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Welcome to post-apocalyptic Boston, please do not feed your dog Nuka-Cola

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2015 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: gaming, fragging frogs, fallout 4, bethesda

At last we have a teaser trailer of Fallout 4, which for a nice change does not look mostly like Skyrim using a colour palette from Doom.  Also possibly exciting is the hint of several vehicles capable of flight, which could add quite a bit to this game if available in the story or with a mod.  The garage shown in the trailer looks to be a home base for the player, albeit one infected with the pernicious crafting system disease if the partially assembled power armour is not simply decoration.  Check out the trailer below and then patiently await the release.

On another note, the 10th Fragging Frog VLAN was a huge success with most of the day seeing 60 or more active participants blasting away in a variety of games including Toxikk which is a fun homage to the old style of online FPSes such as Unreal Tournament.  You can check out what happened as well as see the winners of the prizes which were generously donated by AMD, Fractal Design, Epic Games and even one of our own members right here in this thread on the Forums.

"Aha, now this is promising. We’re clearly looking at the game’s post-apocalyptic present-day rather than a flashback, but there’s tons of colours there. Paint, clearly, can survive the end of the world, and thank goodness for that."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Carrizo reveals itself

Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2015 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: carrizo, APU, amd. excavator

If you skipped reading Scott's look at the new AMD Carrizo processor you have done yourself a disfavour and should read through his look at AMD's recent history and the evolution of Bulldozer and Steamroller into Excavator.  It will help you understand The Tech Report's look into the new architecture and the AMD provided benchmarks which you can check out here.  A lot of the new architecture is a refinement of previous chips but the Tonga based GPU portion is completely new and looks to be an impressive improvement, especially on these 15W and 30W chips.  It will be very interesting to see how they fare against the Iris Pro on Intel's new Broadwell chips in systems without a discrete GPU.

carriro-specs.jpg

"The Carrizo processor is AMD's follow-on to Kaveri and a direct competitor to Intel's Broadwell CPUs. After a lengthy prelude, AMD is officially taking the wraps off of Carrizo today at the Computex trade show in Taipei. The firm expects laptops based on Carrizo to be available near the end of this month, and now that the chip is official, we know a number of juicy details about it that had previously been murky."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

The new Broadwell on MSI Z97 and H97

Subject: Motherboards | June 3, 2015 - 05:03 PM |
Tagged: msi, z97, h97, LGA1150, broadcom

If you had any worries about being able to use the new Broadwell processors on your LGA 1150 board you can feel much better after this press release from MSI.  They have announce full support for Intel's new processors when they arrive on the market, after applying an update to your motherboards Click BIOS 4.

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MSI, leading in motherboard design, is proud to announce that our Z97 & H97 motherboards fully support the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors! With the latest BIOS update, current MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are completely compatible with the 5th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, and able to unleash your system’s full performance. Committed to ensuring compatibility and performance, the MSI R&D team is making sure you never have to worry about your MSI Z97 & H97 motherboard supporting the latest generation of Intel® Core™ processors. If you want to fully enjoy all the advantages of the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are definitely your best choice.

z97.png

Click BIOS 4, the highly-awarded UEFI design
MSI Click BIOS 4 is optimized for the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors. The highly awarded design is reliable, easy to use, and able to unleash your system’s performance. Besides providing great performance and stability, MSI Click BIOS 4 is recognized as an extraordinary piece of kit which allows you to fully customize your PCs setup.

 

Source: MSI

AMD Teases New Radeon Fiji GPU on June 16th with Video

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 3, 2015 - 03:25 PM |
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.

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.

Source: AMD
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel
Tagged: SSD 750, pcie, NVMe, IOPS, Intel

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):

IMG_9003.JPG

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:

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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.

Continue reading for the results of our little experiment!

Computex 2015: Kingston microDuo 3C USB Type-C Flash Drive

Subject: Storage | June 3, 2015 - 09:15 AM |
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.

DT-microDUO-3C.jpg

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:

  • Capacities: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
  • Speed: USB 3.13
  • 16GB: 100MB/s read, 10MB/s write
  • 32GB & 64GB: 100MB/s read, 15MB/s write
  • Dimensions : 29.94mm x 16.60mm x 8.44mm
  • Warranty / Support : Five-year warranty with free technical support
  • Pricing was not revealed, but the drive will ship later this month so we will find out soon.

    Source: Kingston

    Computex 2015: Synaptics Touches Up The Space Bar With SmartBar Technology

    Subject: General Tech | June 3, 2015 - 08:00 AM |
    Tagged: touch, synaptics, smartbar, opinion, gaming, computex 2015, computex

    Synaptics revealed more details on its SmartBar technology today at Computex. The human interface company most known for its trackpads is looking to expand its reach into keyboards. Specifically, SmartBar is technology that will add touch input functionality to the keyboard spacebar. Using the technology, OEMs can integrate capacitive touch sensors into the spacebar allowing for several unique and productivity boosting gestures. 

    Synaptics SmartBar Capacitive Spacebar.jpg

    The SmartBar spacebar can be broken up into five logical (touch sensitive areas) buttons each of which can be associated with user created macros using a bundled macro editing utility. Alternatively, users can enable touch gestures. Synaptics is touting the ability to use quick left and right swipe motion to edit text by moving the cursor back and forth word by word though a document as well as the ability to use a two thumb pinch gesture to zoom in and out on an image or document. The touch input would also be useful to gamers who want to future increase their actions per minute in RTS games or even something as simple as shifting gears or switching weapons in racing and first person games respectively.

    Along the lines of gaming, it turns out that Thermaltake under it's Tt eSports line will be the first adopter of this SmartBar technology, and while Synaptics did not reveal any exact products I am looking forward to see what Thermaltake does with the technology in its future gaming keyboards. This could be a gimmick, or it could really take off and be a must have feature depending on how well it is implemented in both hardware and software. It does make sense though; the spacebar is the natural resting place for your thumbs, so it should not take too much effort to incorporate touch gestures (literally at your fingertips...) to improve your game or work efficiency. A simple but promising idea for sure.

    From the press release:

    “Desktop PCs still represent a sizeable portion of the PC market, especially in the commercial segment, but most desktop users have been left behind in terms of next-generation interfaces such as touch,” said Tom Mainelli, VP of Devices & Displays at International Data Corporation (IDC). “Companies are always looking for ways to help drive employee efficiency, and feature-rich, touch-enabled keyboards represent a straightforward, affordable way to help increase worker productivity.”

    The SmartBar technology is available now to OEMs, but we might have to wait until CES to see actual products offering touch sensitive spacebars.

    What do you think of the technology, and would you use it for gaming?

    Source: Synaptics

    Computex 2015: Micron Announces 16nm TLC For Consumer SSDs

    Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:47 PM |
    Tagged: tlc, ssd, micron, flash, computex 2015, computex, 16nm

    Chugging right along that TechInsights Flash Roadmap we saw last year, Micron has announced the TLC extension to their 16nm flash memory process node.

    Micron Roadmap.png

    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 300mm wafer, ultimately translating to lower cost/GB of consumer SSDs.

    micron_128gb_16nm_nand_flash.jpg

    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.

    Computex 2015: G.Skill Teases New Trident Z DDR4 Memory

    Subject: Memory | June 2, 2015 - 11:33 PM |
    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. 

    GSkill Trident Z DDR4 Quad Channel Memory Modules.png

    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.

    Source: G.Skill

    Computex 2015: SilverStone Shows New Raven RVX01

    Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2015 - 11:25 PM |
    Tagged: Silverstone, Raven RVX01, computex 2015, computex

    SilverStone has shown off a new Raven ATX enclosure at Computex, and the RVX01 offers a new take on this well-known enthusiast gaming enclosure.

    RVX01_1.jpg

    The RVX01 pictured at the show (Image credit: techPowerUp)

    This new design features the same 90 degree motherboard orientation as the current RV05 (reviewed here) but has a slimmer profile at 7.68" wide (WxHxD listed as 195 mm x 473 mm x 470 mm), and this new version also has stylish red accents to offset the matte black panels.

    Details are scarce, but from a look at the photos it appears that the GPU bracket from the original Raven is back, and the report also describes triple 120 mm fans along the bottom in place of the dual 180 mm fans from the current version.

    RVX01_2.jpg

    The RVX01 pictured from a slightly different angle (Image credit: techPowerUp)

    We'll keep you posted when we have an official announcement for this newest Raven, and hopefully we'll have one in for review whenever it becomes available!

    Source: techPowerUp

    Computex 2015: OCZ Trion and Z-Drive 6000, 6300 SSDs Sighted

    Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:18 PM |
    Tagged: Z-Drive 6300, Z-Drive 6000, Trion, ssd, pcie, OCZ Technology, ocz, NVMe, computex 2015, computex

    OCZ is showing off some new goodies at Computex 2015 in the form of a completely new SSD model – the Trion:

    Trion Pic.jpg

    The Trion is based on an in-house Toshiba ‘Alishan’ controller – the first internal design from that company. Since it is sourced from within Toshiba, the new SSD controller is to be tuned for consumer workloads and should employ lower power states than prior OCZ / Indilinx SSD controllers, as well as Toshiba’s own proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error correction technology, which should squeeze a bit more usable life out of the A19nm TLC flash. This is what QSBC looks like compared to competing BCH and LDPC technologies:

    QSBC.png

    We suspect Toshiba dialed back the algorithm a bit for client usage, but it should still be far superior to BCH. We don’t have many more details as the Trion has not yet been officially launched, but we do have this shot of a round of benchmark results from a pre-production 960GB model:

    Trion-2.JPG

    From what we can see, it appears to be a good performer (by modern SATA 6Gb/sec SSD standards), but we naturally can't tell anything for sure until we get samples in for local testing, as we have no idea of the state of preconditioning of the Trion in those tests.

    Also on display were the recently launched Z-Drive 6000 and 6300 Series parts:

    ZDrive6000.jpg

    ZDrive 6300 pic1.jpg

    These are OCZ’s enterprise-grade NVMe devices, available in 800GB, 1.6TB, and 3.2TB. The 6000 series is a 2.5” 15mm SFF-8639 device aimed at lighter workloads with a rating of 1 Drive Write Per Day (DWPD) over a 5-year period, while the 6300 series brings that figure up to 3 DWPD and offers an HHHL PCIe card as an optional form factor. The higher writes per day are facilitated by the move to A19nm eMLC flash.

    We’ll be keeping a close eye on these new developments from OCZ and we are eager to get these in the shop for some thorough testing!

    Press blast for the Trion and Z-Drive 6300 Series after the break!

    Manufacturer: AMD

    Digging into a specific market

    A little while ago, I decided to think about processor design as a game. You are given a budget of complexity, which is determined by your process node, power, heat, die size, and so forth, and the objective is to lay out features in the way that suits your goal and workload best. While not the topic of today's post, GPUs are a great example of what I mean. They make the assumption that in a batch of work, nearby tasks are very similar, such as the math behind two neighboring pixels on the screen. This assumption allows GPU manufacturers to save complexity by chaining dozens of cores together into not-quite-independent work groups. The circuit fits the work better, and thus it lets more get done in the same complexity budget.

    amd-2015-carrizo-63mil.jpg

    Carrizo is aiming at a 63 million unit per year market segment.

    This article is about Carrizo, though. This is AMD's sixth-generation APU, starting with Llano's release in June 2011. For this launch, Carrizo is targeting the 15W and 35W power envelopes for $400-$700 USD notebook devices. AMD needed to increase efficiency on the same, 28nm process that we have seen in their product stack since Kabini and Temash were released in May of 2013. They tasked their engineers to optimize their APU's design for these constraints, which led to dense architectures and clever features on the same budget of complexity, rather than smaller transistors or a bigger die.

