Subject: General Tech | May 18, 2018 - 02:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mining, DRAM, cryptocurrency
As we head into the weekend, a long one if you happen to wear the US as pants, it seems an appropriate time for some good news. According to the Nikkei the demand for DRAM from cryptocurrency miners have declined significantly which could lead to better prices, though not a huge drop as mobile phone vendors and enterprise demand has not changed. Even better news for enthusiasts are the reports of shelves filled with GPUs where once there were only dust bunnies and forlorn gamers.
Things are looking up this summer!
"Orders for DRAMs fell noticeably in April," a representative at a Tokyo electronic parts trader said. "We previously received quite a lot of orders, even from companies with whom we did little business." Demand was particularly strong from virtual currency miners, the representative said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Facebook's Android App Is Asking for Superuser Privileges, Users Say @ Slashdot
- Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb @ The Register
- Google will rid of its 'Secure' HTTPS indicators in Chrome 69 @ The Inquirer
- Emergent Tech Boffins bash out battery busting build for bonkers boost @ The Register
- Google Play Services update has borked some Huawei and Honor apps @ The Inquirer
- The Average Contract Prices of Enterprise SSD May Fall by 10% in 2Q18, Says TrendForce @ CTimes
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 9, 2018 - 12:23 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: video card, pricing, msrp, mining, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, gtx, graphics, gpu, gaming, crypto
The wait for in-stock NVIDIA graphics cards without inflated price tags seems to be over. Yes, in the wake of months of crypto-fueled disappointment for gamers the much anticipated, long-awaited return of graphics cards at (gasp) MSRP prices is at hand. NVIDIA has now listed most of their GTX lineup as in-stock (with a limit of 2) at normal MSRPs, with the only exception being the GTX 1080 Ti (still out of stock). The lead time from NVIDIA is one week, but worth it for those interested in the lower prices and 'Founders Edition' coolers.
Many other GTX 10 Series options are to be found online at near-MSRP pricing, though as before many of the aftermarket designs command a premium, with factory overclocks and proprietary cooler designs to help justify the added cost. Even Amazon - previously home to some of the most outrageous price-gouging from third-party sellers in months past - has cards at list pricing, which seems to solidify a return to GPU normalcy.
The GTX 1080 inches closer to standard pricing once again on Amazon
Some of the current offers include:
GTX 1070 cards continue to have the highest premium outside of NVIDIA's store, with the lowest current pricing on Newegg or Amazon at $469.99. Still, the overall return to near-MSRP pricing around the web is good news for gamers who have been forced to play second (or third) fiddle to cryptomining "entrepreneurs" for several months now; a disturbing era in which pre-built gaming systems from Alienware and others actually presented a better value than DIY builds.
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 29, 2018 - 05:45 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, RX 550, Polaris, mining, asrock, amd
ASRock, a company known mostly for its motherboards that was formerly an Asus sub-brand but is now an independent company owned by Pegatron since 2010 is now getting into the graphics card market with a new Phantom Gaming series. At launch, the Phantom Gaming series is comprised of four AMD Polaris-based graphics cards including the Phantom Gaming RX 550 2G and RX 560 2G on the low end and the Phantom Gaming X RX 570 8G OC and RX 580 8G OC on the mid/high end range.
ASRock is using black shrouds with white accents and silver and red logos. The lower end Phantom Gaming cards utilize a single dual ball bearing fan while the Phantom Gaming X cards use a dual fan configuration. ASRock is using copper baseplates paired with aluminum heatsinks and composite heatpipes. The Phantom Gaming RX 550 and RX 560 cards use only PCI-E slot power while the Phantom Gaming X RX 570 and RX 580 cards get power from both the slot and a single 8-pin PCI-E power connector.
Video outputs include one HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4, and one DL-DVI-D on the Phantom Gaming parts and one HDMI 2.0, three DisplayPort 1.4, and one DL-DVI-D on the higher-end Phantom Gaming X graphics cards. All of the graphics card models feature both silent and overclocked modes in addition to their out-of-the-box default clocks depending on whether you value performance or noise. Users can select which mode they want or perform a custom overclock or fan curve using ASRock's Phantom Gaming Tweak utility.
On the performance front, out of the box ASRock is slightly overclocking the Phantom Gaming X OC cards (the RX 570 and RX 580 based ones) and slightly underclocking the lower end Phantom Gaming cards (including the memory which is downclocked to 6 GHz) compared to their AMD reference specifications.
|ASRock RX 580 OC||RX 580||ASRock RX 570 OC||RX 570||ASRock RX 560||RX 560||ASRock RX 550||RX 550|
|GPU Clock (MHz)||1380||1340||1280||1244||1149||1275||1100||1183|
|GPU Clock OC Mode (MHz)||1435||-||1331||-||1194||-||1144||-|
|Memory Clock (GHz)||8GHz||8GHz||7GHz||7GHz||6GHz||7GHz||6GHz||7GHz|
|Memory Clock OC Mode (MHz)||8320||-||7280||-||6240||-||6240||-|
The table above shows the comparisons between the ASRock graphics cards and their AMD reference card counterparts. Note that the Phantom Gaming RX 560 2G is based on the cut-down 14 CU (compute unit) model rather than the launch 16 CU GPU. Also, even in OC Mode, ASRock does not bring the memory up to the 7 GT/s reference spec. On the positive side, turning on OC mode does give a decent factory overclock of the GPU over reference. Also nice to see is that on the higher end "OC Certified" Phantom Gaming X cards, ASRock overclocks both the GPU and memory speeds which is often not the case with factory overclocks.
ASRock did not detail pricing with any of the launch announcement cards, but they should be coming soon with 4GB models of the RX 560 an RX 550 to follow later this year.
It is always nice to have more competition in this space and hopefully a new AIB partner for AMD helps alleviate shortages and demand for gaming cards if only by a bit. I am curious how well the cards will perform as while they look good on paper the company is new to graphics cards and the build quality really needs to be there. I am just hoping that the Phantom Gaming moniker is not an allusion to how hard these cards are going to be to find for gaming! (heh) If the rumored Ethereum ASICs do not kill the demand for AMD GPUs I do expect that ASRock will also be releasing mining specific cards as well at some point.
What are your thoughts on the news of ASRock moving into graphics cards?
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 10, 2018 - 12:40 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: CES, CES 2018, evga, power supply, PSU, 2200W, 2200 watts, mining, 80 Plus Platinum
Positioned casually amist the current and upcoming power supply lineup at EVGA's suite at CES is the SuperNOVA 2200 P2, which offers a mere 2200 watts of 80 Plus Platinum power with 183.3A from the +12V rail. I will let that sink in for a moment.
Naturally this level of power will require more than the typical 110V mains power in the US, with 220V required. It seems safe to assume that the biggest customer of such a PSU at this point would be the mining community, making the need for 220V a non-issue for the dedicated miners among us (who needs an electric range in the kitchen, anyhow?).
We didn't get specifics on release date or pricing, but this is an impressive piece of hardware - especially considering the Platinum efficiency.
Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2017 - 09:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: nicehash, mining, hack, Cyber Security, bitcoin
In a recent press release cryptocurreny mining market Nicehash revealed that its payment service was hacked and its BTC payment wallet was emptied. While the company did not reveal the exact amount lost, users on Reddit spent the better part of today worried as the service was initially "under maintenance" for 12 hours amidst suspicious transactions on the blockchain that saw 4,736.42 BTC taken from Nicehash and their Nicehash internal wallets reporting zero balances. The company is currently investigating the precise amount stolen, though estimates around the web put it north of $66 million USD worth of the popular cryptocurrency (at time of writing 1 BTC = ~$13970.50).
Image courtesy fdecomite via Flickr.
Users that mined to an external wallet for an additional fee are out unpaid balances less than 0.01 BTC, but sadly users that mined to an internal wallet have potentially losts hundreds or thousands of mined bitcoin. Also, purchasers of the Nicehash mining service may have lost the BTC that they paid into the service for alt coin hashing power.
"We are fully committed to restoring the NiceHash service with the highest security measures at the earliest opportunity.
We would not exist without our devoted buyers and miners all around the globe. We understand that you will have a lot of questions, and we ask for patience and understanding while we investigate the causes and find the appropriate solutions for the future of the service. We will endeavour to update you at regular intervals."
Nicehash is further recommending that users of its internal wallets change all of their online passwords (especially any that were similar to the one they used on the site) as a precaution.
The full press release is available here.
In all, it is a devastating hack that is another in a series of high profile crypto currency heists that have traditionally left users out money and the company destroyed. Nicehash has indicated that they have reached out to and are cooperating with the relevant authorities, but unless they are able to find the individual(s) responsible and recover the massive amount of bitcoin it is not looking good.
I hope that the bitcoin is able to be recovered or at least that Nicehash is able to do the right think and compensate its users from its own funds.
This high-profile attack further illustrates the need to use safe bitcoin storage practices and to always hold your own private key in an offline wallet (hardware or paper or at least encrypted software wallet you control at a minimum) for long term storage of funds. Your crypto currency is only truly yours when you alone control the private key(s) and you should only transfer and keep coins on other servers (e.g. exchanges) for as long as it takes to transfer them to your bank or as short a time as possible when trading.
What are your thoughts on this? Did you have money in a Nicehash wallet or unpaid mining balance? Do you plan to venture forth and mine on your own?
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | December 3, 2017 - 04:26 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: bitcoin, cryptocurrency, mining, gaming, lisa su, amd, Vega
AMD’s CEO Lisa Su was recently appeared on CNBC’s Power Lunch Exclusinve interview segment where she answered questions about bitcoin, blockchain technology, the tax reform bill, and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Of particular interest to PC Perspective readers, Dr. Lisa Su shared several interesting bits of information on cryptocurrency mining and how it is affecting the company’s graphics cards. Surprisingly, she stated that cryptocurrency miners were a "very small percentage" of sales and specifically that they represented a mid-single digit percentage of buyers (~4 to 6 percent). This number is hard to believe for me as I expected it to be significantly higher with the prices of graphics cards continuing to climb well above MSRP (it wasn’t too bad when writing our gift guide and shortly after but just as I was about to commit I looked and prices had shot back up again coinciding with a resurgence in mining popularity with the price of cryptocurrencies rising and improving ROI).
Further, the AMD president and CEO states that the company is interested in this market, but they are mainly waiting to see how businesses and industries adopt blockchain technologies. AMD is “very pleased to participate in blockchain” and believes it is a “very important foundational product”. Dr. Lisa Su did not seem very big on bitcoin specifically, but did seem interested in the underlying blockchain technologies and future cryptocurrencies.
Beyond bitcoin, altcoins, and the GPU mining craze, AMD believes that gaming is and continues to be a tremendous growth market for the company. AMD has reportedly launched 10 new product families and saw sizeable increases in sales on Amazon and Newegg versus last year with processor sales tripling and double digital percentage increases in graphics sales in 2017. AMD also managed to be in two of the three gaming towers in Best Buy for the holiday buying season.
Speaking for AMD Dr. Su also had a few other interesting bits of information to share. The interview is fairly short and worth watching. Thankfully Kyle over at HardOCP managed to record it and you can watch it here. If you aren't able to stream the video, PCGamer has transcribed most of the major statements.
What are your thoughts on the interview? Will we ever see GPU prices return to normal so I can upgrade, and do you agree with AMD’s assessment that miners are such a small percentage of their sales and not as much of an influencer in pricing as we thought (perhaps it’s a supply problem rather than a demand problem, or the comment was only taking their mining-specific cards into account?)?
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2017 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cryptonight, chrome, mining, security
Have you noticed your Chrome sessions are using a lot more CPU power now than they used to and you have installed the Short URL (goo.gl) extension recently? Congratulations, you are a cryptocurrency miner! It seems some ne'r-do-well managed to infect the server which provides that app with a mining program called Cryptonight which enlists your browser into mining XMR coins. For now your best bet is to uninstall that application if you have it installed; it has been removed from Google Play if you do not. The Register has a bit more information on Cryptonight as well as some history on similar browser miners here.
"Another Chrome extension has been found secretly harboring a cryptocurrency miner – and it appears this issue is going to get worse before it gets better."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Arm isn't saying IoT firmware sucks but it's writing a free secure BIOS for device makers @ The Register
- Computer Parts Site Newegg Is Being Sued For Allegedly Engaging In Massive Fraud @ Slashdot
- Long polymer sequences show promise for data storage @ Nanotechweb
- E-BLUE COBRA-PRO Gaming Chair @ Modders-Inc
Subject: General Tech | October 19, 2017 - 01:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cryptocurrency, mining, gpu
At least some people are happy about the current GPU market and the effect cryptocurrency mining is having on it. Indeed from the profit reports DigiTimes mentions, GPU vendors are making better profits from the current craze than the miners are, with all major vendors seeing major boosts to revenues. This is good news for the average enthusiast as these vendors plan to ramp up their stocks and have greatly increased the amount of product they are ordering from NVIDIA and AMD. It will take some time to fulfill these orders and you can expect the current memory shortage to have a minor effect on availability and price as well. If supply can finally start to meet demand, we may soon see prices creep back towards MSRP.
"Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI), TUL, Colorful and Galaxy Microsystems have all been aggressive about the cryptocurrency opportunity since the mining trend emerged, and they have seen dramatic growths in related businesses. Asustek only started to see benefits from the segmnet in the third quarter."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news? @ The Register
- Denuvo’s DRM now being cracked within hours of release @ Ars Technica
- You're doing open source wrong, Microsoft tsk-tsk-tsks at Google: Chrome security fixes made public too early @ The Register
- GTA V mod caught spreading Monero mining malware to PC gamers @ The Inquirer
- What the fdisk? Storage Spaces Direct just vanished from Windows Server in version 1709 @ The Register
- Slashdot's 20th Anniversary: History of Slashdot
- Domino's follows Pizza Hut with data breach announcement @ The Inquirer
- Intel, G’foundries Bring 10, 7nm to IEDM @ EETimes
- noblechairs ICON Real Leather Chair @ TechPowerUp
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | September 14, 2017 - 02:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: password cracking, mining, gpgpu, cryptocurrency, colorful, ai
Colorful recently unveiled an interesting bare-bones motherboard focused on cryptocurrency miners and other GPU heavy workloads with its main feature being eight double spaced PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots. The non-standard form factor Colorful C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard measures 485mm x 195mm (approx. 19.1 x 7.7 inches) and offers a no-frills setup that is ready for miners to attach to open racks. The motherboard is based on Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and B250 chipset.
The majority of the board is taken up by eight PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots where the top slot is wired directly to the CPU and is electrically x16 while the rest are wired to the B250 chipset and are x1 slots. There are 16(!) PCI-E power connectors (eight 6-pin and eight 8-pin) for providing power to the GPU and two 4-pin ATX power connectors for powering the CPU and single SO-DIMM slot through what looks to be six power phases. Notably, there is no 24-pin power connector on this board to make it easier to use multiple power supplies and share motherboards between power supplies (though it’s not clear how Colorful plans to control turning all these power supplies on/off at the same time). Beyond the PCI-E slots there is not much to this motherboard. Internal I/O includes the 1151 socket for Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs, a single DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, one SATA port, one M.2 slot, and six fan headers. Around back are two USB ports, one HDMI video output, and a single gigabit ethernet port.
The board is a no-frills design that should be quite appealing for miners but also as an easy way to jump into GPGPU projects (AI research, rendering, machine learning, password cracking, etc.). The 2-slot spacing allows air cooled (hopefully blower style) cards to be installed without needing to find and test quality PCI-E riser cables. There is no word on pricing yet, and while it should be on the cheaper side based on the features and hardware it’s packing as it’s a custom design aimed at mining it may actually come out at a hefty premium for the convenience it offers them. On the bright side, it might have decent resale value to factor into the ROI calculations for the other non-mining applications I mentioned (a mean password cracking rig!). A neat board in any case, and as I mentioned previously it is interesting to see the new designs and configurations the mining craze has enticed manufacturers into exploring.
- Asus Launches B250 Expert Mining Motherboard With 19 PCI-E Slots
- Let's Talk About Mining - Cryptocurrency Revisited
- Donate to the PC Perspective Mining Pool! A NiceHash How-to
- A Quick Look at the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 470 Mining Edition
- NVIDIA Partners Launching Mining Focused P106-100 and P104-100 Graphics Cards
- Mining specific cards are real - ASUS and Sapphire GP106 and RX 470 show up
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2017 - 10:59 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: podcast, ZenBook Flip S UX370, Switch 7, Seasonic PRIME, RX Vega 56, mining, logitech, Koolance, Intel Xeon Workstation, IFA 2017, hero, fsp, Fanatec, dell xps 13, CSL Elite Wheel P1 Alcantara, BeQuiet, b250, asus, acer, video
PC Perspective Podcast #465 - 08/31/17
Join us for continued discussion on Seasonic, BeQuiet! PSUs, Koolance, FSP coolers, IFA laptops 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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:28:57
0:06:00 VLAN Aftermath
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week