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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!
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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
Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2016 - 12:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
272.3 million is a big number and sadly it refers to the number of email accounts which have been affected by a recent data breach. The vast majority of the accounts are from Russia's Mail.ru but Yahoo accounts for 15%, Hotmail 12% and Gmail 9% of the leak. With 50 rubles and the right connections you can have the email addresses and passwords of a very large number of people. Sadly, The Inquirer also heard that this collection includes details of user accounts of US banking, manufacturing and retail companies. When you are changing your passwords today, try to avoid obvious Star Wars references.
"Reuters has the scoop, having heard from Alex Holden, founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security - and the man who last year uncovered the largest data breach to date - that the details of 272.3 million stolen accounts are being traded."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM Gives Everyone Access To Its Five-Qubit Quantum Computer @ Slashdot
- Ubuntu 16.04 Review: What’s New for Desktop Users @ Linux.com
- Google wants to inject gadgets into your eyes @ The Inquirer
- Intel has driven a dagger through Microsoft's mobile strategy @ The Register
- Hold on a sec. When did HDDs get SSD-style workload rate limits? @ The Register
- Asustek Computer leads gaming notebook sales @ DigiTimes
- Samsung Gear VR: Virtual Reality for the Average Consumer @ Hardware Secrets
- Huawei P9 Plus Dual-Lens Smartphone Sneak Peek @ TechARP
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 3, 2016 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: watercooler, AIO, corsair, H80i v2 High Performance
It is funny to think that just a few short years ago AIO watercoolers were rare as hen's teeth when you look at the number of models on the market today. Manufacturers now offer multiple product lines and many are starting to refresh their products with new models. Corsair has created a second version of their popular H80i cooler, which [H]ard|OCP has tested to see if it improves upon the original's performance. They also delve into the rather impressive software which accompanies this cooler, there are a lot more features on the H80i v2 than on the competition which could influence you when you are deciding which cooler to purchase.
"Corsair's original All-In-One H80i was a great CPU cooling unit, so we have high hopes for the H80i version 2. Push / Pull two-speed PWM fans come stock with this kit's newly designed water block and tubing configuration. We also have a new 49mm radiator and Corsair has some cosmetic updates as well that make this AIO very good looking."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Noctua NH-C14S Review @ OCC
- Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Silverstone Argon AR06 CPU Cooler Review: Prioritizing Silence @ Modders-Inc
- InWin 909 E-ATX Aluminium & Tempered Glass Chassis @ eTeknix
- Phanteks Evolv ATX Tempered Glass Edition @ Kitguru
- Riotoro CR1280 Prism Full Tower Case Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2016 - 02:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, google, security
Assuming your service provider is not one of those who block Google's patches from coming to you directly you should probably charge up that device, get on WiFi and check your available updates. Any Google device running 4.4.4 or newer, including Nexus devices, will have up to 40 patches to slurp up. Many of the patches are for a vulnerability similar to the previous Stagefright exploit, apps can use the drivers from Qualcomm and NVIDIA to break into the Qualcomm TrustZone on unpatched devices. The Register provides a full list of the patches which are being pushed to Nexus and Android One devices.
"Google has today issued a bundle of 40 security patches for its Android operating system.
A dozen of the fixes correct critical vulnerabilities in versions 4.4.4 of the operating system and above. About 74 per cent of in-use Android devices run Android 4.4.4 or higher."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia, Samsung pump brakes in car-crash GPU patent rip-off race @ The Register
- Google Chrome to Internet Explorer: 'I'm the king of the world!' @ The Inquirer
- Why quantum cryptography could be a one-way street @ Nanotechweb
- Pittasoft BlackVue DR650GW-2CH Car Dashcam Review @ NikKTech
- NikKTech & GAMDIAS Game On USA - CANADA Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2016 - 06:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, graphics driver, game ready
Some of the games may still be in beta but the driver is fully WHQL; NVIDIA has released Version 365.10 of their graphics driver which focuses on Battleborn which arrives on May 3rd. We do hope that you have not helped perpetuate the crime against gaming humanity which is the pre-order, but if you have then you should be pre-ordering this driver as well. Along with Battleborn comes support for three games currently in beta, open or otherwise, Forza Motorsport 6: APEX, Paragon, and Overwatch. The Release Notes also mention new SLI profiles for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture and Overwatch and even good 3D Vision support for Battleborn for the dozen of you out there which will benefit from it. If you follow the links below you can read NVIDIA's suggested GPUs for these games.
Today, we’ve launched our Game Ready driver for Battleborn. It also covers some beta games: Forza Motorsport 6: APEX (Beta), Paragon (Beta), and Overwatch (Beta).
You can grab GeForce Game Ready 365.10 WHQL drivers on this link.
Game Ready Driver Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/battleborn-forza-motorsport-6-...
Overwatch Recommended GPU Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/overwatch-system-requirements
Paragon Recommended GPU Article: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/paragon-early-access-now-avail...
