Subject: Motherboards | February 21, 2017 - 10:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, M.2, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4
The X370GT7 is part of Biostar's racing series and features a black PCB with checkered flag artwork and LED-backlit "armor" over the rear IO edge. The motherboard surrounds the AMD AM4 socket with two large heat spreaders cooling a 8+4 Digital Power+ power phase (PowIRstage IC), four DDR4 slots (up to 64GB at 2667 MHz), and a M.2 (32 Gbps) slot with bundled SSD heat spreader that matches the racing and carbon fiber aesthetic.
The bottom half of the AM4 Motherboard houses the X370 chipset, six SATA 3 ports, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (running 1 at x16 or both at x8 with Ryzen, Bristol Ridge is limited to one x8 slot), one PCI-E 2.0 x16 (electrically x4) slot, and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots. Biostar also highlights the inclusion of 5050 LED headers and a USB 3.1 front panel header with "Lightning Charger" which supports Quick Charge 2.0 (12V@1.5A) as well as Apple devices (5V@2.4A).
Around back, the X370GT7 has the following rear IO ports:
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0)
- 3 x Video Outputs:
- 1 x DisplayPort (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x DVI-D (1200p@60Hz)
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8118AS)
- Audio (Realtek ALC1220, 8 channel Blu Ray Audio, "Biostar Hi-FI")
- 5 x Analog out
- 1 x S/PDIF
While an Intel NIC would have been nice to see, the Biostar board looks to offer up a decent package of connections and the Realtek audio codec has been around for a while and should be fairly well developed at this point though we will have to see how well Biostar's Hi-Fi implementation fares. Further, Biostar also offers a small touch panel on the board called GT Touch that lets users switch UEFI profiles between performance and eco-friendly modes as well as power and reset buttons for testing outside of a case. For LED fans Biostar bundles software called "LED DJ" that lets you configure an LED light show that responds to music being played on the PC. (Yes, this is a thing now hehe.)
It is nice to see Biostar rising to the occasion and offering up more options for Ryzen CPUs. Unfortunately as is the case with more things there is no word on pricing or availability yet though rumors would suggest an early march release to coincide with Ryzen processors hitting store shelves.
- CES 2017: Gigabyte Teases New AM4 Platform Motherboards
- AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards
- Dissecting AMD Zen Architecture - Interview with David Kanter
Subject: General Tech, Storage | February 22, 2017 - 12:14 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Optane, kaby lake, Intel, 3D XPoint
Intel has announced that its Optane memory will require an Intel Kaby Lake processor to function. While previous demonstrations of the technology used an Intel Skylake processor, it appears this configuration will not be possible on the consumer versions of the technology.
Further, the consumer application accelerator drives will also require a 200-series chipset motherboard, and either a M.2 2280-S1-B-M or M.2 2242-S1-B-M connector with two or four PCI-E lanes. Motherboards will have to support NVMe v1.1 and Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) 15.5 or newer.
It is not clear why Intel is locking Optane technology to Kaby Lake and whether it is due to technical limitations that they were not able to resolve to keep Skylake compatible or if it is just a matter of not wanting to support the older platform and focus on its new Kaby Lake processors. As such, Kaby Lake is now required if you want UHD Blu Ray playback and Optane 3D XPoint SSDs.
What are your thoughts on this latest bit of Optane news? Has Intel sweetened the pot enough to encourage upgrade hold outs?
- A Closer Look at Intel's Optane SSD DC P4800X Enterprise SSD Performance
- Intel Quietly Launches Official Optane Memory Site
- The Intel Core i7-7700K Review - Kaby Lake and 14nm+
Subject: Editorial | February 16, 2017 - 06:36 PM | AlexL
Tagged: Zen, Z170, webkit, webgpu, podcast, Optane, nvidia, Intel, icx, evga, ECS, crucial, Blender, anidees, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #437 - 02/16/17
Join us for EVGA iCX, Zen Architechure, Intel Optane, new NVIDIA and AMD driver releases, 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: 1:32:21
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | February 16, 2017 - 07:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: boinc, fast radio bursts
If you are not familiar with the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Networked Computing, aka BOINC, then hopefully it is because you devote your spare processing power to Folding@Home. If you are still unfamiliar, it is a way to divvy up huge data sets and associated calculations to numerous local clients, install by volunteers who are willing to donate spare processing cycles; the most famous is SETI@Home.
The story at the The Register describes something similar, though instead of performing the calculations, you would capture the data. The idea is to utilize the radio receivers in mobile devices and software defined radio kits to capture the mysterious fast radio bursts that astronomers have detected emanating from far off galaxies. The researchers have a lot of work ahead of them as the 1GHz signals can be swamped by terrestrial sources and the periodicity of the signals is not clear. It will be interesting to watch how this project unfolds.
"Friends, take out your mobiles in the name of science! Astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are trying to look for fast radio bursts in the Milky Way galaxy with “low-cost radio receivers.” And by that, they mean, your smartphones."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- As Microsoft touts Windows Insider for biz, let's take a look at W10's broken 2FA logins @ The Register
- The Asus Tinker Board (Updated) @ Hack a Day
- Gabe Newell isn't really here @ Polygon
- Oracle's ongoing war with Google could bring the software industry to its knees @ The Inquirer
- Global IPv4 address drought: Seriously, we're done now. We're done @ The Register
- IBM's Watson Dons a Suit and Tie @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | February 15, 2017 - 09:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, genius, scorpion M8-610, gaming mouse, ambidextrous
The symmetrical design of the Genius Scorpion M8-610 will ensure comfort no matter what your chirality is, something that is seemingly more uncommon in gaming mice these days. The Avago ADNS-9800 laser sensor can provide between 800 to 8200 DPI and all the buttons are Omron D2FC-F-7N, not bad for a mouse that runs less than $40. Modders Inc took a look at the mouse and the software suite which accompanies it in their latest review; take a look at what they thought right here.
"While it is easy to get lured by fancy colors and flashy design when looking for a gaming mouse, it always comes down to functional consistency above all else. Aside from the keyboard, the mouse allows users to communicate with the computer and to the wider world online."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CORSAIR Scimitar PRO RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Gamdias Hermes E1 & Demeter E2 @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair K95 RGB Platinum @ Benchmark Reviews
- Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ eTeknix
- Corsair K95 RGB Platinum Keyboard @ Kitguru
- ErgoDox EZ Shine Keyboard @ techPowerUp
Subject: Mobile | February 21, 2017 - 01:19 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X20, snapdragon, qualcomm, modem, LTE, DSDV, Category 18, Carrier Aggregation, CA, 5x20 MHz
Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem, their 2nd-generation Gigabit LTE solution built on 10nm FinFET and offering what Qualcomm says are “a number of industry firsts”, which include first to Category 18 (downlink) and first to receive up to 12 spacial LTE data streams simultaneously.
“It is the first commercially announced Gigabit LTE chipset designed to deliver fiber-like LTE Category 18 download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps, a 20 percent improvement in download speeds over the previous generation. Additionally, it allows support for up to 5x20 MHz downlink Carrier Aggregation (CA) across licensed and unlicensed FDD and TDD radio frequencies, as well as 4x4 MIMO on up to three aggregated LTE carriers. Lastly, it supports integrated Dual SIM Dual VoLTE (DSDV) capability, a first for Snapdragon LTE modems. These leading-edge features of the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem are supported by the first commercially announced single-chip RF transceiver capable of simultaneously receiving up to 12 spatial streams of LTE data.”
Compared the the X16 modem featured in the upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC, the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem moves from Cat 16 to Cat 18 on the downlink, with support for 5x20 MHz (vs. the X16’s 4x20 MHz) Carrier Aggregation and “can simultaneously receive 12 unique streams of data on as few as three 20 MHz carriers”, with up to 256-QAM and 100 Mbps per stream. Uplink is at the same 2x20 MHz/64-QAM as the X16 modem, for speeds of up to 150 Mbps.
The X20 LTE modem now includes VoLTE for both cards in a dual-SIM implementation:
“The Snapdragon X20 LTE modem also features more advanced dual SIM functionality and, as the first Snapdragon LTE modem to support DSDV, it provides users with the benefits of Ultra HD Voice and other IMS-based services on both SIMs inserted into the device.”
Qualcomm has begun to sample the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem to customers, with the first commercial devices expected 1H 2018.
Full press release after the break.
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: 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 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: Systems | February 21, 2017 - 06:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: upgrade, sandybridge, kaby lake
The tick-tock of Intel's waltz has stuttered a bit, with many users wondering if it is worth picking up a new Kaby Lake based system. Gone are the good old days when a new generation of processors guaranteed enough of an increase in performance to justify decreasing your bank account immediately. There are several reasons for this, including the difficulties in reducing the size of the process and increasing the amount of transistors, not just the current lack of competition in the marketplace.
At The Tech Report, one of their staff were curious enough to do the upgrade, dumping their i7-2600K for an i7-7700k. Check out the results of the upgrade, with some impressive effect on the wonky but beloved Arma III engine.
"The question of whether it's worth upgrading from Intel's Sandy Bridge chips accompanies every new TR CPU review. For one TR contributor, the arrival of Kaby Lake finally motivated him to make a move. See what the upgrade to a more modern platform did for him."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Syber Intel Extreme Masters Pro GTX 1070 Gaming PC @ eTeknix
- Mesh 7EVEN (7600K & GTX 1060) Gaming PC @ Kitguru
- A Look At CyberPowerPC’s GUA2400BST AMD VR Gaming PC @ Techgage
- The Tech Report System Guide: February 2017 edition
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: Cases and Cooling | February 22, 2017 - 06:04 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Wraith, ryzen, hsf, AMD Wraith, amd
Information recently leaked online detailing how AMD will package its retail Ryzen offerings. In addition to the usual processor-only trays for OEMs and system integrators, AMD will offer retail boxed Ryzen processors with a basic HSF (heatsink-fan), circular 95W Wraith Spire cooler, 140W Wraith Max HSF depending on the processor as well as CPU-only boxes of the X-series (e.g. Ryzen 7 1700X) processors for enthusiasts looking to choose their own air or liquid cooler.
Image via Informtica Cero.
TechPowerUp is reporting that a basic cooler similar to AMD’s pre-Wraith style of heatsinks will be packaged with the lower end Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 chips – mainly the 65W models. Moving up the processor lineup, the non-X Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 processors (up to Ryzen 7 1700) will be bundled with a new “Wraith Spire” cooler that sports a circular design with curved aluminum fins and an (approximately) 80mm fan. This new HSF is rated at 95W and measures 109mm x 103mm x 54mm and is allegedly engineered to be a low noise cooling solution.
Stepping things up a notch, the “Wraith Max” is a tweaked FX-era Wraith cooler (horizontal boxed design with a single fan) that can handle up to 140W processors and has been designed with noise levels in mind while not sacrificing too much performance. It measures 105mm x 108mm x 85mm so it is a fair bit taller than the Wraith Spire. This cooler will come with the higher end eight core Ryzen chips such as the Ryzen 7 1700X and 1800X.
The X variants will also be available in WOF (without fan-heatsink) packages that come in retail boxes but without any heatsink. These WOF packages should come in a bit cheaper than the processor+HSF multipacks and will be ideal for users wanting to use liquid cooling or a higher end air cooler for overclocking.
Thanks to previous leaks that have revealed the box art, AMD will be clearly marking the retail packages to show which cooler is coming with which processor. Further, XFastest has posted images of the basic Ryzen (non-Wraith) heatsink, and you can see (albeit tiny) images of the Wraith Spire and Wraith Max in the leaked table (above, from Informatica Cero).
Sebastian seemed to be very impressed by the original Wraith cooler where he found it to be a significant improvement over AMD’s previous OEM designs and able to match the Hyper 212 Evo in cooling performance (though the Wraith couldn’t quite match it in noise levels due to its smaller fan). So long as AMD maintains quality control and builds on the previous Wraith’s strengths (and hopefully larger fans, at least on the Max), they should be good little coolers. I am interested to see the new Wraith coolers in detail and how well they perform. I suspect many readers will be opting for the CPU-only packages, but for those readers that just want a simple bundled cooling solution I hope the Wraith Spire and Wraith Max turn out to be good deals.
- AMD Wraith CPU Cooler Review: Cool and Quiet
- Report: Leaked AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Benchmarks Show Strong Performance
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