All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: Processors | February 6, 2016 - 09:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Skylake, overclocking, asrock, Intel, gskill
I recently came across a post at PC Gamer that looked at the extreme overclocking leaderboard of the Skylake-based Intel Core i7-6700K. Obviously, these competitions will probably never end as long as higher numbers are possible on parts that are interesting for one reason or another. Skylake is the new chip on the liquid nitrogen block. It cannot reach frequencies as high as its predecessors, but teams still compete to get as high as possible on that specific SKU.
The current world record for a single-threaded Intel Core i7-6700K is 7.02566 GHz, which is achieved with a voltage of 4.032V. For comparison, the i7-6700K is typically around 1.3V at load. This record was apparently set about a month ago, on January 11th.
This is obviously a huge increase, about three-fold more voltage for the extra 3 GHz. For comparison, the current world record over all known CPUs is the AMD FX-8370 with a clock of 8.72278 GHz. Many Pentium 4-era processors make up the top 15 places too, as those parts were designed for high clock rates with relatively low IPC.
The rest of the system used G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 DDR4 RAM, an ASRock Z170M OC Formula motherboard, and an Antec 1300W power supply. It used an NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 GPU, which offloaded graphics from the integrated chip, but otherwise interfered as little as possible. They also used Windows XP, because why not I guess? I assume that it does the least amount of work to boot, allowing a quicker verification, but that is only a guess.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 5, 2016 - 06:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: swiftech, H320 X2, AIO, watercooling
The Swiftech H320 X2 is obviously designed for those who like to show off the insides of their system, parts of both the reservoir and waterblock are clear as is the piping and there are indeed LEDs on the cooler. It is larger than the previous generation, the radiator is 127 x 375 x 28mm with a 109ml reservoir, three Swiftech Helix 120mm PWM fans are installed to pull heat from the radiator. Modders Inc loved the fact that while this is an AiO cooler, it is designed with modding in mind as you can add in or switch out components which is a rarity in AiO watercoolers. The performance was also impressive, you can read about that and more in their full review.
"All-in-one (AIO) water cooling units have brought the performance and silence of water cooling to the masses with the simplicity of installing an air cooler. AIOs offer simple installation without the need to bleed the loop. Simply attach the hardware and power cables and you are all set."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec Kuhler H20 H1200 Pro & H600 Pro AIO Water Cooler @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Define Nano S Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Corsair Carbide 400Q @ Benchmark Reviews
- NZXT Manta Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Noctua NH-D15S CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2016 - 05:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: onedrive, microsoft, cloud storage
Remember the good old days when OneDrive moved from offering you 1TB of storage to an unlimited amount? That did not last too long, they changed their minds and dropped the paid service back to 1TB and the free version from 15GB to 5GB, with a chance to grandfather in the additional storage if you followed up with them.
A viewer recently encountered this for the first time and it seems appropriate to remind everyone about the change. If you have the paid service and are storing over 1TB you may have already heard from Microsoft but if not then consider this the warning that you have better trim down the amount of data you store on OneDrive as the changes are going to happen in the latter half of this year. The same goes for free users who have 15GB, or 30GB if you opted into the camera roll service, get the amount of files you have stored on OneDrive under 5GB or risk losing data you would rather keep. The standalone 100GB and 200GB plans will be reduced to 50GB, the price will remain at $1.99 per month.
The whole situation is reminiscent of a teacher in a classroom full of kids choosing to punish the entire class for the actions of a few individuals; in this case the tiny percentage which exceeded 75TB of usage. Make sure to clean up your OneDrive as soon as possible, this is not something you want to wait until the last minute to do.
"If you are using more than 5 GB of free storage, you will continue to have access to all files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect in early 2016. In addition, you can redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription (credit card required), which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient @ Slashdot
- The USB Type-C Cable That Will Break Your Computer @ Hack a Day
- Mysterious 'Code 53' error is borking iPhones beyond repair @ The Inquirer
- Two Outstanding All-in-One Linux Servers @ Linux.com
- iOS flaw lets hackers thwart lock screen passcode on iPhones and iPads @ The InquirerE
- Ubuntu 6.06 To Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Performance Benchmarks: 10 Years Of Linux Performance @ Phoronix
- New AI chip from MIT gives Skynet a tenfold speed boost @ The Register
- Pebble punts out new firmware to watch you as you sleep @ The Register
- AUO starts shipping bezel-less Ultra HD TV panels in 1Q16 @ DigiTimes
- A Bot That Drives Robocallers Insane @ Slashdot
Subject: Processors | February 5, 2016 - 11:44 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Intel, Skylake, overclocking, cpu, Non-K, BCLK, bios, SKY OC, asrock, Z170
ASRock's latest batch of motherboard BIOS updates remove the SKY OS function, which permitted overclocking of non-K Intel processors via BCLK (baseclock).
The news comes amid speculation that Intel had pressured motherboard vendors to remove such functionality. Intel's unlocked K parts (i5-6600K, i7-6700K) will once again be the only options for Skylake overclocking on Z170 on ASRock boards (assuming prior BIOS versions are no longer available), and with no Pentium G3258 this generation Intel is no longer a budget friendly option for enthusiasts looking to push their CPU past factory specs.
(Image credit: Hexus.net)
It sounds like now would be a good time to archive that SKY OS enabled BIOS update file if you've downloaded it - or simply refrain from this BIOS update. What remains to be seen of course is whether other vendors will follow suit and disable BCLK overclocking of non-K processors. This had become a popular feature on a number of Z170 motherboards on the market, but ASRock may have been in too weak a position to battle Intel on this issue.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | February 4, 2016 - 07:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: GDC, gdc 2016, epic games, ue4, VR, vive vr
Epic Games released Unreal Engine 4 at GDC two years ago, and removed its subscription fee at the next year's show. This year, one of the things that they will show is Unreal Editor in VR with the HTC Vive. Using the system's motion controllers, you will be able to move objects and access UI panels in the virtual environment. They open the video declaring that this is not an experimental project.
Without using this technology, it's hard to comment on its usability. It definitely looks interesting, and might be useful for VR experiences. You can see what your experience will look like as you create it, and you probably even save a bit of time in rapid iteration by not continuously wearing and removing the equipment. I wonder how precise it will be though, since the laser pointers and objects seemed to snap and jitter a bit. That said, it might be just as precise and, even still, it only really matters how it looks and behaves, and it shouldn't even prevent minor tweaks after the fact anyway.
Epic Games expects to discuss the release plans at the show.
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 4, 2016 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gainward, GTX 960 Phantom 4GB. gtx 960, NVIDA, 4GB
If you don't have a lot of cash on hand for games or hardware, a 4k adaptive sync monitor with two $600 GPUs and a collection of $80 AAA titles simply isn't on your radar. That doesn't mean you have to toss in your love of gaming for occasional free to play gaming sessions; you just have to adapt. A prime example are those die hard Skyrim fans who have modded the game to oblivion over the past few years, with many other games and communities that may not be new but are still thriving. Chances are that you are playing at 1080p so a high powered GPU is not needed, however mods that upscale textures and many others do love huge tracts of RAM.
So for those outside of North America looking for a card they can afford after a bit of penny pinching, check out Legion Hardware's review of the 4GB version of the Gainward GTX 960 Phantom. It won't break any benchmarking records but it will let you play the games you love and even new games as their prices inevitably decrease over time.
Today we are checking out Gainward’s premier GeForce GTX 960 graphics card, the Phantom 4GB. Equipped with twice the memory buffer of standard cards, it is designed for extreme 1080p gaming. Therefore it will be interesting to see how the Phantom 4GB compares to a 2GB GTX 960..."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GIGABYTE GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Inno3D GeForce GTX 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS @ eTeknix
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury OC 4GB @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2016 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, google
Remember the thrill of finding the actual download button for the software you need, hidden on a webpage featuring at least four other large download buttons leading to unrelated and generally nasty software? Well those horrible people at Google want to take that joy away from you! Instead of practicing your skills at slapping the monkey, shooting the duck or pretending you are on an online version of Let's Make a Deal trying to pick the right download button to reveal the prize you want, they will present you with a bright red warning screen.
For some reason those hacks over at The Inquirer think it is a good idea to take away the hours of time spent with your family, and all the interesting things that "just appeared" on their machines.
"Google is still chipping away at creating a secure online experience and has just unearthed a new element for safe browsing that stops click-happy idiots doing click-stupid things."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GPS malfunction caused '12 hours of chaos' on Earth @ The Inquirer
- This File Will Self-Destruct in 24 hours @ Hack a Day
- Japanese wireless boffins demo 56Gbps fibre replacement* @ The Register
- A virtual phone inside a virtual cloud desktop is now an actual thing @ The Register
- 10 Best Free Mobile Application Development Frameworks That Support Android @ Linux.com
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2016 - 01:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: open source, microsoft, machine learning, deep neural network, deep learning, cntk, azure
Microsoft has been using deep neural networks for awhile now to power its speech recognition technologies bundled into Windows and Skype to identify and follow commands and to translate speech respectively. This technology is part of Microsoft's Computational Network Toolkit. Last April, the company made this toolkit available to academic researchers on Codeplex, and it is now opening it up even more by moving the project to GitHub and placing it under an open source license.
Lead by chief speech and computer scientist Xuedong Huang, a team of Microsoft researchers built the Computational Network Toolkit (CNTK) to power all their speech related projects. The CNTK is a deep neural network for machine learning that is built to be fast and scalable across multiple systems, and more importantly, multiple GPUs which excel at these kinds of parallel processing workloads and algorithms. Microsoft heavily focused on scalability with CNTK and according to the company's own benchmarks (which is to say to be taken with a healthy dose of salt) while the major competing neural network tool kits offer similar performance running on a single GPU, when adding more than one graphics card CNTK is vastly more efficient with almost four times the performance of Google's TensorFlow and a bit more than 1.5-times Torch 7 and Caffe. Where CNTK gets a bit deep learning crazy is its ability to scale beyond a single system and easily tap into Microsoft's Azure GPU Lab to get access to numerous GPUs from their remote datacenters -- though its not free you don't need to purchase, store, and power the hardware locally and can ramp the number up and down based on how much GPU muscle you need. The example Microsoft provided showed two similarly spec'd Linux systems with four GPUs each running on Azure cloud hosting getting close to twice the performance of the 4 GPU system (75% increase). Microsoft claims that "CNTK can easily scale beyond 8 GPUs across multiple machines with superior distributed system performance."
Using GPU-based Azure machines, Microsoft was able to increase the performance of Cortana's speech recognition by 10-times compared to the local systems they were previously using.
It is always cool to see GPU compute in practice and now that CNTK is available to everyone, I expect to see a lot of new uses for the toolkit beyond speech recognition. Moving to an open source license is certainly good PR, but I think it was actually done more for Microsoft's own benefit rather than users which isn't necessarily a bad thing since both get to benefit from it. I am really interested to see what researchers are able to do with a deep neural network that reportedly offers so much performance thanks to GPUs. I'm curious what new kinds of machine learning opportunities the extra speed will enable.
If you are interested, you can check out CNTK on GitHub!
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2016 - 11:53 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, Trion 150, tesla, steam os, Samsung, rise of the tomb raider, podcast, ocz, NVMe, Jim Keller, amd, 950 PRO
PC Perspective Podcast #385 - 02/04/2016
Join us this week as we discuss Rise of the Tomb Raider performance, a triple RAID-0 NVMe array and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store (audio only)
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:16:38
- Join our spam list to get notified when we go live!
- We’re on Patreon!
- Week in Review:
- 0:44:25 Winner: EVGA Winter 2016 Prize Pack and Giveaway
- News items of interest:
- 0:46:35 Gigabyte adds full GIMPS and Prime95 compatibility to Skylake processors
- 0:48:40 So That's Where Jim Keller Went To... Tesla Motors…
- 0:54:40 AMD FirePro S-Series Introduces Hardware-Based GPU Virtualization
- 0:56:15 Who's a pretty boy? Is it you Fallout?
- 0:58:40 OCZ Launches Trion 150, Successor to Trion 100 SATA SSD, Using 15nm Flash
- Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Mobile | February 4, 2016 - 09:39 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: wi-fi, shield tablet, shield, ota update, nvidia, android 6.0
NVIDIA has pulled the Android 6.0 OTA update for the original SHEILD (pre-K1) tablet after users experienced wi-fi connection issues. A post on NVIDIA's official forums explains:
"We have temporarily turned off the OTA update until we understand why a few users are losing WiFi connection after updating their tablet to OTA 4.0."
(Image: Android Police)
The post is authored by Manuel Guzman of NVIDIA Customer Care, and includes a list of potential fixes:
- Reboot your tablet 2-3 times. If this fails, power cycle your tablet 3-4 times (not reboot but complete power off). If this does not work, charge your tablet to 100% and attempt again a couple of times or so.
- Factory reset your tablet. Make sure you backup any important files before you perform this step.
- A couple of users reporting their WiFi coming back after leaving their tablet powered off for a few hours. Try leaving your tablet powered off for a few hours and then turn the device back on.
Users who still have issues connecting are asked to navigate to the Advanced W-Fi page on their tablet, and then to "take a screenshot and email the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org".
Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2016 - 02:15 AM | Scott Michaud
This example is an image of Windows 95, complete with its default applications such as Minesweeper. It was ported by Andrea Faulds, who is a major contributor to PHP. The Windows 95 demo was apparently created in 2015, according to her personal website, but I just found out about it.
Subject: Storage | February 3, 2016 - 03:31 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Trion 150, toshiba, tlc, ssd, slc, sata, ocz, A15nm
*Note* This piece originally stated 'A15nm', however this was an error in the Trion 150 spec sheet at OCZ. It has been corrected in this article (as well as at the OCZ web site).
2015 was a bit of a rough year for OCZ, as their integration with parent company Toshiba ran into a few performance bumps in the road. First was the Vector 180 launch, which saw some particularly troublesome stalls during writes and TRIM operations. The Trion 100 launch went a bit smoother, but we did note some inconsistencies in caching performance of those TLC/SLC caching SSDs.
OCZ hopes to turn things around by kicking off 2016 with some updates to their product lines. First up is the just announced Trion 150:
Looking at the spec sheets of the Trion 100 and 150, it may be difficult to spot any differences. I’ll save you the trouble and say that only *one digit* changes, but it is an important one. The Trion 150 will use Toshiba 15nm TLC flash (the Trion 100 used A19nm). What is interesting about this is that the Trion 150 carries the same endurance rating as its predecessor. A flash memory die shrink typically comes with a corresponding reduction in endurance, so it is good to see Toshiba squeeze this likely last die shrink to their planar flash for all of the endurance they can. Further backing up that endurance claim, the Trion 150 will carry OCZ’s ShieldPlus warranty, which offers shipping-paid advance-RMA (without receipt) of this product line for three years!
OCZ has Trion 150 samples on the way to us, and we will get a full performance review of them up as soon as we can! Full press blast follows after the break.
Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2016 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: modding, gaming, fallout 4
[H]ard|OCP has put together a little guide on improving your Fallout 4 experience with the help of modders and the great people at Nexus Mods. They describe the basics on how to install mods as there are steps you need to follow to ensure your mods successfully apply, whether installed manually or with the Nexus Mod Manager tool. They explore several mods than greatly increase the size of textures, making them much better looking as well as adding weather and storms to the mix. As long as you meet the graphics memory requirements which they mention you should not see much performance degradation when using these mods. Soon Fallout 4 may be meeting or surpassing Skyrim's impressive mod community.
Of course immediately after [H] covered this topic Bethesda released a new patch which enables HBAO+ for all GPUs and extra debris effects specifically for NVIDIA GPUs.
"Fallout 4 has been out for several months and it is possible that you might find the image quality lacking overall. We take some of the most popular and highly downloaded image quality mods and find out how we can improve the environment in Fallout 4. We modify for visual improvements to give you more immersive gameplay."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Shadowrun: Hong Kong – Extended Edition Coming Soon @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Rise of the Tomb Raider: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Need For Speed: Most Wanted is On The House @ HEXUS
- Have You Played… Sacrifice? @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Long War Team Reveal XCOM 2’s Launch Day Mods @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Rise of the Tomb Raider PC Game @ Kitguru
- Battlefleet Gothic Does Galactic-Scale 40K In March @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Rocket League: Learning to Fly @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Next on the list of companies which should know better is Malwarebytes, but it is not as bad as some say
Subject: General Tech | February 3, 2016 - 12:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, Malwarebytes
Considering the business that Malwarebytes is in you can expect to see a lot of negative press about a gaping security hole in the near future and while there is a vulnerability it is not as bad as many will make it out to be. The issue lies in that signature updates are done over HTTP and are unsigned, very bad practice but something which would be exploited on a single client connection as opposed to something you could use to create a wide spread infection. The Register links to the Google Project Zero entry which was released today as the vulnerability was first reported to Malwarebytes 90 days ago and has not been addressed on the client side.
The actual concern you should have is that the original bug report also found vulnerabilities on the server side. Malwarebytes did correct the server side issues almost immediately but neglected to follow through on the client side. It is good of them to patch and offer bug bounties but a complete follow through is necessary if you are a security software peddler who wants their reputation to stay intact.
"The antivirus firm says it has addressed server-side vulnerabilities that were reported by Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy in November. However, security holes remain in the client-side software that runs on people's Windows PCs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Exascale project wants machine with TEN MEEELLION ARMS @ The Register
- Joysix, Six Degree of Freedom Mouse Made From Retractable Key Rings @ Hack a Day
- Intel, Qualcomm set up their WiGig 802.11ad devices on blind dates @ The Register
- MQTT: Building an Open Internet of Things @ Linux.com
- Build Your Swarm: Control Cockroaches for Under $30! @ Hack a Day
- Building Custom Appliances with SUSE Studio @ Linux.com
- Microsoft ships 6.0 million Surface tablets in 2015, say sources @ DigiTimes
- Ventec 3015+ Battery Pack/Wall Charger combo @ TechwareLabs
- Barracuda Networks Kills Copy & CudaDrive @ TechARP
- Auslogics Registry Cleaner Tutorial @ Hardware Secrets
- 2016 Samsung SUHD TV Models Revealed @ Tech ARP
Subject: Graphics Cards | February 3, 2016 - 02:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: virtual machines, virtual graphics, mxgpu, gpu virtualization, firepro, amd
AMD made an interesting enterprise announcement today with the introduction of new FirePro S-Series graphics cards that integrate hardware-based virtualization technology. The new FirePro S1750 and S1750 x2 are aimed at virtualized workstations, render farms, and cloud gaming platforms where each virtual machine has direct access to the graphics hardware.
The new graphics cards use a GCN-based Tonga GPU with 2,048 stream processors paired with 8GB of ECC GDDR5 memory on the single slot FirePro S1750. The dual slot FirePro S1750 x2, as the name suggests, is a dual GPU card that features a total of 4,096 shaders (2,048 per GPU) and 16 GB of ECC GDDR5 (8 GB per GPU). The S1750 has a TDP of 150W while the dual-GPU S1750 x2 variant is rated at 265W and either can be passively cooled.
Where the graphics cards get niche is the inclusion of what AMD calls MxGPU (Multi-User GPU) technology which is derived from the SR-IOV (Single Root Input/Output Virtualization) PCI-Express standard. According to AMD, the new FirePro S-Series allows virtual machines direct access to the full range of GPU hardware (shaders, memory, ect.) and OpenCL 2.0 support on the software side. The S1750 supports up to 16 simultaneous users and the S1750 x2 tops out at 32 users. Each virtual machine is allocated an equal slice of the GPU, and as you add virtual machines the equal slices get smaller. AMD’s solution to that predicament is to add more GPUs to spread out the users and allocate each VM more hardware horsepower. It is worth noting that AMD has elected not to charge companies any per-user licensing fees for all these VMs the hardware supports which should make these cards more competitive.
The graphics cards use ECC memory to correct errors when dealing with very large numbers and calculations and every VM is reportedly protected and isolated such that one VM can not access any data of a different VM stored in graphics memory.
I am interested to see how these stack up compared to NVIDIA’s GRID and VGX GPU virtualization specialized graphics cards. The difference between the software versus hardware-based virtualization may not make much difference, but AMD’s approach may be every so slightly more efficient with the removal of layer between the virtual machine and hardware. We’ll have to wait and see, however.
Enterprise users will be able to pick up the new cards installed in systems from server manufacturers sometime in the first half of 2016. Pricing for the cards themselves appears to be $2,399 for the single GPU S1750 and $3,999 for the dual GPU S1750 x2.
Needless to say, this is all a bit more advanced (and expensive!) than the somewhat finicky 3D acceleration option desktop users can turn on in VMWare and VirtualBox! Are you experimenting with remote workstations and virtual machines for thin clients that can utilize GPU muscle? Does AMD’s MxGPU approach seem promising?
Subject: General Tech | February 2, 2016 - 11:34 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Blender, open-source
The Blender Foundation guides development with a series of first-party short films, each of which are created with open-source software and released under a Creative Commons license. Despite their purpose, to promote open source software and highlight ways to improve Blender, they each have engaging traits that are uncommon in commercial films. Cosmos Laundromat opens with a fairly long shot of a sheep's attempt at hanging itself, while Sintel's ending will make you feel hollow when it reveals its meaning.
This short, Caminandes 3: Lamingos, above, is much lighter than Cosmos Laundromat or Sintel. It has more of the ironic, mischievous cartoon feel of Big Buck Bunny, their second Blender short film. It is about a Llama and a Penguin who are trying to eat some berries; unfortunately, they are both trying to eat the same ones.
The two-and-a-half-minute short film can be downloaded and is free to use under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Its assets are also available, but only under a Blender Cloud subscription.
Subject: General Tech | February 2, 2016 - 05:11 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: file syncing, encryption, bittorrent sync, bittorrent
BitTorrent continues to support its file sharing and syncing application with the recent release of Sync 2.3.1. The 2.3.x update contains a number of bug fixes for stability, but the important news is the added support for encrypted folders and finally allowing selective file syncing on Linux systems. Additionally, the company put out a short brief on the information they collect and how they are securing your files synced by Sync which is available as a PDF.
Sync 2.3 allows Windows users to run Sync as a service and Android users can move data to and from an SD card from within the app so long as they are running at least Android 5.0 or newer. Linux users also get a bit of love with support for selective file syncing (where you can choose which specific files to download locally and which to keep on the remote peers) though it appears that BitTorrent has limited this feature to its paid Sync Pro tier which is in line with other platforms. According to BitTorrent Inc. among the performance and bug fixes, the biggest UI change is a redesigned process for adding new folders.
On the security and privacy front, BitTorrent claims that it employs several security measures to keep your data safe. First though, the company allegedly only collects benign data including the program version, add folder errors, the amount of data transferred (directly and via relay server), number of peers, and share link and tracker statistics as well as few more things you can see in the brief linked above. All the data that they collect is reportedly sent in the clear so that users can verify what they are collecting on them.
To secure your files, BitTorrent uses SSL and AES-128 encryption to transfer files. In the case of Advanced folders, it generates a X.509 certificate (each folder is given it's own certificate) using a certificate authority and then uses a certificate chain to control user access and file modification permissions as well as a mechanism to revoke access. In the case of encrypted folders, Sync generates storage and session keys with the session keys complying with perfect forwards secrecy standards such that future session keys being cracked does not compromise past sessions. When using the encrypted folders option (which is useful when using a VPS as an off-site backup or to any machine that you do not fully own and control for that matter), data from your local machines is encrypted before being sent to the remote machine using AES 128 bit encryption (I wish they had gone with at least AES-256, but it's something). The data is then sent over SSL. Thus, the data on the remote machine is never in an unencrypted state which is a good thing for having a secure off-site backup. The encrypted folder can still be used as part of the mesh to speed up syncing among your machines, as well, while remaining secure.
I think the encrypted folders are a good addition to Sync, though the encryption bit-ness could be improved (a weak VPS' processor doesn't need to decrypt the data anyway so CPU time needed for the beefier algorithm should not matter...). In past coverage users have mentioned issues when syncing folders that they encrypted themselves before adding to Sync where the data could get corrupted when the peers became confused on changes made and what to sync. Hopefully this will help avoid that though they do still need to work on fixing user chosen pre-sync encryption. I am still using Sync to backup my photos and sync documents between my laptop and desktop and it works well for that sans the storage limits imposed by One Drive (and the uncertainty of my once-promised 25GB of free storage).
What do you think of the changes, and is their security good enough?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 2, 2016 - 03:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Wraith, fx 8370, amd
By now you should have memorized Josh's look at AMD's new processors and FM2+ motherboards, unfortunately the one thing we were missing was time to test the unit (which totally did arrive, sorry!). TechGage on the other hand did receive an FX 8370 Wraith and had a chance to do some quick tests with this new 95W cooler. There was a slight hitch, the motherboard they used ran the fan at the full 3,000RPM so more audio tests do need to be run however the thermals show great potential as the FX 8370 never surpassed 57C. This indicates with a properly controlled fan header you should be able to reduce the speed and noise generated without seeing troublesome CPU temperatures.
"It’s not often that we’re treated to a CPU cooler update from AMD, so it was with great interest that we checked out its Wraith in action at last month’s CES. We’ve now been able to poke and prod the cooler over the past week in our lab, and cover everything important about it here. For good measure, we also tackle platform updates."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Riing 14 LED RGB fan @ HardwareOverclock
- Cooler Master Sentinel III @ techPowerUp
- Fractal Design Core 500 Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Thermaltake Suppressor F31 Midi Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Raidmax Monster II Mid-Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling | February 2, 2016 - 02:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z170, PSU, power supply, motherboard, GTX 970, giveaway, ftw, evga, contest
For many of you reading this, the temperature outside has fallen to its deepest levels, making it hard to even bare the thought of going outdoors. What would help out a PC enthusiast and gamer in this situation? Some new hardware, delivered straight to your door, to install and assist in warming up your room, that's what!
PC Perspective has partnered up with EVGA to offer up three amazing prizes for our fans. They include a 750 G2 power supply (obviously with a 750 watt rating), a Z170 FTW motherboard and a GTX 970 SSC Gaming ACX 2.0+ graphics card. The total prize value is over $650 based on MSRPs!
All you have to do to enter is follow the easy steps in the form below.
We want to thank EVGA for its support of PC Perspective in this contest and over the years. Here's to a great 2016 for everyone!
Subject: General Tech | February 2, 2016 - 01:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
In the search for higher density data storage some rather arcane materials are being studied for their unique magnetic properties. The latest research being conducted is with extremely thin multilayered films, in this specific case iridium-cobalt-platinum films. These materials display the ability to create incredibly small magnetic features called skyrmions, an area where the magnetic field is rotated compared to the surrounding material and can be coerced to appear and disappear. This is the essence of magnetic data storage, on a much smaller scale you see in current storage material. There are certainly a lot of hurdles to overcome, the experiment described at Nanotechweb is the first to form skymirons at room temperature and they used an X-ray source as the write head. It is still quite interesting to read about, even if we are a long way from seeing it considered for use in data storage.
"Researchers in France, Switzerland, the UK and Germany say they have observed nanoscale chiral skyrmions at room temperature for the first time. Skyrmions, which are quasi-particle magnetic spin configurations with a whirling vortex-like structure, could be used to make ultrahigh-density data storage technologies and nanodigital electronic devices with greatly improved data transfer speeds and processing power."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- PEDOT-based composites provide electrode materials for supercapacitors @ Nanotechweb
- AMD Updates APUs, Athlons & Motherboards @ Hardware Canucks
- Windows 10 now a 'recommended' update for unsuspecting PCs @ The Register
- Rooting your Android phone? Google’s rumbled you again @ The Register
- Google plugs Android vulns @ The Register
- Samsung Forum 2016 Coverage @ Tech ARP
- Cisco Patches Authentication, Denial-of-Service, NTP Flaws In Many Products @ Slashdot