Subject: General Tech | October 6, 2016 - 12:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: blackberry, Android, licensing
The Register sat down with Alex Thurber, a BlackBerry senior VP, to discuss the companies plans to license their particular flavour of Android to other phone manufacturers. Thurbur has worked at Cisco, McAfee after Intel's purchase of the company as well as a firewall company called WatchGuard so he has had some experience with locking down kit. We will still see two more BlackBerry devices before they finally stop selling hardware but you should expect to see other brands running Blackberry licensed versions of Android soon. They will have NIAP (National Information Assurance Partnership) certification, the same certification that Samsung's KNOX and LG's GATE qualify for. Drop by for deeper look into what they discussed.
"BlackBerry says it won’t license its brand and security hardened Android “to any Tom Dick and Harry” as it tries to maintain the value of its brand."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- New Linux Kernel 4.8 -- Plus a Kernel-Killing Bug @ Linux.com
- Microsoft releases patch for Windows 10 Anniversary Update installation borkage @ The Inquirer
- Intel-backed boffins demo long-lived silicon qubit @ The Register
- Micron scrambling up wall of revenues pit @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 5, 2016 - 09:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: amd, frame pacing, DirectX 12
When I first read this post, it was on the same day that AMD released their Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 drivers, although it was apparently posted the day prior. As a result, I thought that their reference to 16.9.1 was a typo, but it apparently wasn't. These changes have been in the driver for a month, at least internally, but it's unclear how much it was enabled until today. (The Scott Wasson video suggests 16.10.1.) It would have been nice to see it on their release notes as a new feature, but at least they made up for it with a blog post and a video.
If you don't recognize him, Scott Wasson used to run The Tech Report, and he shared notes with Ryan while we were developing our Frame Rating testing methodology. He was focused on benchmarking GPUs by frame time, rather than frame rate, because the number of frames that the user sees means less than how smooth the animation they present is. Our sites diverged on implementation, though, as The Tech Report focused on software, while Ryan determined that capturing and analyzing output frames, intercepted between the GPU and the monitor, would tell a more complete story. Regardless, Scott Wasson left his site to work for AMD last year, with the intent to lead User Experience.
We're now seeing AMD announce frame pacing for DirectX 12 Multi-GPU.
This feature particularly interesting, because, depending on the multi-adapter mode, a lot of that control should be in the hands of the game developers. It seems like the three titles they announced, 3D Mark: Time Spy, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Total War: Warhammer, would be using implicit linked multi-adapter, which basically maps to CrossFire. I'd be interested to see if they can affect this in explicit mode via driver updates as well, but we'll need to wait and see for that (and there isn't many explicit mode titles anyway -- basically just Ashes of the Singularity for now).
If you're interested to see how multi-GPU load-balancing works, we published an animation a little over a month ago that explains three different algorithms, and how explicit APIs differ from OpenGL and DirectX 11. It is also embedded above.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 5, 2016 - 08:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: graphics drivers, amd
Earlier today, AMD has released their Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 drivers. These continue AMD's trend of releasing drivers alongside major titles, which, this time, are Mafia III (October 7th) and Gears of War 4 (October 11th). Both of these titles are multiple days out, apart from a handful of insiders with advanced copies, which makes it nice for gamers by letting them optimize their machine ahead of time, on their own schedule, before launch.
The driver also includes a handful of interesting fixes. First, a handful of games, such as Overwatch, Battlefield 1, and Paragon, should no longer flicker when set to CrossFire mode. Also, performance issues in The Crew should be fixed with this release.
You can download AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 from their website.
Subject: Storage | October 5, 2016 - 07:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ssd, mozilla, google, firefox, endurance, chrome
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a post pop up on Twitter a few times about Firefox performing excessive writes to SSDs, which total up to 32GBs in a single day. The author attributes it mostly to a fast-updating session restore feature, although cookies were also resource hogs in their findings. In an update, they also tested Google Chrome, which, itself, clocked in over 24GB of writes in a day.
This, of course, seemed weird to me. I would have thought that at least one browser vendor might notice an issue like this. Still, I passed the link to Allyn because he would be much more capable in terms of being able to replicate these results. In our internal chat at the time, he was less skeptical than I was. I've since followed up with him, and he said that his initial results “wasn't nearly as bad as their case”. He'll apparently elaborate on tonight's podcast, and I'll update this post with his findings.
Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2016 - 06:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LGA 1151, kaby lake, asus
ASUS is releasing UEFI updates for 87 LGA 1151 motherboard models which will add support for Intel's Kaby Lake processors. They have a table listing all models and UEFI versions which you should update to in order to get full support for the new processors. If you are wondering about picking up one of these motherboards during the inital release of Kaby Lake, ASUS has tested and verified that their USB BIOS flashback tool will enable you to update your UEFI even if it does not want to immediately boot with a Kaby Lake processor installed.
They have spent the last few months with samples of Kaby Lake chips and have tested them for compatibility as well as enhancing the features the motherboard can take advantage of to ensure you get the most out of your shiny new CPU. Regardless if you use a Z170, H110 or even a C232 chipset your motherboard will be compatible. Get out your USB drives and download the new versions to flash to or use EZ Flash 3's Internet option to get the latest version right from ASUS.
Subject: Mobile | October 5, 2016 - 06:26 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy note 7
Last week, we passed along a Bloomberg report about a Galaxy Note 7 that caught fire in China. It was allegedly a replacement device from Samsung's recall, which was supposed to fix this issue. We have not heard anything about this phone since, but, at the time, we suggested keeping your replacement device powered off and disconnected from the charger until we receive further info.
Now a second, allegedly post-recall device has caught fire. This time, it occurred this morning on a plane. The Boeing 737 was about ten minutes from take-off when the passenger, who claims the phone was both shut down and in his pocket, noticed the device begin to smoke. He tossed it onto the floor when it begun to billow a thick, gray-green smoke, and burned through the carpet. He claims that it had the green battery icon to indicate that it was a fixed device, which should rule out a pre-recall Note7 getting incorrectly classified as post-recall by, for instance, a retail store goof.
All of that said, we don't know if either of the two cases are accurate yet. Samsung's released a statement over today's issue, which we include below via The Verge, that basically says no comment until they can perform their own investigation.
- Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause. Once we have examined the device we will have more information to share.
Obviously, we could speculate over a number of things that could be to blame. Part of the issue is just physics -- you're storing a lot of energy in a small volume. This is inherently difficult, and a rapid release of a lot of energy tends to be explosive. It's always good to remember this, even though it's the company's responsibility to produce devices that are safe from all but the most unreasonable of uses.
Subject: General Tech | October 5, 2016 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, hack, iot
The good news about this hack is that you would need good timing and physical proximity to the wireless remote which instructs the pump to administer insulin; the bad news is that this is all that is needed and it could result in the death or hospitalization of the target. The vulnerability stems from the usual problem, the transmission between the remote and pump is done in the clear letting anyone who is looking retrieve serial numbers and codes. With that information you can then trigger a dose to be delivered or quite feasibly change the default amount of dosage the pump delivers, as was done previous with a different model.
IoT security as it applies to fridges and toasters is one thing; medical devices quite another. News of unauthorized access to pacemakers and other drug delivery systems which could result in death is not uncommon, yet companies continue to produce insecure systems. Adding even simply encryption to transmissions as well as firmware based dosage sizes should be trivial after the release of a product and even easier before it is released. Keep this in mind when you are seeking medical care, choosing devices which are less likely to kill you because of shoddy security makes sense. You can pop by Slashdot for links to some stories or wade into the comments if you so desire.
"Johnson and Johnson has revealed that its JJ Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump is vulnerable to hackers, who could potentially force the device to overdose diabetic patients -- however, it declares that the risk of this happening is very low."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Let's not meet up with JPEG 2000 – researchers find security hole in image codec @ The Register
- Apple's Use Of 'Sapphire' in iPhone Camera Lens Questioned in New Tests @ Slashdot
- DRAM contract prices to rise nearly 30% in 4Q16, says DRAMeXchange @ DigiTimes
- Win Loot with the Enlightened Raspberry Pi Contest @ Hack a Day
- Lenovo exec: Nope, not building Windows Phones @ The Register
- KNOXout: Samsung Knox vulnerabilities give hackers 'full control' of devices @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 11:47 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb-c, Snapdragon 821, pixel, Kryo, google, android assistant, adreno 530, 802.11ac
Google introduced its own premium smartphone today in the form of the Pixel and Pixel XL. Running Android Nougat 7.1, the Pixel smartphones will not only run the latest operating system but will be the new premium experience with the best Android features including Google Assistant and Smart Storage with unlimited cloud storage of photos and videos.
Google is definitely taking a greater interest in promoting Pixel than they have with even their Nexus devices. It will be interesting to see how other Android manufacturers react to this news but I would imagine that they are not all that pleased and Google will be in a similar position to Microsoft with its Surface products and Nvidia with it's Founder's Edition graphics cards.
Google's Pixel lineup includes the Pixel (5.6 x 2.7 x 0.2-0.3") and the Pixel XL (6 x 2.9 x 0.2-0.34") that wrap their respective 5-inch 1080p (441 PPI) and 5.5-inch 1440p (534 PPI) displays in a full aluminum and glass unibody design that will come in one of three colors: Very Black, Quite Silver and Really Blue. The smartphones feature curved corners and rounded edges with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on the front and half of the back. Google has put a fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone and power, volume, three microphones, a USB-C port, and, yes, a 3.5mm audio jack.
There are both front and rear cameras and Google is claiming that the rear camera in particular is the best smartphone camera yet (with a DxOMark score of 89 points). The rear camera (which sits flush with the back of the phone) is rated at 12.3 MP with a f/2.0 aperture, and 1.55µm pixels. The camera further features an IMX378 sensor. electronic image stabilization, and both phase detection and laser auto focus. The Pixel can take HDR+ photos and videos at up to 4K30, 1080p120, or 720p240. Users can adjust white balance and use automatic exposure or auto focus locking. The front camera is less impressive at 8MP with fixed focus lens and f/2.4.
Internally, Google has opted to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996) which is a 2+2 design that pairs two Kryo cores at 2.15 GHz with two Kryo cores at 1.6 GHz along with an Adreno 530 GPU, an impressive 4GB of LPDDR4 memory, and either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage which is regrettably non-expandable. The smartphones can tap into up to Category 11 LTE (Cat 9 in the US), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. Sensors include GPS, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, and hall sensors.
The Pixel features a 2,770 mAh battery and the Pixel Xl uses a slightly larger 3,450 mAh battery. In either case, Google rates the Pixel and Pixel XL at 13 hours and 14 hours of internet browsing and video playback respectively. Further, the batteries are able to be quick charged enough for up to "seven hours of use" after just 15 minutes of charging time using the included 18W USB-C charger.
Pricing works out to $649 for the 32GB Pixel, $749 for the 128GB Pixel, $769 for the 32GB Pixel XL, and $869 for the 128GB Pixel XL. In the US Google has partnered with Verizon for brick-and-mortar availability in addition to it being available on the Google store and other online retailers.
Google is banking a lot on these devices and asking a very premium price tag for the unlocked phones. It is certainly a gamble whether users will find the unique features enough to go with the Pixel over other flagships. What do you think about Google's increased interest in the smartphone space with the launch of its own hardware? How well will Pixel fit into the existing environment – will Pixel lead Android hardware and the OS to success or simply fragment it more?
I do like the look of the Pixel (especially the blue one) and the feature lists sounds good enough that maybe I could live without a removable battery and non-expandable storage (I'll be holding onto my old T-Mobile unlimited plan for as long as possible! heh). Pricing is a bit steep though and I think that will trip a lot of people up when searching for their next device.
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 05:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: powerlink, pascal, evga, deals
EVGA sent along a newsletter which is worth mentioning as there are a few good deals to be had, even if you have already picked up one of their cards. Anyone who recently bought a Pascal based EVGA card or is planning to in the near future can get up to four EVGA Powerlink cable management ... thingies. It is for your PCIe power connectors and wraps around your GPU, allowing you to power your card without exposing those wires and connectors, great for modders or those who prefer a clean looking build. You do need to create an EVGA account and register your card, do keep that in mind.
The PCIe power connectors on the Powerlink are adjustable, no matter which card you purchased you will be able to use the adapter. There are capacitors inside which are intended to help ensure smooth power delivery, so this not simply an extenstion cord. They also have some deals on previous generation NVIDIA cards as well as their TORQ mouse.
There is also a rather unique deal for those who game on the go as well as at home. As it says below, every purchase of an EVGA SC17 980m laptop (758-21-2633-T1) comes with a free GTX 1070 FTW as long as supplies last.
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 04:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: google, chromecast, media streaming, 4k, hdr, google home
During Google's #madebygoogle event (embedded below), the company introduced a number of new pieces of hardware including a new Chromecast. The Chromecast Ultra is aimed at owners of 4K televisions and supports both 4K Ultra HD and HDR content from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and other apps. Like previous models, the Chromecast takes input from Android, iOS, Mac OSX, and Windows devices that "cast" media to the TV. Additionally, it can be paired with Google Home where users can use voice commands such as "Ok, Google. Play the sneezing panda video on my TV."
The Chromecast Ultra is a small circular puck with a Micro USB port and a short flexible flat HDMI cable that is permanently attached to the device. The Micro USB port is used for both power and data. One neat feature about the new Chromecast Ultra is that the power adpater has an Ethernet port on it so that users can hook the streaming device up to their wired network for better performance (important for streaming 4K content). Not to worry if you rely on WiFi though because it does support dual band 802.11ac.
Google has not yet revealed what hardware is under the hood of its new 4k capable Chromecast, unfortunately. They did release pricing information though: the Chromecast Ultra will be $69 and is "coming soon". If you are interested you can sign up to be notified when it becomes available.
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 04:09 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: media streaming, fire tv, amazon
Later this month Amazon will be releasing a new Fire TV Stick with upgraded internals and Alexa Voice controls. The refreshed media streamer features a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MT8127 SoC with four ARM Cortex A7 cores and a Mali 450 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (for apps mainly, and not expandable), and support for newer 802.11ac (dual band, dual antenna) Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technologies.
While that particular SoC is ancient by smartphone standards, it is a decent step up from its predecessor's dual 1GHz ARM A9 cores and VideoCore 4 GPU. It supports h.265 and HEVC decode along with 1080p60 output. The inclusion of 802.11ac WiFi should help the streaming device do its job effectively even in areas littered with WiFi networks (like apartment buildings or townhomes).
The big change from the old Fire TV Stick is the integration of Alexa Voice control and a new remote control with microphone input. Using voice input, users can control media playback, open apps, search for content, and even order pizza. There is no 4K support or expandable storage here (for that you would have to move to the $99 Fire TV) but it is less than half the price.
The refreshed Fire TV Stick will be available on Amazon for $39.99 on October 20th. Pricing along with the additional voice input makes it a competitive option versus Roku's streaming stick and Google's Chromecast.
- Amazon Takes On Apple TV, Roku, and Ouya With $99 Fire TV Streaming Box
- Amazon Echo Overview (video) @ PC Perspective
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 4, 2016 - 04:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, ETS-T50 Axe, RGB
The new heatsink from Enermax has, among other things, "Circular-type LEDs" to allow you to make your cooler glow in variety of colours. It is a bit smaller than the big towers, 135x65x160mm and 860g and the performance suffers a bit as a result. The Axe is far better than a stock cooler but does not outperform the competition and is further hurt by the premium price the cooler sells for. On the other hand there are those who will pay extra for a light show, check out the review at [H]ard|OCP if you are one.
"Enermax keeps up its onslaught of CPU air cooler designs today with a tower cooler that uses five direct touch heatpipes to move all those BTUs. It has LED lighted fans along with a stealthy black exterior. Interestingly, Enermax has included a ducting system on the back in order to hopefully help better exhaust all that hot air from your CPU."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cryorig C7 Low-Profile CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- be quiet! Silent Loop 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
- be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm AIO @ eTeknix
- Deepcool Captain 120 EX AIO @ Kitguru
- EKWB EK-XLC Predator 280 @ techPowerUp
- BitFenix Aurora Case @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master's MasterBox 5 and Zalman's Z9 Neo cases @ The Tech Report
- Raijintek Aeneas @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake Core X71 Full Tower Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2016 - 02:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, server 2016
Ars Technica have put together an overview of the new Windows Server, three pages which broadly cover the new features you will find. As has often been discussed there will be three ways of installing the new Server OS, the familiar Desktop experience as well as Core and Nano. Nano is similar to the Core installation which we saw introduced in Server 2012 but further reduces the interface and attack surface by removing the last remnants of the GUI, no support for 32bit apps and the Microsoft installer; all you get is a basic control console. The Core and Desktop versions remain the same as in the 2012 version.
If you are curious about the inclusion of Docker features such as the Linux-like containers and changes to Hyper-V or deployment techniques drop by for a read.
"Like a special breed of kaiju, Microsoft's server platform keeps on mutating, incorporating the DNA of its competitors in sometimes strange ways. All the while, Microsoft's offering has constantly grown in its scope, creating variants of itself in the process."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Memristor behaves like a synapse @ Nanotechweb
- Google Fiber Is Now a Fiber and Wireless ISP @ Slashdot
- A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat @ The Register
- Researchers Develop System To Send Passwords, Keys Through Users' Bodies @ Slashdot
- Apple takes tips from Microsoft as macOS Sierra becomes an automatic download @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft Azure sets up shop in France @ The Register
Subject: Storage | October 4, 2016 - 08:30 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: usb 3.0, Type-C, Type-A, hdd, External, Drobo 5C, drobo, DAS, 5-bay
We looked at the third-gen 4-bay Drobo over a year back, and while the performance and price were great, it was held back by its limited number of drive bays. Drobo fixed that today:
The new Drobo 5C is basically an evolution of the 4-bay model. Performance is similar, which justifies the choice to stick with USB 3.0 (5 Gbit), but we now have a Type-C port on the Drobo side (a Type-C to Type-A cable is included to cover most potential users). The added bay helps users increase potential capacity or alternatively select BeyondRAID's Dual Drive Redundancy mode without as much of an ultimate capacity hit compared to its 4-bay predecessor.
The Drobo 5C supersedes the old 4-bay unit in their lineup.
The new Drobo 5C is available today for $349, with drive package deals offered direct from Drobo. Drobo is also offering a limited-time $50 discount to 2nd and 3rd gen 4-bay Drobo owners (valid until 11 Oct 2016). I have confirmed here that a disk pack from a 4-bay model can be moved directly to the new 5-bay model with no issue.
We have a full review of the Drobo 5C coming, but we have a few questions out to them that need answering before our article goes live.
Subject: Storage | October 3, 2016 - 05:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, ssdnow KC400, Phison PS3110-S10, mlc, sata ssd
Kitguru has another Phison PS3110-S10 based SSD up for review, the Kingston SSDNow KC400 512GB SATA SSD. This drive is heavily packaged compared to others, with sixteen 32GB 15nm MLC NAND packages and a 256MB DDR3L-1600 paired with the eight channel controller. The drive is marketed at businesses and with an 800TB lifetime, 450GB of writes everyday for the five year warranty as well as SmartECC and SmartRefresh it would fit that bill. Consumers and businesses alike will appreciate the sequential read/write performance of 550MB/s and 530MB/s. Overall it is another drive that fits into the existing pack of drives and is worth your consideration, especially if you have need of its error correction features. Read the full review for more information.
"Kingston’s SSDNow KC400 family is part of the company’s business-oriented SSD product line which features end-to-end data path protection, technologies to protect data in the NAND and guard against read errors, as well as good endurance."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Crucial MX300 2TB @ eTeknix
- Plextor M8PeG 256GB M.2 NVMe @ eTeknix
- QNAP TS-451A-4G 4-bay NAS @ Kitguru
- Drobo 5N 5-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- LaCie Porsche Design Mobile Drive 2TB USB 3.0 Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2016 - 03:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston hyper x, kingston, gaming headset, Cloud Stinger, audio
Kingston have updated their line of gaming headsets with the new HyperX Cloud Stinger, available already for ~$50. This makes them attractive for those who do not often use a gaming headset but might want one around just in case. The low price could make you underestimate the design, Kingston used 50mm drivers and the microphone mutes itself the moment you swing it away from your voice hole. That said, Overclockers Club were not in love with the quality of the sound compared to expensive headphones, but for this price point they have no qualms about recommending these for casual use.
"Overall, I'm quite impressed with the HyperX Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset. A mouth full just to say that – but after disliking the HyperX Cloud Revolver as much as I did – I'm actually quite happy with this drop in price and slight redesign. With closed ear cups I would have expected a little more in the bass-land, it wasn't the end of the world. The overall sound is nice and flat, and movies, music, and games are all quite tolerable in the closed environment."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX Cloud Stinger @ Modders Inc
- HyperX Cloud Revolver Gaming Headset @ Custom PC Review
- Jabra ECLIPSE Wireless Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Sennheiser PC 373D 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound Gaming Headset @ Kitguru
- OZONE TriFX In-Ear Pro Gaming Headset Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | October 3, 2016 - 01:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Windows 7, windows 10, microsoft, market share
A change of one percent may seem tiny at first glance but historically it is an incredibly large shift in market share for an operating system. Unfortunately for Microsoft it is Windows 7 which has gained share, up to 48.27% of the market with Windows 10 dropping half a point to 22.53% while the various flavours of Windows 8 sit at 9.61%. This would make it almost impossible for Microsoft to reach their goal of
two one billion machines running Windows 10 in the two years after release and spells bad news for their income from consumers.
Enterprise have barely touched the new OS for a wide variety of reasons, though companies still provide significant income thanks to corporate licenses for Microsoft products and older operating systems. It should be very interesting to see how Microsoft will react to this information, especially if the trend continues. The sales data matches many of the comments we have seen here; the changes which they made were not well received by their customer base and the justifications they've used in the design of the new OS are not holding water. It shouldn't be long before we here more out of Redmond, in the mean time you can pop over to The Inquirer to see Net Applications' data if you so desire.
"The latest figures from Net Applications’ Netmarketshare service show Windows 7, now over seven years old, gain a full percentage point to bolster its place as the world’s most popular desktop operating system with 48.27 per cent (+1.02 on last month)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HUDWAY Glass Head-Up Display Review @ NikKTech
- AMD prepares Zen for CES 2017 launch; aggressively clearing inventory for platform transition @ DigiTimes
- How to steal the mind of an AI: Machine-learning models vulnerable to reverse engineering @ The Register
- Linus Torvalds Officially Announces the Release of Linux Kernel 4.8 @ Slashdot
- Security analyst says Yahoo!, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr all popped by same gang @ The Register
- Source code for 'record-breaking' Mirai IoT botnet released online @ The Inquirer
- iPhone 7 Finishes Last In New Test of Battery Life @ Slashdot
Introduction and Features
Back by popular demand – today we are taking a detailed look at SilverStone’s new Strider Platinum Series 550W power supply. Not everyone needs or wants a high-capacity power supply and it is nice to see a medium range 550W unit with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency certification. Last month we looked at the Strider Platinum 850W unit and found it to be a very good power supply. In this review we are going to see if the 550W unit can live up to the expectations set by its big brother (tight voltage regulation, low AC ripple, high efficiency and quiet operation).
The Strider Platinum Series currently includes four compact models: the ST55F-PT (550W), ST65F-PT (650W), ST75F-PT (750W) and ST85F-PT (850W), which SilverStone claims are the smallest fully modular ATX power supplies with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency on the market. The chassis measures 140mm (5.5”) deep.
All of the Strider Platinum Series PSUs are designed to provide quiet, reliable operation. The 120mm cooling fan incorporates a Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) and an intelligent fan control permits fanless operation at low power. The overall performance is optimized with tight voltage regulation and low AC ripple on the DC outputs. And the unit comes backed by a 5-year warranty.
SilverStone Strider Platinum Series Key Features:
• 550W, 650W, 750W and 850W DC power output
• Compact design with a depth of only 140mm for easy integration
• High efficiency with 80 Plus Platinum certification
• 100% Modular cables
• Intelligent semi-fanless operation
• Quiet 120mm cooling fan with Fluid Dynamic Bearing
• 24/7 Continuous power output with 40°C operating temperature
• Strict ±3% voltage regulation and low AC ripple
• Dedicated single +12V rail
• Universal AC input (90-264V) with Active PFC
• DC Output protections: UVP, OVP, OPP, SCP, OCP, and OTP
• Dimensions: 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 140mm (L)
• 5-Year warranty
• MSRP : $109.99 USD (550W model)
Here is what SilverStone has to say about the new Strider Platinum Series PSUs: "As desktop computers continue to advance toward ever more efficient and smaller designs, SilverStone is helping to drive the efficiency movement by releasing the Strider Platinum Series of power supplies. Created to be the smallest fully modular ATX power supplies with 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, they are also incredibly quiet with the ability to run in fanless mode. If the loading condition is below 20%, the fan in the power supply can remain off for silent operation during idle or low powered computing activities. Other great features inherited from previous Strider series includes ±3% regulation, powerful single +12V rail, 24/7 continuous power output, and multiple PCI-E cables. For those looking to build highly efficient systems in small footprints, the Strider Platinum is definitely the best choice.”
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 2, 2016 - 12:12 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: rumor, report, pascal, nvidia, GTX 1050 Ti, graphics card, gpu, GP107, geforce
A report published by VideoCardz.com (via Baidu) contains pictures of an alleged NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, which is apparently based on a new Pascal GP107 GPU.
Image credit: VideoCardz
The card shown is also equipped with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and contains a 6-pin power connector - though such a power requirement might be specific to this particular version of the upcoming GPU.
Image credit: VideoCardz
Specifications for the GTX 1050 Ti were previously reported by VideoCardz, with a reported GPU-Z screenshot. The card will apparently feature 768 CUDA cores and a 128-bit memory bus, with clock speeds (for this particular sample) of 1291 MHz base, 1392 MHz boost (with some room to overclock, from this screenshot).
Image credit: VideoCardz
An official announcement for the new GPU has not been made by NVIDIA, though if these PCB photos are real it probably won't be far off.
Subject: Motherboards | October 1, 2016 - 11:20 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Zen, micro ATX, Excavator, Bristol Ridge, b350, amd, AM4
Thanks to a recent leak over at Bodnara.co.kr (which has since been taken down), pictures emerged online that give a first look at an AMD socket AM4 motherboard using the mid-range B350 chipset. The Gigabyte B350M-DS3H is a Micro ATX motherboard supporting Bristol Ridge processors at launch and Zen-based processors next year.
The mid-range AM4 board has a very simple layout that leaves little mystery. There are no large heatsinks and no northbridge thanks to AMD moving most of the connectivity to the SoC itself. In fact there is only a small passively cooled chip in the bottom right corner (the B350 chipset) that between the SoC and it can offer up PCI-E 3.0, SATA 6.0, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, NVMe SSD, and DDR4 memory support. This post outlines how the duties are split between the processor and southbridge.
The B350M-DS3H is powered by a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS and Gigabyte is using a seven phase VRM to power the processor and memory. The board hosts a 1331 pin AM4 socket up top with four DDR4 slots to the right. The CMOS battery is placed just above the PCI-E slots in a position that Morry would be proud of (so long as your CPU cooler is not too massive). Below that are two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (electrically x16/x4 or x8/x8), a single PCI-E 3.0 x1 slot, and a NVMe M.2 (PCI-E) slot. The bottom right corner of the board hosts six SATA 6 Gbps ports.
Rear I/O on the AMD motherboard includes:
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x PS/2
- 3 x Video Outputs
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 4 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 3.1
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 3 x Audio Jacks
Several websites are reporting that AMD will be unleashing the floodgates of socket AM4 motherboards using the A320 and B350 chipsets in October (it is saving the launch of the enthusiast X370 chipset for next year alongside Summit Ridge). I have to say that it is nice to see an AMD motherboard with updated I/O which is a nice change from the ancient 990X AM3+ platform and even the FM2+ motherboards which were newer but still .ot as full featured as the competition.
- AMD Officially Launches Bristol Ridge Processors And Zen-Ready AM4 Platform
- Report: AMD Socket AM4 Compatible with Existing AM2/AM3 Coolers
- AMD Zen Architecture and Performance Preview
- AMD Introduces 7th Generation APUs: Bristol Ridge Takes Center Stage