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Revisting Asus's ROG Crosshair VII Hero WiFi motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | May 18, 2018 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, crosshair vii hero wifi, ryzen 2, amd, x470

Upon first meeting the Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero Kitguru were impressed with the features and design of the board but underwhelmed by the performance.  After contacting ASUS they received a new BIOS and resumed testing, publishing their results here.   The board now performs admirably on the default settings, at the cost of an extra ~40W of power being consumed, while when manually clocked you can replicate the performance but without that extra power draw.

Kitguru explains how Synchronous and Asynchronous mode differ and how this relates to the extra power draw.  In Synchronous mode the CPU memory and PCIe all share the same clock signal while in Asynchronous mode the CPU clock can be adjusted without any effect on the memory or PCIe clocks.  Check out what they think this means for Ryzen users here.

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"As we expected, the Crosshair VII Hero is a high end motherboard that is loaded with overclocking features and while it looks and feels really solid, our initial testing suggested that performance was nothing special."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: Kitguru

AMD Releases Updated Raven Ridge Desktop APU Graphics Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | May 18, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, raven ridge, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, r5 2400g, r3 2200g, amd

Today, AMD released the first driver update for the desktop Raven Ridge APUs since their launch in February of this year.

The new Q2 2018 drivers are based on AMD's current Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition release and bring features such as ReLive and the Radeon overlay to the Vega-powered desktop platform.

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We haven't had a lot of time to look for potential performance enhancements this driver brings yet, but we did do a quick 3DMark run on our Ryzen 5 2400G with memory running at DDR4-3200.

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Here, we see healthy gains of around 5% in 3DMark Firestrike for the new driver. While I wouldn't expect big gains for older titles, newer titles that have come out since the initial Raven Ridge drive release in February will see the biggest gains.

We are still eager to see the mobile iterations of AMD's Raven Ridge processors get updated drivers, as notebooks such as the HP Envy X360 have not been updated since they launched in November of last year.

It's good to see progress from AMD on this front, but they must work harder to unify the graphics drivers of their APU products into the mainstream graphics driver releases if they want those products to be taken seriously as gaming options.

Source: AMD

Surprise and demand; DRAM orders fell over the last month!

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2018 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: mining, DRAM, cryptocurrency

As we head into the weekend, a long one if you happen to wear the US as pants, it seems an appropriate time for some good news.  According to the Nikkei the demand for DRAM from cryptocurrency miners have declined significantly which could lead to better prices, though not a huge drop as mobile phone vendors and enterprise demand has not changed.  Even better news for enthusiasts are the reports of shelves filled with GPUs where once there were only dust bunnies and forlorn gamers. 

Things are looking up this summer!

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"Orders for DRAMs fell noticeably in April," a representative at a Tokyo electronic parts trader said. "We previously received quite a lot of orders, even from companies with whom we did little business." Demand was particularly strong from virtual currency miners, the representative said."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Nikkei

Acer Predator X27 4K G-SYNC HDR Monitor listed on Newegg

Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2018 - 12:02 PM |
Tagged: Predator X27, PG27UQ, hdr, g-sync, asus, acer, 4k, 144hz

Thanks to a listing that appeared on Newegg this morning, we seem to finally have an idea of what pricing will be like for the long-awaited 27" 4K HDR G-Sync displays in the US region.

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For the amount of $2,000, you can now preorder the Acer Predator X27 monitor from Newegg, with a scheduled release date of June 1, 2018.

While $2,000 is a lot for a display, this pricing doesn't come as a surprise. After several rumors and leaked pricing from other territories, it became apparent that this would be a costly product.

Originally announced at CES 2017, G-SYNC HDR displays have been delayed several times, with the latest word being that they will be available by the end of the month

We still have no word on pricing of the ASUS PG27UQ with the same specifications as the Predator X27, but I would expect it to be very similar if not nearly identical.

Source: Newegg

PCPer Mailbag #44 - 5/18/2018

Subject: Editorial | May 18, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:59 - PCPer audience age?
02:39 - HDMI 2.1 on next-gen GeForce?
05:08 - Motherboard power connector pin count?
06:11 - StoreMI configuration for speeding up HDD?
09:53 - 12nm vs. 10nm vs. 7nm?
11:42 - 14nm++ i7 vs. 10nm i7?
14:15 - SSD free space and read performance?
15:34 - Modern SSDs and overprovisioning?
16:38 - Discrete Vega mobile GPUs?
18:30 - ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 on Threadripper motherboard?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

Supercap the mouse, meet Razer's Mamba and Firefly Hyperflux

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2018 - 04:02 PM |
Tagged: supercapacitor, razer, Mamba, firefly, hyperflux, wireless charging, input, gaming mouse

Razer have made some interesting choices with their Hyperflux wireless mouse and charging mat.  The Mamba Hyperflux does not contain a battery, instead depending on a constant flow of energy from the FireFly Hyperflux powered mouse mat or via the provided USB cable if you want to forgoe the wireless capabilities altogether.  It seems this choice came with a price, Kitguru has seen it for sale at £249.95, the US price at Amazon is a similar number, which makes this quite expensive comparatively.  Is it worth the cost or are you just paying extra for a unique feature?  Check out the video review for Kitguru's thoughts.

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"Creating a light gaming mouse has always been a challenge for one simple reason – it needs a battery. That’s what we thought, at least, until Razer introduced its Mamba Hyperflux gaming mouse. It weighs just 96g and simply does not have a battery – instead, it uses magnetic induction to receive power directly, thanks to the use of a supercapacitor."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Kitguru

Making the XBox X-cessible for everyone

Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2018 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: gaming, microsoft, xbox, accesibility, Adaptive Controller

The front of the Adaptive Controller looks rather plain and hides the ability this controller has to change some peoples worlds.  The back of the controller hides the magic, 19 3.5mm jacks, which can be used to accept input from a gamut of controller designed for those with limited mobility.  The devices include everything from breath inputs, finger switches and foot pedals, just to name a few, allowing those aids to be used to control the XBox and allow those who have been unable to play their favourite games a chance to enjoy them once again.  As Ars Technica points out, many companies have talked about making gaming more accessible but this is the first actual product to do so. 

If you now anyone who would benefit from this, or someone involved in projects like our occasional guest David Hewlett's UpgradeRequired.org you should check this out. 

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"Rather, these ports see Microsoft connecting with, and loudly celebrating, what has long been an open secret in the world of gaming peripherals: the community of add-on devices designed for limited-mobility gamers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Ars Technica
Author:
Subject: Displays
Manufacturer: Samsung

Super Ultrawide

Ultrawide monitors have become an enormous trend in PC gaming over the last 3-4 years. In late 2014 when LG launched the first PC monitors with a 21:9 aspect ratio, I indeed was a skeptic. To me, it seemed like such a radical new aspect ratio would be wrought with game incompatibility, and wouldn't offer much of an advantage over two monitor setups for productivity.

And in the beginning, this was mostly the case. In 2014, games didn't even enable the option for 21:9 aspect ratio resolutions, and those that did, generally resulted in distorted image and FOV settings.

However, gamers wanted these ultrawide aspect ratio displays, and the game support soon followed. Now, ultrawide monitors are a staple of every monitor manufacturer's product lineup.

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What we are looking at today though, is the most intense of all of the ultrawide monitors, the 49" Samsung CHG90. And it just so happens to be one of the first AMD FreeSync 2 displays.

Specifications

Still in the ultrawide category, the CHG90 moves away from the more traditional 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio to a wider and squatter 32:9. This aspect ratio allows Samsung to maximize the width of the CHG90 while keeping the display short enough not to engulf your entire wall.

Essentially, you can look at this display as two 27" monitors sitting side-by-side, without the pesky bezel in the middle. Similarly, the resolution of the CHG90 matches the effective resolution of two 1080p monitors sitting next to each other, with a total resolution of 3840x1080.

To achieve such a big display size in a still relatively usable form factor, the CHG90 display features a 1800R curvature. This figure refers to the measurement of the resulting radius that the display would make if it continued to make a full circle. For example, a 3000R display would have less of a curve than a 1800R display.

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The curve on the CHG90 isn't quite like any other display we've seen, however. Due to the immense size of the display, the entire panel isn't curved. The curve stops about 6 inches from the edge of either side of the screen.

Continue reading our review of the Samsung C49HG90 Ultrawide FreeSync 2 monitor!

Like X-COM meets Freelancer with bloody great space worms; Solar Warden

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2018 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: gaming, solar warden, Kickstarter

Solar Warden is a Kickstarter project running for six more days with a fairly low target of $40K US and it has a demo out which you can load up to try.  It is still very much a work in progress but gives you an idea of the overall scope of the game.  There are financial mechanics similar to X-COM in that you have to keep the various countries of the world happy so they will continue to finance your war against outer space Kinder eggs of the worst kind.  These falling rocks often contain some nasty silicon-based enemies seeking to devour the Earth while you seek to stop them, either through letting the AI handle your ships or by taking direct control of them for Freelancer style dogfights.  

You can check out the launch trailer at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN, install the demo to see if what you think or just head to Kickstarter to back it as I have.

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"The Solar Warden demo is still pretty early and unoptimised, and drops you right in at the deep end with little to no tutorial so brace yourself for a rough ride unless you’re a combined X-Com and X-Wing veteran."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

While we await Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U benchmarks, here's some Ryzen 5 2600 performance for you

Subject: Processors | May 16, 2018 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen 2, Ryzen 5 2600, Core i5-8400

There are no benchmarks of the new Ryzen Pro series to offer as of yet, so why not check out a few hundred benchmarks pitting the $190 Ryzen 5 2600 against the $180 Core i5-8400?  Techspot takes you on a tour of games, from ARK Survival Evolved through PUBG to Warhammer Total War to see what effect your choice of processor has when gaming on a GTX 1080 Ti.  When the dust settled there were two obvious choices for prospective buyers.  For those who want a simple solution, the i5-8400 makes sense as it will offer decent performance right out of the box, no fiddling required.  On the other hand, for those who are not completely boring, the Ryzen 5 2600, overclocked to 4.2GHz paired with DDR4-3400 is clearly better overall. 

Check out the performance of your favourite games in the full review and then scream about the unfairness of it all below.

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"For the past few weeks we've been busy benchmarking AMD's Ryzen 5 2600 and Intel's Core i5-8400. For testing we have 36 games on the menu, each tested at 720p, 1080p and 1440p using the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. That is, 324 individual tests, three times each... almost 1,000 benchmark runs, so grab a drink, some snacks and get comfortable."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: TechSpot

Google versus the law of unintended consequences

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2018 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: google, alphabet, chrome, ads

Killing off autoplaying adverts in Chrome is a wonderful thing and has brought peace and quiet to many a browsing session, unless you are someone who likes to play games in your browser.  It seems some games are not functioning properly, even after being whitelisted and so in the new version Google will be rolling back that change to give devs time to change how their games work.  This likely means a fair amount of games are about to be abandoned as Google does not intend to change how their block works but are instead putting the onus on the devs to change the code on their free to play games.  The Inquirer links to the Chromium blog so you can get the news straight from the horse's mouth.

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"GOOGLE HAS been forced to roll back its new autoplay policy for web video in Chrome after it became apparent that it was borking legitimate content."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer
Author:
Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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The Corsair RMx Series currently includes five models: 1000W, 850W, 750W, 650W and 550W. And the 850W model is available in either standard black or special white. The RMx series is very similar to Corsair’s RMi series but with the advantage of lower cost due eliminating the digital Corsair Link interface and staying with 80 Plus Gold level efficiency. Like previous versions, all of the RMx Series power supplies are designed by Corsair and built by Channel Well Technologies (CWT). We will be taking a detailed look at the RM850x PSU (standard black) in this review.

The RMx Series power supplies are equipped with fully modular cables and optimized for very quiet operation. RMx Series power supplies incorporate Zero RPM Fan Mode, which means the fan does not start spinning until the power supply reaches a moderate load. The cooling fan is designed to deliver low noise and high static pressure.

The Corsair RMx Series is built with high-quality components, including all Japanese made electrolytic capacitors, and Corsair guarantees these PSUs to deliver clean, stable, continuous power, at ambient temperatures up to 50°C. And last but not least, the RMx series comes backed by a 10-year warranty.

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Corsair RM850x PSU Features summary:

•    850W continuous DC output (up to 50°C)
•    10-Year Warranty and Comprehensive Customer Support
•    80 PLUS Gold certified, at least 90% efficiency under 50% load
•    Fully modular cables for easy installation
•    Flat ribbon-style, low profile cables help optimize airflow
•    Zero RPM Fan Mode for silent operation up to 40% load
•    Quiet NR135L fan for long life and quiet operation
•    High quality components including all Japanese electrolytic capacitors
•    Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
•    Safety Protections : OCP, OVP, UVP, SCP, OTP, and OPP
•    MSRP for the RM850x (black): $159.99 USD

 

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Here is what Corsair has to say about the RMx Series:

Corsair RMx series power supplies give you extremely tight voltage control, quiet operation, Gold-certified efficiency, and a fully modular cables set. Built with all Japanese 105°C capacitors, they’re a great choice for high performance PCs where reliability is essential!

