Podcast #486 - AMD Mobile APUs, new Xeon-D processors, EPYC offerings from Dell, and more!

Subject: General Tech | February 8, 2018 - 11:21 AM |
Tagged: podcast, amd, raven ridge, 2500U, APU, Intel, xeon-d, dell, EPYC, vaunt, Tobii

PC Perspective Podcast #486 - 02/08/18

Join us this week for a recap of news and reviews including AMD Mobile APUs, new Xeon-D processors, EPYC offerings from Dell, 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: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:16:53

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:12:15 Alex: Terraria
  4. Closing/outro
 

Dell's Epyc package

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2018 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: amd, dell, EPYC, R6415, R7415, R7425

Dell has released three new PowerEdge server models, all powered by one or two of AMD's new EPYC chips.  The R6415 is a single socket, 1U server which supports 1TB of RAM, though The Register does point to a PR slide that implies 2TB might be achievable.  The R7415 is larger at 2U because it can hold up to 12 SAS/SATA/NVMe + 12 NVMe drives or up to 14 3.5" drives.  Last up is the dual socket R7425 with either 32 SATA/SAS drives or 24 NVMe flash drives and up to 4TB of RAM.  Check out more specs at The Register.

epyc_performance_950.jpg

"There are three PowerEdge AMD-powered servers: the R6415, R7415, and R7425. These accompany the PowerEdge 14G R640 and R740 Xeon SP servers in the Round Rock company's server portfolio, and they inherit general PowerEdge management and feature goodness."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Podcast #484 - New Samsung SSDs, Spectre and Meltdown updates, and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2018 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: spectre, Samsung, podcast, plex, meltdown, Intel, inspiron 13, dell, amd, 860 pro, 860 evo

PC Perspective Podcast #484 - 01/25/18

Join us this week for a recap of news and reviews including new SSDs from Samsung, updates on Spectre and Meltdown, and building the ultimate Plex server, 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: Ken Addison

Program length: 1:28:56

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. 0:41:30 Thanks to Casper for supporting our channel. Save $50 on select mattresses at http://www.casper.com/pcper code: pcper
  3. News items of interest:
  4. 1:14:10 Picks of the Week:
    1. Ryan:
  5. Closing/outro
 
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Dell

Overview

The sub-$1000 notebook market is one that we rarely cover here at PC Perspective. It's not due to a lack of interest from us, but rather from notebook manufacturers.

Generally, companies are only interested in sending out their latest flagship products, which leaves us without much of an opinion on the notebooks that most people actually walk into a brick and mortar retailer to purchase.

DSC04595.JPG

Today, we're looking at one of these more mainstream notebooks which can be found with a quad-core 8th generation Intel processor for under $900—the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1.

Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1 
MSRP $879 (Configuration as reviewed) $1049 $1149 $1299
Screen 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touch display
CPU Core i5-8250U Core i7-8550U
GPU Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM 8GB 16GB
Storage 256GB SATA 512GB SATA
Network Intel 7265 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.2, Dual Band 2.4 & 5 GHz, 2x2
Display Output

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
1 x HDMI 2.0

Connectivity

1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
1 x HDMI 2.0
3.5mm headphone
SD Card Reader

Audio (2) tuned speakers; audio processing by Waves MaxxAudio® Pro 
Weight 3.2 lbs ( 1.45 kg)
Dimensions 12.91-in x 8.5-in x 0.61-in
(309.6mm x 215.7mm x 15.51mm)
Battery 38 WHr
Operating System Windows 10 Home

It's worth noting that while writing this review, these notebooks have been consistently available for under MSRP. The base configuration we are reviewing of the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 is remarkably well equipped and at the time of writing was available for $749. Considering that the $999 entry level model of the 2018 XPS 13 still comes with a paltry 4GB of system memory and 128GB SSD, this is a great value. For most consumers, including myself, I look at the 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD option as the sweet spot price comparison point between notebooks.

DSC04592.JPG

Continue reading our review of the Dell Inspiron 13 7373 2-in-1!

CES 2018: Dell S2419HM and S2719DM IPS HDR Monitors

Subject: Displays | January 9, 2018 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: ips, hdr, dell

Dell is announcing a pair of consumer monitors at this year's CES. Each SKU uses an HDR-ready IPS panel, which covers over 85% of the DCI-P3 color space and does so with up to 600 cd/m2 peak brightness. As far as I can tell, the only technical difference between the panels is that the 24-inch one has a 1080p resolution, while the 27-inch one has a 1440p resolution.

S2419HM And S2719DM.png

As for a possible difference: the 27-inch is also listed as being VESA certified DisplayHDR 400, which means that it will provide at least 400 nits of brightness in HDR content. I’m not sure why the 24-inch is not listed as DisplayHDR 400, because it has the same backlight, but that could be something as simple as “one finished the certification process before the other”.

Ultrathin Monitors.jpg

Regardless, the main features of this monitor is that it’s bright, it’s thin, it has a thin bezel, and it is HDR-ready. If that is what you’re looking for, then consider these monitors when they launch on February 6th. The 24-inch (S2419HM) has an MSRP of $299.99 while the 27-inch (S2719DM) has an MSRP of $499.99.

Source: Dell

CES 2018: Dell Introduces XPS 15 2-in-1 Powered By Kaby Lake-G

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2018 - 01:00 PM |
Tagged: Vega M, rx vega m, laptop, kaby lake-g, dell xps 15 2-in-1, dell, convertible, CES 2018, CES

Following up on its updates to the XPS 13 last week, Dell today is unveiling a new 15-inch model of its XPS 2-in-1 lineup. The XPS 15 2-in-1, as it's officially named, is powered by the new Kaby Lake-G platform, which pairs an 8th Gen Intel Core processor with AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics.

dell-xps-15-2-in-1-front-side.jpg

The 15.6-inch touchscreen display is available in both 1080p and 4K resolutions with up to 400-nits brightness and 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage. The display also supports Dell's new Active Pen, an optional $99 accessory which offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity with tilt support and palm rejection technology.

dell-active-pen.jpg

Despite its powerful Intel and AMD Radeon components, Dell claims that the XPS 15 2-in-1's 75Whr battery is good for up to 15 hours of battery life.

Check out the complete specs:

Processor Options Intel Core i7-8705G
Intel Core i5-8305G
Memory 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
16GB DDR4 2400MHz
Graphics Integrated Radeon RX Vega M
4GB HBM2
Display 15.6-inch 3200x1800 (100% Adobe RGB)
15.6-inch 1920x1080 (100% sRGB)
Capacitive touchscreen with active pen support
Storage 128GB SATA SSD
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
AC Adapter 130W
Battery 75Whr
Up to 15 hours
I/O 2 x Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
microSD Card Reader
3.5mm audio in/out
Connectivity Killer 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.1
Dimensions 354 x 235 x 16mm
Weight Starting at 4.3lbs

dell-xps-15-2-in-1-motion.jpg

Complete pricing information for all configurations is not yet available, but Dell states that the new XPS 15 2-in-1 will start at $1299.99 and will be available for purchase sometime this spring.

Source: Dell

Dell's New XPS 13 Laptop Features 8th Gen Intel CPUs, 20 Hours Battery Life

Subject: Mobile | January 4, 2018 - 12:01 AM |
Tagged: XPS 13, laptop, dell xps 13, dell, CES 2017, CES, 8th generation core

Dell today announced a big update to its popular XPS 13 laptop. The new model features several design improvements, a bump to 8th Generation Intel processors, and longer battery life.

dell-xps-13-rose-gold.png

The XPS 13, which Dell is calling “the world’s smallest 13-inch laptop,” sheds some size compared to its predecessor. The new model weighs in at 2.67 pounds with a tapered thickness ranging from 7.8 to 11.6mm, a 24 percent reduction in overall volume compared to last year’s model. Its 13-inch display is available in 1080p and 4K options and features automatic calibration for improved video playback, something Dell is calling “CinemaColor.”

xps13-front-specs.jpg

In addition to its slightly slimmer profile, the new XPS 13 moves the webcam to from the bottom-left of the display to the bottom-center. While still not the ideal angle for webcam chats, this move at least eliminates the awkward off-angle view provided by the previous webcam placement. The webcam is also compatible with Windows Hello, allowing for more convenient log-ins.

xps-13-silver-gray.jpg

The new XPS 13 also sees some aesthetic changes. The familiar silver and black model is still available, but Dell has also introduced a new color combination featuring a “rose gold” exterior with “alpine white” interior and a woven glass fiber palm rest that is supposedly resistant to palm-related stains. Dell says that the new palm rest material “looks and feels like silk” while denoting a “sense of elegance.” Fancy.

xps-13-side-specs.jpg

Inside, buyers will have the choice of either the Intel Core i5-8250U or the Core i7-8550U. Both are 4-core/8-thread parts with max turbo frequencies of 3.4GHz and 4.0GHz, respectively. The XPS 13 can be configured with up to 16GB of DDR4 2133MHz memory while graphics are provided by the Intel UHD 620. Storage options include PCIe and SATA SSDs up to 1TB.

In terms of connectivity, the XPS 13 is packing two Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging, data, and video output, one USB-C 3.1 port, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone port.

xps13-left-specs.jpg

Dell is also highlighting the XPS 13’s battery life, claiming that it beats all other 13-inch competitors. Dell claims that the i7 model with 4K display can reach 11 hours and 12 minutes on a single charge, while the i5 1080p version lasts an impressive 19 hours 46 minutes.

For Linux fans, Dell is once again offering a “Developer Edition” of the XPS 13, which comes pre-loaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and all compatible drivers.

The new Dell XPS 13 starts at $999.99 and is available to order today — January 4th — direct from Dell’s US and EU websites. The Developer Edition is also available today starting at $949.99.

Source:

Podcast #478 - Windows on ARM, Intel 10nm rumors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2017 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: podcast, xfx, Vega, Raspberry Pi, radeon, qualcomm, nicehash, Intel, IME, GTX 1070Ti, gddr6, evga, Elgato, dell, coolermaster, cluster, asus, arm, amd, AM4, Adrenalin Edition, 4k60, 10nm, video

PC Perspective Podcast #478 - 12/07/17

Join us for discussion on Windows on ARM, Intel 10nm rumors, 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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano, Jim Tanous

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:39:42

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Closing/outro

Source:

Dell Is Offering Laptops With Intel Management Engine (IME) Disabled

Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2017 - 07:05 PM |
Tagged: system76, security, linux, Intel, IME, dell

Update 12-5-2017: Dell has provided a statement in response to the IME news which is as follows:

  • "Dell has offered a configuration option to disable the Intel vPro Management Engine (ME) on select commercial client platforms for a number of years (termed Intel vPro - ME inoperable, custom order on Dell.com). Some of our commercial customers have requested such an option from us, and in response, we have provided the service of disabling the Management Engine in the factory to meet their specific needs. As this SKU can also disable other system functionality it was not previously made available to the general public.
  • Recently, this option was inadvertently offered online as a configuration option for a couple of systems on Dell.com. Customers interested in purchasing this SKU should contact their sales representative as it is intended to be offered as a custom option for a select number of customers who specifically require this configuration."

(End of update.)

Niche system vendors System76 and Purism are now joined by Dell in offering laptops with Intel's Intel Management Engine (IME) blackbox disabled. The company, one of the largest laptop manfacturers, currently offers three higher-end laptops with the configuration option of "Intel vPro™ - ME Inoperable, Custom Order" where for around $20 Dell will disable IME. IME has come under fire recently due to a major vulnerability that affects many of its Core series processors and has had bugs dating back years.

IME is baked into Intel processors dating back to 2008 and operates at what is known as Ring -3 meaning that it has privileges well above that of software, drivers, OS kernel, and even UEFI. IME is an autonomous subsystem with its own processor running its own software that has full control over the computer and even has its own networking stack. Intel has obfuscated that closed source code and has made it notoriously difficult to enable while also claiming it is necessarly for the processor to hit full performance. Security researchers and companies like Google have committed to disabling it (there is a way to turn it off though Intel has not documented it). IME can be used alongside Intel AMT / vPro features (Ring -2+) for remote management, and since IME runs even when the system is off it makes it easy to roll out OS upgrades and re-image machines. Home users however do not need IME, but have traditionally been stuck with it anyway along with its security holes. (Note that AMD has its own platform management subsystem with the PSP though it has not drawn nearly the high profile reputation Intel has with the latest bugs and promised patches.)

Dell Disable IME.png

Specificlaly Dell is offering to disable IME for a small fee on the Latitude 14 Rugged laptop, Latitude 15 E5570, and Latitude 12 Rugged tablet which all run 6th Generation Core (6000 series and Core M) processors. Purism plans to sell PCs with IME disabled going forward and System76 has promised firmware updates for disabling IME on its PCs sold within the last few years. In reading about IME online, it seems that disabling IME is a tricky endevour with the potential to brick the system, but it can be done and the more documentation these vendors do the better for Linux, open source software, and security concious consumer proponents. For now you will have to pay a small fee to disable it but if you are worried about IME the peace of mind might be worth it. Also, with Dell now on board it shouldn't be long before other vendors start offering systems sans Intel Management Engine. Hopefully they are able to offer this IME disabled feature on models with the latest Intel processors as well for those that want it as the latest round of major bugs affected Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake CPUs.

What are your thoughts on this? Have your systems received an IME security patch? In any case, with the IME bugs, Mac OS High Sierra secuirty hole, and iOS encrypted backup loophole it has not been a good month for security!

Also read:

Source: Liliputing

IFA 2017: Dell announces refreshed Quad-Core XPS 13 Notebook

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 28, 2017 - 10:20 PM |
Tagged: ifa, IFA 2017, dell, XPS 13, 8th generation core, i7-8550U, i5-8250U

As expected, this year's IFA trade show in Berlin is proving busy for notebook manufacturers. Hot on the heels of Intel's announcement of 15W 8th Generation quad-core processors in the Kaby-Lake refresh family earlier in the month, we are starting to see some announcements of actual products utilizing these new processors.

Not to be left behind, Dell has officially announced the refreshed version of their well-received XPS 13 notebook. 

xps13.png

It appears that there has been little physical change to the XPS 13 centered around these new processor options. Customers will still find 2 USB-A Ports upgraded to USB 3.1 Gen 2, a Thundebolt 3 Port, full-size SD card slot, a standard headphone jack, and a power connector (although charging over Thunderbolt 3 is supported). There's no indication yet as to the Thunderbolt 3 implementation, but we hope Dell has gone with the full PCIe x4 bandwidth instead of x2 as found on the current XPS 13.

Same as the current XPS 13, customers will be able to choose from a 1080p non-touch display or a 3200x1800 touchscreen, up to 16GB of RAM, and SSD options including SATA and NVMe.

badge.jpg

Battery size remains at 60Wh, which Dell claims has a MobileMark battery life score of 22 hours on the 1080p display model and 12 hours with the 3200x1800 QHD+ Touchscreen option.

Expect a longer rollout than usual with these new 8th generation parts from Dell, with the highest end i7-8550U to be available starting September 12th, and the i5 parts coming later in October. We have no current indications of pricing, but I would expect it to fall along the current XPS 13 models, in which the i7 model starts at $1349 along with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, and the 1080p display.

Source: Dell