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Welcome the new benchmark in beating on GPUs, Metro Exodus

Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2019 - 02:09 PM |
Tagged: games, Metro Exodus

If you have yet to venture into the new post apocalyptic Russian wasteland, you might want to hold off until you can get your GPU some reinforcements.  An RTX 2060 will let you crank up the settings at 1080p and average around 50fps, while a Vega 64 will almost hit 60fps though without the fancy ray tracing.  If 1440p is your target you are going to want an RTX 2080 if you are going to turn on all the features and still hit 60fps, AMD's offerings can handle this resolution though you many need to turn down some features.   If 4K is your preference, even the mighty RTX 2080 Ti can only manage about 40fps with ray tracing enabled.

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN is still shopping for a few more cards to add to their suite and an updated machine but they break out their recommendations by GPU which is handy if you have that card.

metro-exodus-review-13-1212x682.jpg

"Once upon a time, there was an old saying in PC gaming spheres: ‘But will it run Crysis?’ Then the apocalypse happened, and civilisation retreated to the dark tunnels of its underground tube system, the phrase becoming lost and morphed in the intervening years. Now we say in hushed, hallowed tones, ‘But will it run Metro?’"

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Tech Talk

Ah, boss? I just overheard someone say they spotted the microphone!

Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2019 - 12:34 PM |
Tagged: nest, google, alphabet, iot

You may recall a news story last summer, about USB fans which were handed out to journalists that showed how oblivious many people are when it comes to security.  The recent news about the microphone in Google's Nest Secure shows that the lesson still has not been learned, though there is certainly an extra level to this particular story.  Google recently announced that they would be activating the microphone embedded in the Nest Secure, something which they completely neglected to document that their home security system contained.

The Nest Secure consists of several sensors to detect a window or door opening, as well as a base with a speaker to sound alerts and a keypad to verify the user.  You would not reasonably expect such a thing to contain a microphone, let alone an undocumented one.   Google insists that they simply forgot to include it in the parts list and that this is all just an innocent misunderstanding.  They are also asking you to believe that the microphone has never been enabled and that there is no possible way that it might have been secretly recording conversations. 

As a point in Google's favour Ars Technica does point out that every other product Google sells has a microphone in it, and so it would be reasonable to suspect one was present in the Nest.   In a world where your TV spies on you, an update can brick your shoes and you can buy smart locks that will ensure you will never be able to go home again, just to mention a few, having your security system spying on you does not seem too far fetched.

eavesdropping.PNG

“The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs. That was an error on our part.” According to the company, "the microphone has never been on and is only activated when users specifically enable the option.”

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Source: Ars Technica

Report: Intel Pentium Gold G5620 on the Way: First 4 Ghz Pentium

Subject: Processors | February 20, 2019 - 09:59 AM |
Tagged: rumor, report, processor, pentium, Intel, G5620, G5600T, G5420T, G5420, G4950, G4930T, G4930, cpu, celeron

The Pentium processor has been around since the end of the 486 era, introduced in 1993 at a startling cost of $878 for the 60 MHz version, and $964 for 66 MHz (when purchased in quantities of 1000, that is). Now Intel is taking Pentium into uncharted waters for 2019, with the Pentium Gold G5620 reaching 4.0 GHz for the first time for a processor bearing the iconic brand.

Pentium_Gold.jpg

Image via Tom's Hardware

According to reports from Tom's Hardware and AnandTech the Pentium G5620, listed early by retailers in Europe, is a 2-core / 4-thread part that will apparently be at the top of the new budget desktop CPU lineup. Alongside the Pentium G5620 there will refreshed Pentium and Celeron CPUs, as listed by Tom's Hardware:

"...the other processors listed include the G5420 (3.8 GHz, 2/4), G5600T (3.3 GHz, 2/4), G5420T (3.2 GHz, 2/4), the Celeron G4950 (3.3 GHz, 2/2), the Celeron G4930 (3.2 GHz, 2/2), and the Celeron G4930T (3.0 GHz, 2/2)."

We do not have an Intel announcement yet of course, so no details about architecture, process tech, or official pricing. March or April is the expected timeframe based on the listings, and with no official release dates we can only speculate on actual availability here in the U.S.

I am the BIOS that flashes in the RTX ... Let's get dangerous!

