Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
The other day we took a look at the ICY DOCK ToughArmor MB996SP-6SB and ICYBento MB559U3S-1S. Today we'll move onto a couple of larger products in their lineup:
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 01:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, maxwell, Nouveau, open source
The initial benchmarks that Phoronix and other Linux tech sites ran on the new Maxwell cards from NVIDIA were using the proprietary binary drivers, the same as with all AMD cards. Unlike AMD who have always released signed binary-only firmware blobs which could not be reverse engineered and modified for use, previous generations of NVIDIA cards did not require signed firmware images, only a lot of dev work. Maxwell is locked down and the current open sourced Nouveau driver can now only be used to set up display outputs, it has no ability to use the card for hardware accelerated graphics.
NVIDIA states that the new requirement is to prevent shady characters from modifying slower cards to look like new Maxwell GPUs but Phoronix feels that they have gone overboard. It is sad to see NVIDIA taking a step backwards in supporting the open source community, mimicking AMD's procedure of only offering binary-only firmware blobs though AMD is at least updating the blobs and open source driver relatively frequently. That said, the new Maxwell cards do perform very well with the proprietary Linux driver so users should not feel they have to avoid NVIDA; unfortunately for developers the same is not true.
"While NVIDIA's new GeForce GTX 900 series is dominating for Linux gamers with excellent performance with their $1000+ GPU as well as great Linux OpenGL/OpenCL performance out of their lower-cost GPUs with excellent power efficiency, that's only when using the proprietary driver... NVIDIA's newer GTX 900 / Maxwell hardware is less open-source friendly than their previous generations of hardware. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- iFixit: Apple's 12in MacBook is near impossible to repair @ The Inquirer
- Talk is FINNISHed: Nokia to buy Alcatel Lucent for €15.6 billion @ The Register
- Businesses are not using apps from the Windows Store @ The Inquirer
- Calling Out a GAO Report That Says In-Flight Wi-Fi Lets Hackers Access Avionics @ Slashdot
- Kwikset SmartCode 916 Electronic Deadbolt @ Benchmark Reviews
- Win an MSI GS60 Ghost Pro laptop @ KitGuru
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 05:21 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, virtual desktops, microsoft
Virtual Desktops is one of the largest interface changes for Windows 10. It is an organizational feature, which allows users to group relevant windows together. This puts them out of sight when you don't want them but also easily accessible when you do, and with the programs that you would want to use alongside them.
Microsoft is wondering about one specific area though: should running applications be visible in other desktops? Some believe that a virtual desktop should only show icons for applications in the current context, and alt+tab should behave the same. It makes sense, because otherwise you're exposing the clutter in the taskbar and alt+tab, which are some of the most visible places. Others want everything to be visible at all times, or alt+tab-able to at all time. I guess this is to reduce the clutter on the desktop, without touching the clutter otherwise?
Microsoft has stated clearly that both cases will be user-selectable because there is enough usage on both sides. A user can have virtual desktops affect the taskbar or not, or alt-tab or not, independently. The question they are trying to solve right now is “What should the default be?”
If you are a Windows 10 Technical Preview user, and you care about the adoption of Virtual Desktops, Microsoft might push you into one or the other camp. Later, they will pop up a notification to ask your opinion once they feel you have used it long enough.
This is one area that your vote will influence Windows 10 in a very specific way.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 16, 2015 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, SFF, Argon Series, AR05
In March Morry looked at the Silverstone Argon AR01, an inexpensive cooler for moderately powerful CPUs. [H]ard|OCP has just wrapped up a review of the AR05 which resembles that cooler, rotated 90 degrees to fit in extremely small cases. It is 104x92x36.7mm, yes 36.7mm tall, with a 92mm fan for cooling. As you should expect a cooler this small is not the most powerful cooler available but from [H]'s testing you can see that it is a significant improvement over the stock fan. If you are looking to cool a SFF system then this is a review you need to read.
"Trying to fit a lot of air cooling into a smaller footprint computer case can certainly be an obstacle in your build process. With mini-ITX and micro-ATX systems gaining popularity, and chassis footprints shrinking, huge tower coolers are not an option. How well does SilverStone's AR-05 cooler perform with its minuscule 37mm height profile?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Raijintek Triton CPU Water Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master Nepton 240M AIO Liquid Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
- Fractal Design Define R5 tower @ HardwareOverclock
- In-Win 904 Plus Chassis @ Kitguru
- AeroCool GT-A Chassis @ Kitguru
- Lian-Li DK-01 Aluminium Desk Chassis @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Core X9 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 02:36 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x99-soc, video, Skylake, Samsung, podcast, nvidia, msi, motorola, Moto E, Intel, GTAV, gs30, gigabyte, Broadwell, amd, 840 evo
PC Perspective Podcast #345 - 04/16/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the MSI GS30 Shadow, Gigabyte X99-SOC, Skylake Leaks 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: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:20:07
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2015 - 02:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, In Win 503, in win, enclosure, case
In Win has announced an affordable new mid-tower option with the 503, and there is no shortage of the company's trademark style even at this low price point.
A steel enclosure is to be expected for the $49.99 asking price, and though the company is known for its aluminum construction there is enough tempered glass to keep In Win fans happy. In fact, not only is the front of the In Win 503 made from glass, but it slides down to reveal a 5.25" optical drive bay. To say this is unexpected in a $50 case is a severe understatement.
In Win has posted a short product video which touches on the basic features of the 503:
Drive bays are toolless, and there seems to be a lot of room inside the case. The enclosure will be available in both black/red and white/black color schemes. I personally can't wait to get my hands on one of these and see if it lives up to the lofty standards of prior In Win cases, or if more was compromised than just material selection to meet the low price target.
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED
Every trailer of the Witcher 3 so far has made the game look larger and more complex and the latest trailer continues along that vein. Some scenes will be familiar, such as a certain griffin's head but others are completely new, especially the in town scenes. The voiceover implies a much greater breadth of choice in how you play the story than the binary elves or humans choice of Witcher 2 but we have been disappointed by other franchises in the past. Hopefully this game will not disappoint, it has a very devoted team who are not afraid to include uncomfortable choices or nasty dialogue in the world they have created. It will also be interesting to see how the size of the open world translates into interesting gameplay, especially once you have cleared an area and civilians move in to settle it. Check out the trailer below and catch additional coverage at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN ... and maybe even here, you never know.
"Hi, you. That’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Watch this new trailer, it’ll explain. This shiny new five-minute trailer’s a broad overview of the game, its basic premise, the lay of its land, a few japes, and the sort of larks you’ll get up to."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever? Part One: Memories And Hardware Renderers @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bundle Me Up: GOG Sale Starts With RPGs & Adventures @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Grand Theft Auto V Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Humble Origin Bundle 2 launched @ HEXUS
- Hands On: StarCraft II – Legacy Of The Void @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bang: Arma 3 Fires Big Update Alongside Marksmen DLC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: drone, linux, 3DRobotics, Cortex A9, solo
The 3DR Solo drone is powered by a Cortex A9 processor running at 1GHz which gives the Pixhawk 2 autopilot feature some power to work with, a good thing as some pilots will be too busy watching the HD video stream. If you buy the model with the GoPro gimbal or knock one up yourself, the Solo is capable of wireless streaming 720p video up to a distance of 1.2 miles (1.9km) with a delay of about 180ms. You will have a flight time of 25 minutes unladen, 20 minutes if you are hauling a GoPro or any other equivalent payload. It will not be cheap, it is being released on May 29th at a price of $1000 or $1400 with a GoPro gimbal, but you can check out more of the stats at Linux.com if you are still interested.
"3DRobotics today announced its first Linux-based drone, a Solo quadcopter touted as the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to support full control of GoPro cameras and deliver live-streaming HD video to mobile devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Huawei Ascend P8 arrives with full-metal case and octa-core chip @ The Inquirer
- Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default @ The Register
- Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2015 - 07:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows xp, windows, microsoft, google, EoL, chrome
It has been a year since Microsoft cut off extended support for Windows XP including Internet Explorer security updates for the platform. Yeah, I know, it doesn't feel like it. Other browser vendors announced that they would continue to target the retired OS after Microsoft washed their hands of it. At the time, Google said they would give at least 12 months support, which brings us to yesterday.
Now Google is extending their commitment to the end of the year. They did not say that it was a hard deadline for their customers, but they also did not add an “at least” qualifier this time. The browser vendor wants people to upgrade and admits that they cannot genuinely provide a secure experience if a known issue bites everyone at the OS level. You can keep training the guard at the door, but if your window falls out, mind the pun, then it is still dangerous to be inside.
Granted, we have not seen a major attack on XP over the last year. You would have to think that, even if the attacks are sophisticated, some of the victims would have noticed and reported it to someone. Still, I wonder how it keeps surviving, especially since I would have thought that at least one vulnerability in the last twelve Patch Tuesdays could be ported back to it.
Maybe it is too small of a target?
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