Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2016 - 12:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, HPC, Xeon Phi, maxwell, pascal, dirty pool
There is a spat going on between Intel and NVIDIA over the slide below, as you can read about over at Ars Technica. It seems that Intel have reached into the industries bag of dirty tricks and polished off an old standby, testing new hardware and software against older products from their competitors. In this case it was high performance computing products which were tested, Intel's new Xeon Phi against NVIDIA's Maxwell, tested on an older version of the Caffe AlexNet benchmark.
NVIDIA points out that not only would they have done better than Intel if an up to date version of the benchmarking software was used, but that the comparison should have been against their current architecture, Pascal. This is not quite as bad as putting undocumented flags into compilers to reduce the performance of competitors chips or predatory discount programs but it shows that the computer industry continues to have only a passing acquaintance with fair play and honest competition.
"At this juncture I should point out that juicing benchmarks is, rather sadly, par for the course. Whenever a chip maker provides its own performance figures, they are almost always tailored to the strength of a specific chip—or alternatively, structured in such a way as to exacerbate the weakness of a competitor's product."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- USB Implementers Forum introduces branding for safe USB-C charging @ The Inquirer
- Some Windows 10 Anniversary Update: SSD freeze @ The Register
- Intel Project Alloy: all-in-one VR headset takes aim at Google's Project Daydream @ The Inquirer
- Wanna build your own drone? Intel emits Linux-powered x86 brains for DIY flying gizmos @ The Register
- Intel's Optane XPoint DIMMs pushed back – source @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2016 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, joule, iot, IDF 2016, SoC, 570x, 550x, Intel RealSense
Intel has announced the follow up to Edison and Curie, their current SoC device, called Joule. They have moved away from the Quark processors they previously used to a current generation Atom. The device is designed to compete against NVIDIA's Jetson as it is far more powerful than a Raspberry Pi and will be destined for different usage. It will support Intel RealSense, perhaps appearing in the newly announced Project Alloy VR headset. Drop by Hack a Day for more details on the two soon to be released models, the Joule 570x and 550x.
"The high-end board in the lineup features a quad-core Intel Atom running at 2.4 GHz, 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC, 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.1, CSI and DSI interfaces, and multiple GPIO, I2C, and UART interfaces."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft Windows UAC can be bypassed for untraceable hacks @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft PowerShell Goes Open Source and Lands On Linux and Mac @ Slashdot
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Enables NVIDIA Ansel Support For 3D Stereo Screenshots @ Techgage
- ech support scammers mess with hacker's mother, so he retaliated with ransomware @ The Register
- 90 per cent of people ignore security notices because their brains are too busy @ The Inquirer
- NikKTech With Kingston HyperX It's All About Speed Global Giveaway
Subject: General Tech | August 20, 2016 - 05:36 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, webvr, Oculus
Earlier this month, the W3C published an Editor's Draft for WebVR 1.0. The specification has not yet been ratified, but the proposal is backed by engineers from Mozilla and Google. It enables the use of VR headsets in the web browser, including all the security required, such as isolating input to a single tab (in case you need to input a password while the HMD is on your face).
Firefox Nightly, as of August 16th, now supports the draft 1.0 specification.
The browser currently supports Oculus CV1 and DK2 on Windows. It does not work with DK1, although Oculus provided backers of that KickStarter with a CV1 anyway, and it does not (yet) support the HTC Vive. It also only deals with the headset itself, not any motion controllers. I guess, if your application requires this functionality, you will need to keep working on native applications for a little while longer.
Subject: Storage | August 18, 2016 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: skyhawk, Seagate, rear window, hitchcock, 10TB
Seagate designed the 10TB SkyHawk HDD for recording video surveillance by adding in firmware they refer to as ImagePerfect. This is designed for handling 24/7 surveillance and extends the endurance life of the drive to 180TB a year, for the length of the three year warranty. Constantly recording video means this drive will write far more often than most other usages scenarios and reads will be far less important. eTeknix tried the drive out in their usual suite of benchmarks; being somewhat difficult to set up a test to verify the claimed support for up to 64HD recordings simultaneously. If you are looking for durable storage at a reasonable price and might even consider needing more than eight drives of storage you should check the SkyHawk out.
"I’ve recently had a look at the 10TB IronWolf NAS HDD from Seagate and today it is time to take a closer look at its brother, the brand new SkyHawk DVR and NVR hard disk drive with a massive 10TB capacity. Sure, you could use NAS optimized drives for simple video setups, but having a video and camera optimized surveillance disk does bring advantages. Especially when your recorded video is critical."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate IronWolf 10TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
- WD Blue SSHD (WD10J31X) 1TB @ TechARP
- The WD Gold 8TB Datacenter Drive @ TechARP
- QNAP TVS-682-I3-8G NAS Server Review @ NikKTech
- Low-cost 120 GiB SSD duel: SanDisk SSD PLUS vs. Kingston SSDNow V300 @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Memory | August 20, 2016 - 01:25 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: X99, Samsung, ripjaws, overclocking, G.Skill, ddr4, Broadwell-E
Early this week at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, California G.Skill showed off new low latency DDR4 memory modules for desktop and notebooks. The company launched two Trident series DDR4 3333 MHz kits and one Ripjaws branded DDR4 3333 MHz SO-DIMM. While these speeds are not close to the fastest we have seen from them, these modules offer much tighter timings. All of the new memory modules use Samsung 8Gb chips and will be available soon.
On the desktop side of things, G.Skill demonstrated a 128GB (8x16GB) DDR4-3333 kit with CAS latencies of 14-14-14-34 running on a Asus ROG Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard with an Intel Core i7 6800K processor. They also showed a 64GB (8x8GB) kit clocked at 3333 MHz with timings of 13-13-13-33 running on a system with the same i7 6800K and Asus X99 Deluxe II motherboard.
G.Skill demonstrating 128GB DDR4-3333 memory kit at IDF 2016.
In addition to the desktop DIMMs, G.Skill showed a 32GB Ripjaws kit (2x16GB) clocked at 3333 MHz running on an Intel Skull Canyon NUC. The SO-DIMM had timings of 16-18-18-43 and ran at 1.35V.
Nowadays lower latency is not quite as important as it once was, but there is still a slight performance advantage to be had tighter timings and pure clockspeed is not the only important RAM metric. Overclocking can get you lower CAS latencies (sometimes at the cost of more voltage), but if you are not into that tedious process and are buying RAM anyway you might as well go for the modules with the lowest latencies out of the box at the clockspeeds you are looking for. I am not sure how popular RAM overclocking is these days outside of benchmark runs and extreme overclockers though to be honest.
Overclocking Innovation session at IDF 2016.
With regards to extreme overclocking, there was reportedly an "Overclocking Innovation" event at IDF where G.Skill and Asus overclocker Elmor achieved a new CPU overclocking record of 5,731.78 MHz on the i7 6950X running on a system with G.Skill memory and Asus motherboard. The company's DDR4 record of 5,189.2 MHz was not beaten at the event, G.Skill notes in its press release (heh).
Are RAM timings important to you when looking for memory? What are your thoughts on the ever increasing clocks of new DDR4 kits with how overclocking works on the newer processors/motherboards?
Subject: Editorial | August 18, 2016 - 02:20 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, podcast, pascal, nvidia, msi, mobile, Intel, idf, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, gigabyte, FMS, Flash Memory Summit, asus, arm, 10nm
PC Perspective Podcast #413 - 08/18/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the new mobile GeForce GTX 10-series gaming notebooks, ARM and Intel partnering on 10nm, Flash Memory Summit and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Sebastian Peak, Josh Walrath and Jeremy Hellstrom
Week in Review:
This episode of PC Perspective is brought to you by Casper!! Use code “PCPER”
News items of interest:
0:42:05 Final news from FMS 2016
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 17, 2016 - 01:38 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Xeon Phi, larrabee, Intel
Tom Forsyth, who is currently at Oculus, was once on the core Larrabee team at Intel. Just prior to Intel's IDF conference in San Francisco, which Ryan is at and covering as I type this, Tom wrote a blog post that outlined the project and its design goals, including why it didn't hit market as a graphics device. He even goes into the details of the graphics architecture, which was almost entirely in software apart from texture units and video out. For instance, Larrabee was running FreeBSD with a program, called DirectXGfx, that gave it the DirectX 11 feature set -- and it worked on hundreds of titles, too.
Also, if you found the discussion interesting, then there is plenty of content from back in the day to browse. A good example is an Intel Developer Zone post from Michael Abrash that discussed software rasterization, doing so with several really interesting stories.
Subject: Systems | August 17, 2016 - 04:25 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: PC, Omen 900, Omen, hp, gaming, desktop, cube, computer
HP has introduced a new pre-built gaming desktop, and while the Omen series has existed for a while the new Omen offers a very different chassis design.
This Omen isn't just cube-like, it's actually a cube (Image credit: HP)
Inside the specifications look like the typical pre-built gaming rig, with processors up to an Intel Core i7 6700K and graphics options including AMD's Radeon RX 480 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. Configurations on HP's online store start at $1799 for a version with a GTX 960, a 1TB spinning hard drive, and a single 8GB DIMM. (Curiously, though reported as the "Omen X", the current listing is for an "Omen 900".)
A look inside an AMD Crossfire configuration (Image credit: HP via The Verge)
HP is certainly no stranger to unusual chassis designs, as those who remember the Blackbird 002 (which Ryan stood on - and reviewed - here) and subsequent Firebird 803 systems will know. The Verge is reporting that HP will offer the chassis as a standalone product for $599, itself an unusual move for the company.
(Image credit: HP)
The new Omen desktop goes on sale officially starting tomorrow.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 19, 2016 - 04:15 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Lian Li, SFX, SFX-L, power supply, PSU, small form-factor, 550W, 750w, PE-550, PE-750
Announced back in April, Lian Li has now released a pair of SFX-L power supplies for small form-factor systems with the PE-550 and PE-750. The pair offer fully-modular designs with flat, ribbon-style cables, and carry 80 Plus Gold and Platinum certifications.
The PE-750 power supply
"The PE-550 is 80Plus Gold-rated for a maximum 89.5% efficiency; the PE-750 is 80Plus Platinum-rated for a maximum 92% efficiency. Both use a near-silent 120mm smart fan and minimize noise by operating fanlessly when output power is below 30%. Both PSUs use a single 12V rail design for the best possible stability under heavy system load, matched with myriad protection features to ensure reliable operation."
The PE-550 power supply
For more information and full specs, the product page for the 550W PE-550 is here, and the 750W PE-750 page is here. The PE-550 and PE-750 retail for $115 and $169 respectively, and both are available now.
Subject: Memory | August 17, 2016 - 04:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Corsair Dominator Platinum, corsair, ddr4-3200
It will certainly cost you quite a bit to pick up but if you have a need for a huge pool of memory the 64GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4-3200 kit is an option worth considering. The default timings are 16-18-18-36 and the heat spreader and DHX cooling fins keep the DIMMs from heating up, even when Overclockers Club upped the voltage to 1.45V. Part of the price premium is the testing which was done before these DIMMs left the factory, as well as the custom PCB and hand picked ICs which should translate to a minimum of issues running at their full speed or even when overclocked. Pop by to see how this kit performed in OC's benchmarks.
"If I break it down, you get a set of modules that have been through an extensive binning process that hand selects the memory ICs being used on these modules. There is a custom designed, cooling optimized PCB that those memory IC's are mounted to so that we can enjoy a trouble free user experience. The DHX cooling solution on these modules is easily up to the task of keeping the modules cool with minimal airflow. The heat spreader and DHX cooling fins are designed to use convective cooling in the absence of any airflow over the modules."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Crucial Ballistix Elite DDR4-2666 @ Benchmark Reviews
- G.Skill TridentZ 3866 MHz 2x 4GB DDR4 @ techPowerUp
- 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | August 22, 2016 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AiZO, MGK L80, Kailh, gaming keyboard, input
The supply of mechanical keyboards continues to grow, once Cherry MX was the only supplier of switches and only a few companies sold the products. Now we have choice in manufacturer as well as the switch type we want, beyond the choice of Red, Brown, Blue and so on. AiZO chose to use Kailh switches in their MGK L80 lineup, your choice of click type and also included a wrist rest for those who desire such a thing. Modders Inc tested out the three models on offer, they are a bit expensive but do offer a solid solution for your mechanical keyboard desires.
"The MGK L80 series is the latest line of gaming keyboards manufactured by AZIO. Available in red, blue or RGB backlighting, the MGK L80 offers mechanical gaming comfort with a choice of either Kailh brown or blue switch mounted on an elegant brushed aluminum surface."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Hey Ken, print me out a shroud! ASUS introduces 3D printed parts for their motherboards, GPUs and peripherals
Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2016 - 07:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, 3d printing
ASUS have just released FreeCAD and 3D source files for you to print out embellishments and useful add-ons for your ASUS motherboards, graphics cards and peripherals such as the ROG Spatha. Below you can see a 3D-printed finger rest addition to the Spatha, just one of the possibilities this new program opens up.
Certain motherboards such as the Z170 Pro Gaming/Aura sport mounting points specifically designed for 3D printed parts, or you can use empty M.2 mount points as the designs ASUS have made available use the same screws as you would use in an M.2 port.
You could add a nameplate, an additional fan mount or even extra plastic shielding, in whatever colours you have available to print with. ASUS chose to use FreeCAD to design the parts so that you do not necessarily need a 3D printer yourself, services such as ShapeWays can print the parts out for you.
If you have SLI or CrossFire bridges that need sprucing up, they have designed covers to snap over your existing parts as well as cable combs to keep your cables under control. The current designs only scratch the surface of what you could create and add to your builds and you can bet ASUS will be adding more possibilities in the coming months. You can just add a little something to make your machine unique or go all out with modifications, just check out the designs and see what grabs your attention.
Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2016 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hololens, microsoft, Tensilica, Cherry Trail, hot chips
Microsoft revealed information about the internals of the new holographic processor used in their Hololens at Hot Chips, the first peek we have had. The new headset is another win for Tensilica as they provide the DSP and instruction extensions; previously we have seen them work with VIA to develop an SSD controller and with AMD for TrueAudio solutions. Each of the 24 cores has a different task it is hardwired for, offering more efficient processing than software running on flexible hardware.
The processing power for your interface comes from a 14nm Cherry Trail processor with 1GB of DDR and yes, your apps will run on Windows 10. For now the details are still sparse, there is still a lot to be revealed about Microsoft's answer to VR. Drop by The Register for more slides and info.
"The secretive HPU is a custom-designed TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores. It has about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and a layer of 1GB of low-power DDR3 RAM on top, all in a 12mm-by-12mm BGA package. We understand it can perform a trillion calculations a second."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super @ The Register
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Now Bundled with Select AMD CPUs @ Guru of 3D
- Google begins posting Nexus images for the Android 7.0 Nougat update @ Ars Technica
- Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft @ The Register
- Epic Games forum hack exposes 800,000 credentials @ The Inquirer
- Open Source Hardware Comes of Age @ Hardware Secrets
- Total War : Warhammer Giveaway Contest @ TechARP
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2016 - 04:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, pascal, hybrid cooler, GTX 1080, evga
EVGA recently launched a water cooled graphics card that pairs the GTX 1080 processor with the company's FTW PCB and a closed loop (AIO) water cooler to deliver a heavily overclockable card that will set you back $730.
The GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid is interesting because the company has opted to use the same custom PCB design as its FTW cards rather than a reference board. This FTW board features improved power delivery with a 10+2 power phase, two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors, Dual BIOS, and adjustable RGB LEDs. The cooler is shrouded with backlit EVGA logos and has a fan to air cool the memory and VRMs that is reportedly quiet and uses a reverse swept blade design (like their ACX air coolers) rather than a traditional blower style fan. The graphics processor is cooled by a water loop.
The water block and pump sit on top of the GPU with tubes running out to the 120mm radiator. Luckily the fan on the radiator can be easily disconnected, allowing users to use their own fan if they wish. According to Youtuber Jayztwocents, the Precision XOC software controls the fan speed of the fan on the card itself but users can not adjust the radiator fan speed themselves. You can connect your own fan to your motherboard and control it that way, however.
Display outputs include one DVI-D, one HDMI, and three DisplayPort outputs (any four of the five can be used simultaneously).
Out of the box this 215W TDP graphics card has a factory overclock of 1721 MHz base and 1860 MHz boost. Thanks to the water cooler, the GPU stays at a frosty 42°C under load. When switched to the slave BIOS (which has a higher power limit and more aggressive fan curve), the card GPU Boosted to 2025 and hit 51°C (he managed to keep that to 44°C by swapping his own EK-Vardar fan onto the radiator). Not bad, especially considering the Founder's Edition hit 85°C on air in our testing! Unfortunately, EVGA did not touch the memory and left the 8GB of GDDR5X at the stock 10 GHz.
|GTX 1080||GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid||GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid Slave BIOS|
|Rated Clock||1607 MHz||1721 MHz||1721 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1733 MHz||1860 MHz||2025 MHz|
|Memory Clock||10000 MHz||10000 MHz||10000 MHz|
|TDP||180 watts||215 watts||? watts|
|MSRP (current)||$599 ($699 FE)||$730||$730|
The water cooler should help users hit even higher overclocks and/or maintain a consistent GPU Boost clock at much lower temperatures than on air. The GTX 1080 FTW Hybrid graphics card does come at a bit of a premium at $730 (versus $699 for Founders or ~$650+ for custom models), but if you have the room in your case for the radiator this might be a nice option! (Of course custom water cooling is more fun, but it's also more expensive, time consuming, and addictive. hehe)
What do you think about these "hybrid" graphics cards?
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 23, 2016 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, nvidia, Tilt Brush, VR
[H]ard|OCP continues their foray into testing VR applications, this time moving away from games to try out the rather impressive Tilt Brush VR drawing application from Google. If you have yet to see this software in action it is rather incredible, although you do still require an artist's talent and practical skills to create true 3D masterpieces.
Artisic merit may not be [H]'s strong suite but testing how well a GPU can power VR applications certainly lies within their bailiwick. Once again they tested five NVIDIA GPUs and a pair of AMD's for dropped frames and reprojection caused by a drop in FPS.
"We are changing gears a bit with our VR Performance coverage and looking at an application that is not as GPU-intensive as those we have looked at in the recent past. Google's Tilt Brush is a virtual reality application that makes use of the HTC Vive head mounted display and its motion controllers to allow you to paint in 3D space."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- PowerColor Red Devil RX 470 Overclocking @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI GeForce GTX 1060 OC 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS STRIX GAMING GTX 1070 OC @ eTeknix
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0 @ Bjorn3d
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