Subject: General Tech | February 21, 2017 - 06:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: jon peddie, marketshare, graphics cards
The GPU market increased 5.6% from Q3 to Q4 of 2016, beating the historical average of -4.7% by quite a large margin, over the year we saw an increase of 21.1%. That increase is even more impressive when you consider that the total PC market dropped 10.1% in the same time, showing that far more consumers chose to upgrade their existing machines instead of buying new ones. This makes sense as neither Intel nor AMD offered a compelling reason to upgrade your processor and motherboard for anyone who purchased one in the last two or three years.
AMD saw a nice amount of growth, grabbing almost 8% of the total market from NVIDIA over the year, though they lost a tiny bit of ground between Q3 and Q4 of 2016. Jon Peddie's sample also includes workstation class GPUs as well as gaming models and it seems a fair number of users chose to upgrade their machines as that market increased just over 19% in 2016.
"The graphics add-in board market has defied gravity for over a year now, showing gains while the overall PC market slips. The silly notion of integrated graphics "catching up" with discrete will hopefully be put to rest now," said Dr. Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie research, the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel prepares for 5G with launch of XMM 7560 Gigabit LTE modem @ The Inquirer
- Intel reveals Optane will need a 7th-gen core and a PC-centric launch @ The Register
- Amazon Quietly Lowered Its Free Shipping Minimum to $35 @ Slashdot
- Microsoft Confirms Another 2017 Update After Windows 10 Creators Update @ Slashdot
Subject: Editorial | February 23, 2017 - 05:16 PM | AlexL
Tagged: podcast, vulkan, ryzen, qualcomm, Qt, mesh, g213, eero, corsair, bulldog
PC Perspective Podcast #438 - 02/23/17
Join us for Vulkan one year later, Logitech G213 Keyboard, eero home mesh networking, Ryzen Pre Orders, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison, Josh Walrath, Jermey Hellstrom
Program length: 0:58:01
Subject: Motherboards | February 26, 2017 - 06:29 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x370, sli, ryzen, PCI-E 3.0, gaming, crossfire, b350, amd
Computerbase.de recently published an update (translated) to an article outlining the differences between AMD’s AM4 motherboard chipsets. As it stands, the X370 and B350 chipsets are set to be the most popular chipsets for desktop PCs (with X300 catering to the small form factor crowd) especially among enthusiasts. One key differentiator between the two chipsets was initially support for multi-GPU configurations with X370. Now that motherboards have been revealed and are up for pre-order now, it turns out that the multi-GPU lines have been blurred a bit. As it stands, both B350 and X370 will support AMD’s CrossFire multi-GPU technology and the X370 alone will also have support for NVIDIA’s SLI technology.
The AM4 motherboards equipped with the B350 and X370 chipsets that feature two PCI-E x16 expansion slots will run as x8 in each slot in a dual GPU setup. (In a single GPU setup, the top slot can run at full x16 speeds.) Which is to say that the slots behave the same across both chipsets. Where the chipsets differ is in support for specific GPU technologies where NVIDIA’s SLI is locked to X370. TechPowerUp speculates that the decision to lock SLI to its top-end chipset is due, at least in part, to licensing costs. This is not a bad thing as B350 was originally not going to support any dual x16 slot multi-GPU configurations, but now motherboard manufacturers are being allowed to enable it by including a second slot and AMD will reportedly permit CrossFire usage (which costs AMD nothing in licensing). Meanwhile the most expensive X370 chipset will support SLI for those serious gamers that demand and can afford it. Had B350 supported SLI and carried the SLI branding, they likely would have been ever so slightly more expensive than they are now. Of course, DirectX 12's multi-adapter will work on either chipset so long as the game supports it.
|X370||B350||A320||X300 / B300 / A300||Ryzen CPU||Bristol Ridge APU|
|PCI-E 3.0||0||0||0||4||20 (18 w/ 2 SATA)||10|
|USB 3.1 Gen 2||2||2||1||1||0||0|
|USB 3.1 Gen 1||6||2||2||2||4||4|
|SATA 6 Gbps||4||2||2||2||2||2|
|Overclocking Capable?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes (X300 only)|
Multi-GPU is not the only differentiator though. Moving up from B350 to X370 will get you 6 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) ports versus 2 on B350/A30/X300, two more PCI-E 2.0 lanes (8 versus 6), and two more SATA ports (6 total usable; 4 versus 2 coming from the chipset).
Note that X370, B350, and X300 all support CPU overclocking. Hopefully this helps you when trying to decide which AM4 motherboard to pair with your Ryzen CPU once the independent benchmarks are out. In short, if you must have SLI you are stuck ponying up for X370, but if you plan to only ever run a single GPU or tend to stick with AMD GPUs and CrossFire, B350 gets you most of the way to a X370 for a lot less money! You do not even have to give up any USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports though you limit your SATA drive options (it’s all about M.2 these days anyway heh).
For those curious, looking around on Newegg I notice that most of the B350 motherboards have that second PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot and CrossFire support listed in their specifications and seem to average around $99. Meanwhile X370 starts at $140 and rockets up from there (up to $299!) depending on how much bling you are looking for!
Are you going for a motherboard with the B350 or X370 chipset? Will you be rocking multiple graphics cards?
- AMD Ryzen Pre-order Starts Today, Specs and Performance Revealed
- AMD Launching Ryzen 5 Six Core Processors Soon (Q2 2017)
- AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards
- AMD Officially Launches Bristol Ridge Processors And Zen-Ready AM4 Platform
- Biostar Launches X370GT7 Flagship Motherboard For Ryzen CPUs
- Gigabyte is Ryzen up to the challenge of their rivals
- Mid-Range Gigabyte Socket AM4 (B350 Chipset) Micro ATX Motherboard Pictured
- CES 2017: MSI Shows Off X370 XPower Gaming Titanium AM4 Motherboard
Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2017 - 09:46 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vulkan, Qt, nvidia
NVIDIA has just donated their entire DRIVE Design Studio to The Qt Company, who will form it into Qt 3D Studio. This product will be a visual editor for 3D user interfaces, where layers of 2D and 3D objects can be created, animated, and integrated into C++ applications. It will take them a little while to clean it up for public consumption, but it will eventually be available under the commercial / open-source dual-license that users of Qt are accustomed to.
If you’re not familiar with the Qt Framework, then, basically, think of a cross-platform, open-source alternative to the .NET framework, although it is based in unmanaged C++. (It also competes with GTK+. This isn’t a major point, but I would like it to be clear that it’s not a two-person race between one proprietary and one open-source player.) When AMD updated their graphics drivers to Crimson Edition, and flaunted huge speed-ups, it was mostly because they switched the control panel's UI framework from .NET to Qt.
As an aside, The Qt Company joined the Khronos Group on the day that Vulkan launched, which was almost exactly a year ago, and they are actively working on integrating the API in their framework. Combined with today’s announcement, it’s not hard to imagine how much easier it will be, some day, to create efficient and beautiful UIs.
Update: Speaking of which, The Qt Company is apparently planning to release Vulkan support with Qt 5.10.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 23, 2017 - 06:44 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mid tower, led, FSP Group, fsp, atx
Today FSP Group (a company mainly known for power supplies with headquarters in Taiwan) is launching a new mid tower ATX computer case called the CMT210. The new PC mid-tower features a transparent side window, black angular exterior with LED accents, and a focus on cooling performance. The 460mm x 220mm x 432mm steel case is aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want to show off their PC internals.
The front of the CMT210 mid tower is dominated by a massive filtered vent that houses up to three 120mm fans or a 360mm water cooling radiator. The large vent with angled “water droplet” mesh is surrounded by a shroud that features colored accents in either black, red, silver, or deep blue depending on the model you choose. Up top the case offers two audio jacks, two USB 3.0 ports, and a single USB 2.0 port. (The USB 3.0 ports can be plugged into a USB 2.0 motherboard header with the included adapter if you are still holding off on upgrading to Kaby Lake or Ryzen.)
The top of the case is flat with no vents, and there are also no vents on the bottom. Instead there is a single 120mm exhaust fan vent at the rear of the case. FSP includes two of its own 120mm LED fans with the case that come pre-installed in the front and back.
The CMT210 is compatible with ATX motherboards, seven PCI slots, three 3.5” and three 2.5” tool-less drive bays, CPU coolers up to 160mm high and graphics cards up to 360mm long, and ATX power supplies (20.5cm). The power supply is bottom mounted in this case and the storage drives are snapped into trays in the bottom-front caddy and motherboard tray. There are cutouts for cable routing but no rubber grommets (not the end of the world, but they are a nice touch).
FSP claims that its new case is designed with "cooling, expansion, and compatibility" in mind. It is available now in the US though pricing is still unknown as retailers have not put up product pages yet. For more information on the CMT210 you can find details on this product page and this video.
I am curious how well the cooling setup will work with only a single exhaust fan especially if you had a multi GPU setup with aftermarket coolers. Hopefully Sebastian can put it through its paces at some point to examine the build quality and cooling prowess claims. If the price is right, it could be a good budget case as it does not look too bad and does not go crazy with LEDs and bling which is nice to see (I may just be getting old though haha).
What are your thoughts on PSU maker FSP Group getting into the case market?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 21, 2017 - 08:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: reeven, Okeanos, Okeanos RC-1402
The Okeanos RC-1402 is a large hunk of metal, standing 140x135x163mm and weighing in at 1145g when both the 12cm and 14cm fans are attached. This makes it just a bit smaller than Morry's beloved Noctua NH-D15, which will allow it to fit into slightly tighter builds. [H]ard|OCP tested it on an i7-4770K and found its performance to be acceptable but not outstanding in any way. Unfortunately, the price does stand out as it costs more than coolers which offer equivalent performance. Drop by for a look at their whole review.
"The Reeven Okeanos RC-1402 is not exactly a new CPU air cooler, but it is not widely available in the United States so it has not gotten a lot of coverage in North America. The cost for the cooler is not low, and two staggered-sized fans are included in the box, so we have fairly high performance expectations for this twin tower cooler."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming XTC700 @ eTeknix
- The EVGA Closed Loop CPU Cooler @ BabelTechReviews
- Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 6 @ Kitguru
- SilverStone Redline RL06 PRO ATX Mid-Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Aerocool P7-C1 @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2017 - 07:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, dawn of war III, wauughh
Dawn of War certainly changes from version to version. The first involved standard RTS fare, build bases and upgrade using resources collected on the map. The second was more squad based, with a hero leading meatshields into the fray. The third incarnation seems to lead off of the gameplay of the second, with at least some base and resource management making a comeback.
The new feature are superunits, extremely large and destructive units which you will gain access to as you take over portions of the map. Details are still a bit light but the game engine certainly looks pretty. You can pop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN to find a few of the other older teaser trailers.
"This cinematic-o-gameclip video introduces the broad story in Relic’s RTS and yes, it does basically boil down to finding a pointy stick. But what better item to fight over? If you can win a fight without a pointy stick, just imagine how powerful you’ll be once you get one!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Humble Civ Bundle
- Half-Life 2: Episode 3 creator reflects on reception, one year after release @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Horizon Zero Dawn is the best robot-safari adventure game ever made @ Ars Technica
- Total Warhammer shows off free Bretonnia faction DLC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Valve's Gabe Newell Says Only 30 SteamVR Apps Have Made $250,000+ @ Slashdot
- Let’s chatter over… Prey @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Sniper Elite 4: Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Pew pew! Mass Effect Andromeda trailer details combat @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | February 24, 2017 - 08:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cherry mx brown, input, mechanical keyboard, armato, AZiO
The Azio Armato is a big aluminium keyboard, with five macro keys located on the lower left, on the upper right are media control buttons beside the large volume knob. The keyboard does come with a wrist rest, which attaches via a magnet so you can choose to remove it at will. The keyboard does not require software, lighting is controlled via keystrokes and macros are recorded by pushing that large REC button and one of the macro keys, then up to up to 31 keys in sequence and the REC button again to save the macro. You can see more of the Armato over at Benchmark Reviews.
"In any case Benchmark Reviews has in hand their Armato Mechanical Gaming Keyboard, model MGK-ARMATO-01. As a single-color backlit mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, it might seem as if there’s little to distinguish it from the many other similar products available. But first appearances can be deceiving, as we’ll find out in this review."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Roccat Suora FX @ Kitguru
- Das Keyboard X40 Pro Gaming Mechanical Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Genius Scorpion K20 Keyboard Review: Fast-input and Wallet Friendly @ Modders-Inc
- Tesoro Gram Spectrum RGB Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- AZIO MGK L80 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | February 20, 2017 - 05:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, linux 4.10
The new week brings a new Linux kernel to users, with some additions which will interest fans of low powered computing as well as those of high powered machines. The new kernel brings support for the Snapdragon 808 and 810 for those who are working with Linux on those SOCs. For the high powered crew, added support for L2 and L3 cache on Intel processors, there is now support for virtual GPUs and The Inquirer mentions that AMD cards should get a bit of a boost. So much for skipping straight to 4.11.
"On the whole, 4.10 didn't end up as small as it initially looked.After the huge release that was 4.9, I expected things to be pretty quiet, but it ended up very much a fairly average release by modern kernel standards. So we have about 13,000 commits (not counting merges - that would be another 1200+ commits if you count those)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 20 per cent of emails sent in 2016 were loaded with ransomware @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft Has Cancelled the Second-Gen HoloLens, Working on Third-Gen For 2019 Launch @ Slashdot
- The Complete Samsung Forum 2017 Coverage @ TechARP
- Some Recyclers Give Up On Recycling Old Monitors And TVs @ Slashdot
Subject: General Tech | February 26, 2017 - 05:13 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, pc gaming
When VR started to take off, developers begun to realize that audio is worth some attention. Historically, it’s been difficult to market, but that’s par for the course when it comes to VR technology, so I guess that’s no excuse to pass it up anymore. Now Valve, the owners of the leading VR platform on the PC have just released an API for audio processing: Steam Audio SDK.
Image Credit: Valve Software
First, I should mention that the SDK is not quite open. The GitHub page (and the source code ZIP in its releases tab) just contain the license (which is an EULA) and the readme. That said, Valve is under no obligation to provide these sorts of technology to the open (even though it would be nice) and they are maintaining builds for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. It is currently available as a C API and a plug-in for Unity. Unreal Engine 4, FMOD, and WWISE plug-ins are “coming soon”.
As for the technology itself, it has quite a few interesting features. As you might expect, it supports HRTF out of the box, which modifies a sound call to appear like it’s coming from a defined direction. The algorithm is based on experimental data, rather than some actual, physical process.
More interesting is their sound propagation and occlusion calculations. They are claiming that this can be raycast, and static scenes can bake some of the work ahead-of-time, which will reduce runtime overhead. Unlike VRWorks Audio or TrueAudio Next, it looks like they’re doing it on the CPU, though. I’m guessing this means that it will mostly raycast to fade between versions of the audio, rather than summing up contributions from thousands of individual rays at runtime (or an equivalent algorithm, like voxel leakage).
Still, this is available now as a C API and a Unity Plug-in, because Valve really likes Unity lately.
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