All | Editorial | General Tech | Graphics Cards | Networking | Motherboards | Cases and Cooling | Processors | Chipsets | Memory | Displays | Systems | Storage | Mobile | Shows and Expos
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 27, 2015 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F31
The Thermaltake Suppressor F31 is significantly smaller than the F51, 497x250x515mm (19.5x9.8x20.3") and so cannot fit an eATX motherboard like its bigger sibling. On the other hand that size is much more manageable for many and is still large enough for radiators, Morry-sized heatsinks and full sized graphics cards. The simplicity of the exterior will appeal to many as will the many removable filters over fan intakes. As you might expect from the name, the case is designed to quiet the components running inside and did not disappoint when [H]ard|OCP tested the case. Check out their full review if your PC components need a new home.
"Thermaltake is upping its computer case game with the new Suppressor F31 chassis. It is nice and wide at 250mm and has plenty of features. "Leading-edge sound reduction panels on all sides, expand your cooling options with removable panels for the perfect balance in silent operation and cooling performance."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone ML08 Mini-ITX Slim Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-Lite AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 240 All In One Watercooler @ Kitguru
Subject: Systems | November 27, 2015 - 02:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: y-series, razer, Lenovo, gaming pc, gaming desktop
Lenovo has partnered with Razer for co-branded Razer Edition computers, which will be special versions of Lenovo’s Y series gaming systems. Lenovo says the first device will be officially announced at CES, with a prototype on display at DreamHack Winter 2015 in Sweden.
The prototype Razer Edition desktop (featuring Skittles-inspired ground effects)
These upcoming products will clearly add some style (and color) to Lenovo's gaming computers, and while thus far only this desktop concept has been shown the Y-series from Lenovo includes gaming laptops as well, which presumably will receive the Razer treatment going forward. It is notable that the concept incorporates multiple colors with its lighting effects (which should be customizable) considering Razer is known for a black and green color scheme.
"PC gaming today offers a rich and immersive experience – thanks in part to cutting-edge graphics performance, superior processing power, and peripherals designed specifically for gaming. Lenovo will employ its system design and engineering expertise, while Razer will enhance the immersive experience for gamers. All forthcoming Lenovo Razer Edition products will be co-branded and reflect the edgy Lenovo Y series look and feel with iconic Razer elements like customizable Chroma lighting effects."
The details as far as specs and configuration options for the desktop shown are not known, and this seems to be primarily a new branding/style for the Y-series line. More might be known after DreamHack, the event which calls itself "the world's largest digital festival", which runs November 26 - 29 in Jönköping, in the south of Sweden.
Subject: General Tech | November 27, 2015 - 01:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: poWiFi, wireless power, iot
It is going to take some work as it is not currently that impressive but the experiment at Cornell University shows that power over WiFi is not impossible. The experiment was not all that impressive, they charged a Jawbone headset @ 2.3mA and after 2.5 hours which they managed to charge the battery to 41% over a distance of 5-7cm. Those results are poor compared to Qi and other wireless charging solutions on the market but are promising. The power is transmitted by a wireless router that can also send and receive data so for wireless cameras and other low powered devices which transmit data this could be quite useful. You can read the research paper by following the links from Hack a Day.
"There have been a few reports of power over WiFi (PoWiFi) on the intertubes lately. If this is a real thing it’s definitely going to blow all of the IoT fanboys skirts up (sorry to the rest of you *buzzword* fanboys, the IoT kids flash-mobbed the scene and they mean business)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel unveils 2016 tablet processor road map, say Taiwan makers @ DigiTimes
- 128GB DDR4 DIMMs have landed so double your RAM cram plan @ The Register
- Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it @ The Register
- Best Lightweight Linux Distros @ Linux.com
- Microsoft Silverlight gets Firefox reprieve for 64-bit users @ The Inquirer
- Montana Newspaper Plans To Out Anonymous Commenters Retroactively @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2015 - 11:22 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: uplay, steam, pc gaming, origin, GOG
While everyone's in a turkey and gravy coma, retailers are hoping that you'll feel a bit browsy with your drowsy. Black Friday deals are popping up everywhere; some are good, but some are token at best... including the Black Friday sale on tokens at the local arcade.
