Tesla stores your Owner Authentication token in plain text ... which leads to a bad Ashton Kutcher movie
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2016 - 12:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, Malware, hack, tesla, security
You might expect better from Tesla and Elon Musk but apparently you would be dissappointed as the OAuth token in your cars mobile app is stored in plain text. The token is used to control your Tesla and is generated when you enter in your username and password. It is good for 90 days, after which it requires you to log in again so a new token can be created. Unfortunately, since that token is stored as plain text, someone who gains access to your Android phone can use that token to open your cars doors, start the engine and drive away. Getting an Android user to install a malicious app which would allow someone to take over their device has proven depressingly easy. Comments on Slashdot suggest it is unreasonable to blame Tesla for security issues in your devices OS, which is hard to argue; on the other hand it is impossible for Telsa to defend choosing to store your OAuth in plain text.
"By leveraging security flaws in the Tesla Android app, an attacker can steal Tesla cars. The only hard part is tricking Tesla owners into installing an Android app on their phones, which isn't that difficult according to a demo video from Norwegian firm Promon. This malicious app can use many of the freely available Android rooting exploits to take over the user's phone, steal the OAuth token from the Tesla app and the user's login credentials."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CERT tells Microsoft to keep EMET alive because it's better than Win 10's own security @ The Register
- Amazon Makes Good On Its Promise To Delete 'Incentivized' Reviews @ Slashdot
- Tech giants warn IoT vendors to get real about security @ The Register
- 8 of the best outdoor gadgets and accessories @ The Inquirer
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2016 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: x86, windows 10, microsoft, arm
According to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet, Microsoft is working on emulating the x86 instruction set on ARM64. Her sources further claim that this is intended to be a Windows 10 feature that is targeting Redstone 3, which is the feature update expected in late 2017 (after the upcoming Creators Update in early 2017). Of course, Microsoft will not comment on this rumor. Mary Jo Foley is quite good at holding out on publishing until she gets multiple, independent sources, though. Still, projects slip, pivot, and outright die all of the time, even if the information was true at one point.
Media Center is still dead, though.
So, while keeping in mind that this might not be true, and, even if it is, it could change: let’s think.
The current speculation is that this might be aimed at enterprise customers, including a potential partnership with HP and Qualcomm. This makes sense for a few reasons, especially when you combine it with Microsoft and Samsung’s recent efforts to port .NET Core to ARM. Combining rumors like this might be akin to smashing two rocks together, but you never know if it’ll spark something. Anyway, you would expect these sorts of apps could jump architectures fairly well, because they’re probably not real-time, form-based applications. You might be able to get a comfortable enough user experience, even with the inherent overhead of translating individual instructions.
Another possibility is that Microsoft hasn’t given up on the Windows 8 / Windows RT vision.
Back in that era, the whole OS seemed designed to push users toward their new platform, Metro. The desktop was an app, and that app contained all of the Win32 bits, isolating them from the rest of the PC and surrounding that tile with everything WinRT. The new platform was seductive for Microsoft in a few ways. First, it was more secure, and people considered Windows the operating system that’s plagued with malware. Second, it let them assert control over their apps, like Apple does with their App Store. At the time, they even demanded that third-party web browsers be nothing more than re-skins of Internet Explorer. Firefox? Don’t even think about bringing Gecko in here. It’s Trident or bust.
Say what you like about those first two points, I know I have, and often disapprovingly from an art enthusiast standpoint, but there was a third one that also interested Microsoft:
The WinRT runtime, when it was first unveiled, was pretty much designed in a way that Microsoft could swap out everything underneath it if they wanted to jump ship and move to a new architecture. At the time, almost a decade ago, Intel wasn’t competitive against ARM in the mobile space. This kept Windows applications, and Microsoft, watching the rest of the world sail away.
But supporting both ARM and x86 isn’t good enough. What if IBM wins next time? Or a completely different instruction set? If everything calls an API that can be uprooted and transplanted elsewhere? There will never need to be this mobile concern again.
But then we have this whole decades of stuff that already exists problem. While I don’t like the frog boil analogy, it could be Microsoft’s attempt to uproot enough x86-locked content that people can accept UWP. I’m not sure that will work out, especially since we rely upon real-time software that is not accepting Windows Store, but it might be their goal.
What do you all think?
Subject: General Tech | November 25, 2016 - 04:17 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: valve, steam, pc gaming, black friday
Okay, I admit it: I’m a little late on this one. Sorry, all! Sometimes you need to shelf a post because it’s taking forever to write, but you only realize it after days of researching and editing have gone by. In the mean time, simple posts, like this one, begin to collect dust in the queue. You just need to know when to let go, even if it’s temporarily. This time I didn’t.
Oh well. So Valve decided to host their Autumn Sale from now until 1pm (EST) on Tuesday. To me, a sale that starts just before American Thanksgiving and ends hours after Cyber Monday... seems like a Black Friday sale. They even acknowledge it as such in their announcement, so I guess I’m not alone.
There really isn’t much to say, though. Gabe Newell will get your money via big discounts on new and bundled back catalog games... oh wait, there is. Remember how Steam was pushing “Discovery” with their new store aesthetic? How it was supposed to help users find relevant content within their store? They just decided to create “The Steam Awards”, which are user-nominated through the store listing.
This is quite interesting. From Steam’s perspective, it allows a handful of games to get promoted to a wider audience, which could allow some games break out of their niche. On the other hand, since it is user-selected, it would need a niche to have a chance at that exposure. Whether it helps good games find an audience that would otherwise die off? Not sure. I am interested to see, if this really is a phase in the Discovery initiative, what else will be introduced. Time will tell...
Subject: Mobile | November 24, 2016 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ubuntu, Oryx Pro, GTX1060, gaming laptop, desktop replacement
The Oryx Pro is the opposite of most of the laptops you have seen reviewed here recently. At 15.2x10.7x1.1" and 5.5lbs it is bulkier than the slim laptops dominating the market, not to mention the 2lb power brick. It also runs Ubuntu 16.04 LTS as opposed to Win10, thankfully the install is well configured for the hardware present according to the review at Ars Technica. The hardware on the other hand is familiar and rather impressive, a desktop class GTX 1060, an i7-6700HQ, 32GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The model reviewed at Ars runs you almost $1900 or there is a 17" model, as well as a GTX 1070 upgrade available if you so desire. Pop by to take a look at the full review of this Linux powered laptop.
"System76 has a decent range of laptops, from the small, lightweight, battery-sipping Lemur to the top-end beast-like Oryx Pro. And after recently reviewing the svelte, but not necessarily top-end-specced Dell XPS 13, I got curious about this Oryx Pro. On paper, it sounds like a desktop machine somehow packed into a laptop form factor"
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Gigabyte AORUS X7 DT v6 GTX 1080 Gaming Laptop @ eTeknix
- Dell Inspiron 13 5000 (5368 / 5378) 2-in-1 Laptop @ TechARP
- ASUS Chromebox 2-G084U @ Kitguru
- honor 8 Aurora Glass @ TechARP
- Xiaomi Mi Mix review—This is what the future of smartphones looks like @ Ars Technica
Subject: General Tech | November 24, 2016 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, hack, audio, Realtec
Security researchers have discovered a way to flip an output channel on onboard Realtec audio into an input channel, thus turning your headphones into an unpowered microphone. The ability of a speaker or headphone to be used as a microphone is not news to anyone who has played around with headphones or input jacks, but it is possible some readers had deprived childhoods and have never tried this. While you cannot mitigate this vulnerability permanently you could certainly notice it as your headphones would no longer play audio if the port is configured as input.
Drop by Slashdot a link, and if you have never tried this out before you really should find an old pair of headphones and experiment with ports as well as snipping off one side of a pair of earbuds. One supposes iPhone 7 users need not worry.
"In short, the headphones were nearly as good as an unpowered microphone at picking up audio in a room. It essentially "retasks" the RealTek audio codec chip output found in many desktop computers into an input channel. This means you can plug your headphones into a seemingly output-only jack and hackers can still listen in. This isn't a driver fix, either."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft's nerd goggles will run on a toaster @ The Register
- Microsoft is reportedly sharing Windows 10 telemetry data with third-parties @ The Inquirer
- Google Sends State-Sponsored Hack Warnings To Journalists and Professors @ Slashdot
- Samsung might flog its PC biz to Lenovo for £680m @ The Inquirer
- HTC denies rumors of selling its smartphone business @ DigiTimes
- Samsung fires $70m at quantum televisions @ The Register
- 11 Essential Black Friday Computer Parts for Gamers @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2016 - 01:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gears of war 4, gaming, dx12, async compute, amd
[H]ard|OCP sat down with the new DX12 based Gears of War 4 to test the performance of the game on a variety of cards, with a focus on the effect of enabling Async Compute. In their testing they found no reason for Async Compute to be disabled as it did not hurt the performance of any card. On the other hand NVIDIA's offerings do not benefit in any meaningful way from the feature and while AMD's cards certainly did, it was not enough to allow you to run everything at maximum on an RX 480. Overall the game was no challenge to any of the cards except perhaps the RX 460 and the GTX 1050 Ti. When playing at 4K resolution they saw memory usage in excess of 6GB, making the GTX 1080 the card for those who want to play with the highest graphical settings. Get more details and benchmarks in their full review.
"We take Gears of War 4, a new Windows 10 only game supporting DX12 natively and compare performance with seven video cards. We will find out which one provides the best experience at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p resolutions, and see how these compare to each other. We will also look specifically at the Async Compute feature."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Total War: WARHAMMER NVIDIA Linux Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- Total War: Warhammer’s Wood Elves like to shoot and run @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DX12 Performance @ [H]ard|OCP
- Star Wars Battlefront’s Rogue One DLC on December 6th @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- AMD Radeon RX 470 Hitman Complete promo goes live @ HEXUS
- Shadow Tactics demo offers Commandos-y stealth @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance - Google Earth VR @ [H]ard|OCP
- Quick Look: Dark Souls III: Ashes of Ariandel @ GiantBomb
- Origin/EA Black Friday Sale
- AI War 2 returns to Kickstarter, smaller and cheaper @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | November 23, 2016 - 12:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hack, bank, atm, security, cobalt
Imagine walking down the street, only to notice an ATM spewing money out of its slots and into a bag held by a shady looking character; but not in a video game. In at least 14 countries including Russia, the UK, the Netherlands and Malaysia, hackers are using a program dubbed Cobalt to conduct remote logical attacks on ATMs. These attacks cause the ATM to empty itself, into the waiting hands of an accomplice who only needs to show up at the appropriate time. As the attacks are conducted remotely the mule may have only the slightest connection to the hackers that compromised the banking system which makes them very hard to catch. The Inquirer has links to more information on Cobalt, unfortunately they do not have any details on fortunate times or locations to be present at.
"HACKERS HAVE MANAGED to hack cash machines so that they do what everyone who has ever used one has wanted them to do, which is just spit out cash like it was going out of fashion."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- KitGuru Reader Awards 2016 – Your Winners Revealed!
- Outlook outage outrage @ The Register
- Helm: The Kubernetes Package Manager @ Linux.com
- Netgear Orbi AC3000 Tri-Band Router @ Kitguru
- D-Link DIR-885L/R AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router @ MissingRemote
- Iron Tips: Soldering Headphones and Enamel Wire @ Hack a Day
- Apple Captures Record 91 Percent of Global Smartphone Profits: Research @ Slashdot
- The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube Gaming System Revealed @ TechARP
Subject: Editorial | November 23, 2016 - 12:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z170X-Ultra Gaming, video, snapdragon 835, Samsung, qualcomm, podcast, kaby lake, Intel, gigabyte, crystal, corsair, 7th generation core, 570x, 10nm
PC Perspective Podcast #426 - 11/23/16
Join us this week as we discuss Intel Kaby Lake performance, a new Corsair Crystal 570X case, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:23:24
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
0:41:38 Random thoughts and Q&A!
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 23, 2016 - 11:56 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: twins, redundant psu, fsp, 80 Plus Gold, 500W
If you are running a server at home, for instance a PLEX server, which you access while travelling and need it to stay up 24/7 you may have looked into redundant PSUs. They tend to be expensive and do not easily fit into a standard case, let alone a SFF one. FSP Group has a solution they call The Twins.
The Twins are a pair of 500W PSUs in a casing that will fit in most cases, the width and height are the same as a normal ATX PSU, the length of 190mm might be an issue for some cases however. They are fully hot-swappable and offer redundant power so that if one happens to go out your system will continue to run.
This 500W unit and the following 700W unit are both 80 PLUS GOLD certified and come with a USB header connection which allows you to use their FSP Guardian software. FSP Guardian allows you to monitor real time power input, power output, efficiency, and other specs and saves the data for 30 days to let you see how your power systems are behaving. The non-modular wiring provides you with a pair of 6+2 PCIe connectors and a half dozen SATA connectors in addition to the usual motherboard power connections.
You can check out the full PR below the specifications listed here. Both models will come with a 5 year warranty and cost $399 and $499 respectively.
October 26, 2016 – Taipei, Taiwan – FSP, the performance power specialist, is pleased to announce a new 500W addition to its Twins series redundant Power Supplies, with a 700W version coming soon. Fitting most ATX tower chassis, these PSUs offer consumers a reliable solution for home mail, web, or email servers without needing to jump up to more costly form factors.
Redundant Modules for Reliable 24/7 Operation
The Twins series houses two independent power modules, each with its own power adapter. Under normal conditions, the two modules share the energy load to maximize efficiency and stability. If one module fails, however, the other automatically takes over as a clean fail safe. Being hot-swappable, a failed module can be replaced while the system is running without any downtime.
Compatible with Standard ATX Cases
Users can mount the Twins in standard ATX cases without the need for a special bracket. Both ATX 12V and EPS 12V connectors are provided for maximum motherboard compatibility. Flat ribbon cables save space and installation hassle, perfect for cramped cases.
80 Plus Gold Efficiency and Server-Grade Reliability
Both Twins PSUs are 80 Plus Gold certified, offering up to 90% efficiency. Under constant operation, this drastically cuts down operating costs. Each power supply module features a dedicated dual ball-bearing fan, premium capacitors, and has over current protection, short circuit protection, over voltage protection, and fan failure protection. Reliability is further backed by a MTBF of 100,000 hours and a 5 year warranty.
LED Alarm Guard and Digital Control Software
The LED alarm guard alerts operators to problems in the system and simplifies problem diagnosis. If a power supply fails, an alarm will sound and an LED indicator will show which power supply needs to be replaced. Users can connect the Twins’ to a USB header for FSP’s Guardian software: a full suite of digital monitoring controls. Keep an eye on input, output, efficiency, and other metrics in real time, or review up to seven days of past data.
The FSP Twins Series is now available in 500W/700W versions at a MSRP of $399/499 USD, respectively.
Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2016 - 04:57 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, dishonored 2, bethesda
When Dishonored 2 came out, it apparently had quite a few performance issues. Users were complaining about stuttering and low performance, even with high-end graphics cards. One post on Reddit grew popular when an employee of Bethesda allegedly tweeted that a GTX 1070 should get ~60 FPS on Very Low at 1080p. The card is generally recommended for users looking for maxed out 1080p or 1440p for the next couple of years, so you might be able to see the expectation mismatch.
The second patch, released yesterday, is primarily aimed at performance optimizations. First, NVIDIA users are recommended to upgrade to 375.95, which was pushed to GeForce Experience and their website late last week. Beyond adding an SLI Profile, Bethesda “strongly advise[s]” the driver to fix a performance bug.
On their side, they fixed an issue with AMD GPUs when cloth is simulated and they now allow those cards to use HBAO+. They also allow the user to limit frame rates all the way up to 120 FPS, although the physics engine cannot handle rates above that, so it’s hard-capped there. This sucks for users with 144Hz monitors, but 120 FPS is pretty generous of a cap if one must exist. Bethesda also addressed stuttering and they fixed the engine attempting to allocate more VRAM than the card has. I’m not sure whether this bug led to outright crashes, or just stuttering as the asset is pulled from system RAM or disk, but either way is quite bad.
If you had a problem playing Dishonored 2, then you might want to try again. If you are waiting to purchase, or have already refunded the game, then unfortunately I can’t say whether it’s all better; I haven’t played it, at least not yet.
Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2016 - 02:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: g-sync, Predator XB321HK, acer, 4k, ips
Thanks to DisplayPort 1.2's bandwidth being limited to a maximum of 17.28Gbit/s, shoppers looking for a high end variable refresh rate gaming monitor have a tough choice to make. Leave aside aspect ratio, colour depth and panel type for the immediate question; do you prefer the higher definition of a 4K display but with a limited maximum refresh rate or will you be satisfied by 1440p or 1080p with a refresh rate that can hit upwards of 200Hz? The Predator XB321HK chooses path of greater resolution, offering 3840x2160 but with a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, on an IPS screen with 4ms grey to grey response time. If you prefer an MVA ultra-widescreen with a higher resolution, perhaps investigate the Acer Z35, if the XB321HK is closer to what you are looking for check Hardware Canucks full review here.
"With a sensible 4K form factor, a G-SYNC module and a stunning IPS panel, Acer's Predator XB321HK is the stuff gaming monitor dreams are made of. Unfortunately its refresh rate is limited by today's interface technology."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Philips Brilliance 28-inch 288P6 4K Monitor @ eTeknix
- AOC AGON AG271QX Adaptive-Sync Gaming Monitor @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 22, 2016 - 12:34 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: CHPE, arm, x86 emulator, x86, windows 10, redstone 3
We haven't seen Windows 10 Redstone 2 yet but already we have some news about Redstone 3 which hints at the coming of the Surface phone. Microsoft is working on x86 emulation for ARM processors, allowing proper Windows programs and not just Universal Apps to work on ARM based machines. They pulled this off in the past with the switch from 32bit to 64bit applications, with Windows on Windows emulation and porting x86 to ARM and vice versa has been a long term project at Microsoft.
The possible issue that comes from this eventuality is the interface. Just like in a game ported from a gaming platform to PC, moving from an ecosystem with a limited input device to a platform designed with a mouse and keyboard will cause issues. The reverse tends to be worse, for instance Skyrim's abysmal inventory system exists specifically because it was planned to be released on consoles. Now imagine Excel or file management software trimmed down and designed specifically to run on a phablet, as well as on a PC. For more on this possible nightmare, check out The Inquirer.
"According to Mary-Jo Foley, the font of all knowledge Windows-wise, the company is looking at x86 emulation for ARM processors. It’s not a new idea, but it's looking likely for Redstone 3."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- CMOS-compatible SiC qualifies for quantum technology @ Nanotechweb
- Bulldozers, sportsters, bangers: Rack your brains, HPC kids @ The Register
- Market for 10nm mobile chips to heat up in 2017 @ DigiTimes
- Software Defined Networking Fundamentals Part 2: Switches and Network Architecture @ Linux.com
- Locky ransomware is spreading on Facebook Messenger like chlamydia @ The Inquirer
- Monday morning machinima: watch the Saxxy winners @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Ian Livingstone – The Past, Present & Future of the Game Industry @ Tech ARP
- INQ's ultimate Black Friday cheat sheet @ The Inquirer
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 22, 2016 - 11:17 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: windowed, mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, chassis, case, carbide, 270R
Corsair introduced three new enclosures yesterday, with the Crystal 570X (our review for this case is already live), Crystal 460X (review coming soon!), and this new Carbide Series 270R mid-tower.
"Solid, sleek and understated, the CORSAIR Carbide Series 270R offers all the essentials of a high-end PC case, while retaining a spacious internal layout and versatile cooling options. Available with either a huge transparent window or solid side panel, the 270R’s minimalist exterior hides an expansive interior that’s designed to make building a PC as easy as possible. Deep cable routing channels, numerous tie-down points and convieniently located drive bays combine with a dedicated cable routing compartment that surrounds the PSU, making clean and professional builds simple.
The 270R windowed comes equipped with a red-LED lit AF120 120mm intake fan and black AF120 120mm exhaust fan, while the 270R non-windowed ships with a single black AF120 120mm exhaust . Whichever you choose, the 270R offers great out-of-box cooling while also supporting a wealth of liquid cooling radiators and cooling upgrades. Able to mount upto a 360mm radiator in the front and a 240mm radiator in the roof, the 270R can accommodate almost anything your next PC might require, both now and in the future. It’s everything PC builders need for the essential PC build."
While the other two announced cases feature tempered glass designs, the Carbide 270R is a practical alternative for shoppers on a budget. It combines an understated exterior with an internal layout that Corsair is calling "builder-friendly", and offers a compelling solution with an MSRP of only $69.99.
Corsair lists these features:
- Builder-friendly with simple and intuitive internal layout.
- Versatile cooling options with space for multiple radiator configurations.
- Clean and minimalist exterior design.
- 270R Windowed includes 1x red-LED lit AF120 120mm intake fan and 1x black AF120 120mm exhaust fan.
- 270R Non-Windowed includes 1x black AF120 120mm exhaust fan.
- Built-in cable routing compartments enables clean builds.
- Direct Airflow Path™ provides airflow to the hottest components.
Our review of the Carbide Series 270R will be completed soon, so stay tuned!!
In August at the company’s annual developer forum, Intel officially took the lid off its 7th generation of Core processor series, codenamed Kaby Lake. The build up to this release has been an interesting one as we saw the retirement of the “tick tock” cadence of processor releases and instead are moving into a market where Intel can spend more development time on a single architecture design to refine and tweak it as the engineers see fit. With that knowledge in tow, I believed, as I think many still do today, that Kaby Lake would be something along the lines of a simple rebrand of current shipping product. After all, since we know of no major architectural changes from Skylake other than improvements in the video and media side of the GPU, what is left for us to look forward to?
As it turns out, the advantages of the 7th Generation Core processor family and Kaby Lake are more substantial than I expected. I was able to get a hold of two different notebooks from the HP Spectre lineup, as near to identical as I could manage, with the primary difference being the move from the 6th Generation Skylake design to the 7th Generation Kaby Lake. After running both machines through a gamut of tests ranging from productivity to content creation and of course battery life, I can say with authority that Intel’s 7th Gen product deserves more accolades than it is getting.
Before we get into the systems and to our results, I think it’s worth taking some time to quickly go over some of what we know about Kaby Lake from the processor perspective. Most of this content was published back in August just after the Intel Developer Forum, so if you are sure you are caught up, you can jump right along to a pictorial look at the two notebooks being tested today.
At its core, the microarchitecture of Kaby Lake is identical to that of Skylake. Instructions per clock (IPC) remain the same with the exception of dedicated hardware changes in the media engine, so you should not expect any performance differences with Kaby Lake except with improved clock speeds.
Also worth noting is that Intel is still building Kaby Lake on 14nm process technology, the same used on Skylake. The term “same” will be debated as well as Intel claims that improvements made in the process technology over the last 24 months have allowed them to expand clock speeds and improve on efficiency.
Dubbing this new revision of the process as “14nm+”, Intel tells me that they have improved the fin profile for the 3D transistors as well as channel strain while more tightly integrating the design process with manufacturing. The result is a 12% increase in process performance; that is a sizeable gain in a fairly tight time frame even for Intel.
That process improvement directly results in higher clock speeds for Kaby Lake when compared to Skylake when running at the same target TDPs. In general, we are looking at 300-400 MHz higher peak clock speeds in Turbo Boost situations when compared to similar TDP products in the 6th generation. Sustained clocks will very likely remain voltage / thermally limited but the ability spike up to higher clocks for even short bursts can improve performance and responsiveness of Kaby Lake when compared to Skylake.
Along with higher fixed clock speeds for Kaby Lake processors, tweaks to Speed Shift will allow these processors to get to peak clock speeds more quickly than previous designs. I extensively tested Speed Shift when the feature was first enabled in Windows 10 and found that the improvement in user experience was striking. Though the move from Skylake to Kaby Lake won’t be as big of a change, Intel was able to improve the behavior.
The graphics architecture and EU (execution unit) layout remains the same from Skylake, but Intel was able to integrate a new video decode unit to improve power efficiency. That new engine can work in parallel with the EUs to improve performance throughput as well, but obviously at the expensive of some power efficiency.
Specific additions to the codec lineup include decode support for 10-bit HEVC and 8/10-bit VP9 as well as encode support for 10-bit HEVC and 9-bit VP9. The video engine adds HDR support with tone mapping though it does require EU utilization. Wide Color Gamut (Rec. 2020) is prepped and ready to go according to Intel for when that standard starts rolling out to displays.
Performance levels for these new HEVC encode/decode blocks is set to allow for 4K 120mbps real-time on both the Y-series (4.5 watt) and U-series (15 watt) processors.
It’s obvious that the changes to Kaby Lake from Skylake are subtle and even I found myself overlooking the benefits that it might offer. While the capabilities it has will be tested on the desktop side at a later date in 2017, for thin and light notebooks, convertibles and even some tablets, the 7th Generation Core processors do in fact take advantage of the process improvements and higher clock speeds to offer an improved user experience.
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2016 - 06:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, mionix, naos QG
Mionix have added new features to their Naos QG gaming mouse, some of which you might be hard pressed to understand. The mouse is capable of tracking your clicks per minute and the current speed of the mouse, which is perhaps reasonable, but it also tracks your heart rate. This is perhaps a nod towards the sports portion of eSports, but it certainly raises the question as to what your target Hearthstone heart rate is, should it be low or high? On the other hand it uses a PMW-3360 optical sensor, capable of up to 12000 DPI resolution with five steps available, seven programmable buttons and an onboard ARM processor for eventual macro support. Even if you feel this is far beyond the pale, you should check the mouse at eTeknix out just for its uniqueness.
"They’ve already proven a popular choice with the eSports scene, and their latest mouse, the Naos QG is about to make an even bigger splash on the eSports and streaming scene, with its biometric data that can show you a gamers physical performance in-game, as well as offer developers a new level of interaction to gamers too. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Xtrfy XG-M2 Ninja Pyjamas Gaming Mouse @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Apex M500 Mechanical Pro-Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
- Fnatic Gear Rush G1 Mechanical Keyboard @ Kitguru
- Zalman ZM-K900M Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Gamdias Hermes P1 Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 21, 2016 - 01:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: atx, case, corsair, Crystal Series, enclosure, RGB, tempered glass, tower, 460X
The Corsair Crystal Series 460X RGB is very similar to the 570X model which Sebastian just posted a review of, though there are some noticeable differences. It is slightly smaller in all dimensions, at 440x220x464mm and the removable top is metal as opposed to glass, which has also allowed the relocation to the front of the top panel controls and inputs. The case does use the same PSU shroud as the 570X as well as suffering from the same strain of RGB disease and it will sell for $40 less than the 570X at $140. Take a look at TechPowerUp's full review to see which of the two cases you prefer.
"After the huge success of their other cases, Corsair have now released the Crystal series, which concentrates on a clean, modern design while still being functional to both air and liquid cooling enthusiasts.The first of the Crystal Series is the 460X which comes with comes with RGB fans and tempered glass."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Crystal 570X RGB chassis with with tempered glass @ Guru of 3D
- Corsair Crystal Series 570X RGB Tempered Glass Chassis @ Kitguru
- Lian Li PC-O9WX Tempered Glass Case @ Kitguru
- XFX Hard Swap Quick Change Fan Review @ OCC
- be quiet! Silent Base 600 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | November 21, 2016 - 12:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: iot, security
Hack a Day takes you on a bit of a trip through memory lane to demonstrate how current programmers can have a major influence on the standards that the Internet of Things will eventually adopt. If you remember X.25's loss to TCP/IP thanks to the volume of adoption the latter had, or mourn the loss of SOAP's XML based transmission to JSON then you have an idea what they are discussing.
If a large enough group of programmers choose a particular communications protocol or software library to design connected household appliances, manufacturers will find it easier and more economical to base their products on the skills of the programmers who work for them. Any security and performance enhancements that come about because of this would be an added benefit to the company and of great value to the end users. Pick up that keyboard and see if you can't turn the tide and plug up the I/O ports of the death toaster.
"In the long term however it’s unlikely we’re going to let one company become the backhaul for consumer Internet of Things traffic. It’s unlikely that there will be one platform to rule them all. I don’t think it’s going to be long till IFTTT starts to see some complaints about that, and inevitably clones."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HTC Vive shipments to lag behind Sony PSVR, Oculus Rift in 2016-2017 @ DigiTimes
- Nvidia DGX SaturnV hailed as 'most energy efficient supercomputer of all time' @ The Inquirer
- Hacker gets Doom running on the Apple MacBook Pro Touch Bar @ The Inquirer
- Apple To Swap Faulty iPhone 6S Batteries @ Slashdot
- Intel lays out its AI strategy until 2020 @ The Register
- D-Link joins hands with Microsoft to give 'Super Wi-Fi' a push @ The Register
Introduction and Exterior
Corsair has just dropped a trio of new cases into the market, and I happen to have all of them in my secret enclosure testing bunker. While reviews for the other two are in the pipeline, the first of these to be completed is this impressive new Crystal Series 570X. Not only does this case have tempered glass galore (and an ultra-premium look and feel), but it also features customizable RGB lighting effects.
Glass has clearly (pun intended) been trending in the case world of late, and there are more tempered glass options at affordable price points than ever. There is still room for a premium option or two, and Corsair joins the ranks of In Win for a high-style enclosure with this Crystal 570X. At first glance the case looks like it's mostly tempered glass, and for the most part the exterior is just that. Glass panels comprise front and back sides, as well as the front and top of the case. In fact, only the back and bottom panels of the Crystal 570X are steel.
Here are some key points for the Crystal 570X from Corsair:
- Four tempered glass panels on the sides of the case: Possibly the most beautiful case CORSAIR has ever made. With tempered glass enclosing the entire chassis, every component of your build is on display.
- Customizable lighting: Light up your build with brilliant LED effects. Three included SP120 RGB LED fans and included LED controller keeps your components running cool. Each fan is equipped with vivid, configurable LED lights, enabling you to personalize your build.
- Room for virtually anything: Mounting points for 6 case fans and fully compatible with 360mm, 280mm, and 120mm radiators. Removable fan trays in the front and top of the chassis allows for additional space or mounting cooling outside of the chassis.
- Cable management made simple: Cable routing channels with included velcro cable straps for clean cable management.
- Easy to clean: Easily access dust filters on front, top, and bottom mean you’ll never spend more than a minute getting dust out of your system.
Subject: Storage | November 18, 2016 - 12:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SM2258, 3d nand, adata, Ultimate SU800
Adata's Ultimate SU800 512GB SSD is somewhat of a mixed bag, at $0.27/GB it is not exactly inexpensive nor does it take advantage of some of the SM2258 controllers advanced features, on the other hand it does use Micron's 3D NAND, offer a dynamic SLC cache and is overprovisioned by 64GB. The Tech Report put this SATA SSD to the test in a barrage of benchmarks to see how its performance compared to other SSDs, both SATA and PCIe. Check out their results right here.
"Adata's first 3D NAND SSD, the Ultimate SU800, uses the same Micron flash memory that company deployed in its appealing Crucial MX300. We tested and dissected the SU800 to see whether it lives up to its Ultimate billing."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD @ The SSD Review
- Samsung 960 EVO 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD @ Kitguru
- Apacer Z280 240GB M.2 PCIe NVMe @ eTeknix
- Kingston HyperX Savage USB 3.1 Flash Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
The Z170X-Ultra Gaming motherboard is among the latest offerings from GIGABYTE in their G1 Gaming product line, introducing Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1, and LED enhancements to thier Z170 boards. The board features a base black aesthetic with integrated red LEDs spread throughout its surface for a sleek look. The board's integrated Intel Z170 chipset gives the board support for the latest Intel LGA1151 Skylake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR4 memory. The Z170X-Ultra Gaming has a base sellng price of $160, a more than reasonable price for the integrated features and the board's performance.
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
GIGABYTE integrated the following features into the Z170X-Ultra Gaming mortherboard: two SATA 3 ports; two SATA-Express ports; one U.2 32Gbps port; one M.2 PCIe x4 capable port; an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; 2x2 802.11ac WiFI adapter; three PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; Realtek 8-Channel audio subsystem; integrated mini-DisplayPort and HDMI video ports; and USB 3.0 and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.