Forza Motorsport 6: Apex System Requirements (external page): http://www.forzamotorsport.net/en-us/news/fm6_apex_beta_announce
Game Ready Driver Release Highlights: http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/102199/en-uk
Subject: Displays | May 2, 2016 - 05:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: freesync, amd, about damn time
Better late than never, our friend Robert Hallock has informed the world that AMD has updated their FreeSync display list with response ranges and panel types. Having the physical size of the display, the resolution and the accepted inputs are necessary but this update offers a much better look at the displays you will be getting. If you are unwilling to give up the colour reproduction of a IPS panel for the speed of an TN this is invaluable to you, as is pointing out the few VA based monitors.
Listing the top and bottom frequencies of the variable refresh displays is arguably even more important. We now know that currently only the Acer XR341CK and BX340CK, the Nixeus NX-VUE24 and the Viewsonic XG2701 are capable of dropping to 30Hz and that a total of 17 models can reach 144Hz. Check out the list for the available 4K displays as well as regular 1440p and ultra-wide 1440p displays in the list and refer back to it regularly as there are a few monitors awaiting final specifications and more coming out in the near future.
Subject: Systems | May 2, 2016 - 05:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: build guide
Though this post did not quite make it in time for the title, the components are not going to be any different in The Tech Reports April System's Guide. Similar to our own HWLB, The Tech Report breaks out their recommendations into several price points to accommodate those who are on a budget as well as those for whom the sky is not the limit. In most cases there are two recommendations for each level of spending, GPUs are certainly an exception as the market is incredibly crowded at the moment and discounts often impact a buyers final decision. Pop on over to take a look at the components they chose for those of you doing some spring cleaning inside your PCs.
"In this edition of The Tech Report's System Guide, we examine the CPUs, graphics cards, memory, cases, power supplies, and other parts that system builders will need to power Oculus' Rift and HTC's Vive VR headsets."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Intel NUC Kit NUC5PGYH Braswell Mini PC @ Missing Remote
- Cyberpower Infinity X55 Pro Gaming PC @ eTeknix
- ECS LIVA X2 Mini PC @ Kitguru
- Gladiator Computers BATTALION 800 Gaming PC @ eTeknix
- Building your first Custom Designed Watercooled PC: Part 2 @ Kitguru
Subject: Motherboards | May 2, 2016 - 04:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: biostar, racing z170gt7, Z170, Intel
Biostar has a mixed reputation online, one similar to ASRock. Those who have never used one despise the brand on the basis of reading that some guy somewhere once had some sort of problem with one. Those who have used them are aware that they have some quirks but are decent boards when used for what they were designed for and don't tend to have significantly more issues than other brands.
With the Racing Z170GT7, Biostar is venturing out of its comfort zone as you do not expect to see an LN2 switch on one of their products, nor on a motherboard costing around $130. It is not light on features either, four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, an M.2 port and three SEx ports which are set up to be available as SATA 6Gbps ports as well. The motherboard also has aesthetic heatsinks and 256 colour LEDs, all of which add up to something new from Biostar. Check out the board in action over at TechPowerUp ... or not.
"The Biostar Racing Z170GT7 is a fully-featured high-performance platform that includes an LN2 switch. Unlike previous motherboards from Biostar that were affordable with more basic features, this one has everything a gamer would want and does very well in our testing."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- BIOSTAR RACING H170GT3 @ eTeknix
- GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Z170A GAMING M5 @ eTeknix
- ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming @ Kitguru
- ASRock E3V5 WS Super Alloy Motherboard @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2016 - 03:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, market share, linux
We've all seen the comments about how Windows 10 has finally convinced people to switch operating systems but today we have numbers which show that some may have been true to their word. According to Netmarketshare the marketshare of Windows on desktop machines has dropped below 90% for the first time. Mac OSX holds onto 3.96% of the market but the Other category is up to 8.59%, which is the category that represents the various flavours of Linux; it holds 1.56%, as well as other non-Microsoft OSes. It may not be the year of Linux but it certainly is not Microsoft's year. You can read the calm, rational discussion over at Slashdot on this topic, it is guaranteed to provide amusement.
"Windows 7 is still the king, but it no longer holds the majority. Nine months after Windows 10's release, Windows 7 has finally fallen below 50 percent market share and Windows XP has dropped into single digits. While this is good news for Microsoft, April was actually a poor month for Windows overall, which for the first time owned less than 90 percent of the market, according to the latest figures from Net Applications."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- If the Internet of Things will be SOOO BIG why did Broadcom just quit the market? @ The Register
- Intel loses its ARM wrestling match, kicks out Atom mobe chips @ The Register
- Iron Man-Inspired ROG GT51 Gaming Desktop Revealed @ Tech ARP
- Linksys LGS116P 16-Port Business Desktop Gigabit PoE+ Switch Review @ NikKTech
- Has Mankind Gone Too Far With Drone Fishing? @ Hack a Day
- Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell @ The Register
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 2, 2016 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: side window, P9 Window, mid-tower, Full-Tower, fan controller, enclosure, case, atx case, antec
Antec has listed a new P9 Window tower enclosure on their site ahead of Computex, and while it's listed as "not available" at the moment, that should change by the end of the month.
So what is this P9 Window? It's a straightforward case with a big side window, excellent storage and cooling support, and dual onboard fan controllers.
"Don’t let the sleek, understated exterior fool you. The P9 Window is loaded with builder-focused features that deliver performance, Quiet Computing, and future-proof expandability right out of the box. The interior volume, the variety of cooling options, and the modular HDD cages are just a few of the features that make the P9 Window stand out in the Performance One series."
- Motherboard Support: ATX, micro ATX, mini ITX
- Expansion Slots: 8
- 13 Total Drive Bays:
- 3 x Tool-less 5.25” ODD Bays
- 8 x Tool-less 3.5” HDD trays (each compatible with 2.5” SSD)
- 1 x 3.5” HDD (inside the 5.25” drive cage)
- 2 x Tool-less 2.5” Dedicated SSD Bays
- Cooling System:
- 2 x Front 120mm (included) fan
- 1 x Rear 120mm (included) fan
- 3 x Top 120mm or 2 x 140mm fan mounts (optional)
- 1 x Bottom 120mm (optional)
- 2 x 120mm HDD cage fan mounts (Optional)
- Water cooling support:
- Front: Supports 240mm radiator
- Top: Supports240/280/360 mm radiator
- Pump / Reservoir mounting brackets included
- Removable / Relocation of HDD cages for water cooling pump
- I/O Ports:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x Fan controls
- Audio In/Out
- Washable air filters (front intake and PSU)
- Supports up to 430 mm VGA cards
- Bottom mounted ATX PSU (not included)
- Dimensions: 22.44” (W) x 23.50 (H) x 11.26” (D)
- Weight: 20 lbs
Pricing shown in Antec's listing is a reasonable $109 for a full-tower design like this, and we'll doubtless get a chance to see how its performing soon enough as reviews start coming out.
Subject: Displays | April 30, 2016 - 01:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: LG, lg display, oled
According to a spokeswoman for LG Display, via Reuters, the display panel company will increase their investment in OLED production by $395.99 million USD. Back in November, we reported on their plans to produce an $8.7 billion USD facility that was expected to manufacture panel sizes that range between smart watch and large TV.
Just displaying an LG Display display.
It's awesome that OLED is getting even more attention. The display technology is better suited than LCD/LED in terms of both real contrast and high refresh rate / low persistence, with the former good for deep blacks and saturated colors, and the latter for VR, 3D, and generated content like games. We've seen a few professional monitors announced at CES, but they are still in the “decent used car” price range. That's a welcome change from “decent new car” however, but availability is still basically non-existent. This is before LG Display's production facility wakes up in 2018, and LG is known to push lower prices into markets. Just a couple years!
Subject: General Tech | April 30, 2016 - 12:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: SoC, nfme, gpu, cpu, amd
Nantong Fujitsu Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (NFME) is a Chinese company that packages and tests integrated circuits. Recently, AMD has been working with China to reach that large market, especially given their ongoing cash concerns. This time, AMD sold 85% of its stake in two locations, AMD Penang, Malaysia and AMD Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, to NFME and formed a joint venture with them, called TF-AMD Microelectronics Sdn Bhd.
I see two interesting aspects to this story.
First, AMD gets about $320 million USD in this transaction, after taxes and fees, and it also retains 15% of this venture. I am curious whether this will lead to a long-term source of income for AMD, even though the press release claims that this structure will be “cost neutral”. Either way, clearing a third of a billion dollars should help AMD to some extent. That equates to about two-to-three quarters of net-loss for the company, so it gives them about six-to-nine extra months of life on its own. That's not too bad if the transaction doesn't have any lasting consequences.
Second, NFME now has access to some interesting packaging and testing technologies. NFME's website claims that this allows them to handle dies up to 800mm2, substrates with up to 18 layers, and package sizes up to 75mm. These specifications sound like it pulls from their GPU experience, which could bring all of that effort and knowledge to completely different fields.
The press release states that 1,700 employees will be moved from AMD to this venture. They do not state whether any jobs are affected over and above this amount, though.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 29, 2016 - 07:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, dx12, async shaders
Earlier in the month [H]ard|OCP investigated the performance scaling that Intel processors display in DX12, now they have finished their tests on AMD processors. These tests include Async computing information, so be warned before venturing forth into the comments. [H] tested an FX 8370 at 2GHz and 4.3GHz to see what effect this had on the games, the 3GHz tests did not add any value and were dropped in favour of these two turbo frequencies. There are some rather interesting results and discussion, drop by for the details.
"One thing that has been on our minds about the new DX12 API is its ability to distribute workloads better on the CPU side. Now that we finally have a couple of new DX12 games that have been released to test, we spend a bit of time getting to bottom of what DX12 might be able to do for you. And a couple sentences on Async Compute."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- XFX R9 Fury Triple Dissipation Review @ OCC
- AMD Radeon Pro Duo Preview @ techPowerUp
- NVIDIA VR performance featuring ASUS @ Kitguru
- ASUS GTX 950 2 GB (no power connector) @ techPowerUp
- Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 16.04 NVIDIA OpenGL Performance @ Phoronix