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Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2015 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, free
Free games are a welcome trend. Sometimes they are older games that were re-released or otherwise used for promotion. You can also find many interesting prototypes after a popular game jam ends and the contestants leave their work on OneDrive or Google Drive.
This game is apparently designed to promote the future works of a new game studio. One of the co-creators of “The Stanley Parable” founded “Crows Crows Crows”. Their first game is now available for free on a few services, although I naturally just got it from Steam because why not.
It's interesting because it's basically a 15-minute short film, only in a “walking simulator” format. It's limited, though. Most of the enjoyment of “The Stanley Parable” was in seeing how your small choices had comically huge effects. Carefully following the narrator's instructions gave you a peaceful ending, and deviating made the story devolve in some absurdly disproportional way. There was even a part of a level's collision that was disabled to troll players trying to glitch outside the path, greeting them with a message for the sole purpose of saying “Nope. You didn't trick me.”
The new game, “Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist” has no such choices. This is disappointing if you were expecting a smaller The Stanley Parable. Instead, you basically get the equivalent of a single The Stanley Parable ending, which you basically need to follow. The only choices that I found is to pick up a few items, listen to a few tapes, and inaction.
It's cute though, and it was a good use of my time.
Subject: Processors | December 4, 2015 - 11:35 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Skylake, Intel, heatsink, damage, cpu cooler, Core i7 6700K, Core i7 6600K, bend, 6th generation, 3rd party
Some Intel 6th-gen "Skylake" processors have been damaged by the heatsink mounts of 3rd-party CPU coolers according to a report that began with pcgameshardware.de and has since made its rounds throughout PC hardware media (including the sourced Ars Technica article).
The highly-referenced pcgameshardware.de image of a bent Skylake CPU
The problem is easy enough to explain, as Skylake has a notably thinner construction compared to earlier generations of Intel CPUs, and if enough pressure is exerted against these new processors the green substrate can bend, causing damage not only to the CPU but the pins in the LGA 1151 socket as well.
The only way to prevent the possibility of a bend is avoid overtightening the heatsink, but considering most compatible coolers on the market were designed for Haswell and earlier generations of Intel CPU this leaves users to guess what pressure might be adequate without potentially bending the CPU.
Intel has commented on the issue:
"The design specifications and guidelines for the 6th Gen Intel Core processor using the LGA 1151 socket are unchanged from previous generations and are available for partners and 3rd party manufacturers. Intel can’t comment on 3rdparty designs or their adherence to the recommended design specifications. For questions about a specific cooling product we must defer to the manufacturer."
It's worth noting that while Intel states that their "guidelines for the 6th Gen Intel Core processor using the LGA 1151 socket are unchanged from previous generations", it is specifically a change in substrate thickness that has caused the concerns. The problem is not limited to any specific brands, but certainly will be more of an issue for heatsink mounts that can exert a tremendous amount of pressure.
An LGA socket damaged from a bent Skylake CPU (credit: pcgameshardware)
From the Ars report:
"Noctua, EK Water Blocks, Scythe, Arctic, Thermaltake, and Thermalright, commenting to Games Hardware about the issue, suggested that damage from overly high mounting pressure is most likely to occur during shipping or relocation of a system. Some are recommending that the CPU cooler be removed altogether before a system is shipped."
Scythe has been the first vendor to offer a solution to the issue, releasing this statement on their support website:
"Japanese cooling expert Scythe announces a change of the mounting system for Skylake / Socket 1151 on several coolers of its portfolio. All coolers are compatible with Skylake sockets in general, but bear the possibility of damage to CPU and motherboard in some cases where the PC is exposed to strong shocks (e.g. during shipping or relocation).This problem particularly involves only coolers which will mounted with the H.P.M.S. mounting system. To prevent this, the mounting pressure has been reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. Of course, Scythe is going to ship a the new set of screws to every customer completely free of charge! To apply for the free screw set, please send your request via e-mail to email@example.com or use the contact form on our website."
The thickness of Skylake (left) compared to Haswell (right) (credit: pcgameshardware)
As owner of an Intel Skylake i5-6600K, which I have been testing with an assortment of CPU coolers for upcoming reviews, I can report that my processor appears to be free of any obvious damage. I am particularly careful about pressure when attaching a heatsink, but there have been a couple (including the above mentioned Scythe HPMS mounting system) that could easily have been tightened far beyond what was needed for a proper connection.
We will continue to monitor this situation and update as more vendors offer their response to the issue.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2015 - 09:22 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: shadow complex, pc gaming, epic games, chair games
At the Video Game Awards, Epic Games announced that the Xbox Live Arcade (Xbox 360) title, Shadow Complex, has been remastered for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Moreover, it is available on the Epic Games Launcher for free. Some sites are reporting that it's only free for a limited time, but one of the community managers at Epic Games said that it was, in fact, free forever. If you're interested, open the Epic Games launcher and download it so it's available to play whenever you get a handful of hours free. No rush, though.
While it's been about six years since I played it, Shadow Complex was fun. Chair Games set out to make a Metroid-like side-scroller (apart from a couple of sections) with secrets and items that could only be accessed by backtracking with later equipment. The story was fine.
Shadow Complex Remastered has fairly light system requirements, too.
- Windows 7 / Windows 8.x / Windows 10
- Intel Core 2 Duo (or AMD Equivalent)
- 2GB System RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 7800 / AMD Radeon HD 4600 / Intel HD 4000
- 512MB Video RAM
- DirectX 9.0c
- Windows 7 / Windows 8.x / Windows 10
- Intel Core i5 / AMD A4 APU
- 4GB System RAM
- NVIDIA GT 540 / AMD Radeon HD 5550
- 1GB Video RAM
- DirectX 11
Of course, while you've downloaded the Epic Games Luancher, you might also consider downloading Unreal Tournament. Also, if you're a creative type, Unreal Engine 4 is available for free on the launcher too (although royalties are due if you start making money with it).
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 3, 2015 - 10:34 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Tonga XT, tonga, Radeon R9 380X, Radeon R9 285, Radeon R9 280X, Radeon R9 280, radeon, amd, 384-bit
While it was reported a year ago that AMD's Tonga XT GPU had a 384-bit memory bus in articles sourcing the same PC Watch report, when the Radeon R9 380X was released last month we saw a Tonga XT GPU with a 256-bit memory interface.
The full Tonga core features a 384-bit GDDR5 memory bus (Credit: PC Watch)
Reports of the upcoming card had consistently referenced the wider 384-bit bus, and tonight we are able to officially confirm that Tonga (not just Tonga XT) has been 384-bit capable all along, though this was never enabled by AMD. The reason? The company never found the right price/performance combination.
AMD confirms 384-bit bus available on Tonga, just not enabled on any product, including 380X. Didn't find a perfect perf/$ slot.
— Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) December 4, 2015
AMD's Raja Koduri confirmed Tonga's 384-bit bus tonight, and our own Ryan Shrout broke the news on Twitter.
So does this mean an upcoming Tonga GPU could offer this wider memory bus? Tonga itself was a follow-up to Tahiti (R9 280/280X), which did have a 384-bit bus, but all along the choice had been made to keep the updated core at 256-bit.
Now more than a year after the launch of Tonga a new part featuring a fully enabled memory bus doesn't seem realistic, but it's still interesting to know that significantly more memory bandwidth is locked away from owners of these cards.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 3, 2015 - 04:38 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooler, SFF, mini-itx, liquid CPU cooler, H5SF, cpu cooler, Corsair H5 SF, corsair
Corsair has launched the ultra-compact liquid cooler from their Bulldog chassis as a standalone product, and it's a unique solution for mini-ITX CPU cooling.
Originally announced at this year's Computex as part of the Bulldog DIY system, this low-profile liquid cooler is designed to allow users of some of the smallest mini-ITX systems to not only keep their CPU's cool, but even allows some serious overclocking with up to 150 W of thermal dissipation. The design uses a blower-style fan that pushes air accross a compact radiator, and the entire unit is only 84 mm high for use in spaces that wouldn't ordinarily be able to support a powerful CPU cooler.
Corsair provides this chart comparing performance against SFF air coolers
"Further expanding Corsair’s best-selling Hydro series line of liquid CPU coolers, the H5 SF is Corsair’s first liquid cooler designed specifically to meet the thermal demands of small form factor PCs. Easy to install and just 84mm tall, the H5 SF is compact enough to fit inside the most confined PC case, yet still offers up to 150W of heat dissipation, enough to cool today’s demanding high-end CPUs with overclocking headroom to spare.
The all-new design fits directly on top of any Mini-ITX motherboard with no need to attach the H5 SF to any external fan mounts or brackets, maximizing compatibility across a wide range of Mini-ITX and small form factor cases. A high-performance copper cold plate efficiently draws heat away from the CPU, where it’s then transferred into the integrated 120mm x 40mm radiator and exhausted by the H5 SF’s low-noise tuned 120mm blower fan. What’s more, the H5 SF’s blower fan also draws air over other heat producing motherboard components such as VRMs and chipset heatsinks, helping to keep your whole system cool.
Fully compatible with Corsair’s Obsidian Series 250D, Carbide Series Air 240, and Graphite Series 380T cases, the H5 SF is also critical to Corsair’s upcoming Bulldog chassis, allowing the new case to deliver low-noise, 4K living room gaming without compromising CPU choice. Now enthusiasts can take advantage of Bulldog’s H5 SF cooling for themselves and fit even the most demanding of CPUs, into the smallest of cases."
The mounting system is unique, with a bracket that attaches inline with the screws securing the mini-ITX motherboard, requiring no additional contact with the enclosure. It's a clever idea that permits the installation of this liquid solution wherever an air cooler of up to 84 mm is possible.
Here are the specifications from Corsair:
- Socket Support: AMD: AM2, AM3, FM1, FM2, Intel LGA: 115X, 1366
- Cold Plate Material: Copper
- Radiator Material: Aluminum
- Radiator dimensions: 167mm x 40mm x 57mm
- Total cooler height: 84mm
- Fan dimensions: 120mm x 32mm
- Fan speed: 1000 - 1800 RPM
- Fan airflow: 12 - 24 CFM
- Fan pressure: 2.5 - 8.3 mmH2O
- Fan noise level: 36 - 42 dB(A)
- Tubing: Low-Permeability Tubing
- Warranty: Five years
The H5 SF carries an MSRP of $79.99, and this cost (which is in keeping with Corsair's existing 120 mm pricing) seems pretty reasonable considering the unique implementation and thermal capability. Available starting today, the H5 SF is already listed for sale on Newegg.com for the $79.99 MSRP.
Podcast #377 - AMD Radeon Software Crimson, our Holiday Gift Guide, Scott Wasson moving to AMD and more!
Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2015 - 03:40 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, amd, radeon software, crimson, holiday gift guide, ATIC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, raspberry pi zero, scott wasson, tech report, Thinkpad, yoga p40
PC Perspective Podcast #377 - 12/03/2015
Join us this week as we discuss AMD Radeon Software Crimson, our Holiday Gift Guide, Scott Wasson moving to AMD 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
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 0:54:20
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Ryan: Emergency Underwear
Sebastian: Quad-core CPU for $70!!
Subject: Motherboards | December 3, 2015 - 01:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: skylake-s, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Maximus VIII Impact, lga1151, Intel Z170, asus
Before looking at this particular Maximus board, make sure you have checked out Morry's review of the Silver Award winning Maximus VIII Gene as it is well worth the read. If you find that a mATX board is simply too big for you then you could consider the ASUS Maximus VIII Impact, a mini-ITX board with a fair spread of features. You are limited to a single x16 PCIe slot but that leaves plenty of channels for 6 USB 3.0, two 3.1 ports of which one is a Type-C connector, four SATA 6GBps ports and U.2 as well. This board also features the SupremeFX audio found on the Gene, albeit in a slightly different form and adds dual channel WiFi support as well. [H]ard|OCP were very impressed with Impact, check out the many reasons why it picked up their top awards here.
"Let’s face it, most sequels are never as good as the original films. When it comes to motherboards the opposite usually rings true. ASUS’ Republic of Gamers brand has had several iterations of the mini-ITX Maximus Impact, today we have version VIII. Hopefully ASUS continues its track record of great sequels."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming G1 @ The Tech Report
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH @ eTeknix
- MSI B150M Mortar Review @ OCC
- GIGABYTE Z170-HD3 Review; DDR3 & Skylake @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 @ Modders-Inc
- FIRST LOOK Gigabyte H170N-WIFI Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Gigabyte GA-H110M-A: A Sub-$60 Intel Skylake Motherboard @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | December 3, 2015 - 12:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: OberonStation, pascal, oberon
To paraphrase Barbie, "Linux is hard". Present a child with a Linux powered Pi of whichever flavour you like and you will spend a lot more time trying to explain why they have to do things a certain way instead of letting them create on their own. The OberonStation was released at the same time as the Pi Zero we have heard about but it has a significant difference. It uses a descendent of the Pascal programming language, which some readers may remember for both the OS and the programs which will run on the OberonStation. This simplifies things greatly and while it will limit what the device can do compared to a Pi it also means it is a better teaching tool for young programmers who won't have to learn the odd and twisted world of Linux ... or at least not yet.
The Register compares it to learning on a ZX Spectrum or Amiga 600, simple enough to grasp but yet useful enough to give you a solid foundation in programming practices and functions. This will make it more interesting and accessible for youth you want to corrupt with thoughts of a future in programming and electronics. It is unfortunately sold out, if you are still interested in turning your kids or young relatives to the dark side consider one of the littleBits kits available at MAKE such as the Deluxe Kit, it is a great way to introduce them to electronics and to get some nifty devices out of the deal as well!
"Two tiny, inexpensive, single-board educational computers just shipped. One has had lots of coverage already, but the odds are you've never heard of the other machine. However, the idea behind the obscure one is more important."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Asustek Computer to reorganize system business group @ DigiTimes
- Windows 10 lags 7, 8 … and even Vista in the channel race @ The Register
- Exchange email bounces back as Microsoft resolves Office 365 issues @ The Inquirer
- Google Updates: Chrome 47, Cloud Vision API and no SpyKids please, we're Google @ The Inquirer
- Popular 3G/4G data dongles are desperately vulnerable, say hackers @ The Register
- PHP 7 Ready For Release @ Slashdot
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway #8 : Dell Portable HDD Giveaway
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2015 - 11:39 PM | Scott Michaud
Update 2 (11:50pm): Okay, so. Scott Wasson was asked by Raja Koduri to join the Radeon Technologies Group, their intention being to implement the work he did with (and surrounding) his frame time benchmark to improve user experience. Scott Wasson will step down as Editor-in-Chief of The Tech Report, and promote Jeff Kampman in his place.
Update: Scott Wasson has just published a blog post about it, naturally minutes after I wrote this. We'll add more details above this as we digest them. Original news below!
AMD has just announced that Scott Wasson, Editor-in-Chief at The Tech Report, will leave his site and join their ranks. Details are still scarce because of how fresh this announcement is, but he will join the company to lead User Experience. Scott Wasson is a good friend of PC Perspective and our Editor-in-Chief, Ryan Shrout. They shared notes during the development of Frame Rating.
Ryan is still visiting AMD for the scheduled briefing, and will probably be talking more about this over the next couple of days. Scott Wasson's new position at the chip designer will take effect in January. We don't yet know how this will affect The Tech Report itself, whether someone will take over or not. Ryan broke the news on our most recent podcast from the event.
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2015 - 03:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, corsair, KATAR, gaming mouse
The Corsair Katar seems small, 85g and 111x64x38mm but the reviewer at Hardware Canucks did not seem to find it uncomfortable. The sensor matches up to the competition, adjustable between 100 to 8000 DPI but you can see all of the buttons in the picture below, there are only 4. However for many games, such as DOTA that may well be all the buttons you need and the simple design makes it easy to use in either hand. At under $40 it is not overly expensive to pick up. Check out the full review to see if this mouse is good enough you want it to fall into your hands.
"Can a peripheral that's endorsed by "professional gamers" be worthwhile? Typically no, but Corsair's Katar begs to differ. It offers everything FPS gamers could possibly want in a gaming mouse."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CM Storm Sentinel III Ergonomic RGB Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Rival 100 Gaming Mouse Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Tesoro Excalibur Spectrum RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- G.Skill KM780 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- TteSports Poseidon Z RGB @ eTeknix
- SteelSeries Apex M800 Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2015 - 01:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, just cause 3
When a reviewer mentions that they utterly forgot about the first mission for 12 hours after completing ye old mandatory game beginning you know something is up. From how Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN describe Just Cause 3 it is not because the storyline is so bad you want to ignore it but because there is just so much stuff to blow up and it is a lot of fun doing it. That describes the first two Just Cause games and it looks like the third will be no different, apart from what is described as a more reasonable escalation of enemy forces in the later parts of the game. If the random violence of maliciously attaching people to various objects and generally causing chaos is up your alley then the latest installment of this series should not disappoint.
"Avalanche’s Just Cause 3 is officially released Tuesday morning online and in something called “shops”. “Officially”, because it was apparently released early in a few naughty nations, prompting the developers to make a list of planned Day 0 fixes. Of course, that means the code we’ve been reviewing from for the last week also lacks that patch, making it tricky to know how many of the issues I encountered – in an otherwise stupendous game – will affect you. Bearing this in mind, here’s wot I think."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Big Winter Sale Starts Now @ GoG
- Jade Empire Free On Origin
- Fallout 4 Building Guide @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Primal Carnage: Extinction Game Review @ Madshrimps
- Fallout 3 7-Years Later Review @ OCC
- Goalpost-Apocalyptic: Rocket League’s Chaos Run Out @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- A Brand New UI: Alpha Centauri Redux @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Steam Controller updated with Mouse Region mapping @ HEXUS
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2015 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 10TB, hgst, western digital
Western Digital subsidiary HGST had previously released a 10TB drive which used their new shingling technique to reach such high storage densities and meant that there was a limited capacity for rewrites. They have now released a new 10TB drive which is formatted in a more traditional manner and does not have the same limitations as brought on with the shingling method of design. The Inquirer also mentions 6TB and 8TB models if you don't quite need 10TB of storage. No mention of price is made but you can guess that this HDD will be close in price per GB to SSDs, sadly not the price parity we were hoping for.
"HGST HAS released its first 10TB helium-filled drive for general purpose data centre use."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft adds Debian to Azure tool belt as it joins forces with HPE @ The Inquirer
- MSFT boffins bust mobile data bottlenecks with iOS app @ The Register
- Google to end updates, security bug fixes for Chrome on 32-bit Linux @ The Register
- Prototype Sodium Ion Batteries in 18650 Cells @ Hack a Day
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2015 - 09:39 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: phanteks, mini-itx, matx case, Enthoo Mini XL, dual system, dual motherboard
Phanteks has announced a new version of their Enthoo Mini XL enclosure, adding their PSU splitter to the package to allow both systems to use a single PSU, and now including the optional mini-ITX upgrade kit.
"With the overwhelming response from the community, users have requested for a solution to the Enthoo Mini XL's dual system configuration setup. Today, Phanteks announces the release of the Enthoo Mini XL Dual System. The Mini XL Dual System will have Phanteks Power Splitter and the Mini ITX upgrade kit pre-installed. With Enthoo Mini XL Dual System, users can run two fully functional system independently of one another. The Mini XL Dual System provides users to have the option of having a high powered gaming system and workstation or Gaming system and streaming system all in one case."
The need for a dual-motherboard system is confined to a small percentage of builders, but the appeal of this enclosure package might create some additional interest. It's a cool idea, and while the Mini XL has been around since January the PSU splitter is a fairly new product, and interesting on its own.
"Using the Power Splitter, a dual system configuration can operate independently of one another. Powering ON/OFF on one system will not affect the other and vice versa. As long as one system is running the power supply will be fully operational until both systems are off."
The Enthoo Mini XL Dual System enclosure will be available this month, and the press release listed 209.90 Euro (about $222 US) indicating this might not be available in the US just yet.
Subject: Systems, Mobile | December 2, 2015 - 12:09 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: yoga, wacom, ThinkPad Yoga P40, Thinkpad, NVIDIA Quadro M500M, mobile workstation, Lenovo, ips, Intel Core i7
Lenovo has announced a pair of new mobile workstations at the Autodesk University event in Las Vegas, and the front-runner is the latest ThinkPad Yoga.
This new ThinkPad Yoga P40 may look like the previous models, but it's loaded with workstation-level features and specs, beginning with the 2560x1440 IPS display with Wacom Active ES technology that boasts 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Lenovo says the software driving this digitizer has been carefully optimized with help from Wacom:
"Professional artists and designers have been clear with the need for absolute precision and accuracy. Working with Wacom, Lenovo developed a unique driver to get closer than ever to the ‘pen to paper’ experience. For a comfortable and realistic sketching experience, the rechargeable ThinkPad Pen Pro is included, along with additional pen tips providing varied levels of tactile feedback for the professional community."
The underlying hardware features 6th-Gen Intel Core i7 processors, graphics provided by a 2GB NVIDIA Quadro M500M card, up to 16GB of memory (SoDIMM), a 512 GB SSD, and Intel 8260 2x2 802.11ac wireless. The ThinkPad Yoga P40 also features the Lift 'n Lock keyboard from the original ThinkPad Yoga "with a frame that automatically rises around the keys when the Yoga device switches into tablet mode", and Mil-SPEC construction.
Image credit: Laptop Mag
The ThinkPad P40 Yoga will be available beginning in Q1 2016, and pricing will start at $1399.
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2015 - 07:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: networking, cable tv, cable isp
A bit before the week of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, I came across a pair of interesting articles (linked below) over at DSL Reports that had some interesting figures for the state of broadband and cable TV. While cable companies continue to rule the roost when it comes to the ISP subscriber side of things, they are also steadily bleeding cable TV subscribers. According to the numbers (which they got from Leichtman Research), the third quarter of 2015 has been simultaneously the worst quarter ever for telcos who lost both internet and cable TV subscribers, it was the best quarter (of least cable TV losses) since 2006.
On the broadband side of things, of the top seventeen providers Leichtman Research provided numbers for, cable companies brought in 787,629 new subscribers while the telephone companies lost 143,338 of their subscribers (likely customers on older forlorn CO-fed DSL tech). Cable companies are maintaining a healthy lead in total subscribers as well at approximately 54 million versus 25 million telco subscribers.
|Subscribers YTD||Net Subscribers +/- in Q3|
Not too bad considering all the bad press the cable companies have thrust upon themselves with, for example, Comcast rolling out 300GB caps across the US and their notorious (or should I say infamous) customer support departments. Somehow only CableOne and WOW lost subscribers in Q3.
At the end of Q3'15 there were 94 million cable television subscribers shared among the 12 top providers (eight cable, two satellite, and two cable). Collectively, the companies lost 190,693 TV subscribers versus last quarter which is an increased loss YoY as well (155,000 in Q3'14). It should be noted that if Dish's Sling TV subscriber numbers are not taken into account, it is a 345,000 decrease in pay TV subscribers.
|Subscribers||Net Subscribers +/- in Q3|
The cable companies lost 144,693 subscribers in Q3 making it an improvement in that it is the least amount of subscribers lost since 2006. For example, in the same quarter last year the cable companies lost 440,000. Comparatively, the telephone companies only lost 49,000 TV subscribers, but it was their worst quarter yet when it comes to losing TV subscribers. Charter, Direct TV, and Verizon were the only three of the listed companies to actually pick up subscibers this quarter while everyone else lost them.
What do you think about the numbers? Will the cable beheomouths continue being the dominant source of internet for the US? Will traditional cable/paid TV ever make a comeback, and if not just how many subscribers will these providers have to lose before they embrace new models that support à la carte and even cord cutting/streaming only?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 1, 2015 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, modular psu, 80 Plus Platinum, Strider Platinum ST55F-PT, 550W
As the title implies, the Silverstone Strider Platinum ST55F-PT is smaller than you might expect a 550W PSU to be, at just under 6" square. That this PSU is designed for computers of a small size is reinforced by the fact that there is only a pair of PCIe 6+2 plugs, not a problem for small systems but worth noting if you were planning on adding a second GPU. [H]ard|OCP's testing shows that the PSU easily meets the 80 Plus Platinum standard and not only was the power delivered impressively stable but the PSU also operated quietly. It will cost you a small premium but if you need a solid, quiet and small PSU this review is worth checking out.
"SilverStone comes to us today with a Platinum rated PSU that is also billed as having a "Power Density (of) 305W per liter." While this is a bit odd, the messaging seems to be big power in a little footprint. Let's see how this "ultra silent" fully modular PSU stacks up when it comes to serving up big-time power under big-time pressure."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master V550S with 3D Circuit Design @ techPowerUp
- Rosewill Photon and Quark Overview: Affordable Power @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair RMx Series 1000 W @ techPowerUp
- Deep Cool DA500 Aurora 500W @ eTeknix
- eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Update
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2015 - 05:51 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: shuttle, SFF, broadwell-u, M.2, mini PC
Shuttle, once the king of compact PCs, is jumping right into the think of the tiny PC market with its new XPC Nano (NC01U) series, a half liter broadwell-powered black and gold affair. The XPC Nano boxes measure 5.55 x 5.55 x 1.14 inches, and while they are vesa mountable, the chassis design is nice enough to leave in the open as well.
The mini PCs feature two USB 3.0 ports and a SD card slot on the front panel, an old-school RS-232 port on the left side, and the following ports on the back.
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 1 x Audio combo jack
Inside, Shuttle is using Intel’s Broadwell U processors and there are options from Celeron 3205U up to the Core I7 5500U. This chip is cooled by an allegedly “whisper quiet” heatpipe cooler. There are two DDR3L memory slots for up to 16GB RAM, a 2.5” (7mm) drive slot, and one M.2 port for a solid state drive. It further comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The XPC Nano systems will come pre-loaded with Windows 10 Home. The base model starts at $279 and there is a $10 mail in rebate if bundled with a keyboard and mouse from Shuttle’s website.
