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Subject: Motherboards | March 25, 2015 - 08:00 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb 3.1, usb, msi, amd, am3+, 10Gbps
Last week, MSI launched a slew of new USB 3.1 equipped motherboards. Today, the company is releasing more details on one of the AMD-based products: the MSI 970A SLI Krait Edition. This upcoming motherboard is geared towards gamers using AMD FX (AM3+) processors and supports multi-GPU setups (both SLI and CrossFire). The 970A SLI Krait Edition has a black and white color scheme with rich expansion options and large aluminum heatsinks over the VRMs and northbridge.
The AM3+ processor socket sits to the left of four DDR3 memory slots. Six expansion slots take up the majority of the lower half of the board and include two PCI-E x16, two PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. Six SATA ports occupy the bottom-right corner with four at 90-degree angles. MSI is using its latest “Military Class 4” capacitors and other hardware along with gold audio traces connecting the rear IO audio jacks to the onboard sound chip.
Speaking of rear IO, you will find the following ports on the 970A SLI Krait Edition.
- 2 x PS/2
- 6 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.1
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 6 x Analog Audio
The main feature that MSI is pushing with this new board is the addition of two USB 3.1 (Type A) ports to the AMD platform. This is the first AM3+ motherboard to support the faster standard – up to 10 Gbps using an Asmedia ASM1352R controller – while also being backwards compatible with older USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 devices.
MSI has not yet released pricing or availability, but expect it to launch soon for less than $100.
Few specifications have been released about this board so far, as well as no timetable for the launch. It is a finished product and should be out "soon" as Tim mentioned.
There are a few things we can gather from the photo of the board. The audio solution is not nearly as robust as we saw with the 970 Gaming motherboard. I doubt it will have the headphone amplification, and the filtering is going to be less due to fewer caps used. The audio is still physically isolated on the PCB, but it has not received the same focus as what we saw on 970 Gaming.
It looks like it is a full 8+2 power phase implementation, as it is taking up more space on the board than the 6+2 unit on the 970 Gaming did. This should allow for a greater selection of CPUs to be used, as well as potentially greater overclocking ability. It does not feature a separate SATA controller, so all 6 SATA ports on the board are handled by the SB950. There are no external e-SATA ports, which really is not a big deal as those are rarely used.
This looks to be a nice addition to the fading AM3+ market. For those holding onto their AMD builds and wish to upgrade, this looks to be an inexpensive option with next generation connectivity. MSI looks to have paid the licensing fee necessary to support SLI, plus they utilize the same AMD 970 chipset on the 970 Gaming that is not supposed to be able to split the 1 x 16X PEG connection to 2 x 8X slots. Some interesting design and chippery are required to that.
Subject: General Tech | March 24, 2015 - 09:44 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: renderman, pixar, disney
Well that's a surprise. Pixar Renderman, the software used and developed by Pixar to turn computer-represented geometry into wonderful images, is now free for non-commercial use. This is not quite as free as Unreal Engine 4, which does not require royalties for rendered audio/video at all because the content is viewed without the engine, but free for non-commercial is still a big deal considering what Renderman is. While Pixar is known for their movies, they are very much software engineers.
Thumbs up all around.
Image Credit: Pixar via Animation Magazine
Currently the rendering package integrates with Autodesk Maya and KATANA by The Foundry. Pixar has Cinema4D and Houdini listed as “in development”. They also claim to be interested in 3D Studio Max, because of course they are, as well as Modo, Rhino, Lightwave, and Blender.
The above list only considers dedicated plug-ins. Pixar Renderman can also be run as a standalone application that accepts their file format, “RIB”, from a command-line interface. There has been many of these for Blender and other 3D suites over the last basically forever. A plug-in is nicer for artists however, and it is good to see Pixar is not afraid of open-source suites to pair with their proprietary rendering package. Also, "Blenderman" is a hilarious name.
Subject: Mobile | March 24, 2015 - 07:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, linux, smartwatch
Linux.com offers you a shopping list of smartwatches which are all less expensive than the fruit flavoured models and run Android or Linux. From familiar models like the Pebble and the older and less impressive Neptune Pine and Omate TrueSmart to leaked models like the Tizen-based Samsung Orbis you have quite a few choices to look through. There is even Monohm's large Runcible that is more of a pocket watch than a wrist watch to consider. In many cases the details are a bit lacking but the model names are known so you can get a leg up on your research for when they are finally revealed with full specifications.
"Much to the delight of Apple fanbots everywhere, Apple has now fully unveiled the Apple Watch. The watch, which was previewed in September, will go on sale April 10 and ship on the 24th. Based on its brand name, styling, accessories, and battery life claims, it will likely be a big hit -- at least as far as smartwatches go."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- ASUS ZenFone 6 Mobile @ Kitguru
- Kingston Technologies Mobile Lite G4 Media Reader @ Bjorn3d.com
- Kingston Technologies Data Traveler microDuo 3 @ Bjorn3d
- Seagate Wireless 500GB mobile storage drive @ Kitguru
- Startech Universal USB 3.0 Laptop Docking Station @ Bjorn3d
- MSI GE62 2QD Apache @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 24, 2015 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: evga, X99 Classified, X99 FTW, watercooling, Bitspower, THOR EIX99
Now that most of the features once present on motherboards have been moved to the CPU there is far less need to watercool your chipset. However for the extreme overclocker there are advantages to cooling the MOSFETs on the VRM and PCH as well as the CPU itself. Modders-Inc has just reviewed the Bitspower THOR EIX99, specifically designed for EVGA's X99 Classified and FTW motherboards. The acrylic housing for the waterblocks bring a unique look to your motherboard as well as offering improvements to heat management. By installing the cooler Modders-Inc hit 4.5 GHz on an i7 5960X, not too bad for a $160 investment. The installation was simple but if you invest the time to design a custom watercooling loop you can get even more performance out of this kit.
"Bitspower makes various options for water blocks that cover Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, Asus and EVGA motherboards. Recently, we reviewed the EVGA X99 Classified and that motherboard is designed to push the CPU as high as possible if the cooling equipment allows. Bitspower’s THOR EIX99 is specifically designed to cover the EVGA X99 Classified as well as the EVGA X99 FTW motherboard, cooling the critical motherboard components and providing the thermal headroom that the MOSFETs and other parts require for a stable overclock."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-E LCS, Water That CPU @ Bjorn3d
- NZXT S340 Steel Mid-Tower Case @ [H]ard|OCP
- Be Quiet! Silent Base 800 Review @ OCC
- SilverStone Kublai KL05B @ Benchmark Reviews
- SilverStone PS11B-Q Mid-Tower Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- In Win 707 Full-Tower @ eTeknix
- BitFenix Prodigy M @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX @ Kitguru
- SilverStone SG13 SFF Case @ HardwareHeaven
- Raidmax Atomic ITX-107WB @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | March 24, 2015 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: HAMR, science
If you are curious just how Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording is able to increase the storage densities of your HDDs then this post at Nanotechweb and the linked article will make a great read. They deal with how plasmonic near-field transducers, which will oscillate in time with the frequency of a light source, as long as the light source's frequency is equal to or less than the plasma frequency. This causes heat but nowhere near as much as if the light was used directly and so avoids potentially damaging hotspots. They also delve into the materials which are being tested to provide more efficient heat transmission; it is not light reading but it is very informative for those curious about HAMR's development and future.
"Heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) is a leading technology for advancing hard-disk-drive areal density beyond 1 Tb/in2. To reduce the magnetic coercivity, near-field transducers (NFTs) made of plasmonic nanostructures are used."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Hack Air-Gapped Computers Using Heat @ Slashdot
- The Week in Security: BIOS bugs, Amazon flaws, and PoSeidon malware @ The Inquirer
- Got a killer Microsoft or Oracle cloud deal? Start sweating @ The Register
- How to Set Up Your Linux Dev Station to Work From Anywhere @ Linux.com
- Pixar Releases Free Version of RenderMan @ Slashdot
- First Prototype of a Working Tricorder Unveiled At SXSW @ Slashdot
- ARM plans to win 20 per cent of the server market by the year 2020 @ The Register
Subject: Storage | March 23, 2015 - 03:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, MG04ACA400A, datacenter, enterprise
Toshiba's new MG04ACA series are Enterprise class HDDs available in increments of 1TB, from 2TB to 6TB and ship with either 4K or 512B emulation depending on your preference. Mad Shrimps just wrapped up a review of the 4TB model which certainly cannot match a SSD for speed but it is rated for 1400000 hours and workloads of 550TB a year, constant usage. You do pay a premium for enterprise level drives but spinning rust is still far more economical in high densities that flash based drives are. If you are looking for reliable HDDs for your servers, check this review out.
"The new MG04ACA series from Toshiba is composed from drives which are meant for enterprise, mission-critical applications, while sporting higher transfer rates and capacities. The tested sample comes with 128MB of cache and comes in two versions, depending on the applications it is needed for: with 512 sector emulation or strictly with 4K sector. Make sure to choose wisely which drive is for you and your setups in order to bypass any incompatibilities which may arise."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ASUSTOR AS5104T 4-bay NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Asustor AS7004T @ techPowerUp
- Patriot Ignite 480GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Kingston SM2280S3 120GB M.2 SATA SSD @ Bjorn3d
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 23, 2015 - 02:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: seasonic, snow series, modular psu, 1050W, 80 Plus Platinum
The ability to deliver stable power is the primary attribute we look for in a PSU but the aesthetics should not be ignored, especially for modders and those with glass cases. The Seasonic Snow Silent Series 1050W PSU is aptly named for its white finish which gives it a unique look in a very crowed market but the exterior does not tell the whole story. With a total of eight 6+2 PCIe plugs and a 12V rail capable of providing 1044W @ 87 amps this PSU will certainly handle Crossfire or SLI and it will do so fairly quietly. TechPowerUp liked the 7 year warranty as well as the performance and look of this PSU, especially considering it is priced roughly the same as the bog standard grey model which does not have the improved fan of this model.
"Seasonic released a special version of their Platinum offering with 1050 W capacity; it comes with a while paint job and is equipped with an FDB fan and a relaxed fan profile for less noise output, which will thrill users looking for a quiet high-performance PSU."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- SilverStone Silver Strider 750 Watt PSU @ Bjorn3d
- Silverstone Strider Plus 700W @ Kitguru
- FSP Aurum Pro 1200W Power Supply Unit Review @ NikKTech
- Enermax Revolution X't 730 Watt @ HardwareOverclock
- VisionTek 800W 80 Plus Bronze Modular Power Supply @ Bjorn3d
- Enermax DigiFanless 550W @ Kitguru
Subject: Memory | March 23, 2015 - 02:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: overclocking, Dominator Platinum Series, ddr4-3400, ddr4, corsair
Speaking of components at the $999 price point, Corsair has just released a RAM kit aimed at the serious overclocker. The Dominator Platinum Series 16GB DDR4-3400MHz kit now holds the record for fastest overclock at an impressive 4365.6MHz achieved on the Gigabyte X99-SOC board; you will be seeing more of both the motherboard and these DIMMs on this page in the near future.
If you are looking for RAM that operates well using LN2 and serious overclocking these Corsair DIMMs are currently the best in class on the market.
Platinum Series DDR4 3400MHz 16GB memory kits which debuted at CES in January. The new kits are performance tuned to run air-cooled at an incredible 3400MHz and beyond on the Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard. The memory and motherboard duo together create one of the highest performance enthusiast PC platforms currently available.
Dominator Platinum Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 3400MHz DDR4 Memory
The fastest DDR4 memory available from Corsair, the Dominator Platinum 3400MHz 16GB (4x4GB, 16-18-18-36) memory kits have a striking industrial with an orange anodized heat spreader that matches the color scheme on Gigabyte SOC motherboards. Like all Dominator Platinum memory modules, the new kits have patented DHX technology for cooler operation, user-swappable colored “light pipes” for customizable downwash lighting, and Corsair Link compatibility for real-time temperature monitoring. Dominator Platinum memory is built with hand-screened ICs, undergoes rigorous performance testing, and incorporates state-of-the-art cooling for reliable performance in demanding environments.
“Each Dominator Platinum 3400MHz DDR4 memory module is built with hand-picked ICs and tuned timing parameters to achieve blistering performance on Gigabyte’s X99-SOC Champion extreme overclocking motherboard,” said Thi La, Chief Operating Officer at Corsair. “Achieving insanely fast memory clock speeds is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see the incredible high-performance machines that PC enthusiasts create with them.”
“Our Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion is engineered with highly optimized trace paths between the processor and DIMM sockets to enable incredible memory clock speeds,” said Colin Brix, Director of Marketing of Gigabyte’s Motherboard Business Unit. “We worked with Corsair to tune an exceptional edition of Dominator Platinum DDR4 that can help overclockers push the X99-SOC Champion to reach unprecedented memory speeds.”
World Record for Fastest DDR4 Memory Frequency
On March 20, professional overclocker Hicookie set the world record for fastest DDR4 memory frequency using the Corsair Dominator 3400MHz DDR4 memory and Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion motherboard. Using liquid nitrogen, Hicookie established a record-breaking speed of 4365.6MHz.
Subject: General Tech | March 23, 2015 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DuOS, Android
Be it for development reasons or a serious addiction to a certain game, there are those who find themselves wanting to run Android on a device larger than a phone or tablet. For a mere $10 you can pick up DuOS, a supported Android emulator which will run on a PC, or at least a modern Intel powered machine as the emulator uses VT-x to run properly which is a shame for AMD users. It will not run on ARM hardware but it is ARM v-7 compliant so you can use applications designed for the chip that most mobile hardware runs on with DuOS. The footprint on your machine is tiny, 16GB maximum and you can root the installation very quickly if you are looking to test your modifications to the Android OS before installing them on your phone. Techgage does mention that there is no help menu and you will need to update the application manually so plan to spend some time on the DuOS forums if you will be making use of this software.
"With so many devices out there, on many different operating systems, deciding which one you should purchase can be difficult. DuOS helps lessen that burden by providing an Android tablet experience on your Windows computer. Does DuOS step beyond the barriers that currently divide these OS’s, or are we still locked into one OS per device?"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cisco uncovers PoSeidon malware targeting point of sale systems @ The Inquirer
- Gmail-Friendly Email Clients Available on Linux @ Linux.com
- The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Introduces the Doomsday Dashboard @ The Bulletin
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 23, 2015 - 07:30 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: quadro, nvidia, m6000, gm200
Alongside the Titan X, NVIDIA has announced the Quadro M6000. In terms of hardware, they are basically the same component: 12 GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit memory bus, 3072 CUDA cores, and a reduction in double precision performance to 1/32nd of its single precision. The memory, but not the cache, is capable of ECC (error-correction) for enterprises who do not want a stray photon to mess up their computation. That might be the only hardware difference between it and the Titan X.
Compared to other Quadro cards, it loses some double precision performance as mentioned earlier, but it will be an upgrade in single precision (FP32). The add-in board connects to the power supply with just a single eight-pin plug. Technically, with its 250W TDP, it is slightly over the rating for one eight-pin PCIe connector, but NVIDIA told Anandtech that they're confident that it won't matter for the card's intended systems.
That is probably true, but I wouldn't put it past someone to do something spiteful given recent events.
The lack of double precision performance (IEEE 754 FP64) could be disappointing for some. While NVIDIA would definitely know their own market better than I do, I was under the impression that a common workstation system for GPU compute was a Quadro driving a few Teslas (such as two of these). It would seem weird for a company to have such a high-end GPU be paired with Teslas that have such a significant difference in FP64 compute. I wonder what this means for the Tesla line, and whether we will see a variant of Maxwell with a large boost in 64-bit performance, or if that line will be in an awkward place until Pascal.
Or maybe not? Maybe NVIDIA is planning to launch products based on an unannounced, FP64-focused architecture? The aim could be to let the Quadro deal with the heavy FP32 calculations, while the customer could opt to load co-processors according to their double precision needs? It's an interesting thought as I sit here at my computer musing to myself, but then I immediately wonder why did they not announce it at GTC if that is the case? If that is the case, and honestly I doubt it because I'm just typing unfiltered thoughts here, you would think they would kind-of need to be sold together. Or maybe not. I don't know.
Pricing and availability is not currently known, except that it is “soon”.
Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2015 - 09:14 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windows 10, Secure Boot, microsoft, linux
Secure Boot is a security measure that prevents malware from interfering with the boot process, but it can also prevent unsigned operating systems from booting on the same hardware. While Microsoft’s “Designed for Windows 8” guidelines required manufacturers to permit users to disable the Secure Boot option, the upcoming Windows 10 release will not have this rule in effect. At WinHEC it has been revealed that Windows 10 guidelines leave it up to the OEM to decide if they will allow users to disable UEFI Secure Boot in the system setup, and making this optional presents an interesting question about compatibility with other operating systems. OEM's will be required to ship computers with Secure Boot enabled to comply with “Designed for…” rules, and while they could then choose to provide the option to disable it (currently the required standard), preventing user installation of other OS software could be seen as a way to streamline support by eliminating variables.
Why does this matter if most people who purchase a Windows 10 computer will run Windows 10 on it? This could be an issue for someone who wished to either replace that Windows 10 installation with another OS, or simply dual-boot with an OS that didn’t support the Secure Boot feature (which could be a build of Linux or even an older version of Windows). Requiring OS files to contain digital signatures effectively locks out other operating systems without special workarounds or keys, and although open-source operating systems represent a small segment of the market thanks to the way computer hardware is sold to most people, it is concerning to think future hardware could cause a loss of the freedom of choice we have always had with operating systems.
Microsoft enjoys market dominance with Windows thanks to its licensing model (giving it a monopoly on pre-built PC systems that don’t have an Apple or Chrome logo on them), but reportedly began considering possibilities "to assert its intellectual property against Linux or any other open-source software” a decade ago, and this has reached farther than they probably imagined with the adoption of Android (from which Microsoft makes money on every device sold). Is this Secure Boot move nefarious, and does Microsoft consider Linux to be a potential threat to the their desktop market share? It could be that Microsoft would simply like to claim that Windows 10 is the safest version of Windows yet, and that isn’t a bad thing for consumers. Unless they want to easily use another OS on the hardware they purchased, that is.
Subject: General Tech | March 21, 2015 - 12:09 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: TSMC, SoC, Semiconductor, Samsung, process node, nvidia, gpu, fab
Want to liven up your weekend? Forget college basketball, we all know that few things are more exciting than SEC filings - and oh boy do we have a great read for you! (OK, this one is actually interesting!)
Ah, legal documents...
NVIDIA has disclosed in their latest 10-K filing that none other than Samsung is manufacturing some of the company’s chips. TSMC has been the source of GPUs for both AMD and NVIDIA for some time, but this filing (the full document is available from the SEC website) has a very interesting mention of the suppliers of their silicon under the “Manufacturing” section:
"We utilize industry-leading suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, to produce our semiconductor wafers."
Back in December NVIDIA commented on its lawsuit against Samsung for alleged IP theft, which only makes this partnership seem more unlikely. However even Apple (which has their own famous legal history with Samsung, of course) has relied on Samsung for some of the production of their A-series SoCs, including the current crop of A8 chips. Business is business, and Samsung Foundry has been a reliable source of silicon for multiple manufacturers - particularly during times when TSMC has struggled to meet demand at smaller process nodes.
Samsung's Current Semiconductor Offering
It is unclear at this point whether the wafers produced by Samsung Semiconductor are for NVIDIA’s mobile parts exclusively, or if any of the desktop GPUs were produced there rather than at TSMC. The partnership could also be attributed simply to scale, just as Apple has augmented A8 SoC supply with their rival’s fab while primarily relying on TSMC. It will be interesting to see just how pervasive the chips produced by Samsung are within the NVIDIA lineup, and what future products might be manufactured with their newest 14nm FinFET process technology.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 20, 2015 - 06:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, mini ITX, Cougar, air cooling
Cougar recently launched the QBX mini ITX case. The small form factor chassis is aimed squarely at gamers and enthusiasts looking for a high performance PC in a tiny box.
The QBX is a completely black angular case measuring 7” x 10.2” x 14.5” packed with filtered vents. Front I/O is fairly standard including two USB 3.0 and two audio jacks. The case supports both air and water cooling while holding a ton of hardware. Specifically, the QBX is built to host Mini ITX motherboards, standard size (140mm) ATX power supplies, dedicated graphics cards (350mm), and CPU coolers up to 105mm tall. As far as storage, the QBX can hold a single 3.5” hard drive and four 2.5” solid state drives as well as a single vertically mounted slim optical drive.
The case comes pre-installed with a single 90mm rear fan, and users can install up to six additional fans on the front, top, and side panels. The front and bottom vents have removable dust filters. A 120mm or 240mm radiator can be installed on the left side panel, but at most you can install one 120mm fan to cool the radiator.
Cougar has engineered the case such that the power supply draws in cool air from the right side panel and exhausts it out of the top of the case to prevent adding extra heat to the system (it will be difficult enough to cool high end components in such a small case). Further, removing the left side panel reveals a hinged bracket that holds a fan (or the water cooling radiator) as well as the 3.5” drive bay and two 2.5” bays. Note that with a 240mm radiator installed, you will only be able to access a single 2.5” bay. This is a neat design but installing the CPU block of a closed loop water cooler is going to be a challenge depending on the length of the tubing.
There is some space behind the motherboard try to hide cables but you will likely need to do some custom cabling to not have it ultimately look like a rats nest considering how small this case is and how little area you have to work with, especially if you do end up installing all seven fans and five disk drives!
The Cougar QBX has an MSRP of $60 and will be available soon. More information can be found on this product page. Hopefully we can get one in for review to see how it stacks up to the Ncase M1 and Lian Li PC-Q33 Mini ITX cases.
Subject: Motherboards | March 20, 2015 - 06:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, x99-soc champion, Intel, X99
Relatively new to the market is the $360ish Gigabyte X-99-SOC Champion, expensive compared to previous Intel boards but a decent price for an X99 board. It has four PCIe 16x slots of which two can only run at 8x maximum as well as three PCIe 1x slots, a single M.2 and a single SEx connector as well as a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports which can run in RAID and another 4 which are only able to run in AHCI mode. There are no C-type connectors but there are a plethora of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports as well as a Thunderbolt header. This is definitely a board for power users and manual overclockers as you can see in Hardware Canucks review here.
You can also expect to see Morry's review of this Gigabyte board in the very near future.
"GIGABYTE's X99-SOC Champion seems to have everything it takes to become a legendary motherboard. It has high end overclocking built into its bones and a low price but will that lead to success?"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS X99-A Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- EVGA X99 Classified @ Modders-Inc
- Asus TUF Sabertooth X99 @ Kitguru
- ECS Z97-MACHINE Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | March 20, 2015 - 12:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, confusion
Slashdot has linked to news out of Microsoft that the option to upgrade your non-genuine version of Win7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10 is not as clear cut as it sounded earlier in the week. Microsoft stated in the interview that "they will remain in a “non-genuine” status and Microsoft will not support them". This is more than a little odd if the stated purpose of this move, to reduce piracy rates across Asia, is correct as there is little to no reason to upgrade if your PC still remains unsupported. Perhaps there is some sort of disconnect at Microsoft in which they think that one look at their new OS and Store will cause an epiphany in lifelong software pirates and they will leap at the opportunity to pay for Windows 10?
As Microsoft declined to elucidate further we really have no idea what they mean when they state that your Windows will remain unlicensed. Will you simply have the same Reduced Functional mode, the black desktop overwrite that appears on non-genuine Windows currently? Will you get all, some or none of the security updates? Will it simply refuse to boot after a certain amount of time? All in all it seems that Microsoft could have just skipped their original announcement as nothing seems to have changed.
"When Microsoft confirmed it will offer free Windows 10 upgrades to pirates worldwide, many were shocked. VentureBeat has been trying to get more details from the company, which disclosed today that after PCs with pirated copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are upgraded to Windows 10, they will remain in a 'non-genuine' status and Microsoft will not support them."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- At Least 700,000 Routers Given To Customers By ISPs Are Vulnerable To Hacking @ Slashdot
- Apple is reportedly pulling 'misleading' anti-virus apps from the iOS App Store @ The Inquirer
- Our 4King benders are so ace we're going full OLED, says LG @ The Register
- Hackers prove security still a myth on Windows PCs, bag $320,000 @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2015 - 06:12 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Xeon D, X99, windows 10, video, usb 3.1, titan x, podcast, nvidia, msi, Intel, HSA 1.0, gtx titan x, gtc 2015, digits devbox, DIGITS, asrock
Join us this week as we the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, News from GTC2015, Mini-ITX X99 motherboard 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: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, and Morry Teitelman
Program length: 1:16:27
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 19, 2015 - 03:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: titan x, nvidia, gtx titan x, gm200, geforce, 4k
You have read Ryan's review of the $999 behemoth from NVIDIA and now you can take the opportunity to see what other reviewers think of the card. [H]ard|OCP tested it against the GTX 980 which shares the same cooler and is every bit as long as the TITAN X. Along the way they found a use for the 12GB of VRAM as both Watch_Dogs and Far Cry 4 used over 7GB of memory when tested at 4k resolution though the frame rates were not really playable, you will need at least two TITAN X's to pull that off. They will be revisiting this card in the future, providing more tests for a card with incredible performance and an even more incredible price.
"The TITAN X video card has 12GB of VRAM, not 11.5GB, 50% more streaming units, 50% more texture units, and 50% more CUDA cores than the current GTX 980 flagship NVIDIA GPU. While this is not our full TITAN X review, this preview focuses on what the TITAN X delivers when directly compared to the GTX 980."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan X @ The Tech Report
- NVIDIA GeForce Titan X 12GB GPU Review @HiTech Legion
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X Review @ OCC
- NVIDIA GTX TITAN X Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- he New Single GPU King Of The Hill: A Look At NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX TITAN X @ Techgage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X Review @ Neoseeker
- NVIDIA GeForce Titan X 12 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Platinum vs. AMD R9 295X2 @ [H]ard|OCP
- Inno3D GeForce GTX 960 iChill X3 Air Boss Ultra @ Kitguru
- EVGA GTX 960 SuperSC SweetSpot Plus Style @ Bjorn3d
Subject: General Tech | March 19, 2015 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sad, half life 3, gaben
Gabe, once again, will not confirm or deny the possibility of another Half Life game but did imply in an interview that there are no teams currently working on one. The reason is sad but obvious, as our sometimes maligned Raptr posts have shown, DOTA 2 and CS:GO make up over 10% of the time spent gaming by those with Raptr installed and at the time this article was written 14% of online Steam users are playing those games. That translates to a lot of hats being sold and a lot of money coming into Valve; significantly more than would come from a new Half Life thanks to the ongoing nature of those online games and the market they have created.
You can catch the interview from the links on Slashdot but stating that this is the end of single player focused games from Valve is an overstatement. The online gaming market is more lucrative but there is still a market for those of us who prefer stories to online bragging rights and some of the work they have done on current game engines should be translatable to a financially viable single player game or ten.
"Half-Life 3 is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated games in history. While Valve transitioned from the revolutionary series that brought the company most of its original success, to online games like Team Fortress, Dota and Left 4 Dead, people still desperately want to believe that there is more coming for Half-Life."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- IBM's OpenPower gang touts first proper non-Big Blue-badged server @ The Register
- Delving into Office 2016: Microsoft goes public with new preview @ The Register
- Facebook unveils P2P moola-to-mates payment feature @ The Register
- Nobody expects the BIOS inquisition, so nobody patches them @ The Register
- FREAK: How government security worries got us into this mess @ The Inquirer
- TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router @ Kitguru
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway
Subject: General Tech | March 18, 2015 - 05:35 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft, build 10041
It has been a long time coming, but the new preview build of Windows 10 has been released. 10041 can be installed for users on the “Fast” ring, leaving users who opt into “Slow” to be on 9926 for a bit longer. You know, the wise enthusiast learns from their mistakes, but the smart enthusiast learns from the mistakes of others. At any rate, pun intended, a few things have changed in this build, but I expect that most of it is under the hood.
On the user-facing side though, the Start menu has been modified to include transparency and Virtual Desktops can now support dragging windows between instances (or onto the + to create a new Virtual Desktop with that window in it). Each update, I have attempted to use Virtual Desktops but I have never stuck with it. Rather than being organized, it felt separated, which gave the impression that I was wasting more time context-switching than if I just sifted through cluttered windows. As always, I will give it another chance with 10041. Perhaps I am just using it wrong. We'll see.
There are some known bugs in this version, like always, so read up on it before making the update if your machine is important. I mean, even 9926 has some noticeable problems that are getting annoying, so you might even be net-positive, but look before you leap. That is, unless you are on an unimportant device or are amused by bugs and you want the newest nowest yesterday.
Speaking of which, as previously discussed, Microsoft intends to speed up the rate of “Fast” builds. Their users seem to want less-stable and more cutting edge builds, so they are hoping to have one or two builds per month.
Also, don't let my posts discourage anyone from trying Windows 10. Just because I need to report on all the issues that I experience (even some that ended up being coincidentally exploded hardware, whoops...) doesn't mean that I am casting shame on it. Ultimately, whatever you install Windows on is a device. If that device performs a critical function in your life, then you need to be aware of the issues that I know about. If not, then enjoy the pre-release experience.
I will probably be installing 10041 soon, especially if it brings new Intel and NVIDIA GPU drivers.
Update (March 19th @ 4PM EDT): I installed 10041 last night, and was greeted with two new graphics drivers: one for Intel and another for NVIDIA. Still to early to tell whether it fixed issues or made things worse, but nothing bad happened yet. I am hearing that some people are having difficulty installing audio drivers, though. Allyn linked me to a problem with Xonar cards, and people in the comments of this article mention "audio drivers" in general. About that, all I can say is that my Blue Yeti works fine, as both a mic and sound card.
Subject: General Tech | March 18, 2015 - 05:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, blizzard, Starcraft II
Get your twitch reflexes back to their peak over the next few weeks as the multiplayer beta for the third instalment of StarCraft 2 kicks off on the 31st. On that date you will find out if you are invited to participate in the test and get to see the new units as well as the tweaks that have been applied to existing units. The main page suggests that this episode will focus more on online multiplayer harassment tactics than all out assaults and so units have been altered to reflect that focus. Blizzard also suggests this beta will go for longer than previous ones have so it will still be a while before we see the next chapter in the single player story. You can catch the preview movie at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
"Good news if you’ve been waiting to see how Big Stubbly Man and Chitin Stilettos Woman managed to defeat timeless evil once and for all until the next sequel: the third and final chunk of StarCraft II is very much on its way. In fact, beta invites for the Protoss-focused Legacy of the Void are due to go out before the end of the month. “Much has changed” since the last time Blizzard let us have a peek at their void."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Rezzed: Indie gaming shows off its finest @ The Register
- Stalled: Project CARS’ Latest Delay @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Industrial Era: Civ III Switches To Steam From GameSpy @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Steam cyberpunk sale @ Gaben's Wallet
- Wot I Think: Sid Meier’s Starships @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Job Seeking: An Elite Dangerous Career Guide @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Space Hulk Devs Full Control Stopping Making Games @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Warcraft III In Starcraft II Because Why Not? @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN