Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2015 - 12:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fibre optics
Two records were recently made with fibre optic connections, one for speed and one for length. Researchers at Huawei and Proximus, who operate out of Belgium, recently transmitted data over a 1,040km fiber link at 1.4Tbps using Proximus' optical backbone. Even more impressive for the network geeks out there was the spectral efficiency of the transmission, at 5.7 bits per second per Hertz, a new record for these researchers to be proud of.
Not to be out done, and putting Ryan's Ethernet run to shame, is a link that spanned 12,000 km (7,456 miles) without a repeater. Certainly not at the speeds in the aforementioned link but a huge step in extending the reach of fibre based networks without the problems associated with simply increasing the strength of the signal.
"Proximus and Huawei have successfully trialled a super-channel optical signal, flinging out information at up to one terabit per second (Tbps)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft says Oculus Rift distorts world, grinds corrective lenses @ The Register
- iOS 8.4 and Apple Music available to download on iPhones and iPads now @ The Inquirer
- How to Backup Files in Linux With Rsync on the Command Line @ Linux.com
- Microsoft quietly adds cheaper Core i7 model to Surface Pro 3 line-up @ The Inquirer
- Cisco To Acquire OpenDNS @ Slashdot
- The Tech ARP + Western Digital My Passport Wireless Contest
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).
Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
AMD fans have been patiently waiting for a proper FreeSync display to be released. The first round of displays using the Adaptive Sync variable refresh rate technology arrived with an ineffective or otherwise disabled overdrive feature, resulting in less than optimal pixel response times and overall visual quality, especially when operating in variable refresh rate modes. Meanwhile G-Sync users had overdrive functionality properly functioning , as well as a recently introduced 1440P IPS panel from Acer. The FreeSync camp was overdue for an IPS 1440P display superior to that first round of releases, hopefully with those overdrive issues corrected. Well it appears that ASUS, the makers of the ROG Swift, have just rectified that situation with a panel we can finally recommend to AMD users:
Before we get into the full review, here is a sampling of our recent display reviews from both sides of the camp:
- ASUS PG278Q 27in TN 1440P 144Hz G-Sync
- Acer XB270H 27in TN 1080P 144Hz G-Sync
- Acer XB280HK 28in TN 4K 60Hz G-Sync
- Acer XB270HU 27in IPS 1440P 144Hz G-Sync
- LG 34UM67 34in IPS 25x18 21:9 48-75Hz FreeSync
- BenQ XL2730Z 27in TN 1440P 40-144Hz FreeSync
- Acer XG270HU 27in TN 1440P 40-144Hz FreeSync
- ASUS MG279Q 27in IPS 1440P 144Hz FreeSync(35-90Hz) < You are here
The reason for there being no minimum rating on the G-Sync panels above is explained in our article 'Dissecting G-Sync and FreeSync - How the Technologies Differ', though the short version is that G-Sync can effectively remain in VRR down to <1 FPS regardless of the hardware minimum of the display panel itself.
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 26, 2015 - 04:53 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, battery
When I was in my Physics program, there was a running joke that the word “Nano” should be a red flag when reading research papers. This one has graphene and nanoparticles, but it lacks quantum dots and it looks privately funded by a company, so we might be good. Kidding aside, while I have little experience with battery technology, they claim to have surrounded silicon anodes for lithium batteries with a layer of graphene.
Image Credit: Samsung via Nature
This addition of graphene is said to counteract an issue where silicon expands as it is used and recharged. The paper, which again is the first source that I have seen discuss this issue, says that other attempts at using silicon adds vacant space around the anode for future growth. If you can keep the material at the same volume over its lifespan, you will be able to store more electricity in smaller devices. I wonder why Samsung would want something like that...
Business Model Based on Partnerships
|Alexandru Voica works for Imagination Technologies. His background includes research in computer graphics at the School of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna in Pisa and a brief stint as a CPU engineer, working on several high-profile 32-bit processors used in many mobile and embedded devices today. You can follow Alex on Twitter @alexvoica.|
Some months ago my colleague Rys Sommefeldt wrote an article offering his (deeply) technical perspective on how a chip gets made, from R&D to manufacturing. While his bildungsroman production covers a lot of the engineering details behind silicon production, it is light on the business side of things; and that is a good thing because it gives me opportunity to steal some of his spotlight!
This article will give you a breakdown of the IP licensing model, describing the major players and the relationships between them. It is not designed to be a complete guide by any means and some parts might already sound familiar, but I hope it is a comprehensive overview that can be used by anyone who is new to product manufacturing in general.
The diagram below offers an analysis of the main categories of companies involved in the semiconductor food chain. Although I’m going to attempt to paint a broad picture, I will mainly offer examples based on the ecosystem formed around Imagination (since that is what I know best).
A simplified view of the manufacturing chain
Let’s work our way from left to right.
Traditionally, these are the companies that design and sell silicon IP. ARM and Imagination Technologies are perhaps the most renowned for their sub-brands: Cortex CPU + Mali GPU and MIPS CPU + PowerVR GPU, respectively.
Given the rapid evolution of the semiconductor market, such companies continue to evolve their business models beyond point solutions to become one-stop shops that offer more than for a wide variety of IP cores and platforms, comprising CPUs, graphics, video, connectivity, cloud software and more.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 26, 2015 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: water cooler, lepa, AquaChanger 240, AIO
This particular watercooler comes with long list of features which sound interesting on paper but need to be tested to see how effective they really are. The fans are very effective at pushing air through the radiator but [H]ard|OCP found them a bit loud, on the other hand the pump could not be heard at all so if you were to modify the fan speed you could have a very quiet cooler, at the cost of some performance. The cooling performance was almost exactly the same as the SilverStone Tundra TD02-E but the LEPA is available for under $100 which makes it a better value while still retaining decent performance.
"LEPA comes to us today with its new AquaChanger 240 AIO CPU Cooler for review. LEPA lists a lot of cool sounding features like, Central Diffusing Passage Cold Plate, Protrusive Copper Base, Dual Convex Blade Fans, Ceramic Bearing Pump, and maybe the best is Anti-Leakage Tubing...because nobody likes leaky tubing."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- NZXT Kraken X41 Liquid Cooler and Grid+ Fan Controller Review @HiTech Legion
- Cooler Master Geminii S524 VER.2 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Scythe Ashura Review @ OCC
- Noctua NH-L9x65 CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Noctua NH-C14S cpu cooler @ HardwareOverclock
- Corsair Carbide 100R Silent Edition Mid Tower Case Review @HiTech Legion
- AeroCool Aero-1000 Mid-Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ATX Case Review @ Modders-Inc
- Antec Signature S10 E-ATX @ Kitguru
- Nox Xtreme Coolbay CX @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | June 26, 2015 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, hololens
The new Windows Hololens will be headed to the ISS to let the NASA ground crew see through the eyes of astronauts onboard and even to annotate the view in real time. Instead of using cameras and audio instructions, an astronaut could look at a peice of equipment and the engineer on the ground could overlay a visual of what repairs or changes would need to be completed, or text annotations giving details of the equipment. One can only hope that the public might one day get a chance to see the ISS through the eyes of someone onboard. The Inquirer also mentions several other projects the Hololens will be used in, from virtual tours of Mars to use in an underwater training facility to make the illusion of being in orbit even more convincing and valuable as training for future astronauts. These devices will be wonderful for gaming but there are many other applications that they will be used for.
"Early demonstrations of Hololens included scenarios involving NASA researchers walking virtually on the surface of Mars through a sister project called OnSight, but now the idea has been extended to real-life interaction with ISS astronauts."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft's new mission statement: It's all about doing MAGICAL THINGS @ The Register
- Foxconn to be largest handset, tablet, desktop ODM/OEM in 2015, says chairman @ DigiTimes
- Sapphire Nitro Range Introduced by Bill Donnelly @ Kitguru
- New 3D Printer Uses Molten Glass @ MAKE:Blog
Subject: Processors | June 26, 2015 - 12:32 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: skylake-s, Skylake-K, Intel Skylake, cpu cooler
A report from Chinese-language site XFastest contains a slide reportedly showing Intel's cooling strategy for upcoming retail HEDT (High-end Desktop) Skylake "K" processors.
Typically Intel CPUs (outside of the current high-end enthusiast segment on LGA2011) have been packaged with one of Intel's ubiquitous standard performance air coolers, and this move to eliminate them from future unlocked SKUs makes sense for unlocked "K" series processors. The slide indicates that a 135W solution will be recommended, even if the TDP of the processor is still in the 91-95W range. The additional headroom is certainly advisable, and arguably the stock cooler never should have been used with products like the 4770K and 4790K, which more than push the limits of the stock cooler (and often allow 90 °C at load without overclocking in my experience with these high-end chips).
Aftermarket cooling (with AIO liquid CPU coolers in particular) has been essential for maximizing the performance of an unlocked CPU all along, so this news shouldn't effect the appeal of these upcoming CPUs for those interested in the latest Intel offerings (though it won't help enhance your collection of unused stock heatsinks).
Introduction and Features
It’s always a happy day at the PC Perspective Test Lab when the delivery truck drops off a new Seasonic power supply for evaluation! Seasonic is a well-known and highly respected OEM that produces some of the best PC power supplies on the market today. In addition to building power supplies for many big-name companies who re-brand the units with their own name, Seasonic also sells a full line of power supplies under the Seasonic name. Their new Snow Silent Series now includes two models, the original 1050W and the new 750W version we have up for review.
The Snow Silent Series power supplies feature a stylish white exterior along with top level Seasonic build quality. The Snow Silent-750 is a next generation XP-Series (XP2S) power supply that comes with fully modular cables and a 120mm cooling fan with Fluid Dynamic Bearings. It features an upgraded S3FC Hybrid Fan Control Circuit that provides fanless operation up to ~50% load. The Snow Silent-750 is designed to provide high efficiency (80 Plus Platinum certified) and tight voltage regulation with minimal AC ripple.
Seasonic Snow Silent 750W PSU Key Features:
• High efficiency, 80 Plus Platinum certified
• Fully Modular Cable design with flat ribbon-style cables
• Seasonic Patented DC Connector Panel with integrated VRMs
• Upgraded Hybrid Silent Fan Control (S3FC: Fanless, Silent and Cooling)
• 120mm Fan with Fluid Dynamic Bearings (FDB)
• Ultra-tight voltage regulation (+2% and -0% +12V rail)
• Supports multi-GPU technologies (four PCI-E 6+2 p connectors)
• High reliability 105°C Japanese made electrolytic capacitors
• Active PFC (0.99 PF typical) with Universal AC input
• Dual sided PCB layout with dual copper bars
• Energy Star and ErP Lot 6 2013 compliance
• 7-Year manufacturer's warranty worldwide
Subject: Storage | June 25, 2015 - 03:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SM951, Samsung, PCIe SSD, M.2
Samsung's M.2 SM951 PCIe SSD was never originally intended to be sold on its own but thankfully the 128, 256 and 512GB models are showing up on Newegg and other sites and the speeds it can reach are very impressive. The Tech Report tested the 512GB model and saw it beat the Intel 750 Series in IOMeter at a queue depth of one, though the Intel SSD still shows off its prowess at higher queue depths. Their testing showed that the speed of the flash produces enough heat that the drive throttles itself so you should consider rigging an active cooling solution if you do pick up this drive. Check out their full review to see some very impressive numbers and boot times.
"Samsung's SM951 SSD squeezes a quad-lane PCIe Gen3 interface onto a diminutive M.2 form factor. It offers incredible performance under the right conditions, but it also struggles in some scenarios. Our in-depth review explains the drive's strengths, weaknesses, and unique enthusiast appeal."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- House of Cards: PCIe SSD Performance Roundup @ [H]ard|OCP
- Intel 750 PCIe SSD @ The SSD Review
- Patriot Ignite M.2 SSD @ The SSD Review
- OCZ Vector 180 480GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- 240 GB Kingston HyperX Savage SSD @ Tech ARP
- ADATA Premier SP610 512GB SSD Review @HiTech Legion
- QNAP Turbo NAS TS-453 Pro 4-Bay Enthusiast and SMB NAS @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2015 - 03:08 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, amd, fury x, Fury, Fiji, nvidia, gtx 980ti, maxwell, gm200, batman, arkham knight, gameworks, r9 390, sapphire, nitro, Intel, Braswell, Cherry Trail, Lenovo, thinkcentre
PC Perspective Podcast #355 - 06/25/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD R9 Fury X, Sapphire Nitro R9 390, Batman: Arkham Knight 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, Josh Walrath, Sebastian Peak, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:25:13
Subject: Graphics Cards | June 25, 2015 - 02:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 4GB, amd, Fiji, Fury, fury x, hbm, R9, radeon
[H]ard|OCP used a slightly different configuration to test the new R9 Fury X, an i7-3770K on an ASUS PB287Q as opposed to an i7-3960X and an ASUS P9X79, the SSD is slightly different but the RAM remains the same at 16GB of DDR3-1600. [H] also used the same driver as we did and found similar difficulties using it with R9-2xx cards which is why that card was tested with the Catalyst 15.5 Beta. When testing The Witcher 3 the GTX 980 Ti came out on top overall but it is worth noting the Fury's 70% performance increase over the 290X when HairWorks was enabled. Their overall conclusions matched what Ryan saw, read them for yourself right here.
"We review AMD's new Fiji GPU comprising the new AMD Radeon R9 Fury X video card with stacked chip technology High Bandwidth Memory. We take this video card through its paces, make comparisons and find out what it can do for us in real world gameplay. Is this $649 video card competitive? Is it truly geared for 4K gaming as AMD says?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X @ The Tech Report
- AMD R9 Fury X Review; Fiji Arrives @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Fury X @ HardwareHeaven
- AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- MSI R9 390X GAMING 8G @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI R7 370 GAMING 2G Review @ Neoseeker
- PowerColor PCS+ R9 390 8GB Review @ OCC
- PowerColor TurboDuo R9 290 4GB OC @ [H]ard|OCP
- EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC+ 6 GB @ techPowerUp
- EVGA GTX 970 SSC @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: General Tech | June 25, 2015 - 01:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, rumour
In response to the news yesterday that ECS would be withdrawing from the DIY motherboard market, Sunny Yang, President of ECS released a statement denying any accuracy to that rumour. He cites their participation in Computex where they showed off some of their new LEET gaming motherboard in addition to the LIVA mini-PC which received far more attention from the press. They will still have a lot of struggling to do to take market from ASRock, Gigabyte and ASUS, not to mention MSI. Here is to hoping their new products stand out and that their Dragon gaming Ethernet solution really does help with latency.
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD: We're not splitting our gfx and servers biz, ignore all the rumours @ The Register
- Tinba malware that can update itself uncovered by Malwarebytes @ The Inquirer
- Whoops, there goes my data! Hold onto your privates in the Dropbox era @ The Register
- Android accounts for 97 percent of all mobile malware @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft releases free Office apps for half of all Android phones @ The Register
- NVIDIA Starts Supplying Open-Source Hardware Reference Headers @ Phoronix
- Red Hat brings PaaS Linux Docker Containers with OpenShift Enterprise 3 @ The Inquirer
- New Manufacturing Technique Halves Cost of Lithium-Ion Batteries @ Slashdot
Introduction and First Impressions
The Zotac ZBOX CI321 nano is a mini PC kit in the vein of the Intel NUC, and this version features a completely fanless design with built-in wireless for silent integration into just about any location. So is it fast enough to be an HTPC or desktop productivity machine? We will find out here.
I have reviewed a couple of mini-PCs in the past few months, most recently the ECS LIVA X back in January. Though the LIVA X was not really fast enough to be used as a primary device it was small and inexpensive enough to be an viable product depending on a user’s needs. One attractive aspect of the LIVA designs, and any of the low-power computers introduced recently, is the passive nature of such systems. This has unfortunately resulted in the integration of some pretty low-performance CPUs to stay within thermal (and cost) limits, but this is beginning to change. The ZBOX nano we’re looking at today carries on the recent trend of incorporating slightly higher performance parts as its Intel Celeron processor (the 2961Y) is based on Haswell, and not the Atom cores at the heart of so many of these small systems.
Another parallel to the Intel NUC is the requirement to bring your own memory and storage, and the ZBOX CI321 nano accepts a pair of DDR3 SoDIMMs and 2.5” storage drives. The Intel Celeron 2961Y processor supports up to 1600 MHz dual-channel DDR3L which allows for much higher memory bandwidth than many other mini-PCs, and the storage controller supports SATA 6.0 Gbps which allows for higher performance than the eMMC storage found in a lot of mini-PCs, depending on the drive you choose to install. Of course your mileage will vary depending on the components selected to complete the build, but it shouldn’t be difficult to build a reasonably fast system.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | June 24, 2015 - 10:10 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: batman, wb games, consolitis, gameworks, pc gaming, nvidia, amd
Over the last few days, the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight has been receiving a lot of flak. Sites like PC Gamer were unable to review the game because they allege that Warner Brothers would not provide pre-release copies to journalists except for the PS4 version. This is often met with cynicism that can be akin to throwing darts in an unlit room with the assumption that a dartboard is in there somewhere. Other times, it is validated.
Whether or not the lack of PC review copies was related, the consensus is that Arkham Knight is a broken game. After posting a troubleshooting guide on the forums to help users choose the appropriate settings, WB Games has pulled the plug and suspended the game's sales on Steam until the issues are patched.
TotalBiscuit weighs in on the issues with his latest "Port Report".
No-one seems to be talking about what the issue is. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don't have the game myself so I cannot look and speculate based on debug information (which they probably disabled from the released game anyway). I could wildly speculate about DX11 limits from the number of elements on screen, but that is not based on any actual numbers. They could be really good at instancing and other tricks to keep the chunks of work being sent to the GPU as large as possible. I don't know. Whatever the issue is, it sounds pretty bad.
Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2015 - 03:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windows update, Samsung, notebook, Malware
A report from Paul Thurrott draws an uncomfortable comparison between the behavior of Samsung's notebook software and the recent Superfish controversy, and should be cause for concern for anyone using Samsung laptops with factory software.
Image credit: Samsung
The behavior is rather malware-like, as Thurrott point out: "In disabling Windows Update, the Samsung utility is behaving like malware—is, in fact, malware—which of course opens this event up to a comparison with Lenovo’s Superfish fiasco."
This behavior is apparently designed to prevent Microsoft drivers from installing over Samsung's proprietary versions, but this obviously has significant security implications. The fact that this happens automatically in the background is a signifant breach of trust for consumers. This discovery was initially made by a Microsoft MVP, Paul Barker, who posted this response from Samsung on his blog:
“When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work,” he was told. “For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates.”
There are instructions for disabling this software, but it might just be time for all of us to go to the trouble of creating our own official restore media and starting fresh with a clean install of Windows.
Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2015 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ECS, motherboards, rumours
According to rumours DigiTimes has heard, ECS motherboards may no longer be sold by themselves and will only be found in OEM builds. With the slowdown in the DIY PC market, arguably caused in part by a lack of reasons to completely upgrade gaming systems, ECS may be withdrawing from the market. This bears to reason as their motherboard families have been much smaller than the competitions for a while now and you do not see much marketing for them on sites recently. It is always sad to see the marketplace shrink, hopefully this will give them the ability to focus more on their tablets and laptops and make those products more competitive; though that market is even tougher to succeed at than the motherboard business.
"Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has announced that it will no longer actively market own-brand DIY motherboards but will undertake ODM/OEM production if clients have demand, and this is the equivalent of a gradual withdrawal from the global own-brand DIY motherboard market, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Gigabyte Worldwide VP Henry Kao @ Kitguru
- Windows 10: Microsoft to enter 21st century with distribution via USB drive @ The Inquirer
- Car Hacking is 'Distressingly Easy' @ Slashdot
- Hackers exploit fresh PC hijack bug in Adobe Flash Player, the internet's screen door @ The Register
- Give us your software BlackBerry, we love it. The phones? Meh @ The Register
- The Tech ARP + Western Digital My Passport Wireless Contest
A fury unlike any other...
Officially unveiled by AMD during E3 last week, we are finally ready to show you our review of the brand new Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card. Very few times has a product launch meant more to a company, and to its industry, than the Fury X does this summer. AMD has been lagging behind in the highest-tiers of the graphics card market for a full generation. They were depending on the 2-year-old Hawaii GPU to hold its own against a continuous barrage of products from NVIDIA. The R9 290X, despite using more power, was able to keep up through the GTX 700-series days, but the release of NVIDIA's Maxwell architecture forced AMD to move the R9 200-series parts into the sub-$350 field. This is well below the selling prices of NVIDIA's top cards.
The AMD Fury X hopes to change that with a price tag of $650 and a host of new features and performance capabilities. It aims to once again put AMD's Radeon line in the same discussion with enthusiasts as the GeForce series.
The Fury X is built on the new AMD Fiji GPU, an evolutionary part based on AMD's GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture. This design adds a lot of compute horsepower (4,096 stream processors) and it also is the first consumer product to integrate HBM (High Bandwidth Memory) support with a 4096-bit memory bus!
Of course the question is: what does this mean for you, the gamer? Is it time to start making a place in your PC for the Fury X? Let's find out.
Subject: General Tech | June 23, 2015 - 06:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: razer, Seiren Elite, microphone, audio
The Razer Seiren Elite is a microphone which can be used in almost any situation, for meetings it can be set to omnidirectional, for conversations it can be bidirectional, the stereo mode is good for aspiring musicians and the cardioid is great for solo podcasts. All are accessible via a switch that sits on the same side as the gain adjustment and the zero delay headset connection is perfect for those recording as opposed to broadcasting live. Thankfully the multiple modes do not mean that it can do many things poorly, the testing MadShrimps did showed it performed well in all four modes. At $150 it is a very good value for those who need a microphone that can fulfill a variety of roles.
"Thanks to the three 14mm condenser capsules, Seiren can function in four different modes: cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional or bidirectional, in order to accommodate different recording environments. Even if you do not use it in a professional environment, it should bring a lot of benefit to people which record streams daily/weekly thanks to the added clarity but also to the ones which talk a lot on Skype or any other audio/video conference programs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ozone Rage ST Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- SteelSeries Siberia V3 Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Siberia Elite Prism Multi-Format Gaming Headset @ eTeknix
- Sharkoon Rush ER1 Gaming Headset @ Kitguru
One hub to rule them all!
Inateck sent along a small group of connectivity devices for us to evaluate. One such item was their HB7003 7 port USB 3.0 hub:
This is a fairly standard powered USB hub with one exception - high speed charging. Thanks to an included 36W power adapter and support for Battery Charging Specification 1.2, the HB7003 can charge devices at up to 1.5 Amps at 5 Volts. This is not to be confused with 'Quick Charging', which uses a newer specification and more unique hardware.
- L/W/H: 6.06" x 1.97" x 0.83"
- Ports: 7
- Speed: USB 3.0 5Gbps (backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1)
- Windows Vista / OSX 10.8.4 and newer supported without drivers
Densely packed brown box. Exactly how such a product should be packaged.
Power adapter (~6 foot cord), ~4.5 foot USB 3.0 cord, instruction manual, and the hub itself.
Some quick charging tests revealed that the HB7003 had no issue exceeding 1.0 Amp charging rates, but fell slightly short of a full 1.5A charge rate due to the output voltage falling a little below the full 5V. Some voltage droop is common with this sort of device, but it did have some effect. In one example, an iPad Air drew 1.3A (13% short of a full 1.5A). Not a bad charging rate considering, but if you are expecting a fast charge of something like an iPad, its dedicated 2.1A charger is obviously the better way to go.
Performance and Usability:
As you can see above, even though the port layout is on a horizontal plane, Inateck has spaced the ports enough that most devices should be able to sit side by side. Some wider devices may take up an extra port, but with seven to work with, the majority of users should have enough available ports even if one or two devices overlap an adjacent port. In the above configuration, we had no issue saturating the throughput to each connected device. I also stepped up to a Samsung USB T1 which also negotiated at the expected USB 3.0 speeds.
Pricing and Availability
- $34.99 (Amazon)
Inateck is selling it these direct from their Amazon store (link above).
- Clean design 7-port USB 3.0 hub.
- Port spacing sufficient for most devices without interference.
- 1.5A per port charging.
- Low cost.
- 'Wall wart' power adapter may block additional power strip outlets.
At just $35, the Inateck HB7003 is a good quality 7-port USB 3.0 hub. All ports can charge devices at up to 1.5A while connecting them to the host at data rates up to 5 Gbps. The only gripe I had was that the hub was a bit on the light weight side and as a result it easily slid around on the desk when the attached cords were disturbed, but some travelers might see light weight as a bonus. Overall this is a simple, no frills USB 3.0 hub that gets the job done nicely.