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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: The Corsair Neutron NX500 (400GB) PCIe SSD Review: Big Card, Big Pricetag

    Today we're taking a look at Corsair's Neutron NX500 SSD . This is the company's second PCIe SSD, again based on the Phison E7 controller, but this time distinguishing itself with a custom heatsink, larger overprovisioning than almost any consumer SSD, and twice the DRAM cache of a typical consumer SSD. The price tag matches the premium specifications, but the real-world performance does not justify the premium.


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    Anandtech: ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ Available: 27” Curved, FHD@144Hz & FreeSync w/ELMB

    ASUS is about to start shipments of its ROG Strix XG27VQ display — an inexpensive curved 27” screen with a high refresh rate and AMD’s FreeSync technology designed for gamers and modders. The monitor has all the features that one expects from the ROG trademark as well as one brand new tech from ASUS, the so-called Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB). Besides, the XG27VQ is among the first monitors to have the ASUS Aura RGB lighting on the back along with a customizable light signature projector on the bottom. With the launch of the ROG Strix XG27VQ, ASUS not only releases a moderately-sized curved LCD, but also makes a ROG-branded monitor more accessible since the new model costs $349.99. The product will soon be joined by a more advanced ROG Swift PG27VQ.
    ASUS is gradually expanding its family of curved monitors. Unlike some of its rivals, the company started introduction of curved displays into its lineup from the very high-end with the ultra-wide ROG Swift PG348Q aimed at gamers in mid-2016. Since then, the company has released two curved Designo displays for those looking for style, a couple of inexpensive curved monitors for gamers and even the ROG Swift PG35VQ (the successor of the PG348Q) with a 200 Hz refresh rate, HDR and quantum dots. One of the distinguishable features of all ASUS’ curved displays so far was their diagonal size: all of them were 32” and larger. While some argue that curvature makes sense only for very large monitors, there are manufacturers, which produce considerably smaller curved screens.
    In a bid to offer a similar option for its customers, ASUS introduced two 27” curved displays for gamers into its premium ROG lineup earlier this year (think of BMW 1-series: they are compact cars with premium features). The monitors belong to the Swift and Strix sub-families and thus use different panels and come with different sets of features. Meanwhile, there are several things that the ROG Swift PG27VQ and ROG Strix XG27VQ displays have in common: they are 27” large, they feature very high refresh rates of 144 and 165 Hz, they support dynamic refresh rate technologies, and they feature the ASUS Aura RGB lighting. Apparently, the ROG Strix XG27VQ is going to reach the market earlier than its brother as Amazon and Newegg recently started to list it.
    The ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ is based on a 27” VA panel with a FHD 1920×1080 resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. General specifications of the panel are typical for contemporary entry-level gaming devices: 300 nits brightness, 3000:1 contrast ratio, 178°/178° viewing angles, a 4 ms response time (grey-to-grey) and so on. The monitor can use HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2, or a dual-link DVD-D connector. As for ergonomics, the Strix XG27VQ can adjust height, tilt, swivel or can be attached to a VESA wall mounting.

    While at first glance the new ROG Strix looks like a fairly standard monitor, there are several features that make the XG27VQ especially appealing to gamers. Firstly, it has a 144 Hz maximum refresh rate along with AMD’s FreeSync that works over both DP and HDMI with a refresh range between 48 and 140 Hz. Secondly, it has a brand-new feature called the Extreme Low Motion Blur (ELMB), which promises to make fast-paced actions look sharper. ASUS does not describe how the ELMB works, but it may be the company’s alternative to the ULMB tech that has been around for a while. Thirdly, the XG27VQ has a 1800R curvature for those who want some additional immersion. Fourthly, it is equipped with the ASUS Aura RGB lighting on the back to customize its look (and match it with lighting effects on a PC based on a motherboard featuring the ASUS Aura lighting) as well as a customizable light signature projector on the bottom. Finally, the monitor supports the ASUS GamePlus modes, which are present on other gaming monitors by the company.
    When it comes to the ROG Swift PG27VQ display announced alongside the ROG Strix XG27VQ, it looks considerably more advanced. The Swift PG27VQ has a higher resolution of 2560×1440, a faster 1 ms GtG response time, an "overclockable" 165 Hz refresh rate, NVIDIA’s G-Sync dynamic refresh rate technology with ULMB, 1800R curvature, the Aura Sync RGB lighting (which can synchronize lighting effects with all connected Aura-enabled components) as well as all the ergonomics and features of its younger brother. Quite obviously, this one is going to be more expensive too.
    ASUS ROG 27" Curved Gaming Monitors
    ROG Strix XG27VQ ROG Swift PG27VQ
    Panel 27" VA 27"
    Native Resolution 1920 × 1080 2560 × 1440
    Refresh Rate Range 144 Hz 165 Hz overclockable
    Dynamic Refresh Rate FreeSync with ELMB (48 - 140 Hz) G-Sync with ULMB
    Response Time 4 ms (gray-to-gray) 1 ms (gray-to-gray)
    Brightness 300 cd/m² unknown
    Contrast 3000:1 unknown
    Viewing Angles 178°/178° horizontal/vertical unknown
    Curvature 1800R
    Inputs 1 × HDMI 1.4
    1 × DP 1.2
    1 × DL-DVI-D
    Audio Audio out port
    Proprietary Enhancements Trace Free Technology
    Skin-Tone Selection: 3 Modes
    Color Temperature Selection: 4 Modes
    GamePlus Modes: Crosshair/Timer/Display Alignment
    Low Blue Light: Yes
    VividPixel: Yes
    GameVisual Modes: Scenery/Racing/Cinema/RTS/RPG/FPS/sRGB
    Power Consumption Idle ~0.5 W unknown
    Active 50 W at 200 cd/m² unknown
    Detailed Information Link Link
    The ASUS ROG Strix XG27VQ display can be pre-ordered from Amazon and Newegg for $349.99, which is highly likely going to be its MSRP. The exact availability date of the monitor is unknown, but it will probably ship in Q3. As for the more advanced ROG Swift PG27VQ, nothing is clear at this point. ASUS still has not released its final specs just yet and no retailers are taking pre-orders.
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    Anandtech: Samsung & SK Hynix Graphics Memory Prices Increase Over 30% In August

    In the midst of a global DRAM shortage, Digitimes reports that the market prices for graphics memory from Samsung and SK Hynix have increased by over 30% for August. This latest jump in memory prices is apparently due to the pair of DRAM manufacturers repurposing part of their VRAM production capacities for server and smartphone memories instead. As Digitimes’ sources report, this VRAM pricing is expected to increase further in September, impacting graphics card and gaming notebook manufacturers. Consumers have already felt the pain through skyrocketing DDR4 prices, and TrendForce/DRAMeXchange expects the upward trend of PC DRAM chips to continue to 2018.
    Generally speaking, this production prioritization is not new. Late last year, the top three memory suppliers, Samsung (55% market share), SK Hynix (35% market share), and Micron (10% market share) shifted production capacity to prioritize servers and smartphones, causing the initial spike in PC DRAM prices. Overall, DRAMeXchange attributes the tight supply to lack of short term capacity expansion, as well as yield issues with new processes. The research firm had also noted that capacity expansion will be rather subdued as manufacturers try to keep commanding the higher margins of an undersupply environment.
    In light of recent GDDR6 announcements by Micron and SK Hynix, these supply/price issues could have knock-on effects for both current and upcoming graphics cards. Additionally, as both Samsung and SK Hynix are the only HBM2 suppliers, HBM2-equipped cards may be adversely constrained by supply. Earlier this month, an SK Hynix executive stated that customers were willing to pay 2.5 times more for HBM2 over HBM1; this sentiment may soon be put to the test. The situation with Micron is a little less clear, as they not only have their unique GDDR5X memory, but also may not have raised VRAM prices. If they haven't, they may have an opportunity on their hands.
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    Anandtech: MSI Launches the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC: Going Micro-ATX

    MSI has announced a new Micro ATX motherboard added to the X299 lineup in the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC. Based on the ATX sized X299 Gaming Pro Carbon AC, it has a similar I/O cover shape as well as the painted carbon pattern on the black board. MSI states it shares nearly all features the bigger brother offers, such as multiple PCIe x16 slots for multi-GPU, the same amount of SATA ports, dual M.2 slots, and even the same 10 phase DrMOS PWM make their way onto the smaller X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC.
    The X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC supports up to 64GB of quad-channel DRAM, and using MSI’s DDR4 Boost Technology should allow the board to support memory speeds up to 4200 MHz, a full multiplier more than the ATX sized Gaming Pro Carbon AC - this is typically down to better performance potential when using 1 DIMM per channel. Another difference is visible in the available PCIe slots: the mATX version has a total of three PCIe x16 slots, two using Steel Armor and one without, to support x16/x16/x8 using a 44-lane CPU and x16/x8/x4 with a 28-lane CPU, although to use all the bandwidth a user would need to invest in single slot solutions. Under the guide overclocking, MSI claims that its features such as an external clock generator for more BCLK flexibility, an 8-Layer PCB, and a fully digital power design for its 10 phase Military Class 6 power delivery (among other features) contribute to the overclocking performance.

    Chipset Diagram
    On the storage side, the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, who of which can share bandwidth with the two M.2 slots when using SATA based M.2 drives. The M.2 ports also support PCIe 3.0 x4 drives, in which case this will not affect the SATA ports.
    USB connectivity starts with USB 3.1 Gen 2 via an ASM3142 controller: Type-A and Type-C ports on the back I/O panel, as well as another Type-C using an internal header. There are four more USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the back, as well as two USB 2.0 ports. More can be found when using the internal USB headers.
    For networking, the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC comes with two Intel Gigabit LAN controllers (one more than the ATX Gaming Carbon Pro AC), the Intel I219-V and the Intel I211AT. Wireless features are handled by Intel’s dual band Wireless-AC 8265 module pre-installed in the WIFI1 slot. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual band (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz) up to 867 Mbps, as well as dual mode Bluetooth 4.2. Audio duties are handled by the Realtek ALC1220 codec supporting 7.1 channel HD Audio. MSI updated its audio software on select boards in the X299 platform to Nahimic 2+, using their collaboration with Nahimic for advanced audio features.
    RGB LEDs can be found on the I/O cover as well as on the audio separation line on the PCB that is meant to separate digital and analog signals. Two other small RGB strips are on the right side of the board. All the RGB LEDs (and external RGB LEDs that are supported) are controlled by MSI’s Mystic Light application. To further the aesthetic charm, if the default look isn’t what the build theme is looking for, MSI includes three different 'Gaming Pro' heatsink covers in Carbon, Gold, and Silver, which can be swapped around to achieve the most appropriate look for the build. It also has mounting points available, which MSI named 3D X-Mounting, to use for additional modifications for 3D-printable parts. MSI states that the cable covers, M.2 fan stand, SLI bridge, and more can be used to personalize the board even further.
    MSI X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC
    Warranty Period 3 Years
    Product Page Link
    Price $279.99
    Size mATX
    CPU Interface LGA2066
    Chipset Intel X299
    Memory Slots (DDR4) Four DDR4
    Supporting 64GB
    Quad Channel
    Up to 4200 MHz
    Network Connectivity 1x Intel I219V GbE
    1x Intel I211AT GbE
    Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1220
    PCIe Slots for Graphics (from CPU) 3 x PCIe 3.0
    - 44 Lane CPU: x16/x16/x8
    - w/ 28 Lane CPU: x16/x8/x4
    PCIe Slots for Other (from PCH) N/A
    Onboard SATA Eight, RAID 0/1/5/10
    Onboard SATA Express None
    Onboard M.2 2 x PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA
    Onboard U.2 None
    USB 3.1 ASMedia 3142 Chipset:
    1 x Gen 2 Type-A (Back Panel)
    2 x Gen 2 Type-C (Back Panel)
    1 x Gen 2 Type-C (internal connector)

    Intel X299 Chipset:
    4 x Gen 1 Type-A via Back Panel
    2 x Gen 1 Internal Headers
    USB 3.0 N/A
    USB 2.0 Intel X299 Chipset
    4 x Gen 1 Type-A via Back Pane
    2 x Gen 1 via Internal Headers
    Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V
    1 x 6-pin PCIe
    Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
    1 x Water Pump (4-pin)
    3 x System Fan (4-pin)
    IO Panel 1 x Clear CMOS button
    1 x BIOS FLASHBACK+ button
    1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse combo port
    2 x USB 2.0 Type-A ports
    2 x Wi-Fi Antenna connectors
    4 x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports
    2 x LAN (RJ45) port
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port
    1 x USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port
    1 x Optical S/PDIF OUT connector
    5 x OFC audio jacks
    Pricing information was not mentioned in the press release. However, the $279.99 price listed above was found on It is selling for $399.99 on
    *MSI's website states that the board supports 128GB of DRAM, although that would mean using 32GB UDIMMs which do not exist. We fully suspect this is a typo on MSI and have reached out for clarification - we expect the support to be 64GB (4x16GB).
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    Anandtech: Retesting AMD Ryzen Threadripper’s Game Mode: Halving Cores for More Perfo

    For the launch of AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper processors, one of the features being advertised was Game Mode. This was a special profile under the updated Ryzen Master software that was designed to give the Threadripper CPU more performance in gaming, at the expense of peak performance in hard CPU tasks. AMD’s goal, as described to us, was to enable the user to have a choice: a CPU that can be fit for both CPU tasks and for gaming at the flick of a switch (and a reboot) by disabling half of the chip. Initially we interpreted this via one of AMD’s slides as half of the threads (simultaneous multi-threading off), as per the exact wording. However, in other places AMD had stated that it actually disables half the cores: AMD returned to us and said it was actually disabling one of the two active dies in the Threadripper processor. We swallowed our pride and set about retesting the effect of Game Mode.


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    Anandtech: Intel Provides Partners Preliminary 8th Gen Desktop Details: Core i7-8700K

    At a closed-session partner in China, Intel revealed a number of preliminary details about its upcoming 8th generation Core processors for desktops. As expected, Intel is telling its business customers that is increasing core count of its CPUs for mainstream PCs in a bid to drive performance, catalyze upgrades and better compete against its rival.
    Intel has previously unveiled that they're working on what will be their 8th Generation Core processors. What has been rumored for a while (and what Intel yet has to publicly confirm) is increased core counts for the 8th Gen desktop parts. This week Chiphell, a China-based website, published a picture taken from a partner briefing event, which briefly describes the advantages of Intel’s 8th gen Core CPUs vs the company’s 7th gen Core chips.
    According to two separate external sources with knowledge of the matter, the slide is up-to-date and genuine.
    Intel is stating that the increased number of cores and enlarged caches will be the key improvements of the 8th Gen desktop parts, compared to their direct predecessors. In particular, the event speaker explained that the next-gen Core i7-8000 series CPUs will gain two additional cores to give six cores with Hyper-Threading. At the top end, it was stated that these will be at 95W and 65W TDPs for unlocked and regular SKUs respectively. The Core i5 series will also get two additional cores, but no Hyper-Threading. As for the Core i3 parts, these parts will lose Hyper-Threading, but instead move into the traditional i5 space, giving four cores only. Intel stated that they will also continue to offer unlocked CPUs within its i7, i5 and i3 families, and such processors will feature higher frequencies and a 95 W TDP (compared to the 65 W thermal envelope for their regular parts).
    Basic Specifications of Intel Core i5/i7 Desktop CPUs
    7th Generation 8th Generation
    Cores Freq.
    L3 TDP Cores Freq.
    L3 TDP
    i7-7700K 4/8 4.2GHz 8 MB 95W i7-8700K 6/12 3.8GHz 12MB 95W
    i7-7700 3.6GHz 65W i7-8700 ? 65W
    i5-7600K 4/4 3.8GHz 6 MB 95W i5-8600K 6/6 ? 9 MB 95W
    i5-7400 3.0GHz 65W i5-8400 2.8GHz 65W
    i3-7350K 2/4 4.2GHz 4 MB 60W i3-8350K 4/4 4.0GHz 6MB 95W
    i5-7100 3.9GHz 51W i3-8100 3.8GHz 65W
    As it stands, three things remain unclear about the 8th generation Core processors for desktops. The first one is the integrated graphics configuration of the company’s upcoming parts, as it may be important if Intel increases their GPU core counts to keep performance growing. The second one is the CPU core configuration of the future Pentium SKUs. In the case of Kaby Lake-based Pentiums, Intel enabled Hyper-Threading technology to match the Core i3 parts, blurring the line between the i3-7000 and the Pentium G4600-series parts. Third is if there are any adjustments to the pricing structure.
    What will be interesting is the fact that Intel has lost the 4C/8T level of hardware. By moving the Core i5 to a six-core, any 4C/8T component has the potential to surpass a 6C/6T in certain tests.
    Intel did not supply us with this information. Intel traditionally does not comment on information it reveals to partners behind closed doors. More importantly, the information should be considered as preliminary as the company has been known to change product specifications close to launch, even on final engineering samples to retail. Even though the 8th generation Core processors would already need to be in production in order to meet Intel's 2017 goals, last minute changes are always on the table. Similarly, Intel has a lot of latitude in deciding when to actually launch their parts, particularly lower-volume desktop parts.
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    Anandtech: Unannounced 8th Generation Core 15W U-Series CPUs Appear on Intel’s Public

    More news from Intel this morning, this time published directly on their website. With the upcoming announcement of the 8th Generation Core next week to which Intel has already posted teasers to the media, it would seem that someone at Intel decided to add processor details and pricing into Intel’s official Price List today.
    New to the document are four CPUs, all in the U-series range, which usually indicates TDPs of 15W for non-Iris products. However, the big jump to note will be in the core counts. U-series processors, including the Core i7 parts, have historically been only dual-core with Hyper-Threading, similar to the Core i5 parts (with the Core i7 being better for voltage/frequency curves and overall performance). The Price List shows that both the new Core i7-8000 and Core i5-8000 parts will move up to four cores, and both will feature Hyper-Threading, giving a total of eight threads.
    Specifications of Intel Core i5/i7 U-series CPUs
    7th Generation 8th Generation
    Cores Freq.
    L3 Price Cores Freq.
    L3 Price
    i7-7660U 2/4 2.5 GHz 4 MB $415 i7-8650U 4/8 1.9 GHz 8 MB $409
    i7-7560U 2.4 GHz $415 i7-8550U 1.8 GHz $409
    i5-7360U 2/4 2.3 GHz 3 MB $304 i5-8350U 4/8 1.7 GHz 6 MB $297
    i5-7260U 2.2 GHz $304 i5-8250U 1.6 GHz $297
    The Price List also states their L3 cache sizes, which is consistent with previous Core i7/i5 positioning. The base frequencies are to note, which are lower than previous generations. Other information shows the pricing is about the same, and the that these are on 14nm. It doesn’t state which 14nm process these parts are on, but it confirms that 10nm isn’t ready as of today to go into the list. The list also doesn't state the CPUs' turbo frequencies.

    Click to Zoom
    One thing that might have users disappointed is that there is no update on any desktop parts in the price list. The list has the new U-series CPUs as having an official price from August 21st, which would also follow some of the laptop designs that have been leaked by retailers featuring these new parts. The image at the top is of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55XD, which is one of those devices.
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    Anandtech: Lian-Li releases PC-Q39 Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower

    On Tuesday, Lian-Li announced a new Mini-ITX Tower chassis with its PC-Q39. A progression from the PC-Q37 case, the PC-Q39 is a bit larger and can now house an ATX form factor PSU, up to 2x120mm radiator, and a triple slot graphics card. The outside of the chassis uses tempered glass on the side with an updated aluminum front panel giving it a high-end look many are after.
    Lian-Li PC-Q39

    Like its predecessor, the PC-Q39 maintains a dual chamber design separating the motherboard, video card, and heatsink/radiator from the HDD/SSD and power supply. Lian-Li strategically placed dedicated grommets for liquid cooling tubes at the top and bottom of the motherboard tray. Along with five other holes, there are plenty of places to route tubing for the reservoir and pumps, as well as other wiring in the wider second chamber. This setup can make for a much cleaner look and allows for less obstructed airflow in the main chamber. The front panel, located on top of the Q39 (was on the front of the Q37), has been modernized to include a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connector, as well as two USB3.0 ports.
    The PC-Q39’s additional size, 15mm wider, allows it to use the more familiar ATX form factor for PSUs, up to 160mm in length. The second compartment also contains a tool-less drive rack holding two 3.5” and one 2.5” drive. Two additional spaces for 2.5” drives are found in the back and on the motherboard tray, for a total of three 2.5” drives.
    At the top of the chassis, there is room for two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator. Additionally, there is space on the bottom of the case for two 120mm fans or a single 140 mm fan for increased airflow in the main chamber. All fan mount points come with a magnetically attached dust filter to slow the buildup of dust inside the case. There are three expansion slots for PCIe devices allowing owners to use video cards with a triple slot cooler and up to 300mm in length. Working in the small case shouldn't be an issue due to the front, top, and side panels all being removable.
    Below is a complete specifications table:
    Lian-Li PC-Q39 Mini-ITX Chassis
    Model PC-Q39G WX
    Case Type Mini Tower Chassis
    Dimensions (W)252mm x(H)348mm x(D)346mm
    Color Black
    Front/Side Panel Aluminum / (L) Tempered Glass, (R) Aluminum
    Body Material Aluminum
    Net Weight 5.3kg
    External Drive Bays None
    HDD/SSD Bays 2x 3.5", 3x 2.5"
    Expansion Slots 3
    Motherboard Type Mini-ITX
    System Fan (Optional) 2x 120mm(top), 2x 120mm or 1x 140mm(bottom)
    I/O Ports 2x USB3.0, 1x USB3.1 Type-C, HD Audio
    VGA Card Support (L)300mm x (D)60mm
    CPU Cooling Support (H)120mm
    PSU Support ATX PSU,(L)160mm
    Radiator Support Top: 240mm x 80mm x 120mm
    The PC-Q39 is available now at for $209.99.
    Gallery: Lian Li PC-Q39 Mini-ITX Chassis

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    Anandtech: Dell Now Offers Aquantia AQtion AQN-108-Based 5 GbE Cards with Select PCs

    Aquantia and Dell this week began to offer Aquantia’s AQtion AQN-108 5 GbE network controller as a build-to-order option for the OptiPlex 7050 workstations. Dell is the first major PC brand to offer an Aquantia AQtion card with its systems, and since Dell is one of the world’s largest suppliers of computers, the collaboration is a good news for Aquantia. This is also equally good news for the adoption of higher bandwidth Ethernet standards in PCs, marking one of the first times a faster NIC has been available in a commodity-grade workstation.
    The Aquantia AQtion AQN-108 card is a 2.5/5 GbE network controller that uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and supports 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps networking standards over RJ45 connectors using Cat5e/Cat6a cabling over distances up to 100 meters. The card is aimed at individuals and small businesses willing to invest in 2.5G/5G infrastructure. In fact, the Dell OptiPlex 7050 machines are meant for this kind of organizations: the workstations are based on Intel’s Core processors (the Core i3-7300 is the cheapest option) and start at $769 per box.
    Dell charges $277.13 for the addition of a full height AQtion AQN-108 card into a tower OptiPlex 7050, which is quite a lot because Aquantia charges around $100 per card. Unfortunately, this is a usual practice for large PC makers to sell optional hardware with a huge markup. For example, even Intel’s 10 GbE X540 card can be bought for considerably less than $277 at Amazon.
    Despite the price, it is important that Dell is offering an AQuantia-based NIC designed for 2.5G and 5 G infrastructure because it means that the large PC supplier sees promise in 2.5G/5G networks.
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