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AMD Ryzen Pre-order Starts Today, Specs and Performance Revealed

Subject: Processors | February 22, 2017 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: Zen, ryzen, preorder, pre-order, handbrake, Cinebench, amd

I know that many of you have been waiting months and years to put your money down for the Zen architecture and Ryzen processors from AMD. Well that day is finally here: AMD is opening pre-orders for Ryzen 7 1800X, Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 1700 processors.

That’s the good news. The bad news? You’ll be doing it without the guidance of independent reviews.

For some of you, that won’t matter. And I can respect that! Getting your hands on Ryzen and supporting the disruption that it offers is something not only AMD fans have been preparing for, but tens of thousands of un-upgraded enthusiasts as well.

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Sorry...AMD doesn't trust with slides it seems.

Proudly announced at our meeting with AMD this week, Zen not only met the 40% IPC goals it announced more than a year ago, but exceeded it! AMD claims more than a 52% increase in instructions per clock over Excavator and that is a conservative metric based on side conversations. This does a couple of things for the CPU market immediately: first it resets performance expectations for what Ryzen will offer when reviews do go live and second, it may actually put some worry into Intel.

AMD is allowing us to share baseline specifications of the processors, including clock speeds and core counts, as well as some selected benchmarks that show the Ryzen CPUs in an (obviously) favorable light.

  Ryzen R7 1800X Ryzen R7 1700X Ryzen R7 1700 Core i7-6900K Core i7-6800K Core i7-7700K
Architecture Zen Zen Zen Broadwell-E Broadwell-E Kaby Lake
Process Tech 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm+
Cores/Threads 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 6/12 4/8
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.0 GHz 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz 4.2 GHz
Turbo/Boost Clock 4.0 GHz 3.8  GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.6 GHz 4.5 GHz
Cache 20MB 20MB 20MB 20MB 15MB 8MB
TDP 95 watts 95 watts 65 watts 140 watts 140 watts 91 watts
Price $499 $399 $329 $1050 $450 $350

AMD is being extremely aggressive with these prices and with the direct comparisons. The flagship Ryzen 7 1800X will run you just $499, the 1700X at $399 and the 1700 at $329. For AMD’s own comparisons, they pitted the Ryzen 7 1800X against the Core i7-6900K from Intel, selling for more than 2x the cost. Both CPUs have 8 cores and 16 threads, the AMD Ryzen part has higher clock speeds as well. If IPC is equivalent (or close), then it makes sense that the 1800X would be a noticeably faster part. If you care about performance per dollar even more…you should be impressed.

For the other comparisons, AMD is pitting the Ryzen 7 1700X with 8 cores and 16 threads against the Core i7-6800K, with 6 cores and 12 threads. Finally, the Ryzen 7 1700, still with an 8C/16T setup, goes against the Core i7-7700K with just 4 cores and 8 threads.

Here is a summary of the performance comparisons AMD is allowing to be showed.

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Though it's only a couple of benchmarks, and the results are highly siloed to show Ryzen in the best light, the results are incredibly impressive. In Cinebench R15, the Ryzen 1800X is 9% faster than the Core i7-6900K but at half the price; even the Ryzen R7 1700X is beating it. The 1700X is 34% faster than the Core i7-6800K, and the 1700 is 31% faster than the quad-core Core i7-7700K. The only single threaded result AMD gave us shows matching performance from the Core i7-6900K based on the Intel Broadwell architecture and the new Ryzen R7 1800X. This might suppress some questions about single threaded performance of Ryzen before reviews, but Broadwell is a couple generations old in Intel’s lineup, so we should expect Kaby Lake to surpass it.

The Handbrake benchmark results only included Core i7-7700K and the Ryzen R7 1700, with the huge advantage going to AMD. Not unexpected considering the 2x delta in core and thread count.

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Finally, the performance per dollar conversion on the Cinebench scores is a substantially impactful visual. With a more than 2x improvement from the Ryzen 7 1800X to the Core i7-6900K, power-hungry users on a budget will have a lot to think about.

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Sorry...AMD doesn't trust with slides it seems.

Clearly, AMD is very proud of the Ryzen processor and the Zen architecture, and they should be. This is a giant leap forward for the company compared to previous desktop parts. If you want to buy in today and pre-order, we have links below. If you’d rather wait for a full review from PC Perspective (or other outlets), you only have to wait until March 2nd.

Update Feb 22 @ 4:27am: An official Intel spokesman did respond to today's AMD news with the following: 

“We take any competition seriously but as we’ve learned, consumers usually take a ‘wait and see’ approach on performance claims for untested products. 7th Gen Intel® Core™ delivers the best experiences, and with 8th Gen Intel Core and new technologies like Intel® Optane™ memory coming soon, Intel will not stop raising the bar.” ­

While nothing drastic, the Intel comment is interesting in a couple of ways. First, the fact that Intel is responding at all means that they are rattled to some degree. Second, mention of the 8th Gen Core processor series indicates that they want potential buyers to know that something beyond Kaby Lake is coming down the pipe, a break from Intel's normally stoic demeanor.

Source: AMD

Report: Leaked AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Benchmarks Show Strong Performance

Subject: Processors | February 21, 2017 - 03:54 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, rumor, report, R7, processor, leak, IPC, cpu, Cinebench, benchmark, amd, 1700X

VideoCardz.com, continuing their CPU coverage of the upcoming Ryzen launch, has posted images from XFASTEST depicting the R7 1700X processor and some very promising benchmark screenshots.

AMD-Ryzen-7-1700X.jpg

(Ryzen 7 1700X on the right) Image credit XFASTEST via VideoCardz

The Ryzen 7 1700X is reportedly an 8-core/16-thread processor with a base clock speed of 3.40 GHz, and while overall performance from the leaked benchmarks looks very impressive, it is the single-threaded score from the Cinebench R15 run pictured which really makes this CPU look like major competition for Intel with IPC.

AMD-Ryzen-7-1700X-Cinebench.jpg

Image credit XFASTEST via VideoCardz

An overall score of 1537 is outstanding, placing the CPU almost even with the i7-6900K at 1547 based on results from AnandTech:

AnandTech_Benchmarks.png

Image credit AnandTech

And the single-threaded performance score of the reported Ryzen 7 1700X is 154, which places it above the i7-6900K's score of 153. (It is worth noting that Cinebench R15 shows a clock speed of 3.40 GHz for this CPU, which is the base, while CPU-Z is displaying 3.50 GHz - likely indicating a boost clock, which can reportedly surpass 3.80 GHz with this CPU.)

Other results from the reported leak include 3DMark Fire Strike, with a physics score of 17,916 with Ryzen 7 1700X clocking in at ~3.90 GHz:

AMD-Ryzen-7-1700X-Fire-Strike-Physics.png

Image credit XFASTEST via VideoCardz

We will know soon enough where this and other Ryzen processors stand relative to Intel's current offerings, and if Intel will respond to the (rumored) price/performance double whammy of Ryzen. An i7-6900K retails for $1099 and currently sells for $1049 on Newegg.com, and the rumored pricing (taken from Wccftech), if correct, gives AMD a big win here. Competition is very, very good!

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Chart credit Wccftech.com

Source: VideoCardz

Should you hang out on the Bridge, or is it worth heading onto the Lake?

Subject: Systems | February 21, 2017 - 06:55 PM |
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.

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"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:

Systems

Author:
Subject: Networking
Manufacturer: eero

Living the Mesh Life

Mesh networking is the current hot topic when it comes to Wi-Fi. Breaking from the trend of increasingly powerful standalone Wi-Fi routers that has dominated the home networking scene over the past few years, mesh networking solutions aim to provide wider and more even Wi-Fi coverage in your home or office through a system of multiple self-configuring and self-managing hotspots. In theory, this approach not only provides better wireless coverage overall, it also makes the setup and maintenance of a Wi-Fi network easier for novice and experienced users alike.

eero-1.jpg

Multiple companies have recently launched Wi-Fi mesh systems, including familiar names such as Google, Netgear, and Linksys. But this new approach to networking has also attracted newcomers, including San Francisco-based eero, one of the first companies to launch a consumer-targeted Wi-Fi mesh platform. eero loaned us their primary product, the 3-piece eero Home WiFi System, and we've spent a few weeks testing it as our home router.

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This review is the first part of a series of articles looking at Wi-Fi mesh systems, and it will focus on the capabilities and user experience of the eero Home WiFi System. Future articles will compare eero to other mesh platforms and traditional standalone routers, and look at comparative wireless performance and coverage.

Box Contents & Technical Specifications

As mentioned, we're looking at the 3-pack eero Home WiFi System (hereafter referred to simply as "eero"), a bundle that gives you everything you need to get your home or office up and running with a Wi-Fi mesh system. The box includes three eeros, three power adapters, and a 2-foot Ethernet cable.

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Each eero device is identical in terms of design and capability, measuring in at 4.75 inches wide, 4.75 inches deep, and 1.34 inches tall. They each feature two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a single USB 2.0 port (currently restricted to diagnostic use only), and are powered by two 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi radios capable of supporting 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. In addition, an eero network supports WPA2 Personal encryption, static IPs, manual DNS, IP reservations and port forwarding, and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).

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Continue reading our early testing of the eero Home WiFi system!

Manufacturer: PC Perspective

Living Long and Prospering

The open fork of AMD’s Mantle, the Vulkan API, was released exactly a year ago with, as we reported, a hard launch. This meant public, but not main-branch drivers for developers, a few public SDKs, a proof-of-concept patch for The Talos Principle, and, of course, the ratified specification. This sets up the API to find success right out of the gate, and we can now look back over the year since.

khronos-2017-vulkan-alt-logo.png

Thor's hammer, or a tempest in a teapot?

The elephant in the room is DOOM. This game has successfully integrated the API and it uses many of its more interesting features, like asynchronous compute. Because the API is designed in a sort-of “make a command, drop it on a list” paradigm, the driver is able to select commands based on priority and available resources. AMD’s products got a significant performance boost, relative to OpenGL, catapulting their Fury X GPU up to the enthusiast level that its theoretical performance suggested.

Mobile developers have been picking up the API, too. Google, who is known for banishing OpenCL from their Nexus line and challenging OpenGL ES with their Android Extension Pack (later integrated into OpenGL ES with version 3.2), has strongly backed Vulkan. The API was integrated as a core feature of Android 7.0.

On the engine and middleware side of things, Vulkan is currently “ready for shipping games” as of Unreal Engine 4.14. It is also included in Unity 5.6 Beta, which is expected for full release in March. Frameworks for emulators are also integrating Vulkan, often just to say they did, but sometimes to emulate the quirks of these system’s offbeat graphics co-processors. Many other engines, from Source 2 to Torque 3D, have also announced or added Vulkan support.

Finally, for the API itself, The Khronos Group announced (pg 22 from SIGGRAPH 2016) areas that they are actively working on. The top feature is “better” multi-GPU support. While Vulkan, like OpenCL, allows developers to enumerate all graphics devices and target them, individually, with work, it doesn’t have certain mechanisms, like being able to directly ingest output from one GPU into another. They haven’t announced a timeline for this.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 378.72 Hotfix (Bonus: a Discussion)

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 17, 2017 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

Just a couple of days after publishing 378.66, NVIDIA released GeForce 378.72 Hotfix drivers. This fixes a bug encoding video in Steam’s In-Home Streaming, and it also fixes PhysX not being enabled on the GPU under certain conditions. Normally, hotfix drivers solve large-enough issues that were introduced with the previous release. This time, as far as I can tell, is a little different, though. Instead, these fixes seem to be intended for 378.66 but, for one reason or another, couldn’t be integrated and tested in time for the driver to be available for the game launches.

nvidia-2015-bandaid.png

This is an interesting effect of the Game Ready program. There is value in having a graphics driver available on the same day (or early) as a major game releases, so that people can enjoy the title as soon as it is available. There is also value in having as many fixes as the vendor can provide. These conditions oppose each other to some extent.

From a user standpoint, driver updates are cumulative, so they are able to skip a driver or two if they are not affected by any given issue. AMD has taken up a similar structure, some times releasing three or four drivers in a month with only, like, one of them being WHQL certified. For these reasons, I tend to lean on the side of “release ‘em as you got them”. Still, I can see people feeling a little uneasy about a driver being released incomplete to hit a due-date.

But, again, that due-date has value.

It’s interesting. I’m personally glad that AMD and NVIDIA are on a rapid-release schedule, but I can see where complaints could arise. What’s your opinion?

Source: NVIDIA

Need an AMD processor right this instant? Perhaps Ashes of the Singularity Escalation with it?

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2017 - 12:25 AM |
Tagged: amd, newegg, ashes of the singularity

Do you have a desperate need for a new processor, which precludes waiting for Ryzen to arrive?  Newegg and AMD have launched a giveaway you might be interested in, a free copy of Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation with the purchase of certain 6 or 8 core AMD FX processors

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Models include the AMD FX-8370 with Wraith cooler, FX-8350 BE, FX-8320, FX-8300, FX-6350 and FX-6300.  They may not be the newest chips on the block but they didn't cost very much and they lasted a long while; plus they are currently on sale.  The giveaway lasts until May 7, 2017, or when the keys run out, so you can keep an eye on pricing if you want even better pricing.

 

Source: AMD

Intel Details Optane Memory System Requirements

Subject: General Tech, Storage | February 22, 2017 - 12:14 AM |
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.

Intel Optane App Accelerator.jpg

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?

Also Read: 

 

Source: Bit-Tech

Microsoft Cancels February's Monthly Cumulative Update

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2017 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, microsoft

Don’t worry if you didn’t receive cumulative Windows Updates this month.

At first, Microsoft showed no love for Valentine’s Day when they delayed the update that was supposed to roll out to the public. No explanation was provided. Two days later, Microsoft decided to write off the whole month. Everything that has been fixed since January 10th will be delayed until March 14th.

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This is quite the wait. Peter Bright of Ars Technica notes that “off-cycle updates are also unpopular”. Yes, IT professionals hate it when software vendors are difficult to schedule around. I’m not sure how much that had to do with this decision, though. On the one hand, when a new build launches to the public, it’s not uncommon to have an update (or more) per week over the first couple of months. On the other hand, it would be reasonable for Microsoft to assume that customers, those who carefully test patches before deploying them, would not have ingested a huge, nebulous feature release into their network just weeks after launch. Still, out-of-band updates happen, and it’s interesting that it didn’t happen in this circumstance.

One thing that this patch should have fixed, however, is delayed or clipped display output in games (and other 3D applications) on multi-monitor systems. While not as critical as security, it is probably annoying for anyone affected to need to wait another 28 days. Microsoft claims it will be fixed then, though.

Source: Microsoft

Blizzard Cutting Support for Windows XP and Vista

Subject: General Tech | February 19, 2017 - 10:07 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, blizzard, windows, EoL

Most companies have already abandoned Windows XP and Vista, including Microsoft once Vista leaves extended support in April, but Blizzard is known for long-term support. This is the company that is still selling Diablo 2, even producing retail disks for it last I checked, almost seventeen years after it was released (including a patch last year).

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Later this year, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm will no longer support Windows XP or Vista. This will not all happen at once, even though it would actually make less sense if they did. I mean, why would they coordinate several teams to release a patch at the same time and maximize annoyance to the affected users who cannot schedule or afford an upgrade at that specific time?

Although, if that’s you, then you should probably get around to it sooner than later.

Source: Blizzard
Author:
Manufacturer: Corsair

Woof

The Corsair Bulldog, version 2.0, is now shipping and upgrades the internal components to a Z270 motherboard and upgrade fans with improved noise profiles. Other than that, the Bulldog looks, style, form and function remain unchanged.
 
 
The design is likely still dividing opinions; the short squat form factor with angular exterior will appeal to some, but the dimensions are perfectly suited to sitting in or around a TV and entertainment center. And because of the spacing and design of the interior, the mini ITX form factor can support any performance level of GPU and Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors. This gives users the flexibility to build for ultimate performance, making the dream of a 4K-ready gaming PC in the living room a possibility.
 
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Our quick video review will talk about the design, installation process and our experiences with the system running some premium components.
 
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  • Corsair Bulldog 2.0 (includes case, PSU, MB and CPU cooler)
  • Intel Core i7-7700K
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4
  • Corsair Z270 Motherboard mini ITX
  • Corsair Hydro GTX 1080
  • 480GB Neutron GTX SSD
  • 600 watt Corsair PSU

The barebones kit starts at $399 through Corsair.com and includes the case, the motherboard, CPU cooler and 600-watt power supply. Not a bad price for those components!

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You won't find any specific benchmarks in the video above, but you will find some impressions playing Resident Evil 7 in HDR mode at 4K resolution with the specs above, all on an LG OLED display. (Hint: it's awesome.) 

Just Picked Up: Google Daydream View

Subject: Mobile | February 16, 2017 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged: zte, VR, google, daydream

As I mentioned last week, my ZTE Axon 7 has just received Android 7.0 Nougat, which also unlocked Google Daydream VR. I wasn’t able to pick up Google’s VR headset at the time, but now I can, so I did, and I spent a couple of hours messing around with it.

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First, I have to say I am very glad that Google made one headset (and controller) that works with all Daydream-compatible phones. That wasn’t entirely clear when I ordered my Axon 7 last summer, and I feared it would lead to a lot of waiting for my OEM to release a specific headset that may or may not be as good as any another vendor’s, especially sight unseen. I don’t really know how they properly align the screens, across all possible phones and accounting for user-error, but it seems to accept my phone perfectly without really any fiddling. Maybe it’s a simpler problem than I am envisioning, but, either way, the one viewer works with my ZTE Axon 7 -- it’s not just for the Pixel.

My second point is that the phone gets very hot, very quick. I’m sure ZTE knows about this, and the phone is designed around it, but it doesn’t just get warm, it borders on hot-to-the-touch at times. To be safe, I’m removing the case each time I insert it into the Daydream View, although the device seems to work either way. The battery does drain quickly, relative to other workloads, but a single, hour-or-so VR sitting took about 25% off (~75% remaining). Despite the heat and the quick battery drain, you will probably be done with a VR sitting before the device is, so I consider those aspects to be all-around positive.

As for the YouTube app, I’m glad that the virtual screen for standard video can be adjusted in pretty much any way. You can make it bigger or smaller with the track pad, pull it in any direction with motion controls, and adjust whether it’s flat or curved (so all points are equidistant) in the settings. If you want to lay on your back in bed and watch movies “on the ceiling”, then you can... and without holding the phone over your face while your arms go numb.

Yes, I’m speaking from experience.

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As for games? Eh... about the only thing that caught my eye is maybe “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes”. I’m pleasantly surprised it’s there, but it’s about the only thing that is. I knew there wasn’t a whole lot of apps, and that’s fine for me, but you probably shouldn’t get too excited outside of video.

Also, it’d be nice to see Google Chrome in VR. Get on that, Google! A virtual void would make a good place to keep my many, many tabs. It will apparently support WebVR content very soon, but in a “browse, click the Daydream button, mount it in the View, and put it on your head, then undo all that when you’re done” sort of way. It’d be nice to just... stay in the headset to browse.

Anywho, I have it, and those are my thoughts. It’s early, but it seems to work pretty well. I haven’t tried an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive yet, though, so I can’t make any comparisons there.

Source: Google

AMD Ryzen CPUs Will Be Available With New Stock Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | February 22, 2017 - 06:04 AM |
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.

AMD Ryzen Cooling Solutions.jpg

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.

Also read:

Source: TechPowerUp

Are you sure that's wise? Samsung is shrinking the Note 7's battery so they can sell refurbs

Subject: General Tech | February 22, 2017 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, note 7

From what Slashdot is reporting we are unlikely to see refurbished Note 7s in North America but they will be appearing in markets on the far side of the Pacific.  The battery was determined to be the cause of the rather spectacular failure of Samsung's latest tablet and so they will be installing a battery with a smaller capacity in the refurbished models.  One hopes it is physically smaller or more carfeully manufactured, as it was the expansion and puncturing of the battery which caused them to burst into flames.  It is understandable that Samsung would like to recoup some losses, this seems like a very risky move to undertake.

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"Samsung is said to be swapping the Note 7's 3,500 mAh batteries with a "3,000 to 3,200 mAh" batteries, according to The Korean Economic Daily's sources, predominately for sale in emerging markets such as India and Vietnam."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Slashdot

Biostar Launches X370GT7 Flagship Motherboard For Ryzen CPUs

Subject: Motherboards | February 21, 2017 - 10:16 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, M.2, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4

Biostar is gearing up for AMD's Ryzen release with the launch of several new AM4 motherboards using the X370 and B350 chipsets. At the top of the product stack is the flagship X370GT7 motherboard.

Biostar X370GT7.jpg

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:

  • PS/2
  • 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.

Also read:

Source: Biostar

A good year to sell GPUs

Subject: General Tech | February 21, 2017 - 06:18 PM |
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.

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"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:

Tech Talk

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech

Is Mechanical Mandatory?

The Logitech G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard offers the company's unique Mech-Dome keys and customizable RGB lighting effects, and it faces some stiff competition in a market overflowing with gaming keyboards for every budget (including mechanical options). But it really comes down to performance, feel, and usability; and I was interested in giving these new Mech-Dome keys a try.

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“The G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard features Logitech Mech-Dome keys that are specially tuned to deliver a superior tactile response and performance profile similar to a mechanical keyboard. Mech-Dome keys are full height, deliver a full 4mm travel distance, 50g actuation force, and a quiet sound operation.

The G213 Prodigy gaming keyboard was designed for gaming, featuring ultra-quick, responsive feedback that is up to 4x faster than the 8ms report rate of standard keyboards and an anti-ghosting matrix that keeps you in control when you press multiple gaming keys simultaneously.”

I will say that at $69.99 the G213 plays in a somewhat odd space relative to the current gaming keyboard market; though it would be well positioned in a retail setting, where at a local Best Buy it would be a compelling option vs. a $100+ mechanical option. But savvy internet shoppers see the growing number of <$70 mechanical keyboards available and might question the need for a ‘quasi-mechanical’ option like this. I don’t review products from a marketing perspective, however, and I simply set out to determine if the G213 is a well-executed product on the hardware front.

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Continue reading our review of the Logitech G213 gaming keyboard!

Podcast #437 - EVGA iCX, Zen Architecture, Optane, and more!

Subject: Editorial | February 16, 2017 - 06:36 PM |
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!

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: Allyn Malventano, Ken Addison, Josh Walrath, Jermey Hellstrom

Program length: 1:32:21

Source:

Good news everybody! Those 30 second Youtube ads are going the way of the dodo

Subject: General Tech | February 17, 2017 - 08:35 PM |
Tagged: youtube

Perhaps someone at Youtube noticed that most people flip to another tab or browser window during those unskippable ads that are frequently played at the beginning of videos.  Whatever the cause of the sudden outbreak of common sense, as of 2018 there will no longer be 30 second long ads which are unskippable.  This does not mean you will be free of ads, there will instead be unskippable ads of 15-20 seconds for you to ignore and you will still have ads in the middle of long videos.  They do have to sell more Red subscriptions after all.  Slashdot has linked to the original statement if you seek confirmation.

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"We're committed to providing a better ads experience for users online. As part of that, we've decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers," Google said."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

Intel Quietly Launches Official Optane Memory Site

Subject: Storage | February 16, 2017 - 01:58 AM |
Tagged: XPoint, ssd, Optane, memory, Intel, cache

We've been hearing a lot about Intel's upcoming Optane memory over the past two years, but the information had all been in the form of press announcements and leaked roadmap slides.

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We now have an actual Optane landing page on the Intel site that discusses the first iteration of 'Intel Optane Memory', which appears to be the 8000p Series that we covered last October and saw as an option on some upcoming Lenovo laptops. The site does not cover the upcoming enterprise parts like the 375GB P4800X, but instead, focuses on the far smaller 16GB and 32GB 'System Accelerator' M.2 modules.

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Despite using only two lanes of PCIe 3.0, these modules turn in some impressive performance, but the capacities when using only one or two (16GB each) XPoint dies preclude an OS install. Instead, these will be used, presumably in combination with a newer form of Intel's Rapid Storage Technology driver, as a caching layer meant as an HDD accelerator:

While the random write performance and endurance of these parts blow any NAND-based SSD out of the water, the 2-lane bottleneck holds them back compared to high-end NVMe NAND SSDs, so we will likely see this first consumer iteration of Intel Optane Memory in OEM systems equipped with hard disks as their primary storage. A very quick 32GB caching layer should help speed things up considerably for the majority of typical buyers of these types of mobile and desktop systems, while still keeping the total cost below that for a decent capacity NAND SSD as primary storage. Hey, if you can't get every vendor to switch to pure SSD, at least you can speed up that spinning rust a bit, right?

Source: Intel