Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 09:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, 980 Ti
As most of our readers are well aware, the graphics market is dominated by two GPU vendors, both of which sell chips and reference designs to add-in board partners. ASUS is one of the oldest add-in board partners. According to their anniversary website, ASUS even produced a card that was based on the S3 ViRGE/DX graphics chipset all the way back in 1996.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, although they don't exactly state when they start counting, ASUS has released a few high-end versions of Maxwell-based graphics cards. This one is the ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti. It comes with a base clock speed of 1266 MHz, which boosts up to 1367 MHz as needed. This is quite high, considering the reference card is clocked at 1000 MHz and boosts to 1189 MHz, although overclocking the 980 Ti is not too difficult to begin with. Ryan got up to 1465 MHz with a reference card. The Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti might go even higher with its enhanced cooling and power delivery, and it's designed for liquid nitrogen if you're that type of enthusiast.
Speaking of liquid nitrogen features, the card advertises a “Memory Defroster” feature that looks rather extreme. I can't say that I've ever seen a graphics card get covered in a visible layer of ice, but I've also never attached it to a reservoir of liquid with a temperature that's easier to write in Kelvin than Celcius.
Is this a legit problem? Or does this seem like “anti-dust shield” to everyone else too?
The ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti ships this month.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2015 - 01:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: poWiFi, wireless power, iot
It is going to take some work as it is not currently that impressive but the experiment at Cornell University shows that power over WiFi is not impossible. The experiment was not all that impressive, they charged a Jawbone headset @ 2.3mA and after 2.5 hours which they managed to charge the battery to 41% over a distance of 5-7cm. Those results are poor compared to Qi and other wireless charging solutions on the market but are promising. The power is transmitted by a wireless router that can also send and receive data so for wireless cameras and other low powered devices which transmit data this could be quite useful. You can read the research paper by following the links from Hack a Day.
"There have been a few reports of power over WiFi (PoWiFi) on the intertubes lately. If this is a real thing it’s definitely going to blow all of the IoT fanboys skirts up (sorry to the rest of you *buzzword* fanboys, the IoT kids flash-mobbed the scene and they mean business)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel unveils 2016 tablet processor road map, say Taiwan makers @ DigiTimes
- 128GB DDR4 DIMMs have landed so double your RAM cram plan @ The Register
- Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it @ The Register
- Best Lightweight Linux Distros @ Linux.com
- Microsoft Silverlight gets Firefox reprieve for 64-bit users @ The Inquirer
- Montana Newspaper Plans To Out Anonymous Commenters Retroactively @ Slashdot
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 27, 2015 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F31
The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is significantly smaller than the F51, 497x250x515mm (19.5x9.8x20.3") and so cannot fit an eATX motherboard like its bigger sibling. On the other hand that size is much more manageable for many and is still large enough for radiators, Morry-sized heatsinks and full sized graphics cards. The simplicity of the exterior will appeal to many as will the many removable filters over fan intakes. As you might expect from the name, the case is designed to quiet the components running inside and did not disappoint when [H]ard|OCP tested the case. Check out their full review if your PC components need a new home.
"Thermaltake is upping its computer case game with the new Suppressor F31 chassis. It is nice and wide at 250mm and has plenty of features. "Leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone ML08 Mini-ITX Slim Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-Lite AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 All In One Watercooler @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2015 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fallout 4, mod, gaming
The modders over at the Nexus community are already hard at work creating mods for Fallout 4 and Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have compiled a list of the best ones currently out there. After a quick tutorial on how to apply mods they jump into the list and of them all the first one may be the most useful as it allows you to tweak your display resolution, mouse sensitivity, field of view and the many other settings you might have expect to be changeable in the game itself. From there they move onto improved lighting, longer death cam viewing, a higher settlement budget and even dialogue expansion. Check out what is there or head over to Nexus Mods to see what others catch your interest.
"While official mod support for Fallout 4 [official site] hasn’t arrived just yet, Nexus Mods have opened their proverbial gates. Their community is fast at work creating handy customisations and helpful leg-ups to see you right as you dive head first into the irradiated unknown."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Thea: The Awakening Is A 4X Roguelike And Out Now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- First 50% deal on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt & up to 80% off 36 games you won't find anywhere else @ GOG
- Forges Of Creation: Large Endless Legend Update Today @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- 2K Games has another BioShock game in development @ HEXUS
- The Call Of Croshaw: The Consuming Shadow Out now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Just Cause 3 minimum and recommended specs published @ HEXUS
- Machinimagic: Valve Announce Saxxy Award Winners @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Hard West @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2015 - 12:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: idiots, iot, security
You would think people would be be taken aback if someone suggested saving money by using the same key on every new house built in a neighbourhood, if so you don't work for companies developing hardware for the Internet of Things. In a recent survey of 4,000 embedded devices from 70 hardware makers, Sec Consult found that many had the same hardwired SSH login keys and server-side SSL certificates. The numbers they provided The Register were a total 580 private keys were found distributed over all the analyzed devices, of which at least 230 are in already in use on the internet. To be fair this is not uncommon in consumer level firmware as companies do not even bother to check over the source code let alone change the security keys held within but it is a huge security risk. For a glimpse at how bad some of these supposedly secure certs and keys are read on at The Register.
"Lazy makers of home routers and the Internet of Things are reusing the same small set of hardcoded security keys, leaving them open to hijacking en masse, researchers have warned."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nest defends web CCTV Cam amid unstoppable 24/7 surveillance fears @ The Register
- Fedora 23: An Impressive Release for Advanced Linux Users @ Linux.com
- Raspberry Pi Zero: £4 PC aims to bring machine to more hands @ The Inquirer
- It is now possible to unlock a Windows Lumia Phone for root access @ The Inquirer
- Samsung is mass producing 'Through Silicon Via' DDR4 memory in 128GB modules @ The Inquirer
- Defeating Chip and PIN With Bits of Wire @ Hack a Day
- Critical Zen Cart Vulnerability Could Spell Black Friday Disaster For Shoppers @ Slashdot
- Nvidia Shield Android TV @ eTeknix
Subject: Displays | November 26, 2015 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: noon, virtual reality
Similar in looks to Oculus Gear VR the Noon VR headset is compatible with more than just Samsung phones, any iOS or Android device between 4.7 inches to 5.7 should be supported. At 230g naked, plus the weight of your phone the Noon felt a bit heavy to Hardware Canucks, a lot of that weight is balanced on your nose. The 95 degree viewing angle is impressive and there is a focus dial on the headset for fine tuning but the latency and resolution are up to your phone, not the Noon. As of yet there is little content for the Noon VR headset but the price is decent, currently it retails for $90 which makes it an interesting option for those who want to experiment with a VR device.
"With the big divide in computing power between desktops and smartphones, are we ready for mobile VR? The Noon VR headset is an attempt to answer that question."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips 272G5DYEB 27-inch G-Sync @ Kitguru
- Acer Predator XR341CK FreeSync Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AOC Q2577PWQ 25″ IPS @ eTeknix
- Nixeus NX-VUE24A 144Hz FreeSync Monitor @ Hardware Canucks
- The New Apple TV Review @ Hardware Secrets
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: Graphics Cards | November 25, 2015 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: radeon, r9 nano, mini ITX, amd, obsidian 250d, corsair
When Ryan tested out how the R9 Nano performs in tiny cases he chose the Cooler Master Elite 110, the Raijintek Metis, the Lian Li PC-Q33BL and their PC-Q30X. The card did slow down somewhat because of a lack of airflow in the case but that was quickly remedied with a drill press and we saw vast improvements in the in-game frequencies. [H]ard|OCP performed a similar experiment with the Cooler Master Elite 110 as well and found similar results.
They are now back at it again, this time testing in a Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini ITX case, which is large enough to accommodate a full sized GPU and provide improved airflow. They tested the Nano against a GTX 980 Ti and a R9 Fury X as they cost a similar amount to the tiny little Nano. They tested the cards at both 1440p and 4K resolutions and as you might reasonably expect the Nano fell behind, especially at 4K. If you have a case which can fit a full sized GPU then the Nano does not make sense to purchase, however in cases in which the larger cards will not fit then the Nano's performance is unmatched.
"Our second installment covering our AMD Radeon R9 Nano in a Small Form Factor chassis is finally done. We will upgrade the case to a Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini ITX PC Case and compare the R9 Nano to price competitive video cards that can be installed. We game at 1440p and 4K for the ultimate small form factor experience."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Is A Letdown On Linux @ Phoronix
- Radeon Software Crimson; The Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Editon Detailed Briefing @ TechARP
Subject: Systems | November 29, 2015 - 09:12 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: sony, playstation 4, ps4, amd, Jaguar, APU
Of the eight Jaguar cores that Sony added to the PlayStation 4 APU, two were locked down the console's operating system and other tasks. This left the developer with six to push their workloads through. This was the same as the Xbox One until Microsoft released an update last year, which unlocked one to give seven.
NeoGAF users report that, allegedly, PlayStation 4 games can now utilize seven of the eight cores after a recent SDK update from Sony. They source a recent changelist for FMOD, a popular audio management library for PC, mobile, and console platforms, which references targeting “the newly unlocked 7th core.”
Since this is not an official Sony announcement, at least not publicly, we don't know some key details. For instance, is the core completely free, or will the OS still push tasks on it during gameplay? Will any features be disabled if the seventh core is targeted? How frequently will the seventh core be blocked, if ever? What will happen if you block it, if anything? The Xbox One is said to use about 20% of their unlocked seventh core for Microsoft-related tasks, and claiming the remaining 80% is said to disable voice recognition and Kinect features.
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are interesting devices to think about. They go low frequency, but wide, in performance, similar to many mobile devices. They also utilize a well-known instruction set, x86, which obviously has a huge catalog of existing libraries and features. I don't plan on every buying another console, but they move with the industry and has a fairly big effect on it (albeit much less than previous generations).
Subject: Systems | November 27, 2015 - 02:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: y-series, razer, Lenovo, gaming pc, gaming desktop
Lenovo has partnered with Razer for co-branded Razer Edition computers, which will be special versions of Lenovo’s Y series gaming systems. Lenovo says the first device will be officially announced at CES, with a prototype on display at DreamHack Winter 2015 in Sweden.
The prototype Razer Edition desktop (featuring Skittles-inspired ground effects)
These upcoming products will clearly add some style (and color) to Lenovo's gaming computers, and while thus far only this desktop concept has been shown the Y-series from Lenovo includes gaming laptops as well, which presumably will receive the Razer treatment going forward. It is notable that the concept incorporates multiple colors with its lighting effects (which should be customizable) considering Razer is known for a black and green color scheme.
"PC gaming today offers a rich and immersive experience – thanks in part to cutting-edge graphics performance, superior processing power, and peripherals designed specifically for gaming. Lenovo will employ its system design and engineering expertise, while Razer will enhance the immersive experience for gamers. All forthcoming Lenovo Razer Edition products will be co-branded and reflect the edgy Lenovo Y series look and feel with iconic Razer elements like customizable Chroma lighting effects."
The details as far as specs and configuration options for the desktop shown are not known, and this seems to be primarily a new branding/style for the Y-series line. More might be known after DreamHack, the event which calls itself "the world's largest digital festival", which runs November 26 - 29 in Jönköping, in the south of Sweden.
Subject: Systems | November 26, 2015 - 04:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, raspberry pi zero
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a new version that lowers the cost of gigahertz-class computing devices to just $5. It is based on a 1.0 GHz ARM11 core from Broadcom that is about 40% faster than the original Raspberry Pi. It also has 512MB of RAM, which is a lot for embedded or hobbyist applications. In fact, it doubles the original Raspberry Pi Model A (and is on part with the Model B). Storage is handled by a microSD card slot, as is the case with every previous Raspberry Pi except the Compute Module.
They also offer an alternative to the $5 price tag. If you pick up the print edition of MagPi magazine #40, which is the Christmas 2015 issue, you will receive a free Raspberry Pi Zero. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that they printed 10,000 copies of this magazine. This is probably much more interesting than a CD-ROM demo of Battlezone II.
Due to high demand, I'm not sure when you can expect to get one though.
Subject: Memory | November 26, 2015 - 05:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TSV, Samsung, enterprise, ddr4
You may remember Allyn's article about TSV memory back from IDF 2014. Through this process, Samsung and others are able to stack dies of memory onto a single package, which can increase density and bandwidth. This is done by punching holes through the dies and connecting them down to the PCB. The first analogy that comes to mind is an elevator shaft, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
Anyway, Samsung has been applying it to enterprise-class DDR4 memory, which leads to impressive capacities. 64GB sticks, individual sticks, were introduced in 2014. This year, that capacity doubles to 128GB. The chips are fabricated at 20nm and each contain 8Gb (1GB) per layer. Each stick contains 36 packages of four chips.
At the end of their press release, Samsung also mentioned that they intend to expand their TSV technology into “HBM and consumer products.”
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