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Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 07:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, Civ V, sid meier
Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN got a deeper look at Civ VI than just the launch trailer and it is hard to say if this will be a good one or not. The armies will continue to be unstackable but they have created formations, allowing you to group a number of units to move together which will lessen the onerous task of moving your armies around. This may help somewhat but we shall see how they deal with terrain and path calculation. The unstackable trait will now infect cities, buildings no longer stack on top of your city but will be laid out on the map just like improvements. No longer will you be sending out workers to build farms as you have in previous games, instead they will be working on upgrades from your city menu.
Research is now not only geographically based but also reliant on certain resources or upgrades; if they are appropriate your research will go much faster. Diplomacy and the AI have also been changed. There is not enough information yet to make a call but so far the news is worrying and it seems unlikely devoted fans will move away from Civ IV and its mods.
"The game is running on a brand new suite of software, built to be far more mod-friendly than its predecessor, and as well as brand new AI systems, there are a host of new mechanics that will explore and emphasise your relationship with Civ’s greatest character: the map."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tom Clancy's The Division Gameplay Performance @ [H]ard|OCP
- Wot I Think: Stellaris @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Oculus Rift virtual reality headset @ Kitguru
- The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine details revealed @ Polygon
- The Banner Saga 2 review @ Polygon
- Disney Cancels Infinity, Ends Game Publishing Division @ Giantbomb
- Quick Look: Uncharted 4: A Thief's End @ Giantbomb
- Dishonored 2’s New Abilities Sound Promising @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2016 - 06:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: phanteks, Enthoo Pro M
Phanteks updated their Enthoo PRO M Acrylic Window Edition with three new colours. You can choose from Titanium Green, Brushed Black and Anthracite Grey.
Walnut, California, May 10th, 2016 – Phanteks today introduced the new Titanium Green and Anthracite Gray Enthoo Pro M Acrylic Edition. The new color will be available for immediate release.
The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition has a full acrylic window, front and top brushed aluminum look panels, and the innovative radiator bracket. The I/O port now resides on the side of the front panel creating a simple but elegant design without the cost.
The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition will feature a large interior to support full ATX. A innovative top radiator bracket to allow easy installation of the radiator and/or fans like the Enthoo EVOLV ATX and the EVOLV ITX.
The PRO M Acrylic Window Edition comes with the all new HDD mounting system multiple storage with the optional HDD bracket (PH-HDDKT_02).
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2016 - 05:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wifi sense, security, microsoft
Here is an update we can get behind! Windows 10 Build 14342 will no longer have WiFi Sense, that bizarre feature which Microsoft added which would pass on any of your stored WiFi passwords to your contacts as well as overriding your preferred network if one of your contacts signals was available. This caused a certain amount of alarm as you might not trust every contact you might have on Outlook.com with your WiFi password nor trust their WiFi networks. The blather about high cost and low demand is an interesting cover for changing their minds, regardless it is good to see it go. There were a couple of other updates included in this release, check them out at The Inquirer.
"We have removed the WiFi Sense feature that allows you to share WiFi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," explained Aul."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NVMdurance extends flash life tenfold @ The Register
- Nest releases open source version of Thread IoT networking protocol @ The Inquirer
- Chipzilla veteran joins IBM's OpenPOWER @ The Register
- TSMC board approves US$4.1 billion for capacity expansion @ DigiTimes
- Sales Of PCs, Laptops, Tablets Continue to Fall, Hit Lowest Point Since 2011 @ Slashdot
- Marc Benioff apologizes as Salesforce NA14 instance goes TITSUP @ The Register
- This is what a root debug backdoor in a Linux kernel looks like @ The Register
- A quarter of Windows users are using an outdated browser called Internet Explorer @ The Inquirer
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 11:50 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, maxwell, GTX 980 Ti, GTX 970, GTX 1080, geforce
The GTX 1080 announcement is starting to ripple into retailers, leading to price cuts on the previous generation, Maxwell-based SKUs. If you were interested in the GTX 1080, or an AMD graphics card of course, then you probably want to keep waiting. That said, you can take advantage of the discounts to get a VR-ready GPU or if you already have a Maxwell card that could use a cheap SLI buddy.
This tip comes from a NeoGAF thread. Microcenter has several cards on sale, but EVGA seems to have the biggest price cuts. This 980 Ti has dropped from $750 USD down to $499.99 (or $474.99 if you'll promise yourself to do that mail-in rebate). That's a whole third of its price slashed, and puts it about a hundred dollars under GTX 1080. Granted, it will also be slower than the GTX 1080, with 2GB less video RAM, but $100 might be worth that for you.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 11:29 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, geforce
After the live streamed event announcing the GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070, Allyn and I spent a few minutes this afternoon going over the information as it was provided, discussing our excitement about the product and coming to grips with what in the world a "Founder's Edition" even is.
If you haven't yet done so, check out Scott's summary post on the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 specs right here.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 08:32 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: thermalright, quiet computing, Le Grande Macho, heatsink, cpu cooler, air cooling, air cooler
Thermalright has released a very large new CPU air cooler with an equally impressive name: Le Grande Macho RT.
The Le Grande Macho RT features no fewer than 7 heat pipes from its massive heatsink, and is paired with a quiet 140 mm fan (model TY-147B) that ranges from just 300 RPM to 1300 RPM. While large it is still smaller than the company's well-respected SilverArrow dual-tower cooler, and depending on performance could offer a compelling alternative for low-noise air cooling.
Specifications from Thermalright:
Dimension: L150mm x W120mm x H159mm (Fin Area only)
L150mm x W125mm x H159mm (Heat sink incl.)
Heat pipes: 6mm heatpipe*7 units
Fin: T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 3.1 mm
Fin Pcs: 35 pcs
Copper Base: C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
Motherboard to Fin: 36 + 8 = 44 mm 46 + 8=54 mm
Dimension: L152 mm x W140 mm x H26.5 mm
Rated Speed: 300 - 1300 RPM
Noise Level: 14 - 20dBA
Air Flow: 16.9- 73.6 CFM
Connector: 4 Pin (PWM Fan connector)
Bearing Type : FDB Bearing
The Le Grand Macho RT is listed on Amazon.com for $79.99, which places it in the same territory as the Noctua NH-D14. We'll see how it performs relative to the market once reviews start to appear.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 08:06 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: video card, reference cooler, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, graphics card, GeForce GTX 1080, Founder's Edition
The first non-reference GTX 1080 has been revealed courtesy of Galax, and the images (via VideoCardz.com) look a lot different than the Founder's Edition.
Galax GTX 1080 (Image Credit: VideoCardz)
The Galax is the first custom implementation of the GTX 1080 we've seen, and as such the first example of a $599 variant of the GTX 1080. The Founder's Edition cards carry a $100 premium (and offer that really nice industrial design) but ultimately it's about performance and the Galax card will presumably offer completely stock specifications.
(Image Credit: VideoCardz)
Expect to see a deluge of aftermarket cooling from EVGA, ASUS, MSI, and others soon enough - most of which will presumably be using a dual or triple-fan cooler, and not a simple blower like this.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2016 - 04:11 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows 10, windows, vrr, variable refresh rate, uwp, microsoft, g-sync, freesync
Back in March, Microsoft's Phil Spencer addressed some of the concerns over the Unified Windows Platform and PC gaming during his keynote address at the Build Conference. He noted that MS would "plan to open up VSync off, FreeSync, and G-Sync in May" and the company would "allow modding and overlays in UWP applications" sometime further into the future. Well it appears that Microsoft is on point with the May UWP update.
According to the MS DirectX Developer Blog, a Windows 10 update being pushed out today will enable UWP to support unlocked frame rates and variable refresh rate monitors in both G-Sync and FreeSync varieties.
As a direct response to your feedback, we’re excited to announce the release today of new updates to Windows 10 that make gaming even better for game developers and gamers.
Later today, Windows 10 will be updated with two key new features:
Support for AMD’s FreesyncTM and NVIDIA’s G-SYNC™ in Universal Windows Platform games and apps
Unlocked frame rate for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) games and apps
Once applications take advantage of these new features, you will be able to play your UWP games with unlocked frame rates. We expect Gears of War: UE and Forza Motorsport 6: Apex to lead the way by adding this support in the very near future.
This OS update will be gradually rolled out to all machines, but you can download it directly here.
These updates to UWP join the already great support for unlocked frame rate and AMD and NVIDIA’s technologies in Windows 10 for classic Windows (Win32) apps.
Please keep the feedback coming!
Today's update won't automatically enable these features in UWP games like Gears of War or Quantum Break, they will still need to be updated individually by the developer. MS states that Gears of War and Forza will be the first to see these changes, but there is no mention of Quantum Break here, which is a game that could DEFINITELY benefit from the love of variable refresh rate monitors.
Microsoft describes an unlocked frame rate as thus:
Vsync refers to the ability of an application to synchronize game rendering frames with the refresh rate of the monitor. When you use a game menu to “Disable vsync”, you instruct applications to render frames out of sync with the monitor refresh. Being able to render out of sync with the monitor refresh allows the game to render as fast as the graphics card is capable (unlocked frame rate), but this also means that “tearing” will occur. Tearing occurs when part of two different frames are on the screen at the same time.
I should note that these changes do not indicate that Microsoft is going to allow UWP games to go into an exclusive full screen mode - it still believes the disadvantages of that configuration outweigh the advantages. MS wants its overlays and a user's ability to easily Alt-Tab around Windows 10 to remain. Even though MS mentions screen tearing, I don't think that non-exclusive full screen applications will exhibit tearing.
Gears of War on Windows 10 is a game that could definitely use an uncapped render rate and VRR support.
Instead, what is likely occurring, as we saw with the second iteration of the Ashes of the Singularity benchmark, is that the game will have an uncapped render rate internally but that frames rendered OVER 60 FPS (or the refresh rate of the display) will not be shown. This will improve perceived latency as the game will be able to present the most up to date frame (with the most update to date input data) when the monitor is ready for a new refresh.
UPDATE 5/10/16 @ 4:31pm: Microsoft just got back to me and said that my above statement wasn't correct. Screen tearing will be able to occur in UWP games on Windows 10 after they integrate support for today's patch. Interesting!!
For G-Sync and FreeSync users, the ability to draw to the screen at any range of render rates will offer an even further advantage of uncapped frame rates, no tearing but also, no "dropped" frames caused by running at off-ratios of a standard monitor's refresh rate.
I'm glad to see Microsoft taking these steps at a brisk pace after the feedback from the PC community early in the year. As for UWP's continued evolution, the blog post does tease that we should "expect to see some exciting developments on multiple GPUs in DirectX 12 in the near future."
Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2016 - 02:45 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X99, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Intel, asus
ASUS Republic of Gamers has announced a new X99 motherboard for the upcoming Intel Core i7 X-series processors, and the ROG STRIX X99 Gaming packs a number of features into its ATX form-factor.
"ROG Strix has taken on a brand-new look and the time has come to debut the first motherboard in the ROG Strix Series. ROG Strix X99 Gaming is a new ATX motherboard based on the Intel X99 chipset, retrofitted with exclusive technologies to maximize the potential of the new Intel Core i7 X-series processor for socket LGA 2011-v3. ROG Strix X99 Gaming delivers performance you'll notice, while the bold new design featuring customizable colors highlights the centerpiece of a system others will notice"
There is certainly no shortage of features with this new gaming board, including the company's SupremeFX audio, Intel NIC, 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, SATA Express, M.2, and U.2 storage support, Thunderbolt 3, and a reinforced PCI-E slot for heavier GPUs. But the feature that will be the hardest to miss with the STRIX X99 Gaming motherboard has to be the customizable RGB lighting.
"ROG Strix X99 Gaming features the aesthetics for gamers looking to personalize an illuminate gaming rig. Ten LED effects can be customized using ASUS Aura, an intuitive lighting control software for the built-in RGB LEDs and attached RGB strips (via the integrated 4-pin RGB strip header like the ones you can find on the ROG Maximus VIII Formula and Hero Alpha), allowing easy custom illumination that can be perfectly synchronized across the system or even the whole gaming desk with additional RGB strips."
As is often the case with new product announcements, pricing and availabilty were not revealed.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 12:55 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: water cooling, radeon pro duo, radeon, pro duo, liquid cooling, graphics cards, gpu cooler, gpu, EKWB, amd
While AMD's latest dual-GPU powerhouse comes with a rather beefy-looking liquid cooling system out of the box, the team at EK Water Blocks have nonetheless created their own full-cover block for the Pro Duo, which is now available in a pair of versions.
"Radeon™ has done it again by creating the fastest gaming card in the world. Improving over the Radeon™ R9 295 X2, the Radeon Pro Duo card is faster and uses the 3rd generation GCN architecture featuring asynchronous shaders enables the latest DirectX™ 12 and Vulkan™ titles to deliver amazing 4K and VR gaming experiences. And now EK Water Blocks made sure, the owners can get the best possible liquid cooling solution for the card as well!"
Nickel version (top), Acetal+Nickel version (bottom)
The blocks include a single-slot I/O bracket, which will allow the Pro Duo to fit in many more systems (and allow even more of them to be installed per motherboard!).
"EK-FC Radeon Pro Duo water block features EK unique central inlet split-flow cooling engine with a micro fin design for best possible cooling performance of both GPU cores. The block design also allows flawless operation with reversed water flow without adversely affecting the cooling performance. Moreover, such design offers great hydraulic performance, allowing this product to be used in liquid cooling systems using weaker water pumps.
The base is made of nickel-plated electrolytic copper while the top is made of quality POM Acetal or acrylic (depending on the variant). Screw-in brass standoffs are pre-installed and allow for safe installation procedure."
Suggested pricing is set at 155.95€ for the blocks (approx. $177 US), and they are "readily available for purchase through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network".
Subject: Motherboards | May 9, 2016 - 09:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z170A SLI PLUS, Intel Z170
The MSI Z170A SLI Plus is a full sized ATX board with a lot of space on it, providing not only nice clean looks but also space for air to flow around components. It is available for around $140, a decent price for the feature set it comes with. There are three x16 PCIe 3.0 slots, six SATA 6Gbps and an x4 M.2 slot which will accept U.2 with the proper adapter and a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port offering the full benefits of the new standard. The Tech Report loved the simple design of the board and were more than impressed with the manual overclocking potential; check out their full review here.
"MSI's Z170A SLI Plus is a mainstream board that gives builders everything they need and nothing they don't—at least on paper. We reviewed this board to see whether its real-world performance lives up to its promising spec sheet and relatively friendly price tag."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming K4 @ TechARP
- MSI Z170A Tomahawk @ Kitguru
- ASRock Z170 Extreme4 @ TechARP
- Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 @ Kitguru
- GIGABYTE X99P-SLI LGA 2011v3 @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2016 - 09:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, geforce
During the GeForce GTX 1080 launch event, NVIDIA announced two prices for the card. The new GPU has an MSRP of $599 USD, while a Founders Edition will be available for $699 USD. They did not really elaborate on the difference at the keynote, but they apparently clarified the product structure for the attending press.
According to GamersNexus, the “Founders Edition” is NVIDIA's new branding for their reference design, which has been updated with the GeForce GTX 1080. That is it. Normally, a reference design is pretty much bottom-tier in a product stack. Apart from AMD's water-cooling experiments, reference designs are relatively simple, single-fan blower coolers. NVIDIA's reference cooler though, at least on their top-three-or-so models of any given generation, are pretty good. They are fairly quiet, effective, and aesthetically pleasing. When searching for a specific GPU online, you will often see a half-dozen entries based on this, from various AIB partners, and another half-dozen other offerings from those same companies, which is very different. MSI does their Twin Frozr thing, while ASUS has their Direct CU and Poseidon coolers.
If you want the $599 model, then, counter to what we've been conditioned to expect, you will not be buying NVIDIA's reference cooler. These will come from AIB partners, which means that NVIDIA is (at least somewhat) allowing them to set a minimum product this time around. They expect reference cards to be intrinsically valuable, not just purchased because they rank highest on a “sort by lowest price” metric.
This is interesting for a number of reasons. It wasn't too long ago that NVIDIA finally allowed AIB vendors to customize Titan-level graphics cards. Before that, NVIDIA's reference cooler was the only option. When they released control to their partners, we started to see water cooled Titan Xs. There is two ways to look at it: either NVIDIA is relaxing their policy of controlling user experience, or they want their personal brand to be more than the cheapest offering of their part. Granted, the GTX 1080 is supposed to be their high-end, but still mainstream offering.
It's just interesting to see this decision and rationalize it both as a release of control over user experience, and, simultaneously, as an increase of it.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 9, 2016 - 06:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rosewill, Valens-700, 700W, 80 Plus Gold
Saving a bit of money on your PSU can seem like a good idea but the importance of a solid PSU is often overlooked. Rosewill has been around for quite a while but their PSU's do not tend to end up in a lot of high end rigs. [H]ard|OCP took a look at their new Valens-700 which looks good on paper with a single 12V rail, 80 PLUS Gold certification and the hope that part of the savings is due to the non-modular design. Unfortunately once it was strapped onto the test bed it failed many tests and did not receive a passing grade. Check out the full review for the specifics and recommendations on better PSU at around this price point.
"While Rosewill is likely not a go-to computer power supply brand to most people, we have been surprised with Rosewill's quality on two of its PSUs over the last couple of years. Today we review an $80 700 watt Rosewill unit that is rated for Gold efficiency, and well ... that is about all that marketing has to say about its Valens-700."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Enermax Revolution X't II 750W PSU Review @HiTech Legion
- SilverStone Strider Titanium ST70F-TI 700W @ Kitguru
- Corsair RMi Series 650 W @ techPowerUp
- EVGA 600B Entry Level Power Supply @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2016 - 06:05 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, graphics drivers, crimson
This is good to see. AMD has released Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.5.1 to align with Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. The drivers are classified as Beta, and so is the game, coincidentally, which means 16.5.1 is not WHQL-certified. That doesn't have the weight that it used to, though. Its only listed feature is performance improvements with that title, especially for the R9 Fury X graphics card. Game-specific optimizations near launch appear to be getting consistent, and that was an area that AMD really needed to improve upon, historically.
There are a handful of known issues, but they don't seem particularly concerning. The AMD Gaming Evolved overlay may crash in some titles, and The Witcher 3 may flicker in Crossfire, both of which could be annoying if they affect a game that you have been focusing on, but that's about it. There might be other issues (and improvements) that are not listed in the notes, but that's all I have to work on at the moment.
If you're interested in Forza 6: Apex, check out AMD's download page.
Subject: Processors, Mobile | May 9, 2016 - 05:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: apple, a11, 10nm, TSMC
Before I begin, the report comes from DigiTimes and they cite anonymous sources for this story. As always, a grain of salt is required when dealing with this level of alleged leak.
That out of the way, rumor has it that Apple's A11 SoC has been taped out on TSMC's 10nm process node. This is still a little way's away from production, however. From here, TSMC should be providing samples of the now finalized chip in Q1 2017, start production a few months later, and land in iOS devices somewhere in Q3/Q4. Knowing Apple, that will probably align with their usual release schedule -- around September.
DigiTimes also reports that Apple will likely make their split-production idea a recurring habit. Currently, the A9 processor is fabricated at TSMC and Samsung on two different process nodes (16nm for TSMC and 14nm for Samsung). They claim that two-thirds of A11 chips will come from TSMC.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 05:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: KB3133977, microsoft, asus, uefi, Secure Boot
There are many good reasons to use the new UEFI Secure Boot under Windows 10 but there are also numerous reasons not to. The latest is an issue with a specific Windows Update patch which was recently changed from an optional update to a recommended update. For systems using an ASUS motherboard and running Windows 7 this can be a bit of a bother as your Secure Boot will report that the OS has unauthorized changes and will refuse to boot. If you can get at your UEFI BIOS you can change the OS Type from Windows UEFI mode to Other OS in the boot menu. If this does not resolve your issue The Register has been told you should contact ASUS for support, as opposed to Microsoft since the issues root cause lies in a feature similar to Secure boot which ASUS added to their boards.
"Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Remain Free For People With Accessibility Needs @ Slashdot
- 3D Printing Bone @ Hack a Day
- Acer to launch gaming smartphone in 4Q16, says paper @ DigiTimes
- IBM's POWER cloud powers up almost a year later than promised @ The Register
- A Look At NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 & New Technologies @ Techgage
- Doom (2016) running on GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- NVIDIA's GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Detailed @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia editors day event gallery featuring GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- AMD's Andrej Zdravkovic @ Kitguru
- TRENDnet TPL-421E2K Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Luxury all paid trip to see Independence Day 2 in London
Subject: Processors | May 9, 2016 - 04:51 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: kaby lake, Intel
Fudzilla claims that they have a screenshot of SiSoft benchmarks belonging to the Intel Core i7-7700k. I should note that image only mentions “Kabylake,” not any specific model number. It's possible that the branding will change this generation, and there's an infinitesimal chance that this is not highest level SKU of that specific chip, but it should be safe to assume that this is the 7700k, and that it will be branded as such. I'm just being over-cautious.
Image Credit: Fudzilla
In terms of specifications, Kaby Lake will be a quad-core processor that runs at 3.6 GHz, 4.2 GHz turbo, backed with 8MB of L3 cache. The graphics processor has 24 CUs that can reach a clock of 1.15 GHz. If Intel hasn't changed the GPU architecture since Skylake, this equates to 192 FP32 processors and 442 GFLOPs. Apart from a lower CPU base clock, 3.6 GHz versus Skylake's 4.0 GHz, Kaby Lake seems to be identical to Skylake.
I was hoping to compare the benchmark results with Core i7-6700k, but I'm not sure which version of SiSoft they're using. The numbers don't seem to line up with our results (SiSoft 2013 SP3a) or the SiSoft 2015 benchmarks that I've found around the net (and even those 2015 benchmarks varied greatly). It might just be my lack of experience with CPU benchmarks, but I'd rather just present the data.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 03:47 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10
I've been wondering about what will happen after July 29th. This machine was granted a Windows 10 license because I used it for the Windows Insider program before the official launch. After leaving the pre-release branches, it remained activated for Windows 10 Pro. That said, I already had a license of Windows 7 Professional, which could also be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for free. I'm not sure how lenient Microsoft will be with re-activating a Windows 10 license, especially one gifted through Windows Insider, over the phone if my hardware changes too much.
Granted, a new license of Windows 10 Pro would... only... be a couple hundred bucks. That's an annoying burden, but not an impossible barrier, assuming I even need Windows 10 as a main or virtual OS at the time. I'm still curious whether this transferable license of Windows 7 could be a cheaper route, though.
At the moment? We don't know.
Last week, Microsoft published a blog post that... strongly implied... existing Windows 7/8.x users would need to purchase a full license of Windows 10 (or just get a new PC with Windows 10 pre-installed) after July 29th. Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet contacted Microsoft for clarification, and received a slightly less firm response. “The free upgrade promotion is currently slated to end on July 29 and we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of it while it is still active.”
In other words: We still don't know what Microsoft will plan to do. The free upgrade could be extended, or they could create an official upgrade SKU that is cheaper than an official license. There might be other options too, including sending Joe Belfiore to your house to stare at you quizzically, but we'll leave the list of possibilities at free, upgrade SKU, and no promotion for now.
Note that, if you have tried Windows 10 but later rolled back after it was successfully activated, then this doesn't really apply to you. As I understand it, unless your hardware changed in that time such that it registers as a new PC, downgrading will not revoke a Windows 10 license, even one granted through the free upgrade promotion. Once you return to Windows 10, if you do, it should activate.
Finally, WinBeta says that “Get Windows 10” will be removed after July 29th, although it probably won't be an immediate change. (“... It will take time to ramp it down.”) Given how aggressively Windows 10 has been pushed, it seems odd that Microsoft will just back down after their arbitrary date. They could have just wanted to offset the inertia caused by how daunting an OS upgrade seems to average users.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 7, 2016 - 02:38 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, GP104, geforce
So NVIDIA has announced their next generation of graphics processors, based on the Pascal architecture. They introduced it as “a new king,” because they claim that it is faster than the Titan X, even at a lower power. It will be available “around the world” on May 27th for $599 USD (MSRP). The GTX 1070 was also announced, with slightly reduced specifications, and it will be available on June 10th for $379 USD (MSRP).
Pascal is created on the 16nm process at TSMC, which gives them a lot of headroom. They have fewer shaders than the Titan X, but with a significantly higher clock rate. It also uses GDDR5X, which is an incremental improvement over GDDR5. We knew it wasn't going to use HBM2.0, like Big Pascal does, but it's interesting that they did not stick with old, reliable GDDR5.
The full specifications of the GTX 1080 are as follows:
- 2560 CUDA Cores
- 1607 MHz Base Clock (8.2 TFLOPs)
- 1733 MHz Boost Clock (8.9 TFLOPs)
- 8GB GDDR5X Memory at 320 GB/s (256-bit)
- 180W Listed Power (Update: uses 1x 8-pin power)
We do not currently have the specifications of the GTX 1070, apart from it being 6.5 TFLOPs.
It also looks like it has five display outputs: 3x DisplayPort 1.2, which are “ready” for 1.3 and 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0b, and 1x DL-DVI. They do not explicitly state that all three DisplayPorts will run on the same standard, even though that seems likely. They also do not state whether all five outputs can be used simultaneously, but I hope that they can be.
They also have a new SLI bridge, called SLI HB Bridge, that is supposed to have double the bandwidth of Maxwell. I'm not sure what that will mean for multi-gpu systems, but it will probably be something we'll find out about soon.
Podcast #398 - AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!
Subject: General Tech | May 5, 2016 - 09:33 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Z170, video, radeon pro duo, podcast, nvidia, nfme, microsoft, icy dock, Hot swap, GTX 1080, Godavari, freesync, ECS, Claymore, Antec P9, amd, a8-7670k, A10-7860K
PC Perspective Podcast #398 - 05/05/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the AMD Radeon Pro Duo Review, Godavari Refresh, ECS Z170-Claymore, ICY DOCK hot-swappable SSDs, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store (audio only)
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This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Lenovo!
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Program length: 1:29:10