Subject: General Tech | July 3, 2015 - 01:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
No rumours this Friday but more confusion out of Redmond as Microsoft announces that the July 29th launch date for Windows 10 may or may not apply to you. Brave members of the Windows Insider program will be able to install the new OS on that date but others may see their date moved into August as the OS will be rolled out in waves. Even more interesting is that many may see a message recommending you reach out to an application provider or device manufacturer before upgrading if the tool identifies something on your machine that may not be compatible with Windows 10. You will still be able to upgrade if you wish but you might want to double check which hardware is being flagged. Check the story at The Register for the current list of applications which will not survive the upgrade process, including Windows Media Centre as Scott reported on.
"We already knew the OS will start shipping to members of the Windows Insider program on July 29. On Thursday, however, Microsoft OS boss Terry Myerson explained in a blog post that not everyone should expect to receive their updates on that date."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has) @ The Register
- BlackBerry's first Android smartphone has leaked @ The Inquirer
- Samsung to mass produce mirror and transparent OLED displays in 2015, say reports @ DigiTimes
- New iPhone enters production, say Taiwan makers @ DigiTimes
- This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity @ The Register
- What You Need to Know About Fedora’s Switch From Yum to DNF @ Linux.com
Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
Lexar is Micron’s brand covering SD Cards, microSD Cards, USB flash drives, and card readers. Their card readers are known for being able to push high in the various speed grades, typically allowing transfers (for capable SD cards) much faster than what a typical built-in laptop or PC SD card reader is capable of. Today we will take a look at the Lexar ‘Professional Workflow’ line of flash memory connectivity options from Lexar.
This is essentially a four-bay hub device that can accept various card readers or other types of devices (a USB flash storage device as opposed to just a reader, for example). The available readers range from SD to CF to Professional Grade CFast cards capable of over 500 MB/sec.
We will be looking at the following items today:
- Professional Workflow HR2
- Four-bay Thunderbolt™ 2/USB 3.0 reader and storage drive hub
- Professional Workflow UR1
- Three-slot microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-I USB 3.0 reader
- Professional Workflow SR1
- SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-I USB 3.0 reader
- Professional Workflow CFR1
- CompactFlash® USB 3.0 reader
- Professional Workflow DD256
- 256GB USB 3.0 Storage Drive
Note that since we were sampled these items, Lexar has begun shipping a newer version of the SR1. The SR2 is a SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II USB 3.0 reader. Since we had no UHS-II SD cards available to test, this difference would not impact any of our testing speed results. There is also an HR1 model which has only USB 3.0 support and no Thunderbolt, coming in at a significantly lower cost when compared with the HR2 (more on that later).
Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2015 - 03:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, matias, tactile pro 4
The Matias Tactile Pro is made by a mysterious entity called The Keyboard Company but is branded as Matias. It uses their own type of switches which they mention are ALPS inspired and MadShrimps found them to be almost as loud as a typewriter but without the ringing noise present in their previous switches. This is a working keyboard as opposed to a gaming keyboard, worth looking at if you spend a lot of time typing or if you have a close office neighbour you want to drive insane.
"The Keyboard Company has just started to bring in the Matias Tactile Pro and has lots of stock for potential enthusiast buyers. The newer v4 version is featuring re-engineered Matias Click switches compared to v3 and are meant to eliminate the ringing sound of the previous Fukka."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TteSports Poseidon Z Forged Aluminium Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
- COUGAR 500k Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Tesoro Excalibur Illuminated Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
- Tesoro Lobera Spectrum Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Ozone Strike Battle keyboard @ Kitguru
- Razer Firefly RGB Backlit Hard Gaming Mousepad @ Custom PC Review
- EVGA Torq X5 @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Mobile | July 2, 2015 - 04:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amazon, kindle paperwhite
The insides of the third generation Kindle Paperwhite match the Voyage, a Freescale i.MX6 SoloLite 1GHz chip, as do the outsides with a new 300ppi screen. Connectivity has been expanded to Wi-Fi as well as an available 3G model and there is also a brand new font called Bookerly. If you are in need of an eReader and are not in Canada so that you can get the Tegra 4 powered Kobo Arc 7, you should head over to Techgage and see if the new improve Paperwhite is the solution you should chose.
"Amazon has just revealed its third-gen Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, and while it doesn’t offer a substantial upgrade over the previous model, it does iterate on what was already a fantastic device. With a 300 ppi screen and brand-new Bookerly font at-the-ready, there’s not much to dislike with this e-reader."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Blackview Zeta Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Acer Liquid Jade S Smartphone @ Kitguru
- Mlais M7 Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Camera Shootout : ASUS ZenFone 2 Vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 & Apple iPhone 6 @ TechARP
- ASUS ROG G751JY-DB72 w/G-Sync Gaming Notebook Review @HiTech Legion
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 3, 2015 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Enthoo EVOLV, atx, phanteks
If you were impressed by the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV case that Sebastian recently reviewed but use a cooler a bit larger than the Corsair H105 and were wondering if the case was big enough for you, [H]ard|OCP has your back. They've confirmed that smaller coolers such as the Antec KÜHLER H2O 620 and 920, Corsair Hydro H50, Corsair Hydro H75, Corsair Hydro H80, Corsair Hydro H90, Silverstone TD03 and NZXT Kraken X40 all fit in the top as well as the standard locations. Large coolers including the Corsair Hydro H100 and Thermaltake Water 3.0 Extreme also fit easily in the top and even extra large 360mm triple fan radiators can be installed with the removal of the small plate at the top of the PSU cover and the rear facing hard drive rack. Hopefully this case hits the market soon as it is proving to be a good solution for the serious enthusiast.
"Today we review the new computer case from Phanteks, the Enthoo EVOLV Mid Tower Chassis. It brings with it full aluminum construction and promises features such as quick release side panels, top mount radiator brackets, a new data drive mounting system, and lots of pretty LEDs in four different colors."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design's Define S @ The Tech Report
- Bitfenix Aegis Case Review: Maximizing mATX @ Modders-Inc
- Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Be Quiet Silent Base 800 Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Antec Signature S10: A Second Coming @ Silent PC Review
- NZXT Kraken X41 CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Silverstone Tundra TD02-E & TD03-E Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Hydro Series H80i GT @ techPowerUP
- be quiet! Shadow Rock LP Cooler Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Motherboards | July 4, 2015 - 10:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, mini ITX, fanless, Braswell, Airmont, asus
Asus has introduced two new small form factor motherboards featuring soldered Intel “Braswell”-based Celeron processors. The Asus N3150I-C and N3050I-C are Mini ITX form factor boards with decent connectivity and lower power draw with the processor options topping out at 6 watts.
The two SFF motherboards are essentially the same, with the main difference being the bundled processor (see below). The boards have 24+4 pin ATX power inputs, two full-size DDR3 memory slots, two SATA 6 Gbps ports, a single PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot (open ended), and one mini PCI-E connector. The Intel processors on both boards are passively cooled by a large rectangular gold-colored aluminum heatsink.
The rear of the board includes the following I/O ports.
- 2 x PS/2
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x RS232
- 3 x Audio outputs
The N3150I-C board uses an Intel Celeron N3150 while the N3050I-C uses an Intel Celeron N3050. Both chips are 14nm and based on the newer Airmont architecture. These “Braswell” chips have incremental improvements in CPU performance and more significant graphics performance boosts with the inclusion of up to 16 execution units.
Specifically, the N3150 is a quad core chip clocked at 1.6 GHz base to 2.08 GHz burst with Intel HD Graphics (12 EUs up to 640 MHz) and a 6W TDP. On the other hand, the Celeron N3050 is a dual core chip – also with a 6W TDP – clocked at 1.6 GHz base and 2.16 GHz burst paired with Intel HD Graphics (12 EUs) clocked at up to 600 MHz.
These new boards could be used as the base for a NAS box, home media server, or a router and wireless AP by using those PCI-E and mPCI-E slots. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, however.
Subject: General Tech | July 1, 2015 - 03:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Portal 2, Stories of Mel
Stories of Mel is a Portal 2 mod which takes place between the two games, with a length that sounds similar to the original game. There is new music, voice acting and even a redesigned Portal gun all available for free for owners of Portal 2 on Steam. The embedded video below gives you a sense of the ambience you can expect from the game without giving away many hints as to the content. If you already have the Portal games then head over to Steam to pick up the mod, which installs as a separate game and if you don't then you owe it to yourself to pay the ~$30 to pick up both games. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN has links for Steam as well as the projects homepage if you want to show your thanks.