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 19, 2019 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: danger, rtx, bios, flash, nvidia, risky business

So you like living dangerously and are willing to bet $1000 or more on something that might make your new NVIDIA GPU a bit faster, or transform it into a brick?  Then does Overclockers Club have a scoop for you!  There exists a tool called NVFlash, with or without added ID Mismatch Modified, which will allow you to change the BIOS of your card to another manufacturers design which can increase your cards power envelope and offer better performance ...

or kill it dead ...

or introduce artifacting, random crashes or all sort of other mischief.

On the other hand, if all goes well you can turn your plain old RTX card into an overclocked model of the same type and see higher performance overall.  Take a look at OCC's article and read it fully before deciding if this is a risk you might be willing to take.

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"WARNING! Flash the BIOS at your own risk. Flashing a video card BIOS to a different model and/or series WILL void your warranty. This process can also cause other permanent issues like video artifacts and premature hardware failure!"

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Graphics Cards

I see rumours of red and rumours of green ...

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2019 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: tu116, ryzen 3, rumours, nvidia, navi, msi, GTX 1660 TI Gaming X, gtx 1660 ti, amd

If you blinked you would have missed a certain unboxing video, as it was posted before the NDA on the GTX 1660 Ti expired.  However, a few sites managed to get some screengrabs before the video was taken down, so we now know a bit more about the card once thought to be mythical. 

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Image from PC World Bulgaria via [H]ard|OCP

Specifically, it was an MSI GeForce GTX 1660 TI Gaming X that was revealed to the world and while there were no benchmarks, there now seems to be physical proof that this card exists.  It sports a single 8pin PCIe power connector, three DisplayPort 1.4 and a single HDMI 2.0b outputs and not a bit of RTX branding.  Instead it contains 1,536 Turing Shaders and a 12 nm process "TU116" chip hidden under the Twin Frozr 7 cooler.  The outputs tell us this particular card is not compatible with VirtualLink. 

Drop by [H]ard|OCP for links as well as possible pricing and ETA.

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For AMD fans, The Inquirer is reporting that 7nm Ryzen 3 desktop CPUs and Navi GPUs should be announced on 7 July at Computex.  We should also see the new X570 chipset, though the rumour is that the current generation of motherboards will support the new Ryzen series with a BIOS update.  Sadly, Navi is likely to only be announced as it is likely the release will be delayed until October, though like everything else in this post that is purely speculation based on a variety of sources and may not be accurate.

One thing we do know is that the new flagship Ryzen 9 3800X will have two eight core Zen 2 dies, offering a total of 16 cores and 32 threads. The base clock should be 3.9GHz with a top speed of 4.7GHZ, and a TDP of 125W.

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Rumor: AMD Launching 7nm Ryzen 3000, X500 Motherboards, and Navi GPUs on July 7th

Subject: Processors | February 19, 2019 - 02:57 PM |
Tagged: Zen 2, x570, X500, Ryzen 3000, navi, matisse, amd, 7nm

Spotted by HardOCP, Paul from Red Gaming Tech recently shared leaked information from a source with a reputation of being reliable (from past leaks about 7nm GPUs) who claims that AMD will be announcing a plethora of products at Computex in June to setup for the launch of Zen 2-based 7nm "Matisse" Ryzen 3000 desktop processors, X500 series chipset-based motherboards, and 7nm Navi-based consumer gaming graphics cards on July 7th (The 7th for 7nm I guess).

AMD_Ryzen_3rd_Gen.jpg

Image via AnandTech

As a refresher, Zen 2 is the next major architectural jump for AMD while also pushing a new smaller process node. AMD has not yet revealed all the details about Zen 2 especially about consumer chips, but the new microarchitecture is said to feature tweaks to the front end that along with clockspeed bumps from the TSMC 7nm process will allow them to realize notable IPC and single threaded performance gains. When talking about EPYC 2 "Rome" server processors (Zen 2 based) AMD hinted at changes to branch prediction and pre-fetching as well as increased cache sizes and larger FPUs (256-bit), for example. The move to 7nm allegedly allows AMD to hit similar power envelopes to Zen+ (12nm) Ryzen 2000 series processors while hitting much higher clockspeeds at up to 5.1 GHz boost on their top-end chip. While mobile chips may strike a finer balance between power usage and performance with the move to 7nm, on the desktop AMD is spending nearly all the power savings on performance (which makes sense). Note that it is still not officially official that AMD is using a scaled down EPYC setup with more than one 7nm (TSMC) CPU die and a separate IO die (14nm Global Foundries), [they only teased a chip at CES with an IO die and a single CPU die] but I am of the opinion that that particular rumor makes more sense than otherwise so am inclined to believe this is the case.

AMD Ryzen 3000 7nm CPU and 14nm IO die.png

Ryzen 3000 series processors feature an IO chiplet along with what is rumored to be up to two CPU chiplets (image credit: Tom's Hardware).

From previous leaks, Ryzen 3000 is said to cover all the bases from six core Ryzen 3 3300 series chips to midrange eight core Ryzen 5 and on up to 12 and 16 core Ryzen 9 CPUs that move beyond a single CPU die to two 7nm CPU dies that feature eight cores each. In fact, the top end Ryzen 9 3850X is supposedly a 16 core (32 thread) monster of a desktop chip that has a base frequency of 4.3 GHz and can boost up to 5.1 GHz with a 135W TDP (which when overclocked will likely draw dramatically more like we've seen with both AMD and Intel's top end consumer chips) and price tag of around $520 (400 pounds). The Ryzen 7 3700 and 3700X are 12 core (24 thread) models with TDPs of 95W and 105W respectively with the non-x SKU clocked at 3.8 to 4.6 GHz and the 3700X clocked at 4.2 GHz base and 5 GHz boost. The Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X are the top end single CPU die models (though a 2x single CCX per die chips might be a reality depending on yields) at eight cores and 16 threads. The Ryzen 3 3300 series parts represent the low end which is now interestingly six cores (oh how times have changed!). Perhaps most interesting of the leaked chips are the Ryzen 5 3600G (~$207) and the Ryzen 3 3300G (~$130) though which feature Navi 12 integrated graphics (presumably these processors combine one 7nm CPU die, one 7nm GPU die, and one 14nm IO die) with 15 and 20 CUs respectively.

As for motherboards, in general the new chips will use the AM4 socket and will be compatible with older 300 and 400 series motherboards with a BIOS update though the top end chips may well necessitate a new X570 or other X500 series motherboard with better power delivery especially for enthusiasts planning to attempt stable overclocks.

Unfortunately, on Navi details are still a bit scarce but the new architecture should bring performance enhancements even beyond Radeon VII (Vega on 7nm). Allegedly due to issues with TSMC, Red Gaming Tech's source believes that Navi might be delayed or pushed back beyond the planned mid-summer release date, but we will have to wait and see. As TSMC ramps up its partial EUV enhanced 7nm node it may free up needed production line space of the current 7nm node for AMD (to fight with others over heh) to meet its intended deadline but we will just have to wait and see!

Take these rumors with a grain of salt as usual but it certainly sounds like it is hoing to be an exciting summer for PC hardware! Hopefully more details about Ryzen 3000 and Navi emerge before then though as that's quite a while yet to wait. Of course, Zen 2 APUs are not coming until at least next year and AMD is still not talking Zen 2 Threadripper which may not see release until the fall at the very earliest. I am very interested to see how AMDs chiplet based design fares and how well they are able to scale it across their product stack(s) as well as what Intel's response will be as it presses on with a fine tuned 14nm++ and a less ambitious 10nm node.

Related reading:

The incredible stretch ... circuit?

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2019 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: nifty, stretchable, nanotubes

There have been several foldable screens shown off at CES and other shows, though no prototypes have made it into our hands as of yet.  For the most part they seem to rely on rigid structures linked by stretchable or foldable materials, which is what makes the research PhysicsWorld is reporting so interesting.  Researchers from the University of Houston have developed a semiconductor which is able to retain its performance even when stretched up to 50% from it's original size.  The prototype, with integrated electronics and logic circuits, relies on a rubbery semiconductor composite doped with carbon nanotubes which carry the charge from component to component even when the material is deformed or stretched.  They also suggest that this manufacturing is relatively inexpensive, which is perhaps the largest hurdle when developing this type of product.

Jump over to their report and take a look.

 

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"Their low-cost semiconductor material retained its high charge carrier mobility, even when subjected to 50% stretching. The team’s work could lead to the development of practical new technologies including robotic skins and wearable electronics."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: PhysicsWorld

Logitech Is Bringing Back the Beloved MX518 Gaming Mouse

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2019 - 11:05 AM |
Tagged: mx518, logitech g, logitech, gaming mouse

Logitech today announced the rebirth of one of its most popular and beloved products, the MX518 Gaming Mouse. First released nearly fourteen years ago, the MX518 received rave reviews from the tech press and users alike for its comfortable shape, well-positioned customizable buttons, and high-precision sensor with on-the-fly DPI toggling. The company has since released dozens of additional gaming mice models, but fans of the MX518 have long been relegated to paying inflated prices for used stock on eBay if they wanted to get their hands on a replacement.

Now, after a not-so-quiet launch in Asia late last year, Logitech is relaunching the MX518 in Western markets. The company cites the ongoing chorus of user requests to "bring back the MX518" as the reason for the device's revival, and Logitech says that this re-released version is crafted from the original designs with the same shape and feel.

"As one of the most-beloved gaming mice ever, MX518 has inspired legions of fans around the world to ask Logitech G to bring it out of retirement. And we heard you. We pulled the original tools from the Vault and meticulously restored them -- right down to the original glossy keyplate. It's the classic, comfortable shape you know and love, now with modern components that perform to today's advanced standards and a new, updated Nightfall color scheme."

But just because the MX518's exterior remains the same doesn't mean that the mouse's internals can't be updated to take advantage of almost fifteen years of technological advancements. Logitech is therefore packing the "very latest, next-generation technologies" into the new MX518, including a HERO 16K sensor and a 32-bit ARM processor that gives the new mouse a 1ms report rate. Like Logitech's other gaming products, users will be able to store button layouts and custom DPI settings to the mouse's onboard memory so it will always perform and operate the way you want even when connected to PCs not running Logitech's Gaming Software.

logitech-mx518-relaunch.jpg

Check out the full list of specifications below and head over to Logitech's Gaming site to pre-order the MX518 for $59.99. Shipping date has yet to be announced but considering that the product is already on the market in China, it shouldn't be too long a wait for longtime Logitech fans on this side of the globe to get their fix.

PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Height: 131 mm
  • Width: 73 mm
  • Depth: 43 mm
  • Weight: 101 g mouse only
  • Cable length: ~ 2.10 m

TRACKING

  • Sensor: HERO™ 16K
  • Resolution: 100 – 16,000 DPI
  • Zero smoothing/acceleration/filtering
  • Max. acceleration: > 40 G
  • Max. speed: > 400 IPS

RESPONSIVENESS

  • USB data format: 16 bits/axis
  • USB report rate: 1000 Hz (1ms)
  • Microprocessor: 32-bit ARM

DURABILITY

  • PTFE Feet: > 250 kilometers

OTHER FEATURES

  • Onboard memory: 5 profiles
  • Lightweight, flexible cable

REQUIREMENTS

  • Windows® 7 or later
  • macOS® 10.11 or later
  • USB port
  • Internet access for Logitech Gaming Software (optional)

PART NUMBER

  • 910-005542

WARRANTY INFORMATION

  • 2 - Year Warranty
Source: Logitech G

NZXT Announces H500 Overwatch Edition Mid-Tower Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 19, 2019 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: special edition, overwatch, nzxt, H500 Overwatch Edition, H500, gaming, enclosure, chassis, case

NZXT is announcing today that they have teamed up with Blizzard Entertainment for "the First Overwatch-themed PC chassis" with the new Overwatch Edition of their H500 mid-tower enclosure.

H500-Overwatch_noSystem-side-front.jpg

"The new, special edition H500 Overwatch Edition midtower showcases NZXT’s signature design with a sleek look that any hero would be proud to have in their arsenal. Featuring an all-steel construction in black, a cable management system for streamlined building, and a luminous Overwatch logo on the front panel, this special H500 chassis is perfect for the Overwatch player looking to outfit their rig for battle."

H500-Overwatch_System-front.jpg

The Overwatch logo on the front panel is illuminated

NZXT lists these features for the H500 Overwatch Edition mid-tower case:

  • Features the iconic Black, White, and Orange colors of Overwatch
  • A luminous Overwatch logo brightly displayed on the front panel
  • Modern design and builder-friendly features
  • Premium, all-steel construction with the sleek H Series aesthetic
  • Tempered glass side panel showcases your build
  • Wire management is made easy with an intuitive, patent-pending cable management system
  • Water-cooling installation is simplified using a removable bracket for either all-in-one CPU coolers or custom loop configurations

H500-Overwatch_System-Main2.jpg

The new H500 Overwatch Edition mid-tower case is available globally from NZXT, with U.S. pricing set at $149.99.

Source: NZXT

Elements of Steam Redesign Starting to Appear

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2019 - 09:51 AM |
Tagged: valve, store, steam

As it approaches its sixteenth birthday, Valve's Steam client is long overdue for a redesign. Facing new competition in an increasingly fragmented digital games marketplace, Valve late last year teased that a fresh overhaul of Steam's look and feel was on the slate for 2019.

steam-redesign-about.jpg

And while Valve hasn't made any official announcements regarding the timing of the Steam redesign, users are beginning to notice some changes that indicate a rollout may begin sooner rather than later. Most notably, Valve has quietly updated Steam's About page, which now sports a much more modern look, complete with bold text, simpler graphics and icons, and lots of white space (technically "dark" space in Steam's case).

There's also an auto-playing video in the upper-right corner that shows a simplified Steam interface layout that significantly differs from the current design.

steam-redesign-interface.jpg

Others have noticed that certain interface elements within Steam, such as a pop-up window listing mod prerequisites, are now displaying a different look in terms of fonts and colors.

Valve has already taken a componentized approach to Steam updates, releasing redesigned chat and wishlist interfaces last year, so it's not clear if the overall store and client redesign will be unveiled all at once or roll out piece-by-piece over time.

Source: Steam

Humble 505 Games Sale: Up to 90% Off

Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2019 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: humble, games, deals, 505 games

Forget the pasta, bring some Italian goodness into your life another way this week with the 505 Games Sale over at the Humble Store. Take your pick of 16 games and a dozen DLCs from the Italian game publisher at up to 90% off.

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Titles include Assetto Corsa, ABZÛ, Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons, and Virginia. All games activate via Steam. The sale is on now through Monday, February 25th at 10:00 a.m. PST. Check it out to save some money on some great games, and don't forget to check the Charity box during checkout to help support some worthy causes.

PC Perspective is a Humble Partner, so we earn a small commission if you purchase any games from this sale via our link. We appreciate your support but if you want to check out the sale without supporting us, just use this unaffilaited link here.

Source: Humble Store

NVIDIA Releases 418.99 Hotfix for Windows 7 / 8.1 Crashes

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 18, 2019 - 12:07 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers, geforce

Apparently the latest WHQL driver, 418.81, can cause random application crashes and TDRs (“Timeout Detection and Recovery”) issues on Windows 7 and 8.1. NVIDIA has followed up with a hotfix driver, 418.99, that addresses the issue.

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Hotfix drivers do not undergo full testing, so they should not be installed unless you are concerned about the specific issues they fix. In this case, because the bug does not affect Windows 10, a Windows 10 driver is not even provided.

In case you’re wondering what “Timeout Detection and Recovery” is, Windows monitors the graphics driver to make sure that work is being completed quickly (unless it is not driving a monitor – Windows doesn’t care how long a GPU is crunching on compute tasks if it is not being used for graphics). If it hangs for a significant time, Windows reboots the graphics driver just in case it was stuck in, for example, an infinite loop caused by a bad shader or compute task. Without TDR, the only way to get out of this situation would be to cut power to the system.

Introduction and Cooler Overview

Introduction

Aquacomputer's Cuplex Kryos Next water block is aptly named, in that it is the next evolution of their award winning Cuplex Kryos block. The biggest functional redesign was with the internal flow dynamics of the block, changing from a pin grid design to a micro-channel design on the base plate.

02-cuplex-kryos-next-blocks.jpg

Courtesy of Aquacomputer

Externally, they added the option of including their Vision display, which integrates into the front of the block and displays real-time statistics on coolant temperature and flow. The block we used for our tests did not include the Vision module but was an all copper design with nickel plating throughout. The base all metal version of the Cuplex Krynos Next comes at a price premium with an MSRP of around $100.00.

03-microchannel-structure.jpg

Courtesy of Aquacomputer

Note that the Cuplex Kryos Next water block comes with a variety of different configurations, ranging from an acrylic top to an all silver design. Because of this variety, the price can vary quite bit from the above listed MSRP. Adding the Vision module to the block can increase the price even more.

Technical Specifications (taken from the manufacturer website)

Water Block Specifications
Dimensions Base 115x: 94 x 94 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
Base 2011: 98 x 98 x 22 mm (screws not included)
Base AM3: 116 x 68 x 22 mm (screws and backplate not included)
Thread G1/4
Distance of connecting threads Models without VISION except acrylic version: 28 mm
Acrylic version without VISION: 27 mm
Models with VISION except acrylic version: 24 mm
Acrylic version with VISION: 23.5 mm

Continue reading our review of the Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos Next water block!

European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 Begins

Subject: General Tech | February 18, 2019 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: esa, speedrun, charity

Another video game speedrun marathon has just begun. The European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 event started a few hours ago, at 7am EST, and will continue until the games are done, which should be Saturday evening. The last item on the schedule is a race of Cuphead between kalevan_herra, Kirthar, and TwoCPlus in the All Bosses, Regular, Legacy category, although there is a $1,000 donation incentive where kalevan_herra will do an extra solo run of All Bosses, Regular, Current Patch after the race.

esa-2019-logo.png

One interesting feature of ESA is that they tend to run two streams with separate games. While the second stream is not online for the whole marathon, it allows them to separate out some (not all) of the long runs so that the main stream can have a faster pace. The Stream 2 game with the fastest estimate (2 hours and 10 minutes) is Jade Empire on Tuesday at 4:30pm EST, and Stream 2 game with the longest estimate (10 hours and 45 minutes) is Final Fantasy X on Thursday at 7am EST.

ESA Winter 2019 benefits Save the Children.

Source: ESA Marathon

Rumor: Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti Will Use Smaller TU116 GPU

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2019 - 10:34 AM |
Tagged: turing, tu116, nvidia, gtx 1660 ti, 12nm

The rumor mill is churning out additional information on the alleged NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti graphics card as it gets closer to its purported release date later this month. Based on the same Turing architecture as the already launched RTX series (RTX 2080, RTX 2070, RTX 2060), the GTX 1660 Ti will reportedly use a smaller TU116 GPU (specifically TU116-400-A1) and 6GB of GDDR6 memory on a 192-bit memory bus. Spotted by VideoCardz, TU116 appears to be pin compatible with TU106 (the GPU used in RTX 2060) but the die itself is noticeably smaller suggesting that TU116 is a new GPU rather than a cut down TU106 GPU with hardware purposefully disabled or binned down due manufacturing defects.

NVIDIA-GTX-1660-Ti-PCB.jpg

A bare MSI GTX 1660 Ti Ventus XS graphics card courtesy VideoCardz.

Rumor has it that the GTX 1660 Ti will feature 1536 CUDA cores, 96 Texture Units, and an unknown number of ROPs (possibly 48 though as the memory bus is the same as RTX 2060 with its 192-bit bus). Clockspeeds will start at 1500 MHz and boost to 1770 MHz. The 6GB of GDDR6 will be clocked at 6000 MHz. VideoCardz showed off an alleged MSI GTX 1660 Ti graphics card with the cooler removed showing off the PCB and components. Interestingly, the PCB has six memory chips on board for the 6GB GDDR6 with spots and traces for two more chips. Don't get your hopes up for an 8GB card however, as it appears that NVIDIA is simply making things easier on AIB partners by using pin compatible GPUs allowing them to reuse boards for the higher end graphics card models for the GTX 1660 Ti. The PCB board number for the GTX 1660 Ti is PG161 and is similar to the board used with RTX 2060 (PG160).

Enthusiasts' favorite twitter leaker TUM_APISAK further stirs the rumor pot with a leaked screenshot showing the benchmark results of a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card in Final Fantasy XV with a 1440p High Quality preset. The GTX 1660 Ti allegedly scored 5,000 points putting it just above the GTX 1070 at 4,955 points and just under the 980 Ti's 5052 score. Compared to the other side, the GTX 1660 Ti appears to sit between a presumably overclocked RX Vega (4876) and a Radeon Vega II (5283).

NVIDIA GTX 1660 Ti Benchmark Leak.png

@TUM_APISAK shows off a FF:XV benchmark run including results from an unspecified GTX 1660 Ti graphics card.

Other performance rumors suggest that the GTX 1660 Ti will offer up 5.44 TFLOPs. RT cores are apparently cut (or disabled) in this GPU, but it is not clear whether or not the Tensor cores are intact (rumors seem to say yes though).

Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics cards based on the TU116 GPU will reportedly start at $279 [update: VideoCardz claims the pricing has been confirmed from information given to reviewers] and may well launch as soon as February 22nd (though they've already missed one rumored launch date on the 15th...). Assuming for a minute the performance factors are true, it is interesting to see the smaller TU116 GPU with fewer CUDA cores at least getting close to GTX 1070 performance. The GTX 1070 uses the 16nm GP104 GPU (7.2B transistors) with 1920 CUDA cores (1506 MHz), 120 texture units, 64 ROPs, and 8GB of memory on a 256-bit bus clocked at 8000 MHz. The GTX 1070 offers up to 5.7 TFLOPS. Looking at the progress over the past few generations, it is neat to see that as architectures improve, they are able to do more work with less (but better/faster) CUDA cores. I would guess that the GTX 1660 Ti will not best the GTX 1070 in all games and situations though as the GTX 1070 does have more ROPs and more total memory (though the GDDR6 memory on GTX 1660 Ti does offer more bandwidth than the 1070's GDDR5 despite the smaller bus). Pricing will be interesting in this regard as the rumored price starts at $279 for GTX 1660 Ti. The cheapest GTX 1070 I found online at time of publication was $300 with most cards going for closer to $330+. We may see price drops on the older GTX 1070 cards as a result. GTX 1060 cards are going for $200+ and RX 580 cards are sitting at $190+, RX 590 at $260+, and Vega 56 prices starting at $330 (and go crazy high heh) so the GTX 1660 Ti may also push down the prices of the highe end and higher priced models of those cards as well.

What are your thoughts on the latest rumors?

Related reading:

Source: TechPowerUp

Asus Shows Turing TUF Love with new TUF RTX 2060 Graphics Cards

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 16, 2019 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: turing, tuf, RTX 2060, nvidia, graphics card, factory overclocked, asus

Asus recently announced two new Turing-based graphics cards that are part of the TUF (The Ultimate Force) series. Clad in urban camo with shades of grey, the Asus TUF RTX 2060 6GB Gaming and TUF RTX 2060 OC 6GB Gaming pair Nvidia’s 12nm TU106 GPU and 6GB of GDDR6 memory with a dual fan cooler and backplate. As part of the TUF series, the new graphics cards use Asus’ Auto Extreme manufacturing technology and are put through its 144-hour validation program.

Asus TUF RTX 2060.png

The RTX 2060 GPU features 1920 CUDA cores, 120 TMUs, 48 ROPs, 240 Tensor cores, and 30 RT cores. The standard TUF RTX 2060 6GB Gaming graphics card comes clocked at 1365 MHz base and 1689 MHz boost out of the box with the boost clock jumping to 1710 MHz in OC Mode. The OC model graphics card, however, comes clocked by default at 1365 MHz base and 1710 MHz boost in Gaming Mode and 1740 MHz boost in OC Mode (when using Asus’ software).

Asus TUF RTX 2060 Backplate.png

The TUF Graphics cards feature one dual layer DVI, two HDMI 2.0b, and one DisplayPort 1.4 video outputs. The dual fan cooler is IP5X dust resistant and uses dual ball bearing fans. A black metal backplate is secured to the card to help PCB rigidity. The cards measure 20.4 x 12.5 x 4.6 centimeters so should be compatible with most cases. The cards are powered by a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector.

The TUF cards use a no-frills design sans any RGB or extra features so should be priced competitively and may go well with a silent PC or sleeper PC build. Unfortunately, Asus is not talking specific pricing or availability yet.

Source: Asus

Arm will be extending it's reach in the next few years

Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2019 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: v8.1-M, arm, helium, cortex

Today ARM will reveal what it has up it's sleeves, with an announcement about their updated Armv8.1-M.  This will add M-Profile Vector Extension to the current model, which will give a boost to it's ability to process input locally, without needing to connect to the cloud for back up.  It will also include Low Overhead Branch Extensions which will optimize the performance of onboard memory.  These two improvements, along with the others which you can read about at The Registerr will make your IoT devices a little more powerful in a few years, once Armv8.1-M hits the market.

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"This technology is expected to be the foundation of future beefy Arm Cortex-M CPU cores that chipmakers can license and stick in their components."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PC Perspective Podcast #532 - EVGA NU Audio, Radeon VII Pro Drivers, and DLSS

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2019 - 05:30 PM |
Tagged: sound card, radeon viii, podcast, Nu Audio, hyperx, evga, encrypted storage, DLSS, battlefield V, audiophile

PC Perspective Podcast #532 - 2/13/2019

This week we take a look at a high-end audio card from EVGA, a USB flash drive with built-in hardware encryption, and new gaming mouse from HyperX, the latest NVIDIA and AMD driver updates, and GTX 1660 Ti rumors.

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Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:07:14 - Review: EVGA NU Audio Card
00:26:26 - Review: iStorage datAshur Pro Encrypted USB Drive
00:32:41 - Review: HyperX Pulsefire Core Gaming Mouse
00:36:40 - News: AMD Radeon Adrenalin 19.2.2 Driver Update
00:42:04 - News: AMD Pro Driver Support for Radeon VII
00:47:18 - News: NVIDIA DLSS Driver & Battlefield V
00:59:07 - News: Microsoft Wants You to Dump Internet Explorer
01:03:12 - News: GTX 1660 Ti Spec Rumors
01:15:53 - Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week
Jeremy: 3D-Printed Rubber Band Gun
Josh: Cheap 1TB SATA SSD
Jim: Top Gun
Sebastian: Top Secret!

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Skip Ahead? Skip Way Ahead. Windows 10 20H1 Test Build

Subject: General Tech | February 14, 2019 - 03:23 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

Microsoft has pushed a test build for Windows 10 20H1, which is scheduled to be publicly released around April 2020. For context, we are currently on Windows 10 18H2 and Windows 10 19H1 is expected to ship in a couple of months (~April 2019).

Microsoft still plans on shipping Windows 10 19H2 around October 2019.

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This decision was met with snark from some of the more prominent reporters on Microsoft and Windows. One issue that was raised is how the rings will be handled going forward. Currently, there does not exist a branch that contains 19H2. It seems likely that “Skip Ahead” will never drop back to 19H2, especially since rolling back from a preview build is generally unsupported. Will Microsoft continue to have “Skip Ahead” be two builds out, “Fast” be one build out, “Slow” be at most one build out, and “Release Preview” be incremental on the current build? Or will “Skip Ahead” kind-of roll back to “Fast” once the latter catches up and they no longer need to have a feature that requires an abnormally long testing branch?

As for the changes? Not a whole lot. One that stands out is a seemingly innocuous “updating the name of the Windows Light them to be Windows (light)”. This sort-of suggests themes that will not be Windows. I could see some sort of interface or theming update taking an abnormally long time… although I somewhat doubt that is the mystery big feature.

On the other hand, it must be something that Microsoft wants actively tested. Whether that’s automated (via telemetry on a wide array of computers) or through direct feedback from their users will need to be seen.

Source: Microsoft

1440p's greatest hits, featuring the Radeon VII

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 14, 2019 - 01:54 PM |
Tagged: 1440p, radeon vii, amd

When The Tech Report initially tested AMD's brand new Radeon VII they focused on 4K performance.  This lead to some feedback from those playing at 1440p, which convinced them to revisit the card and the competition, at this resolution.  The results remained similar to their previous tests, demonstrating this is a card that is good a multiple things but not the best at any.  The price to performance beats a GTX 1080 Ti if you can pick up the Radeon VII at MSRP, but overall the RTX 2080 remains a better card for gaming.

On the other hand if you are doing work which requires large pools of VRAM, the Radeon VII offers a good mix of performance for such tasks and can power your after hours gaming.

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"Our initial tests showed AMD's Radeon VII couldn't beat the GeForce RTX 2080 for 4K gaming superiority, but many more enthusiasts have high-refresh-rate 2560x1440 displays to deliver their pixel fix. We retested the RTX 2080 and Radeon VII at 2560x1440 to see which card comes out on top."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards