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Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 12:11 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows 10, windows, vrr, variable refresh rate, uwp, microsoft, g-sync, freesync
Back in March, Microsoft's Phil Spencer addressed some of the concerns over the Unified Windows Platform and PC gaming during his keynote address at the Build Conference. He noted that MS would "plan to open up VSync off, FreeSync, and G-Sync in May" and the company would "allow modding and overlays in UWP applications" sometime further into the future. Well it appears that Microsoft is on point with the May UWP update.
According to the MS DirectX Developer Blog, a Windows 10 update being pushed out today will enable UWP to support unlocked frame rates and variable refresh rate monitors in both G-Sync and FreeSync varieties.
As a direct response to your feedback, we’re excited to announce the release today of new updates to Windows 10 that make gaming even better for game developers and gamers.
Later today, Windows 10 will be updated with two key new features:
Support for AMD’s FreesyncTM and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC™ in Universal Windows Platform games and apps
Unlocked frame rate for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps
Once applications take advantage of these new features, you will be able to play your UWP games with unlocked frame rates. We expect Gears of War: UE and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to lead the way by adding this support in the very near future.
This OS update will be gradually rolled out to all machines, but you can download it directly here.
These updates to UWP join the already great support for unlocked frame rate and AMD and NVIDIA’s technologies in Windows 10 for classic Windows (Win32) apps.
Please keep the feedback coming!
Today's update won't automatically enable these features in UWP games like Gears of War or Quantum Break, they will still need to be updated individually by the developer. MS states that Gears of War and Forza will be the first to see these changes, but there is no mention of Quantum Break here, which is a game that could DEFINITELY benefit from the love of variable refresh rate monitors.
Microsoft describes an unlocked frame rate as thus:
Vsync refers to the ability of an application to synchronize game rendering frames with the refresh rate of the monitor. When you use a game menu to “Disable vsync”, you instruct applications to render frames out of sync with the monitor refresh. Being able to render out of sync with the monitor refresh allows the game to render as fast as the graphics card is capable (unlocked frame rate), but this also means that “tearing” will occur. Tearing occurs when part of two different frames are on the screen at the same time.
I should note that these changes do not indicate that Microsoft is going to allow UWP games to go into an exclusive full screen mode - it still believes the disadvantages of that configuration outweigh the advantages. MS wants its overlays and a user's ability to easily Alt-Tab around Windows 10 to remain. Even though MS mentions screen tearing, I don't think that non-exclusive full screen applications will exhibit tearing.
Gears of War on Windows 10 is a game that could definitely use an uncapped render rate and VRR support.
Instead, what is likely occurring, as we saw with the second iteration of the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, is that the game will have an uncapped render rate internally but that frames rendered OVER 60 FPS (or the refresh rate of the display) will not be shown. This will improve perceived latency as the game will be able to present the most up to date frame (with the most update to date input data) when the monitor is ready for a new refresh.
UPDATE 5/10/16 @ 4:31pm: Microsoft just got back to me and said that my above statement wasn't correct. Screen tearing will be able to occur in UWP games on Windows 10 after they integrate support for today's patch. Interesting!!
For G-Sync and FreeSync users, the ability to draw to the screen at any range of render rates will offer an even further advantage of uncapped frame rates, no tearing but also, no "dropped" frames caused by running at off-ratios of a standard monitor's refresh rate.
I'm glad to see Microsoft taking these steps at a brisk pace after the feedback from the PC community early in the year. As for UWP's continued evolution, the blog post does tease that we should "expect to see some exciting developments on multiple GPUs in DirectX 12 in the near future."
Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2016 - 10:45 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X99, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Intel, asus
ASUS Republic of Gamers has announced a new X99 motherboard for the upcoming Intel Core i7 X-series processors, and the ROG STRIX X99 Gaming packs a number of features into its ATX form-factor.
"ROG Strix has taken on a brand-new look and the time has come to debut the first motherboard in the ROG Strix Series. ROG Strix X99 Gaming is a new ATX motherboard based on the Intel X99 chipset, retrofitted with exclusive technologies to maximize the potential of the new Intel Core i7 X-series processor for socket LGA 2011-v3. ROG Strix X99 Gaming delivers performance you'll notice, while the bold new design featuring customizable colors highlights the centerpiece of a system others will notice"
There is certainly no shortage of features with this new gaming board, including the company's SupremeFX audio, Intel NIC, 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, SATA Express, M.2, and U.2 storage support, Thunderbolt 3, and a reinforced PCI-E slot for heavier GPUs. But the feature that will be the hardest to miss with the STRIX X99 Gaming motherboard has to be the customizable RGB lighting.
"ROG Strix X99 Gaming features the aesthetics for gamers looking to personalize an illuminate gaming rig. Ten LED effects can be customized using ASUS Aura, an intuitive lighting control software for the built-in RGB LEDs and attached RGB strips (via the integrated 4-pin RGB strip header like the ones you can find on the ROG Maximus VIII Formula and Hero Alpha), allowing easy custom illumination that can be perfectly synchronized across the system or even the whole gaming desk with additional RGB strips."
As is often the case with new product announcements, pricing and availabilty were not revealed.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 08:55 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, radeon pro duo, radeon, pro duo, liquid cooling, graphics cards, gpu cooler, gpu, EKWB, amd
While AMD's latest dual-GPU powerhouse comes with a rather beefy-looking liquid cooling system out of the box, the team at EK Water Blocks have nonetheless created their own full-cover block for the Pro Duo, which is now available in a pair of versions.
"Radeon™ has done it again by creating the fastest gaming card in the world. Improving over the Radeon™ R9 295 X2, the Radeon Pro Duo card is faster and uses the 3rd generation GCN architecture featuring asynchronous shaders enables the latest DirectX™ 12 and Vulkan™ titles to deliver amazing 4K and VR gaming experiences. And now EK Water Blocks made sure, the owners can get the best possible liquid cooling solution for the card as well!"
Nickel version (top), Acetal+Nickel version (bottom)
The blocks include a single-slot I/O bracket, which will allow the Pro Duo to fit in many more systems (and allow even more of them to be installed per motherboard!).
"EK-FC Radeon Pro Duo water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine with a micro fin design for best possible cooling performance of both GPU cores. The block design also allows flawless operation with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.
The base is made of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is made of quality POM Acetal or acrylic (depending on the variant). Screw-in brass standoffs are pre-installed and allow for safe installation procedure."
Suggested pricing is set at 155.95€ for the blocks (approx. $177 US), and they are "readily available for purchase through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network".
Subject: Motherboards | May 9, 2016 - 05:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z170A SLI PLUS, Intel Z170
The MSI Z170A SLI Plus is a full sized ATX board with a lot of space on it, providing not only nice clean looks but also space for air to flow around components. It is available for around $140, a decent price for the feature set it comes with. There are three x16 PCIe 3.0 slots, six SATA 6Gbps and an x4 M.2 slot which will accept U.2 with the proper adapter and a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port offering the full benefits of the new standard. The Tech Report loved the simple design of the board and were more than impressed with the manual overclocking potential; check out their full review here.
"MSI's Z170A SLI Plus is a mainstream board that gives builders everything they need and nothing they don't—at least on paper. We reviewed this board to see whether its real-world performance lives up to its promising spec sheet and relatively friendly price tag."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 @ TechARP
- MSI Z170A Tomahawk @ Kitguru
- ASRock Z170 Extreme4 @ TechARP
- Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 @ Kitguru
- GIGABYTE X99P-SLI LGA 2011v3 @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2016 - 05:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, geforce
During the GeForce GTX 1080 launch event, NVIDIA announced two prices for the card. The new GPU has an MSRP of $599 USD, while a Founders Edition will be available for $699 USD. They did not really elaborate on the difference at the keynote, but they apparently clarified the product structure for the attending press.
According to GamersNexus, the “Founders Edition” is NVIDIA's new branding for their reference design, which has been updated with the GeForce GTX 1080. That is it. Normally, a reference design is pretty much bottom-tier in a product stack. Apart from AMD's water-cooling experiments, reference designs are relatively simple, single-fan blower coolers. NVIDIA's reference cooler though, at least on their top-three-or-so models of any given generation, are pretty good. They are fairly quiet, effective, and aesthetically pleasing. When searching for a specific GPU online, you will often see a half-dozen entries based on this, from various AIB partners, and another half-dozen other offerings from those same companies, which is very different. MSI does their Twin Frozr thing, while ASUS has their Direct CU and Poseidon coolers.
If you want the $599 model, then, counter to what we've been conditioned to expect, you will not be buying NVIDIA's reference cooler. These will come from AIB partners, which means that NVIDIA is (at least somewhat) allowing them to set a minimum product this time around. They expect reference cards to be intrinsically valuable, not just purchased because they rank highest on a “sort by lowest price” metric.
This is interesting for a number of reasons. It wasn't too long ago that NVIDIA finally allowed AIB vendors to customize Titan-level graphics cards. Before that, NVIDIA's reference cooler was the only option. When they released control to their partners, we started to see water cooled Titan Xs. There is two ways to look at it: either NVIDIA is relaxing their policy of controlling user experience, or they want their personal brand to be more than the cheapest offering of their part. Granted, the GTX 1080 is supposed to be their high-end, but still mainstream offering.
It's just interesting to see this decision and rationalize it both as a release of control over user experience, and, simultaneously, as an increase of it.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 9, 2016 - 02:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rosewill, Valens-700, 700W, 80 Plus Gold
Saving a bit of money on your PSU can seem like a good idea but the importance of a solid PSU is often overlooked. Rosewill has been around for quite a while but their PSU's do not tend to end up in a lot of high end rigs. [H]ard|OCP took a look at their new Valens-700 which looks good on paper with a single 12V rail, 80 PLUS Gold certification and the hope that part of the savings is due to the non-modular design. Unfortunately once it was strapped onto the test bed it failed many tests and did not receive a passing grade. Check out the full review for the specifics and recommendations on better PSU at around this price point.
"While Rosewill is likely not a go-to computer power supply brand to most people, we have been surprised with Rosewill's quality on two of its PSUs over the last couple of years. Today we review an $80 700 watt Rosewill unit that is rated for Gold efficiency, and well ... that is about all that marketing has to say about its Valens-700."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Enermax Revolution X't II 750W PSU Review @HiTech Legion
- SilverStone Strider Titanium ST70F-TI 700W @ Kitguru
- Corsair RMi Series 650 W @ techPowerUp
- EVGA 600B Entry Level Power Supply @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2016 - 02:05 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers, crimson
This is good to see. AMD has released Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.1 to align with Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. The drivers are classified as Beta, and so is the game, coincidentally, which means 16.5.1 is not WHQL-certified. That doesn't have the weight that it used to, though. Its only listed feature is performance improvements with that title, especially for the R9 Fury X graphics card. Game-specific optimizations near launch appear to be getting consistent, and that was an area that AMD really needed to improve upon, historically.
There are a handful of known issues, but they don't seem particularly concerning. The AMD Gaming Evolved overlay may crash in some titles, and The Witcher 3 may flicker in Crossfire, both of which could be annoying if they affect a game that you have been focusing on, but that's about it. There might be other issues (and improvements) that are not listed in the notes, but that's all I have to work on at the moment.
If you're interested in Forza 6: Apex, check out AMD's download page.
Subject: Processors, Mobile | May 9, 2016 - 01:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: apple, a11, 10nm, TSMC
Before I begin, the report comes from DigiTimes and they cite anonymous sources for this story. As always, a grain of salt is required when dealing with this level of alleged leak.
That out of the way, rumor has it that Apple's A11 SoC has been taped out on TSMC's 10nm process node. This is still a little way's away from production, however. From here, TSMC should be providing samples of the now finalized chip in Q1 2017, start production a few months later, and land in iOS devices somewhere in Q3/Q4. Knowing Apple, that will probably align with their usual release schedule -- around September.
DigiTimes also reports that Apple will likely make their split-production idea a recurring habit. Currently, the A9 processor is fabricated at TSMC and Samsung on two different process nodes (16nm for TSMC and 14nm for Samsung). They claim that two-thirds of A11 chips will come from TSMC.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: KB3133977, microsoft, asus, uefi, Secure Boot
There are many good reasons to use the new UEFI Secure Boot under Windows 10 but there are also numerous reasons not to. The latest is an issue with a specific Windows Update patch which was recently changed from an optional update to a recommended update. For systems using an ASUS motherboard and running Windows 7 this can be a bit of a bother as your Secure Boot will report that the OS has unauthorized changes and will refuse to boot. If you can get at your UEFI BIOS you can change the OS Type from Windows UEFI mode to Other OS in the boot menu. If this does not resolve your issue The Register has been told you should contact ASUS for support, as opposed to Microsoft since the issues root cause lies in a feature similar to Secure boot which ASUS added to their boards.
"Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Remain Free For People With Accessibility Needs @ Slashdot
- 3D Printing Bone @ Hack a Day
- Acer to launch gaming smartphone in 4Q16, says paper @ DigiTimes
- IBM's POWER cloud powers up almost a year later than promised @ The Register
- A Look At NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 & New Technologies @ Techgage
- Doom (2016) running on GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- NVIDIA's GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Detailed @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia editors day event gallery featuring GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- AMD's Andrej Zdravkovic @ Kitguru
- TRENDnet TPL-421E2K Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Luxury all paid trip to see Independence Day 2 in London
Subject: Processors | May 9, 2016 - 12:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: kaby lake, Intel
Fudzilla claims that they have a screenshot of SiSoft benchmarks belonging to the Intel Core i7-7700k. I should note that image only mentions “Kabylake,” not any specific model number. It's possible that the branding will change this generation, and there's an infinitesimal chance that this is not highest level SKU of that specific chip, but it should be safe to assume that this is the 7700k, and that it will be branded as such. I'm just being over-cautious.
Image Credit: Fudzilla
In terms of specifications, Kaby Lake will be a quad-core processor that runs at 3.6 GHz, 4.2 GHz turbo, backed with 8MB of L3 cache. The graphics processor has 24 CUs that can reach a clock of 1.15 GHz. If Intel hasn't changed the GPU architecture since Skylake, this equates to 192 FP32 processors and 442 GFLOPs. Apart from a lower CPU base clock, 3.6 GHz versus Skylake's 4.0 GHz, Kaby Lake seems to be identical to Skylake.
I was hoping to compare the benchmark results with Core i7-6700k, but I'm not sure which version of SiSoft they're using. The numbers don't seem to line up with our results (SiSoft 2013 SP3a) or the SiSoft 2015 benchmarks that I've found around the net (and even those 2015 benchmarks varied greatly). It might just be my lack of experience with CPU benchmarks, but I'd rather just present the data.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 11:47 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
I've been wondering about what will happen after July 29th. This machine was granted a Windows 10 license because I used it for the Windows Insider program before the official launch. After leaving the pre-release branches, it remained activated for Windows 10 Pro. That said, I already had a license of Windows 7 Professional, which could also be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for free. I'm not sure how lenient Microsoft will be with re-activating a Windows 10 license, especially one gifted through Windows Insider, over the phone if my hardware changes too much.
Granted, a new license of Windows 10 Pro would... only... be a couple hundred bucks. That's an annoying burden, but not an impossible barrier, assuming I even need Windows 10 as a main or virtual OS at the time. I'm still curious whether this transferable license of Windows 7 could be a cheaper route, though.
At the moment? We don't know.
Last week, Microsoft published a blog post that... strongly implied... existing Windows 7/8.x users would need to purchase a full license of Windows 10 (or just get a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed) after July 29th. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet contacted Microsoft for clarification, and received a slightly less firm response. “The free upgrade promotion is currently slated to end on July 29 and we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it while it is still active.”
In other words: We still don't know what Microsoft will plan to do. The free upgrade could be extended, or they could create an official upgrade SKU that is cheaper than an official license. There might be other options too, including sending Joe Belfiore to your house to stare at you quizzically, but we'll leave the list of possibilities at free, upgrade SKU, and no promotion for now.
Note that, if you have tried Windows 10 but later rolled back after it was successfully activated, then this doesn't really apply to you. As I understand it, unless your hardware changed in that time such that it registers as a new PC, downgrading will not revoke a Windows 10 license, even one granted through the free upgrade promotion. Once you return to Windows 10, if you do, it should activate.
Finally, WinBeta says that “Get Windows 10” will be removed after July 29th, although it probably won't be an immediate change. (“... It will take time to ramp it down.”) Given how aggressively Windows 10 has been pushed, it seems odd that Microsoft will just back down after their arbitrary date. They could have just wanted to offset the inertia caused by how daunting an OS upgrade seems to average users.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 6, 2016 - 10:38 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, GP104, geforce
So NVIDIA has announced their next generation of graphics processors, based on the Pascal architecture. They introduced it as “a new king,” because they claim that it is faster than the Titan X, even at a lower power. It will be available “around the world” on May 27th for $599 USD (MSRP). The GTX 1070 was also announced, with slightly reduced specifications, and it will be available on June 10th for $379 USD (MSRP).
Pascal is created on the 16nm process at TSMC, which gives them a lot of headroom. They have fewer shaders than the Titan X, but with a significantly higher clock rate. It also uses GDDR5X, which is an incremental improvement over GDDR5. We knew it wasn't going to use HBM2.0, like Big Pascal does, but it's interesting that they did not stick with old, reliable GDDR5.
The full specifications of the GTX 1080 are as follows:
- 2560 CUDA Cores
- 1607 MHz Base Clock (8.2 TFLOPs)
- 1733 MHz Boost Clock (8.9 TFLOPs)
- 8GB GDDR5X Memory at 320 GB/s (256-bit)
- 180W Listed Power (Update: uses 1x 8-pin power)
We do not currently have the specifications of the GTX 1070, apart from it being 6.5 TFLOPs.
It also looks like it has five display outputs: 3x DisplayPort 1.2, which are “ready” for 1.3 and 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b, and 1x DL-DVI. They do not explicitly state that all three DisplayPorts will run on the same standard, even though that seems likely. They also do not state whether all five outputs can be used simultaneously, but I hope that they can be.
They also have a new SLI bridge, called SLI HB Bridge, that is supposed to have double the bandwidth of Maxwell. I'm not sure what that will mean for multi-gpu systems, but it will probably be something we'll find out about soon.
Podcast #398 - AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!
Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2016 - 05:33 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Z170, video, radeon pro duo, podcast, nvidia, nfme, microsoft, icy dock, Hot swap, GTX 1080, Godavari, freesync, ECS, Claymore, Antec P9, amd, a8-7670k, A10-7860K
PC Perspective Podcast #398 - 05/05/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Lenovo!
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Program length: 1:29:10
Subject: Processors | May 5, 2016 - 03:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Intel, Broadwell-E
NVIDIA is not the only one with leaked benchmarks this week -- it's Intel's turn!
Silicon Lottery down at the Overclock.net forums got their hands on the ten-core, twenty-thread, Intel Core i7-6950X. Because Silicon Lottery is all about buying CPUs, testing how they overclock, and reselling them, it looks like each of these results are overclocked. The base clock is listed as 3.0 GHz, but the tests were performed at 4.0 GHz or higher.
Image Credit: Silicon Lottery via Overclock.net
They only had access to a single CPU, but they were able to get a “24/7” stable overclock at 4.3 GHz, pushed to 4.5 GHz for a benchmark or two. This could vary from part to part, as this all depends on microscopic errors that were made during manufacturing, and bigger chips have more surface area to run into them. These tiny imprecisions can require excess voltage to hit higher frequencies, causing a performance variation between parts. Too much, and the manufacturer will laser-cut under-performing cores, if possible, and sell it as a lesser part. That said, Silicon Lottery said that performance ran into a wall at some point, which sounds like an architectural limitation.
Broadwell-E is expected to launch at Computex.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 5, 2016 - 02:38 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, pascal, geforce
We're expecting a major announcement tomorrow... at some point. NVIDIA create a teaser website, called “Order of 10,” that is counting down to a 1PM EDT. On the same day, at 9PM EDT, they will have a live stream on their Twitch channel. This wasn't planned as long-term as their Game24 event, which turned out to be a GTX 970 and GTX 980 launch party, but it wouldn't surprise me if it ended up being a similar format. I don't know for sure whether one or both events will be about the new mainstream Pascal, but it would be surprising if Friday ends (for North America) without a GPU launch of some sort.
VideoCardz got a hold of 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme benchmarks, though. It is registered as an 8GB card with a GPU clock of 1860 MHz. While synthetic benchmarks, let alone a single benchmark of anything, isn't necessarily representative of overall performance, it scores slightly higher than a reasonably overclocked GTX 980 Ti (and way above a stock one). Specifically, this card yields a graphics score of 10102 on Fire Strike Extreme 1.1, while the 980 Ti achieved 7781 for us without an overclock.
We expected a substantial bump in clock rate, especially after GP100 was announced at GTC. This “full” Pascal chip was listed at a 1328 MHz clock, with a 1480 MHz boost. Enterprise GPUs are often underclocked compared to consumer parts, stock to stock. As stated a few times, overclocking could be a huge gap, too. The GTX 980 Ti was able to go from 1190 MHz to 1465 MHz. On the other hand, consumer Pascal's recorded 1860 MHz could itself be an overclock. We won't know until NVIDIA makes an official release. If not, maybe we could see these new parts break 2 GHz in general use?
Subject: Storage | May 5, 2016 - 01:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: MyDigitalSSD, Bullet Proof 5 Eco, M.2, tlc, PS3110-S10C
MyDigitalSSD's 480GB Bullet Proof 5 Eco M.2 is indeed available for $130 with the 240 and 120GB models also sporting attractive pricing. The M.2 drive uses Toshiba TLC memory with decent overprovisioning, an eight channel Phison PS3110-S10C controller and an additional chip which The SSD Review believes is an 8GB SLC cache from Kingston. The drive tops out the bandwidth of SATA 6Gbps in most tests, offering a very good value for your money. Even with the shorter lifespan of TLC there is a three year warranty which should cover you until your next upgrade.
"On the test bench today, we have the MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof 5 Eco M.2 480GB SATA 3 SSD and this SSD just may be the best value available for the dollar right now at $129.99. To think that this little SSD is just shy of that .25/GB mark is incredible…but can it perform?"
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Intel 540s SSD Review (480GB) – SMI Controller With SK Hynix Memory @ The SSD Review
- Plextor M7V M.2 SATA SSD @ Modders-Inc
- Patriot SuperSonic Magnum 2 256GB USB 3.1 Gen 1 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Lexar 633x microSDXC Card @ The SSD Review
- Synology DiskStation DS216+ 2-Bay NAS Review @ Techgage
- WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra 8TB NAS @ Kitguru
- Western Digital RED 8TB Helium HDD Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2016 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: openwrt, LEDE, networking
The Rebel scum known as the LEDE Project have broken away from the OpenWRT project in an unannounced move meant to increase transparency. Jokes aside, The Register named seven of the developers who are part of this forking, a not uncommon practice in open source projects. LEDE will try to bring in fresh enthusiasm to a Linux project which has been losing the interest of programmers, perhaps due to the lack of transparency that they cite or possibly just due to waning interest in a long running project. Pop on over to their page to see their mission statement, rules and processes if you are interested in how they compare to OpenWRT.
"The LEDE Project – Linux Embedded Development Environment – describes itself as a breakaway project that wants to overcome what it sees as faults in OpenWRT."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HTC sets up new company; may spin off VR business unit @ DigiTimes
- Cisco: Whoops, hackers can commandeer your TelePresence boxes with an evil HTTP poke @ The Register
- Apple patches Xcode dirty git implementation @ The Inquirer
- 'Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously' @ Slashdot
- Acer to release more ultra-thin notebooks in September @ DigiTimes
- Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because Of Antivirus Scan @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 07:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, Windows Store
Well that's a great precedent, Microsoft. In Windows 10 1511, which released in November for the general public, they removed the group policy setting to disable Windows Store from Windows 10 Pro. From a consumer standpoint? I can't see this decision making any difference. I doubt that a group policy setting would be the best line of defense for any use case that requires a disabled Windows Store.
From an enterprise standpoint -- there might have been good reason to disable it. Microsoft's solution is to use Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows 10 Education. This doesn't help those who already purchased a significant number of Windows 10 Pro licenses. I've also talked to someone in an enterprise environment who pointed to this decision as their reason to not upgrade to Windows 10 earlier in the year. Their organization cannot justify upgrading to Windows 10 Enterprise, and they have legal obligations that require locking down the apps that end-users can install.
So enterprises have been privately responding to this decision, apparently, but I'm not sure whether they're considering the bigger precedent. This is a concrete example of Microsoft removing user choice after they accepted the platform. This should start to make users think about all the other ways that Microsoft can alter the deal going forward, especially since you cannot just sit on Windows 10 1511 for a decade like you could with Windows XP or Windows 7.
Preventing users from blocking Windows Store (and the UWP) could be seen as a step toward deprecating the “wild west” method of installing software that we're used to. You can install unsigned Win32, for now. You can sideload UWP applications that aren't certified by Microsoft, although they need to be signed by a handful of root certificates, for now. This will always be a concern when dealing with a closed platform, where society isn't allowed to just fork away from disaster, but it's good to continually remind people of what could happen if decisions are extrapolated.
It would be wrong to assume malicious intent, though -- that stuff would leak all the time. But, with sufficient tunnel-vision, we could end up with negative consequences. It could be an enterprise worth of PCs becoming useless legal liabilities overnight, or it could be policies that allow a government to ban encryption software from installing on a platform.
Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 05:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gamdias, Kailh Blue RGB, Kailh, input, mechanical keyboard
GAMDIAS chose to use Kailh switches as opposed to Cherry MX in their Hermes RGB keyboard but only those with very sensitive fingers will notice the difference. The keyboard still allows you similar customization, if you want all your keys to be a different colour you will be able to make it so. They also offer an interesting choice, instead of a WIN key on the left, there is an Fn key which controls your macros and switches lighting profiles. The key can be programmed as a WIN key but that disables your macros and profiles, an interesting choice. The use of Kailh Blue keys means you are in for a loud and bumpy ride, which some prefer and others despise. Take a look at it in action over at Techgage.
"When RGB mechs first hit the market, they were priced as if they were the first RGB mechs to hit the market. Since then, some vendors have been releasing more affordable options for those who love both RGB LEDs and mechanical switches. GAMDIAS is one of those, and with its $100 Hermes RGB, it’s no longer that expensive to add color to your typing or gaming."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CM Storm Quick Fire XTi Gaming Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Gaming K70 Rapidfire RGB Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Corsair K70 RGB RAPIDFIRE @ Benchmark Reviews
- Azio MGK 1 RGB Mechanical Keyboard Review: Less Is More @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair M65 Pro RGB @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, warhammer 40k, dawn of war III
The Dawn of War series has been very popular, well designed and as pretty as there were bloody; THQ and Relic even managed decent add-ons that surpassed your run of the mill DLC for the most part. The trailer below gives you a CGI tease of what Dawn of War III might look like when brought to you by Sega and Relic. Those who preferred DoW II are in for a very unpleasant, even heretical, surprise; according to what Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have heard, the base building of the first instalment is coming back. They do promise to continue the equipment customization of heroes from the second game; here is to hoping they are not just talking about silly hats.
"This isn’t the first public mention of Dawn of War 3. That was way back in 2011, when Relic were still owned by the now departed THQ. It’s likely safe to assume little of that original plan remains."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wot I Think: Battlefleet Gothic – Armada @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dishonoured 2 will be released on 11th November @ HEXUS
- Day of the Tentacle Remastered review @ Polygon
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Release Pushed To June 7th/9th @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefield World Premiere scheduled for Friday 6th May @ HEXUS
- Wondrous: The Civilization V Community Patch Project @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Titanfall developer Respawn is making a Star Wars game @ Polygon
- Medal of Honor™ Pacific Assault - On The House @ Origin
- Fallout 4 sends players down to Far Harbor later this month @ Polygon
- Long War Studios Making More XCOM 2 Mods @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN