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Subject: Systems | April 27, 2016 - 07:51 AM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
Subject: Processors | April 26, 2016 - 09:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Wraith, Godavari, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, FM2+, amd, X4 880K
Remember that FM2+ refresh which Josh informed you about back in March? The APUs have started arriving on test benches and can be benchmarked independently to see what this ~$100 processor and the Wraith cooler are capable of. Neoseeker compares the new 880K against the older FX-4350 in a long series of benchmarks which show the 880K to be the better part in most cases. There are some interesting exceptions to this, in which the FX-4350's slightly higher frequency allows it to pull ahead by a small margin so there are cases where the less expensive chip would make sense. Read the full review to see which chip makes more sense for you.
"Today we take a look at the AMD Athlon X4 880K, a quad-core FM2+ processor with 4.0/4.2GHz base/Turbo clocks and unlocked multiplier priced at under $100 USD. It's designed for enthusiasts on a budget looking for the fastest multi-core Athlon processor yet without any integrated GPU to add to the cost. It even shares the 95W TDP of AMD's higher-end APUs for optimized power consumption that further leads to more overclocking headroom."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- The AMD Athlon X4 880K Review @ Hardware Canucks
- A10-7870K vs. Core i3-6100 CPU @ Hardware Secrets
- £150 Gaming CPU: AMD FX 8370 (w/ Wraith) vs Intel Core i5-6400 @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2016 - 08:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
After the release of Windows 10 version 1511, Microsoft took a few months to refactor and otherwise update the deep-down chunks of their OS. After that was all settled, they started merging features from their many teams. For the last two builds, the amount of changes ramped way up, not all of which were announced at Build conference.
These features have been merged without much bug-crushing, though. Microsoft knows this, and then talk about a “Bug Bash” event happening sometime this week. To get a feel for the state of this build's quality, though, you can check out WinBeta attempting to show off the new features. Note that some of the issues they were experiencing were actually in the known issues list, namely the crash attempting to pin Settings options, but the list is quite long.
A couple of new changes are interesting and surprising. First, long-time, multi-monitor users will like that the clock is now on all taskbars, not just the primary monitor. They acknowledge that this was driven by the gaming community, although they don't explicitly state that it's because our applications run in fullscreen mode so frequently (covering the main monitor clock). I don't exactly know why this slipped past the user experience people for so long, at least since the multi-monitor enhancements in Windows 8, but it did. It should be publicly available in July.
They will also allow desktop icons to have mini symbols (badges) attached to them. This could tell you how many unseen emails you have, whether your alarm is active, and probably many other features when it's in a publicly-accessible API. It's concerning that it's UWP-only, though. It shows that Microsoft wants to deprecate Win32 for new features, without migrating them into UWP containers, which further suggests that Microsoft intends to deprecate Win32 altogether. This is very concerning for several reasons, but I'm not going to reiterate them in this post.
The other cool feature, though, is a new interface to select between multiple sound cards. In my scenario, I have two main sound devices. When I listen to my headphones, I plug them into a USB sound card (technically a Blue Yeti). When I want to use speakers, I flip over to motherboard audio and turn on my sound system. This means that I need to go deep into the Sound preferences in the Control Panel, and it also means that some applications don't cleanly switch over (even locking up entirely). With this a front-and-center input menu of Windows 10, it should pressure developers to test whether their software can accept a sound device change on the fly, and fix accordingly.
So yeah -- those are the three features that spoke most to me. Again, the lack of innovation in native Win32 APIs is concerning. It reminds me of when browser vendors declared that certain new APIs would be artificially held back from non-secure HTTP contexts. In some cases, it makes sense -- an unsecure Web app accessing your webcam is a sign that they don't care about your privacy -- but it also means that software developers need to give up some level of their anonymity to acquire a certificate to access those features (unless offline sites are classified as secure in the user's browser, which Google Chrome does and others might too). Tangent aside, it feels like Microsoft is trying to apply the same level of pressure to push people away from bare Win32. That makes sense, they want to promote new platforms, but it also usually comes before the old one gets the guillotine.
Subject: Storage | April 26, 2016 - 05:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Seagate, 8TB, NAS
Seagate is not to be outdone by Western Digital and their 8TB Red drive and have released their own 8TB NAS HDD. The model which eTeknix reviewed is designed for SMBs and users that have a huge amount of content they plan to store in the long term. That results in a 3 year warranty, a limit of 8 drives in a NAS and rated workload of 180TB per year, somewhat less than the Enterprise model, however it is also less expensive. eTeknix uses a different battery of tests than we do here at PCPer, you can see how the drive is rated in AIDA, Anvil, Crystaldisk and others over in their full review, the numbers are similar to the WD Red drive even with the lack of a rarefied atmosphere.
"Just as you wouldn’t use a low-end graphics card for high-end usage, you shouldn’t use the wrong hard disk drive in your storage system either. There is a reason for every product and you should always pick the one suited for the task at hand, especially when you deal with your storage. Today I’m taking a closer look at Seagate’s impressive 8TB NAS HDD and we will take a look at how well it performs."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Patriot Magnum2 USB 3.1 Flash Drive @ The SSD Review
- Transcend SSD370S 512GB @ Kitguru
- Crucial BX200 960GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | April 26, 2016 - 04:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
If you are in the Windows Insider program you will have a chance to check out the new build 14328 of Windows 10, which reveals many of the new features which will arrive in the so called Anniversary edition. Once again they have chosen to change the Start menu, something which has always been well received by users, though perhaps this time it will not be so bad as the idea of a customizable Rail which always displays the power button and icons the user selects may be useful.
They have also added Ink Workspace, aka Inky, which will make using a stylus in Windows 10 much easier, for those with touchscreens or tablets and a desire to draw or write by hand. There are also quite a few things which sound less welcome, such as default save folders which vary from app to app and some odd behaviour from Cortana. Read more about the new features over at The Inquirer.
"Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 14328 to "Windows Insider" previewers. The build is available for both PC and mobile, and is described by VP Gabe Aul as a "MAJOR build, packed with lots of new features and improvements"."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Carbon nanotubes light up on photonic chips @ Nanotechweb
- Dogspectus: Android ransomware is silently installing bad apps @ The Inquirer
- BlackBerry is pivoting from phones to enterprise software @ The Register
- Gmail For Android Gets Microsoft Exchange Support @ Slashdot
- Do AMD Drivers Really Deserve Such a Hostile Reception @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2016 - 10:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, fnatic gear, Rush G1, cherry mx red
The Fnatic Rush G1 features Cherry MX Red switches, with red backlighting that you can manually switch between three levels of brightness, a breathing mode and an off position for the old folks like myself. For those who dislike the feel of a naked desk against your wrists the inclusion of a wrist rest is a nice addition to the package. The bundled Fnatic Rush Settings Software is somewhat limited compared to the competition, the five profiles are limited to ten macros apiece, if you need more than that you would have to use the Fn+Function key to switch between profiles on the fly which is not much help in the heat of a match. Benchmark Reviews like more about this keyboard than they disliked, read through the review to see if you are in agreement.
"The London-based company Fnatic currently offers four products: the Rush keyboard, the Flick mouse, and two types of mouse pad. Today Benchmark Reviews will look at the Fnatic Rush G1 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard equipped with Cherry MX Red switches."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair K70 RAPIDFIRE RGB @ Kitguru
- Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB @ eTeknix
- QPAD DX-20 Pro Gaming Optical Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- ROCCAT KIRO Gaming Mouse Review @ OCC
- Tesoro Ascalon Spectrum @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2016 - 08:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: graphics driver, crimson, amd
AMD's new Crimson driver has just been released with new features including official support for the new Radeon Pro Duo as well as both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets. It also adds enhanced support for AMD's XConnect technology for external GPUs connected via a Thunderbolt 3 interface. Crossfire profile updates include Hitman, Elite Dangerous and Need for Speed and they have also resolved the ongoing issue with the internal update procedure not seeing the newest drivers. If you are having issues with games crashing to desktop on launch you will still need to disable the AMD Gaming Evolved overlay, unfortunately.
"The latest version of Radeon Software Crimson Edition is here with 16.4.2. With this version, AMD delivers many quality improvements, updated/introduced new CrossFire profiles and delivered full support for AMD’s XConnect technology (including plug’n’play simplicity for Thunderbolt 3 eGFX enclosures configured with Radeon R9 Fury, Nano or 300 Series GPUs.) Best of all, our DirectX 12 leadership continues to be strong, as shown by the performance numbers below."
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 25, 2016 - 07:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, W100 Super Tower Chassis
The new Thermaltake W100 Super Tower Chassis is not for the casual user. Not only does it ship in a flatpack, which means you need to assemble the entire case yourself but it is also very large; that is a full ATX P6X58-E WS motherboard in that picture! Once fully assembled the case measures an impressive 677x310x678mm (26.7x12.2x26.7") and can support up to nineteen 120/140mm fans or radiators of up to 600mm in size. There are only a measly ten 2.5/3.5" internal bays and three external 5.25" bays, almost enough to satisfy Allyn's minimum storage requirements. The locations you choose for these drive bays is flexible, thanks to the need to assemble the case you can place the internal bays in the configuration you prefer. It will take a lot of work to get a system going in this case but your choices are almost without limit thanks to the sheer size of the case. Check out [H]ard|OCP's full review right here.
"The W100 Super Tower Chassis is not small and it is not cheap. It even comes fully unassembled. It does however look to fit the needs of the most hardcore water cooling enthusiasts however. The W100 is likely the most versatile case we have ever reviewed in terms of fan and radiator compatibility."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cougar Archon Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Thermaltake Pacific RL240 Watercooling Kit @ Techware Labs
- AMD FX 8350 CPU with Wraith Cooler Review: Stock Cooling Gets an Upgrade @ Modders-Inc
- Scythe Shuriken Rev.B Low-Profile CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- CRYORIG H7 CPU Cooler Review: Worry-free Compatibility @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | April 25, 2016 - 06:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: IMX219, Raspberry Pi
The camera kit for the Raspberry Pi has just received an update, both the IR and visible light modules will now ship with an 8MP sensor, a nice jump from the current 5MP module. Even better for a system designed specifically for low cost solutions is the news that the price will remain unchanged and the new camera will cost you the same as the previous. The Inquirer reports that one of the main reasons for the change is that the OmniVision OV5647 sensor previously used can no longer be sourced. If you use your Raspberry Pi for applications requiring a camera, you should look at your current projects to see if the jump in resolution provide by the IMX219 sensor will benefit you.
"Fortunately, we'd already struck up conversation with Sony's image sensor division, and in the nick of time we're able to announce the immediate availability of visible light and infrared cameras based on the Sony IMX219 8MP sensor at the same low price of $25.""
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Modder replaces eMMC chip in Google Nexus 5 with 64GB version @ The Inquirer
- Google Appears To Be Working On Bringing Android Apps to Chrome OS @ Slashdot
- Here Come the x86 Hacker Boards @ Linux.com
- Windows 10: Microsoft fears borkage from auto updates and 1,000 users agree @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft, Google bury hatchet – surprisingly, not in each other @ The Register
- DXRacer King Series (OH/KX28/NB) PC Gaming Chair @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2016 - 11:31 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming
Before I begin, I should note that the release date for Mirror's Edge: Catalyst has been pushed back two weeks. It will now launch on June 7th in North America, and June 9th in Europe. DICE claims that the reason for this delay is to work on “Social Play,” which allows users to create their own time trial events, and to integrate feedback that they will receive from the Closed Beta. The beta starts the day after that reason was announced... so it can't logically be the whole truth.
Anywho, the specifications.
First, Mirror's Edge Catalyst requires at least four “logical” cores. They list the minimum as the Intel Core i3-3250 or the AMD FX-6350. A dual-core, HyperThreaded processor should work, but it would need to be as fast as the i3-3250. EA does offer refunds through Origin, however, so, if you're interested but not quite sure, you could just try it and see.
Second, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti and the Radeon R9 270x are listed as the minimum GPUs, with the GeForce GTX 970 and the Radeon R9 280x (3GB) recommended. Especially on AMD's side, there really isn't a whole lot of difference between these parts. The R9 270x has 2.5 TeraFLOPs of performance, and the R9 280x has 3.5 TeraFLOPs. Over on NVIDIA's side, the GTX 650 Ti has about 1.5 TeraFLOPs of compute, while the GTX 970 goes up to 3.5 TeraFLOPs. They seem to be targeting about twice-the-PS4 for their benchmark of high-end performance, but it looks like they aren't willing to scale back too far to be smooth. This could be caused by one of three issues:
- The gameplay requires a fairly high and consistent framerate
- They didn't put a lot of effort in downscaling and/or
- It can go lower and/or higher, but DICE/EA just doesn't want to officially support it
Third, despite being an open-world title, the game isn't too tough on hard drive space. It only requires about 25GB of space, which is about half of a typical, large title these days. That said, the art style also doesn't really require too many textures. Basically everything is colored by its lighting engine, because the environment is supposed to give a sterile feel.
Fourth, and more interesting, the game requires a heck of a lot of RAM. At a bare minimum, it requires 6GB of memory, which also means that it will not run on a 32-bit operating system. Their recommended RAM goes way up from there, requesting 16GB for that level of experience. Yes, RAM usage doesn't really correlate with assets, but that is almost the entire install size of the game, which (again) is 25GB. That's a lot, but it will hopefully cut down on the load times that people have been complaining about in the console pre-release builds. To be clear, I don't mind and it could be a very good thing, but it's definitely a noteworthy amount.
If you're interested, check out the various streams and videos that should be popping up. The full game arrives on the first full week of June.
Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2016 - 11:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming
I joke of course, because Unreal Tournament 3 had the option to cook mods for the PlayStation 3. Modding console games isn't a mainstream practice, though, especially since the hardware vendors tend to be afraid of what users will put into their systems. Third-party content is pushed into the realm of hacked consoles or emulators.
In this case, SEGA, over a decade after they made their last console, has decided to allow Steam Workshop with their SEGA Mega Drive Classics Hub (which corresponds to the SEGA Genesis for North Americans). The purpose of this is “allowing you to share modified versions of your favourite retro SEGA titles”. Sonic the Hedgehog is featured prominently in the promotional video, but will not be available at launch. The list is fairly long, however, and includes games like Ecco the Dolphin, Vectorman, Golden Axe, and so forth.
I am a big fan of long-term support, especially for user-created content. Video games are an excellent way for people to express themselves, be it with ridiculous and cruel Sonic levels, or with something more abstract. Regardless of their reasons, I'm glad that SEGA is giving a part of their platform to their fans (and society as a whole).
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 22, 2016 - 05:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fsp, HYDRO G, 650W, modular psu, 80 Plus Gold
FSP provides the insides to many of the PSUs you see sold from Corsair, Zalman, Antec and just about every other provider at some point in the past. They also occasionally sell them under their own brand name, which brings us to the Hydro G 650W fully modular PSU that was recently reviewed at [H]ard|OCP. The PSU has a single 12V rail capable of providing 649W @ 54.16A, with the four 6+2 PCIe connectors it will handle many dual GPU systems. It comes with 80 PLUS GOLD certification and a five year warranty and is available for around $75. FSP's experience shows in the design and performance of this PSU as it walked away with a Gold Award and hearty recommendations.
"While FSP may not be a PSU brand that is on the tip of your tongue, we have been reviewing FSP computer power supplies now for 8 years, and the fact of the matter is that these units have been getting better and better over time. Where does the new Hydro G 650W fit into that progression?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Tesla R2 500W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Corsair RM1000x 1000 Watt 80 PLUS Gold @ eTeknix
- Corsair SF600 80 Plus Gold @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | April 22, 2016 - 04:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: happy mistake, battery, nanowires
A very happy accident occurred during Mya Le Thai's doctoral thesis research, which will greatly upset replacement battery suppliers everywhere. Lithium-ion batteries slowly lose the ability to charge fully and to hold that charge as they are used and recharged multiple times. There are several reasons why this occurs and her team of researchers were trying to find a way to avoid some of those reasons by using nanowires to store and transfer electrons. This method has not been very successful in the past as nanowires are very brittle and would degrade over time in the same way other solutions did. However, in what The Inquirer refers to as an accident, the team discovered that coating gold nanowires in a manganese dioxide shell and then placing it in a Plexiglas-like gel resolved that problem, their test battery has now been recharged over 200,000 times in the space of three months, with no measurable loss of total capacity or power delivery. Hopefully this technology does not end up patented and sitting on a shelf unused to ensure we still need to continually replace the batteries we use.
"RESEARCHERS AT the University of California at Irvine (UCI) have accidentally - yes, accidentally - discovered a nanowire-based technology that could lead to batteries that can be charged hundreds of thousands of times."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff @ The Register
- Goodbye: XPoint is Intel's best exit from NAND production hell @ The Register
- Acer has no plans to make VR devices, says CEO @ DigiTimes
- Core Windows Utility Can Be Used To Bypass Whitelisting @ Slashdot
- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS @ The Register
- Ian ‘8PACK’ Parry showcases new custom OC’d watercooled systems @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | April 22, 2016 - 03:36 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Wraith, quiet computing, heatsink, cpu cooler, cpu, AMD Wraith, amd, air cooling
AMD has expanded the CPU lineup featuring their high-performance Wraith air cooling solution, with the quiet cooler now being offered with two more FX-series processors.
Image credit: The Tech Report
"AMD has heard the feedback from reviewers and PC users everywhere: the near-silent, capable AMD Wraith Cooler is a resounding success. The question they keep asking is, 'When will the Wraith Cooler be available on more AMD Processors?'
We’re pleased to announce that the wait is over. The high-performance AMD FX 8350 and AMD FX 6350 processors now include a true premium thermal solution in the AMD Wraith Cooler, and each continues to deliver the most cores andthe highest clock rates in its class."
The lineup featuring AMD's most powerful air solution now includes the following products:
- AMD FX 8370
- AMD FX 8350
- AMD FX 6350
- AMD A10-7890K
The Wraith cooler initially made its debut with the FX-8370 CPU, and was added to the new A10-7890K APU with the FM2+ refresh last month.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 22, 2016 - 02:16 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rumor, report, pascal, nvidia, leak, graphics card, gpu, gddr5x, GDDR5
According to a report from VideoCardz (via Overclock.net/Chip Hell) high quality images have leaked of the upcoming GP104 die, which is expected to power the GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card.
Image credit: VideoCardz.com
"This GP104-200 variant is supposedly planned for GeForce GTX 1070. Although it is a cut-down version of GP104-400, both GPUs will look exactly the same. The only difference being modified GPU configuration. The high quality picture is perfect material for comparison."
A couple of interesting things have emerged with this die shot, with the relatively small size of the GPU (die size estimated at 333 mm2), and the assumption that this will be using conventional GDDR5 memory - based on a previously leaked photo of the die on PCB.
Alleged photo of GP104 using GDDR5 memory (Image credit: VideoCardz via ChipHell)
"Leaker also says that GTX 1080 will feature GDDR5X memory, while GTX 1070 will stick to GDDR5 standard, both using 256-bit memory bus. Cards based on GP104 GPU are to be equipped with three DisplayPorts, HDMI and DVI."
While this is no doubt disappointing to those anticipating HBM with the upcoming Pascal consumer GPUs, the move isn't all that surprising considering the consistent rumors that GTX 1080 would use GDDR5X.
Is the lack of HBM (or HBM2) enough to make you skip this generation of GeForce GPU? This author points out that AMD's Fury X - the first GPU to use HBM - was still unable to beat a GTX 980 Ti in many tests, even though the 980 Ti uses conventional GDDR5. Memory is obviously important, but the core defines the performance of the GPU.
If NVIDIA has made improvements to performance and efficiency we should see impressive numbers, but this might be a more iterative update than originally expected - which only gives AMD more of a chance to win marketshare with their upcoming Radeon 400-series GPUs. It should be an interesting summer.
Subject: Mobile | April 21, 2016 - 10:56 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windows 10, tablet, switch alpha 12, liquid cooling, convertible tablet, acer, 2-in-1
Acer has unveiled their latest detachable 2-in-1 tablet/laptop with the Switch Alpha 12, and this device features some impressive specs - not the least of which is a liquid-cooling loop for the CPU.
According to Acer, the Switch Alpha 12 "is the industry’s first fanless 2-in-1 notebook to use a 6th Generation Intel Core i7, Core i5 or Core i3 processor," and these Intel offerings power a 12-inch 2160x1440 resolution IPS display.
Acer offers this video to showcase the device's features, including the water cooling loop:
Storage will range from 128GB - 512GB, with memory available in either 4GB or 8GB capacities. The magnetically attached keyboard offers full-sized keys with 1.4mm travel, and a full touchpad, and overall battery life is said to be 8 hours. The unit is 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.62 inches, and weighs 2.76 pounds (with keyboard connected).
The CPU cooling loop (Image taken from Acer promo video)
As to pricing and availability, Acer states that the "Switch Alpha 12 will be available in North America in June starting at $599".
Subject: Processors | April 21, 2016 - 10:02 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, Zen, China, chinese, licensing
As part of its earnings release today, it was announced that AMD has partnered with a combination of public and private Chinese companies to license its high-end server architecture and products. The Chinese company is called THATIC, Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. Ltd., and it will license x86 designs and SoC technology providing all the tools needed to make a server platform including CPUs, interconnects and controllers.
This move is important and intriguing in several ways. First, for AMD, this could be a step to get the company and its products some traction and growth after falling well behind Intel's Xeon platforms in the server space. Increasing the market share of AMD technology, in nearly any capacity, is a move the company needs to have any chance to return to profitability. For the Chinese government, it finally will get access to the x86 architecture, though not in the form of its own license.
By licensing the x86 designs to THATIC, AMD could create an entire host of competitors for itself as well as for Intel, which won't help Intel's in-roads into the Chinese markets for enterprise tech. Intel does not license out x86 technology at all, deciding instead to keep it completely in-house in hopes of being the single provider of processors for devices from the cloud to the smartphone.
The first products built by THATIC will likely use the upcoming Zen architecture, due out in early 2017. AMD creates an interesting space for itself with this partnership - the company will sell its own Zen-based chips that could compete with the custom designs the Chinese organization builds. It's possible that a non-compete of sales based on region is part of the arrangement.
Out of the gate, AMD expects to make $293 million from the deal as part of the joint-venture and also will make money based on royalties. That's great news for a company just posted another net loss for Q1 2016.
Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2016 - 09:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RapidFire, K70 RGB, K70, K65 RGB, corsair, Cherry MX Speed, cherry
Corsair announced three new keyboards, the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE, K65 RGB RAPIDFIRE and K70 RAPIDFIRE all of which use Cherry's new MX Speed switches which have an actuation distance of 1.2 millimeters and and activation force of 45 cN(centinewtons, or 45.887229584 gram force).
All three keyboards have a brushed aluminium shell, the two RGB models are capable of producing almost any colour on the spectrum with the remaining model featuring red backlighting. All three are compatible with CUE LINK, you can synchronize the LEDs of your Corsair keyboard, mouse and headset to compliment each other and perhaps as a distraction tactic during LAN parties. 100% Anti-ghosting and full key rollover over USB mean even in the heat of battle your death will not be caused by a keypress not registering. Touch typists should also enjoy benefits when using the new keyboards, a light touch is all that is required for the keyboard to register a character, though the tiny amount of travel required may take some getting used to. Many will be please to note that these keyboards do ship with a wrist rest.
They are available as of today, MSRPs are $169.99 for the K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE, $139.99 for the K65 RGB RAPIDFIRE and $129.99 for the K70 RAPIDFIRE.
Subject: General Tech | April 21, 2016 - 07:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Sure whoever modded their eVic-VTC Mini Box Mod e-cigarette to play Flappy Bird is in the headlines now, but what about the fact that DOOM has been run on both an ATM and a Canon printer? There is also the mad genius who managed to get Windows 95 running on a Nintendo 3DS for reasons best left unexplored. Someone even went so far as to install Windows XP on an Android Wear watch, simultaneously useless and amazing at the same time. Top 10 lists are a bit overdone but this one at The Inquirer might cheer you up a bit after all the sad news today.
"This got The INQUIRER team talking, and we soon found ourselves reminiscing about our favourite 'things made to run on things they shouldn't run on' stories. Yeah, we know, we're an exciting bunch."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
Subject: Processors | April 21, 2016 - 06:44 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: restructure, Intel
Earlier this week Intel announced a major restructuring that will result in the loss of 12,000 jobs over the next several weeks, an amount equal to approximately 11% of the company's workforce. I've been sitting on the news for a while, trying to decide what I could add to the hundreds of reports on it and honestly, I haven't come to any definitive conclusion. But here it goes.
It's obviously worth noting the humanitarian part of this announcement - 12,000 people will be losing their job. I feel for them and wish them luck finding employment quickly. It sucks to see anyone lose their job, and maybe more so with a company that is still so profitable and innovative.
The reasons for the restructuring are obviously complex, but the major concern is the shift in focus towards IoT (Internet of Things) and cloud infrastructure as the primary growth drivers.
The data center and Internet of Things (IoT) businesses are Intel’s primary growth engines, with memory and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) accelerating these opportunities – fueling a virtuous cycle of growth for the company. These growth businesses delivered $2.2 billion in revenue growth last year, and made up 40 percent of revenue and the majority of operating profit, which largely offset the decline in the PC market segment.
That last line is the one that might be the most concerning for enthusiasts and builders that read PC Perspective. The decline of the PC market has been a constant hum in the back of minds for the better part of 10 years. Everyone from graphics card vendors to motherboard manufacturers and any other product that depends on the consumer PC to be relevant, has been worried about what will happen as the PC continues in a southward spiral.
But it's important to point out that Intel has done this before, has taken the stance that the consumer PC is bad business. Remember the netbook craze and the rise of the Atom product line? When computers were "fast enough" for people to open up a browser and get to their email? At that point Intel had clearly pushed the enthusiast and high performance computing market to back burner. This also occurred when management pushed Intel into the mobile space, competing directly with the likes of Qualcomm in a market that it didn't quite have the product portfolio to do so.
Then something happened - PC gaming proved to be a growth segment after all. Intel started to realize that high end components mattered and they made attempts to recapture the market's mind share (as it never lost the market share). That is where the unlocked processors in notebooks and "anniversary edition" CPUs were born, in the labs of Intel where gamers and enthusiasts mattered. Hell the entire creation of the Devil's Canyon platform was predicated on the idea that the enthusiast community mattered.
I thought we were moving in the right direction. But it appears we have another setback. Intel is going to downplay the value and importance of the market that literally defines and decides what every other consumer buys. Enthusiasts are the trend setters, the educators and the influencers. When families and friends and co-workers ask for suggestions for new phones, tablets and notebooks, they ask us.
Maybe Intel is just in another cycle, another loop about the fate of the PC and what it means. Did tablets and the iPad kill off the notebook? Did mobile games on your iPhone keep users from flocking to PC games? Have the PS4 or Xbox One destroyed the market for PC-based gaming and VR? No.
The potential worry now is that one of these times, as Intel feigns disinterest in the PC, it may stick.