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Ryzen and the art of benchmark maintenance

Subject: Processors | May 19, 2017 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, ryzen 5 1400, ryzen 5 1600

Neoseeker tested out the 4 core Ryzen 5 1400 and 6 core 1600 model to see how they stack up against other lower cost processors.  They ran the tests at the highest stable overclock they could reach, interestingly both were able to hit a 3.8 GHz base clock, paired with DDR4-2400.  The processors were cooled with AMD's Wraith Max cooler so it is possible to push these CPUs further if you are willing to overvolt.  Drop by to see how these two processor match up to the competition.

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"The two AMD processors for review today are the newest budget offerings of the Ryzen 5 series with the Ryzen 1400 and 1600 models. The Ryzen 1400 is a four core/eight thread and the Ryzen 1600 is a six core/twelve thread processor, with both having a base operating speed of 3.2 GHz. The boost clock for the Ryzen 1400 is 3.4 GHz while the Ryzen 1600 is able to boost to 3.6 GHz."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: Neoseeker

PCPer Live! Aimpad Analog Keyboard Technology Discussion

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2017 - 04:42 PM |
Tagged: lance madsen, keyboard, analog, aimpad

If you missed the live stream, we have the VOD below! This is a compelling discussion about the benefits of having an analog keyboard - definitely worth watching if you are a dedicated PC gamer!

You might not have heard of the company or the technology yet, but Aimpad is set to bring about another drastic change to the world of gaming keyboards. Lance Madsen will join us from Aimpad to talk about the idea of an analog keyboard, and why having keys that aren't simply on or off can benefit gamers as they strive to find the best possible experiences.

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In our live stream we will be talking about the technology that makes it work, how it will be integrated into future keyboards, and walk through a handful of demonstrations of the technology at work on a prototype keyboard integration. 

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Aimpad Analog Keyboard Live Stream

1pm PT / 4pm ET - May 23rd

PC Perspective Live! Page

Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

The event will take place Tuesday, May 23rd at 4pm ET / 1pm PT at http://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience, asking questions for me and Lance to answer live. 

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If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from Tom or I?

So join us! Set your calendar for this coming Tuesday at 4pm ET / 1pm PT and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!

Author:
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Sony
Tagged: ssd, ps4 pro, ps4, consoles

Intro and Upgrading the PS4 Pro Hard Drive

When Sony launched the PS4 Pro late last year, it introduced an unusual mid-cycle performance update to its latest console platform. But in addition to increased processing and graphics performance, Sony also addressed one of the original PS4's shortcomings: the storage bus.

The original, non-Pro PlayStation 4 utilized a SATA II bus, capping speeds at 3Gb/s. This was more than adequate for keeping up with the console's stock hard drive, but those who elected to take advantage of Sony's user-upgradeable storage policy and install an SSD faced the prospect of a storage bus bottleneck. As we saw in our original look at upgrading the PS4 Pro with a solid state drive, the SSD brought some performance improvements in terms of load times, but these improvements weren't always as impressive as we might expect.

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We therefore set out to see what performance improvements, if any, could be gained by the inclusion of SATA III in the PS4 Pro, and if this new Pro model makes a stronger case for users to shell out even more cash for a high capacity solid state drive. We weren't the only ones interested in this test. Digital Foundry conducted their own tests of the PS4 Pro's SATA III interface. They found that while a solid state drive in the PS4 Pro clearly outperformed the stock hard drive in the original PS4, it generally didn't offer much improvement over the SATA II-bottlenecked SSD in the original PS4, or even, in some cases, the stock HDD in the PS4 Pro.

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But we noticed a major issue with Digital Foundry's testing process. For their SSD tests, they used the OCZ Trion 100, an older SSD with relatively mediocre performance compared to its latest competitors. The Trion 100 also has a relatively low write endurance and we therefore don't know the condition and performance characteristics of Digital Foundry's drive.

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To address these issues, we conducted our tests with a brand new 1TB Samsung 850 EVO. While far from the cheapest, or even most reasonable option for a PS4 Pro upgrade, our aim is to assess the "best case scenario" when it comes to SSD performance via the PS4 Pro's SATA III bus.

Continue reading our analysis of PS4 Pro loading times with an SSD upgrade!

Shrout Research: Chromebook Platform Impacts Android App Performance

Subject: Mobile | May 23, 2017 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: shrout research, play store, Intel, Chromebook, arm, Android

Please excuse the bit of self-promotion here. Oh, and disclaimer: Shrout Research and PC Perspective share management and ownership.

Based on testing done by Shrout Research and published in a paper this week, the introduction of Android applications on Chromebooks directly though the Play Store has added a new wrinkle into the platform selection decision. Android applications, unlike Chromebook native apps, have a heavy weight towards the Android phone and tablet ecosystem, with "defacto" optimization for the ARM-based processors and platforms that represent 98%+ of that market. As a result, there are some noticeable and noteworthy differences when running Android apps on Chromebooks powered by an ARM SoC and an Intel x86 SoC.

With that market dominance as common knowledge, all Android applications are developed targeting ARM hardware, for ARM processors. Compilers and performance profiling software has been built and perfected to improve the experience and efficiency of apps to run on ARMv7 (32-bit) and ARMv8 (64-bit) architectures. This brings to the consumer an improved overall experience, including better application compatibility and better performance.

Using a pair of Acer Chromebooks, the R11 based on the Intel Celeron N3060 and the R13 based on the MediaTek MT8173C, testing was done to compare the performance, loading times, and overall stability of various Android Play Store applications. A range of application categories were addressed including games, social, and productivity.

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Through 19 tested Android apps we found that the ARM-powered R13 Chromebook performed better than the Intel-powered R11 Chromebook in 9 of them. In 8 of the apps tested, both platforms performed equally well. In 2 of the test applications, the Intel-powered system performed better (Snapchat and Google Maps).

The paper also touches on power consumption, and between these two systems, the ARM-based MediaTek SoC was using 11.5% less power to accomplish the same tasks.

Our testing indicates the Acer R13, using the ARM-powered processor, uses 11.5% less power on average in our 150 minutes of use through our education simulation. This is a significant margin and would indicate that with two systems equally configured, one with the MediaTek ARM processor and another with the Intel Celeron processor, the ARM-powered platform would get 11.5% additional usage time before requiring a charge. Based on typical Chromebook battery life (11 hours), the ARM system would see an additional 75 minutes of usability.

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There is a lot more detail in the white paper on ShroutResearch.com, including a discussion about the impact that the addition of Android applications on Chromebooks might have for the market as whole:

...bringing a vast library of applications from the smart phone market to the Chromebook would create a combination of capabilities that would turn the computing spectrum sideways. This move alleviates the sustained notion that Chromebooks are connected-only devices and gives an instant collection of usable offline applications and tools to the market.

You can download the full white paper here.

Connect, Command, Control: Introducing a New Range of CORSAIR LINK Fan and Lighting Controllers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 23, 2017 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO, HD140 RGB Fans

Corsair have announced several new products today; the Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB fans.   The Commander PRO is Corsair Link compatible fan controller with some extra tricks up its sleeve.  Not only does it offer six fan connectors, there are a pair of internal USB ports, as well as two RGB connectors for LED lighting strips and four temperature control inputs.  Combine this with the CORSAIR LINK Dashboard and you can keep tabs on everything from coolant temperatures to fan speeds.

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Next up are the CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO strips, which you would connect to the Commander or to any USB 2.0 port.  These strangely familiar lighting strips can be installed in your machine and individually controlled to provide a programmable light show inside your case.  You can attach them via mounting tape backings or magnets and they are full of all the RGBs you could dream of.

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Last, but not least are the HD140 RGB fans, which as you have no doubt already determined, are 140mm fans each with a dozen RGB LEDs.  The HD indicates these are high static pressure fans suitable for use on a radiator or for air cooling.  They can be connected to the Lighting Node PRO for complete control or you can use the built in modes for simple lighting. 

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Can you handle another full PR or would you prefer a video ...

FREMONT, CA –May 23rd, 2017 - CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the launch of the Commander PRO and Lighting Node PRO fan and lighting controllers, alongside the new HD140 RGB series of RGB cooling fans.
Controlled by CORSAIR LINK software, Commander PRO is the ultimate in system control, providing complete command of up to six 4-pin PWM fans, two RGB lighting channels, four temperature sensors and two USB 2.0 headers.
Lighting Node PRO lights up your PC like never before, with two CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting channels and four included individually addressable RGB LED light strips, each equipped with ten RGB LEDs for brilliant, customizable, system illumination.

Finally, HD140 RGB joins the award-winning range of CORSAIR RGB cooling fans. Each 140mm fan boasts twelve vibrant, individually addressable LEDs, software controllable in CORSAIR LINK using either Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO.

Providing total control of your PC’s cooling and lighting, Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB combine with CORSAIR LINK to put you in command.

Commander PRO
Offering the ultimate in CORSAIR LINK system control, Commander PRO has everything you need to take complete control of your PC’s cooling, monitoring, and lighting. Six 4-pin PWM fan headers provide total control of your cooling fans, from dead-stop to maximum speed, and anywhere in-between, using programmable fan curves in CORSAIR LINK. Two RGB lighting channels give instant RGB control of compatible CORSAIR RGB fans (up to six fans per channel) or CORSAIR RGB lighting strips (fours strips per channel).
Commander PRO also boasts four included thermistor inputs to provide additional temperature data from anywhere in your system, allowing fan speeds and lighting effects to respond to rising temperatures automatically. With the wealth of CORSAIR LINK enabled products from AXi, HXi, and RMi PSUs to CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers, Commander PRO offers a simple way to connect them, thanks to its pair of internal USB 2.0 headers. This frees up space on the motherboard and reduces cable clutter in your system.
Combining all the functions of a fan controller, lighting controller, temperature probe and internal USB 2.0 hub into a single CORSAIR LINK controlled device, you only need one Commander PRO for total control.

Lighting Node PRO
Lighting Node PRO provides vivid lighting effects and custom color combinations for up to twelve CORSAIR SP RGB or HD RGB fans (six per channel) or eight CORSAIR RGB Lighting strips (four per channel). The ideal addition to a CORSAIR Crystal Series 460X or 570X case, Lighting Node PRO lets you take complete software control of your case’s RGB fans in CORSAIR LINK, granting access to a host of new lighting options, from smooth transitions to adaptive lighting that reacts to component temperatures. Included with Lighting Node PRO are four individually addressable RGB LED lighting strips, each equipped with ten ultra-bright RGB LEDs ready to light up your system. Each strip includes an extension cable for easy routing and placement inside your case, while integrated magnetic mounts in each strip make them easy to install. With everything you need to bring CORSAIR LINK controlled RGB lighting to your PC, Lighting Node PRO makes it easier than ever before to light up your PC your way.

HD140 RGB Fans
Joining the award-winning HD series of RGB cooling fans, HD140 RGB combines increased airflow with twelve individually addressable LEDs for 360° of RGB every time you turn on your PC. Equipped with a low-noise hydraulic bearing and ultra-thin fan blades, HD140 RGB fans might draw attention for their looks, but not their noise, and with 4-pin PWM control, it’s simple to customize performance using Commander PRO or any 4-pin fan header. Including an easy-access 3-button controller to cycle through vivid animation presets, HD140 RGB comes to life when connected to a Commander PRO or Lighting Node PRO, unlocking nearly endless customization and lighting effects. Available as a single, or twin-pack, HD140 RGB lets you go big on fans, and bold on lighting.

Availability, Warranty and Pricing:
The CORSAIR Commander PRO, Lighting Node PRO and HD140 RGB series of fans are available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors. All three products are backed by a two-year warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network. For up-to-date pricing, please refer to the links below or contact your local CORSAIR sales or PR representative.
 

Source: Corsair

Sit back and read about the Vertagear Triigger 350 Special Edition Gaming Chair

Subject: General Tech | May 19, 2017 - 02:02 PM |
Tagged: vertagear, Triigger 350 Special Edition, gaming chair

We now know the real reason Kyle agreed to getting a red stripe in his hair; so he can match the chair he is sitting in.  He has been resting his laurels on the Vertagear Triigger 350 Special Edition for the past few months and has published a review of his experiences.  This 55lb beast is constructed of aluminium, mesh and calf leather with hubless caster type wheels which turned out to work and look good.  If you are in the market for a high end gaming chair you should check out the full review, especially the last page where he answers numerous questions asked by his forum members.

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"What happens when you rope yourself in to doing a gaming chair review? You take your time, do it right, and make sure your butt spends at least a few months in the chair before you write your review. My butt has been in the VertaGear Triigger 350 Gaming Chair for over 3 months, and here are my thoughts."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Micron Launches SolidScale Platform Architecture, Consolidates NVMe in the Datacenter

Subject: Storage | May 24, 2017 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: SolidScale, NVMf, NVMe, micron, fabric, Cassandra

A few weeks back, I was briefed on Micron’s new SolidScale Architecture. This is essentially Micron’s off-the-shelf solution that ties together a few different technologies in an attempt to consolidate large pools of NVMe storage into a central location that can then be efficiently segmented and distributed among peers and clients across the network.

Traditionally it has been difficult to effectively utilize large numbers of SSDs in a single server. The combined IOPS capabilities of multiple high-performance PCIe SSDs can quickly saturate the available CPU cores of the server due to kernel/OS IO overhead incurred with each request. As a result, a flash-based network server would be bottlenecked by the server CPU during high IOPS workloads. There is a solution to this, and it’s simpler than you might think: Bypass the CPU!

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Read on for our deeper dive into Micron's SolidScale technology!

Source: Micron

New AMD products with go forth July

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2017 - 01:24 PM |
Tagged: amd, Vega, ryzen 3, rumour

On a recent investors call AMD's head, Lisa Su, let it slip that the Radeon RX Vega family will be arriving on the market this July, shortly after we see the Frontier Edition launch.  The Inquirer also mentions that this is likely to indicate a similar launch time for the Ryzen 3 family, which seems a sound presumption.  During the call she set some dates for AMD's next generation of processors, they will be taping out their 7nm products later this year with Zen 2 scheduled for 2018 and Zen 3 in 2020.  It is also likely we will not be seeing mobile Zen parts at Computex; next year is far more likely to be their target.  Still, this has been an exciting year for enthusiasts with a wide variety of parts launched already and more on the way.

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"Su revealed that the company was planning a late-June release date for the Frontier Edition of the company's next-generation graphics card, with the more mainstream Radeon RX Vega coming out the following month."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer
Author:
Subject: Systems, Mobile
Manufacturer: Apple

What have we here?

The latest iteration of the Apple MacBook Pro has been a polarizing topic to both Mac and PC enthusiasts. Replacing the aging Retina MacBook Pro introduced in 2012, the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Touch Bar introduced late last year offered some radical design changes. After much debate (and a good Open Box deal), I decided to pick up one of these MacBooks to see if it could replace my 11" MacBook Air from 2013, which was certainly starting to show it's age.

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I'm sure that a lot of our readers, even if they aren't Mac users, are familiar with some of the major changes the Apple made with this new MacBook Pro. One of the biggest changes comes when you take a look at the available connectivity on the machine. Gone are the ports you might expect like USB type-A, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort. These ports have been replaced with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a single 3.5mm headphone jack.

While it seems like USB-C (which is compatible with Thunderbolt 3) is eventually posed to take over the peripheral market, there are obvious issues with replacing all of the connectivity on a machine aimed at professionals with type-c connectors. Currently, type-c devices are few and are between, meaning you will have to rely on a series of dongles to connect the devices you already own. 

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I will say however, that it ultimately hasn't been that much of an issue for me so far in the limited time that I've owned this MacBook. In order to evaluate how bad the dongle issue was, I only purchased a single, simple adapter with my MacBook which provided me with a Type-A USB port and a pass-through Type-C port for charging.

Continue reading our look at using the MacBook Pro with Windows!

Microsoft Announces New Surface Pro Featuring Kaby Lake and Optional LTE

Subject: Mobile | May 23, 2017 - 10:24 AM |
Tagged: Surface Pro, surface, microsoft

As part of its Shanghai Event this morning, Microsoft announced a long-overdue update to the Surface Pro. While the new device retains the design and form factor of its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4, it still packs a few new features that Surface users have been waiting for.

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First off, Microsoft has used this revision to officially drop the numbering scheme from the product lineup. Rather than the expected "Surface Pro 5" moniker, Microsoft is now calling the product simply "Surface Pro," and will presumably use release year to differentiate models going forward.

Internally, the new Surface Pro finally makes the jump to Kaby Lake, with processor options including the Core m3-7Y30 on the low-end, the Core i5-7300U for the mid-range model, and topping out with the Core i7-7660U. These CPUs offer Intel HD 615, 620, and Iris Plus 640 graphics, respectively. The move to Kaby Lake, coupled with Microsoft's battery design improvements, also brings a nice boost to battery life, with the new Surface Pro offering an advertised 13.5 hours of video playback (the only usage scenario that Microsoft has thus far revealed). While we're interested to see other battery-life tests, the new Surface Pro's running time bests its predecessor by an impressive 50 percent, as the Surface Pro 4 was rated for only 9 hours of video playback.

In terms of connectivity, the new Surface Pro offers all of the same ports and I/O as the Surface Pro 4, with one big exception: LTE. Although not available at launch, new Surface Pro models with built-in 4G LTE will be available "later this year." This isn't the first Surface device to feature built-in LTE -- Microsoft offered limited availability of LTE-enabled non-Pro Surface 3 models back in 2015 -- but this is the first time that the feature will be available for the Pro lineup.

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Other design and functionality changes include a redesigned kickstand that will tilt back 165 degrees for a "Studio Mode" experience (Surface Pro 4 only had 150 degrees of tilt), support for the Surface Dial directly on the Surface Pro's screen (it had previously been limited to desktop use), and a new optional "Signature Type Cover," with improved key travel, higher-resolution glass trackpad, and featuring the same Alcantara fabric found on Microsoft's recently-released Surface Laptop.

On the downside, this new Surface Pro doesn't offer any improvements or changes to its display, port selection, RAM and storage capacities, or cameras. Even more disappointingly, the Surface Pen is no longer included, requiring users interested in pen functionality to shell out an extra $60.

The new Surface Pro starts at $799 and is available for pre-order now. It is expected to ship mid-June. Check out the Microsoft Store for pricing and specs on all Surface Pro configurations.

Source: Microsoft

FSP introduces the new Hydro PTM+ liquid cooled PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | May 23, 2017 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: FSP Group, water cooling, modular psu, Hydro PTM+, 80 Plus Platinum PSU, kilowatt, computex

FSP will be showing off several new products at Computex but the most interesting, by far, is a watercooled PSU called the Hydro PTM+.  Under normal operations this is a 1200W modular PSU with an 80 PLUS Platinum rating, but include it in a cooling loop and it will provide up to 1400W of power.  It can also be run silently up to 50% load, so if you only need ~600W this might still be of use if you are attempting a silent build and yes, there are LEDs on the PSU.  Hopefully we can see some more revealing pictures from Computex with the internal layout exposed.

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They will also be showing off the world's smallest 850W PSU, the 80 Plus Platinum certified FLEX as well as a not so petite 1600W 80 Plus Platinum PSU for servers and the more extreme of us.  Along with those PSUs they are introducing the The ERK, or Easy Redundant Kit, which allows you to hook up two independent PSUs which don't normally support redundancy and rely on them just as if they were.  Check out the full PR below.

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May 23, Taipei, Taiwan – FSP, one of the leading manufacturers of power supplies in the world is pleased to unveil its focus on delivering continued performance at Computex 2017. FSP’s new power and gaming solutions were developed in cooperation with industry partners, and in the IoT world, the keywords Smart and Inter-operability are reflected in the IoT products on display allow customers to take control from anywhere in the world. Also, Computex gives a look at how FSP’s unique redundancy solutions can create products that can span various segments with customer focus in mind.

FSP introduces the new Hydro PTM+ liquid cooled PSU.
The Hydro PTM+ is a unique, and patented liquid cooled PSU created in cooperation with Bitspower, a renowned creator of liquid cooling solutions for PCs, to meet the highest security and safety standards. The Hydro PTM+ is the world's first mass produced liquid cooled PSU with 80 Plus Platinum certificated, with gorgeous LED lighting it combines great looks with amazing performance. The unique liquid cooling system, once enabled, increases the power rating from 1200W to 1400W. But, with an array of integrated sensors, the Hydro PTM+ also excels at efficiency, when running in silent mode (below 50% load) it still delivers 600W without the use of a fan for cooling, and thus it remains in complete silence.

FSP industrial solutions, powering the smart world.
With the industry focus rapidly shifting to IoT, FSP is on the forefront of working with advanced industry partners to provide power products that integrate easily into a wide range of smart IoT solutions. With Big Data a key for IoT energy management, FSP is ahead of the curve by providing power supplies with PoE, PMBus, and USB communication interfaces that help collect vital data such as fan speeds, wattage, voltage, current, alert and load status.

This data helps manage and size solutions and increase up-time and productivity, especially in iFactory, smart manufacturing solutions, intelligent logistics, and smart transportation.

World Smallest 80 Plus Platinum 850W FLEX PSU
Another great innovation by FSP is the world smallest 80 Plus Platinum certified 850W FLEX PSU. Also in the IoT solution area, you can find the 1600W 80 Plus Platinum certified Intel CRPS PSU, with Current Sharing and Cold Redundancy for amazing efficiency in the data center. Next to that, are the modular, but full voltage input DIN rail PSUs that can perfectly support a wide variety of IoT devices electrical demands.

Easy redundant kit, a unique approach to redundancy
The ERK, Easy Redundant Kit, is a versatile backup solution for entry-level systems that require 24/7 up-time from their power solution. Differing from traditional and expensive redundancy options, the ERK is a unique external DC-DC module which allows operators to create redundancy by combining two traditional non-redundant PSUs with the ERK. This brilliant product offers the best flexibility when choosing power design solutions.

 

Source: FSP

Fractal Design launch new Focus G Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 24, 2017 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: fractal design, Focus G, Focus G Mini

Fractal Design launched two new cases for those who want a good looking case and value a good deal.  The Focus G is a full sized ATX case, available in black, white, petrol blue, mystic red, and gunmetal gray while the Focus G Mini is black and intended for SFF builds using an ITX or mATX motherboard.  Both the cases will retail for $50US and ship with a pair of 120mm Silent Series LED fans, with a total of six mounting points for fans or radiators.

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The case is large enough to hold coolers of up to 165mm in height and GPUs up to 380mm long.  They have also designed it to give you 25mm of space behind the motherboard tray to make it easier to hide your cabling.  Check out the full PR below the specifications.

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Sweden, May 24, 2017 – The new Focus G series from Fractal Design is the cornerstone for your PC build, showcasing the hardware aesthetics at the heart of your system with elegant accents and sophisticated style.

Contemporary ATX (Focus G) and Micro ATX (Focus G Mini) case designs accommodates high-performance components with smart and efficient space utilization for a compact footprint.
Extensive cooling options are available with support for tall CPU heatsink/fan combos and water cooling with multiple radiator configurations.
Filtered front, top and base air intakes maintain a dust-free environment while expert cable management options keep wiring tidy. With edge-to-edge visibility, clean contemporary styling and two Silent Series LED fans, the Focus G series makes your hardware the center of attention.

Key features of the Focus G Series
• Two preinstalled Fractal Design Silent Series LL 120mm White LED fans • Focus G available in Black, White, Petrol Blue, Mystic Red, and Gunmetal Gray • Focus G Mini available in Black • Large windowed side panel • Six total fan positions for high-airflow capability • Filtered front, top and base air intakes for a dust free interior • Support for high-profile CPU coolers and multiple radiator configurations • 18 - 25 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate • Support for graphics cards up to 380 mm long without compromising hard drive space • Two vibration dampened universal drive bays with support for 6TB+ HDDs and 15mm SSDs, plus an additional 2.5" mount behind the motherboard tray.

Manufacturer: Alphacool

Introduction and Specifications

Alphacool's Eisbaer is a line of pre-assembled liquid CPU coolers using standard parts that add quick-release connections to make adding components to the loop simple. Today we'll have a look at the 360 mm and 280 mm versions of the Eisbaer and see what kind of performance you can expect from an all-in-one solution from a respected brand in custom liquid cooling.

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"With the Alphacool “Eisbaer”, we’re offering an extremely quiet high-performance cooler for every CPU on the market currently. A closed water cooling system that’s easy to install and can be easily and safely expanded with its quick-lock closure."

Not all AiO liquid coolers are created equal, of course, with different materials and approaches; and there are generally tradeoffs to be made between design and pricing. The best performance can result in pumps and fans that produce more noise than a high-performance air solution, while some liquid coolers manage to balance noise and performance in a way that makes liquid a far more attractive option - especially when overclocking a CPU.

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True to the premium nature of a product line like this, Alphacool has incorportated first-rate components into the Eisbaer series including all-copper radiators, high-performance fans, and touches like anti-kink springs for the hoses. The capability of easily adding a GPU to the loop with the quick-lock closure (Alphacool offers a line of GPU products called "Eiswolf" that connect with these quick-lock closures) is a nice plus, and the use of standard G1/4 fittings ensures compatibility with custom parts for future expansion/modification.

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The Eisbaer 360 spending some quality time on the test bench

Continue reading our review of the Alphacool Eisbaer 360 and 280 liquid CPU coolers!

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.5.2

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 20, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: graphics drivers, amd

The second graphics driver of the month from AMD, Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.5.2, adds optimizations for Bethesda’s new shooter, Prey. AMD claims that it will yield up to a 4.5% performance improvement, as measured on an RX 580 (versus the same card with 17.5.1). This is over and above the up to 4.7% increase that 17.5.1 had over 17.4.4.

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Outside of that game, 17.5.2 also addresses four issues. The first is a crash in NieR: Automata. The second is long load times in Forza Horizon 3. The third is a system hang with the RX 550 when going sleep. The fourth fixed issue is a bit more complicated; apparently, in a multi-GPU system, where monitors are attached to multiple graphics cards, the primary graphics card can appear disabled in Radeon Settings. All four are now fixed, so, if they affect you, then pick up the driver.

As always, they are available from AMD’s website.

Source: AMD

Podcast #451 - New Surface Pro, Analog Keyboards, Water Cooled PSUs and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2017 - 11:12 AM |
Tagged: vulkan, video, Surface Pro, SolidScale, seasonic, ps4 pro, podcast, opencl, micon, macbook pro, Khronos, fsp, Eisbaer, Chromebook, Alphacool, aimpad

PC Perspective Podcast #451 - 05/25/17

Join us for talk about the wew Surface Pro, analog keyboards, water cooled PSUs 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous, Ken Addison

Program length: 1:39:25

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. Casper!
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  5. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

New AI products will Crest Computex

Subject: General Tech | May 25, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, Lake Crest, Knights Crest

DigiTimes have heard about Intel's plans to reveal their next hardware devoted to AI functionality at Computex.  Lake Crest is their deep learning hardware to support a new generation of neural network based computing and Knights Crest is the result of Intel's $350m purchase of the deep learning company Nervana which will be based on the familiar Xeon and Xeon Phi families of processor. 

Jen-Hsun Huang, will deliver a keynote about NVIDIA's current AI projects along with their advancements in autonomous driving and deep learning, but we have not heard any juicy rumours about hardware announcements yet.  Love him or hate him, Jen-Hsun's keynotes are never a waste of time to listen to.

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"Nvidia and Intel are expected to unveil their latest plans on hardware platforms for artificial intelligence (AI) applications at Computex 2017, according to sources from the upstream supply chain."

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Source: DigiTimes

Zotac announces a pair of really Mini GTX 1080 Ti's

Subject: Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | May 25, 2017 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: zotac, GTX 1080 Ti Mini, GTX 1080 Ti Arctic Storm Mini, gtx 1080 ti, computex 2017

ZOTAC is claiming bragging rights about the size of their new GTX 1080 Ti's, that they are the smallest of their kind.  The two new cards measure a miniscule 210.8mm (8.3") in length and in the case of the Arctic Storm mini it is the lightest watercooled GPU on the market. 

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You can see the size of the ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Mini by how much of the length is taken up by the PCIe connector, compared to most 1080 Ti's which are over a foot long.  This card is not long enough to fit a third fan on.

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The Arctic Storm version is the same size as the air-cooled model but opts for the worlds lightest watercooler.  That may mean you want a powerful pump attached to the GPU as there is less metal to transfer heat but it means small silent builds can pack a lot of graphical power.

Both these cards will use dual 8-pin PCIe power connectors, expect to see more of them at Computex.

 

Source: Zotac

EK is releasing new GeForce GTX FE Full-Cover water blocks

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2017 - 03:58 PM |
Tagged: ek cooling, pascal, nvidia, waterblock, GTX FE

The current series of EK Cooling waterblocks for Pascal based GPUs, up to and including the new Titan X are being replaced with a new family of coolers.  The new GTX FE water blocks will be compatible with the previous generation of backplates, so you can do a partial upgrade or keep an eye out for discounts on the previous generation.

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These new coolers will fit on any Founders Edition reference card, from GTX 1060's through to the Titan X, currently that count stands at 106 unique graphics cards so your card is likely to be compatible.  You can choose between four models, a plain design, one with acetal, one with nickel and one with both acetal and nickel, whichever one you choose it will still run you 109.95€/$125USD

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Full PR is below.

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing several new EK-FC GeForce GTX FE water blocks that are compatible with multiple reference design Founders Edition NVIDIA® GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080 Ti, Titan X Pascal and Titan Xp based graphics cards. All the water blocks feature recently introduced aesthetic terminal cover as well! FE blocks come as a replacement to current GeForce GTX 10x0 / TITAN X Series of water blocks.

All current GeForce GTX 10x0 / TITAN X Series of water blocks are going to be discontinued after the stock runs out and FE blocks come as a complete replacement. FE blocks are designed to fit all reference design Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, 1080, 1080 Ti, Titan X Pascal and Titan Xp based graphics cards. The current compatibility list rounds up a total of 106 graphics cards that are on the market, but as always, we recommend that you refer to the EK Cooling Configurator for a precise compatibility match.

The new EK-FC GeForce GTX FE water blocks are also backward compatible with all EK-FC1080 GTX Backplates, EK-FC1080 GTX Ti Backplates, and EK-FC Titan X Pascal Backplates.

Availability and pricing
These water blocks are made in Slovenia, Europe and are available for purchase through EK Webshop and Partner Reseller Network. In the table below you can see manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) with VAT included.

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DOOM Guy gets hot and bothered

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2017 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: doom, gaming, hack, mod

It's the May Two-Four so you have probably turned down your furnace* and your thermostat has very little to do, so why not play a game of DOOM on it?  Over at Hack a Day you can get a port of Chocolate DOOM which you can set up and run on a Honeywell Prestige thermostat.  The colour may be better than the original but for now you will have to play it without sound, still it is impressive how far hardware has come, even in simple appliances.

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*offer may not be valid in Wyoming

"In his video, [cz7asm] shows us the game running quite nicely on the 480 x 272 LCD with an NES controller plugged into the USB port originally intended for software updates. The thermostat runs on a STM32F429 which is an ARM9 processor that has the juice to pull it off."

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Source: Hack a Day

MSI's Z270 Krait Gaming shows off its stripes

Subject: Motherboards | May 24, 2017 - 03:45 PM |
Tagged: msi, Z270 Krait Gaming, intel z270, Intel

For around $150 the MSI Krait Gaming motherboard is a decent deal for anyone building a computer around an LGA 1151 Intel processor.  With three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and an additional three PCIe 3.0 1x slots you have a lot of space to install additional cards.  The storage is equally expansive with six SATA 6Gbps ports as well as two M.2 slots for newer generation SSDs and there are a total of 16 USB ports split between 3.0 and 2.0 including a Type-C port.  The overclocking potential is also impressive, [H]ard|OCP easily configured  their i7-7600K to run at 5.1GHz with memory at 3600MHz.  Overall the board is a great mix of price and features and well worth considering.

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"While it is generally the flagship motherboards that grab the most attention, it's the midrange offerings that see the most sales. MSI's Z270 Krait Gaming motherboard is one of those bread and butter type offerings. It has everything the gamer needs without the unnecessary and expensive fluff."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP