Flash player not detected. Click here to install flash.
« 1 2 3 4 5 »
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: The Khronos Group

It Started with an OpenCL 2.2 Press Release

Update (May 18 @ 4pm EDT): A few comments across the internet believes that the statements from The Khronos Group were inaccurately worded, so I emailed them yet again. The OpenCL working group has released yet another statement:

OpenCL is announcing that their strategic direction is to support CL style computing on an extended version of the Vulkan API. The Vulkan group is agreeing to advise on the extensions.

In other words, this article was and is accurate. The Khronos Group are converging OpenCL and Vulkan into a single API: Vulkan. There was no misinterpretation.

Original post below

Earlier today, we published a news post about the finalized specifications for OpenCL 2.2 and SPIR-V 1.2. This was announced through a press release that also contained an odd little statement at the end of the third paragraph.

We are also working to converge with, and leverage, the Khronos Vulkan API — merging advanced graphics and compute into a single API.

khronos-vulkan-logo.png

This statement seems to suggest that OpenCL and Vulkan are expecting to merge into a single API for compute and graphics at some point in the future. This seemed like a huge announcement to bury that deep into the press blast, so I emailed The Khronos Group for confirmation (and any further statements). As it turns out, this interpretation is correct, and they provided a more explicit statement:

The OpenCL working group has taken the decision to converge its roadmap with Vulkan, and use Vulkan as the basis for the next generation of explicit compute APIs – this also provides the opportunity for the OpenCL roadmap to merge graphics and compute.

This statement adds a new claim: The Khronos Group plans to merge OpenCL into Vulkan, specifically, at some point in the future. Making the move in this direction, from OpenCL to Vulkan, makes sense for a handful of reasons, which I will highlight in my analysis, below.

Going Vulkan to Live Long and Prosper?

The first reason for merging OpenCL into Vulkan, from my perspective, is that Apple, who originally created OpenCL, still owns the trademarks (and some other rights) to it. The Khronos Group licenses these bits of IP from Apple. Vulkan, based on AMD’s donation of the Mantle API, should be easier to manage from the legal side of things.

khronos-2016-vulkan-why.png

The second reason for going in that direction is the actual structure of the APIs. When Mantle was announced, it looked a lot like an API that wrapped OpenCL with a graphics-specific layer. Also, Vulkan isn’t specifically limited to GPUs in its implementation.

Aside: When you create a device queue, you can query the driver to see what type of device it identifies as by reading its VkPhysicalDeviceType. Currently, as of Vulkan 1.0.49, the options are Other, Integrated GPU, Discrete GPU, Virtual GPU, and CPU. While this is just a clue, to make it easier to select a device for a given task, and isn’t useful to determine what the device is capable of, it should illustrate that other devices, like FPGAs, could support some subset of the API. It’s just up to the developer to check for features before they’re used, and target it at the devices they expect.

If you were to go in the other direction, you would need to wedge graphics tasks into OpenCL. You would be creating Vulkan all over again. From my perspective, pushing OpenCL into Vulkan seems like the path of least resistance.

The third reason (that I can think of) is probably marketing. DirectX 12 isn’t attempting to seduce FPGA developers. Telling a game studio to program their engine on a new, souped-up OpenCL might make them break out in a cold sweat, even if both parties know that it’s an evolution of Vulkan with cross-pollination from OpenCL. OpenCL developers, on the other hand, are probably using the API because they need it, and are less likely to be shaken off.

What OpenCL Could Give Vulkan (and Vice Versa)

From the very onset, OpenCL and Vulkan were occupying similar spaces, but there are some things that OpenCL does “better”. The most obvious, and previously mentioned, element is that OpenCL supports a wide range of compute devices, such as FPGAs. That’s not the limit of what Vulkan can borrow, though, although it could make for an interesting landscape if FPGAs become commonplace in the coming years and decades.

khronos-SYCL_Color_Mar14_154_75.png

Personally, I wonder how SYCL could affect game engine development. This standard attempts to guide GPU- (and other device-) accelerated code into a single-source, C++ model. For over a decade, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games has talked about writing engines like he did back in the software-rendering era, but without giving up the ridiculous performance (and efficiency) provided by GPUs.

Long-time readers of PC Perspective might remember that I was investigating GPU-accelerated software rendering in WebCL (via Nokia’s implementation). The thought was that I could concede the raster performance of modern GPUs and make up for it with added control, the ability to explicitly target secondary compute devices, and the ability to run in a web browser. This took place in 2013, before AMD announced Mantle and browser vendors expressed a clear disinterest in exposing OpenCL through JavaScript. Seeing the idea was about to be crushed, I pulled out the GPU-accelerated audio ideas into a more-focused project, but that part of my history is irrelevant to this post.

The reason for bringing up this anecdote is because, if OpenCL is moving into Vulkan, and SYCL is still being developed, then it seems likely that SYCL will eventually port into Vulkan. If this is the case, then future game engines can gain benefits that I was striving toward without giving up access to fixed-function features, like hardware rasterization. If Vulkan comes to web browsers some day, it would literally prune off every advantage I was hoping to capture, and it would do so with a better implementation.

microsoft-2015-directx12-logo.jpg

More importantly, SYCL is something that Microsoft cannot provide with today’s DirectX.

Admittedly, it’s hard to think of something that OpenCL can acquire from Vulkan, besides just a lot more interest from potential developers. Vulkan was already somewhat of a subset of OpenCL that had graphics tasks (cleanly) integrated over top of it. On the other hand, OpenCL has been struggling to acquire mainstream support, so that could, in fact, be Vulkan’s greatest gift.

The Khronos Group has not provided a timeline for this change. It’s just a roadmap declaration.

Lian Li's New PC-T70 Test Bench

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 16, 2017 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: Test Bench, T70-1, PC-T70, open air case, Lian Li, acrylic

Lian Li has designed an open air case with an optional acrylic enclosure to help simulate normal case environs or to protect your components if you build a system you want to showcase.  The PC-T70 is primarily designed as a test bench so you can set up a E-ATX, ATX, or Micro-ATX/iTX motherboard and easily swap out components while benchmarking hardware or software.  The problem with test benches is one of temperature; most of us set up our systems in enclosed cases and the temperatures experienced will be different than in a case fully exposed to any wafting breeze.  Lian Li has overcome this with their optional T70-1, a set of acrylic side pieces and top with mounts for fans or radiators which allow you to simulate a closed case environment when you are reporting on running temperatures.

Capture.PNG

There is another use for this case which might tempt a different set of users.   The case fully exposes your components which makes this a great base to build an impressive mod on, or simply to show off all of those RGB LEDs you paid good money for.  The acrylic case ensures that your system cannot be permanently killed by a passing feline as well as providing mounting points for an impressive watercooling setup.  You can check out the full PR below the specs and video.

spectac.PNG

New PC-T70 Test Bench Simulates Any Case Environment Lian Li’s New Modular Bench Transforms for Both Closed-Air and Open-Air Testing

May 16, 2017, Keelung, Taiwan - Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd is eager to announce the PC-T70 test bench. After productive collaboration, taking feedback from high-end PC hardware reviewers, Lian Li sought to create a test bench that could both provide unhindered access for enthusiasts who want to rapidly swap hardware, and those who like to use their test benches as a workstation. Lian Li’s latest test bench is its most flexible yet – a sleek, minimal platform for easy hardware swapping, with an optional kit that encloses the bench with radiator mounts and an acrylic cover.

Unobstructed Design for Hardware Swapping
After taking feedback from PC hardware reviewers, Lian Li realized that simplicity was key. The PC-T70 has completely free access, with zero barriers hindering the installation of motherboards and other hardware. Users can even remove the back frame for expansion slots and IO cover if they so choose. Six open pass-throughs are positioned around the motherboard tray to route cables down to the PSU and drive mounts on the floor panel.

Simulate Closed-Air Case Environments for Advanced Testing
With the T70-1 upgrade kit, users can add side panels to the open bench, each mounting two 120mm or 140mm fans or a 240mm or 280mm radiator with removable mesh dust filters. It also includes a back panel, mounting an additional 120mm or 140mm exhaust fan and an acrylic canopy secured by magnetic strips to fully enclose the motherboard compartment, simulating a closed-air environment more representative of regular users – a valuable advantage for hardware reviewers. Every panel is modular and easily taken down, so users can rapidly cycle between closed and open-air setups.

A Bench Built for All Form Factors
The PC-T70 mounts E-ATX, ATX, Micro ATX, and mini ITX motherboards, with eight expansion slots to mount VGA cards as long as 330mm. While enclosed, its CPU cooler clearance is limited to 180mm. The floor panel mounts ATX PSUs as long as 330mm and as many as five 2.5” and one 3.5” drives or one 2.5” and two 3.5” storage drives. Users can also use the floor panel to mount a 360mm radiator, reservoirs, and pumps for custom water cooling loops.

Price and Availability
The PC-T70, including the T70-1 option kit is now available at Newegg for $189.99.
Also available in white.

Source: Lian Li

CORSAIR Launches T1 RACE Gaming Chair

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2017 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: gaming chair, corsair, T1 RACE

Corsair have jumped into the gaming chair market, a product we did not see much of which has recently taken off in a big way.  The T1 RACE is made of PU leather, also known as bicast leather, so the shiny finish should last quite a while though the feel will not quite the same as a true leather chair, nor will the price be as astronomical.  Depending on the type of polyurethane leather they used, this product might be vegan.  You can choose between yellow, white, blue or  red trim to highlight your chair, or if you prefer you can choose to forego the colours for a purely black chair.  It can recline 90° to 180° if you need a moment to lie back, the arm rests can be adjusted for height, width, position and angle and neck and lumbar PU leather pillows are included. 

Check out Corsair's page here or the PR just below.

unnamed.jpg

FREMONT, CA – May 16th, 2017 - CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, PC components and high-performance gaming hardware today announced the launch of its first gaming chair, the T1 RACE. Inspired by racing, crafted for comfort and built to last, the T1 Race joins CORSAIR’s award-winning range of mice, keyboards, headsets and mousepads to complete the ultimate gaming experience. Built using a solid steel skeleton and dense foam cushions, the T1 RACE has the strength to ensure a lifetime of sturdiness, while it’s 4D-movement armrests raise, lower, shift and swivel to put gamers in the most comfortable position every time. Styled to turn heads and finished with immaculate attention to detail, the T1 RACE is the gaming chair your desk deserves.

Upholstered in luxurious PU leather on seating surfaces and available in five different colors, T1 RACE lets you choose your seat to match your style, in either Yellow, White, Blue, Red or Black trim, finished with automotive color-matched stitching and base accents. Nylon caster wheels, often an optional upgrade on office and gaming chairs, are included with T1 RACE as standard, ensuring stability and smooth movement on any surface.

T1 RACE’s sculpted race-seat design and included neck and lumbar PU leather pillows provide adjustable support for day-long gaming sessions, while its 4D-moment armrests effortlessly adjust in height, width, position and angle to put your arms precisely where they need to be. A steel construction Class 4 gas lift provides reliable height adjustment, while the seat itself tilts up to 10° and can recline anywhere between 90° to 180°, lying completely flat for when you need to take a break from the action. Finishing the T1 RACE’s attention to detail, the CORSAIR logo is tastefully embroidered into the rear of the chair, and lightly embossed into the headrest for maximum comfort.

Source: Corsair

Pot, meet kettle. Is it worse to hoard exploits or patches?

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2017 - 01:27 PM |
Tagged: security, microsoft

Microsoft and the NSA have each been blaming the other for the ability of WannaCrypt to utilize a vulnerability in SMBv1 to spread.  Microsoft considers the NSA's decision not to share the vulnerabilities which their Eternalblue tool utilizes with Microsoft and various other security companies to be the cause of this particular outbreak.  Conversely, the fact is that while Microsoft developed patches to address this vulnerability for versions of Windows including WinXP, Server 2003, and Windows 8 RT back in March, they did not release the patches for legacy OSes until the outbreak was well underway. 

Perhaps the most compelling proof of blame is the number of systems which should not have been vulnerable but were hit due to the fact that the available patches were never installed. 

These three problems, the NSA wanting to hoard vulnerabilities so they can exploit them for espionage, Microsoft ending support of older products because they are a business and do not find it profitable to support products a decade or more after release and users not taking advantage of available updates have left us in the pickle we find ourselves in this week.  On the plus side this outbreak does have people patching, so we have that going for us.

fingerpointing.jpg

"Speaking of hoarding, though, it's emerged Microsoft was itself stockpiling software – critical security patches for months."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Khronos Group Published Finalized OpenCL 2.2 & SPIR-V 1.2

Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: spir-v, opencl, Khronos

Aligning with the start of the International Workshop on OpenCL (IWOCL) 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The Khronos Group has published the finalized specification for OpenCL 2.2 and SPIR-V 1.2. The headlining feature for this release is the OpenCL C++ kernel language, which SPIR-V 1.2 fully supports. Kernels are the portion of code that execute on the compute devices, such as GPUs, FPGAs, super computers, multi-core CPUs, and so forth.

OpenCL_Logo.png

The OpenCL C++ kernel language is a subset of the C++14 standard, bringing many of its benefits to these less-general devices. Classes help data and code to be more tightly integrated. Templates help define logic in a general way for whatever data type implements whatever it requires, which is useful for things like custom containers. Lambda expressions make it easy to write one-off methods, rather than forcing the developer to name something that will only be used once, like comparing two data types for a special sort in one specific spot of code.

Exposing these features to the OpenCL device also enables The Khronos Group to further the SYCL standard, which aims for “single-source” OpenCL development. Having the code that executes on OpenCL-compatible devices contain roughly the same features as the host code is kind-of necessary to let them be written together, rather than exist as two pools.

The final OpenCL 2.2 and SPIR-V 1.2 specs are available now, and on GitHub for the first time.

