Subject: Mobile | June 2, 2015 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: notebook, msi, Intel Core i7, gaming notebook, computex 2015, computex, Broadwell
MSI has unveiled a refreshed notebook lineup featuring the new quad-core Intel Broadwell mobile processors.
Broadwell launched as a dual-core only option, which resulted in some high-performance notebooks opting to stay with Haswell CPUs. With the introduction of quad-core versions of the new Broadwell chips for mobile, MSI has jumped on the bandwagon to offer a few different options. Of the 20 new notebooks offered by MSI, 18 of them are powered by Intel Core i7 chips.
Intel’s 5th Generation Core i7 processor powers 18 MSI laptop models, including the GT80 Titan SLI, GT72 Dominator, GS70 Stealth, GS60 Ghost, GE72 Apache, GE62 Apache, GP72 Leopard, GP62 Leopard, and the newly announced PX60 Prestige. Available immediately, all gaming notebook models come with an array of superior technologies, including Killer DoubleShot Pro for lag-less gaming, SteelSeries Gaming Keyboard for exceptional customization and feel, and more.
The flagship GT80 Titan SLI has these impressive specs, including an Intel Core i7-5950HQ processor:
GT80 Titan SLI
- Screen: 18.4” 1920x1080 WideView Non-Reflection
- CPU: Intel Core i7-5950HQ, 2.9 - 3.7 GHz
- Chipset: HM87
- Graphics: Dual GTX 980M SLI, 8GB GDDR5 VRAM each
- Memory: 24GB (8GB x3) DDR3L 1600MHz (4 SoDIMM slots, max 32GB)
- Storage: 256GB Super RAID (128GB M.2 SATA x2, RAID 0) + 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
- Optical: BD Burner
- LAN: Killer Gaming Network
- Wireless: Killer N1525 Combo (2x2 ac), BT 4.1
- Card Reader: SDXC
- Video Output: HDMI 1.4, mDP v1.2 x2
- MSRP: $3799.99
The GT80 Titan SLI gaming notebook
1920x1080 with this model seems low, especially considering the obscene amount of VRAM (8GB per card on a laptop? Really?). Still, this notebook has excellent external monitor support with dual mini-DisplayPort outputs, though HDMI is limited to version 1.4.
MSI has also introduced a refreshed GT72 Dominator with NVIDIA G-Sync (covered here), and this new version also features USB 3.1. And for the more business-minded there is the premium PX60 Prestige, now refreshed with Broadwell Core i7 as well.
These refreshed notebook models will be “available immediately” from MSI’s retail partners.
It's been a while since we reviewed Intel's SSD 750 PCIe NVMe fire-breathing SSD, and since that launch we more recently had some giveaways and contests. We got the prizes in to be sent out to the winners, but before that happened, we had this stack of hardware sitting here. It just kept staring down at me (literally - this is the view from my chair):
That stack of 5 Intel SSD 750’s was burning itself into my periphery as I worked on an upcoming review of the new Seiki Pro 40” 4K display. A few feet in the other direction was our CPU testbed machine, an ASUS X99-Deluxe with a 40-lane Intel Core i7-5960 CPU installed. I just couldn't live with myself if we sent these prizes out without properly ‘testing’ them first, so then this happened:
This will not be a typical complete review, as this much hardware in parallel is not realistically comparable to even the craziest power user setup. It is more just a couple of hours of playing with an insane hardware configuration and exploring the various limits and bottlenecks we were sure to run into. We’ll do a few tests in a some different configurations and let you know what we found out.
Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 29, 2015 - 03:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Android, google, google io, google io 2015
I'll be honest with you: I did not see a whole lot that interested me out of the Google I/O keynote. The company released a developer preview of their upcoming Android OS “M”, which refers to the thirteenth alphabetical release (although only eleven were formally lettered because they started with “C”upcake). Version nomenclature aside, this release is supposed to tune the experience. While the platform could benefit from a tune-up, it is also synonymous with not introducing major features.
But some things are being added, including “Google Now on Tap”. The idea is that Google will understand what is happening on screen and allow the user to access more information about it. In a demo on Engadget, the user was looking at scores for the Golden State Warriors. She asked “When are they playing next”, actually using the pronoun “they”, and the phone brought up their next game (it was against the Cavaliers).
Fingerprint reading and Android Pay are also being added to this release.
Other than that, it is mostly performance and usability. One example is “Doze State”, which allows the OS to update less frequently when the device is inactive. It is supposed to play nice with alarms and notifications though, which is good. Normally, I would wait to see if it actually works before commenting on it, but this seems like something that would only be a problem if no-one thought of it. Someone clearly did, because they apparently mentioned it at the event.
Android M, whatever it will actually be called, is expected to ship to consumers in the Fall.
Subject: Editorial | May 28, 2015 - 01:22 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: X99, video, sapphire, r9 285, podcast, nvidia, GTX 980 Ti, gigabyte, Fiji, DAC, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #351 - 05/28/2015
Join us this week as we discuss AMD Fiji Leaks, rumors on GTX 980 Ti, a great $99 portable DAC, 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, Allyn Malventano and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:18:06
Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:47 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: tlc, ssd, micron, flash, computex 2015, computex, 16nm
While 16nm TLC was initially promised Q4 of 2014, I believe Micron distracted themselves a little with their dabbles into Dynamic Write Acceleration technology. No doubt wanting to offer ever more cost effective SSDs to their portfolio, the new TLC 16nm flash will take up less die space for the same capacity, meaning more dies per 600mm wafer, ultimately translating to lower cost/GB of consumer SSDs.
Micron's 16nm (MLC) flash
The Crucial MX200 and BX100 SSDs have already been undercutting the competition in cost/GB, so the possibility of even lower cost SSDs is a more than welcome idea - just so long as they can keep the reliability of these parts high enough. IMFT has a very solid track record in this regard, so I don't suspect any surprises in that regard.
Full press blast appears after the break.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 1, 2015 - 02:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: computex, Poseidon GTX 980 Ti, GTX 980 Ti, gpu, ASUS ROG, computex 2015
ASUS has already announced a Poseidon version of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card, which is part of the company's Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup.
No photo of the GTX 980 Ti available yet, so here's the GTX 980 version for reference
"ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Ti incorporates the DirectCU H2O hybrid cooling solution with a combined vapor chamber and water channels to give users cooler temperatures along with improved noise reduction for 3x quieter performance. ASUS graphics cards are produced via exclusive Auto-Extreme technology, an industry-first 100% automated process, and feature aerospace-grade Super Alloy Power II components for unsurpassed quality and reliability. ROG Poseidon GTX 980Ti also features GPU Tweak II with XSplit Gamecaster for intuitive performance tweaks and gameplay streaming."
We'll keep you posted on pricing and availability (and actual product photos) once they're available!
Subject: Mobile | June 1, 2015 - 02:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Transformer Book T100HA, quad-core, intel atom, computex 2015, computex, Cherry Trail, asus, 2-in-1
ASUS has announced the newest version of their Transformer Book 2-in-1, and the T100HA features a Intel Atom Cherry Trail X5 series quad-core processor and will run Windows 10 when released later this year.
"ASUS Transformer Book T100HA is the successor to the best-selling Transformer Book T100TA 2-in-1, and combines the power of a stylish 10.1-inch laptop with the convenience of a super-slim tablet. This new iteration has up to 14 hours of battery life, and has an ultra-thin 8.45mm chassis that weights just 580g. It has a metallic finish and is available in Silk White, Tin Grey, Aqua Blue and Rouge Pink.
The T100HA is powered by a choice of quad-core Intel® Atom™ ‘Cherry Trail’ X5 series processors, and has 4GB RAM and a USB Type-C port. This device comes pre-installed with Windows 10 and will be available in the third quarter of 2015."
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 08:33 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: overwatch, E3 2015, E3, blizzard
Various companies have begun teasing what we might see at this year's E3 expo. Blizzard has not historically had a big presence at the event, though. With the size and scope of Blizzcon, the company usually saves it announcements for then. In fact, I cannot think of a single, non-trivial thing that Blizzard did at E3 since the expo downsized after E3 2006.
This year, on the other hand, Blizzard will be present at AMD and PC Gamer's E3 show. The recent Overwatch previews could be leading up to this event, which takes place three weeks from yesterday. The recent video that I embed above, Tracer, is pretty interesting too. It shows how useful a light assault player could be if they don't obey the space-time continuum. The last two-thirds of the video show off an impressive kill streak.
Again, expect more E3 coverage leading up to the Expo on June 16th.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 1, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: obsidian 750d, corsair, computex 2015, computex, cases, atx case, airflow edition, AF140L
Corsair has unveiled a new version of its 750D full-tower enclosure, and this iteration features a perforated front grill to improve airflow. The new enclosure also includes three of Corsair’s AF140L high-airflow, low-noise 140mm fans (2 front intake fans and 1 rear exhaust fan).
Here are some of the spec highlights from Corsair:
- Perforated front grille for improved cooling
- Nine expansion slots for larger motherboards and running multiple graphics cards or expansion boards simultaneously
- Six tool-free 3.5”/2.5” combo bays in two modular hard drive cages, with room for two more cages for up to 12 combo drive bays
- Four tool-free 2.5” side-mounted drive cages for SSDs, out of the airflow path
- Three tool-free 5.25” bays for expansion
- Four front mounted USB ports for easy peripheral or external storage device connection
- Three AF140L high-airflow 140mm fans (2 front, 1 rear) for excellent airflow and low noise levels
- Room for up to 8 fans
- Radiator compatibility:
- Top – 360mm or 280mm
- Front – 280mm or 240mm
- Bottom – 240mm
- Rear – 140mm or 120mm
Storage Layout Options
- Modular hard drive cages can be configured in four separate mounting locations.
- Side-mounted 2.5” cages allow quick, easy removal of the 3.5” drive cages for better airflow or room for radiators, while maintaining capacity for up to four 2.5” drives.
The 750D Airflow Edition will carry a $159.99 MSRP and will be available immediately through Corsair's usual retail channels.
Subject: Mobile | June 1, 2015 - 02:00 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ROG, gl552, g751, g501, computex 2015, computex, asus
Launching with Computex this week, ASUS has a set of three new ROG (Republic of Gamers) notebooks for potential mobile gamers to take a look at. First up is the G751JT and G751JY machines that feature Intel Core i7 processors (likely Haswell) and GeForce GTX 980M discrete graphics. After the recent announcement of G-Sync for notebooks, it should be no surprise that this updated G751 will feature an impressive 75 Hz 1920x1080 screen that supports variable refresh gaming!
ASUS G751JT/JY Notebook
For those more interested in a thin-and-light gaming machine, ASUS has the ROG G501. This will be available with either 2560x1440 or 3840x2160 resolution displays and will feature Intel Core i7 processors, again without specification on if that is Haswell or Broadwell based. ASUS claims that the G501 "features dual independent fans and copper heat sinks to ensure efficient thermal management for smooth and stable performance even at high loads."
ASUS G501 Notebook
Finally, the ROG GL552 looks to be a more standard gaming rig with a Haswell-based Intel processor, non-descript "discrete graphics" and an "optional" solid state drive. The GL552 will feature an "easy-access design for additional storage and memory upgrades."
ASUS GL552 Notebook
Look for more details on these notebooks and hopefully reviews very soon!
Subject: Storage | June 3, 2015 - 09:15 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: usb type-c, microDuo 3C, kingston, flash drive, computex 2015
Kingston has announced a new high-speed USB flash drive with the new Type-C connector, and the dual-interface drive also works with standard USB Type-A devices.
The microDuo 3C offers read speeds up to 100MB/s and 15MB/s writes for the 32GB and 64GB models, with write speeds of 10MB/s on the 16GB version.
Specifications from Kingston:
Pricing was not revealed, but the drive will ship later this month so we will find out soon.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 29, 2015 - 11:26 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: catalyst, amd, 15.5 beta
Last night AMD released a new Catalyst driver, 15.5 Beta, that targets performance improvements in both Project Cars and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You can pick up the new driver for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 right here. The full display driver version is 14.502.1014.1001.
The specific changes?
Highlights of AMD Catalyst™ 15.5 Beta Windows Driver
Crossfire Profile Update for:
- The Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt
Performance Improvements for the following :
- The Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt : Up to 10% performance increase on single GPU Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics products
- Project Cars - Up to 17% performance increase on single GPU Radeon R9 and R7 Series graphics products
Users of the Radeon R9 295X2 will be glad to see support for their hardware added for The Witcher 3 and just about everyone will be glad to see some dramatic performance improvements in Project Cars and Witcher 3. We know from testing internally as well as widely reported issues that AMD Radeon graphics cards had issues with Project Cars, resulting in performance well behind comparable NVIDIA GeForce hardware. With as much as 17% improvement for Radeon R9 and R7 hardware though, hopefully that frame rate increases quite a bit.
We'll be doing some testing with this new driver here today, and if anything jumps out at us, we'll be sure to let you know!
Subject: Systems | June 2, 2015 - 09:30 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mini PC, LIVA X2, LIVA Core, LIVA, intel core m, ECS, computex 2015, computex, fanless
ECS has announced two new LIVA fanless mini-PC models, including a new "Core" version with an Intel Broadwell Core M SoC.
Here are the full specs for the LIVA Core:
Platform: Intel Broadwell Core M-5Y10C SoC
Memory: DDR3L 4GB
Storage: 1x 80G/120G M.2 SSD
Audio: 1x Combo Jack, 2x D-MIC (internal)
LAN: 1x Gigabit LAN
USB: 4x USB 3.0 Ports
Video Output: 2x HDMI Ports
Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions: 136 x 84 x 38 mm
Card Reader: Micro SD
Adapter Input: AC 100-240V,Output: DC 19V / 3.43A
OS Support: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10
The LIVA X has been refreshed as well with a new design and updated Intel Braswell SoC.
Here are the specs for the LIVA X2:
Platform: Intel Braswell N3050 SoC
Memory: DDR3L 2GB/4GB
Expansion Slot: 1 x M.2 for SSD (Up to 1TB)
Storage: eMMC 64GB/32GB
Audio: 1x Combo Jack, 2x D-MIC (internal)
LAN: 1x Gigabit LAN
USB: 3x USB3.0 Ports
Video Output: 1x HDMI Port, 1x D-Sub Port
Wireless: Wi-Fi 802.11ac & Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions: 156 x 83 x 51 mm
Adapter Input: AC 100-240V, Output: DC 12V / 3A
OS Support: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10 (Windows 7 supported by M.2)
These new LIVA models are listed on the ECS product pages and should be available soon through the usual retail channels.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 1, 2015 - 12:12 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: SX700-LPT, small form factor, Silverstone, SFX-L, SFX PSU, computex 2015, computex
The SX700-LPT is a SFX-L (the longer variant of the SFX form-factor) power supply with mighty 700W of power for its size, up 200W from the prior SX500-LG.
The “sneak peak” photo from SilverStone also shows a pair of PCI-E connectors on the PSU, which would be a first for an SFX/SFX-L power supply and permit the use of power hungry cards (or even Crossfire/SLI setups). As for efficiency, the image shows an 80 PLUS Platinum certification, which would also be a first for an SFX/SFX-L PSU. Cable management will be easy for existing SilverStone PSU owners as well as the new SX700-LPT uses SilverStone’s standard cable interface (and this also allows the use of their PP05-E short cable set).
No specifics on price or release just yet, only that the SX700-LPT power supply is coming “later this year”.
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 3, 2015 - 03:25 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: radeon, hype train, hbm, Fiji, amd
The AMD Fiji hype train keeps rolling. Here is a video that AMD posted to its AMD Radeon Graphics Twitter account with a several second long teaser video.
— AMD Radeon Graphics (@AMDRadeon) June 3, 2015
First and foremost, it looks like all of the leaks about the cooler and card design of Fiji were at least mostly accurate. Also, note that AMD included the #AMD300 tag in the tweet, leading us to believe that the R9 390X is indeed going to be the branding.
Looks like we'll know more on June 16th during E3.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 10:00 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: windows 10, reachit, microsoft, Lenovo, cortana
Yesterday during briefings at Lenovo’s North Campus just outside of Beijing, the Contextual Computing group took the opportunity to discuss their unique integration of a technology called REACHit with Cortana on Windows 10.
REACHit is an indexing program that Lenovo has developed which is aimed at helping users find their documents among many different services and contexts. Once you authenticate REACHit with your accounts such as Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, or your local computers, Lenovo makes an index of the files which you keep there to help you more easily locate what you are looking for.
The most unique feature of REACHit comes in how you issue a search query. Lenovo has developed multiple contexts which they think will be useful in locating files, such as File Type, File Actions, Location, Calendar Events, and time frames. They are indexing the files you give them access to for these specific prompts, and hoping to present them in a more useful fashion.
One of the examples we were walked through involved the prompt, “Where is the presentation I was working on at Starbucks last week?”. In this case, Lenovo is looking at the file types (PPT), whether or not a file was Saved/Opened, the geolocation which this occurred at, and the time frame at which these operations took place.
We didn’t see a live demo of these searches working, and haven’t had hands-on time with the software yet so it’s hard to say if Lenovo has succeeded at their goal, but the technology seems like an interesting solution to a common problem.
There are also security concerns about giving Lenovo access to all of your files, and letting them build an index your metadata. We have been told there is encryption being handled on Lenovo’s server side, but they couldn’t get into any further details about this.
REACHit at this point is purely integrated with Microsoft’s Cortana in Windows 10, and there is no other option for running a search or external API access. Lenovo expects REACHit to be available at the Windows 10 launch for Lenovo machines only, and is currently opening sign-ups for the private beta at Cortanareachit.com
Subject: Motherboards | May 29, 2015 - 04:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, Godavari, asus, amd
If you are running an ASUS FM2+ board and you want to install the shiny new AMD A10-7870K Godavari processor then it is time to fire up either the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback or ASUS EZ Update tools. Below is a list of all of UEFI versions for all compatible motherboards which you will need to update to in order to boot the new processor. If you do not see your motherboard on the list then it is likely it will not support the new processor, keep an eye on the relevant page on ASUS for more information.
Gigabyte has also release updates to support the new APU, head to their downloads page and search for the model of motherboard you are currently using for the latest UEFI BIOS to flash to.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 10:55 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: wearable, tech world, smartwatch, smartphone, smart cast, magic view, lenovo tech world, Lenovo, concept
Today at the Lenovo Tech World keynote presentation, Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius took the opportunity to show some of the far reaching concepts for smartphones and smartwatches.
The Magic View smartwatch is a stylish, round smartwatch reminiscent of the Moto 360 that seems from the concept renderings to be based around Android Wear. However, the uniqueness comes from what Lenovo is claiming makes it the only smartwatch with two screens.
Optical reflection is used inside of a portion of the strap in order to project a second “virtual interactive display” more than 20 times larger than the integrated display. This is made possible through Lenovo-designed silicon aimed at miniaturizing the components for this type of projection while maintaining the same performance.
Lenovo claims this secondary screen will be useful for things like maps, as well as photo and video viewing, but it be remains to be seen if users would favor a virtual display like this over simply using their existing smartphone display. Privacy is also a big part of what Lenovo is pitching with the Magic View. Since users must place the lens portion next to their eye, other people in the same area cannot look over their shoulders and view potientially sensitive information.
The Lenovo Smart Cast concept plays on a similar idea as the Magic View. Through the use of a build in laser projector, as well as specialized sensors, Lenovo aims at allowing users to project a large virtual touch screen onto tabletop surfaces.
With the use of infrared sensors, users can touch the surface underneath the projection and interact just as if it were a physical display. Lenovo points towards this being useful for such applications as virtual keyboards in productivity apps, or even for media control of projected movies and light gaming such as Fruit Ninja.
The projected display is also independent of the smartphone display, allowing things such as two separate views for video chatting applications.
It remains to be seen if these concepts will ever actually make it into production devices, and if those devices will ever hit North America, but it's always interesting to see what R&D divisions of large companies like Lenovo are up to.
Subject: Motherboards | May 28, 2015 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z97-HD3, gigabyte, z97
The Z97-HD3 Rev. 2 is a trimmed down board, both literally and figuratively as it is a mere 19cm (7.5") wide and lacks the LEDs, gold heatsinks and Nichicon caps that the initial release did. It is also less expensive, $80 after MIR which is a bonus for someone looking to build an entry level machine. The topmost 16x PCIe slot is a 3.0 slot and perfect for single GPU systems, the second is 2.0 and a maximum of 4x which takes SLI out of the picture but will handle Crossfire, not something to be overly worried about for an entry level system. Do these cost cutting measures also impact the performance and stability of the board? Check out The Tech Report's full review to find out.
"At $100, the Z97-HD3 is Gigabyte's most affordable full-sized Z97 board. We've taken a closer look at what the board has to offer, and we've paired it with a Pentium Anniversary Edition for some overclocking fun. Read on to see if it's worth opening your wallet."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ECS Z97I-Drone LEET Gaming @ eTeknix
- MSI X99A Gaming 7 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Gigabyte X99-UD4P @ Bjorn3d
- ASRock X99E-ITX/ac (Intel SKT 2011-3) @ techPowerUp
- ASUS H81M-A Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Memory | June 2, 2015 - 11:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trident z, G.Skill, ddr4, computex 2015, computex
G.Skill is teasing a new series of DDR4 memory modules at Computex. Dubbed Trident Z, the new modules will come in both dual and quad channel packs aimed at high performance gaming PCs and are overclocking friendly.
The Trident Z series feature large stylized aluminum heatspreaders paired with a colored accent bar that users can swap out to the color of their choice to match the other PC components. G.Skill is holding off on revealing the nitty-gritty details on these modules leaving us to guess at the clockspeeds and CAS latencies. They sure look fast though!
If the existing Trident X series and the company's extreme overclocking prowess is anything to go by, however, the new Trident Z series will likely push past 3,400 MHz supported clockspeeds at the high end. That's only speculation though.
Luckily, we will not have to wait long to find out the speeds and feeds of this new memory series. Trident Z modules will be avilable next month for to-be-announced prices.