Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2016 - 02:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z-ssd, NVMe, Samsung, HHHL
The Register had a quick chat with Samsung about the Z-SSD they announced at FMS 2016, hoping to get some details from the company about the technology behind the new product, with little success. We know it will be DRAM-NAND gap-filler such as the one Netlist announced earlier and will be possible competition for Intel's XPoint. Samsung did confirm that it will be NVMe and will initially launch as a half height, half length PCIe card, with other interfaces to follow. They did admit it will use 3D V-NAND, but would only hint at the custom circuit design they will use. The Register offers some prognostication at the end of the quick interview, you can see that right here.
"The mysterious Samsung Z-SSD was announced at the Flash Memory Summit, and positioned as a DRAM-NAND gap-filler. This makes it competition for XPoint. We asked Samsung about it, and here is what we learnt."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Players Seek 'No Man's Sky' Refunds, Sony's Content Director Calls Them Thieves @ Slashdot
- If you haven't changed your Dropbox password for 4 years, do so now @ The Register
Subject: Storage | August 29, 2016 - 04:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microSD, Samsung, evo plus, U3, UHS-I
A while back Al broke down the specifications of SD cards and what each class meant and the proper usage for them. The top class is U3 and it offers transfer speeds high enough to support recording 4K video on your devices and that happens to be the rating on the new 256GB Samsung EVO Plus MicroSD. Legion Hardware just tested this MicroSD card and it now holds the title of best performing SD card they have tested. The performance does come at a premium, the MSRP of the card is $250 and even with a 10 year warranty this is still an expensive purchase. If you need the ability to record 4K video immediately this is the fast solution available but if you are still in the planning stages, remember that there is a new standard, UFS, which is due to hit the market soon and impact pricing of older products.
"Running out of storage on your smartphone, tablet or 4K video camera? Well the good news is SD cards have never been more affordable and crucially offered such huge storage capacities. In fact, Samsung recently announced the availability of a 256GB version of their popular EVO Plus MicroSD card series"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate Innov8 8TB USB 3.1 Type-C Desktop HDD @ Nikktech
- Drobo 5n NAS @ Kitguru
- Asustor AS3102T @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 24, 2016 - 06:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SX700-LPT, small form factor, SFX, 80 Plus Platinum, modular psu
Do you recall the new long playing version of the SFX PSU form factor; specifically Lee's review of the SilverStone SFX-L 700W PSU? Perhaps you have forgotten about the new form factor of PSU that offers similar cooling to a full ATX PSU but takes up a lot less room. Not to fret, [H]ard|OCP is here to remind you with a fresh review of the PSU. Their tests revealed the same strengths as Lee's, perhaps not outstanding but certainly a very good choice for a PSU. They did dock more points for the lack of an included adapter for ATX mounting, they are available but it does seem worth mentioning SilverStone's oversight.
"SilverStone has a new take on small form factor power supplies it is calling "SFX-L." This new form factor extends the standard SFX size by 30mm allowing SilverStone to install a quieter 120mm fan than the usual higher speed and noisier 80mm and 92mm fans. How does all this work out?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Seasonic Prime 650W Titanium @ Kitguru
- Cougar LX Series 600 W @ techPowerUp
- Seasonic Prime 850W Titanium @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master MasterWatt Maker 1200 @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 30, 2016 - 12:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, GeForce 372.70, driver
NVIDIA continues with their Game Ready driver program, releasing the GeForce 372.70 driver, hand crafted in the new world by artisanal engineers to bring enhanced support to World of Warcraft: Legion, Battlefield 1: Open Beta, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Quantum Break. There is not much to see in the release notes, although you can now enjoy Deus Ex in glorious 3D vision assuming you have the monitor and glasses.
If you are testing the new Battlefield you should consider updating, one would suppose the bug reports submitted using this driver will be more beneficial to the developers than an older release. You know the drill, grab them from GeForce.com or NVIDIA.com.
Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2016 - 12:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, laptop, ultraportable
The increasing use of on-board memory by OEMs in ultraportables has some enthusiasts unhappy, however the trend that DigiTimes mentioned today should cheer them up somewhat. It is predicted by DRAMeXchange that over half of all laptops will use an SSD for storage by 2018. There are some rather interesting bits of data in the post, for instance the pricing of SSDs for OEMs have reportedly stabilized for the first time, with a quoted rise in prices of 0-0.5% for MLC and 0-1% TLC based models compared with the prior quarter. These numbers seem in direct opposition to the retail market where not only have we seen a steady decline in SSD prices, the change has been much greater than 1%.
There is a shadow cast by this silver lined cloud; with more demand by OEMs for NAND there will be more pressure on manufacturers and so it is predicted that supply will be unable to meet demand in Q3 of this year. One would expect manufacturers to produce for the market segment that offers a greater profit margin and if the pricing mentioned previously is accurate, that is not retail. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens to SSD pricing in the fall.
"DRAMeXchange has maintained its estimate given earlier in 2016 that the adoption of SSDs in notebooks would exceed 30% in 2016. The proportion is forecast to reach 56% in 2018, according to the research firm."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel's Kaby Lake CPUs revealed @ The Tech Report
- Microsoft Outlook.com redecoration delay rumors: THE TRUTH @ The Register
- SETI Has Observed a 'Strong' Signal That May Originate From a Sun-like Star @ Slashdot
- Google discontinues the Chromebook Pixel 2 without replacing it @ Ars Technica
- Not Using Smartphones Can Improve Productivity By 26%, Says Study @ Slashdot
- Simple synthesis produces hierarchical hollow spheres for lithium-ion batteries @ Nanotechweb
- BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail @ The Register
- Multilayered structure improves Li-O2 batteries @ Nanotechweb
- Monoprice Maker Ultimate 3D Printer @ Hack a Day
Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2016 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cooler master, MasterMouse Pro L, ambidextrous
Rejoice computer users as you will no longer be a slave to chirality thanks to your new rodent overlord, Cooler Master's MasterMouse Pro L! This mouse is properly ambidextrous, both sides of the mouse have the same buttons and fancy RGB lighting and the DPI button is equally inconvenient for everyone as it is located on the bottom of the mouse. For hardware it uses a Avago PMW-3360 IR optical sensor which can be set up to a sensitivity of 12,000 DPI. The mouse also comes with two swapable shells for the top of the mouse and CM plans on releasing the specifications so you can print your own if you so desire.
"Today, we are taking a look at the Cooler Master ‘MasterMouse Pro L’, a true ambidextrous mouse with modular covers for the body and side grips, allowing users to make physical changes to the mouse to better suit them."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- ...And RGB for All: Cooler Master MasterKeys Lite L Combo @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Processors, Mobile | August 31, 2016 - 07:30 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: SoC, Snapdragon 821, snapdragon, SD821, qualcomm, processor, mobile, adreno
Qualcomm has officially launched the Snapdragon 821 SoC, an upgraded successor to the existing Snapdragon 820 found in such phones as the Samsung Galaxy S7.
"With Snapdragon 820 already powering many of the premier flagship Android smartphones today, Snapdragon 821 is now poised to become the processor of choice for leading smartphones and devices for this year’s holiday season. Qualcomm Technologies’ engineers have improved Snapdragon 821 in three key areas to ensure Snapdragon 821 maintains the level of industry leadership introduced by its predecessor."
Specifications were previously revealed when the Snapdragon 821 was announced in July, with a 10% increase on the CPU clocks (2.4 GHz, up from the previous 2.2 GHz max frequency). The Adreno 530 GPU clock increases 5%, to 650 MHz from 624 MHz. In addition to improved performance from CPU and GPU clock speed increases, the SD821 is said to offer lower power consumption (estimated at 5% compared to the SD820), and offers new functionality including improved auto-focus capability.
Enhanced overall user experience:
The Snapdragon 821 has been specifically tuned to support a more responsive user experience when compared with the 820, including:
- Shorter boot times: Snapdragon 821 powered devices can boot up to 10 percent faster.
- Faster application launch times: Snapdragon 821 can reduce app load times by up to 10 percent.
- Smoother, more responsive user interactions: UI optimizations and performance enhancements designed to allow users to enjoy smoother scrolling and more responsive browsing performance.
Improved performance and power consumption:
- CPU speeds increase: As we previously announced, the 821 features Qualcomm Kryo CPU speeds up to 2.4GHz, representing an up to 10 percent improvement in performance over Snapdragon 820.
- GPU speeds increase: The Qualcomm Adreno GPU received a 5 percent speed increase over Snapdragon 820.
- Power savings: The 821 is engineered to deliver an incremental 5 percent power savings when comparing standard use case models. This power savings can extend battery life and support OEMs interested in reducing battery size for slimmer phones.
New features and functionality:
- Snapdragon 821 introduces several new features and capabilities, offering OEMs new options to create more immersive and engaging user experiences, including support for:
- Snapdragon VR SDK (Software Development Kit): Offers developers a superior mobile VR toolset, provides compatibility with the Google Daydream platform, and access to Snapdragon 821’s powerful heterogeneous architecture. Snapdragon VR SDK supports a superior level of visual and audio quality and more immersive virtual reality and gaming experiences in a mobile environment.
- Dual PD (PDAF): Offers significantly faster image autofocus speeds under a wide variety of conditions when compared to single PDAF solutions.
- Extended Laser Auto-Focus Ranging: Extends the visible focusing range, improving laser focal accuracy over Snapdragon 820.
- Android Nougat OS: Snapdragon 821 (as well as the 820) will support the latest Android operating system when available, offering new features, expanded compatibility, and additional security compared to prior Android versions.
Qualcomm says the ASUS ZenFone 3 Deluxe is the first phone to use this new Snapdragon 821 SoC while other OEMs will be working on designs implementing the upgraded SoC.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | August 31, 2016 - 10:33 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: 2560x1080, ips, Predator 21 X, notebook, laptop, gaming, curved, acer, kaby lake, GTX 1080, sli
Acer has announced "the world's first notebook with a curved screen", and this panel happens to be attached to a very high-end gaming laptop in the Predator 21 X.
In addition to the 2560x1080 curved 21-inch display, the new machine also offers Tobii eye-tracking technology, Intel 7th Generation "Kaby Lake" processors, and (last but not least) dual NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI.
"The Predator 21 X takes the flagship spot in Acer’s gaming notebook series and is advanced beyond anything on the market today. It’s the world’s first notebook to offer a curved 21-inch IPS display (2560 x 1080), and when combined with wide-angle viewing, it delivers a truly immersive gaming experience.
To bring gameplay immersion to the next level, the notebook also integrates Tobii eye-tracking technology for a new method of control that’s more intuitive and natural. Built-in eye-tracking hardware (infrared sensors and software) unlocks a completely new facet in gaming. By tracking a gamer’s eye with software, the notebook introduces new interactions like aiming, identifying enemies and taking cover simply by gazing at objects on the screen. Eye tracking also enhances the experience by providing infinite views whilst navigating treacherous paths and roads in a game."
Other features of the Predator 21 X include a keyboard with Cherry MX key switches, a unique design for the numeric keypad "that allows it to be flipped over and turned into a Precision Touchpad", a 5-fan cooling system, and a 4-speaker, dual-subwoofer premium sound system.
Pricing and availability have not been revealed.
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