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Micron Launches 32GB NVDIMM-N - Intel Announces 3D XPoint NVDIMM

Subject: Storage | November 15, 2017 - 09:59 PM |
Tagged: NVDIMM, XPoint, 3D XPoint, 32GB, NVDIMM-N, NVDIMM-F, NVDIMM-P, DIMM

We're finally starting to see NVDIMM materialize beyond the unobtanium. Micron recently announced 32GB NVDIMM-N:

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These come with 32GB of DRAM plus 64GB of SLC NAND flash.

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These are in the NVDIMM-N form factor and can offer some very impressive latency improvements over other non-volatile storage methods.

Next up is Intel, who recently presented at the UBS Global Technology Conference:

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We've seen Intel's Optane in many different forms, and now it looks like we finally have a date for 3D XPoint DIMMs - 2nd half of 2018! There are lots of hurdles to overcome as the JEDEC spec is not yet finalized (and might not be by the time this launches). Motherboard and BIOS support also needs to be more widely adopted for this to take off as well.

Don't expect this to be in your desktop machine anytime soon, but one can hope!

Press blast for the Micron 32GB NVDIMM-N appears after the break.

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Huawei

Overview

Despite their large global presence in smartphones, Huawei isn't a brand widely known to US consumers. While this has improved year by year with the introduction of unlocked phones from and their Mate brand, I don't think that most Americans realize how big of a consumer electronics company Huawei is.

One of the more recent categories that Huawei has entered is the Windows notebook and tablet market. Starting with the announcement of the original MateBook at Mobile World Congress in 2016 (see our subsequent review here), the MateBook line was expanded this year to include two traditional notebook form factors—the thin-and-light MateBook X, and the more mainstream MateBook D.

With the introduction of these new products, the 2-in-1 tablet formerly known as just the MateBook has been slightly revised and renamed to the MateBook E, the product that we are looking at today.

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Huawei MateBook E  (configuration as reviewed)
Processor Intel Core m3-7Y30
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615
Memory 4GB LPDDR3
Screen 12-in 2160x1440 IPS
Storage

128GB SanDisk SATA SSD

Wireless Intel 8275 802.11ac + BT 4.2 (Dual Band, 2x2)
Connections 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
Audio combo jack
Battery 33 Wh
Dimensions 278.8mm x 194.1mm x 6.8mm (10.98" x 7.64" x .27")
2.43 lb (1100 g) 
OS Windows 10 Home
Price $699 - Amazon.com

Click here to continue reading our review of the Huawei MateBook E!

FSP's new CMT510 tempered glass enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 15, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: RGB, fsp, CMT510

FSP's new CMT510 is not just a pretty case, it does sports some attractive features.  The front and both side panels are constructed from 4mm thick tempered glass with translucent  Galaxy Dark colouring.  This ensures that your RGBs will show through, not just your own but also the four RGB 120mm fans included with case. 

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The case can handle from mini-ITX to ATX motherboards, with CPU coolers of up to 165mm in height as well as GPUs of up to 400mm in length.  In the front you can swap out the fans with a radiator of up to 360mm, or replace them with 140mm fans if you prefer air cooling.

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As you can see in the picture above, the design offers a lot of space to work in. Your 3.5" drives attach behind the motherboard tray while the 2.5" are installed lying flat on top of the PSU shroud.  Overall you get a fair amount of features for your $100.

PR and movie below the fold.

Source: FSP Group

GeForce Game Ready 388.31 WHQL arrives for Star Wars and Destiny

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 15, 2017 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: nivida, Star Wars Battlefront 2, destiny 2, 388.31, game ready

NVIDA's newest Game Ready WHQL driver arrived today, version 388.31 offers optimized support for EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Injustice 2 as well as improvements to the performance of a variety of games including Destiny 2.

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SLI will work as intended in the new Battlefront with this driver and a variety of other games received new SLI profiles as well.  This is also the first driver to officially support the new GTX 1070 Ti, so make sure to grab it if you have been shopping recently.

 

Source: NVIDIA

The Wolfensteins of Vulkan in the spotlight

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2017 - 02:12 PM |
Tagged: gaming, Wolfenstein 2, vulkan, amd, nvidia

[H]ard|OCP took a close look at the new Wolfenstein game, covering the new graphics options which appear in the menus as well as the bugs that could be caused by then, not to mention the benchmarking.  For this Vulkan game they chose three AMD cards and four NVIDIA cards to test with a variety of thsoe options enabled as well as looking at the effect resolution has on your performance.  As we have seen in other recent games, AMD's Vega 64 is a strong contender at 4K resolutions, surpassing the GTX 1080 but not quite matching its 1080 Ti brother.  It is also worth noting this game loves VRAM, in fact 8GB is not enough for Uber settings.  Read through the full review for performance numbers as well as insight into the best graphics settings to chose.

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"Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus is out; this new game uses the id Tech 6 game engine and Vulkan API to give you a great gaming experience on the PC with today’s latest GPUs. We will compare performance features, see what settings work best, find what is playable in the game and compare performance among several video cards."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

The phones are taking all the DRAM memory

Subject: General Tech | November 15, 2017 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged:

Once again we have bad news about RAM prices for consumers and great news for manufacturers.  The price rose an average of 5% this past quarter, continuing the upwards trend we have been seeing for quite some time now.  The supply shortage is due to several factors but the dominant one would be the smartphone industry which has vastly increased overall demand for DRAM.  Currently demand far outstrips supply, though as new fabs come online and current ones complete their upgrades to new process technology we should hopefully see a levelling in prices.  As The Inquirer points out, this is not bad news for Samsung, SK Hynix or Micron who are all seeing very nice profits. 

Next time you are thinking about purchasing that shiny new phone, think about your computer for a moment before pressing add to cart.

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"Prices, according to DRAMeXchange, increased by around five per cent in the third quarter, and buyers can expect to pay even more in the foreseeable future."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

VESA Rolls Out DisplayID Version 2.0

Subject: Displays | November 14, 2017 - 05:24 PM |
Tagged: vesa, displayid 2.0

This year has seen a lot of change in the technology used in monitors, with 4K, adaptive refresh rates above 120Hz and HDR becoming common features.  These new features did not exist when DisplayID first replaced the veteran Extended Display Identification Data and so there were no overarching standards governing their implementation.  We have also seen the advent of consumer VR and AR which also lacks a standard for companies to follow.

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The new DisplayID 2.0 standard is specifically for these new devices, with the previous standards remaining to govern the compatibility of legacy products.  The new standard describes how manufacturers can use the modular data block design to send clear information about their devices capabilities to the hardware powering the display.  If followed this will greatly enhance the compatibility of variable refresh rate technology, screens with 4K or higher resolution and wearable displays.

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This will help you avoid experiencing the frustrations early adopters have experienced and will hopefully restore displays to a state where they simply work when plugged into a compatible GPU.  We won't see huge jumps in performance but this will certainly help in the development of 4K displays with high refresh rates, once the power of our GPUs catches up.

 

Source: VESA

A win for the rebels against EA's Empire

Subject: General Tech | November 14, 2017 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: gaming, ea, Star Wars Battlefront 2

Loot boxes may look good on paper as a way to generate extra revenue from a game but in reality they are incredibly unpopular with those who buy games.  Originally EA had set the price of unlocking your first playable hero at 60,000 in game credits.  According to the math done in the article Slashdot linked to, that would entail around 40 hours of gameplay assuming you never used any for the various other unlocks EA charges credits for.  As EA limits the amount of credits you can earn at one time in arcade mode, most of those hours would need to be spent in multiplayer games as opposed to enjoying the game in peace and quiet.  Of course, you could always pay money for them, $450 or so would unlock a hero.

In this case EA actually listened to their prospective customers, dropping the credit requirements for heroes by 75%; the loot boxes remain of course.

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"Most importantly, Electronic Arts today announced that they are reducing the number of credits needed to unlock top characters in the game by 75 percent. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now cost 15,000 credits. Emperor Palatine, Chewbacca and Leia Organa will now cost 10,000 and Iden will cost 5,000."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Iceberg Interactive

A quiet facade

Iceberg Interactive, whom you may know from games like Killing Floor or the Stardrive series have released a new strategy game called Oriental Empires, and happened to send me a copy to try out.

On initial inspection it resembles recent Civilization games but with a more focused design as you take on a tribe in ancient China and attempt to become Emperor, or at least make your neighbours sorry that they ever met you.  Until you have been through 120 turns of the Grand Campaign you cannot access many of the tribes; not a bad thing as that first game is your tutorial.  Apart from an advisor popping up during turns or events, the game does not hold your hand and instead lets you figure out the game on your own.

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That minimalist ideal is featured throughout the entire game, offering one of the cleanest interfaces I've seen in a game.  All of the information you need to maintain and grow your empire is contained in a tiny percentage of the screen or in a handful of in game menus.  This plays well as the terrain and look of the campaign map is quite striking and varies noticeably with the season.

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Spring features cherry blossom trees as well as the occasional flooding.

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Summer is a busy season for your workers and perhaps your armies.

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Fall colours indicate the coming of winter and snow.

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Which also shrouds the peaks in fog.  The atmosphere thus created is quite relaxing, somewhat at odds with many 4X games and perhaps the most interesting thing about this game.

In these screenshots you can see the entire GUI that gives you the information you need to play.  The upper right shows your turn, income and occaisonally a helpful advsor offering suggestions.  Below that you will find a banner that toggles between displaying three lists.  The first is of your cites and their current build queues and population information, the second lists your armies compositions and if they currently have any orders while the last displays any events which effect your burgeoning empire.  The bottom shows your leader and his authority which, among other things, indicates the number of cities you can support without expecting quickly increasing unrest. 

The right hand side lets you bring up the only other five menus which you use in this game.  From top to bottom they offer you diplomacy, technology, Imperial edicts you can or have applied to your Empire, player statistics to let you know how you are faring and the last offering detailed statistics of your empire and those competing tribes you have met.

Next, a bit about the gameplay mechanics.

NVIDIA's SC17 Keynote: Data Center Business on Cloud 9

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 13, 2017 - 10:35 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, data center, Volta, tesla v100

There have been a few NVIDIA datacenter stories popping up over the last couple of months. A month or so after Google started integrating Pascal-based Tesla P100s into their cloud, Amazon announced Telsa V100s for their rent-a-server service. They have also announced Volta-based solutions available or coming from Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IBM, Lenovo, Alibaba Cloud, Baidu Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and Tencent Cloud.

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This apparently translates to boatloads of money. Eyeball-estimating from their graph, it looks as though NVIDIA has already made about 50% more from datacenter sales in their first three quarters (fiscal year 2018) than all last year.

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They are also seeing super-computer design wins, too. Earlier this year, Japan announced that it would get back into supercomputing, having lost ground to other nations in recent years, with a giant, AI-focused offering. Turns out that this design will use 4352 Tesla V100 GPUs to crank out 0.55 ExaFLOPs of (tensor mixed-precision) performance.

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As for product announcements, this one isn’t too exciting for our readers, but should be very important for enterprise software developers. NVIDIA is creating optimized containers for various programming environments, such as TensorFlow and GAMESS, with their recommended blend of driver version, runtime libraries, and so forth, for various generations of GPUs (Pascal and higher). Moreover, NVIDIA claims that they will support it “for as long as they live”. Getting the right container for your hardware is just filling out a simple form and downloading the blob.

NVIDIA’s keynote is available on UStream, but they claim it will also be uploaded to their YouTube soon.

Source: NVIDIA
Manufacturer: Scythe

A Trio of Air Coolers

Scythe is a major player in the air cooling space with a dizzying array of coolers for virtually any application from the Japanese company. In addition to some of the most compact coolers in the business Scythe also offers some of the highest performing - and most quiet - tower coolers available. Two of the largest coolers in the lineup are the new Mugen 5 Rev. B, and the Grand Kama Cross 3 - the latter of which is one of their most outlandish designs.

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Rounding out this review we also have a compact tower option from Scythe in the Byakko, which is a 130 mm tall cooler that can fit in a greater variety of enclosures than the Mugen 5 or Grand Kama Cross due to its lower profile. So how did each perform on the cooler test bench? We put these Scythe coolers against the Intel Core i7-7700K to see how potent their cooling abilities are when facing a CPU that gets quite toasty under load. Read on to see how this trio responded to the challenge!

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Continue reading our roundup of three Scythe CPU air coolers!

AOC's AGON AG322QCX, a nice mix of features with Freesync

Subject: Displays | November 13, 2017 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: AOC, AGON, AG322QCX, 144hz, freesync

The AGON sacrifices 4k resolution to provide refresh rates of up to 144Hz; instead the 31.5" curved display offers a 1440p resolution, demonstrating its focus on gaming.  The monitor also includes a QuickSwitch control, a physical keyboard which you can control the settings on your monitor, an extremely effective alternative to navigating an OSD with the buttons build into monitors.  Kitguru tested the monitor out found it to be great for large screen gaming, but perhaps not for movie viewing as all the presets are gaming focused.  The inputs were another point of contention, while comprehensive with two HDMI 2.0, two DisplayPort 1.2, VGA, headphone and mic jacks as well as two USB 3.0 ports, the placement is not the most convenient for some.  Drop by for a look.

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"Curved screens are really starting to come of age for gaming. We are seeing more and more of these, in many different sizes, and the latest to grace the KitGuru testing table is the AOC AGON AG322QCX. It’s pretty sizeable at 31.5in, but unlike many larger screens it’s still packed with features to please the serious gamer."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays

 

Source: Kitguru

Speed Metal on the Desktop

Subject: General Tech | November 13, 2017 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: 3d printing, metal, Desktop Metal

Desktop Metal's new printer follows the same design process as current 3D metal printing, layers of metal powder, wax and a plastic binding agent are sprayed out by an inkjet-like device.  Upon completion of the print, the item is submerged in a debinding fluid which disolves the wax and then spends some time in a furnace to burn off the binding agent and set the powder leaving the final product between 96 and 99.8% metal.  This process is currently handled much more quickly via traditional tool and die, however Desktop Metal told The Register their new printer operates at 100 times the speed of the competition and at a very competitive price to either tool and die or 3D printing.  It will be interesting to see if this applies to a wide enough variety of prints and provides high enough quality to unseat the incumbent processes.

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"Desktop Metal, based in Boston, USA, has opened up pre-orders for its Studio System which uses inkjet-like technology, rather than laser-based techniques, to produce precision metal parts."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: YouTube

YouTube TV for NVIDIA SHIELD

When YouTube TV first launched earlier this year, it had one huge factor in its favor compared to competing subscription streaming services: local channels. The service wasn't available everywhere, but in the markets where it was available, users were able to receive all of their major local networks. This factor, combined with its relatively low subscription price of $35 per month, immediately made YouTube TV one of the best streaming options, but it also had a downside: device support.

At launch YouTube TV was only available via the Chrome browser, iOS and Android, and newer Chromecast devices. There were no native apps for popular media devices like the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV. But perhaps the most surprising omission was support for Android TV via devices like the NVIDIA SHIELD. Most of the PC Perspective staff personally use the SHIELD due to its raw power and capabilities, and the lack of YouTube TV support on Google's own media platform was disappointing.

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Thankfully, Google recently addressed this omission and has finally brought a native YouTube TV app to the SHIELD with the SHIELD TV 6.1 Update.

Check out our overview of the YouTube TV on SHIELD experience.

PCPer Mailbag #17 - 11/10/2017

Subject: Editorial | November 10, 2017 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, pcper, Allyn Malventano

It's Friday, which means it's time for PC Perspective's weekly mailbag, our video show where Ryan and team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest hardware, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

Today, Storage Editor Allyn Malventano takes on your storage questions:

00:47 - M.2 vs SATA SSDs?
03:13 - SSD over-provisioning necessary?
07:03 - What happens when the SLC cache loses power?
10:53 - Optane for everyone?
15:41 - V-NAND layers vs. process shrink to reduce SSD prices?
19:49 - NVMe SSD on PCH lanes vs. CPU lanes?
22:58 - AHCI vs. NVMe?
28:29 - NVMe RAID WTF?
33:17 - Exciting tech on the horizon?

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

Keeping your Threadripper properly watered

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 9, 2017 - 04:28 PM |
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, watercooler, phanteks, Glacier C399A, X399

[H]ard|OCP have been working their way through every Threadripper compatible waterblock, the latest model to be tested is Phanteks' Glacier C399A.  The top of the waterblock is clear acrylic, perfect if you plan on adding a little colour to your coolant especially if you make use of the Frag-Harder Disco Lights.  Mounting is reasonably easy, no dedicated in or out connector to confuse and tightening can be accomplished with a small pair of pliers, which you may find necessary.  The cooling performance was in line with the other coolers they've tested, though the C399A does lose some marks because of the need to tighten the mounting mechanism on occasion.  Check out the full review for details.

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"The Phanteks Glacier C399A is a custom-designed water cooling block built specifically for AMD's new Threadripper processors. It has great looks, Frag-Harder Disco Lights, is built like a tank, and seems to be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to cooling overclocked Threadripper CPUs."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Podcast #475 - Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2017 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: video, titan xp, teleport, starcraft 2, raja koduri, radeon, qualcomm, podcast, nvidia, Intel, centriq, amplifi, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #475 - 11/09/17

Join us for discussion on Intel with AMD graphics, Raja's move to Intel, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:29:42

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. 0:35:30 CASPER
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:13:40 Allyn: Relatively cheap Samsung 82” (!!!) 4K TV
    2. 1:23:45 Josh: 1800X for $399!!!!!
    3. 1:24:50 Ken: The Void Wallet
  5. Closing/outro

Source:

Rumor: Hades Canyon NUC with AMD Graphics Spotted

Subject: General Tech, Processors | November 9, 2017 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: Skull Canyon, nuc, kaby lake-g, Intel, Hades Canyon VR, Hades Canyon, EMIL, amd

Hot on the heels of Intel's announcement of new mobile-focused CPUs integrating AMD Radeon graphics, we have our first glimpse at a real-world design using this new chip.

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Posted on the infamous Chinese tech forum, Chiphell earlier today, this photo appears to be a small form factor PC design integrating the new Kaby Lake-G CPU and GPU solution.

Looking at the standard size components on the board like the Samsung M.2 SSD and the DDR4 SODIMM memory modules, we can start to get a better idea of the actual size of the Kaby Lake-G module.

Additionally, we get our first look at the type of power delivery infrastructure that devices with Kaby Lake-G are going to require. It's impressive how small the motherboard is taking into account all of the power phases needed to feed the CPU, GPU, and HBM 2 memory. 

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Looking back at the leaked NUC roadmap from September, the picture starts to become more clear. While the "Hades Canyon" NUCs on this roadmap threw us for a loop when we first saw it months ago, it's now clear that they are referencing the new Kaby Lake-G line of products. The plethora of IO options from the roadmap, including dual Gigabit Ethernet and 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports also seem to match closely with the leaked NUC photo above.

Using this information we also now have a better idea of the thermal and power requirements for Kaby Lake-G. The base "Hades Canyon" NUC is listed with a 65W processor, while the "Hades Canyon VR" is listed with as a 100W part. This means that devices retain the same levels of CPU performance from the existing Kaby Lake-H Quad Core mobile CPUs which clock in at 35W, plus roughly 30 or 65W of graphics performance.

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These leaked 3DMark scores might give us an idea of the performance of the Hades Canyon VR NUC.

One thing is clear; Hades Canyon will be the highest power NUC Intel has ever produced, surpassing the 45W Skull Canyon. Considering the already unusual for a NUC footprint of Skull Canyon, I'm interested to see the final form of Hades Canyon as well as the performance it brings! 

With what looks to be a first half  2018 release date on the roadmap, it seems likely that we could see this NUC or other similar devices being shown off at CES in January. Stay tuned for more continuing coverage of Intel's Kaby Lake-G and upcoming devices featuring it!

Source: Chiphell

A walrus on virtual rollerskates

Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2017 - 02:02 PM |
Tagged: hyneman, roller skates, VR, Vortrex Shoes

Jamie Hyneman is pitching a project to build prototype VR roller skates; not as a game but as a way to save your shins while using a VR headset.  The design places motorized wheels under your heel and a track under the ball of your foot which will move your foot back to its starting position if you walk forward.  If all goes as planned this should allow you to walk around in virtual worlds without running into walls, chairs or spectators and perhaps allow games to abandon the point and teleport currently in vogue.  There are a lot of challenges as previous projects have discovered but perhaps a Mythbuster can help out.  You can watch his pitch video over at The Register.

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"Hyneman's pitch video points out that when one straps on goggles and gloves to enter virtual reality, your eyes are occupied and you therefore run the risk of bumping into stuff if you try to walk in meatspa ce while simulating walking in a virtual world. And bumping into stuff is dangerous."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Intel

Introduction and Specifications

Back in April, we finally got our mitts on some actual 3D XPoint to test, but there was a catch. We had to do so remotely. The initial round of XPoint testing done (by all review sites) on a set of machines located on the Intel campus. Intel had their reasons for this unorthodox review method, but we were satisfied that everything was done above board. Intel even went as far as walking me over to the very server that we would be remoting into for testing. Despite this, there were still a few skeptics out there, and today we can put all of that to bed.

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This is a 750GB Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X - in the flesh and this time on *our* turf. I'll be putting it through the same initial round of tests we conducted remotely back in April. I intend to follow up at a later date with additional testing depth, as well as evaluating kernel response times across Windows and Linux (IRQ, Polling, Hybrid Polling, etc), but for now, we're here to confirm the results on our own testbed as well as evaluate if the higher capacity point takes any sort of hit to performance. We may actually see a performance increase in some areas as Intel has had several months to further tune the P4800X.

This video is for the earlier 375GB model launch, but all points apply here
(except that the 900P has now already launched)

Specifications:

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The baseline specs remain the same as they were back in April with a few significant notable exceptions:

The endurance figure for the 375GB capacity has nearly doubled to 20.5 PBW (PetaBytes Written), with the 750GB capacity logically following suit at 41 PBW. These figures are based on a 30 DWPD (Drive Write Per Day) rating spanned across a 5-year period. The original product brief is located here, but do note that it may be out of date.

We now have official sequential throughput ratings: 2.0 GB/s writes and 2.4 GB/s reads.

We also have been provided detailed QoS figures and those will be noted as we cover the results throughout the review.

Read on for our review of the 750GB P4800X!