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Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 07:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, Avegant Glyph, headset
Why is the AVEGANT Glyph headset referred to as a personal theatre you may ask? That would be because these are headphones and a head mounted display in one package, unfortunately they launched while everyone was gazing at their Vives and Rifts. Instead of providing a VR experience, this headset is intended to give you the view of a 55-60" TV as if you were sitting 3 to 4 meters away. The headset uses a microUSB for power and microHDMI for signal and provides a resolution of 1280x720p per eye and even supports 3D-movies and 3D-Vision when gaming. Unfortunately as Bjorn3D discovered, you need a 720p source, it cannot downscale from 1080p or other resolutions. Check out their full review here.
"So what is the Avegant Glyph? Quite simply it is a headset that can be used as a regular audio headset but also comes with lenses to allow you to use it as your own mobile personal theater. And regardless of some issues it actually works great for this purpose."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Antlion ModMic 4.0 Attachable Headphone Microphone Review @ Techgage
- AntLion ModMic 4.0 Uni-directional with Mute Review @ OCC
- Jabra Sport Pulse Wireless Earbuds Review @ NikKTech
- Edifier Studio R2730DB Speaker @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2016 - 04:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, rx 480, powercolor
According to Videocardz, a custom RX 480 from PowerColor has been caught on camera. The most interesting part about this variant is that it connects to the power supply with a single eight-pin PCIe connector. With AMD's latest driver, and hopefully even a modified vBIOS and PCB, this should be plenty enough power for the GPU, even with overclocking.
Image Credit: Videocardz
The card itself is a three-fan design with three DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and a single DVI. This retains the reference design's three DisplayPorts, but also adds the option to use DVI without an adapter. I'm not sure whether all five connectors can be used simultaneously, which isn't too bad -- apparently the GTX 1080 also cannot use all five connectors at the same time, so I wouldn't plan on connecting five monitors to a single-GPU system, just in case.
No pricing and availability yet... this is just a picture. We don't even know clock rates.
Subject: Motherboards | July 7, 2016 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, rog x99 strix gaming, X99
The relatively recent refresh of X99 motherboards have seen several features become standard including an RGB lightshow, USB 3.1 and U.2 ports, though the chipset itself remains unchanged. [H]ard|OCP tried out ASUS' new ROG X99 Strix Gaming motherboard recently, even suffering for their fans while doing so. That minor fingernail related incident aside the board proved quite capable, though perhaps not to the extreme level they were hoping to see. In part that lies in the fact that this is a Gaming board as opposed to one of the extreme overclocking boards, which is also reflected in the pricing. For those looking for a board that runs out of the box, with some overclocking potential it is worth looking at the full review; those hoping to play with LN2 may wish to shop around more.
"ASUS’ ROG X99 STRIX GAMING motherboard adds a bit of bling to the ROG line and much needed fresh blood that comes with some cool features and a much lower price point than other ROG X99 chipset offerings. And it has all the pretty lights in any color you want, if that is your thing."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming (with Broadwell-E) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte X99 Phoenix SLI @ Modders-Inc
- MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z170-Pro Skylake Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASRock Z170M OC Formula (Intel LGA-1151) @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 7, 2016 - 02:50 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rx480, rx 480, Radeon RX 480, radeon, power draw, PCIe power, graphics drivers, driver, Crimson Edition 16.7.1, amd
As promised, AMD has released an updated driver for the RX 480 graphics card, and the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 promises a fix for the power consumption concerns we have been covering in-depth.
Note: We have published our full analysis of the new 16.7.1 driver, available here.
AMD lists these highlights for the new Crimson Edition 16.7.1 software:
"The Radeon RX 480’s power distribution has been improved for AMD reference boards, lowering the current drawn from the PCIe bus.
A new 'compatibility mode' UI toggle has been made available in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This option is designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact if end users experience any further issues. This toggle is 'off' by default.
Performance improvements for the Polaris architecture that yield performance uplifts in popular game titles of up to 3%. These optimizations are designed to improve the performance of the Radeon RX 480, and should substantially offset the performance impact for users who choose to activate the 'compatibility' toggle."