The base SKU with a Celeron 3205U (1.5GHz) and 2GB RAM is currently available for $275.77 on Newegg. The higher end models do not appear to be for sale yet, but should be soon. Product specifications can be found here (PDF)
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2015 - 04:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, apollo lake, 14nm, rumours
DigiTimes has heard rumours that Intel will be refreshing their processor lineup with Apollo Lake processors in June and August 2016, with devices powered by the new processors in October. This is rather good news considering how slowly new PC sales have been growing over the past year, it is nice to see that we will still have some new CPUs in the coming year. Details are rather scarce, the 14nm chips will come in dual and quad-core options and use the new Gen9 GPU which will support Ultra HD output. You can expect 6-10W TDP, these are very much mobile oriented chips.
"Seeing the trend, Intel is scheduled to mass produce its next-generation Apollo Lake-based processors in June-August 2016 with related entry-level PC products becoming available in the market in October 2016, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- After Twenty Years of Flash, Adobe Kills the Name @ Slashdot
- A Look At NVIDIA’s Standalone Iray Plugins & Iray Server @ Techgage
- Windows 10: Enterprise adoption rate seems a bit optimistic @ The Inquirer
- Belkin's N150 router is perfect for learning hacking skills – wait, what, it's in production? @ The Register
- VPN users menaced by port forwarding blunder @ The Register
- Microsoft takes PUPs behind the shed with gun in hand @ The Register
- TP-LINK Touch P5 AC1900 Wi-Fi Gigabit Router Review @ Madshrimps
- AK RACING Nitro Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
- Tech ARP Elephone Q Smartphone Giveaway
Subject: Motherboards | December 1, 2015 - 11:02 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Z170, Rainbow Six Siege, msi, motherboard, KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE, krait gaming, krait
MSI has announced a partnership with Ubisoft and introduced a specially designed motherboard, the Z170A KRAIT GAMING R6 SIEGE, which includes a free copy of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Standard Edition).
"With this new model you will receive a free copy of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege [Standard Edition]. But that’s not all, during this exclusive promotion MSI is also giving away a free copy of the game with the Z170A GAMING M5 motherboard. The promotion starts on Tuesday 1st of December, 2015."
The motherboard is based on the current Z170A KRAIT EDITION, and this new R6 SIEGE design offers the same gaming-oriented featues such as DDR4 Boost, Intel LAN, and high-end audio components, and both feature USB 3.1 Gen 2 support with Type-C and Type-A ports.
No specifics on pricing/availability just yet.
Subject: Processors, Mobile | December 1, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TSMC, SoC, LG, Intel, arm
So this story came out of nowhere. Whether the rumors are true or false, I am stuck on how everyone seems to be talking about it with a casual deadpan. I spent a couple hours Googling whether I missed some big announcement that made Intel potentially fabricating ARM chips a mundane non-story. Pretty much all that I found was Intel allowing Altera to make FPGAs with embedded ARM processors in a supporting role, which is old news.
Image Credit: Internet Memes...
The rumor is that Intel and TSMC were both vying to produce LG's Nuclon 2 SoC. This part is said to house two quad-core ARM modules in a typical big.LITTLE formation. Samples were allegedly produced, with Intel's part (2.4 GHx) being able to clock around 300 MHz faster than TSMC's offering (2.1 GHz). Clock rate is highly dependent upon the “silicon lottery,” so this is an area that production maturity can help with. Intel's sample would also be manufactured at 14nm (versus 16nm from TSMC although these numbers mean less than they used to). LG was also, again allegedly, interesting in Intel's LTE modem. According to the rumors, LG went with TSMC because they felt Intel couldn't keep up with demand.
Now that the rumor has been reported... let's step back a bit.
I talked with Josh a couple of days ago about this post. He's quite skeptical (as I am) about the whole situation. First and foremost, it takes quite a bit of effort to port a design to a different manufacturing process. LG could do it, but it is questionable, especially for a second chip ever sort of thing. Moreover, I still believe that Intel doesn't want to manufacture chips that directly compete with them. x86 in phones is still not a viable business, but Intel hasn't given up and you would think that's a prerequisite.
So this whole thing doesn't seem right.