Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2015 - 01:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, carrizo pro, Godavari Pro, 28nm, hp, elitebook
The Carrizo based AMD Pro A12 APU is going to be familiar to anyone who read our coverage of the non-Pro Carrizo models. The A12 will have a boost clock of 3.4GHz, eight 800MHz Radeon R7 cores, 2MB of L2 cache, and hardware based HEVC decoding, exactly like the FX-8800P. Indeed there is nothing obvious that differentiates the two processors apart from AMD's tag line that the Pro models are designed for corporate desktops and laptops. The Inquirer lists three laptops which should already be available which use the new mobile processor, the HP EliteBook 725, 745 and 755. No news yet on Godavari Pro powered desktops.
"AMD HAS ANNOUNCED its "most powerful" line of Pro A-Series mobile and desktop processors, formerly codenamed Carrizo Pro and Godavari Pro."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google literally dangles its new dongle in front of gasping TV audiences @ The Register
- Hack Anything into a Phone @ Hack a Day
- Critical WinRAR flaw puts a nation of unzippers in harm's way @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft eats its Dynamics CRM young with Adxstudio buy @ The Register
- New Attack Bypasses Mac OS X Gatekeeper @ Slashdot
- Linux-powered botnet can kick out a huge and persistent DoS attack @ The Inquirer
- AVM FRITZ!Powerline 546E WLAN Adapter Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | October 1, 2015 - 02:17 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, fable legends, dx12, apple, A9, TSMC, Samsung, 14nm, 16nm, Intel, P3608, NVMe, logitech, g410, TKL, nvidia, geforce now, qualcomm, snapdragon 820
PC Perspective Podcast #369 - 10/01/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Fable Legends DX12 Benchmark, Apple A9 SoC, Intel P3608 SSD, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:42:35
Week in Review:
0:54:10 This episode of PC Perspective is brought to you by…Zumper, the quick and easy way to find your next apartment or home rental. To get started and to find your new home go to http://zumper.com/PCP
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Subject: Mobile | October 2, 2015 - 04:09 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Tegra X1, tablet, pixel, nvidia, google, android 6.0, Android
During its latest keynote event, Google unveiled the Pixel C, a powerful tablet with optional keyboard that uses NVIDIA’s Tegra X1 SoC and runs the Android 6.0 “Marshmallow” operating system.
The Pixel C was designed by the team behind the Chromebook Pixel. Pixel C features an anodized aluminum body that looks (and reportedly feels) smooth with clean lines and rounded corners. The tablet itself is 7mm thick and weighs approximately one pound. The front of the Pixel C is dominated by a 10.2” display with a resolution of 2560 x 1800 (308 PPI, 500 nits brightness), wide sRGB color gamut, and 1:√2 aspect ratio (which Google likened to the size and aspect ratio of an A4 sheet of paper). A 2MP front camera sits above the display while four microphones sit along the bottom edge and a single USB Type-C port and two stereo speakers sit on the sides of the tablet. Around back, there is an 8MP rear camera and a bar of LED lights that will light up to indicate the battery charge level after double tapping it.
The keyboard is an important part of the Pixel C, and Google has given it special attention to make it part of the package. The keyboard attaches to the tablet using self-aligning magnets that are powerful enough to keep the display attached while holding it upside down and shaking it (not that you'd want to do that, mind you). It can be attached to the bottom of the tablet for storage and used like a slate or you can attach the tablet to the back of the keyboard and lift the built-in hinge to use the Pixel C in laptop mode (the hinge can hold the display at anywhere from 100 to 135-degrees). The internal keyboard battery is good for two months of use, and can be simply recharged by closing the Pixel C like a laptop and allowing it to inductively charge from the tablet portion. The keyboard is around 2mm thick and is nearly full size at 18.85mm pitch and the chiclet keys have a 1.4mm travel that is similar to that of the Chromebook Pixel. There is no track pad, but it does offer a padded palm rest which is nice to see.
Internally, the Pixel C is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB or 64GB of storage (depending on model). The 20nm Tegra X1 consists of four ARM Cortex A57 and four Cortex A53 CPU cores paired with a 256-core Maxwell GPU. The Pixel C is a major design win for NVIDIA, and the built in GPU will be great for gaming on the go.
The Pixel C will be available in December ("in time for the holidays") for $499 for the base 32 GB model, $599 for the 64 GB model, and $149 for the keyboard.
First impressions, such as this hands-on by Engadget, seem to be very positive stating that it is sturdy yet sleek hardware that feels comfortable typing on. While the hardware looks more than up to the task, the operating system of choice is a concern for me. Android is not the most productivity and multi-tasking friendly software. There are some versions of Android that enable multiple windows or side-by-side apps, but it has always felt rather clunky and limited in its usefulness. With that said, Computer World's JR Raphael seems hopeful. He points out that the Pixel C is, in Batman fashion, not the hardware Android wants, but the hardware that Android needs (to move forward) and is primed for a future of Android that is more friendly to such productive endeavors. Development versions of Android 6.0 included support for multiple apps running simultaneously side-by-side, and while that feature will not make the initial production code cut, it does show that it is something that Google is looking into pursuing and possibly enabling at some point. The Pixel C has an excellent aspect ratio to take advantage of the app splitting with the ability to display four windows each with the same aspect ratio.
I am not sure how well received the Pixel C will be by business users who have several convertible tablet options running Windows and Chrome OS. It certainly gives the iPad-and-keyboard combination a run for its money and is a premium alternative to devices like the Asus Transformers.
What do you think about the Pixel C, and in particular, it running Android?
Even if I end up being less-than-productive using it, I think I'd still want the sleek-looking hardware as a second machine, heh.
Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2015 - 04:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: roccat, Nyth, gaming mouse, input
That is no typo, the Twin-Tech Laser Sensor R1 on the Nyth really does go all the way up to 12000 DPI and it also has an adjustable lift-off distance. There are also 18 buttons, with the shift key function they can all be assigned a second function as well. The Swarm software used to program the mouse is rather impressive, not only can you assign profiles to games you can program a light show into your mouse if you so desire. It will set you back $120 but if the price tag does not scare you off you can see how it performs in MadShrimps' review.
"ROCCAT Nyth is like a breath of fresh air in the already crowded gaming mice market which sports quite a modular design with replaceable right side panel, no less than four different sets of buttons, a smooth durable plastic texture, catchy LED light effects and a comfortable shape for lengthy gaming sessions."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ozone Argon Ocelote World @ techPowerUp
- Razer Mamba Chroma Tournament Edition Review @ Bjorn3d
- CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- E-Blue Mazer K727 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ Bjorn3d
- Corsair Strafe Gaming Keyboard @ techPowerUp
Subject: Mobile | October 2, 2015 - 02:02 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: LG, ultrathin, Broadwell, ips display
Earlier this week, LG revealed three new notebooks under its Gram series that are set to compete with Apple’s Macbook Air (The Verge has a photo comparison of the two) and various Ultrabooks from other manufacturers (e.g. Lenovo and Asus). The new series includes one 13-inch and two 14-inch laptops that weigh in at 2.16 pounds and are 0.5” thick. The LG Gram with 13” display is the smallest of the bunch at 11.9” x 8.4” x 0.5” and the chassis is constructed of magnesium and polycarbonate (plastic). Meanwhile, the two notebooks with the 14” display measure 12.8” x 8.94” x 0.5” and feature a body made from a combination of carbon-magnesium and lithium-magnesium alloys. The difference in materials accounts for the larger notebooks hitting the same weight target (2.16 lbs).
The 14-inch LG Gram 14 (gram-14Z950-A.AA4GU1) notebook.
LG is packing every Gram notebook with a 1080p IPS display (13.3 or 14 inches), dual mics, a 1.3 MP webcam, six row island-style keyboard, and a spacious track pad. External IO includes two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, micro SD card slot, and a micro USB port that (along with the included dongle) supports the 10/100 Ethernet network connection.
The base Gram 13-inch comes in Snow White while both Gram 14-inch notebooks are clad in Champagne Gold.
The LG Gram 13 Broadwell-powered laptop (gram-13Z950-A.AA3WU1).
Internally, LG has opted to go with Intel’s Broadwell processor and its built-in HD 5500 GPU. The LG Gram 13 uses the Intel Core i5-5200U (2 cores, 4 threads at 2.2-2.7GHz). The 14-inch models can be configured with an Intel i5 or an Intel Core i7-5500U which is a dual core (with HyperThreading for four threads) processor clocked at 2.4 GHz that can boost to 3.0 GHz. Additional specifications include 8GB of DDR3L memory, a solid state drive (128 GB on the Gram 13, up to 256 GB on the Gram 14), Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and rated battery life of up to 7.5 hours (which is not great, but not too bad).
The Gram series is LG’s first major thin-and-light entry into the US market, and while there are some compromises made to get the portability, the price points are competitive and seem to be priced right. Interestingly, LG is aiming these notebooks as Macbook Air competitors, allegedly offering you a larger, yet lighter, notebook. It is not actually the lightest notebook on the market, however. Below is a brief point of (weight) comparison to some of the major recent thin-and-lights, the Gram is going up against:
- 12” Apple MacBook: 2.03 lbs
- 11” Apple MacBook Air: 2.38 lbs
- 13” Apple MacBook Air: 2.96 lbs
- 13.3" ASUS Zenbook UX305FA (Core M): 2.65 lbs
- 13.3" ASUS Zenbook UX301LA (Core i7): 3.08 lbs
- 13.3” LaVie Z: 1.87 lbs
- 13.3” LaVie Z 360: 2.04 lbs
- 12.2" Samsung ATIV Book 9: 2.09 lbs
We will have to wait for reviews to see how the build quality stacks up, especially the 14-inch models using the lithium-magnesium bodies which, while light, may not be the sturdiest flex-wise. If they can hold up to the stress of the daily commuter, the retail pricing is far from exorbitant and if you can live with the compromises fairly attractive.
Subject: General Tech | October 1, 2015 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, VOID Wireless, gaming headset, 7.1 headset
On paper these headphones are impressive, wireless performance out to 40' with 16 hours of charge, frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz on the 50mm drivers and 7.1 surround sound. There have been many previous software emulated 7.1 directional gaming headsets which have disappointed users but in this case Benchmark Reviews quite liked the performance of the VOID while gaming and listening to music. The noise cancelling microphone, dubbed an “InfoMic” as it has LED lights which can be illuminated in different ways depending on your preferences and even the game you happen to be playing. You can also sync the lights with other Corsair RGB devices using the Cue software if you are so inclined. Check out the full reivew right here.
"In the world of computer peripherals and hardware, most of us are well aware of Corsair’s existence. This is an organization that has well-earned reputation for producing quality components; components that are going to be high-performing, intelligently designed, and very likely to provide its owners with years of service."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS Strix 7.1 Headset Review @HiTech Legion
- Tt eSPORTS Shock 3D 7.1 Gaming Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Inateck MercuryBox Bluetooth Speaker & Mobile Products @ eTeknix
- Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 @ Legion Hardware
Subject: General Tech | October 1, 2015 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: stagefright, security, Android
Assuming you have a carrier with a sense of responsibility and a reasonably modern phone the chances are you are patched against the original Stagefright vulnerability. This is not the case for the recently reported vulnerabilities dubbed Stagefright 2.0. If you open a specially and nefariously modified MP3 or MP4 file in Stagefright on Android 5.0+ it has been confirmed that those files can trigger remote code execution via libstagefright. If you are on an older model then the vulnerability lies in libutils and can be used for the same purpose, gaining access to the data stored on your device. From the security company reports that The Register has linked, it sounds like we can expect many repeat performances as the Stagefright library was poorly written and contains many mistakes; worse is the fact that it is not sandboxed in any way and has significantly higher access than an application for playing media files should ever have.
"Joshua Drake from the security outfit Zimperium zLabs introduced us to StageFright earlier this summer, and he is now back with a similar warning and a brace of problems, according to a post on the Kaspersky Threatpost news site."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft rolls out Skype Translator to Windows desktop app @ The Inquirer
- Windows 10's second month sees sluggish growth in market share @ The Inquirer
- Weird garbled Windows 7 update baffles world – now Microsoft reveals the truth @ The Register
- Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store @ The Register
- Acer: We're not laying off staff, just shifting 'em out of the PC biz @ The Register
- Tenda AC15 AC1900 Dual-Band WiFi Router @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 2, 2015 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, modular psu, coolermaster, V750W, 80+ gold
Cooler Master's V750W PSU is fully modular and comes with a nice selection of cabling including four PCIe 6+2 connectors and eight SATA power connectors. At 150x140x86mm (5.9x5.5x3.4") it also takes up less space than many PSUs, though not enough to fit in a truly SFF case. A single 12V rail can provide 744W at 62A which is enough to power more than one mid to high range GPU and Bjorn3D's testing shows that it can maintain that 80+ GOLD rating while it is being used. The five year warranty is also a good reason to pick up this PSU, assuming you are not in the market for something in the kilowatt range.
"One available option soon to be available on the market for <179$, and our specimen of review today, is the CoolerMaster V750. CoolerMaster has partnered with Seasonic to produce the high quality compact “V” series PSUs which made a huge statement for CoolerMaster and told the world they were ready to push some serious power."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair RM1000x @ Kitguru
- Corsair RM750x @ Kitguru
- Antec HCP Platinum Continuous Power 1000W @ eTeknix
- Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1000W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master V Series 550W @ Kitguru
- be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 550W @ eTeknix
Subject: Displays | October 3, 2015 - 09:12 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: UP3216Q, ultrasharp, UHD, monitor, ips, HDMI 2.0, display, dell, calibration, Adobe RGB, 4k
While not officially launched in the U.S. just yet, on Thursday Tom's Hardware reported news of a trio of upcoming UltraSharp monitors from Dell, the largest of which - the UP3216Q - I was able to locate on Dell's Bermuda site.
For anyone looking for a 4K display for photo or video editing (or any other color critical work) the new Dell UltraSharp UP3216Q looks like a great - and likely very pricey - option. Just how much are we talking? The existing 31.5-inch 4K UP3214Q carries a $1999 MSRP (though it sells for $1879 on Dell's site). For this kind of money there are probably those who will never consider a 16:9 option (or ever give up their 16:10 30-inch displays), but the specifications of this new UP3216Q are impressive:
- Diagonal Viewing Size: 31.5 inch
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9)
- Panel Type, Surface: In-Plane Switching
- Optimal resolution: 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz
- Active Display Area (H x V): 273,996 sq-mm (424.7 sq-inches)
- Contrast Ratio: 1000 to 1 (typical), 2 Million to 1 (dynamic)
- Brightness: 300 cd/m2 (typical)
- Response Time: 6ms fast mode . GTG
- Viewing Angle: 178° vertical / 178° horizontal
- Adjustability: Tilt, Swivel, Height Adjust
- Color Support: 1.07 billion colors
- Pixel Pitch: 0.182 mm
- Backlight Technology: LED light bar system
- Display Screen Coating: Anti-Glare with 3H hardness
- Connectivity: DP, mDP, HDMI (MHL), 4 x USB3 with one charging port, 1 x USB3 upstream, Media Card Reader
With the 60 Hz 4K (UHD) IPS panel offering full sRGB and 99.5% Adobe RGB, and a factory calibration that promises to be factory color calibrated with a deltaE of less than 2, the UP3214Q sounds pretty much ready to go out of the box. However for those inclined to strive for a more perfect calibration Dell is offering an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter as an optional accessory, providing their own Dell UltraSharp Color Calibration Solution software.
A couple of points of interest with this monitor, while it offers DisplayPort and mini-DP inputs it also supports 4K 60 Hz via HDMI 2.0. Color support is also listed as 1.07 billion colors, but it's not specified whether this indicates a 10-bit panel or if they are implementing 10-bit color processing with an 8-bit panel - though if it's in the $2k price range it would probably safe to assume this is a 10-bit panel. Lastly, in keeping with the UltraSharp branding the monitor will also carry Dell's Premium Panel Guarantee and 3-Year Advanced Exchange Service warranty.
Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2015 - 11:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Starcraft II, legacy of the void, blizzard
Third time's the charm, unless they plan another release at some point.
The StarCraft II interface isn't perfect. Even though it is interesting and visually appealing, some tasks are unnecessarily difficult and space is not used in the most efficient way. To see what I mean, try to revert the multiplayer mode to Wings of Liberty, or, worse, find your Character Code. Blizzard released a new UI with Heart of the Swarm back in 2013, and they're doing a new one for the release of Legacy of the Void on November 10th. Note that my two examples probably won't be fixed in this update, they are just examples of UX issues.
While the update aligns with the new expansion, Blizzard will patch the UI for all content levels, including the free Starter Edition. This honestly makes sense, because it's easier to patch a title when all variations share a common core. Then again, not every company patches five-year-old titles like Blizzard does, so the back-catalog support is appreciated.
The most heartwarming change for fans, if pointless otherwise, is in the campaign selection screen. As the StarCraft II trilogy will be completed with Legacy of the Void, the interface aligns them as three episodes in the same style as the original StarCraft did.
On the functional side, the interface has been made more compact (which I alluded to earlier). This was caused by the new chat design, which is bigger yet less disruptive than it was in Heart of the Swarm. The column of buttons on the side are now a top bar, which expands down for sub-menu items.
While there are several things that I don't mention, a final note for this post is that Arcade will now focus on open lobbies. Players can look for the specific game they want, but the initial screen will show lobbies that are waiting to fill. The hope seems to be that players waiting for a game will spend less time. This raises two questions. First, Arcade games tend to have a steep learning curve, so I wonder if this feature will slump off after people try a few rounds before realizing that they should stick with a handful of games. Second, I wonder what this means for player numbers in general -- this sounds like a feature that is added during player declines, which Blizzard seems to hint is not occuring.
I'm not sure when the update will land, but it will probably be around the launch of Legacy of the Void on November 10th.
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