Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 8, 2014 - 04:01 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: pq321q, PQ321, nvidia, gsync, g-sync, CES 2014, CES, asus, 4k
Just before CES Allyn showed you the process of modifying the ASUS VG248QE to support NVIDIA G-Sync variable refresh rate technology. It wasn't the easiest mod we have ever done but even users without a lot of skill will be able to accomplish it.
But at the NVIDIA booth at CES this year the company was truly showing off G-Sync technology to its fullest capability. By taking the 3840x2160 ASUS PQ321Q monitor and modifying it with the same G-Sync module technology we were able to see variable refresh rate support in 4K glory.
Obviously you can't see much from the photo above about the smoothness of the animation, but I can assure you that in person this looks incredible. In fact, 4K might be the perfect resolution for G-Sync to shine as running games at that high of a resolution will definitely bring your system to its knees, dipping below that magical 60 Hz / FPS rate. But when it does with this modified panel, you'll still get smooth game play and a a tear-free visual experience.
The mod is actually using the same DIY kit that Allyn used in his story though it likely has a firmware update for compatibility. Even with the interesting debate from AMD about the support for VRR in the upcoming DisplayPort 1.3 standard, it's impossible to not see the ASUS PQ321Q in 4K with G-Sync and instantly fall in love with PCs again.
Sorry - there are no plans to offer this upgrade kit for ASUS PQ321Q owners!
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Displays | January 6, 2014 - 04:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phillips, PhilipsUltraClear, CES 2014, 4k
Graphic artists won't feel left out at CES with the new 4K 28" PhilipsUltraClear Display that was just announced. This is not a gaming monitor but a full 10-bit colour display at a 4K resolution which will be wonderful to create content on.
LAS VEGAS - Jan. 6, 2014 - The PhilipsUltraClear Display debuts today, combining 4K UHD high resolution with a color depth of 1.07 billion colors to deliver brilliant performance, screen clarity and detail with four times the resolution of Full HD. Whether you require extremely detailed information for CAD-CAM solutions, use 3D graphic applications or are a financial wizard working on huge spreadsheets, this Philips display will provide UltraClear 3840x2160 pixel images to meet the visual demands of the most sophisticated power user. The 28-inch monitor (model 288P6) is also ideal for those seeking superb onscreen clarity and color accuracy for personal applications, and includes built-in stereo speakers for multimedia and MHL technology for easy mobile device connectivity.
Designed with the user in mind, the PhilipsUltraClear Display provides a plethora of connectivity options and comes equipped with HDMI, DisplayPort, Dual-link DVI and VGA SmartConnect ports, enabling the enjoyment of high resolution uncompressed video and audio content. USB 3.0 ensures super speed data transfers and smartphone charging while having global connectivity. Additionally, an integrated MHL port allows users to connect compatible phones and tablets directly to the monitor to mirror content to the widescreen display while charging the mobile device at the same time.
The Philips UltraClear Display also features MultiView functionality. This technology enables active dual connect and view so that users can work with multiple devices like PC and laptop side-by-side simultaneously, making complex multi-tasking work a breeze. With the Ultra HD Philips MultiView display, you can now experience a world of connectivity in a comfortable way whether at office or at home.
Another people-friendly feature is the advanced SmartErgoBase, which allows the monitor to be lowered down almost to desk level for a comfortable viewing angle. Low bezel-to-table height is the perfect solution for those who use bifocals, trifocals or progressive lens glasses for computing work. Additionally, the adjustable base allows for users of greatly different heights to use the monitor in their preferred angle and height settings, helping them reduce fatigue and strain. The SmartErgoBase’s height, swivel, tilt and rotation angle adjustments position the monitor for maximum comfort, while its cable management function reduces cable clutter and keeps the workspace neat and professional.
- LCD panel type TN
- Backlight type W-LED system
- Panel size 28-inch
- Aspect ratio 16:9
- Optimum resolution 3840 x 2160
- Brightness 300
- Color 10-bit
- Viewing angle 170º (H) / 160º (V) @ C/R > 10
- Signal input VGA (Analog )x1; DVI-D dual link x1; MHL-HDMI x1; DPx1 USB USB2.0 x2; USB3.0 x2; + fast charger
- Audio 3W x2
- Power supply Internal
- Cabinet color Black
The Philips UltraClear Display will be available in spring 2014 for $1,199.99 MSRP.
PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
CES 2014: Lenovo Convertables, Tablets, and Laptops (Part 2) Y40 & Y50 Touch (with optional 4K), Z40 & Z50
Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2014 - 07:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Lenovo, GeForce 800M, CES 2014, CES, 4k
For the lover of a more conventional clamshell laptop, Lenovo has four models announced at CES. They do not need a special hinge to avoid the ho-hum. Some of these models have options for GeForce 800-series mobile and Radeon M200-series graphics. Some have options of 802.11ac (and others have it standard). One of the four even includes an option for a 4K panel.
Did I get your attention? Read on.
The Lenovo Y40 and Y50 are their gaming class notebooks with relatively high-performance components. The aesthetic is sort-of flat edges and bevels which looks pretty crisp. The dimensions and weight "start at" under an inch thick and 5.3lbs. Options will be available up to 16 GB of RAM and a 1TB hybrid hard drive with 8 GB of SSD caching. It also appears as if 802.11ac wireless comes standard. You have a choice between 14-inch and 15.6-inch Full HD screens or, for the Y50, you can bump the resolution up to 3840x2160 for some mobile 4K.
The Y50 can be powered by as much as an Intel Core i7-4702HQ processor and an NVIDIA GTX 860M 2GB GPU. This graphics solution is currently unannounced but rumors (just rumors) claim it will have about 1.4 TeraFLOPs of performance from 960 shading units. This puts it a little bit behind the Xbox One in terms of peak shader performance however it is also laptop graphics. If the rumors hold true it should be just slightly behind a GeForce 650 Ti. Perhaps we will learn more as CES continues.
Prices start at around $500.
The Lenovo Z40 and Z50, on the other hand, are their more mainstream laptops. Still, they are capable of upgrades up to an Intel Core i7 with GeForce 800-series graphics. They can include up to 16 GB of RAM and up to a 1TB HDD (with extra options for 8GB SSD caching). The laptop comes default with 802.11 b/g/n but can be upgraded to 802.11ac if desired. They come standard with a 1080p touchscreen display.
More interestingly, prices start at just under $400 (although clearly with less RAM, CPU, and GPU than the up to listings). Lenovo claims you can have "up to Windows 8.1" which makes me wonder if Windows 7 options will be available. That could be interesting if true.
PC Perspective's CES 2014 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 11, 2013 - 05:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: frame pacing, frame rating, amd, southern islands, 4k, eyefinity, crossfire, microstutter
The frame pacing issue has been covered at our website for almost a year now. It stems from the original "microstutter" problem which dates back over a year before we could quantify it. We like to use the term "Frame Rating" to denote the testing methodology we now use for our GPU tests.
AMD fared worse at these tests than NVIDIA (although even they had some problems in certain configurations). They have dedicated a lot of man-hours to the problem resulting in a driver updates for certain scenarios. Crossfire while utilizing Eyefinity or 4K MST was one area they did not focus on. The issue has been addressed in Hawaii and AMD asserted that previous cards will get a software fix soon.
The good news is that we have just received word from AMD that they plan on releasing a beta driver for Southern Islands and earlier GPUs (AMD believes it should work for anything that's not "legacy"). As usual, until it ships anything could change, but it looks good for now.
The beta "frame pacing" driver addressing Crossfire with 4K and Eyefinity, for supported HD-series and Southern Islands-based Rx cards, is expected to be public sometime in January.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2013 - 05:10 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, ultrasharp, toshiba, R9 290X, r9 290, podcast, ocz, Kaveri, dell, amd, A10-7850K, A10-7700K, 4k
PC Perspective Podcast #279 - 12/04/2013
Join us this week as we discuss R9 290 Variance Issues, OCZ's Bankruptcy, Kaveri Leaks and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Scott Michaud
Subject: General Tech, Displays | December 2, 2013 - 02:20 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: dell, ultrasharp, UP2414Q, 4k
Dell Belize published an overview of the UltraSharp UP2414Q 24" 4K monitor. I must say, 3840x2160 in a 24" display would certainly look make text look "ultra sharp". The rest of the company still does not appear to be acknowledging its existence but I think this is a pretty safe rumor.
One of the selling points of Dell UltraSharp monitors is its color gamut. It is not too difficult to find a monitor with 100% sRGB coverage, but Adobe RGB is quite larger; the UP2414Q claims to be able to reproduce 99% of it. This means that, if properly calibrated, the monitor can reach "further colors" instead of approximating them. Specifically, 100% Adobe RGB is roughly the gamut possible with color printers.
Put into perspective: my Wacom Cintiq 22HD claims 72% coverage of Adobe RGB.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
Not much else is known about this display. It does not have a price. It does not have a release date. It does not even have an official announcement date. They do claim to calibrate the monitors before they leave the factory so that is some other information, I guess. It has four USB 3.0 ports and a 6-in-1 card reader.
But I can imagine the biggest omission for our audience is: there is no official announcement about refresh rates. Ian Cutress down at Anandtech assumes, based on the Dell UltraSharp 32" UP3214Q monitor, it will support 60Hz only using two DisplayPort 1.2a connectors in MST; otherwise, 4K will be limited to 30Hz.
I would be surprised if he is not correct.
A bit of a surprise
Okay, let's cut to the chase here: it's late, we are rushing to get our articles out, and I think you all would rather see our testing results NOW rather than LATER. The first thing you should do is read my review of the AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB Hawaii graphics card which goes over the new architecture, new feature set, and performance in single card configurations.
Then, you should continue reading below to find out how the new XDMA, bridge-less CrossFire implementation actually works in both single panel and 4K (tiled) configurations.
A New CrossFire For a New Generation
CrossFire has caused a lot of problems for AMD in recent months (and a lot of problems for me as well). But, AMD continues to make strides in correcting the frame pacing issues associated with CrossFire configurations and the new R9 290X moves the bar forward.
Without the CrossFire bridge connector on the 290X, all of the CrossFire communication and data transfer occurs over the PCI Express bus that connects the cards to the entire system. AMD claims that this new XDMA interface was designed for Eyefinity and UltraHD resolutions (which were the subject of our most recent article on the subject). By accessing the memory of the GPU through PCIe AMD claims that it can alleviate the bandwidth and sync issues that were causing problems with Eyefinity and tiled 4K displays.
Even better, this updated version of CrossFire is said to compatible with the frame pacing updates to the Catalyst driver to improve multi-GPU performance experiences for end users.
When an extra R9 290X accidentally fell into my lap, I decided to take it for a spin. And if you have followed my graphics testing methodology in the past year then you'll understand the important of these tests.
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2013 - 06:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z87, Thunderbolt 2, sonnet, Intel, idf 2013, idf, gigabyte, asus, asrock, aja, 4k
Intel recently launched its next generation Thunderbolt 2 interface, and several devices using the new connection were shown off at the Intel Developer Forum. The major takeaway from Thunderbolt 2 is the increased bandwidth and benefits to video production houses working with large uncompressed media. Specifically, Thunderbolt 2 is a PCI-Express based external interface that sends both video output and data down a single cable. Upgrades over the original 10Gbps Thunderbolt standard include an updated to the DisplayPort 1.2 video standard and double the bandwidth to 20Gbps. Thanks to the increased bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 enables simultaneous video output and video file transfer of 4K media. Video editors can watch and transfer 4K video to an DisplayPort-equipped monitor and external RAID array respectively.
Intel is kicking off the Thunderbolt 2 standard with the launch of its DSL5520 and DSL5320 Thunderbolt 2 controllers, which are already in the hands of device manufactures. In fact, there were quite a few bits of hardware being shown off at this years IDF that already support the new Thunderbolt 2 standard. Intel is expecting even more devices in 2014.
Professional video editing and workstation hardware with Thunderbolt 2
While consumer PC hardware will be supporting Thunderbolt 2, the new interface is most beneficial to professional users and IDF was the launch pad for several high end pieces of production gear. Sonnet launched the Echo Express III external PCI-E card chassis that allows users to hook up PCI-E cards to systems via Thunderbolt 2 (for example: video capture card or fast solid state storage). Also, AJA showed off a video/audio capture box called the IO 4K that supports daisy chaining other Thunderbolt 2 devices and acts as a video capture card capable of taking in 4K and UltraHD video sources as well as high end audio inputs. Finally, PROMISE Technology showed off its Pegasus2 RAID 5 enclosure and SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 bridge device.
External boxes are not the only professional products with Thunderbolt 2 at IDF, however. The technology is also being integrated into workstations, including the Apple Mac Pro with six Thunderbolt 2 ports and HP’s new lineup of desktop workstations.
Z87 Motherboards With Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 will also be used in consumer gear as well, including Z87 motherboards. Asus, AsRock, and Gigabyte all had motherboards on display that each featured two Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new interface will be available on the multiple boards from the manufacturers. German tech site ComputerBase.de posted several photos of Thunderbolt 2-equipped motherboards and gave a glimpse at the upcoming hardware.
The Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad, an AsRock Z87 motherboard, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD5 TH spotted at IDF by ComputerBase.de.
Of note are the ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad, AsRock Extreme 11/ac, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH. All boards off LGA 1150 CPU sockets, four DDR3 DIMM slots, a slew of SATA 6Gbps ports, multiple PCI-E 3.0 x16 and x1 slots, and rich rear IO including two Thunderbolt 2 ports (naturally).
The AsRock Z87 Extreme 11/ac via ComputerBase.de.
The following chart breaks down the specifications. Unfortunately pricing and availability have not been announced for these boards, but expect to pay a premium for the high end gaming hardware and new Thunderbolt 2 controller. (The Asrock Extreme 11/ac in particular takes the word “high end” to the, well, extreme.)
|ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad||AsRock Extreme 11/ac||Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH|
|PCI-E 3.0 x16||3||4||5|
|PCI-E 3.0 x1||4||3||2|
|Audio||6 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical|
|Video out||1 x HDMI||1 x HDMI, 1 x DP||1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI|
|USB 3.0||6 (+4 USB 2.0)||6 (+2 USB 2.0)||6|
It is promising to see so many devices this early into Thunderbolt 2's launch, and the various high end motherboard using both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3 gives consumers the best of both worlds and access to all manner of external peripherals. The bandwidth increase is certainly welcome, and I am interested to see what sorts of new devices it enables. For now, I think Thunderbolt 2 is going to be mainly a professional (or at least "pro-sumer") technology. With that siad, 4K capture and video output is already being worked on, and I am curious to see what other applications and technologies will really be able to push the new 20Gbps interface and what trickles down to the consumer space!
Are you excited about Thunderbolt 2? Let us know what you think of the IDF-launched products and the interface technology in general in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 02:54 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, hd 5000, haswell, 4k
Intel has announced a new Haswell-powered NUC called the D54250WYK. The new barebones kit includes an Intel D54250WYB NUC motherboard with soldered processor in a small form factor case that measures 4.6″ x 4.4″ x 1.4″. The new NUC is faster, has new IO options, and reportedly fixes the overheating issues of previous NUC systems. The Haswell-powered NUC has a bit of competition with the recently launched Gigabyte BRIX system which also got an upgrade to Intel's latest consumer architecture.
The new NUC D54250WYK barebones kit.
The Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK uses a new 4.33" x 4.33" motherboard with a pre-soldered Intel Haswell Core i5-4250U processor. The system further supports two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots (up to 16GB of 1600MHz memory), a single SATA port, two mini PCI-E slots (one for mSATA SSDs and one half-height for Wi-Fi NICs), and a USB 2.0 header supporting to USB 2.0 ports. The Core i5-4250U CPU is a 22nm chip with a 15W TDP. It is a dual core part clocked at 1.3GHz base and 2.6GHz Turbo with HyperThreading, 3MB of cache, and HD 5000 processor graphics (200Mhz base and 1GHz Turbo).
The new NUC motherboard and Haswell processor.
While Intel has removed Thunderbolt support, external IO is still decent, with the following ports:
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x Infrared receiver
2 x Video outputs:
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Mini HDMI 1.4
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 x USB 3.0
Notably, the Intel NUC Kit with i5-4250U CPU requires active cooling, but aftermarket cases offering passive cooling are likely in the works. Of course, users will be able to purchase the barebones D54250WYK kit or just the D54250WYB NUC motherboard and CPU that can be paired with a third party or custom built case. Like Gigabyte, Intel has not released specific pricing or availability, but expect the new Haswell-powered NUC to be coming soon as the system appears to be ready to go. Hopefully full reviews will be hitting the Internet soon!
Subject: Storage | September 13, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Thunderbolt 2, SANlink 2, raid, promise, 4k
Promise Technology has announced that it is launching new storage solutions with Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 interface. Shown off at IDF 2013, the storage products include the Pegasus 2 series and SANLink 2 Thunderbolt 2 to 8G Fiber Channel bridge. The Pegasus 2 series is a RAID 5 external storage array that connects to Windows or Mac machines using Thunderbolt 2. The SANLink 2 bridge product allows users to connect a PC using Thunderbolt 2 to Promise Technology's VTrak or VTrak A-Class shared SAN storage.
The storage products are aimed mainly at professional video editors that are working with 4K content. According to Promise Technology, the 20Gbps bi-directional Thunderbolt 2 connection enables video editors to simultaneously transfer and display 4K video content.
Promise Technology CEO James Lee was quoted as saying:
"With the industry now poised for the widespread adoption of 4K video, the Pegasus2 Series with Thunderbolt 2 technology will revolutionize how video creators are managing 4K workflows in addition to delivering unprecedented performance to artists and enthusiasts who love to create captivating content."
Both the Pegasus2 and SANLink2 products with Thunderbolt 2 will be available in Fall 2013 for so-far undisclosed prices. The full press blast is below, for more information.
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