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: YouTube TV

YouTube Tries Everything

Back in March, Google-owned YouTube announced a new live TV streaming service called YouTube TV to compete with the likes of Sling, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue, and upcoming offerings from Hulu, Amazon, and others. All these services aim to deliver curated bundles of channels aimed at cord cutters that run over the top of customer’s internet only connections as replacements for or in addition to cable television subscriptions.  YouTube TV is the latest entrant to this market with the service only available in seven test markets currently, but it is off to a good start with a decent selection of content and features including both broadcast and cable channels, on demand media, and live and DVR viewing options. A responsive user interface and generous number of family sharing options (six account logins and three simultaneous streams) will need to be balanced by the requirement to watch ads (even on some DVR’ed shows) and the $35 per month cost.

Get YouTube TV 1.jpg

YouTube TV was launched in 5 cities with more on the way. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to live close enough to Chicago to be in-market and could test out Google’s streaming TV service. While not a full review, the following are my first impressions of YouTube TV.

Setup / Sign Up

YouTube TV is available with a one month free trail, after which you will be charged $35 a month. Sign up is a simple affair and can be started by going to tv.youtube.com or clicking the YouTube TV link from “hamburger” menu on YouTube. If you are on a mobile device, YouTube TV uses a separate app than the default YouTube app and weighs in at 9.11 MB for the Android version. The sign up process is very simple. After verifying your location, the following screens show you the channels available in your market and gives you the option of adding Showtime ($11) and/or Fox Soccer ($15) for additional monthly fees. After that, you are prompted for a payment method that can be the one already linked to your Google account and used for app purchases and other subscriptions. As far as the free trial, I was not charged anything and there was no hold on my account for the $35. I like that Google makes it easy to see exactly how many days you have left on your trial and when you will be charged if you do not cancel. Further, the cancel link is not buried away and is intuitively found by clicking your account photo in the upper right > Personal > Membership. Google is doing things right here. After signup, a tour is offered to show you the various features, but you can skip this if you want to get right to it.

In my specific market, I have the following channels. When I first started testing some of the channels were not available, and were just added today. I hope to see more networks added, and if Google can manage that YouTube TV and it’s $35/month price are going to shape up to be a great deal.

  • ABC 7, CBS 2, Fox 32, NBC 5, ESPN, CSN, CSN Plus, FS1, CW, USA, FX, Free Form, NBC SN, ESPN 2, FS2, Disney, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, BTN, SEC ESPN Network, ESPN News, CBS Sports, FXX, Syfy, Disney Junior, Disney XD, MSNBC, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business, National Geographic, FXM, Sprout, Universal, Nat Geo Wild, Chiller, NBC Golf, YouTube Red Originals
  • Plus: AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, We TV, Telemundo, and NBC Universal (just added).
  • Optional Add-Ons: Showtime and Fox Soccer.

I tested YouTube TV out on my Windows PCs and an Android phone. You can also watch YouTube TV on iOS devices, and on your TV using an Android TVs and Chromecasts (At time of writing, Google will send you a free Chromecast after your first month). (See here for a full list of supported devices.) There are currently no Roku or Apple TV apps.

Get YouTube TV_full list.jpg

Each YouTube TV account can share out the subscription to 6 total logins where each household member gets their own login and DVR library. Up to three people can be streaming TV at the same time. While out and about, I noticed that YouTube TV required me to turn on location services in order to use the app. Looking further into it, the YouTube TV FAQ states that you will need to verify your location in order to stream live TV and will only be able to stream live TV if you are physically in the markets where YouTube TV has launched. You can watch your DVR shows anywhere in the US. However, if you are traveling internationally you will not be able to use YouTube TV at all (I’m not sure if VPNs will get around this or if YouTube TV blocks this like Netflix does). Users will need to login from their home market at least once every 3 months to keep their account active and able to stream content (every month for MLB content).

YouTube TV verifying location in Chrome (left) and on the android app (right).

On one hand, I can understand this was probably necessary in order for YouTube TV to negotiate a licensing deal, and their terms do seem pretty fair. I will have to do more testing on this as I wasn’t able to stream from the DVR without turning on location services on my Android – I can chalk this up to growing pains though and it may already be fixed.

Features & First Impressions

YouTube TV has an interface that is perhaps best described as a slimmed down YouTube that takes cues from Netflix (things like the horizontal scrolling of shows in categories). The main interface is broken down into three sections: Library, Home, and Live with the first screen you see when logging in being Home. You navigate by scrolling and clicking, and by pulling the menus up from the bottom while streaming TV like YouTube.

YouTube TV Home.jpg

Continue reading for my first impressions of YouTube TV!

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Various

Application Profiling Tells the Story

It should come as no surprise to anyone that has been paying attention the last two months that the latest AMD Ryzen processors and architecture are getting a lot of attention. Ryzen 7 launched with a $499 part that bested the Intel $1000 CPU at heavily threaded applications and Ryzen 5 launched with great value as well, positioning a 6-core/12-thread CPU against quad-core parts from the competition. But part of the story that permeated through both the Ryzen 7 and the Ryzen 5 processor launches was the situation surrounding gaming performance, in particular 1080p gaming, and the surprising delta  that we see in some games.

Our team has done quite a bit of research and testing on this topic. This included a detailed look at the first asserted reason for the performance gap, the Windows 10 scheduler. Our summary there was that the scheduler was working as expected and that minimal difference was seen when moving between different power modes. We also talked directly with AMD to find out its then current stance on the results, backing up our claims on the scheduler and presented a better outlook for gaming going forward. When AMD wanted to test a new custom Windows 10 power profile to help improve performance in some cases, we took part in that too. In late March we saw the first gaming performance update occur courtesy of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation where an engine update to utilize more threads resulted in as much as 31% average frame increase.

ping-amd.png

As a part of that dissection of the Windows 10 scheduler story, we also discovered interesting data about the CCX construction and how the two modules on the 1800X communicated. The result was significantly longer thread to thread latencies than we had seen in any platform before and it was because of the fabric implementation that AMD integrated with the Zen architecture.

This has led me down another hole recently, wondering if we could further compartmentalize the gaming performance of the Ryzen processors using memory latency. As I showed in my Ryzen 5 review, memory frequency and throughput directly correlates to gaming performance improvements, in the order of 14% in some cases. But what about looking solely at memory latency alone?

Continue reading our analysis of memory latency, 1080p gaming, and how it impacts Ryzen!!

IBM Model M? Pah, get an Underwood based keyboard if you want to impress!

Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2017 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: input, AiZO, MK Retro

Who needs a mechanical keyboard that is inspired by something a mere three decades ago when you can purchase one that looks like a manual typewriter you would see in a museum exhibit?  The AZiO MK Retro sports those raised circular keys use AZiO's own OARMY Olive switches, which NikKTech postulates were source from Kailh.  If you are desperate for a unique looking keyboard without any sign of RGB-itis, then feast your eyes below and follow that link to the review.

azio_mk_retroa.jpg

"With the MK Retro typewriter mechanical keyboard AZiO takes us for a trip down memory lane and although it leaves us asking for me we do feel they're on the right track."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: NikKTech

The internet is whipping out some Core-i9 tales

Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2017 - 12:36 PM |
Tagged: rumour, Intel, Core i9

A two part rumour circulating the internet this morning, involving new processors and a new naming convention.  The leak that The Inquirer posted about this morning reveals six new Intel processors, two Kaby Lake-X processors with four cores running at a base clock of 4GHz or 4.3GHz depending on the model and TDPs of 112W.  More interesting are the new Kaby Lake-X processors which are referred to as Core i9 models, running from an i9-7800X @ 3.6GHz base to the i9-7920X which runs at an unspecified speed.  All will have four times the L2 cache of the current i7-7700K and Turbo 2.0 Boost Max to increase the frequency of several cores at once as well as Turbo Boost 3.0 for single-threaded workloads. 

It will be interesting to see if the Core i7 family continues as an upper middle class of processors with the i9 family replacing it's current standing or if the new processors will be priced like high end Xeons.

Capture.PNG

"The slide, which an Anandtech forum member claims is an internal Intel document, provides details of four new Skylake-X processors and two Kaby Lake-X CPUs. The Skylake-X processors are described as Core i9, and if the leak is genuinely - and that's a fairly big if - the new Core i9s will replace Core i7s as Intel's top-of the-pile PC chipset range."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Inno3D Introduces a Single Slot GTX 1050 Ti Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 13, 2017 - 11:46 PM |
Tagged: SFF, pascal, nvidia, Inno3D, GP107

Hong Kong based Inno3D recently introduced a single slot graphics card using NVIDIA’s mid-range GTX 1050 Ti GPU. The aptly named Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (1-Slot Edition) combines the reference clocked Pascal GPU, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and a shrouded single fan cooler clad in red and black.

Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 1 Slot Edition.png

Around back, the card offers three display outputs including a HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and DVI-D. The single slot cooler is a bit of an odd design with an thin axial fan rather than a centrifugal type that sits over a fake plastic fin array. Note that these fins do not actually cool anything, in fact the PCB of the card does not even extend out to where the fan is; presumably the fins are there primarily for aesthetics and secondarily to channel a bit of the air the fan pulls down. Air is pulled in and pushed over the actual GPU heatsink (under the shroud) and out the vent holes next to the display connectors. Air is circulated through the case and is not actually exhausted like traditional dual slot (and some single slot) designs. I am curious how the choice of fan and vents will affect cooling performance.

Overclocking is going to be limited on this card, and it comes out-of-the-box clocked at NVIDIA reference speeds of 1290 MHz base and 1392 MHz boost for the GPU’s 768 cores and 7 GT/s for the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The card measures 211 mm (~8.3”) long and should fit in just about any case. Since it pulls all of its power from the slot, it might be a good option for those slim towers OEMs like to use these days to get a bit of gaming out of a retail PC.

Inno3D is not yet talking availability or pricing, but looking at there existing lineup I would expect a MSRP around $150.

Source: Tech Report

A dock for your Samsung S8? That would be DeX

Subject: Mobile | May 12, 2017 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, DeX, galaxy s8, galaxy s8+

Move over Surface, the new Galaxies are getting a docking station too.  The Dex is a charging port with talent, adding USB-A 2.0, ethernet, HDMI, and a USB-C charging port to your phone's capabilities.  Plug the dock into a monitor and you will be presented a limited Android system which supports various Samsung apps, as well as Microsoft Office apps, Gmail and YouTube; The Inquirer tested out a few others for compatibility in their review.  There is a virtual desktop app that will let you take over a desktop computer as well, according to the page on Samsung.  Gaming is not particularly good, unless you utilize the workaround The Inq discovered; pick up a USB C to HDMI adapter and bypass the DeX as opposed to the native screen mirroring which occurs with the DeX software.

DeX5-540x334.jpg

"In a nutshell, DeX is a dock for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ that outputs a desktop experience from your phone to a big screen. It acts as little more than a portal, relying entirely on your phone's processing power to generate the experience, doing so via HDMI, making it compatible with most TVs and monitors."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

 

Source: The Inquirer

Spring component refresh on your mind?

Subject: Systems | May 12, 2017 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: system guide

2017 has been a good year for system guides as we finally have new hardware with a compelling reason to upgrade.  AMD now has new processors and the refreshed Polaris cards may tempt those who have a GPU several generations out of date.  NVIDIA released a graphics card which will tempt those who want the best and the SSD market continues to grow exponentially.

The Tech Report have updated their build recommendations for May and you can check out their new builds right here.  The recommendations span budgets from around $500 to $5000 so almost everyone is included.

ab350-gaming3.jpg

"AMD's Ryzen 5 CPUs are shaking up the midrange CPU market, and we're here to help builders navigate this unfamiliar terrain with the latest edition of our System Guide. We also account for the introduction of AMD's Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Patch that HP laptop ASAP

Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2017 - 02:05 PM |
Tagged: hp, keylogger, security

The poorly thought out feature HP added to their audio driver in some past models of laptops can now be removed. The previous driver listened for a certain key to be depressed actually recorded all keystrokes made by the user and stored the information in plain text under the Public profile.  The file was deleted each time the computer restarted but could still exist in backups, you should check for MicTray.log in those backups.  Slashdot reported this morning that HP has released a fixed driver which you should grab from Windows Update or HP.com immediately.

h_z507OY.jpg

"HP says it has a fix for a flaw that caused a number of its PC models to keep a log of each keystroke a customer was entering. The issue, caused by problematic code in an audio driver, affected PC models from 2015 and 2016."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Today's bonus AMD rumour: Starship, Naples, Zeppelin and a flock of Owls

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: amd, Starship, Naples, Zeppelin, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk, River Hawk, Snowy Owl, rumour

We have another leak today from wccftech, via VideoCardz, of AMD's upcoming enterprise level processors.  Starship will use the successor to the current Zen architecture; Zen 2 is in some ways measurable as being fabricated with a 7nm FinFet process.  The chips are a testament to AMD's dedication to multi-core designs, Starship will feature up to 48 cores with 96 threads.  That does create a bit of heat, but not more than the chip it is replacing, the TDPs range from 35W up to 180W.  These chips will be sold under the Opteron name and will likely not have a model with the number 1701.

AMD-Enterprise-CPU-2015-2019-Roadmap_1-1.jpg

Starship will replace Naples, which we already know quite a lot about, they will use the upcoming Zeppelin architecture.  The thermals match Starship but the core count is lower and tops out at 32 cores, 64 threads.  That count tells us there will be four interconnected Zeppelin dies, each having 8 cores in two CCX units. 

specs.PNG

Next up is the Snowy Owl family of BGA chips which also uses Zeppelin cores.  They will have models with core counts of 8, 12 and 16.  Snowy Owl will support DDR4 in quad channel, 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and up to 16 SATA or NVMe storage devices and should take flight before the end of the year,.

AMD-Embedded-dGPU-Roadmap-Leak-1.jpg

Lastly we have their new embedded R-Series APUs, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk and River Hawk.  These low power chips will be based off of the current Zen architecture with support for single and dual DIMM DDR4 channels.  The CPU portion will have 2 or 4 cores and TDPs between 15-65W, Owl models will be paired with an graphics core possessing 11 CUs, Kestral with 3 CUs.  According to the slides posted at wccftech the APUs will support 4K60 and up to four 4K monitors which is impressive for such a small chip.  There will also rumoured to be models without an APU, for usage in device which do not need graphical capabilities. 

