Subject: Systems | May 31, 2018 - 04:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen 7, Predator Orion 5000, Predator Helios 500, Predator, nitro 50, gaming machine, amd, acer
The wait is almost over for those looking for a boutique built AMD gaming machine, of either the mobile or sedentary variety according to the announcement today from Acer. They've announced the pending arrival of three new systems, the Predator Orion 5000 and Acer Nitro 50 desktops as well as the Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop all of which will be shown off at Computex 2018 in Taipei.
Starting small, well relatively so, is the $2100, 17.3" Helios 500 laptop which comes with your choice of Freesync display, either a 1080p with a 144Hz top refresh rate or a 4k display if you so prefer. Inside is a Ryzen 2 processor and a Vega 56 GPU, cooled by Acer's AeroBlade 3D metal fans, with exhaust worthy of a CEC YT-1300. It also has some interesting audio features, using Waves Nx head-tracking technology to control the built in speakers to give you a more immersive audio experience.
Next in power would be the Acer Nitro 50 desktop, also featuring a second generation Ryzen processor and a choice of either RX 580 or GTX 1060 GPUs to power your chosen monitor. As with the CPU and GPU, the storage depends on the model you chose, with a 516GB SSD and 3TB HDD at the top tier. The Nitro 50 also comes with a Qi compatible wireless charging deck for wireless lovers. It will start at $900 and head up from there.
Last comes the big hitter, the Predator Orion 5000 pairing a Ryzen 2 with a GTX 1080 in it's most powerful configuration. As you would expect from a $1500+ system, it has been designed to look good as well as perform. Tempered glass on the side, with easy access to the interior for upgrades along with comprehensive cable management and Acer's IceTunnel 2.0 airflow management system which segregates your components into different sections to improve heat transfer.
You can't buy them quite yet but expect to hear more about these and other Ryzen powered gaming machines in the near future.
Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2018 - 05:37 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Z390, video, steam, spectre, Samsung, QLC NAND, Predator X27, podcast, nzxt, logitech, GTX1050, G513, FreeSync2, corsair, asus, acer
PC Perspective Podcast #500 - 05/24/18
Join us this week for discussion on Steam cache, Ultra ultra wide Samsung monitor, 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:55:11
0:07:30 We reminisce about 500 episodes...
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
1:21:45 Meet the Intel Z390 chipset
Picks of the Week:
1:37:30 Ryan: The VOID - Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
1:45:15 Jeremy: Xbox Adaptive Controller
1:47:25 Josh: How cheap can we go?
1:49:10 Allyn: Last chance (hours!) for Myst 25th Anniversary Kickstarter!
Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 04:21 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Predator X27, PG27UQ, hdr, g-sync hdr, displayhdr 1000, asus, acer
We're one step closer to the official launch of G-SYNC HDR displays with the official announcement of a release window and pricing from ASUS for their PG27UQ 27" G-SYNC HDR Display. While the Acer Predator X27 was put up for pre-order last week and is set to ship on June 1st, this is the first indication of release details we have for the ASUS PG27UQ.
ASUS is touting the PG27UQ as the first "gaming monitor" to achieve VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 certification. While we've seen the announcement of another DisplayHDR 1000 monitor, the Phillips Momentum, it comes in at a TV-sized 43 inches.
DisplayHDR 1000 certification is achieved through the utilization of a 384-zone 1000cd/m2 peak brightness backlight as well as a quantum dot layer which allows the IPS panel to support 97% DCI-P3 and 99% AdobeRGB color gamut.
The PG27UQ also features ambient lighting controlled by their the ASUS Aura Sync software. A built-in ROG Light Signal will allow users to cast the ROG logo on the wall behind their monitor if they so choose.
The ASUS PG27UQ will be available in North America for a price of $1,999.99 starting in late June 2018.
Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VG0, RG0, nitro, ips, freesync, acer
Acer announced two new series of IPS displays in their recent press conference, the 4k Nitro VG0 and 1080p Nitro RG0. The VG0 is available in 21.5", 23.8" and 27" models, all of which are available in 4k resolution, Freesync capable with a top refresh rate of 144Hz and a variety of colour management features, from six axis colour adjustment to 11 different black levels.
The Nitro RG0 features a impressively svelte .27" profile on both its 27" and 23.8" displays. The maximum variable refresh rate is a bit lower, at 75Hz as is the 1080p resolution. This display is more appropriate for those lacking the GPU power to run at higher resolutions or those who opt for multiple displays.
These Nitro displays offer 72% NTSC colour coverage and ship with a pair of 2W speakers inside the bezel. HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections are available, depending on your preference and they offer a variety of display modes as well as Acer's VisionCare which includes Flickerless, BlueLightShield and ComfyView. As these are Freesync displays, the pricing is quite reasonable, the VG0 starts at $130 while the RG0 can be yours for $170.
Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2018 - 12:02 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Predator X27, PG27UQ, hdr, g-sync, asus, acer, 4k, 144hz
Thanks to a listing that appeared on Newegg this morning, we seem to finally have an idea of what pricing will be like for the long-awaited 27" 4K HDR G-Sync displays in the US region.
For the amount of $2,000, you can now preorder the Acer Predator X27 monitor from Newegg, with a scheduled release date of June 1, 2018.
While $2,000 is a lot for a display, this pricing doesn't come as a surprise. After several rumors and leaked pricing from other territories, it became apparent that this would be a costly product.
Originally announced at CES 2017, G-SYNC HDR displays have been delayed several times, with the latest word being that they will be available by the end of the month.
We still have no word on pricing of the ASUS PG27UQ with the same specifications as the Predator X27, but I would expect it to be very similar if not nearly identical.
When PC monitors made the mainstream transition to widescreen aspect ratios in the mid-2000s, many manufacturers opted for resolutions at a 16:10 ratio. My first widescreen displays were a pair of Dell monitors with a 1920x1200 resolution and, as time and technology marched forward, I moved to larger 2560x1600 monitors.
I grew to rely on and appreciate the extra vertical resolution that 16:10 displays offer, but as the production and development of "widescreen" PC monitors matured, it naturally began to merge with the television industry, which had long since settled on a 16:9 aspect ratio. This led to the introduction of PC displays with native resolutions of 1920x1080 and 2560x1440, keeping things simple for activities such as media playback but robbing consumers of pixels in terms of vertical resolution.
I was well-accustomed to my 16:10 monitors when the 16:9 aspect ratio took over the market, and while I initially thought that the 120 or 160 missing rows of pixels wouldn't be missed, I was unfortunately mistaken. Those seemingly insignificant pixels turned out to make a noticeable difference in terms of on-screen productivity real estate, and my 1080p and 1440p displays have always felt cramped as a result.
I was therefore sad to see that the relatively new ultrawide monitor market continued the trend of limited vertical resolutions. Most ultrawides feature a 21:9 aspect ratio with resolutions of 2560x1080 or 3440x1440. While this gives users extra resolution on the sides, it maintains the same limited height options of those ubiquitous 1080p and 1440p displays. The ultrawide form factor is fantastic for movies and games, but while some find them perfectly acceptable for productivity, I still felt cramped.
Thankfully, a new breed of ultrawide monitors is here to save the day. In the second half of 2017, display manufactures such as Dell, Acer, and LG launched 38-inch ultrawide monitors with a 3840x1600 resolution. Just like the how the early ultrawides "stretched" a 1080p or 1440p monitor, the 38-inch versions do the same for my beloved 2560x1600 displays.
The Acer XR382CQK
I've had the opportunity to test one of these new "taller" displays thanks to a review loan from Acer of the XR382CQK, a curved 37.5-inch behemoth. It shares the same glorious 3840x1600 resolution as others in its class, but it also offers some unique features, including a 75Hz refresh rate, USB-C input, and AMD FreeSync support.
Based on my time with the XR382CQK, my hopes for those extra 160 of resolution were fulfilled. The height of the display area felt great for tasks like video editing in Premiere and referencing multiple side-by-side documents and websites, and the gaming experience was just as satisfying. And with its 38-inch size, the display is quite usable at 100 percent scaling.
There's also an unexpected benefit for video content that I hadn't originally considered. I was so focused on regaining that missing vertical resolution that I initially failed to appreciate the jump in horizontal resolution from 3440px to 3840px. This is the same horizontal resolution as the consumer UHD standard, which means that 4K movies in a 21:9 or similar aspect ratio will be viewable in their full size with a 1:1 pixel ratio.
For the first time in several years, the notebook market has gotten very interesting from a performance standpoint. First, we had Intel’s launch of its Kaby-Lake Refresh 8th Generation processors which packed a true quad-core CPU into a 15W package. Then, we heard about AMD’s Raven Ridge which aimed to combine a quad-core mobile CPU with Radeon Vega graphics into that same 15W power target.
Even though the excitement over Raven Ridge may have subsided a bit after Intel and AMD’s joint announcement of Vega graphics combined with Intel CPUs in the Kaby-Lake G platform, that is still yet to be released and will reside in a significantly higher class of power usage.
So today we are taking a look at AMD’s Raven Ridge, what may be AMD’s first worthy entry into the thin-and-light notebook market.
For our Raven Ridge testing, we are taking a look at the HP Envy x360, which at the time of writing is the only machine to be shipping with these Ryzen Mobile processors (although more machines have been announced and are coming soon). Additionally, we also wanted to wait a while for the software ecosystem on this new platform to stabilize (more on that later).
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 25, 2018 - 12:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wacom, convertible tablet, Chromebook, chrome os, apollo lake, Android, acer
Acer is bringing an updated convertible Chromebook to market in March with the Chromebook Spin 11 being available to consumers and not just through educational channels like the previous models. The 2.75-pound notebook with 360-degree hinge and 11.6” IPS display (1366x768) runs Chrome OS, supports Android apps, and is powered by “all day” battery life and Apollo Lake processors. Unfortunately, Acer is not using Intel’s latest Gemini Lake chips, but the Chromebooks do hit more budget friendly MSRPs as a result with the Chromebook Spin 11 starting at $349.
Acer’s updated silver colored Chromebook features a 360-degree hinge allowing it to be used in tablet mode, laptop mode, or anything in between. The hinge connects the top half with the 11.6” touchscreen and 1MP webcam to the bottom half which holds the keyboard, trackpad, I/O ports, and 5MP camera (intended to be used in tablet mode) along with all the internal battery and processing hardware. External I/O is fairly modern and includes two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and one micro SD card reader. Users can also opt for a Wacom EMR stylus to get pen input on the touchscreen display.
Internal hardware includes an Intel Apollo Lake processor of dual or quad core varieties that sit at 6W TDPs, either 4GB or 8GB DDR4 memory, and 32GB or 64GB of eMMC storage. The processor options include the dual core Intel Celeron N3350 (2.4 GHz), Intel Celeron N3450 (4 core / 4 thread at up to 2.2 GHz), and quad core Intel Pentium N4200 at up to 2.5 GHz.
The keys look fairly large and well-spaced for an 11.6” device save for the arrow keys which are squished into the bottom right corner. There appear to be two bottom firing stereo speakers as well. I am curious how much travel the keys have though.
The updated Chromebook Spin 11 is slated for availability in March for North America starting at $349 and in April at €379 for the EMEA market (Europe, Middle East, Africa).
Subject: Mobile | January 24, 2018 - 12:20 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vega APU, vega 8, vega 10, swift 3, ryzen mobile, raven ridge, Lenovo, ideapad 720s, amd, acer, 2700u, 2500U
Last October, when AMD launched their mobile-oriented Ryzen Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics product line (Raven Ridge), they talked about several different notebooks that would be shipping with these new parts. However, up until now, there has only been one officially launched and shipping product—the HP Envy x360.
We have an article on the performance of the Ryzen 5 2500U and the HP Envy x360 coming very soon, but today Ryzen Mobile-enabled notebooks have become available to order from both Acer and Lenovo.
First, we'll take a look at Acer's offering, the Swift 3.
For anyone who might be familiar with Acer's current notebook offerings, the Ryzen Swift 3 will seem very similar. From the photos, it appears to be nearly identical to its 8th Generation Intel equipped counterpart. That's certainly not a negative though, as I have been impressed with the Intel variant during some recent testing.
|Acer Swift 3|
|Screen||15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Display|
|CPU||Ryzen 5 2500U||Ryzen 7 2700U|
|GPU||Integrated Radeon Vega 8||Integrated Radeon Vega 10|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 Dual Channel (non-upgradable)|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Network||802.11ac Dual Band 2x2 MU-MIMO|
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
48Wh Battery, "Up to 8 Hours Battery Life"
As far as specs are concerned, Acer seems to be checking all of the boxes. RAM will ship in a dual-channel configuration (although we don't know at what speed it will be running, likely 2133 or 2400,) but will not be user replaceable according to questions answered by an Acer representative on their Amazon listing.
Additionally, Acer seems to be the only notebook maker set to ship the Ryzen 5 2700U variant. Not only does the 2700U give users increased clock speeds of 200MHz at base speeds on the CPU portion, but the GPU sees a significant bump. The 2700U gets an upgrade from Vega 8 graphics with 512 stream processors running at 1100MHz to Vega 10 graphics with 640 stream processors at 1300MHz. This should provide a nice performance boost for the extra $200 Acer is asking.
The Acer Swift 3 is set to start shipping on February 9th from Amazon.
Next up is Lenovo, with their Ideapad 720S.
The only 13" Ryzen Mobile option to be announced, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S also shares a lot of design DNA with Lenovo's Intel counterparts.
|Lenovo Ideapad 720S|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 2500U|
|Graphics||Integrated Radeon Vega 8|
|Memory||8GB DDR4-2133 (Single Channel)|
|Screen||13.3-in 1920x1080 IPS|
|Storage||512GB PCIe SSD|
|Camera||720p / Dual Digital Array Microphone|
|Wireless||802.11AC (1x1) + Bluetooth® 4.1|
|Connections||2 x USB 3.0
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C (DP & Power Delivery)
1 x USB 3.0 Type-C (DP)
|Battery||48Wh "Up to 9.5 hours battery life"|
12.0" x 8.4" x 0.5" / 305.9 x 213.8 x 13.6 (mm)
2.5 lbs (1.14 kg)
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Price||$1049 - Lenovo.com|
Disappointingly, the Lenovo Ideapad 720S will ship only in a single memory channel configuration. This will significantly affect the performance of the integrated graphics, as it is highly dependant on memory bandwidth. I wouldn't expect the memory to be user upgradable either; it's likely a single DIMMs worth of memory soldered onto the motherboard.
Curiously, although AMD listed a 2700U variant of the Ideapad 720S in their slides in October, those models have yet to be seen. However, we've seen this before from Lenovo where they start skipping a single SKU that is the most popular configuration and then filling out the rest of the options shortly after.
The Lenovo Ideapad 720S is available to order now directly from Lenovo, with an estimated shipping date or 5-7 business days.
At a price premium above the Acer Swift 3, the Ideapad 720S seems like a hard sell with lack of dual channel memory. However, for users who may be set on a 13" screen size, it appears it will be the only option.
Overall, I am excited to see more AMD-powered options in the thin-and-light notebook category, and I look forward to getting our hands on some of these new models soon!
Subject: Displays | January 16, 2018 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: acer, Predator X34P, 1440p, 1900R, curved screen, g-sync
The Acer Predator X34 was a 34" 21:9 aspect G-SYNC display with a 3440 x 1440 resolution. The newer model sports an updated panel to address the issues some people were having when the X34 hit its top 100Hz refresh rate. The X34P is able to be overclocked to 120Hz, not only to offer a faster refresh but also to ensure you do not see flickering at 100Hz. The curve is also more pronounced, however there is no HDR support. If you are looking for a decent gaming monitor and aren't concerned about the lack of HDR you can read more about it at TechSpot.
"For the past two years the Acer Predator X34 has remained one of the best gaming monitors on the market. I've been so satisfied with it since launch that that I've kept it as my personal monitor for both gaming and video production. But this new monitor from Acer, an upgraded version of the X34, is even better in almost every way."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- AOC AG352UCG 100Hz G-Sync Monitor @ Kitguru
- VIZIO SmartCast M65-E0 4K UHD HDR Display @ Benchmark Reviews
- ViewSonic VP3268-4K @ Techspot