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Creative Presents Sound BlasterX AE-5 Sound Card

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Creative Technology uses E3 2017 to launch what it claims is the "world's first sound card with an integrated RGB controller"-- the Sound BlasterX AE-5.

Sound BlasterXThe PCIe sound card is designed for gamers, and as such features high-end components including a 32-bit 384kHz ESS ES9016K2M Sabre 32 Ultra DAC, a custom-designed 600O discrete headphone amp, German-made WIMA film/foil capacitors and proprietary Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies. It supports discrete 5.1 or virtual 7.1 channel aduio, and promises a low noise figure of 122dB DNR.

Meanwhile the BlasterX Acoustic Engine suite handles audio processing, such as 3D sound effects for speakers and headsets, Crystal Voice sound enhancement and a Scout 2.0 enemy audio radar overlay, an addition apparently useful for FPS games.

The be quiet! Shadow Rock TF2 Cooler

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German PC cooling and power supply specialist be quiet! launches the Shadow Rock TF2-- an update on the Shadow Rock TopFlow from 5 years ago, offering 160W TDP cooling capacity from a compact design.

Shadow Rock TF2Ideal for HTPC and SFF builds, the Shadow Rock TF2 features five 6mm high-performance copper heat pipes with aluminium end caps. The cooling fins have direct contact between fins and base plate, a redesign be quiet! says allows for heat dissipation "significantly better than its predecessor."

Razer Updates Blade Stealth Notebook

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Razer uses E3 2017 to launch a gaming notebook refresh-- the Blade Stealth, a device packing a 13.3-inch display inside the same size chassis as the previous model (which had a 12.5-inch display).

Razer Blade StealthThe updated Blade Stealth has a design less garish than typical Razer products, with the glowing logo replaced with a subtle two-tone version and a rainbow backlit keys ditched for regular white lighting. The display features a 3200 x 1800 resolution IGZO panel promising 100% sRGB colour gamut coverage and 400 nits brightness, and inside the machine are a 2.7GHz Core i7-7500U CPU, integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB PCIe SSD.

Dixons Carphone Ends US Sprint Joint Venture

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Dixons Carphone announces an end to its US joint venture with mobile network Sprint after less than 2 years, the result of a "changing US mobile market landscape."

Dixons CarphoneAs a result, Sprint will acquire the Dixon Carphone share of the distribution joint venture. The team up had Dixons Carphone manage a number of Sprint-branded stores in US while providing consultancy services. Instead, the UK retailer plans to concentrate on the rollout of its Honeybee sales software, which is used under white label by the likes of Apple, across the entire Sprint operation.

“We have enjoyed working with Sprint to accelerate their store opening programme over the last 2 years and have developed an estate and a pipeline to help support their ambitious growth plans," Dixons Carphone CEO Andrew Harrison says. "With the significant shift in the US mobile market, now is the right time to transfer these stores to Sprint, and to concentrate on our exciting software business, Honeybee."

The First Ryzen Gaming Laptop

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At Computex 2017 Asus ROG shows off the Strix GL702ZC-- the first gaming laptop featuring an AMD Ryzen CPU, as well as a Radeon Polaris GPU and a FreeSync display panel.

Asus ROG StrixAs something of an AMD flagship, the laptop comes in cofigurations including an 8-core Ryzen 7 1700 CPU, 6-core Ryzen 5 1600 or the Ryzen 3 1200. The CPU is paired with a Radeon RX 580 GPU with up to 8GB GDDR5 memory, while the motherboard offers dual SO-DIMM slots with support for up to 32GB DDR4-2400 RAM, an M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs up to 512GB (throughput to 2200MB/s) and a 2.5-inch drive bay.

The machine is built around a 17.3-inch display (in either 4K or 1080p resolution) featuring a matte coated IPS panel and MAD FreeSync support. The chassis is 33mm thick and weighs around 3.2kg, and carries a Hyper Cool duo-copper cooling system and a backlit keyboard with 1.6mm travel and 30 key rollover.

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