You can go directly to AMD's page for this updated driver from this direct link: http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Windows%2010%20-%2064
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 02:20 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: xbox play, video, Thrustmaster, technology, Samsung 840, rx 480, review, radeon 490, radeon, power, Polaris, podcast, pcper, news, Micron 9100 MAX SSD, lenovo thinkpad x1 yoga, Kinetic, gtx 1060, EVO, cooler, coolchip, alcantera
PC Perspective Podcast #407 - 07/07/2016
Join us this week as we discuss RX 480 Power Concerns, X1 Yoga, Thrustmaster, Micron 9100 MAX, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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This episode of the PC Perspective Podcast is sponsored by Kaspersky! (promo code pcper)
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Josh Walrath
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Jeremy: Canuck with no patience? Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming
Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: UFS, Samsung, microSD
Samsung just announced the first product based on the new Universal Flash Storage standard which will be making microSD cards as obsolete as your old mix tape. They will come in sizes from 256GB down to 32GB but it is the speed of these new storage devices that will impress, not the density. Samsung tells of sequential read speeds of up to 530MB/s, allowing you to dump HD quality video to a PC and random reads of 40,000 IOPS if you have a usage scenario which would read in such a manner. For recording video you can expect up to 170MB/s sequential write speed or 35,000 random IOPS; 4K drone recordings won't be limited by bandwidth anymore.
Unfortunately, as The Inquirer points out, no one can use these yet as we haven't a place to stick them.
"What UFS does mean already is that we'll start to see a bottleneck lifted in storage speeds in phones and tablets. As we've already seen, MicroSD doesn't cut it in the speed stakes, and it doesn't seem so long ago that we reported on torn down phones with 'internal' memory that was really just an SD card hidden away."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NVIDIA Announces The GeForce GTX 1060, Linux Tests Happening @ Phoronix
- Official NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Announcement @ [H]ard|OCP
- Symantec admits it won't patch 'catastrophic' security flaws until mid-July @ The Inquirer
- Hackers Can Use Smart Watch Movements To Reveal A Wearer's ATM PIN @ Slashdot
- Huge double boxset of Android patches lands after Qualcomm disk encryption blown open @ The Register
- ⌘+c malware smacks Macs, drains keychains, pours over Tor @ The Register
- TP-Link abandons 'forgotten' router config domains @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 11:56 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: titan, pascal, nvidia, gtx 1080 ti, gp102, GP100
Normally, I pose these sorts of rumors as “Well, here you go, and here's a grain of salt.” This one I'm fairly sure is bogus, at least to some extent. I could be wrong, but especially the GP100 aspects of it just doesn't make sense.
Before I get to that, the rumor is that NVIDIA will announce a GeForce GTX Titan P at Gamescom in Germany. The event occurs mid-August (17th - 21st) and it has been basically Europe's E3 in terms of gaming announcements. It also overlaps with Europe's Game Developers Conference (GDC), which occurs in March for us. The rumor says that it will use GP100 (!?!) with either 12GB of VRAM, 16GB of VRAM, or two variants as we've seen with the Tesla P100 accelerator.
The rumor also acknowledges the previously rumored GP102 die, claims that it will be for the GTX 1080 Ti, and suggests that it will have up to 3840 CUDA cores. This is the same number of CUDA cores as the GP100, which is where I get confused. This would mean that NVIDIA made a special die, which other rumors claim is ~450mm2, for just the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
I mean, it's possible that NVIDIA would split the GTX 1080 Ti and the next Titan by similar gaming performance, just with better half- and double-precision performance and faster memory for GPGPU developers. That would be a very weird to me, though, developing two different GPU dies for the consumer market with probably the same gaming performance.
And they would be announcing the Titan P first???
The harder to yield one???
When the Tesla version isn't even expected until Q4???
I can see it happening, but I seriously doubt it. Something may be announced, but I'd have to believe it will be at least slightly different from the rumors that we are hearing now.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 09:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, linux, graphics drivers, rx 480, Polaris
Linux support from AMD seems to be improving, as it has been on Windows. We'll be combining two separate, tiny stories into one, so bear with us. The first is from Fudzilla, and it states that AMD has AMDGPU-PRO 16.30 drivers for the RX 480 out on day one. It's nice to see that their Radeon driver initiative applies to Linux, too.
That brings us to the second story, this one from Phoronix. One Windows, the Crimson 16.7.1 drivers will include a fix for the RX 480 power issues (which we will obviously test of course). Michael Larabel was apparently talking with AMD's Linux team, and it seems likely that this update will roll into the Linux driver as well. They "are still investigating", of course, but it is apparently on their radar.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 08:11 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: rx 480, Polaris, graphics drivers, amd
In the next 24 hours or so, AMD will publish Radeon Software 16.7.1, which addresses the power distribution issues in the AMD Radeon RX 480. The driver makes two major changes. First, AMD claims that it will lower the draw from the PCIe bus. While they don't explicitly say how, it sounds like it will increase the load on the 6-pin PCIe cable, which is typically over-provisioned. In fact, many power supplies have 6-pin connectors that have the extra two pins of an 8-pin connector hanging off of it.
Second, seemingly for those who aren't comfortable with the extra load on the 6-pin PCIe connector, a UI control has been added to lower overall power. Being that the option's called “compatibility”, it sounds like it should put the RX 480 back into spec on both slot and the extra power connector. Again, AMD says that they believe it's not necessary, and it seems to be true, because that option is off by default.
Beyond these changes, the driver also adds a bunch of game optimizations. Allyn and Ryan have been working on this coverage, so expect more content from them in the very near future.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 05:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, tf2
Conveniently just after Overwatch received its Competitive Play update, Valve has announced the Meet Your Match update to Team Fortress 2. This update includes Competitive Mode, which is a ranked, 6v6 gametype, which sounds even more like Overwatch. Only the first day has been revealed thus far, as Valve likes to break update posts into chunks and release them over the course of a week, but it includes three maps, two achievements, and the official launch of the PASS Time game mode. The second part of the update is coming soon.
PASS Time was originally announced last year, in collaboration with Bad Robot (J.J. Abrams' production company) and Escalation Studios. While I've never played it (yes, I pretty much only play 2Fort...) it sounds similar to game modes like Bombing Run or Grifball. Obviously, those game modes are typically for more individual shooters, not TF2's class system, so it's interesting to see how, for instance, a Level 3 Sentry plays into it.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 05:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, Polaris, rx 460, rx 470, rx 480, RX 490, sapphire
Unfortunately, I don't have a Sapphire SSC ID, so I cannot verify these myself. That said, a Reddit user by the name of CBwardog found a few extra listings on the company's drop-down menu for products which really shouldn't exist yet. The product name doesn't really have much associated with it, but it does have video RAM and display outputs.
Image Credit: CBwardog on Reddit
According to Sapphire, the Radeon RX 460 will launch in 2GB and 4GB versions, each of which have one HDMI, one DVI, and one DisplayPort connector. The RX 470 will come in 4GB and 8GB versions. The 4GB version of the RX 470 will have HDMI and three DisplayPorts, while the 8GB version of the RX 470 will have two HDMI ports, one DVI port, and two DisplayPort connectors. Lastly, ignoring the RX 480 that we already know about, a “RADEON 490” (which an earlier leak by AMD called the RX 490) will be available in just an 8GB version, with one HDMI and three DisplayPorts.
As always, rumors should be taken with a grain of salt. Also, it is possible that port configuration could be specific to Sapphire, as we've seen AIB partners modify outputs before, but you would think that there would be at least one reference design per model, so, chances are, it should be fairly uniform across vendors.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 05:10 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VR, Oculus, nvidia, graphics drivers, DiRT Rally
A Game Ready Driver has just launched for DiRT Rally VR. GeForce Drivers 368.69 WHQL increments upon the last release, obviously adding optimizations for DiRT Rally VR, but it also includes a few new SLI profiles (Armored Warfare, Dangerous Golf, iRacing: Motorsport Simulator, Lost Ark, and Tiger Knight) and probably other bug fixes.
The update doesn't yet have a release date, but it should be soon. According to NVIDIA's blog post, it sounds like it will come first to the Oculus Store, but arrive on Steam later this month. I haven't been following the game too heavily, but there doesn't seem to be any announcement about official HTC Vive support that I can find.
You can pick them up at NVIDIA's website or through GeForce Experience. Thankfully, the GeForce Experience 3 Beta seems to pick up on new drivers much quicker than the previous version.
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 03:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VLAN party, vlan, kick ass, gaming, fun, fragging frogs
That's right, it is time for another Fragging Frog VLAN, this time lucky number 13, kicking off this Saturday morning. If you are at all interested in having the best possible Saturday ever then head to the forums and put your name in the list of attendees. If you are not a member of the Forums for some bizarre reason you need to sign up ASAP as it is members and contributors of PCPer and the Fragging Frogs who are given first shot at games and prizes. To that end you will need to post at least 5 times to our Forums between now and Saturday; pictures of SPAM not included.
The list of possible games is already quite long, from UT2K4 up to the newly released Overwatch, by way of Battle both field-ish and Front-ian with many more on the list. If you don't see one of your favourites post it to the thread and we will add it on. Before joining in, make sure to check out this thread here for the information you need to hop onto the TeamSpeak server so you can chat with your fellow gamers. You also need to join into the channel if you want to win any of the prizes which will be given away during the event.
That's right, prizes and gaming! The wonderful folks at AMD have sent over some mysterious parts for you to have a chance to win and several of the staff of PCPer have dug through their closets and sent out some of the gear we have reviewed recently. What could these be? Only one way to find out; see you on Saturday!
Subject: General Tech | July 6, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ThinkPwn, Lenovo, gigabyte, 68-UD3H, z77x-ud5h, Z87MX-D3H, Z97-D3H, Intel, SMM
The ThinkPwn vulnerability which has been in the news lately, which allows attackers to disable Secure Boot and bypass Virtual Secure Mode on Win10 Enterprise as well as disabling flash write protection turns out not to be yet another questionable Lenovo feature. Instead the problem lies with the motherboards UEFI, specifically the Intel System Management Mode implemented on Gigabyte motherboards. So far the issue has been located on Z68-UD3H, Z77X-UD5H, Z87MX-D3H, and Z97-D3H but it is possible that the vulnerability exists on far more motherboards, perhaps even beyond Gigabyte as the flaw is in the Intel code. The Register also postulates this could effect HP Pavilion machines as they use these boards as well.
"Gigabyte has been swept into turmoil surrounding low-level security vulnerabilities that allows attackers to kill flash protection, secure boot, and tamper with firmware on PCs by Lenovo and other vendors."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft wants to push biz users onto Windows 10 Enterprise Edition @ The Inquirer
- Build A 3D Printer Workhorse, Not an Amazing Disappointment Machine @ Hack a Day
- KDE Plasma 5.7 Released @ Slashdot
- Mac OS X malware threat lets hackers access webcams via Tor backdoor @ The Inquirer
- Word hole patched in 2012 is 'unchallenged' king of Office exploits @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 07:15 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, htc vive, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, GP104
NVIDIA is working on a fix to allow the HTC Vive to be connected to the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 over DisplayPort. The HTC Vive apparently has the choice between HDMI and Mini DisplayPort, but the headset will not be identified when connected over that connection. Currently, the two workarounds are to connect the HTC Vive over HDMI, or use a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter if your card's HDMI output is already occupied.
It has apparently been an open issue for over a month now. That said, NVIDIA's Manuel Guzman has acknowledged the issue. Other threads claim that there are other displays that have a similar issue, and, within the last 24 hours, some users have experienced luck with modifying their motherboard's settings. I'd expect that it's something the can fix in an upcoming driver, though. For now, I guess plan your monitor outputs accordingly if you were planning on getting the HTC Vive.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 6, 2016 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: rx 480, Polaris, amd
Apparently, some people think that AMD will be releasing an RX 490 based on Polaris 10 with an extra four compute units, bringing the total number of stream processors to 2560. I'm guessing that people expected it to be a nice, round number or something, but that's not the case. According to Evan Groenke, Senior Product Manager at AMD, the die has 36 compute units, and there is “nothing else hidden on the product that end users might be looking forward to unlocking”.
Really, this kind-of makes sense. AMD seems to have designed this chip around the performance target of VR, which the RX 480 hits. I don't think that it would really make sense to push about 11% more compute processors into the design, decreasing their yield per wafer for such a relatively small gain.
We are expecting an RX 490 card to land at some point though, thanks to a mistake in publishing on AMD's part. It won't be Polaris 10 or 11.
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: razer, mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX
Well this is interesting. Razer has announced the BlackWidow X Tournament Edition, which is a new tenkeyless mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Blue switches. This is interesting, because it does not use Razer's own switches -- not even as a customization (like the BlackWidow X Ultimate). You must use Cherry MX Blue. It's an interesting change, and I'm not sure why they did that, but they did.
Beyond that, it's a fairly standard keyboard. It doesn't have a number pad, but it does have a button to record macros on it. I personally do not like those ever since my original Razer BlackWidow. I would accidentally press the button, not realize it, then have everything I typed get spammed out for the next half hour, including passwords. I would assume Razer has fixed that issue in the last four-or-so years, but I haven't used their keyboards in a while. There might have even been an option to prevent it back then, but I never found it. Also, for some, a macro button is probably a nice feature, seeing as they've consistently included it.
The talk about Cherry Switches and Macro Keys aside, the keyboard seems like a pretty decent value. The Razer BlackWidow X Tournament Edition costs $69.99 and ships next week.
Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2016 - 05:18 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: xbox, windows 10, microsoft
Microsoft is launching Xbox Play Anywhere this fall, which allows games that are purchased on Xbox Store and Windows Store to be available on the other for no additional cost.
To our site, this means that these games will also be available on Windows 10. Moreover, Microsoft has announced that “every new title published from Microsoft Studios will support Xbox Play Anywhere and will be easily accessible in the Windows Store.” So this means that, starting with Re-Core, Microsoft should publish all of their games on the PC.
Update (July 6th @ 3:33pm EDT): Turns out that it was updated to clarify "at this year's E3". So the list of games on XboxPlayAnywhere is all they're announcing so far.
That said, it will all be done through Windows Store, and so we'll need to remain concerned about the openness of that platform. The obvious example is when Games for Windows Live was shut down, bricking all software that the developer didn't patch out (or patch over to Steam). There's also concern about people being able to distribute software independently and anonymously as well.
That said, Microsoft is free to publish their own software however they like, and it's nice to see them supporting the PC again. I just want to make sure a strong, alternative platform exists (like Win32 or a strong Web standard) that cannot be (legally or technically) pivoted into Windows RT (or iOS), which forced all browsers to be re-skins of Internet Explorer (or Safari in iOS's case), forced content guidelines on games, etc. Someone will abuse any restrictions that are made, now or in the future.
If you are looking for large sized storage and can accept the SATA 6Gbps bottleneck, the 1920GB Toshiba HK4R SATA SSD certainly has some room for files. It uses Toshiba's own TC58 controller with 15nm MLC NAND and sports an endurance rating of 1 Drive Write Per Day for the duration of the 5 year warranty or up to 3520TB written. The testing done at The SSD Review showed sequential read and write speeds of 524MB/s and 503MB/s respectively making the drive a great choice for consumers or enterprise as the drive has many features required in the data centre. There is a distinct lack of pricing information, we shall see what these drives sell at some time in the near future.
"SATA SSDs are all the rage in data centers. Unlike their PCIe bothers, these SATA SSDs don’t often need to have high endurance figures and lightning fast IOPS performance. Instead, they typically just need to be cheap, reliable, and what is becoming more important lately, high capacity."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Toshiba Q300 Pro 256GB SSD Review @ NikKTech
- Transcend SSD220S 480GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Drobo 5N review: Protection with BeyondRAID @ Modders-Inc
- Synology Diskstation DS416j NAS Review @ OCC
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 5, 2016 - 12:38 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rx 480, Radeon RX 480, polaris 10, Polaris, msi, gcn4
It appears that MSI will be one of the first AIB partners to get a reference version of the AMD RX 480 graphics card out. Available as soon as next week, the MSI Radeon RX 480 8G pairs AMD’s Polaris-based GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 memory on a reference platform and cooler.
The MSI card uses the AMD reference cooler with a blower style fan and measures 9.45” in length. It is a dual slot design with a red and black aesthetic. Rear IO includes three DisplayPort and one HDMI ports. It is powered by a single 6-pin PCI-E power connector.
There is not much to say with regards to clocks on this GCN4-based card as there are no factory overclocks to speak of. The base clock sits at 1120 MHz (which is an average expected clock, not necessarily the minimum) and the GPU can boost up to a maximum of 1266 MHz out of the box. MSI is clocking the memory at the full 8 GHz though, which is good (AMD stated that partners could clock memory anywhere from seven to eight GHz).
Looking around various retailers, it appears that you will be able to get your hands on it as soon as July 9th from Newegg for $240.
Watch out for pricing before clicking that buy button though, because some sites that allow third party sellers have jacked up the prices quite a bit! If you are looking for a reference design, this card should be as good as the rest. Personally, I am looking forward to MSI and other AIB partner’s custom RX 480 cards which should have much higher overclocking potential and a better power phase setup that should alleviate any power consumption concerns of the reference design’s VRM setup. That is not to say that the reference MSI is going to blow up your PC or anything, but from a buyer's perspective I would rather wait for the custom boards with better coolers that I can push further and faster for only a fairly slight premium. If you need a blower style cooler, this card should work.
- The AMD Radeon RX 480 Review - The Polaris Promise
- PCPer Live! Radeon RX 480 Live Stream with Raja Koduri!
- AMD's Raja Koduri talks moving past CrossFire, smaller GPU dies, HBM2 and more.