The slides also hint at a mysterious a new MCM package product which will arrive this year.  It is reputed to have 4 GB VRAM, 10 CUs and five dual-mode Display Port support arriving in 2017.  There are a lot more slides you can see by clicking here.

Source: wccftech

If you are a Kraken, go big or go home

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2017 - 03:32 PM |
Tagged: nxzt, Kraken X62, AIO

[H]ard|OCP reviews the largest of the Kraken series from NZXT, the X62.  This dual 140mm fan cooler measures 315x143x30mm and weighs just over 1.2kg so make sure your case has the space before purchasing this AiO watercooler.  The default setting offers acceptable cooling performance while producing 39.9dBA but with a cooler of this stature the real performance numbers to pay attention to are the full speed numbers.  At full speed the cooler surpasses the competition and ends up at the top of the charts albeit with an increase in audibility to 46.9dBA.  It will cost you about $160 to pick up the Gold Award winning cooler.

1494375025OStBK3D4ap_2_5_l.jpg

"With today's NZXT Kraken review we step up the performance ladder and review its X62 model AIO CPU Cooler. As NZXT spells out on it website, and it is not modest about it, saying that the new Kraken series "have been redesigned to bring you the greatest experience in liquid cooling, all backed by an industry-leading 6-year warranty."

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

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

CORSAIR Launches DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque

Subject: Memory | May 11, 2017 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Corsair Dominator Platinum, ddr4, special edition torque, bulldog, DDR4-3600

Corsair have launched a new limited edition line of DDR4-3600 DIMMs, the DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque.  The DIMMs feature brushed black aluminum heatsinks with orange accents and a heat-treated effect top bar.  They do indeed feature lighting for the LED addicted and will fit in with your other bright components.  They are XMP 2.0 certified for easy setup, or you can overclock to your own preferences as these DIMMs went through comprehensive testing.

pretty.jpg

As part of the release Corsair contracted case modder Lee Harrington to transform a Bulldog case into a classic hot rod.  It has a flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts, working headlights and a whole lot of Torque; you can see the full gallery here.

vroom.jpg

You can read the PR below the prices.

torque.PNG

FREMONT, CA – May 11th, 2017 - CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the immediate availability of its new DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory. Inspired by those for whom speed is an obsession, each module features a uniquely heat-treated effect top bar, combining the iconic DOMINATOR PLATINUM design with the aesthetic of high-performance engines. Completed by a brushed black aluminum heatsink, stunning built-in lighting and orange accents, each kit is individually numbered using high precision laser engraving, guaranteeing exclusivity. Available in limited quantities, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory is built for speed – inside and out.

Fully compatible with the latest Intel® X99 and 200-series motherboards, each module is individually hand screened for added quality assurance and overclocking headroom. For the speed-obsessed looking to push their system to the limit and reach peak performance, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition’s custom 10-layer PCB provides superior signalling for greater overclocking potential, allowing every DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque module to be safely overclocked to at least 3,600MHz. What’s more, with CORSAIR’s patented DHX cooling technology, the aluminum heat-spreader is built right into the PCB, ensuring rapid heat dissipation and lower temperatures.

To celebrate the launch of DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque, CORSAIR commissioned renowned case modder Lee Harrington to create a chassis worthy of housing these limited edition DDR4 modules. Starting with a CORSAIR BULLDOG SFF kit, Lee created a stunning homage to 60’s hot-rods, complete with flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts and working headlights. To see more of this amazing system build, check out the full builder’s gallery at the link below.

Source: Corsair

Rumour time; Ryzen Whitehaven specs

Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: whitehaven, s3, ryzen, rumour, amd

wccftech is reporting on two engineering samples of new AMD processors which feature 16 cores and 32 threads with a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz and a base clock of 3.0GHz.  They have pictures of the architecture you can look over contained in this post.  This chip will also use a new socket, called S3, marking a nice change in a company that stuck with the AM3(+) chipset for the better part of a decade.  The chips will support quad channel DDR4 as well as expanded PCIe lanes to offer better storage options as well as PCIe slots.  AMD is aiming at offering some competition to Intel's upcoming release of Skylake-X, we should know more at Computex at the end of this month as AMD is expected to officially announce the product at that show.

Capture.PNG

"AMD’s upcoming 16 core enthusiast Ryzen “Whitehaven” CPUs have been spotted. The new processors will come in variations of up to 16 cores and 32 threads and will support quad-channel DDR4 memory."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: wccftech

Podcast #449 - NVIDIA Announcements, Dell predictions, watercooling components

Subject: Editorial | May 11, 2017 - 12:15 PM |
Tagged: video, zalman, Z270-A, snapdragon, ryzen, qualcomm, NVIDIA Tesla, fractal design, corsair, asus, aptX, Alphacool, podcast

PC Perspective Podcast #449 - 05/11/17

Join us for NVIDIA Announcements, Dell Predictions, Reviews on watercooling components 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: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Morry Teitelman, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 1:26:08
 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. Allyn: Statuscore CPU load / test (also works on Ryzen)
  1. Closing/outro

Source:

NVIDIA Announces Q1 2018 Results

Subject: Editorial | May 10, 2017 - 09:45 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, earnings, revenues, Q1 2018, Q1, v100, data center, automotive, gpu, gtx 1080 ti

NVIDIA had a monster Q1. The quarter before the company had their highest revenue numbers in the history of the company.  Q1 can be a slightly more difficult time and typically the second weakest quarter of the year.  The Holiday rush is over and the market slows down.  For NVIDIA, this was not exactly the case.  While NVIDIA made $2.173 billion in Q4 2017, they came remarkably close to that with revenues of $1.937 billion.  While $250 million is a significant drop, it is not an unexpected one.  In fact, it shows NVIDIA being slightly stronger than expectations.

NVIDIA-Logo.jpg

The past year has shown tremendous growth for NVIDIA.  Their GPUs remain strong and they have the highest performing parts at the upper midrange and high end markets.  AMD simply has not been able to compete with NVIDIA, much less overcome the company with higher performing parts at the top end.  GPUs still make up the largest portion of income that NVIDIA receives.  NVIDIA continues to invest in new areas and those investments are starting to pay off.

Automotive is still in the growth stages for the company, but they have successfully taken the Tegra CPU division and moved away from the cellphone and tablet markets.  NVIDIA continues to support their Shield products, but the main focus looks to be the automotive industry with these high performing, low power parts that sport advanced graphical options.  Professional graphics continues to be a stronghold for NVIDIA.  While it did drop quite a bit from the previous quarter, it is a high margin area that helps bolster revenues.

The biggest mover over this past year seems to be the Data Center.  Last year NVIDIA focused on delivering entire solutions to the market as well as their individual GPUs.  The past two years have seen them have essentially no income in this area to having a $400 million quarter.  This is simply tremendous growth in an area that is still relatively untapped when it comes to GPU compute.

results.png

NVIDIA continues to be very aggressive in their product design and introductions.  They have simply owned the $300+ range of graphics cards with the GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and the recently introduced GTX 1080 Ti.  This is somewhat ignoring the even higher end TitanXp that is priced well above most enthusiasts’ budgets.  Today they announced the V100 chip that is the first glimpse we have of a high end part running on TSMC’s new 12nm FinFET process.  It also features 16 GB of HBM2 memory and a whopping 21 billion transistors in total.

Next quarter looks to be even better than this one, which is a shock because Q2 has traditionally been the slowest quarter of the year.  NVIDIA expects around $1.95 billion in revenues (actually increasing from Q1).  NVIDIA also is rewarding shareholders with not only a quarterly dividend, but also has been actively buying back shares (which tends to keep share prices healthy).  Early last year NVIDIA had a share price of around $30 while today they are trending well above $100.

SXM2-VoltaChipDetails.png

If NVIDIA keeps this up while continuing to expand in automotive and data center, it is a fairly safe bet that they will easily overtop $8 billion in revenues for the year.  Q3 and Q4 will be stronger if they continue to advance in those areas while retaining marketshare in the GPU market.  With rumors hinting that AMD will not have a product that will top the GTX 1080Ti, it is a safe bet that NVIDIA can easily adjust their prices across the board to stay competitive with whatever AMD throws at them.

It is interesting to look back when AMD was shopping around for a graphics firm and wonder what could have happened.  Hector Ruiz was in charge of AMD and tried to leverage a deal with NVIDIA.  Rumors have it that Huang would not agree to it unless he was CEO.  Hector laughed and talked to ATI who was more than happy to sell (and cover up some real weaknesses in the company).  We all know what happened to Hector and how his policies and actions started the spiral that AMD is only now recovering from.  What would that have been like if Jensen had actually become CEO of that merged company?

Source: NVIDIA

Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver, get high quality audio from your podcasts, radio and more

Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: WFT-3 Digital Receiver, Sangean, audio

The Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver looks like most stereo equipment until you look at the inputs.  There you will find an ethernet port, WiFi antenna and USB plug in addition to a radio antenna and various audio out plugs.  It connects to the internet to provide you access to your podcasts and Spotify, as well as being able to play directly off of a USB drive or receive local FM radio signals if you are a fan of any particular stations.  Drop by NikKTech for a look.

sangean_wft_3_7.jpg

"Thanks to its ability to receive Internet / DAB / DAB+ and FM-RDS radio and also function as a Network and USB audio media player the WFT-3 digital receiver by Sangean packs quite a punch especially when compared to similar products."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

 

Source: NikKTech