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Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2015 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: steering wheel, logitech, leak, input, Driving Force G29
A leak of Logitech's new wheel for gamers has shown up, designed to be compatible with the PS4 but also of interest to PC gamers who have picked up one or more of the recently released driving games. It looks to be based on the Driving Force GT and in the leaked pictures is a box for a shifter which could be good news for those who already own Logitech pedals and shifters as the are likely compatible with the new wheel. If your steering wheel is getting a bit beat up hold off on picking up a new one as the G29 could be out very soon.
Speaking of Logitech, don't forget to tune in on May 27th at 3pm ET / 12pm PT for a chance to learn about their new products and win a whole bunch of hardware, and use the form on this post for a chance to win a LogitechG G402 Mouse + G440 Mouse Pad every day until the live stream!
"The pictures first surfaced on Maxconsole.com, along with a copy of a certificate of approval, written in what appears to be Russian. There’s nothing to determine a launch date for the G29, but sometime during 2015 would be a reasonable expectation – people, including myself, have been vexing for a decent yet affordable setup for the Playstation 4 for some time now."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sentey Lumenata Pro SP @ Bjorn3d
- EVGA Torq X5 Optical gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Sensei Wireless Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Zalman ZM-GM4 Knossos Gaming Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
- Ozone Argon Advanced Pro Laser Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- CM Storm Mizar Gaming Mouse @ techPowerUp
- i-rocks Golem Series K50E gaming keyboard @ Kitguru
- Tesoro Lobera Spectrum @ Modders-Inc
- i-Rocks Golem Series K50E Scissor-Switch Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix/A>
- Turtle Beach Impact 500 TKL Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Turtle Beach Impact 700 Mechanical Keyboard @ eTeknix
Subject: Mobile | May 25, 2015 - 01:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, transformer book, T300 Chi
The ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi comes in a number of models, with the base mode running just under $700. The Tech Report had a chance to review the higher end model which is more expensive and harder to find. This particular model sports a 2.9GHz Broadwell based Core M 5Y71, 8GB DDR3-1600 and an internal 128GB internal SanDisk iSSD. The 12.5" IPS 2560x1440 screen is common to all models, as is WiFi connectivity and Windows 8.1, 64-bit. The keyboard portion of this Transformer Book is more of a screen stand than a dock as it uses Bluetooth to connect to the tablet as opposed to a physical interface, magnets keep the tablet in place when you are docked. Check out how well it performs in The Tech Report's full review.
"Asus' Transformer Book T300 Chi combines Intel's Core M processor with a 12.5" high-PPI display. The tablet half of this detachable 2-in-1 is thinner than the iPad Air, and it's backed by a keyboard dock that attaches with neodymium magnets. Read on to see what the T300 Chi is like as a tablet and notebook."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2015 - 12:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, Samsung, htc, Nexus
It seems that the factory reset for Android 4.3 and below is flawed, in that researchers were able to recover data from wiped phones. Two University of Cambridge scientists tested 21 phones from Samsung, HTC, Nexus and 2 other unspecifed vendors all running versions of Android ranging from 2.3 to 4.3 and were able to recover data from a supposedly wiped phone. They did not test newer versions and so are unsure if the problem has been rectified nor did Google respond to The Register when they inquired. The researchers had a success rate of 80% for recovering tokens for Google and Facebook and could even recover encryption keys, although the keys were still password protected they could be brute forced. Make sure to encrypt your phone with a long password before you wipe it and sell it, give it away or toss it out!
"Half a billion Android phones could have data recovered and Google accounts compromised thanks to flaws in the default wiping feature, University of Cambridge scientists Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson have claimed."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- No, Your SSD Won't Quickly Lose Data While Powered Down @ Slashdot
- Microsoft brings Office 365 feel to Outlook.com @ The Inquirer
- New Windows 10 Build 10122 aims to fix file association hijacking @ The Register
- Colorful rising fast in graphics card market @ DigiTimes
- BlackBerry: we ARE cutting jobs AGAIN @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2015 - 09:46 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, hbm, high bandwidth memory, amd, Fiji
During this week's podcast, Josh and the team went through an in-depth discussion of the new memory technology that AMD will be using on the upcoming Fiji GPU, HBM (high bandwidth memory). In case you don't regularly listen to our amazing PC Perspective Podcast, we have cut out the portion that focuses on HBM so that everyone can be educated on what this new technology will offer for coming GPUs.
Enjoy! Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel for more videos like this!
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 22, 2015 - 03:34 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: ultrabook, Lenovo, lavie-z, Intel, i7-5500U, Broadwell
After seeing it at CES this January, one our most anticipated products became the Lenovo Lavie-Z laptop. Born out of a partnership between NEC and Lenovo, the Lavie-Z promises to be the world's lightest laptop.
Our old-school postage scale doesn't have the accuracy to reach the 1.87lb that Lenovo clocks the Lavie-Z in at
Even after using the machine breiefly at CES, it is difficult to put into words what picking up a sub-2lb laptop is really like. Even after using the machine off and on today, it still feels like it's not a real machine. Lenovo and NEC have been able to accomplish this weight shedding through the use of a Lithium-Magnisum composite for the external housing of the machine, which seems durable, yet is incredibly light.
This may be a lightweight machine, but the specifications aren't compromised over other ultrabooks. The Lavie-Z is only listed in one configuration on Lenovo's site currently, but it's a high end one. A Broadwell Intel i7-5500U dual core processor, 8GB of RAM, a 2560x1440 IGZO display, 256GB SATA M.2 Samsung SSD, and Intel 802.11AC wireless make up this machine. At $1500 for this configuration, there doesn't seem to be much of a markup over other i7-equipped ultrabooks.
We'll of course put the Lavie-Z through our normal paces including performance and battery life, and we certainly hope they live up to the striking first impressions of this laptop.
Stay tuned for our full review in the coming weeks!
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 22, 2015 - 09:39 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: wce, radeon, Fiji, amd, 390x
UPDATE (5/22/15): Johan Andersson tweeted out this photo this morning, with the line: "This new island is one seriously impressive and sweet GPU. wow & thanks @AMDRadeon ! They will be put to good use :)" Looks like we can confirm that at least one of the parts AMD is releasing does have the design of the images we showed you before, though the water cooling implementation is missing or altered.
File this under "rumor" for sure, but a cool one none the less...
After yesterday's official tidbit of information surrounding AMD's upcoming flagship graphics card for enthusiasts and its use of HBM (high bandwidth memory), it appears we have another leak on our hands. The guys over at Chiphell have apparently acquired some stock footage of the new Fiji flagship card (whether or not it will be called the 390X has yet to be seen) and it looks...awesome.
In that post from yesterday I noted that with an HBM design AMD could in theory build an add-in card that is of a different form factor than anything we have previously seen for a high end part. Based on the image above, if this turns out to be the high end Fiji offering, it appears the PCB will indeed be quite small as it no longer requires memory surrounding the GPU itself. You can also see that it will in fact be water cooled though it looks like it has barb inlets rather than a pre-attached cooler in this image.
The second leaked image shows display outputs consisting of three full-size DisplayPort connections and a single HDMI port.
All of this could be faked of course, but if it is, the joker did a damn good job of compiling all the information into one design. If it's real, I think AMD might finally have a match for the look and styling of the high-end GeForce offerings.
What do you think: real or fake? Cool or meh? Let us know!
Subject: Motherboards | May 21, 2015 - 11:34 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: msi, amd, 990fx, FX-8370, FX-9590, sli, crossfire, SoundBlaster, killer nic, usb 3.1
Several weeks ago MSI officially announced the 990FXA-Gaming motherboard for the AM3+ market. The board is based on the tried and true 990FX and SB950 combo, but it adds a new wrinkle to the game: USB 3.1 support. MSI has released the other AMD based USB 3.1 board on the market, the 970 Krait.
Quite a few people were excited about this part, as the AM3+ market has been pretty stagnant as of late. This is not necessarily surprising considering that AMD has not launched a new AM3+ chip since Fall of 2014 with a couple of "efficiency" chips as well as the slightly faster FX-8370.
There was some speculation based on early photographs that the board could have a more robust power delivery system than previous AM3+ boards, but alas, that is not the case. Upon closer inspection it appears as though MSI has gone the 6+2 phase route. If there are good quality components in there, you can potentially run the 220 watt TDP FX-9000 series parts, but these puppies are not officially supported. In fact, I received an email saying that I might want to be really careful in my choice of CPUs as well as being extremely careful when overclocking.
The board still has some real potential at being a really nice home for the 125 watt TDP and below parts. The audio portion looks very well designed and features the SoundBlaster Cinema 2. It supports both SLI and CrossFire in native 2 x 16x (highly doubtful with 3 cards with the way the slots are configured). It has the Killer NIC ethernet suite which may or may not be a selling point, depending on who you ask.
Overall the board is an interesting addition to the club, but I really wouldn't trust it with the FX-9000 series chips. I have a 970 Gaming that came with the FX-9590 that had a similar power delivery system, and it ran like a champ; there is a possibility that the board will run this combination. This is going to be installed this weekend and I will start the benchmarking! Keep tuned!
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 21, 2015 - 07:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, nvidia, 980 Ti
The source of leaks and rumours is often unexpected, such as this import data of a shipment headed from China into India. Could this 6GB card be the GTX 980 Ti that so many have theorized would be coming sometime around AMD's release of their new cards? Does the fact that 60,709 Indian Rupees equal 954.447 US Dollars put a damper on your excitement or could it be that these 6 lonely cards are being sold at a higher rate overseas than they might be in the US?
We don't know but we do know there is a mysterious card out there somewhere.
Subject: Editorial | May 21, 2015 - 03:34 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, video, amd, hbm, Fiji, g-sync, ips, XB270HU, corsair, Oculus, supermicro, asus, gladius, jem davies, arm, mali
PC Perspective Podcast #350 - 05/21/2015
Join us this week as we discuss AMD's plan for HBM, IPS G-SYNC, GameWorks and The Witcher 3, 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:24:12
Week in Review:
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Sebastian: Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 Portable Charger
Ryan wasn't the only one to test BenQ's XL2730Z 27-in 2560x1440 144 Hz FreeSync Monitor, The Tech Report also had a chance to test one, as well as talk to NVIDIA's Tom Petersen about their competing technology. They also had a chance to discuss FreeSync in general with AMD's David Glen who is one of the engineers behind FreeSync. Their benchmarks and overall impression of the displays capabilities and FreeSync in general are a major portion of the review but the discussion with the two company representatives makes for even more interesting reading.
"AMD's FreeSync is here, personified in BenQ's XL2730Z monitor. We've gone deep into the display's performance and smoothness, with direct comparisons to G-Sync using 240-fps video. Here's what we found."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
Subject: General Tech | May 21, 2015 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, EXT4, raid, bug
On Tuesday a bug was discovered to have been introduced to Linux 4.0 kernel when a fix was added to deal with RAIDs where the chunksize not a power of 2, a problem present since Linux 3.14-rc1. This fix has been causing corruption on RAIDs and the file system on that RAID, making many an unhappy Arch Linux user. Only users of rolling release flavours will be effected, distros with scheduled updates like RHEL or Ubuntu are not effected at this time. The good news is that as of today there is a fix available if you wish to apply it, as well as defining the fix which caused the issue. Check out both at Phoronix.
"A few days ago we reported on an EXT4 file-system corruption issue being discovered within the stable Linux 4.0 kernel series. The good news is the issue has been uncovered and a patch is available, but it could still be a few days before it starts getting sent out in stable updates."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Boffins have devised TERMINATOR style LIQUID METAL – for an antenna @ The Register
- Build A 1000W LED Flashlight @ Hack a Day
- Qualcomm to step out of TSMC top-5 client list in 2H15 @ DigiTimes
- Take Our Survey: Best Linux Hacker SBCs for Under $200 @ Linux.com
- 'Millions' of routers open to absurdly outdated NetUSB hijack @ The Register
- Google Fiber has taken on a piracy policing role @ The Inquirer
Subject: Storage | May 20, 2015 - 02:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: XP941, SSD 750, ssd, SM951, pcie, NVMe, MZVPV512HDGL, AHCI
For owners of Z97 or X99 boards with updated UEFIs or a rare SFF-8643 connector for the 2.5" version, booting from NVMe is possible, for the rest the Intel SSD 750 will have to be a storage drive. Al recently looked at this more than impressive PCIe SSD and now [H]ard|OCP has had a bash at it. The review is certainly worth checking out as some of their tests, especially the real world ones, differ from the benchmarks that Al used. This will give you more information about how the new SSD will handle your workloads, research worth it if you are thinking of spending $1055 for the 1.2TB model.
"Intel is set to be the catalyst for a long-awaited leap forward in storage technology with the new SSD 750 bringing NVMe storage to client PCs for the first time, and turning the high end SSD space upside-down. We are expecting blinding IOPs and we dig in to find out what it can mean to the hardware enthusiast."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung SM951 M.2 NVME 256GB @ The SSD Review
- Samsung SM951 M.2 512GB @ The SSD Review
- OCZ ARC 100 240GB SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- Silicon Power S80 480GB @ Bjorn3d
- Kingston HyperX Savage 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- SanDisk CloudSpeed Eco SSD @ The SSD Review
- Synology DiskStation DS415+ NAS Review @ Madshrimps
- Inateck FD1005 Top-Loading HDD Docking Station
- Toshiba MQ02ABF075 2.5'' Mobile Thin HDD Review @ Madshrimps
- Silicon Power Armor A60: Rugged, Portable, and Affordable @ Bjorn3d
- Samsung Portable SSD T1 250GB USB 3.0 Drive Review @ NikKTech
- Toshiba TransMemory-EX II 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2015 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: The Witcher 3, gaming, CD Projekt RED
The new and not quite as pretty as advertised Witcher is here from CD Projekt RED, available from GoG among other places. Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have started another one of their ongoing diaries to share their experiences, so far involving a bare bum and the amazing Tutorial Man. They also went straight for the dream sequence right off the bat; a smart move to get that over and done with in the early stages. There will be more, as this is a very large game. If you are looking for more details on graphics settings than to turn off Vidal Sasson, there is a post here discussing the options they used as well as the links below.
"I shall instead run a (mostly) in-character diary series covering my adventures in, presumably, just the earlier stages of CDP’s saucy roleplayer. But for the record, it runs OK if I turn Fancy Hair off but it has crashed twice so far."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – a true monster in the making @ The Register
- The Witcher 3: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Wot I Think: Galactic Civilizations III @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefield 4 Spring Patch Will Add Guns, Guns, Guns @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- “We’re experimenting with something that nobody’s done before” – Larian On Original Sin’s Enhanced Edition @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Life Imitates Art: The Black Glove Shelved @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | May 20, 2015 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: twitter, google
Several years back Google thought it would be fun to include Tweets in Google searches and while they were smart to discontinue that, the reasoning behind ending it, Google+, may not have been as sound. According to Slashdot, once again your searches for information on Google will be accompanied by 140 character posts of scintillating wisdom which will obviously impart far more knowledge than the citation you were looking for. This should also do wonders for those looking to limit the perspectives and opinions they are exposed to as dissenting views can easily be drowned out by tweets that reinforce your beliefs just by minor alterations the text in your search.
On the plus side, one comment on Slashdot shows how to add operators back into your searches, just paste &tbs=li:1 at the end of the URL once you have searched.
Add "&tbs=li:1" to your keyword search string. For example: https://www.google.com/search?q=%s&tbs=li:1
"Google will now begin showing tweets alongside search results. Mobile users searching via the Android/iOS apps or through the browser will start seeing the tweets immediately, while the desktop version is "coming shortly." The tweets will only be available for the searches in English to start, but Twitter says they'll be adding more languages soon."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Tearing Down The Apple Watch @ Hack a Day
- Microsoft launches Office for Android preview with a touch more touch @ The Inquirer
- Ricoh rolls out electrifyingly exciting RUBBER! @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 19, 2015 - 03:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: memory, high bandwidth memory, hbm, Fiji, amd
Ryan and the rest of the crew here at PC Perspective are excited about AMD's new memory architecture and the fact that they will be first to market with it. However as any intelligent reader is wont to look for; a second opinion on the topic is worth finding. Look no further than The Tech Report who have also been briefed on AMD's new memory architecture. Read on to see what they learned from Joe Macri and their thoughts on the successor to GDDR5 and HBM2 which is already in the works.
"HBM is the next generation of memory for high-bandwidth applications like graphics, and AMD has helped usher it to market. Read on to find out more about HBM and what we've learned about the memory subsystem in AMD's next high-end GPU, code-named Fiji."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 19, 2015 - 02:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, Tundra TD02-E, CPU Water Block
SilverStone's Tundra TD02-E is a 240mm radiator, 278x124x27mm in total, with a hefty weight of 1.5kg which you should keep in mind when thinking where to place it. We have had quite a few reviews of SilverStone's Tundra series, from Ryan's look at the original model 9 years ago, to Morry's recent reviews of the TD02 and TD03. The TD02-E is an updated model with newer tubing and a slimmer radiator, which [H]ard|OCP compared to previous models and other competitors. Their testing showed equivalent performance to the initial model with reduced noise and if you shop around, a reduced price as well.
"SilverStone is no stranger to us when it comes to All-In-One liquid CPU coolers. The new Tundra Series TD02-E AIO is SilverStone's updated version of its TD02 120mm dual fan cooler. SilverStone is not very clear on what exactly is better about this cooler, but we will put it through its paces to see if we have a better AIO."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Fractal Design Kelvin S36 360mm Liquid Cooler Review @ Madshrimps
- REEVEN Ouranos RC-1401 CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Be Quiet! Pure Rock CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- SilverStone Tundra TD02-E @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cryorig R1 Ultimate CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
- Lian-Li PC-O6s @ HardwareHeaven
- In Win 707 Tower Case Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Fractal Design Define S Case with Kelvin S36 Cooler @ Kitguru
- Sleek, Stylish, If Slightly Strange – A Review Of The In Win 707 Full-Tower Chassis @ Techgage
- NZXT Noctis 450 with Kraken X61 @ Kitguru
- RAIDMAX Viper GX II @ Benchmark Reviews
- Antec ISK 110 90w Mini-ITX VESA Compatible Chassis @ eTeknix
- Origin Genesis PC Chassis Review – Part 2 @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair Carbide 100R Case Review @ Hardware Canucks
Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2015 - 01:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: dd-wrt, openwrt, linux, linksys, WRT1900AC
Regular listeners to the PCPer Podcast should be aware of the DD-WRT project to root and take control over your router as we have mentioned it multiples of times, along with a related project called OpenWrt. If you have not looked into the process of how to flash up a router with one or the other of these new OSes/firmware packages then this article at Linux.com is something you should take a look at. They walk you through the steps of taking over a Linksys WRT1900AC router, from straight out of the box to final configuration. They also give you a look at the advantages running a router on OpenWrt gives you and ideas for taking it further. Check it out right here.
"The Linksys WRT1900AC is a top-end modern router that gets even sweeter when you unleash Linux on it and install OpenWrt. OpenWrt includes the opkg package management system giving you easy access to a great deal of additional open source software to use on your router."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Doom is BOOM! BOOM! BACK! @ The Register
- Trojanized, Info-Stealing PuTTY Version Lurking Online @ Slashdot
- Google Google GOOGLE! Cloud cloud CLOUD! These prices are INNNSAAAANE! @ The Register
- Microsoft: Free Windows 10 for THIEVES and PIRATES? They can GET STUFFED @ The Register
- Open source power-up on the way for arcade game emulator MAME @ The Register
- TP-Link Archer C9 @ HardwareHeaven
- Tech ARP 2015 Mega Giveaway : Mi In-Ear Headphones
- Win great prizes with be quiet! and KitGuru!
Subject: Mobile | May 18, 2015 - 02:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ZenFone 2, smartphones, intel atom, atom z3580, asus
ZenFone 2 is the new flagship smartphone from ASUS ZenFone, and features a new design powered by an Intel Atom Z3580 (Moorefield) processor with a massive 4GB of RAM.
The phone has a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display with 403 PPI for crisp scaling, and the “Ergonomic Arc” design includes a volume-control key on the rear of the phone “within easy reach of the user's index finger”, with a curved profile that tapers to a 0.15 inch at the edges.
The camera also features a 13 MP PixelMaster camera with a f/2.0 aperture and claimed “zero shutter-lag”. The battery weighs in at 3000mAh and features “BoostMaster” fast-charge technology that sounds similar to Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard.
But one of the most attractive features will be price, as ASUS will be selling these online through their retail channels as affordable unlocked smartphones:
- 2GB / 16GB storage / Atom 3560 - $199
- 4GB / 64GB storage / Atom 3580 / QuickCharger - $299
Here's look at the specifications:
- CPU: Intel Quad-Core 64-bit Atom Z3580 @ 2.3GHz (Min Clock 333MHz, Max Clock 2333MHz)
- GPU: PowerVR Series 6 G6430 with OpenGL 3.0 Support (Min Clock 457MHz, Max Clock 533MHz)
- Display: 5.5in IPS, 1920x1080 resolution (403 PPI), Corning Gorilla Glass 3 with Anti-Fingerprint Coating
- Memory: 4GB 800 MHz LPDDR3
- Storage: 64GB eMMC
- SIM: Support Dual active micro-SIM
- Micro-SD slot: SDXC support up to 128GB
- Modem: Intel XMM7260 LTE-Advanced
- FDD LTE 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/9/177/18/19/20/28/29
- TDD LTE 38/39/40/41
- WCDMA 850/900/1900
- TD-SCDMA 1900/2100
- EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- Wireless: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Rear Camera: 13MP, aperture f/2.0, sensor size 1/3.2 inch
- Front Camera: 5MP
- Maximum Video Resolution: 1080p/30
- Battery: 3000 mAh Lithium-Polymer (11.4 Wh), Boostmaster Fast-Charging
- Colors: Glacier Gray, Osmium Black, Glamour Red, Sheer Gold
- Dimensions: 152.5 mm x 77.2 mm x 10.9-3.9 mm (6 x 3.04 x 0.43-.15 inches)
- Weight: 170g
PR after the break.
Subject: Mobile | May 18, 2015 - 02:00 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: zenbook pro, zenbook, UX501, UX305, QHD+, notebooks, ips, asus, 4k, 2560x1440
ASUS has annouced a new QHD+ version of the affordable ZenBook UX305 notebook as well as the new ZenBook Pro UX501.
The ZenBook UX305 was released as a disruptive notebook with specs far above its $699 price tag, and this new version goes far beyond the 1920x1080 screen resolution of the original. This new QHD+ (3200x1800) panel is IPS just like the original, but with this ultra-high resolution it boasts 276 PPI for either incredibly sharp, or incredibly tiny text depending on how well your application scales.
The new ZenBook Pro UX501 takes resolution a step further with a 4K/UHD 3820x2160 IPS panel and a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7-4720HQ processor with 16GB of RAM at its disposal. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics power this 15.6-inch, 282 PPI UHD panel, and naturally 4x PCIe storage is available as well.
More information and specs are available in the full PR for both notebooks after the break.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 17, 2015 - 12:04 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: The Witcher 3, nvidia, hairworks, gameworks, amd
I feel like every few months I get to write more stories focusing on the exact same subject. It's almost as if nothing in the enthusiast market is happening and thus the cycle continues, taking all of us with it on a wild ride of arguments and valuable debates. Late last week I started hearing from some of my Twitter followers that there were concerns surrounding the upcoming release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Then I found a link to this news post over at Overclock3d.net that put some of the information in perspective.
Essentially, The Witcher 3 uses parts of NVIDIA's GameWorks development tools and APIs, software written by NVIDIA to help game developers take advantage of new technologies and to quickly and easily implement them into games. The problem of course is that GameWorks is written and developed by NVIDIA. That means that optimizations for AMD Radeon hardware are difficult or impossible, depending on who you want to believe. Clearly it doesn't benefit NVIDIA to optimize its software for AMD GPUs financially, though many in the community would like NVIDIA to give a better effort - for the good of said community.
Specifically in regards to The Witcher 3, the game implements NVIDIA HairWorks technology to add realism on many of the creatures of the game world. (Actually, the game includes HairWorks, HBAO+, PhysX, Destruction and Clothing but our current discussion focuses on HairWorks.) All of the marketing and video surrounding The Witcher 3 has been awesome and the realistic animal fur simulation has definitely been a part of it. However, it appears that AMD Radeon GPU users are concerned that performance with HairWorks enabled will suffer.
An example of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with HairWorks
One of the game's developers has been quoted as such:
Many of you have asked us if AMD Radeon GPUs would be able to run NVIDIA’s HairWorks technology – the answer is yes! However, unsatisfactory performance may be experienced as the code of this feature cannot be optimized for AMD products. Radeon users are encouraged to disable NVIDIA HairWorks if the performance is below expectations.
There are at least several interpretations of this statement floating around the web. First, and most enflaming, is that NVIDIA is not allowing CD Project Red to optimize it by not offering source code. Another is that CD Project is choosing to not optimize for AMD hardware due to time considerations. The last is that it simply isn't possible to optimize it because of hardware limitations of HairWorks.
I went to NVIDIA with these complaints about HairWorks and Brian Burke gave me this response:
We are not asking game developers do anything unethical.
GameWorks improves the visual quality of games running on GeForce for our customers. It does not impair performance on competing hardware.
Demanding source code access to all our cool technology is an attempt to deflect their performance issues. Giving away your IP, your source code, is uncommon for anyone in the industry, including middleware providers and game developers. Most of the time we optimize games based on binary builds, not source code.
GameWorks licenses follow standard industry practice. GameWorks source code is provided to developers that request it under license, but they can’t redistribute our source code to anyone who does not have a license.
The bottom line is AMD’s tessellation performance is not very good and there is not a lot NVIDIA can/should do about it. Using DX11 tessellation has sound technical reasoning behind it, it helps to keep the GPU memory footprint small so multiple characters can use hair and fur at the same time.
I believe it is a resource issue. NVIDIA spent a lot of artist and engineering resources to help make Witcher 3 better. I would assume that AMD could have done the same thing because our agreements with developers don’t prevent them from working with other IHVs. (See also, Project Cars)
I think gamers want better hair, better fur, better lighting, better shadows and better effects in their games. GameWorks gives them that.
Interesting comments for sure. The essential take away from this is that HairWorks depends heavily on tessellation performance and we have known since the GTX 680 was released that NVIDIA's architecture performs better than AMD's GCN for tessellation - often by a significant amount. NVIDIA developed its middleware to utilize the strength of its own GPU technology and while it's clear that some disagree, not to negatively impact AMD. Did NVIDIA know that would be the case when it was developing the software? Of course it did. Should it have done something to help AMD GPUs more gracefully fall back? Maybe.
Next, I asked Burke directly if claims that NVIDIA was preventing AMD or the game developer from optimizing HairWorks for other GPUs and platforms were true? I was told that both AMD and CD Project had the ability to tune the game, but in different ways. The developer could change the tessellation density based on the specific GPU detected (lower for a Radeon GPU with less tessellation capability, for example) but that would require dedicated engineering from either CD Project or AMD to do. AMD, without access to the source code, should be able to make changes in the driver at the binary level, similar to how most other driver optimizations are built. Burke states that in these instances NVIDIA often sends engineers to work with game developers and that AMD "could have done the same had it chosen to." And again, NVIDIA reiterated that in no way do its agreements with game developers prohibit optimization for AMD GPUs.
It would also be possible for AMD to have pushed for the implementation of TressFX in addition to HairWorks; a similar scenario played out in Grand Theft Auto V where several vendor-specific technologies were included from both NVIDIA and AMD, customized through in-game settings.
NVIDIA has never been accused of being altruistic; it doesn't often create things and then share it with open arms to the rest of the hardware community. But it has to be understood that game developers know this as well - they are not oblivious. CD Project knew that HairWorks performance on AMD would be poor but decided to implement the technology into The Witcher 3 anyway. They were willing to sacrifice performance penalties for some users to improve the experience of others. You can argue that is not the best choice, but at the very least The Witcher 3 will let you disable the HairWorks feature completely, removing it from the performance debate all together.
In a perfect world for consumers, NVIDIA and AMD would walk hand-in-hand through the fields and develop hardware and software in tandem, making sure all users get the best possible experience with all games. But that style of work is only helpful (from a business perspective) for the organization attempting to gain market share, not the one with the lead. NVIDIA doesn't have to do it and chooses to not. If you don't want to support that style, vote with your wallet.
Another similar controversy surrounded the recent release of Project Cars. AMD GPU performance was significantly lower than comparable NVIDIA GPUs, even though this game does not implement any GameWorks technologies. In that case, the game's developer directly blamed AMD's drivers, saying that it was a lack of reaching out from AMD that caused the issues. AMD has since recanted its stance that the performance delta was "deliberate" and says a pending driver update will address gamers performance issues.
All arguing aside, this game looks amazing. Can we all agree on that?
The only conclusion I can come to from all of this is that if you don't like what NVIDIA is doing, that's your right - and you aren't necessarily wrong. There will be plenty of readers that see the comments made by NVIDIA above and continue to believe that they are being at best disingenuous and at worst, are straight up lying. As I mentioned above in my own comments NVIDIA is still a for-profit company that is responsible to shareholders for profit and growth. And in today's world that sometimes means working against other companies than with them, resulting in impressive new technologies for its customers and push back from competitor's customers. It's not fun, but that's how it works today.
Fans of AMD will point to G-Sync, GameWorks, CUDA, PhysX, FCAT and even SLI as indications of NVIDIA's negative impact on open PC gaming. I would argue that more users would look at that list and see improvements to PC gaming, progress that helps make gaming on a computer so much better than gaming on a console. The truth likely rests somewhere in the middle; there will always be those individuals that immediately side with one company or the other. But it's the much larger group in the middle, that shows no corporate allegiance and instead just wants to have as much fun as possible with gaming, that will impact NVIDIA and AMD the most.
So, since I know it will happen anyway, use the comments page below to vent your opinion. But, for the benefit of us all, try to keep it civil!