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PowerColor Teases Custom RX Vega 64 Red Devil Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 17, 2017 - 10:09 PM |
Tagged: Vega, RX VEGA 64, red devil, powercolor, factory overclocked

Slated for a holiday release, images have appeared online of PowerColor’s upcoming Radeon RX Vega 64 Red Devil. The new custom graphics card is a triple slot design with a massive triple 85mm fan cooler. The shrouded Vega-based graphics card features red LED lighting that can be turned off with a hardware switch on the card itself. The shroud hides a 2.5-slot tall aluminum fin stack with contact to the GPU and VRM areas.

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PowerColor is using an almost-reference design with a PCB that is slightly taller than AMD’s reference board and with two DisplayPort and two HDMI video outputs. It is not clear what the power input situation is with the Red Devil card with TechPowerUp reporting a two 8-pin configuration, but the images don’t reveal that and other sites aren’t corroborating that. One thing suggesting PowerColor may be sticking with two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors like the reference design is that they have not done anything crazy with the other power delivery components. While PowerColor is using different chokes, they are sticking with the reference 12-phase design with IR6894 and IR6211 DirectFETs and IR3598 phase doublers. The card does have a triple BIOS switch, so there is likely at least one factory overclocked option to push past the reference Vega 64 speeds of 4096 cores at 1247 MHz base and 1546 MHz boost.

According to Videocardz, the PowerColor RX Vega 64 Red Devil is slated for release later this month with availability at various retailers in early December. Further, PowerColor is also working on a custom RX Vega 56 card though it sounds like that one may not make it in time for the holidays. With the launch imminent, at least we will not have to wait too long to see the full specifications of this card.

Source: Videocardz
Manufacturer: In Win

Introduction and Case Exterior

The In Win 301 is a mini tower case with a tempered glass side panel that sells for less than $70. How good is it? Dollar for dollar it could be the best affordable case on the market right now. That's a pretty bold statement, and you'll just have to read the whole review to see if I'm right.

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In Win is one of the most unique enclosure makers in the industry, with designs running from elegant simplicity to some of the most elaborate and expensive cases we’ve ever seen. Though well-known for the striking tou 2.0 and the show-stopping (and motorized) H-Frame, in recent years In Win has expanded its offering in the affordable enclosure space, and there is no better example of this than the case we have for you today.

The 301, smaller sibling to the 303, is beautiful in its simplicity, thoughtfully designed for ease of use (as we will see here), and very affordable - even with its tempered-glass side panel, a signature of In Win enclosures. Sound too good to be true? It is limited to micro-ATX and mini-ITX motherboards, but if you’re looking for an option for a small form-factor build with room for full-sized components, this might just end up on your short list. Let’s take a close look at this stylish mini-tower case!

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Continue reading our review of the In Win 301 tempered glass mini-tower enclosure!

A New Frontier

Console game performance has always been an area that we've been interested in here at PC Perspective but has been mostly out of our reach to evaluate with any kind of scientific tilt. Our Frame Rating methodology for PC-based game analysis relies on having an overlay application during screen capture which is later analyzed by a series of scripts. Obviously, we can not take this approach with consoles as we cannot install our own code on the consoles to run that overlay. 

A few other publications such as Eurogamer with their Digital Foundry subsite have done fantastic work developing their internal toolsets for evaluating console games, but this type of technology has mostly remained out of reach of the everyman.

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Recently, we came across an open source project which aims to address this. Trdrop is an open source software built upon OpenCV, a stalwart library in the world of computer vision. Using OpenCV, trdrop can analyze the frames of ordinary gameplay (without an overlay), detecting if there are differences between two frames, looking for dropped frames and tears to come up with a real-time frame rate.

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This means that trdrop can analyze gameplay footage from any source, be it console, PC, or anything in-between from which you can get a direct video capture feed. Now that PC capture cards capable of 1080p60, and even 4K60p are coming down in price, software like this is allowing more gamers to peek at the performance of their games, which we think is always a good thing.

It's worth noting that trdrop is still listed as "alpha" software on it's GitHub repo, but we have found the software to be very stable and flexible in the current iteration.

  Xbox One S Xbox One X PS4 PS4 Pro
CPU 8x Jaguar
1.75 Ghz
8x Jaguar
2.3 Ghz
8x Jaguar
1.6 Ghz
8x Jaguar
2.1 Ghz
GPU CU 12x GCN
914 Mhz
40x Custom
1172 Mhz
18x GCN
800 Mhz
36x GCN
911 Mhz
GPU
Compute
1.4 TF 6.0 TF 1.84 TF 4.2 TF
Memory 8 GB DDR3
32MB ESRAM
12 GB GDDR5 8 GB GDDR5 8 GB GDDR5
Memory
Bandwidth
219GB/s 326GB/s 176GB/s 218GB/s

Now that the Xbox One X is out, we figured it would be a good time to take a look at the current generation of consoles and their performance in a few games as a way to get our feet wet with this new software and method. We are only testing 1080p here, but we now have our hands on a 4K HDMI capture card capable of 60Hz for some future testing! (More on that soon.)

Continue reading our look at measuring performance of the Xbox One X!

State of the GPU market for Q3 2017; miners and gamers putting a smile on manufacturers faces

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 20, 2017 - 06:57 PM |
Tagged: jon peddie, q3 2017

The latest results from Jon Peddie Research are out and it looks like it has been a good quarter for discrete GPU vendors, not so much for APUs however.  When JPR looks at the graphics market, they include all silicon with graphics capabilities, discrete GPUs, APUs and IGPs giving a broad overview of the current state of the market.

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It seems the market shares of Matrox and S3 have finally disappeared into the noise, leaving only Intel, AMD and NVIDIA represented in the breakdown of global GPU market share.  In all cases the total amount of sales have gone up, which fits in with seasonal patterns and demonstrates that while the PC market may be wounded, it is far from dead.  Intel's total GPU sales increased by 5% from last quarter, which translated to a loss of 3.2% of total market share.  AMD saw a total increase of 7.6%, their desktop GPUs alone increased by 16.1%, however that was only enough to keep them at the same ~13% of the global GPU market.  NVIDIA saw the biggest increase, a 29.5% jump in sales, which gives them just under 20% of the GPU market to call their own.

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A very interesting data point from JPR's latest report shows how the overall PC market has changed over time.  We have never recovered from the highs of the end of 2010, for a wide variety of reasons ranging from the long term impact of the global recession to a certain company's decision to switch from a lively two step to a stately waltz.  The market is signs that the long decline we have seen may be slowing, instead of dropping by several million units during the traditionally sluggish beginning of the year it only dropped by about one million units.  Consider the lack of driving reasons to do a complete upgrade of a computer this year until AMD's Ryzen and Threadripper appeared, it is quite possible we may see sales steady or perhaps even rise over 2018.

We won't know for a while yet, but the signs are more encouraging than they have been in a long time.

 

Allied Control Showing Off Immersion Cooling at SC17

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 20, 2017 - 10:09 PM |
Tagged: Supercomputing Conference, supercomputing, liquid cooling, immersion cooling, HPC, allied control, 3M

PC Gamer Hardware (formerly Maximum PC) spotted a cool immersion cooling system being shown off at the SuperComputing conference in Denver, Colorado earlier this month. Allied Control who was recently acquired by BitFury (popular for its Bitcoin mining ASICs) was at the show with a two phase immersion cooling system that takes advantage of 3M's Novec fluid and a water cooled condesor coil to submerge and cool high end and densely packed hardware with no moving parts and no pesky oil residue.

Allied Control Immersion Cooling.png

Nick Knupffer (@Nick_Knupffer) posted a video (embedded below) of the cooling system in action cooling a high end processor and five graphics cards. The components are submerged in a non-flamable, non-conductive fluid that has a very low boiling point of 41°C. Interestingly, the heatsinks and fans are removed allowing for direct contact between the fluid and the chips (in this case there is a copper baseplate on the CPU but bare ASICs can also be cooled). When the hardware is in use, heat is transfered to the liquid which begins to boil off from a liquid to a vapor / gaseous state. The vapor rises to the surface and hits a condensor coil (which can be water cooled) that cools the gas until it turns back into a liquid and falls back into the tank. The company has previously shown off an overclocked 20 GPU (250W) plus dual Xeon system that was able to run flat out (The GPUs at 120% TDP) running deep learning as well as mining Z-Cash when not working on HPC projects while keeping all the hardware well under thermal limits and not throttling. Cnet also spotted a 10 GPU system being shown off at Computex (warning autoplay video ad!).

According to 3M, two phase immersion cooling is extremely efficient (many times more than air or even water) and can enable up to 95% lower energy cooling costs versus conventional air cooling. Further, hardware can be packed much more tightly with up to 100kW/square meter versus 10kW/sq. m with air meaning immersion cooled hardware can take up to 10% less floor space and the heat produced can be reclaimed for datacenter building heating or other processes.

 

 

Neat stuff for sure even if it is still out of the range of home gaming PCs and mining rigs for now! Speaking of mining BitFury plans to cool a massive 40+ MW ASIC mining farm in the Republic of Georgia using an Allied Control designed immersion cooling system (see links below)!

Also read:

Source: PC Gamer

Become your own ISP for fun, or because Ajit Pai gets his way

Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2017 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: isp, networking, Internet, net neutrality, Autonomous System

If you are reading this from the US you probably have an opinion about the news out of the FCC today and should probably express that opinion to your various congress critters, even though Ajit Pai has stated he won't listen.  As a backup plan you might want to take a read through this article over at Hack a Day which describes how you can set yourself up as your own ISP, aka an Autonomous System.  The process is nowhere near as simple as setting up a home internet connection and you will need some dedicated equipment you may or may not have lying around.  Those who live outside the USA should still take a look as there is some very interesting learning material in the article.

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"It was during the purchase of data centre rack space that [Kenneth]’s challenge was laid down by a friend. Rather then simply rely on the connection provided by the data centre, they would instead rely on forging their own connection to the ‘net, essentially becoming their own Internet Service Provider."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Focusing on the middle of the EPYC

Subject: Processors | November 16, 2017 - 04:38 PM |
Tagged: amd, EPYC, 7401P

AMD's new EPYC server chips range in price from around $4000 for the top end 32 core 7601 to around $500 for the 8 core 7251 with the $1000, 24 core EPYC 7401P sitting towards the middle of this family.  Phoronix have tested quite a few of these processors, today focusing on the aforementioned 7401P, testing it against several other EPYC processors as well as several Xeon E3 and E5 models as well as a Gold and a Silver.  To say that AMD showed up Intel in multithreaded performance is somewhat of an understatement as you can see in their benchmarks. Indeed in many cases you need around $5000 worth of Intel CPU to compete with the 7401P and even then Intel lags behind in many tests.  The only shortcoming of the 7401P is that it can only be run in single socket configurations, not that you necessarily need two of these chips!

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"We've been looking at the interesting AMD EPYC server processors recently from the high-end EPYC 7601 to the cheapest EPYC 7251 at under $500 as well as the EPYC 7351P that offers 16 cores / 32 threads for only about $750. The latest EPYC processor for testing at Phoronix has been the EPYC 7401P, a 24 core / 48 thread part that is slated to retail for around $1075 USD."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: Phoronix

Star Wars Graphics Cards!! NVIDIA Titan Xp Collector's Edition. Galactic Empire and Jedi Order!

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 17, 2017 - 02:08 PM |
Tagged: titan xp, Star Wars, nvidia, jedi order, jedi, geforce, galactic empire, empire

NVIDIA has a coup on its hands this holiday. With the release of Battlefront II today and The Last Jedi next month, a new series of Titan Xp cards is available that will make Star Wars fans giggle with excitement! This is the same Titan Xp performance we expect but with a completely new external design and style, available in both a red-themed Galactic Empire version and a green-themed Jedi Order option.

Check out the video above for the unboxing and my thoughts as I swoon over them...

If you want some more pictures of the goods, I have them here as well.

Do note - though it's hard to recommend a $1200 graphics card to many people, these cards almost seem like a steal considering they are priced at the same cost as the standard Titan Xp models. I know that the price for these custom shrouds in short runs was not cheap, so its almost like NVIDIA is giving Star Wars that double as PC enthusiasts a little gift for the holidays.

Okay, that might be a stretch... But come on, look how awesome these graphics cards look!!

We are working up a full system build (time for my personal upgrade!) with these two GPUs and will have a build log of that up before Christmas. Don't worry, we plan on properly presenting this hardware through an all-glass chassis!

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Source: PCPer

PCPer Mailbag #19 - Thanksgiving Edition!

Subject: Editorial | November 22, 2017 - 05:00 PM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag, pcper

It's a special Thanksgiving edition of our weekly Q&A Mailbag! Take a break from the turkey and the in-laws and check out today's topics:

00:30 - Smartphone-like high efficiency cores for future laptops?
02:48 - Why is supersampling so demanding?
04:08 - Will GPUs ever replace CPUs?
05:18 - NVIDIA CPUs?
06:42 - Planned obsolescence for Android devices?
08:35 - HDR performance hit in games?
09:26 - M.2 GPUs?
10:53 - Raspberry Pi for holiday lights?
12:31 - PCPer origami?
13:21 - Memorable alcohol?
15:06 - Turkey vs. Ham

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

PCPer Mailbag #18 - 11/17/2017

Subject: Editorial | November 17, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag, pcper

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!

Here's what you'll find on today's show:

00:28 - Intel vs. Realtek Ethernet
01:38 - Josh's F-4 Phantom artwork and DirectX12 multi-GPU?
02:59 - Under-volting locked Intel CPUs?
04:45 - Graphics settings that are CPU-bound?
07:20 - Overclocking results in 1070 Ti review?
10:05 - True "4K-capable" GPUs?
12:20 - Discrete GPUs from Intel?
15:00 - What's up with AMD Eyefinity?
16:59 - Why no GDDR5X on 1070 Ti?

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
Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer:

Ultimate Cord Cutting Guide - Part 2: Installation & Configuration

We're back with Part 2 of our cord cutting series, documenting our experience with dumping traditional cable and satellite providers in exchange for cheaper and more flexible online and over-the-air content. In Part 1 we looked at the devices that could serve as our cord-cutting hub, the types of subscription content that would be available, and the options for free OTA and online media.

In the end, we selected the NVIDIA SHIELD as our central media device due to its power, capabilities, and flexibility. Now in Part 2 we'll walk through setting up the SHIELD, adding our channels and services, configuring Plex, and more!

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Read on for Part 2 of our cord cutting experience!

HP's Ryzen Mobile Powered Envy X360 Is Available Now

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 20, 2017 - 08:25 PM |
Tagged: windows hello, stylus, ryzen mobile, Ryzen 5 2500U, hp, convertible, amd

Last month AMD formally launched its Ryzen Mobile APUs with partners Acer, HP, and Lenovo announcing that systems using the new processors would be out by the end of the year. The first system to become available for purchase appears to be the HP Envy X360 convertible notebook which is available with a Ryzen 5 2500U APU. The 15.6” 2-in-1 starts at $574.99 (at time of writing) and thankfully appears to take full advantage of the AMD processor.

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The HP Envy X360 was spotted by Anandtech who noted that the notebook is currently being sold at HP.com as well as brick and mortar Best Buy stores. The notebook is part of the company’s higher end Envy brand. It weighs in at 4.75 pounds and measures 14.16” x 9.8” x 0.77”. The 360° hinge allows the touchscreen display to flip around to lay flat with the underside of the keyboard enabling tablet mode. The top half with thin bezels holds the 15.6” 1920 x 1080 display and IR capable Windows Hello camera. The bottom half holds the rest of the hardware and features a backlit island-style keyboard with numpad, a wide trackpad, and the various I/O ports around the edges including USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 with DisplayPort 1.4 and USB Power support (for charging), two full size USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, HDMi, and a headset jack. Other features include Bang and Olufsen audio with dual speakers and a stylus that can be used with Windows Ink, One Note, and other apps.

Internal specifications include the above-mentioned Ryzen 5 2500U, up to 16 GB of dual channel 2400 MHz memory, and mechanical and solid-state storage options. The base model of this laptop starts at 8 GB DDR4 at 2400 MHz (2 x 4GB) and 1TB of 7200 RPM hard drive storage. Users can configure the notebook with up to a 1TB NVMe SSD or a combination of SATA hard drive and NVMe M.2 drives. The HP Envy X360 also features Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and it is all powered by a 3-cell 55.8 Wh battery. The APU is a 15W TDP chip with four Zen-based CPU cores (eight threads) running at 2 GHz base and up to 3.6 GHz boost, a RX Vega-based GPU clocked at up to 1100 MHz with 8 CUs (512 cores), and 6 MB of cache (2MB L2 and 4MB L3).

The HP Envy X360 15z Touch convertible laptop is available now starting at $574.99 and going up to $1374.99 fully loaded with Windows 10 Pro.

In all this looks to be a good design win for AMD is a promising start for the future of Ryzen Mobile. Thankfully the APU appears to be running at its full 15W TDP and is not being held back by single channel memory like past AMD mobile chips have allegedly been. I am looking forward to seeing what AMD’s other partners have to offer. Until then though, we have a Ryzen 7 1700 powered Asus ROG gaming laptop to ponder about!

Source: AnandTech

ASUS ROG Announces the Ryzen powered Strix GL702ZC

Subject: Mobile | November 20, 2017 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: ryzen 7 1700, asus, ASUS ROG, Strix GL702ZC, amd, gaming laptop, RX580, freesync

The ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC is the first Ryzen powered gaming laptop we have seen, featuring the Ryzen 7 1700 desktop CPU along with a 4GB RX580 GPU.  This means that the 17.3" IPS 1080p monitor is Freesync capable with a maximum 60Hz refresh rate.  That resolution and refresh rate will ensure even AAA titles can play with your graphics settings cranked.  

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In addition to the previously mentioned components,the GL702ZC ships with 16GB DDR4-2400MHz, a 256GB SATA III SSD, a 1TB 5400rpm HDD, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity and 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 4.1.  The base model retails for a competitive $1500.

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PR below the fold.

Source: AMD

Sourcing and shipping the Superconference badge

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2017 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: tindie, superconference badge, hacking

You may remember Al's reaction to one of the other products being shown on Tindie when we were looking at Ken's pick on Podcast 475.  The Hack a Day Superconference badge is an impressive peice of hardware and people did some pretty impressive things with it, once they got their hands on it.  However, that is not the entire story as Hack a Day have shared the trials and tribulations of sourcing the components, building the badges and shipping them off to participants before the Superconference began.  If you are curious about how this process would work, or are considering creating some hardware which you eventually intend to sell or distribute, you should read through the process and see what they learned and if you can apply it to your own projects.

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"Already we’ve gone over the gory details of what this badge does, and now it’s time to talk about the perils of building large numbers of an electronic conference badge. This is the hardware demoscene, artisanal manufacturing, badgelife, and an exploration of exactly how far you can push a development schedule to get these badges out the door and into the hands of eager badge hackers and con attendees."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hack a Day

Samsung SZ985 Z-NAND SSD - Upcoming Competition for Intel's P4800X?

Subject: Storage | November 20, 2017 - 10:56 PM |
Tagged: Z-NAND, SZ985, slc, Samsung, P4800X, nand, Intel, flash

We haven't heard much about Samsung's 'XPoint Killer' Z-NAND since Flash Memory Summit 2017, but now we have a bit more to go on:

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Yes, actual specs. In print. Not bad either, considering the Samsung SZ985 appears to offer a bus-saturating 3.2GB/s for reads and writes. The 30 DWPD figure matches Intel's P4800X, which is impressive given Samsung's part operates on flash derived from their V-NAND line (but operating in a different mode). The most important figures here are latency, so let's focus there for a bit:

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While the SZ985 runs at ~1/3rd the latency of Samsung's own NAND SSDs, it has roughly double the latency of the P4800X. For the moment that is actually not as bad as it seems as it takes a fair amount of platform optimization to see the full performance benefits of optane, and operating slightly higher on the latency spectrum helps negate the negative impacts of incorrectly optimized platforms:

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Source: Shrout Research

As you can see above, operating at slightly higher latencies, while netting lower overall performance, does lessen the sting of platform induced IRQ latency penalties.

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Now to discuss costs. While we don't have any hard figures, we do have the above slide from FMS 2017, where Samsung stressed that they are trying to get the costs of Z-NAND down while keeping latencies as low as possible.

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Image Source: ExtremeTech

Samsung backed up their performance claims with a Technology Brief (available here), which showed decent performance gains and cited use cases paralleling those we've seen used by Intel. The takeaway here is that Samsung *may* be able to compete with the Intel P4800X in a similar performance bracket - not matching the performance but perhaps beating it on cost. The big gotcha is that we have yet to see a single Samsung NVMe Enterprise SSD come through our labs for testing, or anywhere on the market for that matter, so take these sorts of announcements with a grain of salt until we see these products gain broader adoption/distribution.

Source: Samsung

AMD joins the Battlefront 2, Crimson ReLive Edition 17.11.2

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 17, 2017 - 01:37 PM |
Tagged: amd, Star Wars Battlefront 2, relive 17.11.2

AMD have just released their driver to enhance performance on Star Wars Battlefront 2, for those of you who caved and bought EA's cash cow disguised as a game.  The Crimson ReLive Edition 17.11.2is available for download today, grab it right here

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The update also addresses issues in several other games, including Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon as well as green corruption in recorded gameplay and enhancements to WattMan

Source: AMD

Choc flavoured Kailh keys, the HAVIT HV-KB390L

Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2017 - 05:16 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, Kailh, HV-KB390L, HAVIT, Choc PG1350 Blue

HAVIT's HV-KB39 keyboard is a mere 23mm in height, for those who have a desire for slim devices.  It uses Kailh Choc PG1350 Blue mechanical switches which are relatively unique in that they offer tactile feedback when travelling both up and down.  If you are interested in seeing how these switches work, TechPowerUp completely strip the keybaord in their review to show you the innards in all their glory.  Check it out right here.

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"The HAVIT HV-KB390L is a new low profile mechanical keyboard based off the 87-key TKL form factor. It uses Kailh's new Choc PG1350 low profile switches, has an aluminum alloy frame/plate, a lightweight software driver, and customizable backlighting; all at a great price point."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HAVIT

Keeping a Low Profile

Havit is a Chinese company with a unique product for the enthusiast PC segment: the thinnest mechanical keyboard on the market at 22.5 mm. Their slim HV-KB395L keyboard offers real mechanical switching via Kailh low-profile blue switches, and full RGB lighting is thrown in for good measure. For a keyboard that retails for $79.99 this is certainly an interesting mix, but how in the world does low-profile mechanical feel? I will attempt to translate that experience into words (by… typing words).

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Specifications:

  • 104-key Mechanical Keyboard
  • Customizable RGB backlighting
  • Kailh PG1350 Low Profile Blue Switch
  • 3mm of total travel, 45g of operating force
  • N-Key Rollover
  • Detachable USB Cable
  • Weight: 0.57 kg
  • Dimensions: 43.6 x 12.6 x 2.25 cm

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First impressions of the keyboard are great, with nice packaging that cradles the keyboard in a carton inside the box. The keyboard itself feels quite premium, with a top panel that is actually metal - unusual for this price-point.

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Continue reading our review of the HAVIT HV-KB395L RGB mechanical keyboard!

NVIDIA Discontinues Mental Ray One Year After Relaunch

Subject: General Tech | November 19, 2017 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, mental ray, iray

Back in SIGGRAPH 2016, NVIDIA announced that they would take control of Mental Ray’s licensing and development. The new product was in beta at the time, boasting a new global illumination solver that was 4x faster on CPUs than the previous method, and 25.9x faster when you add a pair of Quadro M6000s into the mix. Access to the beta was free until it launched, which happened in Autumn 2016.

We’re now in Autumn 2017, and NVIDIA is discontinuing the product.

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NVIDIA is not leaving the rendering market, though. The graphics vendor has several products in that space, including the very-similar Iray. In fact, it was kind-of odd to see NVIDIA maintain both products with some weird cross-overs, like how they’re bundled on 3D Studio Max for the same price as either product purchased individually in Maya. They also maintain the OptiX and IndeX APIs, which is used all over the place, even for non-graphics workloads. (VRWorks Audio, for instance, uses OptiX to ray-trace video game audio for environmental effects, which is a fairly good model of high-frequency sounds.)

Current users of the Mental Ray plug-in, or those who purchase a license before the 20th of November, will receive “maintenance releases” through 2018 (presumably while they plan their transition elsewhere). These updates will be “bug fix” updates, although NVIDIA does state that one of them will introduce compatibility for Volta-based GPUs.

If you already own a license to Mental Ray, and you will need it for longer than the time left on your subscription, then you will need to contact NVIDIA for an extension. They’re not going to just throw you out if your license expires in December, but you have obligations through February (or something).

Source: NVIDIA

Toshiba is not about to become an Asustek satellite company, yet

Subject: General Tech | November 20, 2017 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: rumour, asus, asustek, toshiba

Toshiba has been having a rough year, but according to what The Inquirer was been able to find out they are not quite ready to sell their computer business to AsusTek or Lenovo quite yet.  The issue stems from their pending removal from the Tokyo Stock Exchange next March do to falling below certain financial thresholds.  Toshiba is hoping that the pending $18bn sale of its semiconductor business will complete before the end of this fiscal year, which would see them into the clear, but it is uncertain that that will be the case.  Toshiba have completed a $114m sale of their TV business, which means there is not that much left for them to divest other than their computer business.  On the other hand if they sell the last of their assets there is no need to remain listed on the stock exchange.  We shall see what happens as the deadline approaches.

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"The news comes as media reports in Japan claim that the company is in talks to sell its PC manufacturing arm to Asustek Computer, best known under its Asus brandname. However, Toshiba was quick to issue a statement rejecting these rumours. "

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer