Windows patches CPU bug, gaming performance unaffected

News has been circulating about a processor (CPU) bug with all Intel chips released in the last ~10 years which requires an operating system level fix. There is a disclosure from Google which indicates AMD processors are also affected by this, despite AMD previously saying they are not impacted.

Early reports suggest if the exploit is taken advantage of by a malicious party, they could gain complete control of your system – this is purely speculative and absolute worst case – there is so far no evidence of this being exploited in the wild so far.

The patch required to fix this can cause an impact on performance. It will slow down “syscalls” (function calls where the program talks directly to the operating system). This includes everything from opening files to communicating over the network; it’s virtually impossible to write a program without it. Performance impact will vary between applications; programs that don’t make as many syscalls may be mostly unchanged or unnoticeable. Although there’s a lot of uncertainty, rumours, and secrecy involved (to ensure the information doesn’t get into the wrong hands before adequate steps have been made to keep us all safeguarded first): we have some benchmarks.

The fix released for Linux with an i7 6700 calling the getpid syscall 100,000,000 (one-hundred million) times:
Before the patch: ~3.8 seconds
After the patch: ~15 seconds

Gaming performance however is a completely different ballpark – because games doesn’t need to interact with the OS directly nearly as often (if at all) as gaming benchmarks (below) have proven.

Testing conducted on Linux with a Intel i7 8700K and Radeon RX Vega 64 (thanks to Michael Larabel @ phoronix)

It is imperative that you do allow the Windows updater to run in order to protect yourself from being compromised.

It’s important to note that Intel has stated any performance impacts are entirely workload-dependant (as our research also implies) and that for the average computer user, should not be significant, and that it will also be mitigated over time by further OS updates.

As for our customers, apart from ensuring their Windows updates are turned on and they let it complete, gaming should be largely unaffected, so, happy continued gaming!

Goodbye 2017… Hello 2018!

The year sure blew by here at Evatech HQ, we had a lot going on to keep us all busy.

Almost as soon as we started back in January, we had Intel’s 7th Gen CPUs launch; Kaby Lake. This also saw the introduction of Z270, H270, and B250 series motherboards. Previous series Z170, H170, B150, and H110 motherboards were able to take a BIOS update to cope with the 7th Gen CPUs, but were mostly replaced once the new stock had become abundantly available.

By late February we had added AMD’s comeback to CPUs and motherboards after their previous release which was back in 2011. Ryzen has had quite a few issues since its launch, and Evatech still advises against Ryzen for all our customers. We also released our own warranty service, dropping support of National Warranty Services (NWS) in order to give Evatech ultimate control of the quality of work carried out on our customers’ PCs.

In March we saw Nvidia launch the highly anticipated GTX 1080 TI graphics card, which is still the best gaming graphics card you can buy today. Ryzen also released their lower-end CPUs. Evatech officially picked up InWin cases. While not the easiest or most conventional to build in, they do have an undeniable pleasing look to them once completed.

April. What can I say? We kept our heads down and got work done.

Skipping ahead to May, we got a look at RGB RAM done very, very right, with GSkill’s DDR4 Trident Z RGB RAM.

In June, we launched our Zurich workstation PC which has proved to be very popular amongst businesses and individuals who spend most of their time working in 3D design applications and the likes. A few weeks after the success of the Zurich, we added our Stealth PC, which offers home users the ability to go further than our original Everest PC in terms of performance, and is also focused on quiet operation. As if this wasn’t enough, Intel also launched their X299 series of motherboards, to replace the X99 series. With this of course, a new range of CPUs, for the first time ever going up to an i9 CPU, instead of the previous highest end i7 CPU.

In early July we were finally able to announce that we had been working with Channel 7’s hit new TV show focused on PC/console gaming; screenPLAY. screenPLAY airs on 7mate, and was recently moved from a Thursday 10pm time-slot to Thursday 7:30pm. The show is hosted by faces that should be familiar to most gamers or game enthusiasts: Stephanie Bendixsen (@hexsteph), Nich Richardson (@nichboy), and Miles Ross (@MilesTheRoss). Evatech supplied screenPLAY with the PCs they use to game on, record the gameplay, as well as edit and process the video footage for the TV show that is then aired on YouTube and/or TV! We also provided the gaming chairs you will see the hosts sitting on.

With August we started to get a taste for Bitcoin’s ability to influence PC hardware availability and pricing. Bitcoin’s price started to surge, and crypto-currency miners all over the globe started to buy up Evatech’s favourite GPUs: GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and GTX 1080 TI. We turned away requests to building mining rigs, or customers who were obviously after graphics cards for mining purposes as we are all about gaming. We experienced some delays while we struggled to get our hands on top-tier graphics cards for our customers, but still managed to get PCs out on time for our gaming customers.

September started off with a bang as Deakin University placed an order for five X299 PCs, each of them identical: liquid cooled i9 7900X, 128GB DDR4 RAM, 4x liquid cooled GTX 1080 TI, a 2TB SSD, 8TB HDD, 1500w PSU, and sleeved PSU cables. After receiving the five PCs, they fairly promptly ordered another four of the same system for another campus. Oh yeah, each system was valued at over $14,000. Evatech single-handedly wiped out Australia’s stock of liquid cooled GTX 1080 TIs, meaning we had to bring in many units from the US to build the PCs in time. It was around this time that the crypto-currency mining had taken its toll on RAM availability and pricing, unfortunately.

Deakin’s second order of expensive PCs brought us into October, which also saw the new Quadro series of graphics cards added to our workstation PCs. Nvidia also released their GTX 1070 TI graphics card, which hasn’t seemed too popular just yet. We also loaned a gaming PC to screenPLAY to use at PAX in Melbourne (since they film in Sydney). Later in the month, we were introduced to Intel’s 8th Gen CPUs; Coffee Lake. Availability of Coffee Lake was next to non-existent however, and Evatech’s website didn’t begin offering Coffee Lake powered custom PCs until later the next month… What’s the next month?!

November! We were finally able to list Coffee Lake in our Valkyrie X custom PC. Kaby Lake is still offered in our Valkyrie system, along-side Coffee Lake, probably for the next 6 months or so until Intel finishes the 8th Gen release entirely. So far, we’ve only got Intel’s Z370 series of motherboards, with the rest to follow in the first half of next year (rumoured).

With our workload really ramping up in November, December had started and we hadn’t even realised it for the first week. Apart from getting PCs out to customers all over Australia in time for Christmas and the summer school holidays, we had a lot to be thankful for: coming to the end of our best year yet. Due to being a relatively new company in this space, we’ve only just really started to see return customers in a big way this year. With their old systems just not able to keep up with the ever-demanding new game releases. We’re happy to see happy customers come back for more of the Evatech experience.

We have a lot of people to thank, starting with you; the customers. Without you, we simply wouldn’t be able to work in such a challenging and rewarding space, being able to bring dreams to reality for those who know what they want and those who are unsure but don’t want to be ripped off or mislead.

Next goes to our hard-working staff; management, purchasing, accounting, technicians, support, and sales. All working together seamlessly to maintain our high customer satisfaction levels.

Finally to all our partners; distributors, brands, and couriers. Without any of these, we’d have nothing. And let’s not forget our happy friends over at screenPLAY! We’ve thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring the show, as well as prizes to happy viewers of the show.

Thank you to all who have been a part of our journey so far, we sincerely look forward to working with all of you in the new year, and also aspire to please the newcomers in 2018.

Look for us in the new year – we’re here to stay, but might have a new look…

Hope you and your loved ones have very happy and safe Christmas & New Years celebrations.

[Expired] Custom PC Holiday Sale Now On!

Order a new custom PC before midnight new years eve this holiday season at Evatech and get way more BANG-4-YOUR-$$$! 

  • Free express assembly
  • Free delivery
  • A ton of component discounts

+ if all that wasn’t enough, enter code ‘CERBERUS’ at checkout and get a free Asus Cerberus Gaming Mouse worth $45!

Get your order in fast for your best chance at pre-christmas delivery!

If you miss out, don’t worry, deliveries will continue between Christmas and New Years.

So what are you waiting for? Jump in and start customing your next gaming, home or office PC today! Click here to get started.

Need some expert advise, shoot us an email via the contact page of our online store.

Terms & Conditions.

  • Order must be placed between 6PM 4/12/17 and midnight 31/12/17.
  • Order must contain a custom PC.
  • Offer not valid in conjunction with other promotional / discount offers.
  • Free gaming mouse is offered strictly while stocks last, 1 per customer.

 

[UPDATED] Pre-Christmas Delivery Cut Off Dates for Custom PC Orders – 2017

Evatech

UPDATE : CUSTOM PC PICK UP ORDER DEADLINE EXTENDED!

Order before midnight this Sunday (17/12) and it will be ready for pick up no later than Friday (our last business day before the Christmas break!)

Our store is located at 1/382 Huntingdale Road, Oakleigh South 3167 VIC and will be open until 6PM Friday 22/12/17.

It’s that time of year again and if you were considering a brand new custom gaming PC for yourself or a loved one this Christmas, now’s the time to pull the trigger!

Our tech team are hard at work 7 days a week cranking out every order we possibly can but during peak times of year link this, the turn around time can be several days longer than usual. To guarantee pre-Christmas delivery, the sooner you get an order in the better!

So when is the delivery order cut off dates?

While the below cut of dates given are not a guarantee, they are conservative approximations made in good faith. Courier delays are rare but can occur on occasion, especially in such a business time year for deliveries. Please bare this in mind when placing your order.

  • Canberra, Gold Coast & Brisbane Metro – 05/12
  • Adelaide & Sydney Metro – 07/12
  • Melbourne Metro – 12/12
  • Perth, Darwin, and smaller metropolitan cities and towns are encouraged to place their order before the end of November. Delivery may still be possible for later orders but it’s hard to guarantee.

So I can’t order after the cut off date?

Of course you can! Just be prepared that it might not arrive before Christmas. While we make every effort to get all orders dispatched ASAP, each system is meticulously assembled by hand and rigorously burn in tested prior to dispatch.  Deliveries will continue to occur between Christmas and New Years baring public holidays.

Do you guys have any PCs in stock we can simply walk in and buy in the store?

We do but they are selling fast! Check out our home page at www.evatech.com.au to see whats available.

I don’t know anything about PCs, can you help me with a recommendation?

That’s what we are here for! Just give a call, drop in to the store or shoot us an email via the contact page on our store site here.

 

So what are you waiting for? Click here to head on over to our store page now and start shopping!

[EXPIRED] Halloween Special: The Evil Within 2 Free with your next gaming PC

Although Halloween isn’t traditionally an Australian holiday, it’s undeniably growing every year, and when it’s an excuse to watch horror movies and eat candy, what’s not to love? This run up to Halloween we’ve decided to track down arguably the best horror game released this year and give it away free with custom gaming PCs.

With a censuses around the internet from some of the biggest review outlets online, the The Evil Within 2 is one of the best suspense horror games of the generation. PC Gamer calls it ‘Genuinely Terrifying’, Gamespot.com calls it ‘Hauntingly Macabre’  and IGN ‘Intense and Exhilarating!’

“One of our favorite horror games of the year”
9/10 – Polygon

“An intense and exhilarating survival horror experience”
8/10 – IGN

“A bold, bloody evolution”
8/10 – PCGamesN

If that’s not convincing enough, checkout the IGN video review below.

To get started customizing a gaming PC for The Evil Within 2 click here.

Terms & Conditions

Until midnight Tuesday, any custom gaming PC powered by a GTX 1060 6G or higher and any i5 CPU or higher is eligible to redeem a free digital copy of The Evil Within 2 by entering voucher code ‘evil’ at checkout.

The PC must already be in your cart for the code to activate, orders must be placed prior to midnight 31/10/2017.

Game requires a Steam account and an internet connection to redeem, download and play.

Note : Due to the age rating of the game, this offer is only for customers 18 years of age or older. Game codes will not be sent to customers who purchase using an account registered to a person under 18.

Time for 2: Wolfenstein 2, Destiny 2, COD WW2, Battlefront 2

After what has been a pretty slow middle of the year for gaming, October marked the start of AAA game releases in the lead up to the Christmas holidays with Middle-earth Shadow of War landing on the 10th, South Park: The Fractured But Whole on the 17th and Destiny 2 just yesterday.

If all that wasn’t enough, right around the corner is also Wolfenstein 2 and Assassins Creed Origins on the 27th and Call of Duty WW2 the week after on November 3rd and Star Wars Battlefront II on the 17th.

Not up on the latest news for all these great titles? Checkout the trailers below. Starting with our personal favorite, Wolfenstein 2 : The New Colossus.

Sticking with the theme of murdering Nazi’s, it wouldn’t be a WWII game without them and it wouldn’t be a Call of Duty game without Zombies. So without further a’do, here’s COD WWII’s Nazi Zombie trailer.

A big focus for the new Battlefront 2 game is single player, with a fully fledged story that the team at DICE look like they have put a ton of work in to. Even if your not a Star Wars fan the visuals look amazing. If you are a Star Wars fan you’ve probably already seen this one, but here it again anyway.

And last but not least, yet another entry in to the Assassins Creed list of games, this time set in ancient Egypt. Worth getting excited for or is 10 games in 10 years (or 31 if you count the spin offs and mobile games!) too many?

So is it about time you upgraded your gaming PC? If so, head on over to our gaming PC store page here and start customizing!

[Expired] Get Destiny 2 Free With Your Next Custom Gaming PC

With the much anticipated title due out exclusively on Battle.net October 24th you could get your hands on a free copy with any custom gaming PC powered by a GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 TI when you order before November 21st.

The PC version of the game looks spectacular and will support uncapped frame rates, 4k, higher resolution and detail textures and effects plus a myriad of other improvements over the console counterpart that was released a few weeks ago.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out Bungie’s latest PC trailer captures all in engine on PC.

Whether your a fan of the original, the Halo universe or simply in to gorgeous looking sci-fi first person shooters this is definitely a title worth trying out and a great added bonus to any new high end gaming PC.

Jump in and start customizing your next gaming PC today.

 

Bonus! Find this news post on our Facebook page and tag a mate who needs a new gaming PC. If they order we will send you a free copy of the game too so you can team up and save the universe together! #

 

# Order must be placed during the valid promotional period and contain a custom PC with a GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 TI GPU. To redeem the offer simply email us the order number once it's been completed. The game will be provided digitally and will require a Battle.net account and internet connection to download and play. Valid while stocks last.

RGB Mayhem : X299 Build with MSI GTX 1080 TI Lightning Z & InWin Chassis

An absolute beast of a GPU, the MSI GTX 1080 TI Lightning edition was doled out in very limited quantities to official MSI partners not long ago and instead of hiking up the price and selling them to make a quick buck, we selected a handful of lucky customers who ordered a regular GTX 1080 TI powered custom gaming PC and gave them out as free upgrades!

Photo’s don’t really do it justice, but the very slick fully programmable RGBs that light up the card through an diffuser to smooth out the effect just like G.Skill’s Trident Z RGB RAM look spectacular. Continue reading “RGB Mayhem : X299 Build with MSI GTX 1080 TI Lightning Z & InWin Chassis”

Evatech & Asus, Proudly powering screenPLAY on Channel 7mate

For the longest time Australian gamers (us included!) have had so little when it comes to quality Australian made gaming content. So when we heard Channel 7 was launching a gaming themed show hosted by @nichboy (Nich Richardson) and @hexsteph (Stephanie Bendixsen) of the late ABC show Good Game fame we jumped at the chance get behind them and show our support when they reached out to us.

Sworn to secrecy we worked with them behind the scenes for months before the show was finally announced mid June and since then the team has put out a tone of great content with weekly TV episodes, and daily web content including a tour of Blizzard studios, an interview with Nolan North, daily news videos and audience Q&A live streams the call ANSA on their Facebook page.

As an official sponsor of the show we provide the gaming PCs Nich, Steph and the rest of the crew use in their FirstPlay videos and Twitch streams as well as the systems they the film crew use for video editing and publishing. If you look closely in this screenshot you can see one of our custom built systems lurking the corner.

Continue reading “Evatech & Asus, Proudly powering screenPLAY on Channel 7mate”