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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A win for the rebels against EA's Empire

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

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

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

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

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

The phones are taking all the DRAM memory

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

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

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

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

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

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

The Wolfensteins of Vulkan in the spotlight

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

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

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

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Source: [H]ard|OCP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: NVIDIA
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Huawei

Overview

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

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

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

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

128GB SanDisk SATA SSD

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

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

Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: YouTube

YouTube TV for NVIDIA SHIELD

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

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

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

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

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
Manufacturer: Scythe

A Trio of Air Coolers

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

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

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Continue reading our roundup of three Scythe CPU air coolers!

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
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Iceberg Interactive

A quiet facade

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

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

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

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

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

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Fall colours indicate the coming of winter and snow.

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

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

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

Next, a bit about the gameplay mechanics.

Podcast #476 - Scythe Coolers, Huawei MateBook E, EA for better or worse, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2017 - 01:41 PM |
Tagged: video, youtube, wolfenstein, vesa, scythe, phanteks, nvidia shield, nvidia, NVDIMM, micron, matebook, Huawei, fsp, ea, podcast

PC Perspective Podcast #476 - 11/16/17

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

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

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

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 1:44:19

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
    1. 0:06:15 Podcast 475 Recap
  2. 0:37:30 AD BREAK HelloFresh
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  5. Closing/outro

Source:

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

VESA Rolls Out DisplayID Version 2.0

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

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

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

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

 

Source: VESA

GeForce Game Ready 388.31 WHQL arrives for Star Wars and Destiny

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

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

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

 

Source: NVIDIA

FSP's new CMT510 tempered glass enclosure

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

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

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

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

PR and movie below the fold.

Source: FSP Group

Intel Z390 Chipset Spotted on Upcoming SuperMicro Motherboard

Subject: General Tech, Chipsets | November 16, 2017 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Z390, coffee lake, thunderbolt 3

Last month a leaked roadmap appeared online teasing several upcoming Intel chipsets slated for release early next year. The new chipsets were optimized for Coffee Lake processors and include H370, B360, and H310 in the first quarter and Q370 and Q360 (for enterprise customers) in Q2 2018. The most interesting chipset however is Z390 which was mentioned in the roadmap but with hardly any details at all about it. Thanks to a SiSoft database listing and a couple recent leaks there is now slightly bit more information on the upcoming chipset.

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Specifically, the Intel Z390 chipset was spotted in a SuperMicro C7Z390-PGW motherboard along with an undetected 92W Coffee Lake 6 core / 12 thread processor (perhaps SiSoft is simply incorrectly reading a 8700K or it’s an unreleased slightly more power efficient SKU). More interesting though is the continuing tease of possible 8 core (16 thread) consumer Core processors being released for these new Z390 chipset-based motherboards. The rumor mill is going all in on salt futures on this one it seems. What we still don’t know is what architecture these rumored 8 core chips will use, whether Coffee Lake or Cannon Lake (I’m leaning towards CNL but an 8 core Coffee Lake chip, while large, is not out of the question.)

The Z390 chipset will reportedly add a SoundWire digital audio interface with quad core DSP, integrated Intel Wireless AC (Wi-fi + BT CNVi), integrated SDXC 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3.0 with DisplayPort 1.4 support (using the Titan Ridge controller). The chipset further supports C10 and S0ix

In the last bit of Intel chipset rumors for today, rumors are also spreading suggesting that Intel may be moving up the launch of the Z390 chipset to the first quarter of next year to better compete with AMD and its Pinnacle Ridge (Ryzen 2000 / Zen+) processors and Promontory X400 series chipsets (e.g. X470 and B450) which are allegedly coming in January. Basically, it’s going to be a crazy CES for motherboard and processor soft launches and product teases / announcements!

What are your thoughts on Z390 being spotted in the wild this early?

Source: Videocardz

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

Speed Metal on the Desktop

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

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

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

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register