Subject: Mobile | April 27, 2018 - 02:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x-rite, laptop, i7-8750h, gigabyte, coffee lake h, aero 15Xv8, 144hz, 1070 Max-Q
Gigabyte's Aero 15X is a working laptop, it may have a GTX 1070 Max-Q powering its 144Hz panel, but it does not offer G-SYNC. Instead it has X-Rite Pantone certification, perfect for professional work. The 15.6" laptop is 18.9mm thick and weighs in at 4.4lbs, with a fair amount of that being the 94Wh battery. TechSpot was somewhat disappointed to discover the 16GB of DDR4-2666 is on a single DIMM, and suggest picking up another immediately to enjoy the benefits of dual channel memory. If you are looking for a laptop you can design graphics and video on, with enough power for occasional gaming then check out the Aero 15X.
"Today we're taking a closer look at the Gigabyte Aero 15X, launched alongside Intel's new H-series Coffee Lake processors which brought up to 6 cores and 12 threads to the laptop form factor. Gigabyte is key to stress this isn't just a gaming laptop, but a machine designed for productivity, and that shows with features like an X-Rite certified display."
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Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2018 - 01:25 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: dell, UHD, gaming laptop, coffee lake h, nvidia, max-q, gtx 1060
Dell recently announced updates to its budget laptop lineup to include a new G series that replaces the previous generation Inspiron Gaming branded products. The new brand comes in three tiers and two form factors that include the 15.6" G3, G5, and G7 and the 17" G3 all of which utilize various levels of 8th Generation Core Intel CPUs and mid-range 1000 series NVIDIA mobile GPUs. There is a lot of overlap in hardware, build, and pricing depending on the specific configuration you build.
These budget gaming laptops are fairly thin – ranging from 22.7mm on the G3 15 to 25mm on the G3 17 and G5 15 and G7 15 – but do make compromises in the build quality department with most of the body being plastic-based rather than metallic (the higher-end components and prices remain reserved to the Alienware models). On the bright side, Dell appears to be taking cooling seriously and makes liberal use of vents both front and rear along with dual fans. The G series also all feature dual drive bays, backlit spill-resistant keyboards, dual Waves MaxxAudio Pro speakers, webcams, fingerprint sensors, and matte exterior finishes.
The G3 series features up to an 8th Generation Core i7 processor and either a GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, or GTX 1060 Max Q graphics card along with a full HD (1920x1080) anti-glare display. The G3 15 comes in black, recon blue, or alpine white while the G3 17 comes in either black or recon blue. Three USB 3.1, USB-C / Thunderbolt 3, SD, HDMI, Ethernet, and one audio jack account for the external I/O ports that line the edges of the notebook. Note that the G3 15 has a normal hinge while the higher end models have a smaller centered hinge that leaves gaps on either side presumably for larger vents.
Stepping things up a bit to the G5 tier, the G5 15 comes in Licorice Black or Beijing Red and features a quad or hexacore Coffee Lake H processor and up to a GTX 1060 Max Q 6GB and two drive bays for up to two SSDs much like the G3 but adds Killer Networking 1x1 (up to 2x2 Wi-Fi supported) and the option for a 4K UHD IPS panel.
Moving from the G5 15 to the G7 15 in a "but wait, there's more" infomercial style offers you the ability to configure the Licorice Black or Alpine White laptop with a Core i9 Coffee Lake H processor, 32GB RAM, GTX 1060 Max Q, and dual SSDs in addition to the 4K display and Killer networking options of the G5 15. The G7 15 further has a larger 56 Whr 4-cell battery.
Limited configurations of the G3 15, G3 17, G5 15, and G7 15 are set to be available later this month (with two options for the G7 15 available now on Dell's website) with additional configuration options to follow. The G3 series starts at $749, the G5 starts at $799, and the G7 starts at $849 (though that model is not yet up on Dell's site) though as you see with the G7 on Dell's site adding SSDs and RAM brings the pricing up quite a bit (the $1099 model has an i7 8750H, GTX 1060, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD for example).
It is refreshing to see Dell move away from the Inspiron brand for gaming, but I hope the fresh brand also brings fresh build quality although you can't ask for too much at these prices with this hardware inside at least for the base models (I am mostly concerned about the small hinge on the higher end models). We will have to wait for reviews to know for sure though. Cnet has a gallery of hands-on photos of the laptops as well as The Verge if you are curious what these machines look like.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 4, 2018 - 11:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung Odyssey, Samsung, nvidia, max-p, Intel, coffee lake h
During Intel's launch event for its new Coffee Lake H processors in Beijing, China notebook manufacturers took the wraps off of their latest thin and light offerings. The latest announcement is from Samsung who launched its Notebook Odyssey Z gaming notebook. Measuring 375.6 x 255 x17.9mm and weighing 2.4 kg (5.29 pounds), it may not be particularly thin or light by most standards, but it is a unique design that brings a lot of mobile horsepower to bear for gaming tasks.
The Notebook Odyssey Z comes in Titan Silver with red accents and a red backlit keyboard. The top cover of the notebook has a silver and white repeating gradient design and the bottom of the notebook is covered almost entirely in mesh with the top half venting to the inside of the computer. Inside, the top half holds the 15.6" 1920x1080 display and a 720p webcam while the bottom half hosts two 1.5W speakers with angled grills and a red logo up top and the keyboard moved up to the front of the notebook and the trackpad is moved to the right side of the keyboard. The keyboard uses Crater keycaps and there are shortcut keys to record gameplay and change power modes (e.g. the Silent Mode clocks things down and changes the power envelop such that the notebook gets down to a quiet 22 decibels.
Around the edges there is a Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0, one USB Type C, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, one audio, and one DC-in for external I/O.
Internally, the Odyssey Z is powered by Intel's new 6-core Core i7 "Coffee Lake H" processor (Samsung doesn't mention which model, but the 45W i7 8750H is a likely option) and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. Other hardware includes up to 16 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz memory and 1 TB of NVMe storage. The system is cooled by Samsung's Z AeroFlow cooler which includes vapor chamber heatsinks for the processors. and two blower fans. There is a 54WH battery and it comes with a 180W AC power adapter.
Samsung's Notebook Odyssey Z will be available in certain countries including Korea and China this month with US availability in Q3 2018. No word yet on pricing, however.
Subject: Mobile | April 4, 2018 - 04:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, gigabyte, gaming laptop, coffee lake h, coffee lake, aero 15Xv8, Aero
Intel have stated that their new Coffee Lake processors are immune to Spectre and Meltdown, which is one of the more compelling reasons to consider an upgrade in several generations of chips. Gigabyte's new Aero 15Xv8 contains such a chip, the i7-8750H which runs at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz in Turbo Boost 2.0 mode. Along with the new CPU is a GTX 1070 Max-Q which makes this 0.7" (18 mm) thick, 4.4lb (2 kg) laptop an impressively compact gaming machine. Take a look at The Tech Report's review to see how this new CPU performs, as well as the laptop overall.
"Gigabyte's Aero 15Xv8 mixes Intel's Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H and Nvidia's GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card into a potent blend of gaming and productivity potential. We put those parts to the test to see whether the Aero 15X's thin-and-light chassis is up to the task of keeping all of that processing power in check."
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Subject: Mobile | April 3, 2018 - 02:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: zephyrus m, ROG, i7-8750h, gm501, coffee lake h
Along with the announcement of high-performance 8th Generation mobile processors from Intel today, comes plenty of announcements from partners about new gaming notebooks built around these processors.
One of the most appealing notebooks to be announced so far is the all-new ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501.
Previously launched alongside NIVIDIA's Max-Q initiative, the first ROG Zephyrus served as ASUS's flagship thin-and-light gaming notebook. We were quite impressed with the performance in our review but had some qualms about the odd form-factor decisions, including keyboard placement.
The ASUS ROG Zephyrus M address these concerns, moving the keyboard and trackpad to a more traditional location along with a plethora of hardware changes.
|ASUS ROG Zephyrus M (GM501)|
|MSRP||$1499 (Best Buy Exlusive, coming 5/6)||$1899||$2199|
|Screen||15.5" (1920x1080) IPS 120Hz||15.5" (1920x1080) IPS-Type 144Hz G-SYNC|
|CPU||Core i7-8750H (6 core / 12 threads)|
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1060 + Intel UHD 630 (Switchable)||NVIDIA GTX 1070 + Intel UHD 630 (Switchable)|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2666MHz|
|Storage||128GB SATA + 1TB FireCuda SSHD||256GB PCIe + 1TB FireCuda SSHD|
|Network||Intel 8265 802.11ac MIMO (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
|Connectivity||1 x Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB 3.1 Gen1
2 x USB 3.1 Gen2
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
|Weight||5.5 lbs ( 2.45 kg)|
|Dimensions||15.1 x 10.3 x 0.7~0.78 inches
(304mm x 199mm x 8 -13.7 mm)
The biggest hardware change of course is the move to Intel's 6-core, 12-thread i7-8750H processor.
Instead of the previous Max-Q GPU options (GTX 1070 and 1080), ASUS has opted for configurations up to a full GTX 1070, as well as the GTX 1060 on the lower end models.
In addition, the new iteration of the Zephyrus gains switchable graphics, which should help with battery life. ASUS says there will be a dedicated keyboard shortcut to manually switch between graphics modes, potentially alleviating some of the issues users have with Optimus technologies in certain applications.
Battery capacity also sees a 10% bump to 55 WHr from the previous 50 WHr. Hopefully, these changes will provide a much-needed battery life improvement over the original Zephyrus notebook.
Storage options for all configurations of the GM501 will contain both an SSD and a 1TB Seagate FireCuda SSHD hybrid drive for fast mass storage. The highest-end GM501s will be offered with 256GB NVMe drives, while the lower end will stick with just a 128GB SATA SSD.
Pricing for the new Zephyrus M is in line with the last generation, meaning that users looking for the ultimate marriage of gaming performance and portability will have to sacrifice a bit on price. However, I think the $1500 Best Buy exclusive SKU coming next month is a pretty compelling package for a lot of gamers.
Expect these notebooks to start shipping on April 16th for the two highest configurations, with the lower end option coming in May.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 3, 2018 - 09:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, i7-8750h, gtx 1070, gs65, gaming notebook, coffee lake h
MSI is introducing a new high-end gaming laptop as part of its stealth gaming GS series. The new MSI GS65 is a thin and light laptop at 0.69” thick and 4.14 pounds with ultra slim (4.9mm) bezels that allow it to pack a 15.6” display into a 14” laptop form factor. The GS65 utilizes the latest Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics along with all the RGB offered with a per-key backlit SteelSeries keyboard.
The MSI GS65 features a flat black design with gold trim and accents along with rounded corners. There are plenty of vents along the back and back corners of the left and right sides. External I/O includes Ethernet (the laptop is barely thick enough to hold the RJ-45 port), two USB 3.1 Gen 2, and two audio ports on the left side, and one USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), one Thunderbolt 3, one Mini DisplayPort, and one full size HDMI video output along the right side. Up top DynAudio speakers sit above the keyboard and a large trackpad sits below it. In addition to the built-in speakers, MSI also includes Nahimic 3 audio support for 7.1 virtual surround sound when using headphones. The display is a 15.6” 144 Hz display that is rated at a calibrated 94% NTSC color gamut.
Internally, MSI is using a beefy air cooling setup with three Whirlwind Blade fans (47 0.2mm thick fan blades), four heatpipes, and independent CPU and GPU coolers and airflow. Under the hood, MSI is offering up to an Intel Core i7-8750H Coffee Lake-H processor and either a NVIDIA GTX 1070 or GTX 1060 depending on the model. The Coffee Lake H processor is a 45W part featuring 6 cores / 12 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo and 9 MB cache. The CPU supports dual channel DDR4-2666 MHz RAM and Intel Optane storage (no vPro on this model).
MSI claims up to 8 hours of battery life when in power saving “green mode” and playing back 720p video content. Naturally, battery life when gaming will be much lower, but in those situations, you’ll want to be near a power outlet anyway and at least MSI has managed to slim down the power adapter by 28% on this model.
On the software side of things, MSI is bundling the gaming laptop with SteelSeries Engine 3 software to control the keyboard backlighting (which can be configured to show things like ammo and health remaining) as well as Dragon Center 2.0 software for system monitoring and game profiles for optimizing memory when running supported games.
The GS65 laptop looks the part with a premium finish and nice looking accents like the floating hinge and vents without going too crazy, but we will have to wait for reviews to see if the performance is there as well. The new 6-core Intel chip and GTX 1070 combo is a lot of horsepower for a portable gaming system and I’ll be interested to see what reviewers think of the build quality and 144 Hz display. As is usually the case with these things, MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability but more information should be available soon. Update: It appears that the MSI GS65 starts at $1800 with an i7-8750H, GTX 1060, 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD and $2100 for the GTX 1070 model on Amazon.
Are you rocking a gaming laptop? What do you think about MSI's latest stealthy offering?
- Intel Unveils More 8th Generation Mobile Processors, 6-Core Mobile CPUs
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Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Mobile | April 3, 2018 - 03:01 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Intel, Core i9-8950HK, coffee lake h, 8th generation
Intel's rollout of their "8th Generation" processors has been glacial compared to other generations, and overall a bit confusing when it comes to trying to decode what processor belongs to what architecture.
Past the 8th generation Kaby Lake-R 15W quad-core mobile processors in August of last year, the Coffee Lake-S desktop CPU launch in October, and the recent Kaby Lake-G launch combining Intel processors with AMD graphics, there has still been one big missing market—high performance mobile processors.
Today, Intel is finally rounding out it's 8th Generation Mobile processor line-up with the addition of Coffee Lake-H processors.
The biggest change with Intel's new mobile lineup is the delightful addition of more cores. All i7 and Xeon-based SKUs will now have 6 cores with Hyper-threading enabled for a total of 12 threads. In addition, the entire i5 lineup is gaining Hyper-threading support, bringing them to 4 cores and 8 threads.
Coffee Lake-H also marks the introduction of Intel's first "i9" branded processor, the i9-8950HK. Taking the top spot of the mobile lineup previously held by the i7-7920HQ, the i9-8950HK is fully unlocked, with a turbo frequency of up to 4.8GHz.
In addition, all of these new 8th generation mobile processors will bring support for Optane Memory caching to mobile for the first time.
Intel is achieving the 4.8GHz single core turbo boost on the i9-8950HK through what they are calling "Intel Velocity Boost." While there aren't a lot of details about exactly how this technology will work yet, Intel has told us that essentially it's a way of providing extra frequency if there is thermal headroom on a given notebook design.
Below the 50 degrees C target temperature, we were told to expect about a 200MHz single-core boost and a 100MHz multi-core boost. With factory overclocking, Intel says they expect to see OEMs hit 5GHz and beyond, thanks in part to Velocity Boost.
In addition to new processors, Intel is also unveiling their new 300-series mobile chipsets today. The major additions include the adoption of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports directly from the chipset, as well as the integration of an 802.11ac radio.
The all-new wireless radio is said to be capable of Gigabit speeds using 2x2 MIMO at 160MHz, which is part of the Wave 2 specification. While routers that support the 160MHz band are few and far between today, hopefully, Intel's adoption of this technology into its chipset will help spur faster adoption.
In addition to the H-series processors, Intel also unveiled several new U-series parts today with Iris Plus graphics.
While the 28W notebook processors combining Intel U-series parts with Iris graphics containing 128MB of eDRAM have been available for generations, the only major customer for these parts historically is Apple. I fully expect these processors to make it into a revised 13" MacBook Pro later this year.
These new U-series parts will also be able to take advantage of the new 300-series chipsets with the integrated 802.11ac and USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity. It will be interesting to see if Intel finally integrating Wi-Fi capability directly into the chipset will cause Apple to ditch Broadcom on their MacBook lineup.
Stay tuned for more announcements from Intel today, as well of announcements from notebook vendors utilizing these new processors!