80 PLUS Gold efficiency reduces operating cost and excess heat, and Zero RPM fan mode ensures virtual silence at low and medium loads. And the fully modular DC cables make builds and upgrades easy, with clean, great-looking results.”

Please continue reading our review of the Corsair RM850x PSU!!!

Fear the Spectre but embrace the Wraith; AMD's 'free' Wraith Prism

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 15, 2018 - 02:17 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen 2, wraith prism, frag harder disco lights

The new Ryzen processors come with a Wraith fan of some description inside the package, that go far beyond bundled heatsinks we have seen previously.  The aesthetics are impressive, even without a controller your Wraith Spire fan will display a fluctuating rainbow of colours along with a lit AMD logo that waxes and wanes.  If you utilize software or have a motherboard with controllable lighting then you can make the Frag Harder Disco Lighting perform numerous tricks.  The performance beats any other bundled heatsink but might not provide enough cooling for extreme overclocking in a case with limited airflow.  You can see how it performs in [H]ard|OCP's full review.

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"AMD has very much upped its game with the latest generation of Ryzen processors. The Ryzen 2700X comes complete with a snazzy looking cooler that has served us well on our test bench, but what happens when you put it inside a hot case with a hot video card and put the screws to it in terms of GHz and wattage on our 4GHz Ryzen testing rig? "

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Two scoops of Ryzen, eat on the go or at your desk

Subject: General Tech, Processors | May 15, 2018 - 01:49 PM |
Tagged: ryzen pro, amd, APU, ryzen 7 pro 2700u, Ryzen 5 Pro 2500U, Ryzen 3 Pro 2300U, Ryzen 5 Pro 2400G, Ryzen 5 Pro 2400GE, Ryzen 3 Pro 2200G

AMD have extended both their processor lineup as well as their names, by sticking Pro into the already verbose Ryzen 2 series, and added another letter to pay attention to as well.   The 2xxxU series are mobile APUs which you won't see running around in the wild, the 2xxxG desktop series you certainly will, however there is also an E you need to pay attention to. 

The Ryzen 5 Pro 2400G is a 65W part which will offer four multi-threaded cores topping out at 3.9GHz, with 11 Vega CUs and ships with the Wraith Stealth cooler. The Ryzen 5 Pro 2400GE is almost as similar as the name but tops out at 3.8GHz, also has 11 Vega CUs and sports an impressive TDP of 35W, which may be part of the reason why it doesn't ship with a cooler. 

The series looks to offer a great choice for someone building a machine without a GPU installed, whether they intend to add one at a later time or not.  The naming conventions being used by Intel and AMD are getting far too easy to confuse already, without adding possible confusion within single product lines.  Let's hope this does not continue for too long.  The Inquirer lists all the models, mobile and desktop, on this page.

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"Alongside the usual specs, the chips all have the built-in security and onboard encryption features of the Ryzen Pro CPUs, designed to make them appeal for commercial and enterprise use."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Meet the Intel Z390 chipset

Subject: Motherboards | May 14, 2018 - 05:56 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Z390, coffee lake

Intel published a paper giving an overview of the features to expect on motherboards using Z390 chipset.  Most of the features will be familiar so why not start with the fancy layout diagram?

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One of the features you might not consider, but perhaps should, is the combination of the quality of the onboard graphics chip on Coffee Lake with the outputs of a Z390 motherboard.  The motherboard can support up to three HDMI or DP outputs, which can provide 10bit colour, High Dynamic Range and Rec. 2020 at up to 4k resolutions.

Storage options are as you would expect, with Intel Rapid Storage Technology supported for both SATA and PCIe, with support for Optane if you so choose to use it.  Intel have updated their HD Audio in this generation and their Smart Sound Technology branding indicates the presence of a DAC on your motherboard. 

Networking is also worth a mention, with gigabit transfers available on the integrated NIC as well as through the Wireless-AC 9560 NIC, with integrated Bluetooth 5 support as well.  

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Yes, it will support overclocking unlocked processors.  The PR is below.

CREATE YOUR NEXT GREAT PERFORMANCE WITH THE 8TH GENERATION INTEL CORE PROCESSOR
The Intel Z390 chipset and 8th Generation Intel Core processors give you the edge you need to successfully defeat your rivals. Quickly upload and access your favorite streams and get the gaming boost you need with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology. With the Intel Z390 chipset and 8th Generation Intel Core processors, you can conquer your quests with confidence.

GREAT PERFORMANCE - UNLEASHED
Release your inner gaming beast with the Intel Z390 chipset and unlocked 8th Generation Intel Core processors. Unlock your core, graphics, and memory frequencies to new levels as you defeat your gaming foes. Gaming and productivity is redefined with the Intel Z390 chipset paired with new unlocked 8th Generation Intel Core processors. Crush your competition with 8th Generation Intel Core desktop processors and the Intel Z390 chipset.

FAST PC RESPONSIVENESS AT YOUR COMMAND
The Intel Z390 chipset and 8th Generation Intel Core processors enable support for Intel Optane memory which speeds up access to your favorite programs and files. With the fast application response times enabled by Intel Optane memory, you can quickly access your digital life. Experience immersive sound quality via Intel High Definition Audio and enable your PC to respond to your voice commands with Intel Smart Sound Technology.

UNLEASH YOUR NETWORK PERFORMANCE
Achieve Gigabit wireless connections with 1st generation integrated Intel Wireless-AC support. The Intel Z390 chipset integrates an Intel wireless 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5 solution allowing you to connect up to Gigabit Wi-Fi speeds with Intel Wireless-AC 9560. With no Ethernet cable required, your desktop will be ready for all current and future wireless use cases and has the flexibility to be located in more places within your home or office.

IMMERSIVE VISUALS WITH INTEL UHD GRAPHICS
Intel UHD Graphics on 8th Generation Intel Core processors provide eye-popping 4K UHD resolutions. Experience more immersive gaming with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Rec. 2020 (Wide Color Gamut) support. Playback your favorite videos with color precision via native true 10-bit graphics output. Watch the latest 4K UHD premium content on your PC from leading online providers. With up to three independent, DisplayPort* and/or HDMI* displays supported with the Intel Z390 chipset, you can immerse yourself into your gaming experience.

MASSIVE STORAGE CAPABILITIES
Expand your storage capabilities with the Intel Z390 chipset and 8th Generation Intel Core processors. Boost your media transfer speeds with the integrated USB 3.1 Gen 2 support of the Intel Z390 chipset. Create fast storage volumes and back-up your media and critical information via RAID support with Intel processor and chipset-connected PCI Express* SSDs. Expand your storage with up to 6 SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Enable blazingly fast data transfers to your favorite devices with PCI Express* 3.0.

Source: Intel

Go fly a kite? No thanks, I'd rather build a phone out of it!

Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2018 - 03:03 PM |
Tagged: KiteBoard, DIY, cellphone, snapdragon 450

Hackaday is showing off one of the entrants to their Hackaday Contest, a project which describes how to build your own Android powered smartphone based on a KiteBoard powered by a Snapdragon 450.  Inside you will find everything you would expect from a phone, from a cell radio and WiFi service through to an accelerometer and even a daughterboard which supports sending 1080p externally over HDMI.  There is even a Raspberry Pi compatible expansion board to allow you to control the phone, or use the phone to control other tech.  Check out the full project here.

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"Let’s get this out of the way first – this project isn’t meant to be a replacement for your regular smartphone. Although, at the very least, you can use it as one if you’d like to. But [Shree Kumar]’s Hackaday Prize 2018 entry, the Kite : Open Hardware Android Smartphone aims to be an Open platform for hackers and everyone else, enabling them to dig into the innards of a smartphone and use it as a base platform to build a variety of hardware."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hackaday

What If Windows XP Released in 2018?

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2018 - 05:13 PM |
Tagged: windows xp, windows 10, windows, microsoft

YouTube pushed this video onto my suggested list, and it was a minute and a half well spent. From what I understand, Kamer Kaan Avdan has a YouTube channel where he creates concept videos that look quite professional. This one takes the feel of Windows XP and grafts it to Microsoft’s current design and marketing process, with a few hilarious nods to the weird parts of our favorite candy-coated OS. The “Welcome” fade-in felt perfect to the point that I wasn’t sure if he was doing this as a joke, or as a legitimate suggestion for a Windows 10 theme pack.

Then I saw the search dog…

I’m not going to lie – I’d want that theme pack. (Edit, May 12th @ 6:50pm: Clarification -- I would want that theme pack, if it existed.) Of course, non-default themes in Windows tend to lead to serious bugs, like some programs failing to hide or correctly align elements in Basic or Classic themes on Windows 7, so it really would be asking for a world of hurt from a “bugs” side of things. But, you know, it looks cool. Check it out -- it's embed above.

Source: avdan
Author:
Manufacturer: PC Perspective

I Have a Need, a Need for Download Speed

Thanks to Wendell from Level1Techs for his all of his help on this project and pointing us in the right direction!

A few years ago, we were fortunate enough to get a fiber internet connection installed at the PC Perspective office. Capable of 1Gbps download speeds and about 250Mbps upload, we were excited at the possibilities that laid ahead.

However, when you have access to a very fast internet connection, you begin to notice that the bottleneck has shifted from your connection to the servers on the other side of the content delivery networks (CDNs) that power the internet. While these CDNs have very fast links to the internet, they generally limit bandwidth so that there is more speed to go around to multiple people at the same time.

A look back at what once was

One of the services that we found would max out our connection was Steam. Since we download a lot of PC games at the office, it was a nice benefit to have an internet connection as fast as our NICs could handle, and that the Steam CDNs would serve us at our maximum potential. In fact, the bottleneck shifted over to storage performance, as the random writing nature of Steam thrashed our SSDs at the time.

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By no stretch of the imagination is 60MB/s slow.. but what happened to our 100MB/s!

Unfortunately, this has ceased to remain the case. At some point, Steam downloads started getting slower on our same internet connection. Not only did storage utilization during a Steam download start to increase, but also CPU usage, pointing to a potential change in how Steam distributed their data. While downloads on our high-end systems fell to around 50-60MB/s, systems with less CPU horsepower started to see speeds fall to 20-30MB/s. All hope was lost for fast game downloads.. or was it?

Recently, Wendell from Level1Techs mentioned on Twitter that they were running a local Steam caching server on their network with great success. After some guidance from Wendell, we decided to tackle this project and see if it would help our specific scenario.

Continue reading our experiences setting up a Steam cache!

Precisely what are AMD's XFR 2 and Overdrive?

Subject: Processors | May 11, 2018 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, xfr2, precision boost 2, Precision Boost Overdrive

Whether you have had a chance to play around with a new Ryzen processor or not, you might benefit from more information on what XFR2 and Precision Boost 2 are and what they are not.  [H]ard|OCP spent some time to write an article that dispels the rumours which have been spread, especially the fact that these are both unreleased at the moment.  Together they will provide support for Precision Boost Overdrive, which could be supported by Ryzen Zen+ CPUs on an X470 motherboard, at least in theory.  When enabled it will utilize the ability of the new Ryzen Master software to monitor your motherboards VRM usage and if it sees it is below it capacity it will relax the vCore limiter on your CPU allowing more juice to flow in which can be used to increase the frequency of your Zen + chip.  It will be interesting to see how effective this is, but for now all we can do is read about it.

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"We wanted to put together a quick overview about what Precision Boost 2 and XFR2 are NOT about. It seems that slides leaked, and faked, earlier in the 2nd generation Ryzen's development have clouded some people's understanding on what features are included, but more important which features are not."

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Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Don't envy early NVMe adopters, turns out they are Windows 10's enemy

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2018 - 02:07 PM |
Tagged: SM2260, ssd, pcie, NVMe, M.2 2280, M.2, Intel, 600p

Intel's 600p was on our review bench almost two years ago and offered a relatively inexpensive entry into NVMe drives.  It turns out that the Silicon Motion controller Intel used may have been a bit too proprietary as the Win10 April Update is not compatible with it.  According to The Register this is a known incompatibility caused by a fix to resolve previous issues with Samsung made NVMe SSDs.  They are working on a solution, with no release date announced as of yet.

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"The issue is an unspecified "known incompatibility" between the operating system and the SSDs, which were launched in 2016. Both the 600p and Pro 6000p SSDs share the same SM2260 chipset and feature a PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register