Anyway, four (edit: Fixed typo) of the largest PC gaming services are Steam, UPLAY, Origin, and GOG.com. Steam is predictably the largest sale. It's another “Exploration Sale,” which is another way of saying, “Here's a few examples of great deals; browse for crap you like. You might find something cheaper. I dunno.” Speaking of a few examples, Elite Dangerous is now just a third of its price. Grand Theft Auto V is now reduced too, although it's not yet in the impulse buy territory. Call of Duty Black Ops III also received a little chop in price, which is unusual for the franchise. You'll probably want to browse Steam in general, especially if there's a game that you've been eying but couldn't justify buying yet.
UPlay's sale is a bit more... weird. If you played Tropico 5 but put it down before buying the DLC, the pack of boosters is now 75% off ($11 CDN here). Surprisingly, the vast majority of sales have nothing to do with Ubisoft titles, and the three exceptions are from 2013 / 2014.
Origin is a bit more rounded in terms of old and new titles. FIFA 16, released just this fall, is about 40% off where I am. Tomb Raider is in the mid-single digits of dollars. Battlefield Hardline is about $10. Do not buy The Witcher 3 here though, if the Canadian prices carry over to the US. The sale even extends back to Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection, NHL 09, and Medal of Honor: Airborne. It just keeps scrolling.
Now for GOG. This is, again, a sale that you should probably browse. If you were interested in The Witcher 3, purchasing it from GOG instead of Steam will get you the same sale but DRM-free. Its new price is $29.99 USD, unless you're Canadian. We get it for $23.49 USD at GOG or $29.99 CDN at Steam. I guess they feel like giving a slightly larger discount to compensate for the lack of turkey-goggles. Browse the “On Sale” tab in the bottom right before you leave too.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 09:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, 980 Ti
As most of our readers are well aware, the graphics market is dominated by two GPU vendors, both of which sell chips and reference designs to add-in board partners. ASUS is one of the oldest add-in board partners. According to their anniversary website, ASUS even produced a card that was based on the S3 ViRGE/DX graphics chipset all the way back in 1996.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, although they don't exactly state when they start counting, ASUS has released a few high-end versions of Maxwell-based graphics cards. This one is the ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti. It comes with a base clock speed of 1266 MHz, which boosts up to 1367 MHz as needed. This is quite high, considering the reference card is clocked at 1000 MHz and boosts to 1189 MHz, although overclocking the 980 Ti is not too difficult to begin with. Ryan got up to 1465 MHz with a reference card. The Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti might go even higher with its enhanced cooling and power delivery, and it's designed for liquid nitrogen if you're that type of enthusiast.
Speaking of liquid nitrogen features, the card advertises a “Memory Defroster” feature that looks rather extreme. I can't say that I've ever seen a graphics card get covered in a visible layer of ice, but I've also never attached it to a reservoir of liquid with a temperature that's easier to write in Kelvin than Celcius.
Is this a legit problem? Or does this seem like “anti-dust shield” to everyone else too?
The ASUS 20th Anniversary Gold Edition GTX 980 Ti ships this month.
Subject: Storage | November 26, 2015 - 07:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: M.2, pcie, sata 6Gbs, Silverstone, ECM20
That's right, no matter if you run iOS, Linux or Windows if you have an M key style M.2 port the Silverstone ECM20 add-on card will give you both a PCI-e M.2 slot and a SATA 6Gbs M.2 slot. The board itself is a mounting point, no controller but simply a way to transfer data from a PCI-e M.2 card or a mount for a SATA style card, you provide the cable. The simplcity ensures that your transfer speeds will match what you would expect from a native slot as the tests at Benchmark Reviews show. At less than $20 it is a great way to expand your high speed storage capacity.
"The m.2 form factor is becoming popular for SSDs due to its small size, and, in PCI-E guise, superior performance. As our recent test of the Samsung 950 Pro m.2 SSD has shown, PCI-E m.2 SSDs offer performance many times that of the very best SATA SSDs, so if you’re looking for a storage upgrade, m.2 is definitely the way to go."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA XPG SX930 and Premier SP550 240GB SATA 6G SSD Review @HiTech Legion
- HyperX Predator 240GB M.2 PCIe SSD Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Understanding M.2 RAID NVMe Boot and 2/3x M.2 NVME RAID0 Tested @ The SSD Review
- Synology DS715 2-bay NAS @ techPowerUp
- QNAP TS-563 Network Attached Storage @ Modders-Inc
- ASUSTOR AS1004T 4-bay NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Seagate Enterprise NAS 8TB SATA III HDD Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Memory | November 26, 2015 - 05:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: TSV, Samsung, enterprise, ddr4
You may remember Allyn's article about TSV memory back from IDF 2014. Through this process, Samsung and others are able to stack dies of memory onto a single package, which can increase density and bandwidth. This is done by punching holes through the dies and connecting them down to the PCB. The first analogy that comes to mind is an elevator shaft, but I'm not sure how accurate that is.
Anyway, Samsung has been applying it to enterprise-class DDR4 memory, which leads to impressive capacities. 64GB sticks, individual sticks, were introduced in 2014. This year, that capacity doubles to 128GB. The chips are fabricated at 20nm and each contain 8Gb (1GB) per layer. Each stick contains 36 packages of four chips.
At the end of their press release, Samsung also mentioned that they intend to expand their TSV technology into “HBM and consumer products.”
Subject: Systems | November 26, 2015 - 04:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, raspberry pi zero
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a new version that lowers the cost of gigahertz-class computing devices to just $5. It is based on a 1.0 GHz ARM11 core from Broadcom that is about 40% faster than the original Raspberry Pi. It also has 512MB of RAM, which is a lot for embedded or hobbyist applications. In fact, it doubles the original Raspberry Pi Model A (and is on part with the Model B). Storage is handled by a microSD card slot, as is the case with every previous Raspberry Pi except the Compute Module.
They also offer an alternative to the $5 price tag. If you pick up the print edition of MagPi magazine #40, which is the Christmas 2015 issue, you will receive a free Raspberry Pi Zero. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that they printed 10,000 copies of this magazine. This is probably much more interesting than a CD-ROM demo of Battlezone II.
Due to high demand, I'm not sure when you can expect to get one though.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 26, 2015 - 03:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers, GCN, terascale
The Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture is now a minimum requirement for upcoming AMD graphics drivers. If your graphics card (or APU) uses the TeraScale family of microarchitectures, then your last expected WHQL driver is AMD Catalyst 15.7.1 for Windows 7, 8.x, and 10. You aren't entirely left out of Radeon Software Crimson Edition, however. The latest Crimson Edition Beta driver is compatible with TeraScale, but the upcoming certified one will not be.
GCN was introduced with the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series, although it was only used in the Radeon HD 7700 series GPUs and above. The language doesn't seem to rule out an emergency driver release, such as if Microsoft breaks something in a Windows 10 update that causes bluescreens and fire on older hardware, but they also don't say that they will either. NVIDIA made a similar decision to deprecate pre-Fermi architectures back in March of 2014, which applied to the release of GeForce 343 Drivers in September of that year. Extended support for NVIDIA's old cards end on April 1st, 2016.
I wonder why AMD chose a beta driver to stop with, though. If AMD intended to support TeraScale with Crimson, then why wouldn't they keep it supported until at the first WHQL-certified version? If they didn't intend to support TeraScale, then why go through the effort of supporting it with the beta driver? This implies that AMD reached a hurdle with TeraScale that they didn't want to overcome. That may not be the case, but it's the first thing that comes to my mind none-the-less. Probably the best way to tell is to see how people with Radeon HD 6000-series (or lower-end 7000/8000-series) cards work with Radeon Software Crimson Beta.
Likely the last drivers that users with Radeon HD 6000-series graphics need are 15.7.1 or Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta. We will soon learn which of the two will be best long-term.
Or, of course, you can buy a newer GPU / APU when you get a chance.
Subject: Displays | November 26, 2015 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: noon, virtual reality
Similar in looks to Oculus Gear VR the Noon VR headset is compatible with more than just Samsung phones, any iOS or Android device between 4.7 inches to 5.7 should be supported. At 230g naked, plus the weight of your phone the Noon felt a bit heavy to Hardware Canucks, a lot of that weight is balanced on your nose. The 95 degree viewing angle is impressive and there is a focus dial on the headset for fine tuning but the latency and resolution are up to your phone, not the Noon. As of yet there is little content for the Noon VR headset but the price is decent, currently it retails for $90 which makes it an interesting option for those who want to experiment with a VR device.
"With the big divide in computing power between desktops and smartphones, are we ready for mobile VR? The Noon VR headset is an attempt to answer that question."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips 272G5DYEB 27-inch G-Sync @ Kitguru
- Acer Predator XR341CK FreeSync Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AOC Q2577PWQ 25″ IPS @ eTeknix
- Nixeus NX-VUE24A 144Hz FreeSync Monitor @ Hardware Canucks
- The New Apple TV Review @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | November 26, 2015 - 12:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: idiots, iot, security
You would think people would be be taken aback if someone suggested saving money by using the same key on every new house built in a neighbourhood, if so you don't work for companies developing hardware for the Internet of Things. In a recent survey of 4,000 embedded devices from 70 hardware makers, Sec Consult found that many had the same hardwired SSH login keys and server-side SSL certificates. The numbers they provided The Register were a total 580 private keys were found distributed over all the analyzed devices, of which at least 230 are in already in use on the internet. To be fair this is not uncommon in consumer level firmware as companies do not even bother to check over the source code let alone change the security keys held within but it is a huge security risk. For a glimpse at how bad some of these supposedly secure certs and keys are read on at The Register.
"Lazy makers of home routers and the Internet of Things are reusing the same small set of hardcoded security keys, leaving them open to hijacking en masse, researchers have warned."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nest defends web CCTV Cam amid unstoppable 24/7 surveillance fears @ The Register
- Fedora 23: An Impressive Release for Advanced Linux Users @ Linux.com
- Raspberry Pi Zero: £4 PC aims to bring machine to more hands @ The Inquirer
- It is now possible to unlock a Windows Lumia Phone for root access @ The Inquirer
- Samsung is mass producing 'Through Silicon Via' DDR4 memory in 128GB modules @ The Inquirer
- Defeating Chip and PIN With Bits of Wire @ Hack a Day
- Critical Zen Cart Vulnerability Could Spell Black Friday Disaster For Shoppers @ Slashdot
- Nvidia Shield Android TV @ eTeknix
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 25, 2015 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: radeon, r9 nano, mini ITX, amd, obsidian 250d, corsair
When Ryan tested out how the R9 Nano performs in tiny cases he chose the Cooler Master Elite 110, the Raijintek Metis, the Lian Li PC-Q33BL and their PC-Q30X. The card did slow down somewhat because of a lack of airflow in the case but that was quickly remedied with a drill press and we saw vast improvements in the in-game frequencies. [H]ard|OCP performed a similar experiment with the Cooler Master Elite 110 as well and found similar results.
They are now back at it again, this time testing in a Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini ITX case, which is large enough to accommodate a full sized GPU and provide improved airflow. They tested the Nano against a GTX 980 Ti and a R9 Fury X as they cost a similar amount to the tiny little Nano. They tested the cards at both 1440p and 4K resolutions and as you might reasonably expect the Nano fell behind, especially at 4K. If you have a case which can fit a full sized GPU then the Nano does not make sense to purchase, however in cases in which the larger cards will not fit then the Nano's performance is unmatched.
"Our second installment covering our AMD Radeon R9 Nano in a Small Form Factor chassis is finally done. We will upgrade the case to a Corsair Obsidian Series 250D Mini ITX PC Case and compare the R9 Nano to price competitive video cards that can be installed. We game at 1440p and 4K for the ultimate small form factor experience."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Is A Letdown On Linux @ Phoronix
- Radeon Software Crimson; The Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Radeon Software Crimson Editon Detailed Briefing @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2015 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fallout 4, mod, gaming
The modders over at the Nexus community are already hard at work creating mods for Fallout 4 and Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have compiled a list of the best ones currently out there. After a quick tutorial on how to apply mods they jump into the list and of them all the first one may be the most useful as it allows you to tweak your display resolution, mouse sensitivity, field of view and the many other settings you might have expect to be changeable in the game itself. From there they move onto improved lighting, longer death cam viewing, a higher settlement budget and even dialogue expansion. Check out what is there or head over to Nexus Mods to see what others catch your interest.
"While official mod support for Fallout 4 [official site] hasn’t arrived just yet, Nexus Mods have opened their proverbial gates. Their community is fast at work creating handy customisations and helpful leg-ups to see you right as you dive head first into the irradiated unknown."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Thea: The Awakening Is A 4X Roguelike And Out Now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- First 50% deal on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt & up to 80% off 36 games you won't find anywhere else @ GOG
- Forges Of Creation: Large Endless Legend Update Today @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- 2K Games has another BioShock game in development @ HEXUS
- The Call Of Croshaw: The Consuming Shadow Out now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Just Cause 3 minimum and recommended specs published @ HEXUS
- Machinimagic: Valve Announce Saxxy Award Winners @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Wot I Think: Hard West @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2015 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless, li-fi, 1GBps
Li-Fi is a new experimental wireless data transmission technology which sends data using the same lights that illuminate the space you are in, at such frequencies and intensities that your brain does not process any change in lighting which your eyes might capture. It transmits at an incredible speed, under perfect conditions in the the lab they saw 224GBps and recently have successfully transmitted at 1GBps in the field. Yes, that is 1GB per second of data transfer, light travels rather quickly after all. There are limits on where this technology can be used, in large spaces signals from different lights could interfere with each other and if you are outside then you will not be able to benefit but for offices and the home this could be rather impressive to behold. Read more about the researchers and how these lightbulbs could be tied into existing lighting at The Inquirer.
"BOFFINS HAVE field tested Li-Fi for the first time, achieving wireless speeds 100 times faster than WiFi."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Downloads for Windows 10 November big-bang build axed by Microsoft @ The Register
- Microsoft warns you might not get Windows updates if you're not using IE 11 @ The Inquirer
- Windows 10 Fall Update Uninstalls Desktop Software Without Informing Users @ Slashdot
- Even the Dumbest Ransomware Is Almost Unremovable On Smart TVs @ Slashdot
- Dum dum dum - another cloud bites the dust (Adobe's photo cloud) @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 24, 2015 - 09:08 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, radeon software, radeon, live, giveaway, freesync, crimson, contest, amd
UPDATE: Did you miss today's live stream? No worries! You can get the full rundown of the new Radeon Software Crimson Edition driver and get details on new features like FreeSync Low Frame Rate Compensation, DX9 frame pacing, custom resolutions, and more. Check out the video embed below.
It's nearly time for the holidays to begin but that doesn't mean the hardware and software news train comes to a halt! This week we are hosting AMD in the PC Perspective offices for a live stream to discuss the upcoming release of the new AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition. Earlier in the month we showed you a preview of what changes were coming to the AMD GPU driver and now we are going to not only demo it for you but let the community ask AMD questions directly about it!
And what's a live stream without prizes? AMD has stepped up to the plate to offer up some awesome hardware for those of you that tune in to watch the live stream!
- 2 x AMD Radeon R9 Nano 4GB Fiji Graphics Cards
- 2 x PowerColor PCS+ Radeon R9 380 Graphics Cards
AMD Radeon Software Crimson Live Stream and Giveaway
12pm PT / 3pm ET - November 24th
Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!
The event will take place Tuesday, November 24th at 12pm PT / 3pm ET at http://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience. To win the prizes you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.
I will be joined by Adrian Costelo, Product Manager for Radeon Software, and Steven Gans, UX Designer for Radeon Software. In short, these are the two people you want to hear from and have answer your questions!
If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from AMD?
So join us! Set your calendar for Tuesday at 12pm PT / 3pm ET and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!
Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2015 - 02:55 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: SanDisk Ultra II, MSI GTX 970 Gaming, GTX 970, 960GB SSD
The internet is full of sales this week, and there are some great PC hardware deals out there beginning with the best price per GB on an SSD we've ever seen.
- Sandisk Ultra II 960 GB SSD - $199, Amazon
At $199.99 shipped this 960 GB SanDisk Ultra II SSD is a stunning $0.20/GB, and offers good speeds for a SATA III drive with up to 550 MB/s reads and 500 MB/s writes, along with "n-Cache 2.0" which SanDisk explains is "a large, non-volatile write cache (which) consolidates small writes to boost random write performance".
What better to fill up that huge SSD than a library of games, and if you're in the market for a new graphics card to drive them there are some excellent deals out there. A good mid-range GPU option is the oft-maligned NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, and memory controversy aside it's a very high performer for the money. Lately prices have dropped a bit, and there some great options out there when you factor in rebates.
- MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4G - $304.99, B&H Photo (after $20.00 rebate)
While you can find some lower-cost GTX 970's out there this is a good deal for one of MSI's overclocked Gaming series cards. And if you're looking for a quad-core processor to help drive a new GPU, how about AMD's ultra-affordable Athlon X4 860k, now under $70!
- AMD Athlon X4 860K Quad-Core Processor - $69.99, Amazon
It's nice to see prices starting to drop on some solid upgrades, and we're currently working on our annual holiday gift guide with more recommendations for a tech-filled holiday season. Stay tuned!
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 24, 2015 - 01:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: radeon software, radeon, low frame rate compensation, freesync, frame pacing, crimson, AMD VISION Engine
In case you thought we missed something in our discussion of the new AMD Crimson software you can check out what some of the other websites thought of the new release. The Tech Report is a good first stop, they used the Fable Legends DX 12 to test the improvements to frametime which will be of interest to those who do not obsess over DX 9 games and their performance. They also delve a bit more into the interface so you can see what the new screens will look at as well as learning the path that will take you to a familiar settings screen. Check out their impressions right here.
"AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition is the second in a line of major annual graphics driver updates from the company. Crimson also replaces the Catalyst Control Center software with a faster, more refined utility called Radeon Settings. We dug in to see what Crimson has to offer."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- AMD's Radeon Software Crimson OS powers faster, better gaming @ The Inquirer
- AMD Radeon Software: Crimson Edition First Look and Testing @ eTeknix
- AMD Radeon Crimson Edition Drivers @ techPowerUp
- ASUS STRIX R9 380X DirectCU II OC @ [H]ard|OCP
- The AMD Radeon R9 380X Review @ Hardware Canucks
- 12K (Triple 4K Monitors) SLI & Crossfire @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GTX980Ti XTREME Gaming Windforce @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2015 - 12:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dell, superfish, security, edellroot
As Scott mentioned yesterday, Dell refused to learn from Lenovo's lesson and repeated the exact same mistake with eDellRoot, a self-signed root CA cert with an unknown purpose. Unlike SuperFish which was to allow targeted ads to be displayed eDellRoot serves an unclear purpose apart from a mention of Microsoft-like "easier customer support" but it exposes you to the exact same security risks as SuperFish does. You could remove the cert manually, however as it resides in Dell.Foundation.Agent.Plugins.eDell.dll it will return on next boot and can return on fresh Windows installs via Dell driver updates, something which will be of great concern to their business customers.
Dell has finally responded to the issue, "The recent situation raised is related to an on-the-box support certificate intended to provide a better, faster and easier customer support experience. Unfortunately, the certificate introduced an unintended security vulnerability." and provided a process to remove the certificate from the machine permanently in this Word Document. You can check for the presence of the cert on your machine in those two links.
However the best was yet to come as researchers have found a second cert as well as an expired Atheros Authenticode cert for BlueTooth and private key on a limited amount of new Dell computers as well. As Dell made no mention of these additional certificates in their statement to the press it is hard to give them the benefit of the doubt. The Bluetooth cert will not make you vulnerable to a man in the middle attack however the second cert is as dangerous as eDellRoot and can be used to snoop on encrypted communications. The second cert was found on a SCADA machine which is, as they say, a bad thing.
We await Dell's response to the second discovery as well as further research to determine how widespread the new certs actually are. So far Dell XPS 15 laptops, M4800 workstations, and Inspiron desktops and laptops have been found to contain these security issues. The chances of you falling victim to a man in the middle attack thanks to these security vulnerabilities are slim but not zero so be aware of them and keep your eyes out for them on your systems. With Lenovo and Dell both being caught, it will be interesting to see if HP and other large vendors will learn this lesson or if it will take a third company being caught exposing their customers to unnecessary risks.
"A second root certificate and private key, similar to eDellRoot along with an expired Atheros Authenticode cert and private key used to sign Bluetooth drivers has been found on a Dell Inspiron laptop. The impact of these two certs is limited compared to the original eDellRoot cert."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Amazon is suffering a subtle data breach, lest it turn into another TalkTalk @ The Inquirer
- Windows 10: Microsoft flip flops 'as a service' as November update is pulled @ The Inquirer
- Hybrid carbon foams serve as good heat conductors @ Nanotechweb
- Pip Boys As A Service @ Hack a Day
- Intel hires Qualcomm's compute leader to lead new mobile push @ The Register
- Heterogeneous system architecture helps AMD and ARM deal with mammoth compute demands @ The Inquirer
- Windows 8.1 exams kept alive six more months, Win 7 tests immortal @ The Register
Subject: Systems | November 23, 2015 - 09:25 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: dell, superfish, edellroot
The pun was too tempting, but don't take it too seriously even though it's relatively similar. In short, Dell installs a long-lived, root certificate on their machines with a private key that is now compromised (because they didn't exactly protect it too well). This certificate, and the compromised private key, can be used to sign secure connections without needing to be verified by a Certificate Authority. In other words, it adds a huge level of unwarranted trust to phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.
Dell has not really made any public comment on this issue yet. I don't really count the tweet from Dell Cares, because customer support is a terrible source for basically any breaking news. It's best to wait until Dell brings out an official statement through typical PR channels before assuming what their position is. Regardless of what they say, of course, your security will be heavily reduced until the certificate and eDell plug-in are removed from your device.
I'm really just wondering if Dell will somehow apologize, or stick to their guns.
Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2015 - 08:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft
UPDATE (Nov 24th, 8pm ET): As I was informed, both on Twitter and in the comments, the update has been restored. Apparently the issue was that this tool, when upgrading Windows 10 to Windows 10 1511, accidentally reset four privacy settings to default. They also happened to be four of the less-severe ones, such as whether to allow apps to run in the background and whether settings should sync between devices. It has apparently been fixed and the tool will install the latest version of Windows 10 once more.
Source: Ars Technica
Regardless of your opinion about Windows 10, I'm glad that Microsoft has once again provided a way to force a specific version on your device. Their recent statement, telling users that Windows Update will give them the correct build eventually, is not comforting if someone is failing to receive the update. Is it coming? Or did it block for some reason? I also wonder if the 30-day policy would still be enforced, making clean installs that much more annoying. Turns out it was all hypothetical, and Microsoft was planning on reinstating it instantly, though.
This is a bit surprising and disappointing. When the November 2015 update for Windows 10 went live, existing users could upgrade with Windows Update (if it let them) and the rest could force an in-place upgrade from Windows 7, 8.x, and earlier builds of Windows 10 using the tool. The latter method has apparently been reverted to the original Windows 10 build from July 2015.
This image is getting a lot more use than I intended.
Why? Who knows. They are still offering the update through Windows Update, and Microsoft claims that they have no intention of pulling it. This concerns me, because there are a few situations where Windows 10 updates will get stuck, such as if you get it through Windows Update then uninstall it. I have not seen any report cover the official procedure for this issue. Also, I wonder if there's a way to get past Microsoft's 30-day no-update policy.
According to WinBeta, Microsoft's official statement contains the following: “Microsoft has not pulled the Windows 10 November 10 update. The company is rolling out the November update over time – if you don’t see it in Windows Update, you will see it soon.” (Emphasis not mine.)
We'll probably hear more about this as the week goes on.