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Manufacturer: AMD

AMD Polaris Architecture Coming Mid-2016

In early December, I was able to spend some time with members of the newly formed Radeon Technologies Group (RTG), which is a revitalized and compartmentalized section of AMD that is taking over all graphics work. During those meetings, I was able to learn quite a bit about the plans for RTG going forward, including changes for AMD FreeSync and implementation of HDR display technology, and their plans for the GPUOpen open-sourced game development platform.  Perhaps most intriguing of all: we received some information about the next-generation GPU architecture, targeted for 2016.

Codenamed Polaris, this new architecture will be the 4th generation of GCN (Graphics Core Next), and it will be the first AMD GPU that is built on FinFET process technology. These two changes combined promise to offer the biggest improvement in performance per watt, generation to generation, in AMD’s history.

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Though the amount of information provided about the Polaris architecture is light, RTG does promise some changes to the 4th iteration of its GCN design. Those include primitive discard acceleration, an improved hardware scheduler, better pre-fetch, increased shader efficiency, and stronger memory compression. We have already discussed in a previous story that the new GPUs will include HDMI 2.0a and DisplayPort 1.3 display interfaces, which offer some impressive new features and bandwidth. From a multimedia perspective, Polaris will be the first GPU to include support for h.265 4K decode and encode acceleration.

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This slide shows us quite a few changes, most of which were never discussed specifically that we can report, coming to Polaris. Geometry processing and the memory controller stand out as potentially interesting to me – AMD’s Fiji design continues to lag behind NVIDIA’s Maxwell in terms of tessellation performance and we would love to see that shift. I am also very curious to see how the memory controller is configured on the entire Polaris lineup of GPUs – we saw the introduction of HBM (high bandwidth memory) with the Fury line of cards.

Continue reading our overview of the AMD Polaris announcement!!

CES 2016: Lenovo ThinkPad Stack Mobile Projector and Charging Station

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: ThinkPad Stack Mobile Projector, ThinkPad Stack Charging Station, thinkpad stack, pico projector, Lenovo, CES 2016, CES

Lenovo has announced a pair of new products in its ThinkPad Stack lineup, with a new mobile projector and a wireless charging station.

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"ThinkPad STACK Mobile Projector makes your business in your pocket. It’s portable design and 2hrs battery life make your presentation outstanding with zero space constraint and disruption."

First we have the ThinkPad Stack Mobile Projector, a DLP pico projector with 720p resolution and 150 lumen output. The projector features a built-in battery for up to 2 hours wireless use, wireless connectivity via Miracast and Airplay.

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Next we have the ThinkPad Charging Station, which offers both wireless and traditional cable charging for mobile phones. The Stack Charging Station can also be combined with the Stack Power bank, so "you can have your mobile wireless charged for multi-day on the go," according to Lenovo.

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The ThinkPad Stack Mobile projector will be priced at $399.99, and the ThinkPad Charging Station will run $49.99. Both new Stack products are set for an April 2016 release.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: Lenovo Announces ThinkPad X260 Ultrabook

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ThinkPad X260, Thinkpad, Lenovo, CES 2016, CES

Lenovo has announced their latest X200-series notebook at CES 2016, and the X260 brings updated Intel 6th gen Skylake processors and up to 21 hours of battery life.

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"Portable, powerful in a thin, light, enterprise-ready Ultrabook, ThinkPad X260 is a high-performance 12.5" Ultrabook that can deliver more than 21 hours of continuous, unplugged mobile productivity. This lightweight notebook features 6th Generation Intel CoreTM i processors and a full range of display, storage, memory and connectivity options to enhance productivity in any work environment."

The X260 provides a lot of power in a 12.5-inch, 2.9 lb package, offering some pretty impressive specs - though of course that all depends on your chosen configuration.

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Here are some of the specs listed by Lenovo:

  • 2.9lbs. and 0.79” thin
  • Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i7 processors
  • Up to 12.5” FHD (1920x1080) IPS
  • Up to Windows 10 Pro
  • Integrated Intel graphics
  • 720p HD camera
  • Up to 16GB DDR4 memory
  • Up to 512GB SATA or PCIe
  • Dolby Advanced Audio
  • Up to 21 hours of battery life with PowerBridge (MobileMark 2012)
  • Dimensions: 12.03” x 8.21” x 0.8”
  • WLAN/WiGig & WWAN options
  • Ports: 3 x USB 3.0, RJ45, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader

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The ThinkPad X260 will be available in February starting at $929.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: Lenovo Announces ThinkPad T460 Series Notebooks

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: ThinkPad T560, ThinkPad T460s, ThinkPad T460p, ThinkPad T460, Thinkpad, Lenovo, CES 2016, CES

Lenovo has announced updates to their T-series business notebooks, with new models in each category now featuring the latest Intel Core processors along with other improvements.

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First we have the ThinkPad T460s, which is Lenovo’s thinnest, lightest offering in the T-series lineup. This new model is powered by 6th gen Intel Core processors and features a 14-inch 2560x1440 display, as well as increased memory and faster PCIe storage compared to the previous T450s.

“The ThinkPad T460s is the ultimate blend of light weight portability and full Enterprise features and functionality. This ultra slim but very durable notebook connects seamlessly to virtually any device or network.”

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Here are some of the specifications from Lenovo:

  • Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i7 vPro
  • Intel HD Graphics HD520; NVIDIA GeForce 930M
  • 2560x1440 (WQHD) display
  • Up to 24GB DDR4 memory
  • Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • MilSpec tested
  • 3 USB, full size HDMI & LAN, mDP, and bottom mechanical docking (options include Smart Card Reader, Touch Finger Print Reader, LTE-A WWAN, WiGig)
  • Up to 10.5 hours battery life (48.8 Whr)
  • Dimensions: 13.0 x 8.9 x .66 - .74 inch; 3 lbs

Pricing starts at $1059 and the T460s will be available February 2016.

Next up is the T460p, which offers better battery life and more powerful quad-core processors.

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“ThinkPad T460p, an incredible performer, now has all day battery life and swappable battery. Backed by MIL-SPEC durability, optical drive, great connectivity options, and extended docking options, the T460p redefines enterprise performance without compromising on mobility.”

Key specs include:

  • Intel 6th Gen Core H Series Quad Core processors
  • 13% Thinner and 15% lighter
  • Up to WQHD IPS display
  • Corporate ready with docking and vPro
  • Up to 32GB DDR4 memory (2 DIMM)
  • Up to 12 Hours battery life (72WHr)
  • I/O Ports: 3x USB 3.0, RJ45, mDP , HDMI, 4-in-1 Card Reader, 3.5 mm audio in/out, (Options include Smart Card reader, Touch Sensor Fingerprint Reader, WWAN)
  • WLAN: vPro (8260NGW M) Intel Snowfield Peak 2x2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1; Non-vPro (8260NGW MNV) Broadcom 2x2 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1

The T460p will begin shipping in February 2016 beginning at $1249.

Finally, we have the ThinkPad T460 (14-inch) and T560 (15.6-inch) laptops, which use 6th gen Intel Core U processors and offer optional NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940MX graphics.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T460

“The ThinkPad T460 and T560 set new standards for productivity on-the-go. They are compact enough to go anywhere, yet offer powerful features to keep up with your business. With up to 16 hours of battery life (T560), you can stay productive during long-haul flights and beyond.”

The T460/T560 both offer PCIe SSD storage options and long battery life, and the larger 15.6-inch T560 also offers up to a 2560-1440 IPS display.

Specifications from Lenovo:

  • Intel 6th Gen Core U Processors, up to Core i7
  • New PCIe SSD storage and 2GB vRam graphics option.
  • Intel Integrated or NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
  • Up to 32GB of memory
  • Up to 1TB (5400rpm), 500GB (7200rpm), 512 SSD, PCIe SSD (265 GB)
  • Display: Up to 15.6" 3K (2560 x 1440) IPS, Anti-Glare, Anti-Smudge; 14" Up to FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare, Touch (optional)
  • Dolby Home Theater v4
  • Battery: T460: Up to 14 Hours (23 WHr + 72 WHr); T560: Up to 16 Hours (44 WHr + 72 WHr)
  • T460: 13.35" x 9.15" x 0.83“, Starting at 3.8 lbs; Ports: RJ45, Docking, Mini DisplayPort, HDMITM, SD Card Slot, Bluetooth 4.1 (Optional: Smart Card Reader, WiGig)
  • T560: 14.98" x 10.16" x 0.88“, Starting at 5 lbs; Ports: RJ45, Mini DisplayPort, HDMITM, 4-in-1 Card Reader, Headphone / Microphone (Optional: Smart Card Reader, Fingerprint Reader)

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Lenovo ThinkPad T560

Pricing and availability: T460, $909, February 2016; T560, $969, February 2016.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: Lenovo Announces Yoga 900 Business Edition

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: yoga 900, yoga, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, convertible, CES 2016, CES, 2-in-1

Lenovo has unveiled a new Business Edition of the Yoga 900 2-in-1 notebook, which adds a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) security chipset for those that require the added security. Lenovo points out that “large enterprises rank security features even higher than ease of use”, and if you require TPM it’s nice to have a user-friendly option like the Yoga available.

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“The YOGA 900 Business Edition is instantly recognizable as something different. Always a step ahead by testing perceptions of what a laptop should be, the YOGA 900 delivers the performance you need to work and play in any situation: LAPTOP, STAND, TENT and TABLET modes. The ultimate blend of personal desires and work requirements.”

The notebook features a 3200 x 1800 (QHD+) display which Lenovo says they have “tuned for brighter & more vibrant images”, and is powered by 6th gen Intel Core processors.

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Here is a rundown of the key features from Lenovo:

  • 2.9lbs and 0.58” thick
  • Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i7 vPro
  • QHD+ (3200 x 1800) IPS display
  • Up to 512GB SSD
  • Up to 16GB memory
  • TPM security chipset

Pricing was not revealed, and the YOGA 900 Business Edition will be available by special order beginning in February.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: Lenovo Announces Updated ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Thinkpad, NVMe, Lenovo, Intel Skylake, CES 2016, CES

The thinnest, lightest ThinkPad of them all, the X1 Carbon, has received an overhaul for 2016 with 6th gen Intel Core processors and NVMe SSDs among the upgrades.

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“The lightest 14" business Ultrabook. It is lighter and thinner with increased performance; 11hrs battery life, faster storage with NVMe SSDs, faster connectivity with LTE-A, and improved docking with WiGig & OneLink+.”

Lenovo provides this list of key features:

  • Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i7 vPro
  • 2560x1440 WQHD 300nits; 14” 1920x1080 FHD IPS, 300 nits
  • Up to 16GB memory
  • Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Intel HDGraphics HD520
  • Optional LTE-A WWAN
  • Optional WiGig docking
  • Mil Spec tested
  • Common Ports: 3x USB 3.0; OneLink+ (RJ45), mDP, HDMI, microSD, Audio, Touch FPR, WWAN
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Battery life: Up to 11 hrs (52Whr)
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.0 x .66 inches; 2.6lbs / 1179 g weight
  • Camera&Mic: 720p / Digital array mic

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The ThinkPad X1 Carbon will go on sale in February starting at $1299.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: Lenovo Announces ThinkPad X1 Yoga with OLED Screen

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2016 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: yoga, ThinkPad X1 Yoga, Thinkpad, Lenovo, convertible, CES 2016, CES, 2-in-1

Lenovo has brought the Yoga design to the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with the Yoga X1, and this new hybrid notebook is available with an OLED display.

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“The worlds first convertible with an OLED display providing an immersive viewing experience. The X1 Yoga adapts to the way you work - allowing you to capture, convey and collaborate using the different modes.”

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A convertible version of the ultra-thin X1 Carbon offers a compelling alternative to the standard "clamshell" ThinkPad X1 Carbon, but the bigger story might be the option of a 2560 x 1440 OLED display, a first for a convertible notebook according to Lenovo. The OLED screen was incredibly vibrant in person, and this version is actually a little lighter at 2.8 lbs vs. 3 lbs for the IPS model.

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The ThinkPad X1 Yoga also includes an active stylus that features a super capacitor instead of a battery, which Lenovo says provides 2 hours of constant use after charging for just 15 seconds (which occurs when it is placed back in the laptop).

Specifications from Lenovo:

  • Up to Intel 6th Gen Core i7 vPro
  • Intel HD Graphics HD520
  • WQHD touch display 2560x1440
  • Optional 14” OLED 2560x1440 WQHD Touch 300 nits; 14” 1920x1080 FHD IPS Touch 300 nits; 14” WQHD 2560x1440 IPS Touch 300nits
  • Up to 16GB memory
  • Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Optional LTE-A WWAN; Optional WiGig docking
  • MilSpec tested
  • Common Ports: 3xUSB3.0 OneLink+ (RJ45), MiniDP, HDMI, microSD, Audio, Touch FPR, WWAN
  • Onboard Stylus Pen
  • Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.0 x .66 inches
  • 2.8 lbs (OLED)/3 lbs (IPS)

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Pricing starts at $1449 for the version with an IPS display, and $1649 for the OLED version. The ThinkPad Yoga X1 will be available this month - but you'll need to wait until April for that OLED version.

Coverage of CES 2016 is brought to you by Logitech!

PC Perspective's CES 2016 coverage is sponsored by Logitech.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2016: LG Upgrades webOS for TVs

Subject: Shows and Expos | December 28, 2015 - 08:18 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2016, LG, webOS, smart tv

webOS was the final attempt by Palm to regain the smartphone market. It launched with the Palm Pre in 2009, but it failed to attract any consumer attention away from Android and iOS. It did catch HP's eye, though. Palm was purchased by that company for just over a billion dollars, which we would call “half of a Minecraft” today. After a series of unsuccessful products, they started licensing it to LG, who eventually purchased the project (minus patents).

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Ahead of next month's CES, LG announced that a new version will be released at the show. It will be present on their new smart TVs at the show. Some sources claim that the new OS version would also be upgraded on their existing TVs. Unfortunately, this also comes alongside a wave of layoffs at the OS' development group. Former employees claim this was for cost-cutting, while LG says that they intend to consolidate user interface and product management.

We don't typically report on smart TVs, but its heritage as a mobile OS makes it interesting. It has also been used on smart watches, although that area has been silent so-far.

Overclocker Cranks DDR4 Memory to a World Record Setting 4,351 MHz

Subject: Memory | February 6, 2015 - 08:40 PM |
Tagged: overclocking, kingston hyper x, kingston, ddr4, ces 20156, CES

Overclocker "Toppc" from MSI was able to crank a single stick of DDR4 memory to a world record 4,351 MHz at the International CES 2015 competition. Toppc paired the Kingston Predator DDR4 DIMM with an Intel Haswell-E Core i7-5960X processor and a MSI X99S Xpower AC motherboard. After disabling all but one CPU core and adding in copious amounts of liquid nitrogen, the 4GB memory module was overclocked to 4,351 MHz which was measured using CPU-Z (CPU-Z Validation) and verified with an oscilloscope (shown in the embedded video below).

This overclock is quite impressive even if it is not something you can run at home especially for DDR4 which is designed to use less power than DDR3. Out of the box the DIMMs are rated at up to 3,333 MHz which means they achieved an impressive 30.54% overclock (an increase of 1,018 MHz).

This kind of overclock will only result in marginal performance gains (at best) in everyday applications, but is still cool to see. Also, it surely won't hurt benchmark runs!

 

CES 2015: Monoprice Announcements

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | January 16, 2015 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2015, monoprice, ips, 4k, 120hz, mechanical keyboard, touch screen, drawing

So CES has ended over a week ago, but somehow we missed Monoprice. While they are known for cheap cables that are also good and reliable, the retailer has been pushing out some interesting, self-branded products. At this year's CES, they advertised a multi-touch pen display, a cheap 4K 60Hz monitor, a 30-inch IPS panel that is guaranteed to work at 120Hz 1600p (16:10), and an RGB-backlit mechanical keyboard.

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First up is their 22-inch multi-touch pen display. Not too long ago, I noticed that they had a 22-inch pen display without a touch screen, similar to my Wacom Cintiq 22HD, for under $600. Of course, this got me looking at its product page because that is significantly cheaper than what I paid for mine -- like, several times cheaper. In that page was a warning that it was not suitable for multi-monitor setups, and suggested that users clone it (rather than extending their desktop). Yikes. Okay. That's problematic.

Well now it no longer has that warning, and neither does their new, higher-end version with built-in multi-touch. Hopefully this means that they sorted out their driver (or configuration) issues under Windows.

The display itself is a 22-inch, 1080p, IPS panel with 16.7 million colors (so not 10-bit). It has a 5ms response time, which is good for IPS, but no listing of sRGB or AdobeRGB coverage. This could be problematic for someone looking to use it for professional applications, but being an IPS display it might be okay.

The current price is $550 for the pen-input monitor, and $750 for the pen or 10-point touch model. Both are also compatible with 75mm x 75mm VESA wall mounts, because the writing's on the wall or some pun like that.

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Also launched is a 28-inch 4K display for $449. They do not state the panel technology, but with a reduced vertical viewing angle, which is bad, and a 1ms response time, which is good, it pretty much must be TN. It is a bit sad that it is not IPS, IGZO, PLS, or another high-end panel type, but it is also $449.

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Image Credit: Anandtech

Keeping on the topic of displays, Anandtech was shown a 30-inch, 1600p panel that is guaranteed to run at 120Hz. While we are starting to see a few high refresh rate IPS panels pop up this year, it was the domain of display overclockers before then. Enthusiasts would purchase monitors that were shipped directly from smaller South Korean manufacturers (who typically purchase lesser-binned panels from LG, and so forth) and cross their fingers when they give it a higher refresh rate. This one is guaranteed by Monoprice to run at 120Hz, but it does not yet have pricing and availability.

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Image Credit: Anandtech

Lastly, Anandtech also saw a mechanical keyboard with programmable RGB backlighting. It uses Kailh RGB switches, which are based on the Cherry MX design after the patents expired. Again, no pricing or availability on this one.

Source: Monoprice