Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2016 - 01:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, Lenovo, hp, dell, crapware, asus, acer
We take a quick break from telling you about all the shiny new things you can't have yet to inform you about problems with things you do have. Bloatware is awful but continues to be popular for sellers of prebuilt systems, both mobile and desktop. It is not just the pop ups telling you to buy the full version of whatever was installed on your system before you bought it, nor the CPU cycles these programs take up; the issue is security. Lenovo and the Superfish issue were in the news recently and now it seems that vulnerabilities have been found in systems sold by Acer, ASUS and Dell as well. 10 devices were tested by Duo Security, all of which had vulnerabilities. Dell and Lenovo had a single problem each, ones which we are already familiar with sadly while Acer and HP both have a pair. You can read about what the vulnerabilities are over at The Inquirer, something to do while you reimage your new machine.
"Duo Security identified 12 vulnerabilities across the vendors' machines. We have approached all of them to see whether they are happy to talk about the problems, which Duo described as significant."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD 7th Gen Bristol Ridge & Stoney Ridge Announcement @ [H]ard|OCP
- Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY @ The Register
- Windows 10: less than 15 per cent of those who can upgrade have bothered @ The Inquirer
- Don't buy Azure in US dollars – it's cheaper in many other currencies @ The Register
- Microsoft Removes 260-Character Path Length Limit In Windows 10 Redstone @ Slashdot
- Panasonic To Stop Making LCD Panels For TVs @ Slashdot
- Oracle and HP face off in court as $3bn Itanium legal battle kicks off @ The Inquirer
- Free Radio On My Phone @ Hack a Day
- Massive Backlash Building Over Windows 10 Upgrades @ Slashdot
- Systemd Starts Killing Your Background Processes By Default @ Slashdot
- ARM's Cortex-A73 chip and Mali-G71 CPU set for 2017's VR-ready smartphones @ The Inquirer
- Anonabox Tunneler & Pro: Helping You Stay Anonymous Online @ Phoronix
- Intel boosts the high-end desktop with its Broadwell-E CPUs @ Tech Tech Report
- Computex 2016 Live Coverage Day 1 @ TechARP
- NETGEAR Nighthawk X8 - AC5300 Tri-Band Quad-Stream Wi-Fi Router @ MissingRemote
- Netgear Nighthawk X4S D7800 4x4 802.11ac Router @ Kitguru
- Tech ARP 2016 Power Bank Giveaway #4
Subject: Mobile | May 30, 2016 - 02:14 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: zenfone 3, snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 625, smartphone, ips, computex 2016, computex, asus, Android, AMOLED
The Zenfone 3 family has been officially announced, and ASUS has provided all of the details of these new Android smartphones from Computex 2016.
The Zenfone 3 family is comprised of three phones; the Zenfone 3, Zenfone 3 Deluxe, and the massive Zenfone 3 Ultra. The first of these is the standard Zenfone 3, which replaces the Zenfone 2 not only in number, but architecture. While the previous version was powered by an Intel SoC, this new Zenfone contains a conventional ARM-based SoC; the Snapdragon 625.
A 5.5-inch device with a FHD (1920x1080) IPS display protected by Gorilla Glass 4, the 7.69 mm thick Zenfone 3 also boasts a 16MP “PixelMaster” camera with OIS and “ultra-fast 0.03s instant focus” for clear photos. Other features include a sizable 4GB of RAM, a “5-magnet” speaker design and 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio support, and a 3000 mAh battery. The phone uses USB Type-C connectivity, and arrives with Android 6.0 with ZenUI 3.0.
Moving to the Zenfone 3 Deluxe, this higher-end model offers a slightly larger 5.7” FHD AMOLED display (rather than IPS), and adds Quick Charge 3.0 for the 3000 mAh, and USB 3.0 speed to the Type-C connector. The SoC powering the Deluxe is the biggest upgrade over the standard Zenfone 3, with the powerful Snapdragon 820 replacing the base model’s Snapdragon 625.
If you enjoy a more tablet-like experience, the 6.8-inch (!) Zenfone 3 Ultra might be for you!
While still FHD at this tablet-like size, the rear camera on the Ultra is a big upgrade, with a 23MP PixelMaster Camera (via the Sony IMX318 sensor). The battery is also a big upgrade over the smaller phones, as the larger chassis allows a 4600 mAh capacity. The big question (pun intended) becomes, will people want to use a 6.8-inch smartphone? To which the answer must be, no, we will hold out for the 7+ inch phones! (Or not.)
As to pricing, the Zenfone 3 is nearly as aggressive as the previous version, with an MSRP of $249. The Deluxe version is priced much more like premium handset at $499, and the Ultra is just behind it at $479. Availablity has not been announced.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Systems, Shows and Expos | May 30, 2016 - 08:04 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: crazy people, concept, computex 2016, computex, avalon, asus
If you expected Computex to be bland and stale this year, ASUS has something that is going to change your mind. During the company's Republic of Gamers press conference, it revealed a concept PC design it has been working on dubbed Avalon. The goal of this project was to improve on the fundamental design of the PC; something that hasn't changed for decades. ASUS wanted to show that you could build a platform that would allow DIY machines to be "more modular, easier to build, and more tightly integrated."
The result is a proof of concept design that looks more like a high end turntable than a PC. In reality, you are looking at a machine that has been totally redesigned, from the power supply to motherboard and case integration to cooling considerations and more. ASUS has posted a great story that goes into a lot of detail on Avalon, and it's clear this is a project the team has been working on for some time.
The brainchild of Jonathan Chu, the Avalon concept takes a notebook-like approach to desktop design. The motherboard is designed in conjunction with the chassis to enable more seamless cooperation between the two.
The first example of changes to Avalon is something as simple as the front panel connectors on a case. Connecting them to your motherboard is the same today, basically, as it has ever been. But if you are the manufacturer or designer of both the chassis and the motherboard itself, it is trivial to have the buttons, lights and even additional capabilities built into a specific location on the PCB that matches with access points on the case.
Re-thinking the rear IO panel was another target: making it modular and connected to the system via PCI Express means you can swap connectivity options based on the user's needs. Multiple Gigabit NICs a requirement? Done. Maximum USB capability? Sure. Even better, by making the back panel IO a connected device, it can host storage and sound controllers on its own, allowing for improved audio solutions and flexible data configurations.
ASUS even worked in a prototype power supply that is based on the SFX form factor but that uses a server-style edge connector, removing wires from the equation. It then becomes the motherboard's responsibility to distribute power through the other components; which again is easy to work through if you are designing these things in tandem. Installing or swapping a power supply becomes as simple as pulling out a drive tray.
This is all made possible by an internal structure that looks like this:
Rethinking how a motherboard is built, how it connects to the outside world and to other components, means that ASUS was able to adjust and change just about everything. The only area that remains the same is for the discrete graphics card. These tend to draw too much power to use any kind of edge connector (though the ASUS story linked above says they are working on a solution) and thus you see short run cables from a break out on the motherboard to the standard ROG graphics card.
The ASUS EdgeUp story has some more images and details and I would encourage you to check it out if you find this topic compelling; I know I do. There are no prices, no release dates, no plans for sampling yet. ASUS has built a prototype that is "right on the edge of what’s possible" and they are looking for feedback from the community to see what direction they should go next.
Will the DIY PC in 2020 be a completely different thing than we build today? It seems ASUS is asking the same question.
Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | May 30, 2016 - 07:18 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: ROG, rampage v edition 10, computex 2016, computex, asus
In celebration of 10 years of ASUS ROG motherboards, the company today revealed the new Rampage V Edition 10, an X99 motherboard targeting the release of the Intel Broadwell-E processors that are also set to be announced this week at Computex. This new board has basically every feature and capability an ROG product and buyer could ask for, including more LED and LED control than I know what to do with.
Some more detail from the ASUS press release:
The Rampage V Edition 10 is a celebratory refresh of ROG’s flagship extreme-performance motherboard designed to let gamers and overclockers break every limit.
Based on the Intel® X99 chipset, the new motherboard sets new industry standards. It features the ultimate RGB lighting scheme with five independently-controlled onboard LED areas plus one 4-pin 5050 RGB header, and all can be synchronized by the all-new Aura software for stunning aesthetics. ROG has also teamed up with well-known RGB strip-makers and case manufacturers, including CableMod, IN WIN, Deepcool, BitFenix, and Phanteks — helping simplify RGB lighting compatibility and control.
The new motherboard is equipped with multiple ASUS exclusive features to aid extreme overclockers. These include Extreme Engine Digi+ voltage-regulator module (VRM) for the cleanest, smoothest power, ASUS-exclusive T-topology technology for maxed-out DDR4 performance, and 5-Way Optimization for easy overclocking and fan tuning with one click.
The Rampage V Edition 10 also includes multiple technologies to deliver the best gaming experience. The included SupremeFX Hi-Fi audio amplifier ensures flawless audio, dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet and GameFirst combine forces for low-latency networking, and ASUS Safe Slot reinforcement for PCIe connectors to prevent damage from heavy graphics cards. The new board introduces a patent-pending integrated I/O shield for style, easier construction, and enhanced durability. There’s also a slew of onboard storage and connectivity options, including U.2, M.2, USB 3.1, and 3x3 Wi-Fi.
According to a post on an ASUS sub-site, the board will retail for $599 and should be on the market very soon!
Subject: Displays | May 30, 2016 - 07:12 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, asus, ROG, swift, pg248q
During the company's Republic of Gamers event at Computex 2016, ASUS officially announced the release of the ROG Swift PG248Q monitor. Though we have seen it teased previously, today's information release has some interesting new details.
Based on a 24-inch 1920x1080 TN panel, the PG248Q was specifically built for gamers that desire a smaller display, to avoid being forced to move their head to find a specific target. The idea here is that eSports players, and those aspiring, need to have the entire monitor in their field of view at all times.
The small size and 1080p resolution don't mean the display is devoid of impressive features though. It is a G-Sync monitor, so gamers can enjoy tear-free, smooth gaming with GeForce graphics cards as well as a 180Hz refresh rate! Add to that combination a rated response time of 1ms (grey to grey) and you have an incredibly high performance gaming panel.
The PG248Q will be the official display of some impressive gaming events including the ESL One 2016 and The International 2016, so I expect ASUS to have a ground swell of interest in this model.
No specifics on pricing or availability quite yet, but I've put in the requests accordingly.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 28, 2016 - 05:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: asus, ROG, strix, GTX 1080, nvidia
The Founders Edition versions of the GTX 1080 went on sale yesterday, but we're beginning to see the third-party variants being announced. In this case, the ASUS ROG Strix is a three-fan design that uses their DirectCU III heatsink. More interestingly, ASUS decided to increase the amount of wattage that this card can accept by adding an extra, six-pin PCIe power connector (totaling 8-pin + 6-pin). A Founders Edition card only requires a single, eight-pin connection over the 75W provided by the PCIe slot itself. This provides an extra 75W of play room for the ROG Strix card, raising the maximum power from 225W to 300W.
Some of this power will be used for its on-card, RGB LED lighting, but I doubt that it was the reason for the extra 75W of headroom. The lights follow the edges of the card, acting like hats and bow-ties to the three fans. (Yes, you will never unsee that now.) The shroud is also modular, and ASUS provides the data for enthusiasts to 3D print their own modifications (albeit their warranty doesn't cover damage caused by this level of customization).
As for the actual performance, the card naturally comes with an overclock out of the box. The default “Gaming Mode” has a 1759 MHz base clock with an 1898 MHz boost. You can flip this into “OC Mode” for a slight, two-digit increase to 1784 MHz base and 1936 MHz boost. It is significantly higher than the Founders Edition, though, which has a base clock of 1607 MHz that boosts to 1733 MHz. The extra power will likely help manual overclocks, but it will come down to “silicon lottery” whether your specific chip was abnormally less influenced by manufacturing defects. We also don't know yet whether the Pascal architecture, and the 16nm process it relies upon, has any physical limits that will increasingly resist overclocks past a certain frequency.
Pricing and availability is not yet announced.
Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gigabyte
According to the information that DigiTimes was able to garner, only Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology will see their shipment of motherboards over this first half of the year either remain the same as last year or perhaps experience a small growth. As neither are expected to break 20 million units this is not great news but is certainly better than the news ASRock, MSI, ECS and Biostar are expecting. The lack of competition in the CPU/APU market is spilling over to motherboard manufacturers as customers are not immediately upgrading to the new platforms but are instead choosing premedical upgrades. The next few quarters are going to be interesting as we see what strategies motherboard manufacturers adopt to retain sales. New boards based on the Intel 200 series chipset will not likely be a factor until the last quarter of this year, at the earliest.
"The sources expect Asustek and Gigabyte's motherboard shipments in 2016 to stay at the same level in 2015 and neither of them is able to break 20 million units. Since overall demand continues shrinking, the top-2 players are likely to continue taking market share from lower-tier players."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Phase-change chalcogenides for neuronal computing @ Nanotechweb
- Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture? @ The Register
- Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this @ The Register
- Updategate: Microsoft uses technique to lure you to Windows 10 from the 'X' button @ The Inquirer
- Researchers Set World Record Wireless Data Transmission Rate of 6 GB/Sec Over 37 KM @ Slashdot
- Toshiba adds 8TB model to high-end X300 hard drive range @ The Inquirer
- Amazon Stops Giving Refunds When an Item's Price Drops After You Purchase It @ Slashdot
Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2016 - 10:45 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: X99, ROG, Republic of Gamers, Intel, asus
ASUS Republic of Gamers has announced a new X99 motherboard for the upcoming Intel Core i7 X-series processors, and the ROG STRIX X99 Gaming packs a number of features into its ATX form-factor.
"ROG Strix has taken on a brand-new look and the time has come to debut the first motherboard in the ROG Strix Series. ROG Strix X99 Gaming is a new ATX motherboard based on the Intel X99 chipset, retrofitted with exclusive technologies to maximize the potential of the new Intel Core i7 X-series processor for socket LGA 2011-v3. ROG Strix X99 Gaming delivers performance you'll notice, while the bold new design featuring customizable colors highlights the centerpiece of a system others will notice"
There is certainly no shortage of features with this new gaming board, including the company's SupremeFX audio, Intel NIC, 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO support, SATA Express, M.2, and U.2 storage support, Thunderbolt 3, and a reinforced PCI-E slot for heavier GPUs. But the feature that will be the hardest to miss with the STRIX X99 Gaming motherboard has to be the customizable RGB lighting.
"ROG Strix X99 Gaming features the aesthetics for gamers looking to personalize an illuminate gaming rig. Ten LED effects can be customized using ASUS Aura, an intuitive lighting control software for the built-in RGB LEDs and attached RGB strips (via the integrated 4-pin RGB strip header like the ones you can find on the ROG Maximus VIII Formula and Hero Alpha), allowing easy custom illumination that can be perfectly synchronized across the system or even the whole gaming desk with additional RGB strips."
As is often the case with new product announcements, pricing and availabilty were not revealed.
Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2016 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: KB3133977, microsoft, asus, uefi, Secure Boot
There are many good reasons to use the new UEFI Secure Boot under Windows 10 but there are also numerous reasons not to. The latest is an issue with a specific Windows Update patch which was recently changed from an optional update to a recommended update. For systems using an ASUS motherboard and running Windows 7 this can be a bit of a bother as your Secure Boot will report that the OS has unauthorized changes and will refuse to boot. If you can get at your UEFI BIOS you can change the OS Type from Windows UEFI mode to Other OS in the boot menu. If this does not resolve your issue The Register has been told you should contact ASUS for support, as opposed to Microsoft since the issues root cause lies in a feature similar to Secure boot which ASUS added to their boards.
"Windows 7 machines that have installed Microsoft's KB3133977 update may trigger a "secure boot violation" during startup, preventing the PC from loading the operating system, Asus said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft: Windows 10 Will Remain Free For People With Accessibility Needs @ Slashdot
- 3D Printing Bone @ Hack a Day
- Acer to launch gaming smartphone in 4Q16, says paper @ DigiTimes
- IBM's POWER cloud powers up almost a year later than promised @ The Register
- A Look At NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080, GTX 1070 & New Technologies @ Techgage
- Doom (2016) running on GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- NVIDIA's GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Detailed @ Hardware Canucks
- Nvidia editors day event gallery featuring GTX1080 @ Kitguru
- AMD's Andrej Zdravkovic @ Kitguru
- TRENDnet TPL-421E2K Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit Review @ NikKTech
- Luxury all paid trip to see Independence Day 2 in London
Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2016 - 02:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: jonney shih, asus
There are some fairly solid rumours that Jonney Shih, Chairman of ASUS, will be stepping down soon, with ASUS co-founder Ted Hsu likely to take the reigns. He has been chair of ASUS for 23 years and has overseen some very large changes in the industry. He is widely know for the ASUS Eee PC Project, which has changed the mobile computing world from larger notebooks to the netbooks and ultraportables which have become ubiquitous. His presentations have always been both informative and entertaining, hopefully his retirement is not immediate and we will still see him around for a few years yet.
We at PC Perspective would rate his performance as head of ASUS as 9.99 out of 10.
"Asustek Computer will have co-founder Ted Hsu, currently vice chairman for ODM Pegatron, return to become chief strategy officer, triggering speculation that Asustek chairman Jonney Shih is going to retire and let Hsu succeed him."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales @ The Register
- Oof! Acer suffers 25 per cent hit to PC sales in turbulent Q1 @ The Register
- Canonical delivers Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with OpenStack Mitaka @ The Inquirer
- Sony’s PlayStation 4.5 Is Rumored To Be Twice As Fast As The Original – What Could We Expect? @ Techgage
- Google Admits That Google.com Is Partially Dangerous @ Slashdot