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Is it more than just a name? The Corsair H80i v2 High Performance AiO cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 3, 2016 - 03:37 PM |
Tagged: watercooler, AIO, corsair, H80i v2 High Performance

It is funny to think that just a few short years ago AIO watercoolers were rare as hen's teeth when you look at the number of models on the market today.  Manufacturers now offer multiple product lines and many are starting to refresh their products with new models.  Corsair has created a second version of their popular H80i cooler, which [H]ard|OCP has tested to see if it improves upon the original's performance.  They also delve into the rather impressive software which accompanies this cooler, there are a lot more features on the H80i v2 than on the competition which could influence you when you are deciding which cooler to purchase.

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"Corsair's original All-In-One H80i was a great CPU cooling unit, so we have high hopes for the H80i version 2. Push / Pull two-speed PWM fans come stock with this kit's newly designed water block and tubing configuration. We also have a new 49mm radiator and Corsair has some cosmetic updates as well that make this AIO very good looking."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Patch 'em if you got 'em; 40 Google patches for you

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2016 - 02:09 PM |
Tagged: Android, google, security

Assuming your service provider is not one of those who block Google's patches from coming to you directly you should probably charge up that device, get on WiFi  and check your available updates.  Any Google device running 4.4.4 or newer, including Nexus devices, will have up to 40 patches to slurp up.  Many of the patches are for a vulnerability similar to the previous Stagefright exploit, apps can use the drivers from Qualcomm and NVIDIA to break into the Qualcomm TrustZone on unpatched devices.  The Register provides a full list of the patches which are being pushed to Nexus and Android One devices.

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"Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system.

A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ECS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ECS

The ECS Z170-Claymore motherboard is the newest offering in ECS' L337 product line with support for the Intel Z170 Express chipset. The Z170-Claymore is a more enthusiast-friendly design then some of their previous offerings with a slew of features sure to entice gamers and power users alike. ECS priced this board competitively with an MSRP of $159.99, a price point sure to appeal to a wide swath of users given the board's integrated feature set.

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Courtesy of ECS

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Courtesy of ECS

ECS took out all of the stops with the Z170-Claymore, integrating a host of features together with high quality components for a compelling product. The board was designed with a 12-phase digital power delivery system, using high efficiency chokes and MOSFETs, as well as solid core capacitors for optimal board performance under any operating conditions. ECS integrated the following features into the Z170-Claymore board: four SATA 3 ports; one SATA-Express port; a PCIe X2 M.2 port; a Realtek GigE NIC; five PCI-Express x16 slots; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power and reset buttons; Realtek audio solution; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI video port support; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Gen2 port support.

Continue reading our review of the ECS Z170-Claymore motherboard!

NVIDIA Game Ready for Battleborn and the betas of Forza Motorsport 6: APEX, Paragon, and Overwatch

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2016 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics driver, game ready

Some of the games may still be in beta but the driver is fully WHQL; NVIDIA has released Version 365.10 of their graphics driver which focuses on Battleborn which arrives on May 3rd.  We do hope that you have not helped perpetuate the crime against gaming humanity which is the pre-order, but if you have then you should be pre-ordering this driver as well.  Along with Battleborn comes support for three games currently in beta, open or otherwise, Forza Motorsport 6: APEX, Paragon, and Overwatch. The Release Notes also mention new SLI profiles for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and Overwatch and even good 3D Vision support for Battleborn for the dozen of you out there which will benefit from it.  If you follow the links below you can read NVIDIA's suggested GPUs for these games.

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Today, we’ve launched our Game Ready driver for Battleborn.  It also covers some beta games:  Forza Motorsport 6: APEX (Beta), Paragon (Beta), and Overwatch (Beta).
 
You can grab GeForce Game Ready 365.10 WHQL drivers on this link.
 
Related Links:
 
Game Ready Driver Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/battleborn-forza-motorsport-6-...
 
Overwatch Recommended GPU Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/overwatch-system-requirements
 
Paragon Recommended GPU Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/paragon-early-access-now-avail...
 
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex System Requirements (external page): http://www.forzamotorsport.net/en-us/news/fm6_apex_beta_announce
 
Game Ready Driver Release Highlights: http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/102199/en-uk

 

Source: NVIDIA

AMD adds panel types and frequency ranges to their FreeSync page

Subject: Displays | May 2, 2016 - 05:53 PM |
Tagged: freesync, amd, about damn time

Better late than never, our friend Robert Hallock has informed the world that AMD has updated their FreeSync display list with response ranges and panel types.  Having the physical size of the display, the resolution and the accepted inputs are necessary but this update offers a much better look at the displays you will be getting.  If you are unwilling to give up the colour reproduction of a IPS panel for the speed of an TN this is invaluable to you, as is pointing out the few VA based monitors.

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Listing the top and bottom frequencies of the variable refresh displays is arguably even more important.  We now know that currently only the Acer XR341CK and BX340CK, the Nixeus NX-VUE24 and the Viewsonic XG2701 are capable of dropping to 30Hz and that a total of 17 models can reach 144Hz.  Check out the list for the available 4K displays as well as regular 1440p and ultra-wide 1440p displays in the list and refer back to it regularly as there are a few monitors awaiting final specifications and more coming out in the near future.

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Source: AMD

April showers bring May flowers; cash spent means new growth in your PC

Subject: Systems | May 2, 2016 - 05:32 PM |
Tagged: build guide

Though this post did not quite make it in time for the title, the components are not going to be any different in The Tech Reports April System's Guide.  Similar to our own HWLB, The Tech Report breaks out their recommendations into several price points to accommodate those who are on a budget as well as those for whom the sky is not the limit.  In most cases there are two recommendations for each level of spending, GPUs are certainly an exception as the market is incredibly crowded at the moment and discounts often impact a buyers final decision.  Pop on over to take a look at the components they chose for those of you doing some spring cleaning inside your PCs.

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"In this edition of The Tech Report's System Guide, we examine the CPUs, graphics cards, memory, cases, power supplies, and other parts that system builders will need to power Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vive VR headsets."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Biostar is off to the races with the Z170GT7

Subject: Motherboards | May 2, 2016 - 04:59 PM |
Tagged: biostar, racing z170gt7, Z170, Intel

Biostar has a mixed reputation online, one similar to ASRock.  Those who have never used one despise the brand on the basis of reading that some guy somewhere once had some sort of problem with one.  Those who have used them are aware that they have some quirks but are decent boards when used for what they were designed for and don't tend to have significantly more issues than other brands.

With the Racing Z170GT7, Biostar is venturing out of its comfort zone as you do not expect to see an LN2 switch on one of their products, nor on a motherboard costing around $130.  It is not light on features either, four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, an M.2 port and three SEx ports which are set up to be available as SATA 6Gbps ports as well.  The motherboard also has aesthetic heatsinks and 256 colour LEDs, all of which add up to something new from Biostar.  Check out the board in action over at TechPowerUp ... or not.

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"The Biostar Racing Z170GT7 is a fully-featured high-performance platform that includes an LN2 switch. Unlike previous motherboards from Biostar that were affordable with more basic features, this one has everything a gamer would want and does very well in our testing."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: TechPowerUp

People may actually be migrating to Linux, or at least off of Windows

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2016 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, market share, linux

We've all seen the comments about how Windows 10 has finally convinced people to switch operating systems but today we have numbers which show that some may have been true to their word.  According to Netmarketshare the marketshare of Windows on desktop machines has dropped below 90% for the first time.  Mac OSX holds onto 3.96% of the market but the Other category is up to 8.59%, which is the category that represents the various flavours of Linux; it holds 1.56%, as well as other non-Microsoft OSes.  It may not be the year of Linux but it certainly is not Microsoft's year.  You can read the calm, rational discussion over at Slashdot on this topic, it is guaranteed to provide amusement.

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"Windows 7 is still the king, but it no longer holds the majority. Nine months after Windows 10's release, Windows 7 has finally fallen below 50 percent market share and Windows XP has dropped into single digits. While this is good news for Microsoft, April was actually a poor month for Windows overall, which for the first time owned less than 90 percent of the market, according to the latest figures from Net Applications."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Antec Announces P9 Window Full-Tower Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 2, 2016 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: side window, P9 Window, mid-tower, Full-Tower, fan controller, enclosure, case, atx case, antec

Antec has listed a new P9 Window tower enclosure on their site ahead of Computex, and while it's listed as "not available" at the moment, that should change by the end of the month.

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So what is this P9 Window? It's a straightforward case with a big side window, excellent storage and cooling support, and dual onboard fan controllers.

"Don’t let the sleek, understated exterior fool you. The P9 Window is loaded with builder-focused features that deliver performance, Quiet Computing, and future-proof expandability right out of the box. The interior volume, the variety of cooling options, and the modular HDD cages are just a few of the features that make the P9 Window stand out in the Performance One series."

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Specifications:

  • Motherboard Support: ATX, micro ATX, mini ITX
  • Expansion Slots: 8
  • 13 Total Drive Bays:
    • 3 x Tool-less 5.25” ODD Bays
    • 8 x Tool-less 3.5” HDD trays (each compatible with 2.5” SSD)
    • 1 x 3.5” HDD (inside the 5.25” drive cage)
    • 2 x Tool-less 2.5” Dedicated SSD Bays
  • Cooling System:
    • 2 x Front 120mm (included) fan
    • 1 x Rear 120mm (included) fan
    • 3 x Top 120mm or 2 x 140mm fan mounts (optional)
    • 1 x Bottom 120mm (optional)
    • 2 x 120mm HDD cage fan mounts (Optional)
  • Water cooling support:
    • Front: Supports 240mm radiator
    • Top: Supports240/280/360 mm radiator
    • Pump / Reservoir mounting brackets included
    • Removable / Relocation of HDD cages for water cooling pump
  • I/O Ports:
    • 2 x USB 3.0
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x Fan controls
    • Audio In/Out
  • Washable air filters (front intake and PSU)
  • Supports up to 430 mm VGA cards
  • Bottom mounted ATX PSU (not included)
  • Dimensions: 22.44” (W) x 23.50 (H) x 11.26” (D)
  • Weight: 20 lbs

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Pricing shown in Antec's listing is a reasonable $109 for a full-tower design like this, and we'll doubtless get a chance to see how its performing soon enough as reviews start coming out.

Source: ComputerBase

LG Display Further Invests in OLED

Subject: Displays | April 30, 2016 - 01:33 AM |
Tagged: LG, lg display, oled

According to a spokeswoman for LG Display, via Reuters, the display panel company will increase their investment in OLED production by $395.99 million USD. Back in November, we reported on their plans to produce an $8.7 billion USD facility that was expected to manufacture panel sizes that range between smart watch and large TV.

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Just displaying an LG Display display.

Okay then.

It's awesome that OLED is getting even more attention. The display technology is better suited than LCD/LED in terms of both real contrast and high refresh rate / low persistence, with the former good for deep blacks and saturated colors, and the latter for VR, 3D, and generated content like games. We've seen a few professional monitors announced at CES, but they are still in the “decent used car” price range. That's a welcome change from “decent new car” however, but availability is still basically non-existent. This is before LG Display's production facility wakes up in 2018, and LG is known to push lower prices into markets. Just a couple years!

Source: Reuters

AMD Announces Joint Venture with NFME

Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2016 - 12:33 AM |
Tagged: SoC, nfme, gpu, cpu, amd

Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (NFME) is a Chinese company that packages and tests integrated circuits. Recently, AMD has been working with China to reach that large market, especially given their ongoing cash concerns. This time, AMD sold 85% of its stake in two locations, AMD Penang, Malaysia and AMD Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, to NFME and formed a joint venture with them, called TF-AMD Microelectronics Sdn Bhd.

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I see two interesting aspects to this story.

First, AMD gets about $320 million USD in this transaction, after taxes and fees, and it also retains 15% of this venture. I am curious whether this will lead to a long-term source of income for AMD, even though the press release claims that this structure will be “cost neutral”. Either way, clearing a third of a billion dollars should help AMD to some extent. That equates to about two-to-three quarters of net-loss for the company, so it gives them about six-to-nine extra months of life on its own. That's not too bad if the transaction doesn't have any lasting consequences.

Second, NFME now has access to some interesting packaging and testing technologies. NFME's website claims that this allows them to handle dies up to 800mm2, substrates with up to 18 layers, and package sizes up to 75mm. These specifications sound like it pulls from their GPU experience, which could bring all of that effort and knowledge to completely different fields.

The press release states that 1,700 employees will be moved from AMD to this venture. They do not state whether any jobs are affected over and above this amount, though.

This is your AMD APU. This is your AMD APU on DX12; any questions?

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 29, 2016 - 07:09 PM |
Tagged: amd, dx12, async shaders

Earlier in the month [H]ard|OCP investigated the performance scaling that Intel processors display in DX12, now they have finished their tests on AMD processors.  These tests include Async computing information, so be warned before venturing forth into the comments.  [H] tested an FX 8370 at 2GHz and 4.3GHz to see what effect this had on the games, the 3GHz tests did not add any value and were dropped in favour of these two turbo frequencies.  There are some rather interesting results and discussion, drop by for the details.

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"One thing that has been on our minds about the new DX12 API is its ability to distribute workloads better on the CPU side. Now that we finally have a couple of new DX12 games that have been released to test, we spend a bit of time getting to bottom of what DX12 might be able to do for you. And a couple sentences on Async Compute."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Not to be outdone by hard drives, ARCHOS releases the 70b Helium Tablet

Subject: Mobile | April 29, 2016 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: archos, 70b Helium Tablet

ARCHOS has decided that bigger is not always better and released the 7" 70b Helium tablet.  It is powered by a quad-core Mediatek MT8735M running at 1GHz with 1GB of RAM and Android Lollipop 5.1.  At 278g and 188x108x9.9mm it is much smaller than many current generation tablets and costs less as well.  The resolution of 1024x600 is going to disappoint many prospective buyers, on the other hand bloatware is as sparse as the PPI which is a nice benefit to this tablet.  If you have need of a tablet which is not overly powerful and which is inexpensive enough to pass onto a kid or use in unfriendly places such as the beach pop on over to Kitguru to take a peek.

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"Recently there has been a definite trend to having bigger mobile devices. Smartphone flagships are well over 5 inches in size now, and tablets are getting bigger too – just take a look at the 13.3 inch iPad Pro. It is refreshing, then, to see ARCHOS buck the trend with its 70b Helium tablet.

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

Source: Kitguru

The VR chair is now a reality thanks to Praevidi

Subject: General Tech | April 29, 2016 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: Praevidi, turris, vr chair

You are not alone if you are confused by what exactly a VR chair is, but The Tech Report can help.  Aaron Schradin created the Turris VR chair which essentially allows you to steer VR games with your butt.  By leaning forwards, backwards or to the sides you can make your in game avatar move, instead of needing something in your hands.  Swiveling is also mapped, which is more important than you might think; with your torso decoupled from your head movements you can look around while maintaining the same walking direction.  The Turris also doubles as a case, you can install your PC directly into the chair to clean up the overall look of your VR rig.  Check out the video and full review for a look at this interesting piece of technology.  There is no price nor release date yet but Aaron is aiming for Q4 for the first release.

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"Praevidi's Turris VR Chair lets players navigate seated VR experiences by shifting their bodies, an approach that decouples head- and torso-position tracking to create a potentially more immersive experience in VR environments. Join us as we explore this device and its implications for the future of VR control."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Author:
Manufacturer: AMD

History and Specifications

The Radeon Pro Duo had an interesting history. Originally shown as an unbranded, dual-GPU PCB during E3 2015, which took place last June, AMD touted it as the ultimate graphics card for both gamers and professionals. At that time, the company thought that an October launch was feasible, but that clearly didn’t work out. When pressed for information in the Oct/Nov timeframe, AMD said that they had delayed the product into Q2 2016 to better correlate with the launch of the VR systems from Oculus and HTC/Valve.

During a GDC press event in March, AMD finally unveiled the Radeon Pro Duo brand, but they were also walking back on the idea of the dual-Fiji beast being aimed at the gaming crowd, even partially. Instead, the company talked up the benefits for game developers and content creators, such as its 8192 stream processors for offline rendering, or even to aid game devs in the implementation and improvement of multi-GPU for upcoming games.

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Anyone that pays attention to the graphics card market can see why AMD would make the positional shift with the Radeon Pro Duo. The Fiji architecture is on the way out, with Polaris due out in June by AMD’s own proclamation. At $1500, the Radeon Pro Duo will be a stark contrast to the prices of the Polaris GPUs this summer, and it is well above any NVIDIA-priced part in the GeForce line. And, though CrossFire has made drastic improvements over the last several years thanks to new testing techniques, the ecosystem for multi-GPU is going through a major shift with both DX12 and VR bearing down on it.

So yes, the Radeon Pro Duo has both RADEON and PRO right there in the name. What’s a respectable PC Perspective graphics reviewer supposed to do with a card like that if it finds its way into your office? Test it of course! I’ll take a look at a handful of recent games as well as a new feature that AMD has integrated with 3DS Max called FireRender to showcase some of the professional chops of the new card.

Continue reading our review of the AMD Radeon Pro Duo!!

Seagate Begins Volume Shipment of 10TB Helium-Filled Enterprise Capacity 3.5" HDD

Subject: Storage | April 29, 2016 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, helium, hdd, Enterprise Capacity 3.5, 10TB

We’ve seen a ramp up of Helium filled-hard drives lately, first with HGST, and more recently with Western Digital Red 8TB and Gold 8TB. It seems Seagate also wants in on the fun:

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This drive was initially paper-launched back in January, but now Seagate claims it is shipping in volume. While that original release and today’s update both lack performance specs, there are a few interesting tidbits sprinkled in there:

  • This is a CMR drive, not SMR, meaning that it can be written randomly without any of the batch write penalties of Shingled Magnetic Recording.
  • ‘Advanced write caching capabilities’ hints at a form of the media cache tech present in the HGST He6/He8 and also recently adopted by the WD 8TB Gold.
  • The Seagate 10TB release from earlier this year stated that his model will be a 7-platter design with 14 heads. Helium enables thinner platters, and 7-platter designs began appearing in the HGST He6.
  • At nearly 1.5TB per platter and an assumed spindle speed of 7200 RPM, we can infer that the base specs should be reasonably impressive.

New press blast appears after the break. Original launch blast is linked here.

Not just for the Beatles and Final Fantasy; the Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver headset

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2016 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: audio, kingston hyper x, Cloud Revolver, gaming headset

50mm neodymium drivers have become standard issue on gaming headsets and the Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver is no exception.  With a frequency range of 12Hz–28,000 Hz and impedance of 30 Ω this headset should work well with just about any device.  The steel and leather construction looks nice and will help these headphones resist being damaged while being stored for travel.  As to how they sound, Modders Inc rather liked this analogue headset, read more about it here.

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"The Kingston HyperX Cloud Revolver is the latest headset in Kingston's product family. Kingston's gaming headset line up has grown to four different models which feature both 3.5mm and USB connectivity."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: Modders Inc

Podcast #397 - AMD Radeon Pro Duo, NZXT Manta, AMD's new deal with China, and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2016 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: video, radeon pro duo, podcast, nzxt, nvidia, Manta, GTX 1080, GT 710, GP104, amd, Alpha 12

PC Perspective Podcast #397 - 04/28/2016

Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon Pro Duo, NZXT Manta, AMD's new deal with China, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Lenovo!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Up close and personal with GP100

Subject: General Tech | April 28, 2016 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, GP100, pascal

The Tech Report takes you on a walk through NVIDIA's HPC products to show you just what is interesting about the Tesla P100 HPC which Jen-Hsun Huang introduced us to.  The background gives you an idea of how much has changed from their first forays into HPC to this new 16nm process, 610mm² chip with 56 SMs.  If you missed out on the presentation or wanted some more information about how they pulled off FP16 on natively FP32 hardware or how the cache of this chip was set up then click on over and read it for yourself.

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"Nvidia's GP100 "Pascal" GPU launched on the Tesla P100 HPC accelerator a couple weeks ago. Join us as we take an in-depth look at what we know about this next-generation graphics processor so far, and what it might mean for the consumer GeForces of the future."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Nintendo Announces NX Launch Window

Subject: Systems | April 27, 2016 - 03:51 AM |
Tagged: Nintendo, amd

Not a whole lot to go off for this announcement. I mean, hints have been dropped, partners have made announcements, and leaks have surfaced for over a year at this point. The only thing that today brings is a release window: March 2017. The final name, exact specifications, and even whatever the thing is that makes this console different, are all currently unknown. Given that E3 2016 will be the last E3 before release, though, I expect that we will find out all about it in June.

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Speaking of announcement dates, though, today is an odd one. Midnight (PST) on a seemingly random Wednesday in April doesn't hold any significance to me. Sure, it aligns with their earnings report for investors. Maybe a release date would help raise their stock price (or buffer its potential fall) but it doesn't mean a whole lot for its fans. Does that matter, though? Maybe not.

While this site is PC-oriented, we do touch on console coverage. When the WiiU launched, Ryan disassembled the console over the course of a five-hour livestream, which was archived YouTube. (He dismantled the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well.) We are also interested in how AMD benefits from this whole arrangement. That company is one of the few sources for x86 processors, which gaming consoles have been flocking to, as well as high-end graphics. Combine the two, and you can get a relatively cheap system that is quite competent (for not having a discrete, add-in graphics card) at gaming workloads. According to AMD's previous earnings call, they secured multiple design wins, but we'll need to wait and see whether this is one, and whether it includes the CPU this time. As an aside, Nintendo also recently joined the Khronos Group, so that could eventually be interesting for our readers, too... or not.