Subject: Motherboards | May 1, 2015 - 09:25 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: sodimm, quad-channel, mini-itx, EPC612D4I, ddr4, ASRock Rack, asrock
They finally did it! A new mini-ITX LGA 2011-3 has been announced by ASRock, the EPC612D4I, and this server-grade product will offer full quad-channel memory support with a switch to SoDIMM RAM.
Image credit: Tom’s IT Pro
While ASRock had previously released a mini-ITX X99 motherboard (the X99E-ITX/ac) there were concessions made based on the limitations of the form-factor, and the motherboard was limited to dual-channel memory with only two DDR4 DIMM slots. So for a full quad-channel experience it became obvious that a switch to SoDIMM’s would be required. So are there any DDR4 SoDIMMs available? They certainly aren’t cheap, but a quick search for the model number of this new board finds a page from Crucial for compatible DDR4 modules – at a cost of $555.99 for a massive 32GB (4x8GB) of 1.2V DDR4-2133 ECC memory.
Specs for the EPC612D4I from ASRock:
- LGA 2011 R3 Intel Xeon processor E5-1600/2600 v3 series
- 4x SO-DIMM slots, supports quad-channel DDR4 2133/1866 ECC
- 4x SATA 6Gb/s by C612
- 1x PCIe 3.0 x16
- Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM and Dedicated LAN (RTL8211E)
- Intel Dual GLAN (Intel i210 + Intel i217)
The new board was first reported by Tom's IT Pro and their article lists the retail price for the ASRock EPC612D4I at $265, which isn’t bad for a product like this. While definitely targeting the server market this could potentially be implemented for a very compact workstation setup (and allow creation of a PC to rival the diminutive Mac Pro, perhaps).
Subject: Motherboards | April 30, 2015 - 10:32 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: gigabyte, Intel, Broadwell, h97, z97, bios, cpu, processor
GIGABYTE has announced support for the upcoming LGA 1150 variants of Intel's 5th-generation Core (Broadwell) processors for all existing 9-series motherboards via BIOS update.
The full press release appears below:
City of Industry, California, April 30th, 2015 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce their entire line-up of Z97 and H97 motherboards now support the soon-to-launch 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors.
GIGABYTE engineers have tested and validated all GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards including Z97 and H97 chipset-based motherboards to ensure optimal performance for 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors. Users wanting to take advantage of all the features of 5th Gen Intel® Core™ processors have to offer at launch, simply need to download the latest UEFI BIOS from the GIGABYTE website.
To get the latest UEFI BIOS for your motherboard, please visit the GIGABYTE website: http://www.gigabyte.us
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 30, 2015 - 08:28 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC Gamer, gpu, Fiji, E3 2015, amd
We haven’t had much more than rumor and speculation about upcoming AMD graphics for a while now, but there is more than enough fresh fuel for the GPU fire today to ignore completely. It seems that AMD and PC Gamer magazine have teamed up to announce a special (what else) PC gaming event at this year’s E3 show on June 16, and this would be the perfect place for some new hardware announcements.
Not enough for you? Well, while the AMD Fiji GPU rumors are nothing new to followers of industry news, it has now been indirectly announced that the upcoming Fiji GPU from AMD will in fact feature 2.5D high-bandwidth memory (HBM). As reported by tech news/rumor site wccftech the announcement came via the official schedule for the upcoming Hot Chips symposium, which is slated for August 23-25 in Cupertino, California.
This screenshot was taken this morning from the official online event schedule
(Note: This part of the day 2 schedule has now been changed to read “AMD’s Next Generation GPU and Memory Architecture”, with all mention of Fiji and HBM removed.)
Whether this gives us insight into the actual release date of the long-awaited Fiji GPU from AMD is unclear, but new AMD GPU products certainly seem to be imminent as we move into the summer months. Speculation is fun (for a while), but hopefully the PC gaming event at E3 in June will provide at least some official news from AMD on the new GPU products we've been waiting for.
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2015 - 06:38 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, build 2015, build 10074, BUILD
When Microsoft forked their build numbers into 100xx and 101xx lines, we predicted that they were preparing a version to release at BUILD 2015. We also predicted that it would be heavily tested and pushed to both Slow and Fast simultaneously, which would give a good entry point for developers and probably even enterprise evaluators. I was surprised when Microsoft released 10061 last week, and then updated it just two days ago (why???) with four patches, but we ended up being correct in the end.
Microsoft has just released Windows 10 build 10074 to both Fast and Slow users. Its comes with a very small list of known issues, and they are much less severe than they were in previous releases. The first issue tells developers that Developer Mode needs to be enabled in Group Policy, rather than the place in Settings that it will eventually be. The next two issues are more severe: some games cannot be played in full screen and the People app is still broken. I am not sure how wide-spread “some games” is, but they plan to patch it via Windows Update “as soon as possible”.
One major fix is that now, when certain applications that play audio are minimized, they will continue to play audio. This bug made many media players, such as a few SoundCloud apps in the Windows Store as well as Microsoft's own Music app, pretty much useless. Until 10074, you would basically need to launch them, then cover them up with other windows if you wanted more screen real-estate.
If you were a fan of Aero from Windows 7, then you will like the blurred transparency effect of Start and the taskbar. Personally, while I think it looks nice, I was never really attached to that aspect of the Windows UI. Honestly, it used to drive me nuts when it kicked me out of games to complain about how it cannot properly manage 2GB of video memory, despite running perfectly fine if I select ignore. Hopefully that will not come back with it. But, if it is here without causing any problems, it does look pretty. Also, the Start Menu can now be manually resized to better arrange your apps. It also looks like the semi-horizontal layout is a great compromise between the Start Menu and the Start Screen for desktops.
So, as we expected, this build is what happens when Microsoft picks a target and mostly cleans up all of their relevant branches into a solid release. It is still a bit buggy here and there, but it feels better than 10049, which was itself better than 10041. That said, I also upgraded my NVIDIA drivers from 349.90 to 352.63; that could have something to do with it (although I am using the same Intel drivers).
There has not been too many announcements regarding features that are not present in 10074 though. It makes you wonder, at least a bit, how much will be added to the 101xx path until the OS finally launches.
Don't be afraid of PCIe or NVMe
In very early April, Intel put a shot across the bow of the storage world with the release of the SSD 750 Series of storage devices. Using the PCI Express bus but taking advantage of the new NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol, it drastically upgrades the capabilities of storage within modern PC platforms. In Allyn's review, for example, we saw read data transfer rates cross into the 2.6 GB/s range in sequential workloads and write rates over 1.2 GB/s sequentially. Even more impressive is the random I/O performance where the SSD 750 is literally 2x the speed of previous PCIe SSD options.
A couple of weeks later we posted a story looking into the compatibility of the SSD 750 with different motherboards and chipsets. We found that booting from the SSD 750 Series products is indeed going to require specific motherboards and platforms simply due to the "new-ness" of the NVMe protocol. Officially, Intel is only going to support Z97 and X99 chipsets today but obviously you can expect all future chipsets to have proper NVMe integration. We did find a couple of outliers that allowed for bootability with the SSD 750, but I wouldn't count on it.
Assuming you have a Z97/X99 motherboard that properly supports NVMe drives, of which ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte seem to be on top of, what are the steps and processes necessary to get your system up and running on the Intel SSD 750? As it turns out, it's incredibly simple.
Make sure you have enabled NVMe in the latest BIOS/UEFI. The screenshot below shows our ASUS X99-Deluxe motherboard used during testing and that it is properly recognizing the device. There was no specific option to ENABLED NVMe here though we have seen instances where that is required.
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2015 - 02:05 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, pcper, .
PC Perspective Podcast #347 - 04/30/2015
Join us this week as we discuss AMD Zen Architecture and Roadmap leaks, ARM Cortex-A72, a budget Z97 board 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 Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:24:31
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2015 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: snapdragon 810, qualcomm, LG, Samsung
There have been many stories about Qualcomm's difficulties lately, from the court case with NVIDIA to Samsung and LG not using their Snapdragon 810 for their new smartphones. Qualcomm has struck back at the speculations about problems with this chip that rose from these decisions, pointing out that Microsoft, Xiaomi, Motorola and Sony will all be releasing devices with the Snapdragon 810 in the near future. LG put in their two cents as well, pointing out their decision to use the 808 chip was made over a year ago and they are still planning on utilizing the next generation Snapdragon 820 in the future, not to mention that they use the 810 in their G Flex 2. Samsung has also shown their belief in Qualcomm's products considering they will be fabbing the 820. You can see a short video of an interview with Qualcomm about this topic over at The Register.
"QUALCOMM HAS DEBUNKED chatter that LG ditched its octa-core Snapdragon 810 chip for the G4 owing to overheating problems."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 is now available for the Raspberry Pi 2 @ The Inquirer
- 'Android on Windows': Microsoft tightens noose around neck, climbs on chair @ The Register
- This is Spartan? No, it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer @ The Register
- IBM creates quantum super-conductor in square formation @ The Inquirer
- Disney Replaces Longtime IT Staff With H-1B Workers @ Slashdot
- Using Asus Transfer Express: A Multi-Platform Control Hub @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 29, 2015 - 03:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: GeForce 352.63, beta, windows 10
The new Win 10 NVIDIA GeForce driver is here, in two different flavours depending on your form factor. If you spend the money for a gaming laptop with a GeForce 600M through 900M then this is the driver for you. On the other hand if you have a traditional desktop and a GPU or two then head to this page.
If you have a Sony laptop you should double check your GPU is covered and unfortunately at this point Hybrid Power technology is not supported. NVIDIA did not provide much additional information on the desktop side; it is a beta and so is the OS so make sure to record the full information about your bugs and crashes when reporting them, not just a frowny face followed by expletives.
Some Fresh Hope for 2016
SH SOTN has some eagle eyes and spotted the latest leaked roadmap for AMD. These roadmaps cover both mobile and desktop, from 2015 through 2016. There are obviously quite a few interesting tidbits of information here.
On the mobility roadmap we see the upcoming release of Carrizo, which we have been talking about since before CES. This will be the very first HSA 1.0 compliant part to hit the market, and AMD has done some really interesting things with the design in terms of performance, power efficiency, and die size optimizations. Carrizo will span the market from 15 watts to 35 watts TDP. This is a mobile only part, but indications point to it being pretty competent overall. This is a true SOC that will support all traditional I/O functions of older standalone southbridges. Most believe that this part will be manufactured by GLOBALFOUNDIRES on their 28 nm HKMG process that is more tuned to AMD's APU needs.
Carrizo-L will be based on the Puma+ architecture and will go from 10 watts to 15 watts TDP. This will use the same FP4 BGA connection as the big Carrizo APU. This should make these parts more palatable for OEMs as they do not have to differentiate the motherboard infrastructure. Making things easier for OEMs will give more reasons for these folks to offer products based on Carrizo and Carrizo-L APUs. The other big reason will be the GCN graphics compute units. Puma+ is a very solid processor architecture for low power products, but these parts are still limited to the older 28 nm HKMG process from TSMC.
One interesting addition here is that AMD will be introducing their "Amur" APU for the low power and ultra-low power markets. These will be comprised of four Cortex-A57 CPUs combined with AMD's GCN graphics units. This will be the first time we see this combination, and the first time AMD has integrated with ARM since ATI spun off their mobile graphics to Qualcomm under the "Adreno" branding (anagram for "Radeon"). What is most interesting here is that this APU will be a 20 nm part most likely fabricated by TSMC. This is not to say that Samsung or GLOBALFOUNDRIES might be producing it, but those companies are expending their energy on the 14 nm FinFET process that will be their bread and butter for years to come. This will be a welcome addition to the mobile market (tablets and handhelds) and could be a nice profit center for AMD if they are able to release this in a timely manner.
2016 is when things get very interesting. The Zen x86 design will dominate the upper 2/3 of the roadmap. I had talked about Zen when we had some new diagram leaks yesterday, but now we get to see the first potential products based off of this architecture. In mobile it will span from 5 watts to 35 watts TDP. The performance and mainstream offerings will be the "Bristol Ridge" APU which will feature 4 Zen cores (or one Zen module) combined with the next gen GCN architecture. This will be a 14nm part, and the assumption is that it will be GLOBALFOUNDRIES using 14nm FinFET LPP (Low Power Plus) that will be more tuned for larger APUs. This will also be a full SOC.
The next APU will be codenamed "Basilisk" that will span the 5 watt to 15 watt range. It will be comprised of 2 Zen cores (1/2 of a Zen module) and likely feature 2 to 4 MB of L3 cache, depending on power requirements. This looks to be the first Skybridge set of APUs that will share the same infrastructure as the ARM based Amur SOC. FT4 BGA is the basis for both the 2015 Amur and 2016 Basilisk SOCs.
Finally we have the first iteration of AMD's first ground up implementation of ARM's ARMv8-A ISA. The "Styx" APU features the new K12 CPU cores that AMD has designed from scratch. It too will feature the next generation GCN units as well as share the same FT4 BGA connection. Many are anxiously watching this space to see if AMD can build a better mousetrap when it comes to licensing the ARM ISA (as have Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and others).
2015 shows no difference in the performance desktop space, as it is still serviced by the now venerable Piledriver based FX parts on AM3+. The only change we expect to see here is that there will be a handful of new motherboard offerings from the usual suspects that will include the new USB 3.1 functionality derived from a 3rd party controller.
Mainstream and Performance will utilize the upcoming Godavari APUs. These are power and speed optimized APUs that are still based on the current Kaveri design. These look to be a simple refresh/rebadge with a slight performance tweak. Not exciting, but needs to happen for OEMs.
Low power will continue to be addressed by Beema based APUs. These are regular Puma based cores (not Puma+). AMD likely does not have the numbers to justify a new product in this rather small market.
2016 is when things get interesting again. We see the release of the FM3 socket (final proof that AM3+ is dead) that will house the latest Zen based APUs. At the top end we see "Summit Ridge" which will be composed of 8 Zen cores (or 2 Zen modules). This will have 4 MB of L2 cache and 16 MB of L3 cache if our other leaks are correct. These will be manufactured on 14nm FinFET LPE (the more appropriate process product for larger, more performance oriented parts). These will not be SOCs. We can expect these to be the basis of new Opterons as well, but there is obviously no confirmation of that on these particular slides. This will be the first new product in some years from AMD that has the chance to compete with higher end desktop SKUs from Intel.
From there we have the lower power Bristol Ridge and Basilisk APUs that we already covered in the mobile discussion. These look to be significant upgrades from the current Kaveri (and upcoming Godavari) APUs. New graphics cores, new CPU cores, and new SOC implementations where necessary.
AMD will really be shaking up the game in 2016. At the very least they will have proven that they can still change up their game and release higher end (and hopefully competitive) products. AMD has enough revenue and cash on hand to survive through 2016 and 2017 at the rate they are going now. We can only hope that this widescale change will allow AMD to make some significant inroads with OEMs on all levels. Otherwise Intel is free to do what they want and what price they want across multiple markets.
Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2015 - 02:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, chaos, just cause 3
Sure, pretending to be a gangster can be fun and the many gameplay videos of GTAV certainly make it look entertaining but it pales in comparison to the over the top chaotic gameplay of the Just Cause series. Watch the trailer below which covers a mix of gameplay, scripted events and cutscenes invoke. Now decide whether destroying a town with your grapple attached to a bus while flying a helicopter seems like more entertainment than using a mod to drop whales across GTAV's landscape. The modding community will certainly develop more interesting things to do in GTAV, then again the JC2 modders helped have the multiplayer version of the chaos simulator. Up to you if you would rather demolish things as a gangster or as a 'liberator'.
Whatever you do remember, only you can stop pre-orders.
"Watching the “gameplay reveal” trailer for Just Cause 3 is like watching the ambitions of every guns, vehicles and explosions game made real. It’s the ludicrously overblown action blockbuster that Uncharted’s scripted events and cutscenes invoke."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Grand Theft Auto V Single GPU Performance @ [H]ard|OCP
- Grand Theft Auto V Review @ Techgage
- Grand Theft Auto V - Shadow Technologies Showdown @HiTech Legion
- GTA V GPU Performance @ eTeknix
- Wot Does Wot: Grand Theft Auto V Graphics Settings Guide @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Up to 77% off - Star Wars Day Celebration on GOG.com!
- Valve Drop Steam Paid Mods For Now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The Tables Have Turned: Valve’s Learning A Hard Lesson About Paid Mods @ Techgage
- Gabe Newell, Garry Newman Defend Steam’s Paid Mods @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Over The Top: Verdun Charges Out Of Early Access @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Not Chess – Warhammer 40,000: Regicide Gameplay Trailer @ Rock, Paper, SHOGUN
- The 50 Best Strategy Games Ever Made @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2015 - 12:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: freesync, 4k, gsync, keyboard, gaming mouse, input
It has been a relatively quiet year for new CPUs and GPUs as we await new releases apart from the occasional incredibly high priced new product. On the peripheral side it has been anything but quiet, with numerous gaming mice and keyboards of both mechanical and other types being released. Not only that but we are finally starting to see both AMD and NVIDIA's variable refresh rate monitors appear on the market as well as new 4k and other more traditional displays. The Tech Report has some recommendations for all of the above as well as other backup peripherals, audio devices and more in this article here.
"It's time for our latest roundup of recommendations for monitors, keyboards, mice, and more. We've tied it all together in our April 2015 peripheral staff picks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Make This Mini Star Wars BB-8 Ball Droid with a Hacked Sphero @ MAKE:Blog
- Laid-back approach streamlines gate production @ The Register
- New antenna supports all three wireless charging standards @ The Register
- Surgery-bot can be hacked to HACK YOU TO PIECES @ The Register
- CyberPowerPC Factory Tour: What it takes to build a Gaming PC @ Hardware Asylum
- Tattoogate: Apple Watch won't work properly on inked wrists? @ The Inquirer
ARM Releases Cortex-A72 for Licensing
On February 3rd, ARM announced a slew of new designs, including the Cortex A72. Few details were shared with us, but what we learned was that it could potentially redefine power and performance in the ARM ecosystem. Ryan was invited to London to participate in a deep dive of what ARM has done to improve its position against market behemoth Intel in the very competitive mobile space. Intel has a leg up on process technology with their 14nm Tri-Gate process, but they are continuing to work hard in making their x86 based processors more power efficient, while still maintaining good performance. There are certain drawbacks to using an ISA that is focused on high performance computing rather than being designed from scratch to provide good performance with excellent energy efficiency.
ARM has been on a pretty good roll with their Cortex A9, A7, A15, A17, A53, and A57 parts over the past several years. These designs have been utilized in a multitude of products and scenarios, with configurations that have scaled up to 16 cores. While each iteration has improved upon the previous, ARM is facing the specter of Intel’s latest generation, highly efficient x86 SOCs based on the 2nd gen 14nm Tri-Gate process. Several things have fallen into place for ARM to help them stay competitive, but we also cannot ignore the experience and design hours that have led to this product.
(Editor's Note: During my time with ARM last week it became very apparent that it is not standing still, not satisfied with its current status. With competition from Intel, Qualcomm and others ramping up over the next 12 months in both mobile and server markets, ARM will more than ever be depedent on the evolution of core design and GPU design to maintain advantages in performance and efficiency. As Josh will go into more detail here, the Cortex-A72 appears to be an incredibly impressive design and all indications and conversations I have had with others, outside of ARM, believe that it will be an incredibly successful product.)
Cortex A72: Highest Performance ARM Cortex
ARM has been ubiquitous for mobile applications since it first started selling licenses for their products in the 90s. They were found everywhere it seemed, but most people wouldn’t recognize the name ARM because these chips were fabricated and sold by licensees under their own names. Guys like Ti, Qualcomm, Apple, DEC and others all licensed and adopted ARM technology in one form or the other.
ARM’s importance grew dramatically with the introduction of increased complexity cellphones and smartphones. They also gained attention through multimedia devices such as the Microsoft Zune. What was once a fairly niche company with low performance, low power offerings became the 800 pound gorilla in the mobile market. Billions of chips are sold yearly based on ARM technology. To stay in that position ARM has worked aggressively on continually providing excellent power characteristics for their parts, but now they are really focusing on overall performance and capabilities to address, not only the smartphone market, but also the higher performance computing and server spaces that they want a significant presence in.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2015 - 09:29 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: nzxt, Noctis 450, mid-tower, enclosure, case
NZXT proclaims that “bold is back” with their new enclosure design, a striking-looking case based (at least internally) on the popular H440.
The Noctis 450 takes the H440 and combines it with an angular external construction that looks similar to the company’s Phantom enclosure series. As the interior is identical to the H440 this new enclosure features the spacious interior and excellent cooling support from the previous model. As a nice addition the Noctis 450 adds a PWM fan controller (and includes 4 fans), further simplifying cooling for a build with this case.
NZXT has created a product video to showcase the new design:
In the appearance department the Noctis 450 really does look good (although style is always a personal thing), with dramatic black/red and the familiar NZXT white/black color schemes available to help accent the interesting angles, and there is an adjustable LED lighting system as well.
Plenty of storage room (unless you're Allyn) with 5 slide-out HDD trays
The MSRP is set at $139.99 and the Noctis 450 is currently available for pre-order on the NZXT site.
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2015 - 08:15 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: cirrus7, SFF, nuc, broadwell-u, fanless
Next month, German manufacturer Cirrus7 will begin shipping its new Nimbini system. The Nimbini is an even smaller variant of the company’s small form factor Nimbus PC. This time, Cirrus7 has managed to pack a Intel NUC system into a fanless case with multiple layers of stacked laser cut aluminum panels that double as a heatsink for the internals. Even better, the Nimbini supports Intel’s Rock Canyon and Maple Canyon NUC boards, and supports Broadwell-U processors up to the 28W Core i7 models with Iris Graphics (e.g. the two core, four thread, Core i7-5557U with Iris Graphics 6100).
The Nimbini will come as a complete system (150 x 150 x 87mm) preloaded with Windows or Ubuntu Linux operating systems or as a barebones DIY kit – which at upwards of 90 pieces (per FanlessTech) is not for the faint-of-heart! This case can be customized to add different covers and to vary the thickness of the case by adding or removing layers. The standard configuration leaves room for a 2.5” drive in addition to the usual M.2 SSD used with NUCs. If you aren’t using that second storage drive, you can make the case thinner or expand it for maximum cooling. While also aesthetically pleasing, the best part about the aluminum construction is that it is a fanless design which is perfect for a HTPC (home theater PC) or audio engineering setup. Cirrus7 claims to support up to 28W processor TDPs without any fans.
Rear IO for the Intel Maple Canyon NUC installed in the layered Nimbini chassis.
Cirrus7 will being taking pre-orders in May. Among others, both the Rock Canyon (with its IR receiver and accompanying case window) and Maple Canyon internal hardware (NUC boards) with dual DisplayPort outputs will be on offer. Pricing has not yet been announced, but it looks promising if you are looking for a premium silent SFF PC.
Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2015 - 07:27 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, BUILD, build 2015
BUILD 2015 begins tomorrow, and I expect we'll learn the last features that Microsoft intends to add to Windows 10 at launch. The conference is targeted at software and web developers first and foremost. We might not see too much on the consumer side, but we should get under-the-hood information that will be relevant to consumers. For instances, some questions about Windows Store, WinRT, and DirectX 12 might be answered. We might even get a public DirectX 12 SDK (and more).
Note: WinRT (API) is not the same as Windows RT (OS).
As we noted earlier, development was forked into a 100xx-branch and a 101xx-branch of build numbers. We assume that, due to the proximity to the conference, the lower build number is getting polished for public presentation while the higher builds will surface later, with more experimental features.
Microsoft published an introduction video, based on the 10061 build, to introduce the new OS to new users. I guess they are expecting a new wave of testers after the conference, probably both developers and enterprise evaluators. It is brief but interesting, although it surprisingly did not mention anything about the “Continuum” interface to switch between mouse/keyboard and touch experiences.
As stated, BUILD 2015 starts tomorrow and we will probably have a bit of coverage for it.
Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2015 - 04:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming
If you have ever watched the movie Groundhog Day, then the premise of this game should be familiar. Garbage Day borrows its premise and lets the player do whatever they want for a day, and time resets. The game is said to justify the theme with a nuclear power accident, because the average person doesn't understand how nuclear energy works so why not?
In the movie, this gave Bill Murray countless opportunities, literally, to understand the town and figure out what he was supposed to do to move on with his life. This is the core of many video games, such as the Hitman franchise, but it is perceived as repeated failures. The game will supposedly have an end state to allow the player to break the cycle based on their actions. Unlike a stealth-action game however, it looks like it encourages goofing off as a means to soften the repetition.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 28, 2015 - 03:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: in win 707, in win, eatx
Weighing in at 25lb empty, the IN WIN 707 is a serious case for those with a lot of components to house. Measuring 243 x 538 x 582mm (9.5" x 21" x 22.9"), with eight drive bays which can hold 3.5" or 2.5" drives a well as three 5.25" drives this case is designed for the storage junkie. The cooling options are also impressive, you can fit two radiators inside this case or opt for up to ten fans in a mix of 120mm and 140mm by removing some of the storage bays, if cooling is of more importance to you than storage. [H]ard|OCP liked the overall design, seeing as how it is essentially an IN WIN GR One with a different exterior but the lack of value added components such as runner grommets to reduce vibrations, sub-par filters and cheap feeling fan mounting clips detracted from their experience. On the other hand it is also less expensive and worth consideration for some peoples needs.
"The IN WIN 707 Gaming Version Full Tower case comes with a long list of features that reads to make it one of the best enthusiast hardware chassis you can buy. Tool-less design, spots for multiple radiators, E-ATX motherboard support, excellent CPU heatsink clearance, and designed for 10 fans. Does it measure up?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Core 2500 @ Benchmark Reviews
- BitFenix AEGIS mATX Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Nox Xtreme lanbx @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv Micro Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
- MSI Product Preview Including the Cubi Mini PC Kit @ Hardware Asylum
- Corsair H80i GT Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 01:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Phison PS3110, 19nm, toshiba, toggle NAND, kingston hyper x, ssd
When you pick up a Kingston HyperX Savage SSD you have a choice of the barebones model at $122 for the 240GB model or you can pay an extra $25 for the upgrade kit which contains 2.5mm z-height adapter, a SATA 6Gb/s cable, a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter plate, Acronis True Image HD imaging software, a micro-screwdriver set, and a USB 3.0 enclosure with USB 3.0 cable. That upgrade kit is perfect for those looking for an easy way to move their entire OS to the new SSD with a minimum of fuss. Inside the drive is the Phison PS3110 controller with a 256MB DDR3-1600 cache and Toshiba's 19nm Toggle Mode NAND. Hardware Canucks put the drive to the test and it shows huge improvements from the first generation, enough to put it in competition with offerings from OCZ, Intel and Crucial. This demonstrates a faster evolution that competitors products but it does unfortunately come at a price that is a bit high compared to those competitors offerings.
"The affordable Kingston HyperX Savage is one of the first SSDs to use the new Phison PS3110 controller and the end results are extremely impressive to say the least."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD Upgrade Bundle Review @HiTech Legion
- Kingston HyperX Savage SSD @ The SSD Review
- Kingston HyperX Savage @ Benchmark Reviews
- Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB SSD Review, Raw Savage Speed @ Bjorn3d
- Kingston HyperX Savage SSD @ Modders-Inc
- Intel 750 Series @ HardwareHeaven
- Seagate Enterprise NAS HDD 6TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 12:44 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo
For those of you following the Samsung 840 EVO saga, last week we saw the release of Magician 4.6. Samsung was initially throttling downloads and firmware update rates, but those limits appear to have been lifted as of this morning. Another thing we noticed this morning was the inclusion of the standalone ISO updater for those who are otherwise unable to run the Magician software (i.e. Mac users):
For those on laptops or other devices with no optical drive, I've confirmed the ISO can be used via USB if placed there with a tool such as Rufus.
Note to Linux users:
There was an early report of complications from a user who was running a full disk fstrim during boot, where that operation was causing errors (corrected once that operation was disabled). It should be noted that full disk TRIM operations are redundant so long as the OS is issuing TRIM on-the-fly during regular file moves / deletions. This may be an issue with queued TRIM handling of the new 840 EVO firmware. If not reproduced / corrected by Samsung, the Linux devs may be able to add this firmware revision to the queued TRIM blacklist to possibly fix the problem on their end.
Note to mSATA 840 EVO users:
It appears the update does not currently apply to these. I've asked Samsung about this.
Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2015 - 12:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: plasma, linux, kubuntu
Kubuntu came about when Ubuntu switched to the Unity desktop environment as a KDE based alternative, which as Linux.com points out caused much disgust due to bugs at launch and a less than attractive interface. The newest version now uses the Plasma 5 environment, the first release to do so, replacing version 4 which has been in use almost decade now. This distro still uses Dolphin as its file manager but now uses Simple Desktop Display Manager (SDDM) instead of KDM. It also incorporates systemd, with these two changes users of Arch Linux will feel right at home. Check out the review for a list of the programs it ships with as well as the ones that Linux.com added after the fact to make Kubuntu work best for their machines.
"The latest version of Kubuntu, 15.04, aka Vivid Vervet was released last week and it's available for free download. With this release it has become the first major distro to ship Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities @ The Register
- DOTS Uses Paint to Control Rapsberry Pi 2 @ Hack a Day
- Asus 4K ZenBook Pro UX501 comes with Intel 5th-gen Core i7 @ The Inquirer