    15W was their primary target, and they claim to have exceeded their own expectations.

    Backing up for a second. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

    When I met with AMD last month, I brought up the Bulldozer architecture with many individuals. I suspected that it was a quite clever design that didn't reach its potential because of external factors. As I started this editorial, processor design is a game and, if you can save complexity by knowing your workload, you can do more with less.

    amd-2015-carrizo-3.jpg

    Bulldozer looked like it wanted to take a shortcut by cutting elements that its designers believed would be redundant going forward. First and foremost, two cores share a single floating point (decimal) unit. While you need some floating point capacity, upcoming workloads could use the GPU for a massive increase in performance, which is right there on the same die. As such, the complexity that is dedicated to every second FPU can be cut and used for something else. You can see this trend throughout various elements of the architecture.

    Read on for more about what Carrizo is, and what it came from to get here.

    Computex 2015: Zotac Reveals Custom Cooled GTX TITAN X ArcticStrom Graphics Card

    Subject: Graphics Cards | June 2, 2015 - 05:56 PM |
    Tagged: zotac, gtx titan x, titan x, water cooling, arcticstorm, computex, computex 2015

    NVIDIA’s AIB partners are out in full force at Computex 2015 with new graphics cards and new coolers. Among the fray is Zotac with a customized GTX TITAN X card using the ArcticStorm Hybrid cooler which is an air cooler that also features a water block and can be integrated into your custom water cooling loop.

    Zotac GeForce GTX Titan X ArcticStorm Graphics Card.jpg

    Of course, the TITAN X is NVIDIA’s top end Maxwell (GM200) graphics processor built on a 28nm process. It has 3,072 CUDA cores, 192 texture units, 96 ROPs, and a 250W TDP. 

    Zotac is factory overclocking this GPU to 1026 MHz base and 1114 MHz boost. The 12GB of GDDR5 memory sits on a 384-bit bus and is also (slightly) factory overclocked at 7010 MHz.

    The card itself has the same array of video outputs (three DisplayPort, one HDMI, and one DL-DVI) and the same PCI-E power connectors (6-pin + 8-pin) as the reference card.

    The ArcticStorm Hybrid cooler can work as an air cooler or as an air + water cooler similar to ASUS’ Poseidon cards. The Zotac cooler features a copper cold plate paired with heatpipes and a large aluminum fin array cooled by three 90mm shrouded fans.

    Zotac GeForce GTX Titan X ArcticStorm Graphics Card PCI-E Power.jpg

    This cooler should run quieter than the NVIDIA reference card and, especially when connected to your custom liquid cooling loop, and offer lower temperatures. Zotac did not opt for two 8-pin PCI-E so extreme overclocking might be out of the question, but the card should still be heavily overclockable in general should you get a good chip.

    Naturally, Zotac is holding off on pricing and availability details of the GTX TITAN X ArcticStorm (ZT-90402-10P) until it is ready to ship which should be soon. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more details.

    Source: Zotac

    Rounding up the GTX 980 Ti reviews

    Subject: Graphics Cards | June 2, 2015 - 04:40 PM |
    Tagged: video, nvidia, maxwell, GTX 980 Ti, gsync, gm200, geforce, gameworks vr, g-sync, dx12, 6Gb

    Hopefully by now you have familiarized yourself with Ryan's review of the new GTX980 Ti and perhaps even some of the other reviews below.  One review that you should not miss is by Scott over at The Tech Report as they used an X99 system for benchmarking and covered a slightly different suite of games.  The games both sites tested show very similar results and in the case of BF4 and Crysis 3, showed that the R9 295 X2 is still a force to be reckoned with, especially when it is on sale at a price similar to the 980 Ti.  In testing the Witcher 3 and Project Cars, the 980Ti showed smoother performance with impressive minimum frame times.  Overall, The Tech Report gives the nod to the new GTX 980 Ti for more fluid gameplay but does offer the necessary reminder, AMD will be launching their new products very soon and could offer new competition.

    card-front.jpg

    "You knew it was coming. When Nvidia introduced the GeForce Titan X, it was only a matter of time before a slightly slower, less expensive version of that graphics card hit the market. That's pretty much how it always happens, and this year is no exception."

    Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

    Graphics Cards

    All you wanted to know about WinX but were afraid to ask

    Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2015 - 03:35 PM |
    Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, acer, Lenovo

    If you are running Win7 or a flavour of Win8 you have probably seen the pop-up nagging you to reserve your copy of Windows 10 before the official launch on July 29th.  That deadline is a little misleading, if it has you concerned, you still have until July 29 2016 to use your free upgrade.  What the reminder does do is give Microsoft a chance at a large initial adoption rate of the brand new OS which is rather necessary to restore confidence in them as an investment opportunity after the lukewarm Windows 8 adoption numbers.  One question does still remain about the licensing which we are still awaiting an answer to. What does the future after that  date hold for those who like to reinstall OSes on a regular basis; if you only possess a Windows 7 serial number and take advantage of the free upgrade before the deadline, will you get a way to install a fresh copy of Windows 10?

    If you do have to buy a new license for Windows 10, the prices will remain as they were for Windows 8, Windows 10 Home will retail for $119, Windows 10 Pro for $199 with an upgrade from Home to Pro costing you $99.  If you want control over when your updates are installed you might want to get some friends together to invest in a volume licensing agreement as patches are now pushed out and installed immediately. As we have mentioned Windows Media Centre will disappear as will any Windows 7 desktop gadgets you might have installed along the way but one mildly surprising omission that The Inquirer spotted was a change to DVD playback, which will also be an extra feature or else be handled by superior open source players.  If for some reason you still use floppy drives, the new Windows will not natively support them but as with the previous version you should be able to locate drivers.

    As for hardware, DigiTimes has heard word of very low priced Broadwell based laptops being released by Lenovo and Acer.  Acer will be releasing a pair of models, an 11.6" at $169 and a 14" for $199.  Lenovo's will be more expensive at $250 but will be a convertible Yoga machine which explains at least part of the premium pricing.  It will be interesting to see how these will compete with existing products on the market, including Microsoft's own Surface.

    winx.png

    "The Windows 10 notebooks are an 11.6-inch notebook (US$169) and a 14-inch clamshell-type notebook (US$199) from Acer and a 14-inch convertible Yoga notebook (US$249) from Lenovo. These devices will be manufactured by Inventec, and target mainly against Chromebooks."

    Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

    Tech Talk

    Source: DigiTimes

    A substantial upgrade for Thunderbolt

    Today at Computex, Intel took the wraps off of the latest iteration of Thunderbolt, a technology that I am guessing many of you thought was dead in the water. It turns out that's not the case, and this new set of features that Thunderbolt 3 offers may in fact push it over the crest and give it the momentum needed to become a useable and widespread standard.

    First, Thunderbolt 3 starts with a new piece of silicon, code named Alpine Ridge. Not only does Alpine Ridge increase the available Thunderbolt bandwidth to 40 Gbps but it also adds a native USB 3.1 host controller on the chip itself. And, as mobile users will be glad to see, Intel is going to start utilizing the new USB Type-C (USB-C) connector as the standard port rather than mini DisplayPort.

    tb3-1.jpg

    This new connector type, that was already a favorite among PC Perspective staff because of its size and its reversibility, will now be the way connectivity and speed increases this generation with Thunderbolt. This slide does a good job of summarizing the key take away from the TB3 announcement: 40 Gbps, support for two 4K 60 Hz displays, 100 watt (bi-directional) charging capability, 15 watt device power and support for four protocols including Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, USB and PCI Express.

    tb3-2.jpg

    Protocol support is important and Thunderbolt 3 over USB-C will be able to connect directly to a DisplayPort monitor, to an external USB 3.1 storage drive, an old thumb drive or a new Thunderbolt 3 docking station. This is truly unrivaled flexibility from a single connector. The USB 3.1 controller is backward compatible as well: feel free to connect any USB device to it that you can adapt to the Type-C connection.

    tb3-3.jpg

    From a raw performance perspective Thunderbolt 3 offers a total of 40 Gbps of bi-directional bandwidth, twice that of Thunderbolt 2 and 4x what we get with USB 3.1. That offers users the ability to combine many different devices, multiple displays and network connections and have plenty of headroom.

    tb3-4.jpg

    With Thunderbolt 3 you get twice as much raw video bandwidth, two DP 1.2 streams, allowing you to run not just a single 4K display at 60 Hz but two of them, all over a single TB3 cable. If you want to connect a 5K display though, you will be limited to just one of them.

    tb3-5.jpg

    For mobile users, which I think is the area where Thunderbolt 3 will be the most effective, the addition of USB 3.1 allows for charging capability up to 100 watts. This is in addition to the 15 watts of power that Thunderbolt provides to devices directly - think external storage, small hubs/docks, etc.

    Continue reading our preview of the new Thunderbolt 3 technology!!

    Rivet Networks Announces Killer Wireless-AC 1535

    Subject: Networking, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 12:00 PM |
    Tagged: msi, killer nic, killer, computex 2015, computex, 802.11ac

    Killer Networking has developed several networking solutions, focused on gamers, over the last decade or so. Ryan reviewed their first product way back in 2006, and he found it had some merit but struggled when quantifying it, especially to the price tag that it bore. Many years later, Qualcomm picked them up and their technology found a few design wins, especially with Gigabyte motherboards. They also branched out into wireless networking, a segment that undeniably could benefit from innovation. They are also, now, under the Rivet Networks brand, which is listed as an “Authorized Design Center” for Qualcomm.

    rivet-networks-killer-ac-1535.jpg

    Today, they are announcing the Killer Wireless-AC 1535 Networking Adapter. This brings their technology to the 802.11ac standard. It includes features like DoubleShow Pro, which allows Windows to balance network traffic between wireless and wired networks. It also allows the user to monitor their wireless traffic, even providing an interface to throttle or outright disable certain applications from using the internet. They are mostly promoting their “ExtremeRange” technology, which uses the MU-MIMO standard of 802.11ac, along with beamforming and two signal amplifiers, to provide high bandwidth at longer ranges.

    The Killer Wireless-AC 1535 has received a few design wins, this time with MSI. It will be available in the MSI GT72 and MSI GT80 gaming laptops, as well as the MSI X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard. Thankfully, they are not adopting MSI's love of uppercase letters.

    Computex 2015: Intel Announces Quad-Core Broadwell for Desktop, Mobile

    Subject: Processors, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2015 - 11:10 AM |
    Tagged: Intel, computex 2015, computex, Broadwell

    Earlier this morning you saw us post a story about MSI updating its line of 20 notebooks with new Broadwell processors. Though dual-core Broadwell has been available for Ultrabooks and 2-in-1s for some time already, today marks the release of the quad-core variations we have been waiting on for some time. Available for mobile designs, as well as marking the very first Iris Pro graphics implementation for desktop users, Broadwell quad-core parts look to be pretty impressive.

    Today Intel gives to the world a total 10 new processors for content creators and enthusiasts. Two of these parts are 65 watt SKUs in LGA packaging for use by enthusiasts and DIY builders. The rest are BGA designs for all-in-one PCs and high performance notebooks and include both 65 watt and 47 watt variants. And most are using the new Iris Pro Graphics 6200 implementation.

    bwslide1.jpg

    For desktop users, we get the Core i7-5775C and the Core i5-5675C. The Core i7 model is a quad-core, HyperThreaded CPU with a base clock of 3.3 GHz and a max Turbo clock of 3.7 GHz. It's unlocked so that overclockers and can mess around with them in the same way do with Haswell. The Iris Pro Graphics 6200 can scale up to 1150 MHz and rated DDR3L memory speeds are up to 1600 MHz. 6MB of L3 cache, a 65 watt TDP and a tray price of $366 round out the information we have.

    bwslide2.jpg

    Click to Enlarge

    The Core i5-5675C does not include HyperThreading, has clock speed ranges of 3.1 GHz to 3.6 GHz and only sees the Iris Pro scale to 1100 MHz. Also, it drops from 6MB of L3 cache to 4MB. Pricing on this model will start a $276.

    These two processors mark the first time we have seen Iris Pro graphics in a socketed form factor, something we have been asking Intel to offer for at least a couple of generations. They focused on 65 watt TDPs rather than anything higher mostly because of the target audience for these chips: if you are interested in the performance of integrated graphics then you likely are pushing a small form factor design or HTPC of some kind. If you have a Haswell-capable motherboard then you SHOULD be able to utilize one of these new processors though you'll want a Z97 board if you are going to try to overclock it.

    From a performance standpoint, the Core i7-5775C will offer 2x the gaming performance, 35% faster video transcoding and 20% higher compute performance when compared to the previous top-end 65 watt Haswell part, the Core i7-4790S. That 4th generation part uses Intel HD Graphics 4600 that does not include the massive eDRAM that makes Iris Pro implementations so unique.

    For mobile and AIO buyers, Intel has a whole host of new processors to offer. You'll likely find most of the 65 watt parts in all-in-one designs but you may see some mobile designs that go crazy and opt for them too. For the rest of the gaming notebook designs there are CPUs like the Core i7-5950HQ, a quad-core HyperThreaded part with a base clock of 2.9 GHz and max Turbo clock of 3.8 GHz inside a TDP of 47 watts. The Iris Pro Graphics 6200 will scale from 300 to 1150 MHz so GPU performance should basically be on par with the desktop 65-watt equivalent. Pricing is pretty steep though: starting at $623.

    bwslide3.jpg

    Click to Enlarge

    These new processors, especially the new 5950HQ, offer impressive compute and gaming performance.

    bwperf1.jpg

    Compared to the Core i7-5600U, already available and used in some SFF and mobile platforms, the Core i7-5950HQ is 2.5x faster in SPECint and nearly 2x faster in a video conversion benchmark. Clearly these machines are going to be potent desktop replacement options.

    bwperf2.jpg

    For mainstream gamers, the Iris Pro Graphics 6200 on 1920x1080 displays will see some impressive numbers. Players of League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and WoW will see over 60 FPS at the settings listed in the slide above.

    We are still waiting for our hardware to show up but we have both the LGA CPUs and notebooks using the BGA option en route. Expect testing from PC Perspective very soon!

    Computex 2015: ECS Announces New LIVA Core and LIVA X2 Mini-PCs

    Subject: Systems | June 2, 2015 - 09:30 AM |
    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.

    LIVA_CORE.png

    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.

    LIVA_X2.png

    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.

    Source: ECS

    Computex 2015: Lian Li Desk Chassis and PC-O8 Dual-Compartment Enclosure

    Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 2, 2015 - 09:07 AM |
    Tagged: PC-O8, Lian Li, enclosures, dual-compartment enclosure, DK-02, desk chassis, computex 2015, computex, cases

    Lian Li is showing two new versions of their massive desk system chassis at Computex, as well as a new dual-compartment enclosure.

    dk-03.png

    The DK-Q2 Desk Chassis

    From Lian Li:

    "Like the previous desk chassis, the aluminum body and tempered glass surface highlight the minimalism of this practical fusion of desk and chassis. The updates on these new models add simplicity to system building, more refined aesthetics and ergonomics. New thinner body and stronger adjustable legs add to the look and workplace efficiency of this growing line of computer desks."

    o8-001.jpg

    PC-O8 dual-compartment enclosure

    From Lian Li:

    "The PC-O8 dual-compartment chassis combines aluminum and tempered glass to show off DIY builders high-end, intricate setups, while hiding cables and less eye catching components in the large compartment behind the motherboard tray."

    Pricing and availability for these new enclosures has not been announced.

    Source: Lian Li