellent way to sell any remaining Ada Lovelace dies, making room for future RTX 50-series graphics cards.Image […]

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Adata makes ATX case for reverse-connector motherboards — XPG Invader X BTF also supports standard layouts

Adata has added a BTF variant to its XPG Invader X case lineup. The new XPG Invader X BTF is compatible with rear-connector motherboards such as MSI’s Project Zero and Asus’ BTF. The XPG Invader X BTF is a mid-tower case and its main selling point is its design, which promotes clean aesthetics and better (-looking, at least) cable management by supporting rear-connector motherboards and components. But it also supports standard layouts, making it both flexible and (hopefully) upgrade- and future-ready.The XPG Invader X BTF supports up to 10 fans and is compatible with liquid coolers that have radiators up to 360mm long. The case design allows for up to 400mm of GPU clearance, and supports power supplies up to 240mm long. If you’d like to use an air cooler, the case also allows for up to 175mm CPU cooler clearance, so it will fit taller coolers such as the new Noctua NG-D15-G2. The case features glass front and lefts panels and the rest is steel. It’s available in both black and white.The case comes with five 120mm fans included, four of which have reversed fan blades to pull air in. For storage, it has a bracket that allow you to install up to three 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives. The full specs are listed below: Image […]

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OBS encoding enhancements come to Nvidia’s Maxwell GPUs — GeForce GTX 900 series can now leverage the Twitch Enhanced Broadcasting feature

Popular open-source live streaming software OBS (short for Open Broadcasting Software) has been working on its Twitch Enhanced Broadcasting feature. It now bears fruit for users with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 900 series (via Jacob Freeman) and above graphics cards. This feature was showcased in February and released with initial support for GeForce RTX graphics cards.The OBS 30.2 RC1 update works with older Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 900-series graphics cards. Apart from having the proper hardware, the streamer must be accepted into Twitch’s BETA program. For now, all the encoders on the GeForce cards can have up to eight concurrent encodings, while Twitch accepts five with H.264/AVC encoding at a maximum setting of 1080p60. Naturally, broadcasting client-side transcoding will require the streamer to have a good enough internet connection.Adding support for older graphics cards has benefits, as not everyone requires the best hardware for the games they stream, including many multiplayer titles. This includes those with GTX 10 series and GTX 16 series graphics cards. Providing such support ensures Nvidia can enjoy exclusivity with Twitch live streamers until it includes Intel and AMD Radeon GPUs, hopefully in the future.To provide optimal broadcast quality on behalf of its livestreamers, Twitch collaborated with OBS and Nvidia for this feature. Once enabled, OBS creates these transcodes via the live streamer’s discrete NVENC hardware encoder on the Nvidia GPUs and transmits them to the Twitch server. Each encoding is optimized for a particular quality and resolution, which is selectively broadcasted to a viewer based on the quality setting they’ve selected. The Twitch Enhanced Broadcasting feature provides the best viewing experience based on the viewer’s setting. Additionally, it eliminates the headache of manually choosing a fixed setting in OBS on behalf of users. For example, a high-bitrate setting will cause buffering for those with low-bandwidth internet connections. Still, those with high-bandwidth connections will not get the best possible viewing quality if the OBS uses a lower-bitrate setting. Enhance broadcasting takes care of that process as the GPU transcodes and sends it to Twitch servers, targeting a viewer using a particular setting.It is uncertain when this option will be freely available for all Twitch streamers without requiring sign-up and approval. It is also unsure whether this will be enabled for Intel and AMD GPUs and even include AV1 to H264 in its transcoding, which is currently exclusive to the RTX 40 series.It is hard to tell when Twitch and OBS can evolve from the BETA stage without having this feature exclusive to Nvidia. However, once this enhanced transcoding comes out of the BETA stage for both Twitch and OBS, we should have a much larger demographic of live streamers, and their viewers will benefit from it.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Asus launches NUC 14 Pro+ powered by Meteor Lake CPUs — Core Ultra 5 125H, 512GB SSD, and 16GB RAM for $860

Asus has released the all-new NUC 14 Pro+ to its mini-PC line, with the choice between Intel Core Ultra 9, 7, or 5 CPUs. The notable upgrade over the NUC 13 Pro is its Intel Ultra series Meteor Lake CPUs, which now come with an integrated NPU for local generative AI processing. These are available as a barebone kit, where you must buy your own M.2 storage and RAMs and a complete build weighing 800 grams.This NUC is marketed towards home and office use and relies on generative AI for content creation and productivity. The CPU choices are between Intel Ultra 7 155H, Ultra 5 125H, and Ultra 9 185H. The prebuild has two additional CPUs with vPro—the Ultra 7 165H and the Ultra 5 135H. Depending on the build, it will be bundled with a 120-watt or 150-watt power adapter.It has a compact design compared to the tall chassis variant, with an anodized aluminum casing in a slightly more significant 5 x 4-inch form factor (as opposed to standard 4×4 casings) due to the integrated cooling systems it uses. The extra space allowed for cramming in three 6mm heat pipes with a double-sided heat exchanger and a fan for airflow. Asus is advertising as a measure to ensure cooling needed to ensure uninterrupted operation during generative AI workloads.For graphics, it uses the integrated Xe and provides 4K support through up to quad 4K monitors. This support is possible via two of its Thunderbolt 4 ports in the rear, which have DisplayPort 1.4 integration, and two HDMI ports. Two SO-DIMM slots for DDR5-5600 are up to 96 GB for memory expansion. For networking, it has one 2.5G Ethernet port with an Intel I226V controller, Wi-Fi GE+ 2×2 with Wi-Fi sensing, and Bluetooth 5.3.Image […]

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ASRock finetunes Arc Alchemist GPU cooling — Arc A770 and Arc A750 SE arrive with better coolers

ASRock has introduced a new SE series under the Challenger lineup with two Intel Arc GPUs—the A770 16GB OC and the A750 8GB OC Editions. Like many AIC partners, ASRock has some Intel Arc series graphics cards, but these variants are advertised to have strong cooling and a switch to turn off their LEDs.When comparing the specs, the Challenger SE series is more compact and lighter than its Phantom Gaming series counterparts. In comparison, the A770 16GB Challenger SE is 267 x 130 x 48 mm and weighs 820 grams, while the Phantom Gaming variant is large, with a 305mm length x 131 mm width and 56mm, occupying 2.8 PCIe slot space and weighing 1146g. Both graphics use the same GPU cooler and backplate.There are no changes spec-wise, as the Arc A770 Challenger SE 16GB GDDR6 is clocked at 2,150 MHz, and the Arc A750 Challenger SE 8GB GDDR6 is clocked at 2,200 MHz. Both graphics cards support Intel XeSS and DirectX 12 and have three DisplayPort 2.0 and one HDMI 2.0b output. Due to their smaller footprint, these Challenger SE have a temperature-controlled dual fan. Both GPUs take auxiliary power from two 8-pin PCIe connectors.Image […]

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ASRock preps AMD GPUs for AI inference and multi-GPU systems — Creator series GPUs with dual-slot, blower-type design and 16-pin power connectors

ASRock (via momomo_us) has rebranded the company’s Navi 31-based AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX WS graphics cards to the new Creator series for generative AI workloads and workstation setups. These WS series graphics cards originally debuted during Computex 2024.Quite notably, both the WS series (now the Creator series GPUs) are the first AMD cards to use the 16-pin power connector (12V-2×6), which until now was found in Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards. Originally, both variants used two 8-pin PCIe connectors, but it makes sense for such graphics cards to transition towards the newer standard as newer high-wattage power supplies have multiple 16-pin connectors for multi-GPU clusters. Also, using a single cable per graphic card helps to reduce the cable clutter.ASRock’s decision to roll with the 16-pin power connectors is more for convenience than necessity, as RX 7900 XT and RX 7900 XTX don’t draw that much power during workloads to justify using the 12V-2×6 power connector. It’s plausible that ASRock would probably provide a 12V-2×6 adapter with these Creator series.Image […]

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Stripped-down Windows 11 ‘Enterprise G’ ISO investigated — made for the Chinese government, associated organizations

The ‘Some Ordinary Gamers’ channel found a Windows 11 24H2 ISO that’s claimed to be a Chinese ‘Government Edition.’ The ISO reportedly came from a Google Drive and “should be used for evaluation purposes, as you cannot ‘legally’ install it on your PC.” Mutathar notes the dangers of using customized Windows 11 ISOs but explores this version to show how many elements can be stripped out, keeping resource consumption low. Mutahar criticized the potential dangers of custom Windows 11 from random sources in his previous videos, as these ISOs can contain malware and backdoors. Instead, it is best to download Windows 11 from the official source and use the known debloating utility, Windows 11 Debloat, from Github. 

I Got My Hands on Windows Government Edition… – YouTube

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Mutahar further explains that the existence of a ‘government edition’ Windows 11 is partially true, as electronic software distribution (ESD) packages can be found for Windows 11 Enterprise G, an abbreviation for the government. Mutahar installed this ISO on his virtual machine to show how many applications are removed from this version and how many resources it saves on a system with six cores and 8GB of RAM. This customized OS consumed much fewer resources than standard versions of Windows 11 Home or Pro because certain native applications were not running in real-time because they were removed.While there are many native applications still present in this version, some were removed — namely Windows Store, Microsoft’s Edge Browser, and Windows Defender. The absence of these apps is also likely because they would transmit system data to Microsoft’s servers, which would be unacceptable for any government organization, let alone China, including military applications. As reported earlier, the Chinese government uses its own Ubuntu and HarmonyuOS operating systems as part of its effort to be reliant on local options, including hardware components like its Longsoon and Zhaoxin CPUs. However, the Windows operating system is still needed for certain tasks due to its widespread use globally.(Image credit: Some Ordinary Gamers)Is WIndows 11 Enterprise G ISO the real deal?There is a stripped-down Windows 11 version made for a Chinese government-owned company that supplies hardware and software solutions to its civilian and military organizations. However, it’s not clear if these ISOs come from that company or somewhere else. A brief discussion in Microsoft’s forum corroborates that Enterprise G is made for the Chinese government. Regarding this ISO, a source explains that it is a fake Windows 11 Enterprise G ISO that’s debloated and contains a preinstalled keygen rather than an official license. It also reinvigorates an earlier observation made by Mutahar that one of the dangers is that these ISOs have disabled key functions like Updates and Defender needed for security. Irrespective of the legitimacy of these ISOs, the risk overshadows the benefits, and hence the ISO is best avoided.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.Official ISOs are easily available through Microsoft, and should the user need to debloat, there are trusted utilities and scripts available. Tiny11 is one such utility that we reported about earlier,  providing options to remove things like Copilot functions, turn off automatic updates, remove or disable Windows Defender, and remove the Windows Store. While many would like to remove some options to make Windows 11 lighter, it is best to not remove certain key essentials for the sake of security. […]

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Asus will showcase Ryzen AI 300 laptops on July 17 — Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and Ryzen AI 9 365 to power TUF Gaming, ROG Zephyrus, Zenbook, and ProArt series

Asus confirms via Weibo that the company will showcase its next-generation notebooks using AMD’s Ryzen AI 300 processors on July 17. Originally scheduled for July 8, the event will provide an exclusive to showcase these laptops throughout its range. While the reasons for the delay have not been mentioned, it is likely because AMD has allegedly delayed the Ryzen AI 300 launch to July 28, a day before the Ryzen 9000 processors. Retail giants like Best Buy also moved their availability dates accordingly. Some known models are from the TUF Gaming, ROG Zephyrus, Zenbook, and ProArt series in different configurations and builds. What’s known so far via the listing on Asus’ website is that the Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and the Ryzen AI 9 365 are used in these models. Specific models like the ProArt PX13 series, either of the two with variable storage and RAM options, while some, like the ProArt P16, are paired with the Ryzen AI 9 HX 370. These models also feature a dedicated Copilot Key to function with Windows 11’s AI integration.Image […]

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Australian police arrest hacker who created ‘Evil Twin’ wireless network to steal data during flights

The Australian Federal Police recently arrested and charged a man who used an ‘Evil Twin’ free Wi-Fi access point to steal data from victims on a domestic flight. 42-year-old Michael Clapsis now faces nine cybercrime charges for the alleged attack. According to the official reports, The AFP’s Western Command Cybercrime Operations Team of Data and Devices launched an investigation in April 2024 when it received a complaint from an airline concerning an unknown Wi-Fi public network identified by the in-flight employees. Upon his return to Perth Airport in the same month, authorities searched his baggage and seized his portable wireless access point, a laptop, and a mobile phone. The AFP found the devices that had used fake Wi-Fi login pages through his fake wireless access point, which was used in Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide during domestic flights and at the airport. The fake Wi-Fi pages required users to sign in using their email and social media login credentials, which were then stolen and stored.The examination of these devices provided the necessary details, and the man’s home was searched on 8th May, which also led to his arrest, with the court date set for June 28, 2024. One of the charges is the unauthorized impairment of electronic communication, which carries up to ten years imprisonment, with the rest of the charges carrying between two and five years imprisonment apiece. AFP Western Command Cybercrime Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman warned users to be cautious about using login credentials through public Wi-Fi networks. “To connect to a free Wi-Fi network, you shouldn’t have to enter any personal details– such as logging in through an email or social media account,” she said. “If you do want to use public Wi-Fi hotspots, install a reputable virtual private network (VPN) on your devices to encrypt and secure your data when using the internet. When using a public network, disable file sharing, don’t do anything sensitive – such as banking -while connected to it and once you finish using it, change your device settings to ‘forget network’.Coleman also recommends replacing passwords with different passphrases for every account, using an online password manager, and updating your devices.Microsoft releases updates to patch any known or potential flaws to prevent attacks, such as the one reported a month ago. The FBI has made similar recommendations concerning public Wi-Fi networks as well.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]