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Subject: Graphics Cards | September 17, 2013 - 10:28 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: amd, radeon, hawaii
As we get closer and closer to the reveal of AMD's next generation graphics chip code named Hawaii, details will find their way out.
Tonight I came across an interview with AMD's Matt Skynner on Forbes.com that offered up one confirmation that we all suspected: AMD's Hawaii GPU will keep the same 28nm process technology utilized with the Radeon HD 7000 parts.
Another thing I can tell you is about the process node: this GPU is in 28nm. Some have speculated that it was 20nm and it’s not for a specific reason: At 28nm for an enthusiast GPU, we can achieve higher clock speeds and higher absolute performance.
Straight from the horses mouth. Based on those comments we can also assume that clock speeds will be higher than 1.0 - 1.1 GHz we are seeing today with the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition so performance increases will not be the sole result of shader count changes and increases.
Skynner also assures gamers they are not targeting the $999 price range, at least not initially.
They’re coming in Q4. I can’t reveal a pricepoint but we’re looking at more traditional enthusiast GPU pricepoints. We’re not targeting a $999 single GPU solution like our competition because we believe not a lot of people have that $999. We normally address what we call the ultra-enthusiast segment with a dual-GPU offering like the 7990. So this next-generation line is targeting more of the enthusiast market versus the ultra-enthusiast one.
AMD is targeting a much smaller die size that NVIDIA has with GK110, the latest iteration of NVIDIA's massive GPU offerings.
It’s also extremely efficient. [Nvidia's Kepler] GK110 is nearly 30% bigger from a die size point of view. We believe we have the best performance for the die size for the enthusiast GPU.
The rest of the interview is a little cookie-cutter though he does briefly reference some of the issues that have caught the Radeon HD 7990 by surprise.
Sorry, still no details on if/when Battlefield 4 will hit the Never Settle bundles!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 17, 2013 - 07:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: akasa, venom medusa, air cooling, heatsink
If you are looking for a cooler that screams high performance then the Akasa Venom Medusa is the heatsink for you, assuming you have a double wide case. At 1.3kg this is one of the heaviest coolers on the market, with measurements of 129.5x144x163mm (5x5.7x6.4") without fans, it is also one of the largest. The two 140mm fans [H]ard|OCP used in their testing ensured that the cooler performed very quietly and it performs as well as any of the other high end aircoolers on the market. The one drawback is the price, at $85 it costs almost as much as some self contained watercoolers.
"Akasa is a smaller thermal solution company that does have a solid reputation. The Venom Medusa CPU air cooler is a massive unit that promises better cooling with eight high capacity heatpipes, dual 14cm "Viper" fans that promise more airflow, most of all we get promised it is a "Monster of All Extremes." Does it have a place in your next build?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Raijintek Themis @ techPowerUp
- Silverstone AR01 and AR02 CPU Cooler Review @ HiTech Legion
- Thermalright AXP-200 Low-Profile CPU Cooler @ NikKTech
- The Best CPU Coolers: 10-Way Roundup @ Techspot
- XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Liquid Cooling Kit Upgrade @ HiTech Legion
- SilverStone SST-TD03 All-In-One Liquid CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Arc Midi R2 Computer Case Review @ Madshrimps
- Lian Li PC-Q28 Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower PC Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zalman Reserator 3 Max watercooling setup @ Rbmods
- NZXT Kraken X40 & X60 CPU Water Cooler Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Mid-Tower Chassis Review @ Techgage
- Corsair Carbide 330R Silent Mid-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Corsair Obsidian 900D Super Tower Case @ NikKTech
- Phanteks Enthoo Primo Full-Tower Case Review @ HiTech Legion
- Corsair Carbide Series 330R Quiet Case @ Kitguru
- Antec GX700 ATX Computer Case @ [H]ard|OCP
- Rosewill Throne Full Tower Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Aerocool GT-S (Black Edition) Chassis @ Funky Kit
- EVGA Hadron Air Mini ITX Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2013 - 04:52 PM | Ken Addison
This weekend in a combination of bad influence from my roommates, and wandering around our local Microcenter, I ended up picking up my first mechanical keyboard, the Ducky Channel Zero DK2108S.
Subject: General Tech | September 17, 2013 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: organic, flexible silicon
Researchers in Saudi Arabia have invented a new way of creating flexible and semi-transparent MOSFETs using silicon which is much less convoluted and expensive than the current methods. This is of great benefit as the organic materials being used in current flexible electronics are significantly slower than their inorganic counterparts, though cheaper and easier to produce. If this breakthrough is able to scale up to commercial levels high resolution flexible displays with quick response times might not be as far away as previously thought. Nanotechweb has the details of the research for you to look at.
"A new, low-cost, state-of-the-art CMOS compatible process to make flexible and semi-transparent silicon-based circuits has been unveiled by researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The technique is an important step forward to making high-performance flexible and transparent computers, says the team."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Spot DRAM prices soar over 30% in less than 2 weeks @ DigiTimes
- Nvidia appoints Colette Kress as CFO @ DigiTimes
- Intel Iris Pro Linux Performance Doubles With Driver Upgrades @ Phoronix
- Insiders Say B&N Will Launch New Nook,Tablet In October @ Slashdot
- How the VDSL Connection Works @ Hardware Secrets
- KVM kings unveil 'cloud operating system' @ The Register
- Double trouble for Whatsapp users as service is targeted by fresh malware @ The Inquirer
- One man’s microwave oven is another man’s hobby electronics store @ Hack a Day
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | September 16, 2013 - 09:15 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Steam Box, LinuxCon, Gabe Newell
Valve Software, as demonstrated a couple of days ago, still believe in Linux as the future of gaming platforms. Gabe Newell discussed this situation at LinuxCon, this morning, which was streamed live over the internet (and I transcribed after the teaser break at the bottom of the article). Someone decided to rip the stream, not the best quality but good enough, and put it on Youtube. I found it and embed it below. Enjoy!
Gabe Newell highlights, from the seventh minute straight through to the end, why proprietary platforms look successful and how they (sooner-or-later) fail by their own design. Simply put, you can control what is on it. Software you do not like, or even their updates, can be stuck in certification or even excluded from the platform entirely. You can limit malicious software, at least to some extent, or even competing products.
Ultimately, however, you limit yourself by not feeding in to the competition of the crowd.
If you wanted to get your cartridge made you bought it, you know, FOB in Tokyo. If you had a competitive product, miraculously, your ROMs didn't show up until, you know, 3 months after the platform holder's product had entered market and stuff like that. And that was really where the dominant models for what was happening in gaming ((came from)).
But, not too surprisingly, open systems were advancing faster than the proprietary systems had. There used to be these completely de novo graphics solutions for gaming consoles and they've all been replaced by PC-derived hardware. The openness of the PC as a hardware standard meant that the rate of innovation was way faster. So even though, you would think, that the console guys would have a huge incentive to invest in it, they were unable to be competitive.
Microsoft attempts to exert control over their platform with modern Windows which is met by a year-over-year regression in PC sales; at the same time, PC gaming is the industry hotbed of innovation and it is booming as a result. In a time of declining sales in PC hardware, Steam saw a 76% growth (unclear but it sounds like revenue) from last year.
Valve really believes the industry will shift toward a model with little divide between creator and consumer. The community has been "an order of magnitude" more productive than the actual staff of Team Fortress 2.
Does Valve want to compete with that?
This will only happen with open platforms. Even the consoles, with systems sold under parts and labor costs to exert control, have learned to embrace the indie developer. The next gen consoles market indie developers, prior to launch, seemingly more than the industry behemoths and that includes their own titles. They open their platforms a little bit but it might still not be enough to hold off the slow and steady advance of PC gaming be it through Windows, Linux, or even web standards.
Speaking of which, Linux and web standards are oft criticized because they are fragmented. Gabe Newell, intentionally or unintentionally, claimed proprietary platforms are more fragmented. Open platforms have multiple bodies push and pull the blob but it all tends to flow in the same direction. Proprietary platforms have lean bodies with control over where they can go, just many of them. You have a dominant and a few competing platforms for each sector: phones and tablets, consoles, desktops, and so forth.
He noted each has a web browser and, because the web is an open standard, is the most unified experience across devices of multiple sectors. Open fragmentation is small compared to the gaps between proprietary silos across sectors. ((As a side note: Windows RT is also designed to be one platform for all platforms but, as we have been saying for a while, you would prefer an open alternative to all RT all the time... and, according to the second and third paragraphs of this editorial, it will probably suffer from all of the same problems inherent to proprietary platforms anyway.))
Everybody just sort of automatically assumes that the internet is going to work regardless of wherever they are. There may be pluses or minuses of their specific environment but nobody says, "Oh I'm in an airplane now, I'm going to use a completely different method of accessing data across a network". We think that should be more broadly true as well. That you don't think of touch input or game controllers or living rooms as being things which require a completely different way for users to interact or acquire assets or developers to program or deliver to those targets.
Obviously if that is the direction you are going in, Linux is the most obvious basis for that and none of the proprietary, closed platforms are going to be able to provide that form of grand unification between mobile, living room, and desktop.
Next week we're going to be rolling out more information about how we get there and what are the hardware opportunities that we see for bringing Linux into the living room and potentially pointing further down the road to how we can get it even more unified in mobile.
Well, we will certainly be looking forward to next week.
Personally, for almost two years I found it weird how Google, Valve, and Apple (if the longstanding rumors were true) were each pushing for wearable computing, Steam Box/Apple TV/Google TV, and content distribution at the same time. I would not be surprised, in the slightest, for Valve to add media functionality to Steam and Big Picture and secure a spot in the iTunes and Play Store market.
As for how wearables fit in? I could never quite figure that out but it always felt suspicious.
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2013 - 03:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Zeus PSU, Silverstone, modular psu, 1350W
Way back in the early stages of this year Lee reviewed a PSU that not many would need but those who want multiple cards would appreciate, the SilverStone Zeus 1350W PSU. The 12V lines, which is what GPUs care about are split into 6 with each able to provide 30A for a peak of 105A, 1260W delivered to your cards. Unfortunately for SilverStone [H]ard|OCP have been working on this review since February and this final review is actually of the third unit that was sent to them as the initial PSUs had major problems.
UPDATE: Tony from SilverStone reached out to explain the exact cause of the issue.
"... it turned out that the circuit breaker he had wouldn’t play nice with ZM1350’s higher in-rush current. Since power supplies are essentially analog devices, there are variances in production so the third unit apparently worked as ZM1350 was borderline tripping his breaker."
With the cause known you can decide on your own if your buildings curcuitry can support this PSU.
"SilverStone's Zeus series is back from a four year hiatus with a new 1350 watt PSU offering to enthusiasts. This Zeus is rated with Silver efficiency at 50°C, and comes to the alter with a host of features including modular cables to keep your build looking tidy. You can even tune the rails by hand if you wish. Time to see if heads roll."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master V-series 850W Power Supply Review @HiTech Legion
- Be Quiet Pure Power L8 CM 730W Semi-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Antec High Current Gamer 850W Semi Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Corsair CX500M (V2) Semi Modular Power @ eTeknix
- Cougar PowerX 550W PSU @ Kitguru
- XFX Pro 650W Core Edition Non Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Rosewill Tachyon 750 W @ techPowerUp
- be quiet! PowerZone 650W PSU @ Kitguru
- Antec High Current Gamer 620W Semi Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- EVGA 500B 500W Power Supply Review @ Legit Reviews
- Antec EarthWatts Platinum 450W Non-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
- Enermax Triathlor 450W Non-Modular Power Supply @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | September 16, 2013 - 01:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb, cellphone, security
The USB condom is an adapter which disables the two data ports present on your USB connector to prevent a malicious charger from installing interesting things on your smartphone, if you decide to stick it into a strange charger. Many will immediately point out that this device is much larger than a simple power adapter which makes it easier to leave behind as well as being large enough to hide nasties of its own, so you wouldn't want to borrow someones condom. If you read through the comments on Slashdot you can pick up some interesting problems that this device could cause, from devices which refuse to charge without their data connections active to devices which actively communicate the amount of power they will accept for a charge. It is unlikely your device would have an expected amperage less than the USB spec and go up in flames but it is worth knowing that the possibility exists.
"Yep, a USB condom. That term is mostly a dose of marketing brilliance, which is to say that grabs your attention while also serving as an apt description of the product. A little company called int3.cc has developed a product—a USB condom—that blocks the data pins in your USB device while leaving the power pins free. Thus, any time you need to plug a device such as a smartphones into a USB port to charge it—let's say at a public charging kiosk or a coworker's computer--you don't have to worry about compromising any data or contracting some nasty malware. It's one of those simple solutions that seems so obvious once someone came up with it."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Will Intel's Quark Run Linux? @ Linux.com
- Microsoft reissues September patches after user complaints @ The Register
- The easy or hard way to build a PWM dimmer @ Hack a Day
- Memory muddle muddies Intel's Exascale ambitions @ The Register
- Ray Milton Dolby OBE - 1933-2013 @ The Inquirer
- ASUS PCE-AC66 Wi-Fi AC1750 PCIe Wireless Adapter @ Benchmark Reviews
- MyKronoz ZeBracelet Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2013 - 06:30 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z87, Thunderbolt 2, sonnet, Intel, idf 2013, idf, gigabyte, asus, asrock, aja, 4k
Intel recently launched its next generation Thunderbolt 2 interface, and several devices using the new connection were shown off at the Intel Developer Forum. The major takeaway from Thunderbolt 2 is the increased bandwidth and benefits to video production houses working with large uncompressed media. Specifically, Thunderbolt 2 is a PCI-Express based external interface that sends both video output and data down a single cable. Upgrades over the original 10Gbps Thunderbolt standard include an updated to the DisplayPort 1.2 video standard and double the bandwidth to 20Gbps. Thanks to the increased bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 enables simultaneous video output and video file transfer of 4K media. Video editors can watch and transfer 4K video to an DisplayPort-equipped monitor and external RAID array respectively.
Intel is kicking off the Thunderbolt 2 standard with the launch of its DSL5520 and DSL5320 Thunderbolt 2 controllers, which are already in the hands of device manufactures. In fact, there were quite a few bits of hardware being shown off at this years IDF that already support the new Thunderbolt 2 standard. Intel is expecting even more devices in 2014.
Professional video editing and workstation hardware with Thunderbolt 2
While consumer PC hardware will be supporting Thunderbolt 2, the new interface is most beneficial to professional users and IDF was the launch pad for several high end pieces of production gear. Sonnet launched the Echo Express III external PCI-E card chassis that allows users to hook up PCI-E cards to systems via Thunderbolt 2 (for example: video capture card or fast solid state storage). Also, AJA showed off a video/audio capture box called the IO 4K that supports daisy chaining other Thunderbolt 2 devices and acts as a video capture card capable of taking in 4K and UltraHD video sources as well as high end audio inputs. Finally, PROMISE Technology showed off its Pegasus2 RAID 5 enclosure and SANLink2 Thunderbolt 2 bridge device.
External boxes are not the only professional products with Thunderbolt 2 at IDF, however. The technology is also being integrated into workstations, including the Apple Mac Pro with six Thunderbolt 2 ports and HP’s new lineup of desktop workstations.
Z87 Motherboards With Thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 will also be used in consumer gear as well, including Z87 motherboards. Asus, AsRock, and Gigabyte all had motherboards on display that each featured two Thunderbolt 2 ports. The new interface will be available on the multiple boards from the manufacturers. German tech site ComputerBase.de posted several photos of Thunderbolt 2-equipped motherboards and gave a glimpse at the upcoming hardware.
The Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad, an AsRock Z87 motherboard, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD5 TH spotted at IDF by ComputerBase.de.
Of note are the ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad, AsRock Extreme 11/ac, and Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH. All boards off LGA 1150 CPU sockets, four DDR3 DIMM slots, a slew of SATA 6Gbps ports, multiple PCI-E 3.0 x16 and x1 slots, and rich rear IO including two Thunderbolt 2 ports (naturally).
The AsRock Z87 Extreme 11/ac via ComputerBase.de.
The following chart breaks down the specifications. Unfortunately pricing and availability have not been announced for these boards, but expect to pay a premium for the high end gaming hardware and new Thunderbolt 2 controller. (The Asrock Extreme 11/ac in particular takes the word “high end” to the, well, extreme.)
|ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad||AsRock Extreme 11/ac||Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH|
|PCI-E 3.0 x16||3||4||5|
|PCI-E 3.0 x1||4||3||2|
|Audio||6 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical||5 x analog, 1 x optical|
|Video out||1 x HDMI||1 x HDMI, 1 x DP||1 x HDMI, 1 x DVI|
|USB 3.0||6 (+4 USB 2.0)||6 (+2 USB 2.0)||6|
It is promising to see so many devices this early into Thunderbolt 2's launch, and the various high end motherboard using both Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3 gives consumers the best of both worlds and access to all manner of external peripherals. The bandwidth increase is certainly welcome, and I am interested to see what sorts of new devices it enables. For now, I think Thunderbolt 2 is going to be mainly a professional (or at least "pro-sumer") technology. With that siad, 4K capture and video output is already being worked on, and I am curious to see what other applications and technologies will really be able to push the new 20Gbps interface and what trickles down to the consumer space!
Are you excited about Thunderbolt 2? Let us know what you think of the IDF-launched products and the interface technology in general in the comments below!
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2013 - 06:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gskill, G.Skill, ddr4
G.Skill showed off DDR4 memory modules at the Intel Developer Forum last week, and it appears that the technology is well on its way to being ready for Intel's next generation Haswell-E enthusiast platform. The modules that G.Skill showed off werre DDR4 DIMMs clocked at 2,133 MHz and come in 4GB capacities. The modules are manufactured by SK.Hynix and branded and tested by G.Skill. The company did not indicate what voltages they are using, but it is likely at or close to 1.2V given the conservative clockspeed.
VR-Zone spotted DDR4 DIMMs from G.Skill at IDF.
The modules on the IDF show floor where static engineering samples, which means that they were not functional units. G.Skill indicated to X-bit labs that “the next generation of DDR memory is still under development, and G.Skill is working to push the new technology to its limits in the future.”
As the DDR4 standard and Haswell-E HEDT CPU/motherboard platform is still being worked on, G.Skill still has about a year to improve its modules and offer additional overclocked SKUs (which the company is known for). It is nice to see progress being made on the new memory technology that is said to be a bit faster and require less voltage.
Read more about the progress of DDR4 at PC Perspective.
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 08:55 PM | Scott Michaud
There is an elephant in the room: Eldritch has a similar art style to Minecraft. The aesthetic, terrain and structures made up of large voxels, provides a simple set of rules for randomly generated worlds and it does that very well. Filling up a volume is easy when everything is kept to discrete grids and most geometry, being box-symmetric, takes very little effort to model. The resulting environments can be just as interesting to explore.
A creepy trailer?
Eldritch, on the other hand, is not based upon terraforming the landscape. This game is a first person action title heavily influenced by the works of H. P. Lovecraft... and its tropes. Rock Paper Shotgun previewed an early build and gave (at least me) mixed signals about whether the game was creepy or zany; the trailer does nothing to clarify this position. Whatever RPS thought the atmosphere was, they proclaim it was "nailed".
Eldritch is available to pre-order through the Humble Store, exchanging $15 for beta access, and is set for release on October 21st.
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 08:11 PM | Scott Michaud
Valve continues to port their back catalogue to Linux even as its market share on Steam declines. It might be easy to declare gaming on Linux dead, or something like that, but the platform has not yet been pushed for gaming. It is entirely possible, albeit increasingly unlikely (and that is bad), that Microsoft will continue to support an open PC gaming experience. If it continues to sink then Valve might see more appreciation for their work.
Linux gamers of today, however, can access a beta build of Half Life: Source. If this seems oddly familiar then you are probably thinking of Half Life which, itself, was ported to Mac and Linux last January. The Half Life: Source beta announcement came on September 12th.
Not only has Valve kept their 15-year-old game up to date with current hardware and alternative operating systems, they are actively keeping multiple versions of that 15-year-old game up to date with current hardware and alternative operating systems. This is the classic PC gaming mentality also seen in Blizzard and, until a few years ago, Epic Games.
This beta release is not just limited to Linux and Mac, however. Valve encourages users, of all platforms, to test the product and reports bugs to their GitHub.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 14, 2013 - 02:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rm series, PSU, Corsiar, 80 Plus Gold
Corsair has introduced its new RM series of power supplies. The new lineup replaces the TX series and sits between the existing HX and AXi series. RM-series PSUs are optimized for efficient and nearly silent operation.
The new fully modular RM series power supplies are 80 PLUS Gold certified and range from 450W to 1000W. The PSUs reportedly use low noise capacitors and transistors along with a 135mm fan that only starts spinning under high load (what Corsair calls the “ZeroRPM Fan Mode”) such as gaming. In addition to quiet operation, the RM series supports monitoring functionality. Using Corsair Link software, users can monitor PSU fan speed and power delivery. A cable, called the Corsair Digital Bridge Cable, runs from the PSU to either the system motherboard or a Corsair Link Hub and enables the monitoring features. This cable comes bundled with the highest-end RM1000 (1000W) unit, but is an additional charge for the other RM series.
The fully modular RM1000 and its bundled cables.
The lineup includes the RM450, RM550, RM650, RM750, RM850, and RM1000 in 450W to 1KW maximum loads respectively. These new PSUs will be available at the end of October for the following prices:
|RM Series Power Supply SKU||Price (MSRP)|
Subject: Storage | September 14, 2013 - 12:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: scorpion deluxe, SandForce SF-2281, sandforce, PCIe SSD, Mushkin
Mushkin, a company primarily known in the US for its RAM modules, announced a new PCI Express-based SSD this week called the Scorpion Deluxe. The new solid state drive is an update to the original Scorpion drive, and while it is not boot-able, it makes for an extremely speedy cache for large databases at decent prices (for a PCI-E SSD, anyway).
The Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe is driven by four SandForce SF-2281 processors and uses a PCI-E 2.0 x8 electrical interface to offer up gobs of bandwidth. The drive comes in several capacities, including 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, and 1,920GB. It is rated at 2,150 MB/s reads and over 1900 MB/s writes (exact rated speed depends on capacity, up to 2000 MB/s on the 2TB model). Also, the drive is specc’d to deliver a bit over 100,000 4K read and write IOPS. There is a 1 million hour MTBF rating and a 3 year warranty with the SSD.
Mushkin is aiming the drive more-so at the enterprise market for use in servers to cache large databases or in workstations working with large files in content creation, modeling, or simulations.
The Scorpion Deluxe drive is available now in the US, and will be up for purchase worldwide on September 16th. Pricing is not too bad, especially at the higher capacity points where the $/GB starts to look good.
|PCI-E SSD Capacity||Pricing (US)||$/GB|
Only $1.07 per GB on the 2TB model? If only I had a corporate expense account! (heh)
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2013 - 02:54 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, nuc, Intel, hd 5000, haswell, 4k
Intel has announced a new Haswell-powered NUC called the D54250WYK. The new barebones kit includes an Intel D54250WYB NUC motherboard with soldered processor in a small form factor case that measures 4.6″ x 4.4″ x 1.4″. The new NUC is faster, has new IO options, and reportedly fixes the overheating issues of previous NUC systems. The Haswell-powered NUC has a bit of competition with the recently launched Gigabyte BRIX system which also got an upgrade to Intel's latest consumer architecture.
The new NUC D54250WYK barebones kit.
The Intel NUC Kit D54250WYK uses a new 4.33" x 4.33" motherboard with a pre-soldered Intel Haswell Core i5-4250U processor. The system further supports two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots (up to 16GB of 1600MHz memory), a single SATA port, two mini PCI-E slots (one for mSATA SSDs and one half-height for Wi-Fi NICs), and a USB 2.0 header supporting to USB 2.0 ports. The Core i5-4250U CPU is a 22nm chip with a 15W TDP. It is a dual core part clocked at 1.3GHz base and 2.6GHz Turbo with HyperThreading, 3MB of cache, and HD 5000 processor graphics (200Mhz base and 1GHz Turbo).
The new NUC motherboard and Haswell processor.
While Intel has removed Thunderbolt support, external IO is still decent, with the following ports:
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x Infrared receiver
2 x Video outputs:
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.2
- 1 x Mini HDMI 1.4
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 2 x USB 3.0
Notably, the Intel NUC Kit with i5-4250U CPU requires active cooling, but aftermarket cases offering passive cooling are likely in the works. Of course, users will be able to purchase the barebones D54250WYK kit or just the D54250WYB NUC motherboard and CPU that can be paired with a third party or custom built case. Like Gigabyte, Intel has not released specific pricing or availability, but expect the new Haswell-powered NUC to be coming soon as the system appears to be ready to go. Hopefully full reviews will be hitting the Internet soon!
Subject: Mobile | September 13, 2013 - 06:32 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Intel, haswell, google, Chromebook
At IDF this week Intel and Google announced new Chromebooks running Google's cloud friendly operating system. The new machines will be built by a number of PC laptop manufacturers and will be available later this year.
Notably, the new Chromebooks will feature Intel Haswell processors, which Google claims will result in increased performance along with up to 2-times the battery life of previous generation Chromebooks. In fact, several manufacturers are rating the battery life between 8 and 9.5 hours, which would be quite the feat if the number hold up to actual usage!
Acer, HP, and Toshiba will be releasing updated Chromebooks with Haswell CPUs and new laptop designs "over the coming months" for as-yet-unannounced prices. ASUS is also joining the Chromebook fray with a mini desktop PC running Chrome OS and requiring a monitor or TV for video output. Specifically, Acer will be putting out an 11.6" laptop that is 0.75" thick and weighs 2.76 pounds. HP is offering a larger display and more battery lfie with its 14" Chromebook measuing 0.81" thick and 4.08 pounds. You trade a bit of portability, but you get a larger display, keyboard, and battery. Toshiba will be unveiling a laptop form factor Chromebook as well, but specs on that particular system have not been revealed yet. As mentioned above, pricing has not been released, but expect the systems to be under $300.
Interestingly, Google claims that six of the leading PC laptop manufacturers are now offering their own spin on Google's Chromebook. Further, the Chromebooks account for around 20-percent of the sub-$300 PC market, according to Google. It seems that Chromebooks are slowly gaining traction though it remains to be seen if they will continue to be successful as Windows and Android budget ultraportable competition heats up and consumers become wary of "the cloud" and Internet applications in light of the various leaks concerning the NSA spying programs. (As Darren Kitchen of Hak5 would say, "encrypt all the things!")
Will you be picking up a Haswell-powered Chromebook?
Subject: Storage | September 13, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Thunderbolt 2, SANlink 2, raid, promise, 4k
Promise Technology has announced that it is launching new storage solutions with Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 interface. Shown off at IDF 2013, the storage products include the Pegasus 2 series and SANLink 2 Thunderbolt 2 to 8G Fiber Channel bridge. The Pegasus 2 series is a RAID 5 external storage array that connects to Windows or Mac machines using Thunderbolt 2. The SANLink 2 bridge product allows users to connect a PC using Thunderbolt 2 to Promise Technology's VTrak or VTrak A-Class shared SAN storage.
The storage products are aimed mainly at professional video editors that are working with 4K content. According to Promise Technology, the 20Gbps bi-directional Thunderbolt 2 connection enables video editors to simultaneously transfer and display 4K video content.
Promise Technology CEO James Lee was quoted as saying:
"With the industry now poised for the widespread adoption of 4K video, the Pegasus2 Series with Thunderbolt 2 technology will revolutionize how video creators are managing 4K workflows in addition to delivering unprecedented performance to artists and enthusiasts who love to create captivating content."
Both the Pegasus2 and SANLink2 products with Thunderbolt 2 will be available in Fall 2013 for so-far undisclosed prices. The full press blast is below, for more information.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 13, 2013 - 01:44 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mini ITX, hadron air, hadron, evga
EVGA has launched a new barebones Mini ITX case called the Hadron Air. The new case is in the same vein as the MiniBox chassis it showed off at Computex earlier this year. The new Hadron Air measures 12" x 6.6" x 12.1" (HxWxD) and is constructed of aluminum with a black brushed finish on the outside.
The Hadron Air has curved edges and rounded corners. The front of the case is lifted up slightly by case feet, putting the case at a slight angle. There are vents on the top and right side of the case as well as an acrylic window on the left side panel. A bay for a slim slot loading optical drive and the front IO port are located on the right side of the case. The front IO includes two USB 3.0 ports and two HD audio jacks. The back of the case has a bottom mounted power supply, two PCI slots, and two water cooling passthrough grommets.
EVGA is bundling the case with a small form factor 500W power supply. The PSU is 80 PLUS Gold rated and offers up 40A on the 12V rail. The case supports Mini ITX motherboards, two 2.5" or 3.5" storage drives, and dual slot graphics cards up to 267mm in length. As far as cooling, the case supports two 120mm exhaust fans in the top panel and the power supply has its own small intake fan. A list of compatible CPU coolers can be found here.
The case comes bundled with a 500W power supply, manual, AC power cord, two SATA cables, and a bracket for a slim slot loading optical drive.
The Hadron Air is available now for $189.99. The Mini ITX chassis is part of the Hadron series of cases which includes the Air and a water cooling optimized version called the Hadron Hydro which is reportedly "coming soon."
More information on the Hadron Air can be found on this EVGA product page.
Subject: Displays | September 13, 2013 - 01:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dell, U3014, 30 inch, 2560x1600
Hardware Canucks have been thoroughly enjoying themselves with the new Dell 30" display, the UltraSharp U3014. The 2560x1600 display might be expensive but if you can afford the asking price it will not disappoint. If you look very carefully during fast paced action you might see a hint of ghosting but not enough to distract you from your game. Professionals will appreciate the 10-bit colour capability and the numerous colour settings will help you while creating content. Take a look at the full review here.
"Dell's new flagship monitor, the UltraSharp U3014 is everything we could possibly want. It uses a 16:10 AH-IPS panel, boasts one of the best color rendition scores around and simply outpaces nearly everything else out there."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips Brilliance 298P4QJEB 29” UltraWide Monitor Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sharp PN-K321H review: 4K monitor @ Hardware.info
- SilverStone SST-ARM11SC Single Monitor Interactive Arm @ Benchmark Reviews
- Samsung UN55F6400AF Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: Motherboards | September 13, 2013 - 12:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, ASUS X79 Deluxe, Ivy Bridge-E
With so much of what used to be on the motherboard having been moved directly onto the CPU motherboard launches just aren't what they use to be. That is why the launch of Ivy Bridge-E has not been accompanied by the arrival of a slew of new motherboards. Some companies such as ASUS have done a refresh of existing X79 motherboard lines for the new IB-E processors but not a total revision or new chipset. The X79-Deluxe is a perfect example, based on a mature board but with some new tricks added, as you can see in The Tech Report's review.
"Most motherboard makers are relying on existing LGA2011 models to complement Intel's latest Ivy Bridge-E CPUs. Asus has taken a different approach by rolling its recent innovations into a brand new board: the X79-Deluxe. Join us as we take a closer look at what may be the most advanced X79 board around."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- GIGABYTE Z87X-UD4H LGA 1150 @ [H]ard|OCP
- EVGA X79 Dark Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
- Asus X79-Deluxe Preview: X79 Meets 2013 @ Kitguru
- ECS L337 GANK Machine Z87H3-A2X Extreme Review @ OCC
- ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H Motherboard Review @ Techgage
- ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME (Intel LGA 1150) @ techPowerUp
- MSI Z87 Xpower review @ Hardware.Info
- ASUS Z87-EXPERT Motherboard Review @ Techgage
- Gigabyte Z87X-UD4H @ FunkyKit
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2013 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: reverse engineering, IR sensor, hack, DIY, arduino
You can buy the USB Infrared Toy v2 from Dangerous Prototypes and get right to turning cheaply made IR devices off and on but you would miss out on a chance to build one yourself. If you follow the links from Slashdot you will get a quick tutorial on how to determine the oscillation frequency of a broadcaster by looking at the components of the circuit and how to use an Arduino UNO to create your own. If you are already familiar with this type of project consider teaching someone who needs their fear of electronic devices reduced through understanding how these magic boxes work.
"Cheap home alarms, door opening systems and wireless mains switches can be bypassed with low-cost and home-made devices that can replicate their infrared signals. Fixed-code radio frequency systems could be attacked using a $20 'toy', or using basic DIY componentry."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 4K-friendly Thunderbolt 2 WILL ship this year, Chipzilla pledges @ The Register
- Intel shows off wine-powered processor and biometric boffinry @ The Register
- Apple iPhone 5C price, release date and where to buy @ The Inquirer
- LanOC V13 Recap @ LanOC Reviews
- ATTACK of the ROBOT BANKERS brings stock market to its knees @ The Register
- Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol. 1 Released in HTML Format @ Slashdot
- Have you tried turning it off and on again - oh, you did: IT Crowd RETURNS @ The Register
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