Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2015 - 08:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
UPDATE (Nov 24th, 8pm ET): As I was informed, both on Twitter and in the comments, the update has been restored. Apparently the issue was that this tool, when upgrading Windows 10 to Windows 10 1511, accidentally reset four privacy settings to default. They also happened to be four of the less-severe ones, such as whether to allow apps to run in the background and whether settings should sync between devices. It has apparently been fixed and the tool will install the latest version of Windows 10 once more.
Source: Ars Technica
Regardless of your opinion about Windows 10, I'm glad that Microsoft has once again provided a way to force a specific version on your device. Their recent statement, telling users that Windows Update will give them the correct build eventually, is not comforting if someone is failing to receive the update. Is it coming? Or did it block for some reason? I also wonder if the 30-day policy would still be enforced, making clean installs that much more annoying. Turns out it was all hypothetical, and Microsoft was planning on reinstating it instantly, though.
This is a bit surprising and disappointing. When the November 2015 update for Windows 10 went live, existing users could upgrade with Windows Update (if it let them) and the rest could force an in-place upgrade from Windows 7, 8.x, and earlier builds of Windows 10 using the tool. The latter method has apparently been reverted to the original Windows 10 build from July 2015.
This image is getting a lot more use than I intended.
Why? Who knows. They are still offering the update through Windows Update, and Microsoft claims that they have no intention of pulling it. This concerns me, because there are a few situations where Windows 10 updates will get stuck, such as if you get it through Windows Update then uninstall it. I have not seen any report cover the official procedure for this issue. Also, I wonder if there's a way to get past Microsoft's 30-day no-update policy.
According to WinBeta, Microsoft's official statement contains the following: “Microsoft has not pulled the Windows 10 November 10 update. The company is rolling out the November update over time – if you don’t see it in Windows Update, you will see it soon.” (Emphasis not mine.)
We'll probably hear more about this as the week goes on.
Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2015 - 03:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: poseidon Z RGB, thermaltake, mechanical keyboard, input
The keyboard market has changed drastically over the past year with the introduction of mainstream mechanical keys and improved LED backlighting features. Where once the market was not that competitive and only a few major players were offering products we now have a wide variety of brands to choose from. This makes it hard to stand out in the market without adding extra features to your keyboards, which leads us to the Thermaltake Poseidon RGB. This particular keyboard has an integrated 32-bit processor which allows you to choose between 16.8 million colors for each key. The keys use Kailh Brown RGB switches, a less expensive clone of the Cherry MX Brown switches more commonly found on these types of boards. Find out if they are good enough over at Benchmark Reviews.
"Just a few months ago, full RGB mechanical keyboards were rare beasts, and the inclusion of full per-key RGB lighting commanded a very high price, with some keyboards selling for almost $200.00. Now, prices are coming down rapidly and vendors are starting to compete on features, but how many more features are there left to add?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TT eSports Challenger Prime @ Kitguru
- G.Skill Ripjaws MX780 RGB Laser Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Razer Mamba Chroma Mouse Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AIO, enermax, liquimax II 120s, watercooling
Enermax's Liqmax II 120s is a relatively small AIO watercooler, the radiator is 154x120x27 mm (6.1x0.8x1.0") and will fit on any modern motherboard, Intel or AMD. The two 120mm fans which come with the cooler are high static pressure fans with the moniker Batwing and have a physical screw on them which allows you to tune the fan speed manually. Modders Inc were impressed with this cooler, it performed relatively well and quite quietly and the fact thatit sells for $75 doesn't hurt either.
"When it comes to a new build I always keep cooling in mind. Not every rig I build has custom water reservoirs, custom piping or fancy radiators. Sometimes I just need a machine to work without spending an enormous amount of cash on custom parts. I find that All in One (AIO) cooling systems are easy to install, work well …"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ilentiumPC Fortis 3 HE1425 cooler @ HardwareOverclock
- CRYORIG C7 @ techPowerUp
- Reeven Hans RC-1205 Review @ OCC
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolve ATX Galaxy Silver Edition @ Modders-Inc
- IN WIN 805 Mid-tower Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- Cooler Master MasterCase 5 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Akasa Plato X Slim Fanless Chassis i5/i7 NUC @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Core X9 Stackable E-ATX @ eTeknix
- anidees AI4 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2015 - 10:04 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: pandora atx, Mid-Tower Case, enclosure, case, bitfenix pandora, bitfenix, atx case
BitFenix has released a larger follow up to the Pandora enclosure, previously a slim Micro-ATX tower. The new full ATX sized Pandora offers the same styling and optional customizable screen as the previous version, and now offers support for up to 360 mm radiators.
“The Pandora ATX offers the same much-loved unique styling as the original Pandora - but with housing capabilities for full-sized hardware and a 360mm radiator, either in the top or the front. Conceived as a versatile base for DIY projects, it is designed to show off your hardware in a tasteful manner through its large side window. The front panel is like no other, with the wrap-around side panels covering parts of it, leaving only a sober glossy black front panel housing the programmable 2.8" ICON color display visible through it. The ICON is a story in itself, allowing you to add any logo or picture you wish, for maximum personalization.”
I was impressed with the original Pandora when I reviewed it at the end of last year, but there were certainly concessions to size (beginning with the restriction to mATX or mITX motherboards) including limited cooler and taller GPU support. This was in fact a very narrow tower previously. With the new Pandora ATX you can have the same style including an optional LCD with ICON software that allows drag-and-drop customization with your own image. And while some might think ICON is a gimmick, and it arguably is, this is still a solid-looking enclosure.
So what exactly does this new Pandora ATX support? Here’s a rundown of the specs:
- 2.8" BitFenix ICON Display
- One-piece PSU cover and MB tray
- Top, Front and Bottom Dust Filters
- 360mm Radiator Support
- 20mm Cable Clearance
- Graphics Card Length up to 440mm
- Materials: Steel, ABS
- Colors (Interior/Exterior): Black/Black
- Supported Motherboards: ATX, Micro ATX, Mini-ITX
- LCD: 2.8" TFT, 240 x 320 (Pandora ATX only)
- I/O: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 2x 3.5mm Audio (Line Out, Mic-in)
- 3.5” Drive Bays: x4, x3 (Pandora ATX Core)
- 2.5” Drive Bays: x4, 2x (Pandora ATX Core)
- Front Cooling: 1x 140mm (Included, Pandora ATX only), Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
- Rear Cooling: 1x 120mm FDB Fan (Included)
- Top Cooling: Max 3x 120mm OR 2x 140mm (Not Included)
- Expansion Slots: x7
- Power Supply: ATX & EPS, up to 220mm length
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 203 x 510 x 558 mm
- Weight: 9.92 kg (net), 11.4 kg (gross)
It seems that the only thing we don’t know about this new enclosure is pricing and availability, which have not yet been released.
Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2015 - 02:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: software development
This is article is a bit different from what we normally post, so be sure to give your opinion in the comments if you want to see more of this (or not). You will most often find these types of software development rants on a programmer's personal blog, but I find them interesting so here we go.
There are two camps in software development regarding optimization, each with diehard advocates. One side argues for software to be strictly designed, with decisions needing to be coherent and performance-minded. The other viewpoint claims that optimization should be done after profiling, because you could spend weeks making a fairly useless chunk of code purr like a kitten, and ignore the turkey that's using 99.99% of your resources.
Both sides can also point to situations that validate their opinion. The latter, “don't premature optimize” crowd can show examples where time is wasted because the engineer didn't look before they leaped. One such story comes from Chandler Carruth of Google. One of his first tasks at the company was to review code from Ken Thompson, a “very senior engineer” who created Unix and defined UTF-8. It solved rule-matching with about a 20-fold increase in performance over what they were currently using. When Chandler went to integrate the fix, his colleague mentioned “Yeah, turns out our use-case overwhelmingly hits a single rule, so I just check it first. It's now 100x faster.”
The other crowd says that, even if you can find exactly where poop stinks, you're still polishing a turd. One issue that is commonly pointed to is garbage collection. In memory-managed languages, this process scans through your application to delete unused chunks. Its goal is to remove memory leaks without users needing to carefully manage allocation themselves. The problem is that it necessarily freezes basically every thread and often takes several frames worth of time to complete. As such, you can either live with the bad user experience in real-time applications, or you can carefully design your application to avoid leaking memory. If you take the time to design and architect, it allows you to either choose a framework without garbage collection, or sometimes reduce / eliminate how often it triggers.
So the argument is over-thinking wasting time versus under-planning painting software into corners. As it should be somewhat obvious, both are correct. It's a bad idea to blindly charge into development, and it's good to think about the consequences of what you're doing. At the same time, what you think means nothing if it differs from what you measure, so you need to back up your thoughts with experimentation.
The challenge is to coast the middle for the benefits of both, without falling into the traps on either side.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | November 22, 2015 - 01:30 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Skylake, PCIe SSD, notebook, N752, N552, laptop, ips, Intel Core i7, GTX 960M, asus, 4k
ASUS has added two new laptops to their N series line up premium, entertainment-focused laptops. The new models offer Intel’s 6th-gen (Skylake) Core i7 processors and high resolution IPS displays, as well as fast PCIe storage and discrete NVIDIA graphics.
The new models are the 15.6-inch N552 and 17.3-inch N752, and both sizes offer wide-gamut IPS display options up to 3840x2160 with 100% sRGB coverage. The displays are powered by graphics up to a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M. Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors power both models, with a generous 16GB of RAM standard. Storage is provided via PCIe x4 storage with speeds of 1500 MB/s with capacities up to 512 MB, and external connectivity includes a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port.
While boasting powerful specs these N-series laptops are also geared toward entertainment, with ASUS drawing attention to the sound from their “SonicMaster” audio system, which boasts powerful B&O ICEpower class-D amplification for the laptop’s front-facing speakers. Other features include backlit keys which offer 1.8 mm travel, and aluminum covering the keyboard area and lid.
The new models haven’t shown up on the U.S. product pages just yet, so pricing and availability are not yet known.
Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2015 - 12:35 AM | Scott Michaud
I say slowly shutting down because the service will remain active for a little while, letting users finish their subscriptions or use the free option. As of now, the only announced date is that Rdio will no longer renew subscriptions (or accept new paying customers) on November 23rd.
The company recently filed for bankruptcy, after trying to raise more capital and find other ways to keep the business running. Pandora will pay $75 million for the remnants of the service, although that could change if a better offer surfaces or an issue arises in bankruptcy protection. The press release states that “many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora.” It further states “Pandora is not acquiring the operating business of Rdio,” but rather just “the technology and talent.”
Rdio has not given a date that their service will end. This news is disappointing for me, because Rdio was the first music streaming service in Canada, at least that I found out about, which led me to choose it.
Subject: Mobile | November 20, 2015 - 06:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: blackberry, Priv, Android
Could it truly be enough to add a little Android to your Blackberry to bring them back to some form of popularity? From what this contributor at The Register has to say it could very well be what the company once known as RIM needed. The Priv is described as the least irritating Android phone they've ever used, which translates to high praise when you are talking about a Blackberry device. The sliding keyboard is actually useful, the BlackBerry DTek security app is decent but requires a Google account to be linked to the phone, as do many other apps. Check out the review to see if this is a berry flavoured Lollipop you might actually want a few licks at.
"Other than that, none of which really counts, I think this might be my least disliked Android phone so far. It’s at least as good as the best Android phones I have used, because it’s the same as all other Androids, just minus the garbage often layered on top. And it’s better, because the BlackBerry stuff layered on top is very far from being garbage."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Best smartphones 2015: BlackBerry Priv, iPhone 6S Plus, OnePlus X @ The Inquirer
- THL 2015A Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- iPad Pro vs Surface Pro 3 @ The Inquirer
- Asus ROG G20AJ @ Kitguru
Subject: Processors | November 20, 2015 - 06:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xeon, Intel, FPGA
UPDATE (Nov 26th, 3:30pm ET): A few readers have mentioned that FPGAs take much less than hours to reprogram. I even received an email last night that claims FPGAs can be reprogrammed in "well under a second." This differs from the sources I've read when I was reading up on their OpenCL capabilities (for potential evolutions of projects) back in ~2013. That said, multiple sources, including one who claim to have personal experience with FPGAs, say that it's not the case. Also, I've never used an FPGA myself -- again, I was just researching them to see where some GPU-based projects could go.
Designing integrated circuits, as I've said a few times, is basically a game. You have a blank canvas that you can etch complexity into. The amount of “complexity” depends on your fabrication process, how big your chip is, the intended power, and so forth. Performance depends on how you use the complexity to compute actual tasks. If you know something special about your workload, you can optimize your circuit to do more with less. CPUs are designed to do basically anything, while GPUs assume similar tasks can be run together. If you will only ever run a single program, you can even bake some or all of its source code into hardware called an “application-specific integrated circuit” (ASIC), which is often used for video decoding, rasterizing geometry, and so forth.
This is an old Atom back when Intel was partnered with Altera for custom chips.
FPGAs are circuits that can be baked into a specific application, but can also be reprogrammed later. Changing tasks requires a significant amount of time (sometimes hours) but it is easier than reconfiguring an ASIC, which involves removing it from your system, throwing it in the trash, and printing a new one. FPGAs are not quite as efficient as a dedicated ASIC, but it's about as close as you can get without translating the actual source code directly into a circuit.
Intel, after purchasing FPGA manufacturer, Altera, will integrate their technology into Xeons in Q1 2016. This will be useful to offload specific tasks that dominate a server's total workload. According to PC World, they will be integrated as a two-chip package, where both the CPU and FPGA can access the same cache. I'm not sure what form of heterogeneous memory architecture that Intel is using, but this would be a great example of a part that could benefit from in-place acceleration. You could imagine a simple function being baked into the FPGA to, I don't know, process large videos in very specific ways without expensive copies.
Again, this is not a consumer product, and may never be. Reprogramming an FPGA can take hours, and I can't think of too many situations where consumers will trade off hours of time to switch tasks with high performance. Then again, it just takes one person to think of a great application for it to take off.
Subject: Motherboards | November 20, 2015 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, TUF SABERTOOTH Z170, LGA 1151
It has been a while since we saw a new Sabertooth motherboard from the other side of ASUS, The Ultimate Force, up for review but [H]ard|OCP has remedied that with the new Z170 member of this line of products. It bears the same Thermal Armour design as previous models, adding a small fan that doesn't quite fit in with the overall design of the motherboard. As well you will notice an absence of a visible CMOS battery, it is indeed buried under the armour. [H]ard|OCP were less than impressed with the memory subsystem, the board is rated for DDR4 2400MHz DIMMs maximum and no higher. On the other hand the incredible stability of this board and the amount of features available on this relatively inexpensive Z170 board did garner a Gold Award. Read the full review to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this motherboard.
"In our opinion ASUS’ TUF series motherboards target the sweet spot in regard to features, price, and performance. TUF motherboards give you more features than most mid-range motherboards but lack certain features found on the high end. The Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 is the flagship part of the current TUF series."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6+ (Intel LGA-1151) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Review @ OCC
- ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING @ eTeknix
- ASUS Maximus VIII Gene Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI X99A SLI Plus @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2015 - 02:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, silverpush, fud
SilverPush has been around for a while but was recently reverse-engineered so that it could be investigated by anyone with an interest in their phones security. It is software that is often bundled in advertisements or streamed media that takes advantage of your phones the far greater range of audio sensitivity and the fact that you can communicate information via audio signals. This could allow an app to communicate with your phone without your knowledge, to collect data from your phone or even to provide contextual ads on your phone.
However as you can see from the list of apps which The Register links to, there is not much likelihood that you have an app which has SilverPush enabled installed on your phone and that is the real key. If you do not have an app which is listening for audio signals on those frequencies then you will not suffer the effects of SilverPush. The moral of the story is that your phones security starts with you, if you download random free apps and allow them full access to your phone then you should not be surprised by this sort of thing.
"SilverPush's software kit can be baked into apps, and is designed to pick up near-ultrasonic sounds embedded in, say, a TV, radio or web browser advert. These signals, in the range of 18kHz to 19.95kHz, are too high pitched for most humans to hear, but can be decoded by software."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows Turns 30 Today @ [H]ard|OCP
- Western Digital begins navigating the non-volatile memory maze @ The Register
- Video Standards Are More Than Video Signals @ Hack a Day
- BlackBerry-infused tech coalition does not back weakened encryption @ The Inquirer
- Asustek launches Chromebit CS10 @ DigiTimes
- Sony Quietly Adds PS2 Emulation To the PS4 @ Slashdot
- Write Documentation Once, Output Multiple Formats with Sphinx @ Linux.com
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 adds Insights to warn when it's doomed to fail @ The Inquirer
- Enter our developer competition to win fabulous prizes @ The Register
- NikKTech & HuntKey Platinum Power Up USA Giveaway
Podcast #376 - Intel Speed Shift, CPU Coolers from Noctua and DEEPCOOL, Broadwell-E Rumors, and more!
Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2015 - 02:42 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, noctua, Deepcool, Gamer Storm Gabriel, Intel, speed shift, amd, R9, fury x, trixx, Broadwell-E, kaby lake, nvidia, shield tablet k1, knights landing, asus, chromebit
PC Perspective Podcast #376 - 11/19/2015
Join us this week as we discuss Intel Speed Shift, CPU Coolers from Noctua and DEEPCOOL, Broadwell-E Rumors, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:19:22
Week in Review:
0:32:10 This episode of PC Perspective Podcast is brought to you by Braintree. Even the best mobile app won’t work without the right payments API. That’s where the Braintree v.0 SDK comes in. One amazingly simple integration gives you every way to pay. Try out the sandbox and see for yourself at braintreepayments.com/pcper
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 19, 2015 - 01:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, strix, Radeon R9 380X, tonga
The full serving of Tonga in the AMD Radeon R9 380X has 32 compute units, 2048 stream processors, 32 ROPs and 128 texture units which compares favourably to the 23CUs, 1792 stream processors, 32 ROPs and 112 texture units of the existing R9 380. Memory bandwidth and amount is unchanged, 182GB/sec of memory bandwidth at the stock speed of 5.7GHz effective and the GPU clock remains around 970MHz as well. The MSRP is to be $230 for the base model.
With the specifications out of the way, the next question to answer is how it fares against the direct competition, the GTX 960 and 970. That is where this review from [H]ard|OCP comes in, with a look at the ASUS STRIX R9 380X DirectCU II OC, running 1030MHz default and 1050MHz at the push of a button. Their tests at 1440p were a little disappointing, the card did not perform well until advanced graphics settings were reduced but at 1080p they saw great performance with all the bells and whistles turned up. The pricing will be key to this product, if sellers can keep it at or below MSRP it is a better deal than the GTX 970 but if the prices creep closer then the 970 is the better value.
"AMD has let loose the new AMD Radeon R9 380X GPU, today we evaluate the ASUS STRIX R9 380X OC video card and find out how it compares to a 4GB GeForce GTX 960 and GeForce GTX 970 for a wide picture of where performance lies at 1440p or where it does not at 1440p considering your viewpoint."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon R9 380X @ The Tech Report
- ASUS Strix R9 380X DirectCU II OC @ Kitguru
- XFX Radeon R9 380X DD Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Radeon R9 380X Technology Report @ Tech ARP
- XFX AMD Radeon R9 380X @ Hardwareheaven
- ASUS Radeon R9 380X Strix 4GB @ techPowerUp
- Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP Extreme 6GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti SEA HAWK @ [H]ard|OCP
Introduction and Features
EVGA recently introduced three new Platinum certified power supplies in their popular SuperNOVA line, the 650P2, 750P2 and 850P2. All three power supplies are 80 Plus Platinum certified for high efficiency and feature all modular cables, high-quality Japanese brand capacitors, and a quiet 140mm cooling fan (with the ability to operate in silent, fan-less mode at low to mid power levels). And in addition to delivering excellent performance with quiet operation, these new power supplies are backed by a 10-year warranty!
EVGA was founded in 1999 with headquarters in Brea, California. They continue to specialize in producing NVIDIA based graphics adapters and Intel based motherboards and keep expanding their PC power supply product line, which currently includes thirty-four models ranging from the high-end 1,600W SuperNOVA T2 to the budget minded EVGA 400W power supply.
In this review we will be taking a detailed look at both the EVGA SuperNOVA 650P2 and 750P2 power supplies. It’s nice when we receive two slightly different units in the same product series to look for consistency during testing.
Here is what EVGA has to say about the new SuperNOVA P2 Platinum PSUs: “The unbeatable performance of the EVGA SuperNOVA P2 power supply line is now available in 850, 750 and 650 watt versions. Based on the award winning P2 power supplies, these units feature 80 Plus Platinum rated efficiency, and clean, continuous power to every component. The ECO Control Fan system offers fan modes to provide absolutely zero fan noise during low to medium load operations. Backed by an award winning 10 year warranty, and 100% Japanese capacitor design, the EVGA SuperNOVA 850, 750 and 650 P2 power supplies offer unbeatable performance and value."
EVGA SuperNOVA 650W P2 and 750W P2 PSU Key Features:
• Fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve airflow
• 80 PLUS Platinum certified, with up to 92% efficiency
• LLC Resonant circuit design for high efficiency
• Tight voltage regulation, stable power with low AC ripple and noise
• Highest quality Japanese brand capacitors ensure long-term reliability
• Quiet 140mm Double ball bearing fan for reliability and quiet operation
• ECO Intelligent Thermal Control allows silent, fan-less operation at low power
• NVIDIA SLI & AMD Crossfire Ready
• Compliance with ErP Lot 6 2013 Requirement
• Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
• Complete Protections: OVP, UVP, OPP, OCP and SCP
• 10-Year warranty and EVGA Customer Support
Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2015 - 12:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gameworks vr, designworks vr, virtual reality, NVIDA, sdk
There is something about this phrase which describes a feature of NVIDIA's newly announced VR SLI that excites the kid in me "multiple GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to dramatically accelerate stereo rendering". Maybe you can't afford two GPUs per eye but the fact that it would work if you could manage it is rather impressive. NVIDIA has announced new SDKs specifically aimed at VR design and performance, GameWorks VR and DesignWorks VR. Epic has announced that Unreal Engine 4.3 will support these new tools and you can grab them from NVIDIA's developer website right now if you so desire. You can read more about specific features and optimizations these SDKs will provide at this article on The Inquirer.
"The company said at the release of version 1.0 of GameWorks VR and DesignWorks VR that the SDKs will solve the power-guzzling problems associated with complex, immersive VR graphics processing."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Move aside Google Maps, the future of navigation is just three words @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft makes Raspberry Pi its preferred IoT dev board @ The Register
- Banking trojan Dyreza is targeting Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge users @ The Inquirer
- Linksys LCAB03VLNOD 1080p 3MP Outdoor Night Vision Bullet Camera Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Mobile | November 18, 2015 - 06:41 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tegra k1, tablet, shield tablet k1, shield controller, shield, nvidia, gaming tablet, Android
NVIDIA has released their updated version of the SHIELD tablet with a new name, but very little has changed other than the name (now the SHIELD tablet K1) and the price - now $100 less expensive at $199.99.
The SHIELD tablet K1 (pictured case and controller are not included)
Under the hood the 8-inch Android-powered tablet is identical to its predecessor, with the quad-core Tegra K1 processor with its 192 CUDA core GPU powering the gaming action on the 1920x1200 display. The controller is still a separate $59.99 purchase, but of course this is not required to use the tablet.
Here are full specs from NVIDIA:
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra K1 192 core Kepler GPU (2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU with 2 GB RAM)
- Display: 8-inch 1920x1200 multi-touch full-HD display
- Audio: Front-facing stereo speakers with built-in microphone
- Storage: 16 GB
- Wireless: 802.11n 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS/GLONASS
- I/O: Mini-HDMI output, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD slot, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support
- Motion Sensors: 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis compass
- Cameras: Front, 5MP HDR; Back, 5MP auto-focus HDR
- Battery: 19.75 Watt Hours
- Dimensions: Weight, 12.6 oz (356 g); H x W x D: 8.8 in (221 mm) x 5.0 in (126 mm) x 0.36 in (9.2 mm)
- Operating System: Android Lollipop
- Gaming Features: SHIELD controller compatible, GeForce NOW cloud gaming service, Console Mode, NVIDIA ShadowPlay
- Included Apps: Google Play, NVIDIA SHIELD Hub, Fallout Shelter, NVIDIA Dabbler, Squid, Twitch
This update really comes down to price, as NVIDIA is being more aggressive about the adoption of their gaming tablet with the new MSRP. This doesn't come without some concessions, however, as the SHIELD tablet K1 ships without any accessories (no USB cable or charger). It's a move remienscent of Nintendo with the "New 3DS XL", which also shipped without a charger, and the standard micro-USB connection should be readily at hand for most of the target audience.
The question of course must be, is this now a more compelling product at $199? It does make the controller seem a bit more affordable considering the bundle will now run $260 - $40 below the previous tablet-only price. Time will tell (and of course you can let us know in the comments below!).
NVIDIA is selling the SHIELD tablet K1 directly from their web store, and it's already on Amazon for the same $199.99 price.
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2015 - 05:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: logitech, G633 Artemis Spectrum, 7.1 headset
Logitech talks big about their G633 Artemis Spectrum gaming headsets, with audiophile-like quality and seven adjustable audio channels along with the good old .1 bass channel. They do have a history of producing quality audio products and so Techgage set out to determine how well Logitech did on these headsets. The software allows you, among other things, to choose between DTS Headphone X and Dolby Surround modes, with each channels volume being adjustable in Dolby mode; effectively from what Techgage could hear when gaming. In the end the $149.99 MSRP and audio quality nowhere near the levels an audiophile would want prevented Techgage from loving the G633 but for atmospheric gaming these are a decent choice for the well off gamer.
"When Logitech announced its Artemis Spectrum gaming headsets, it said that they would deliver “audiophile-like” sound. Now, that’s a lofty promise. The company sent us the wired version, the G633, for us to review. Does it live up to its divine name and ambitious promises, or does it fall short, leaving us mere mortals still hunting for a god-like audio experience?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ThermalTake Cronos Go Gaming Headset @ Modders-Inc
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- Cooler Master CM Storm Pitch Pro Gaming Earphones Review @ Techgage
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- CM Storm Pitch Pro In-ear Headset @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2015 - 01:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hard west, Unity, gaming
If you backed the Kickstarter then you have had a chance to watch Hard West evolve from a single silent map to the recent update which added significant content and changed the beginning of the game significantly. You are a dead gunslinger, brought back to an undead state in a western setting which incorporates not only natives and townsfolk but dark supernatural creatures and powers as well. The game plays like the recent XCOM releases, with a similar turn style and cover system but also incorporates unique features such as the ability to ricochet bullets of some items on the map to shoot around corners and a shadow system designed to give you hints about who might be standing around a corner.
Nighttime changes the game dramatically and the optional permanent injury system is the exact opposite of the recent Warhammer games, severely injured members your posse will suffer negatives in the short term but possibly gaining strength once their wounds have fully healed. You can see what Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN thought of the game here or just pick it up on Steam for $22.
"“Wild West XCOM” is about as good an elevator pitch as you could wish for. After a short delay, as of today we can find out whether Hard West can possibly live up to its glorious high concept. I played an earlier build a few weeks back – some thoughts, plus a launch trailer, below."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fallout 4: 15 Important Things It Doesn’t Tell You About @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- AMD announces Radeon R9 Fury Star Wars: Battlefront bundle @ HEXUS
- WH40K: Dawn of War’s Witch Hunters Mod Is Finally Out @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Mordheim: City Of The Damned Preparing For Launch @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Pillars of Eternity: White March – Part 2 Coming January @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefield 4 ‘Dragon Valley’ Remake Coming Free Soon @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 18, 2015 - 01:22 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Sapphire TriXX, R9 Fury X, overclocking, hbm, amd
The new version (5.2.1) of Sapphire's TriXX overclocking utility has been released, and it finally unlocks voltage and HBM overclocking for AMD's R9 Fury X.
(Image credit: Sapphire)
Previously the voltage of the R9 Fury X core was not adjustable, leaving what would seem to be quite a bit of untapped headroom for the cards which shipped with a powerful liquid-cooling solution rated for 500 watts of thermal dissipation. This should allow for much better results than what Ryan was able to achieve when he attempted overclocking for our review of the R9 Fury X in June (without the benefit of voltage adjustments):
"My net result: a clock speed of 1155 MHz rather than 1050 MHz, an increase of 10%. That's a decent overclock for a first attempt with a brand new card and new architecture, but from the way that AMD had built up the "500 watt cooler" and the "375 watts available power" from the dual 8-pin power connectors, I was honestly expecting quite a bit more. Hopefully we'll see some community adjustments, like voltage modifications, that we can mess around with later..."
(Image credit: Sapphire)
- You can download the new TriXX v5.2.1 software from the product page at Sapphire here.
Will TriXX v5.2.1 unleash the full potential of the Fury X? We will have to wait for some overclocked benchmark numbers, but having the ability can only be a good thing for enthusiasts.
Subject: General Tech | November 18, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, firepro, boltzmann, HPC, hsa
AMD has announced the Boltzmann Initiative to compete against Intel and NVIDIA in the HPC market this week at SC15. It is not a physical product but rather new a way to unite the processing power of HSA compliant AMD APUs and FirePro GPUs. They have announced several new projects including the Heterogeneous Compute Compiler (HCC) and Heterogeneous-compute Interface for Portability (HIP) for CUDA based apps which can automatically convert CUDA code into C++. They also announced a headless Linux driver and HSA runtime infrastructure interface for managing clusters which utilizes their InfiniBand fabric interconnect to interface system memory directly to GPU memory as well as adding P2P GPU support and numerous other enhancements. Check out more at DigiTimes.
"The Boltzmann Initiative leverages HSA's ability to harness both central processing units (CPU) and AMD FirePro graphics processing units (GPU) for maximum compute efficiency through software."
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- How to Test-Drive OpenStack @ Linux.com
- Adobe releases out-of-band security patches – amazingly not for Flash @ The Register
- Asus RP-AC56 802.11ac wireless extender @ Kitguru