"Mel brings a new protagonist with a new companion sphere, boasting over 300 new voiced lines, an hour of original music, and 22 levels that its creators say may take anywhere from four to twelve hours to complete depending on how well you think with portals. It looks quite pretty. And it’s entirely free (if you own Portal 2, natch), available direct through Steam."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Pillars Of Eternity 2.0: Better AI, Less Rubbish Stealth @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Valve's 'get it early' Steam Machine promotion sells out @ HEXUS
- Shadow of the Beast: Amiga classic returns from the darkness @ The Register
- Firaxis publishes 10-minute XCOM 2 mission video @ HEXUS
- Warner knew about Batman: Arkham Knight PC issues 'for months' @ Polygon
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2015 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, rtm, build 10176
Windows Insider members are currently on 10162, the third release in four days. This new release offers you a chance to download an ISO to test a completely fresh install although you can install it as an in place update as well. The new version also allows you to buy WiFi from the Microsoft Store as well, you may start to see WiFi networks in the USA and perhaps North America wide which you will be able to connect to after buying time and perhaps data from the Microsoft Store.
We've also heard rumours via Slashdot that build 10176 will be the RTM version which may be sent out as soon as Thursday. This implies that there will not be many changes to the new OS between now and the release date, as providing differing versions to the manufacturers and current customers would not be a good business decision. As well, if purchasers of new hardware will form a very negative opinion if they have to go through a long series of updates simply to be able to use their new machine. Ready or not, Windows 10 is just about ready to go.
"Mark Wilson reports that the first RTM candidate for Windows 10 has been spotted: build 10176. Leaks and sources have suggested the company intends to finalize the operating system later this week, perhaps as early as July 9th. This would give Microsoft almost three weeks to distribute it to retailers and devicemakers before the July 29th launch date."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Storage upstart: Our flashy gear is WAY faster than slow old DRAM @ The Register
- Firefox 39 arrives with sharing integration and four major bug bashes @ The Inquirer
- Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners won't get Android 5.0 Lollipop update @ The Inquirer
- Laser Engraving in Color? @ Hack a Day
- Did a SUPER RARE Sony-Nintendo PlayStation prototype just pop up online? Possibly, maybe @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2015 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, r9 390x, overclocking
Now that [H]ard|OCP has had more time to spend with the new R9 390X they have managed to find the overclocks that they are most comfortable running on the card they used to test. They used MSI Afterburner 4.1.1 and first overclocked the card without changing voltages at all, which netted them 1150MHz core and 6.6GHz effective on the RAM. From there they started to raise to Core Voltage, eventually settling on +50 as settings higher than that resulted in lower maximum observed voltages due to the TDP being reached and the card throttling back. With that voltage setting they could get the card to run at 1180MHz, with the memory speed remaining at 6.6GHz as it is not effected by the core voltage settings, with the fan speed set 80% they saw a consistent 67C GPU temperature. How much impact did that have on performance and could it push the card's performance beyond an overclocked GTX 980? Read the full review to find out in detail.
"We take the new MSI Radeon R9 390X GAMING 8G video card and overclock it to it fullest and compare it with an overclocked GeForce GTX 980 at 1440p and 4K in today's latest games. Find out how much overclocking the R9 390X improves performance, and which video card is best performing. Can R9 390X overclock better than R9 290X?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- XFX R9 380 4G DD, XFX Rocks the DD Coolers Again! @ Bjorn3d
- Sapphire R9 390 Nitro 8GB @ Kitguru
- Sapphire R9 390X Tri-X 8GB @ Kitguru
- Visiontek Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB @ Kitguru
- AMD Radeon R9 Fury X @ Legion Hardware
- PowerColor Radeon R9 390 PCS+ 8 GB @ techPowerUp
- AMD R9 Fury X 4GB Graphics Card Crossfire @ eTeknix
- XFX R9 290 Double Dissipation @ Bjorn3d
- NVIDIA GeForce Chips Comparison Table (desktop) @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G Review @HiTech Legion
- Gigabyte G1 Gaming Geforce GTX 980 Ti Review @HiTech Legion
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked @ Bjorn3d
- EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ Graphics Card Review @ Techgage
- EVGA GTX 980 Ti Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Review @ Hardware Canucks
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