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Rumor: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti Product and PCB Images Leak

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 17, 2018 - 02:59 PM |
Tagged: VideoCardz, video card, rumor, RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 2080, report, pcb, nvidia, leak, graphics, gpu

The staff at VideoCardz.com have been a very busy of late, posting various articles on rumored NVIDIA graphics cards expected to be revealed this month. Today in particular we are seeing more (and more) information and imagery concerning what seems assured to be RTX 2080 branding, and somewhat surprising is the rumor that the RTX 2080 Ti will launch simultaneously (with a reported 4352 CUDA cores, no less).

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Reported images of MSI GAMING X TRIO variants of RTX 2080/2080 Ti (via VideoCardz)

From the reported product images one thing in particular stand out, as memory for each card appears unchanged from current GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti cards, at 8GB and 11GB, respectively (though a move to GDDR6 from GDDR5X has also been rumored/reported).

Even (reported) PCB images are online, with this TU104-400-A1 quality sample pictured on Chiphell via VideoCardz.com:

RTX2080_PCB.jpg

The TU104-400-A1 pictured is presumed to be the RTX 2080 GPU (Chiphell via VideoCardz)

Other product images from AIB partners (PALIT and Gigabyte) were recently posted over at VideoCardz.com if you care to take a look, and as we near a likely announcement it looks like the (reported) leaks will keep on coming.

Source: VideoCardz
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Pengo

Overview

Recently, we got the opportunity to take a look at an interesting video capture device from a company called Pengo. While we had never heard of this company before, the promises of 4K 60Hz video capture at the price of $150 were too compelling to pass up.

Also, the Pengo 4K is a UVC capture device, which means that it uses the standard Microsoft video drivers, meaning it will work with any application capable of seeing camera input from a webcam and requires no additional software/drivers. Pengo also claims support for Mac OS and Linux with this device, although you would have to find software that knows how to deal with UVC devices.

From a design perspective, the Pengo 4K is quite simple. The device itself is made from aluminum and about the size of a deck of playing cards.

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In addition to video capture, you can also use the Pengo as an audio input/output device through the audio connectors on the front.

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Taking a look at the back of the Pengo, we can see my one major gripe with the device. Instead of using a proper port like MicroUSB or USB-C, the device ships with a Type-A to Type-A cable, which is actually against the USB specifications and will make finding a replacement cable, or a cable longer than the included cable (about 1 foot) difficult. 

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In this case, we used OBS to record footage from the Xbox One X using the Pengo 4K. Here, we can see that the Xbox is, in fact, capable of outputting full 4K 60Hz content to this capture card.

However, if you do some further investigation, we found that while the Pengo capture device ingests 4K footage, it is only actually capable of recording at 1080p 60Hz, meaning that it internally downsamples the footage.

While this still makes sense to some degree, allowing you to keep your console or PC in 4K for your local display while gaming, it's disappointing to see the capture functionality limited to 1080p. To be fair, the recording limitations of the Pengo are hidden on the specifications page, but overall it seems disingenuous to market this device heavily as "4K".

For anyone looking for an inexpensive, easy to use capture device, I would still recommend taking a look at the Pengo 4K HDMI Grabber. However, if you are looking for true 4K capture, this is not the device for you.

Author:
Manufacturer: NZXT

Introduction and Features

Introduction

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NZXT recently introduced the E Series line of digital power supplies which is being offered in three sizes: 500W, 650W and 850W. The E Series power supplies are all modular, support 80 Plus Gold efficiency certification, and come backed by a 10-year warranty. We will be taking a detailed look at the NZXT E850 PSU in this review.

One of the more unique features offered by the NZXT E Series digital power supplies is support for NZXT’s CAM desktop monitoring and control software. This allows the end user to monitor various power supply parameters (voltages, power, efficiency, temperature, etc., by rail) and provides control over current limit set points and fan speed profiles. An onboard DSP digital interface connects the E Series power supply to the PC via a USB link to the motherboard.

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NZXT partnered with Seasonic as the OEM for the E Series; one of the most respected manufacturers in the industry. So as you might expect the NZXT E Series power supplies incorporate high-quality components like all Japanese made electrolytic capacitors 105°C and a 120mm FDB (Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan).

The E Series power supplies are currently entering retail channels and should be available from your favorite online retailer by the end of July 2018. The MSRPs for the three E Series power supplies are:

•    NZXT E500 - $119.99 USD
•    NZXT E650 - $129.99 USD
•    NZXT E850 - $149.99 USD

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NZXT E Series PSU Key Features:

•    500W, 650W, and 850W continuous DC output at up to 50°C
•    Digital interface supports NZXT CAM monitoring and control software
•    10-Year Warranty and NZXT Service and Support
•    80 PLUS Gold certified, at least 90% efficiency under 50% load
•    Fully modular cables for easy installation
•    Fan-less mode for silent operation at low power
•    Quiet 120mm fan with FDB for long life and quiet operation
•    High quality components including all Japanese electrolytic capacitors 105°C
•    Compact chassis measures only 150mm (5.9”) deep
•    Active Power Factor correction (0.99) with Universal AC input
•    Safety protections: OPP, OVP, UVP, OCP, OTP and SCP

Please continue reading our review of the NZXT E850 PSU!!!

PCPer Mailbag #55 - Under Negative Pressure

Subject: Editorial | August 17, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

Yeah, OK, we missed a few weeks. It's all Jim's fault. Anyway, Ryan's back to tackle these questions:

00:22 - SATA cable failures?
01:54 - Tiered storage for consumers? Windows Storage Spaces vs. StoreMI?
04:29 - Low-end PC gaming vs. future consoles?
07:11 - Ryzen cores on future consoles?
10:34 - GPU for 1440p HDR ultrawide?
12:25 - TR4 socket issue?
13:26 - Why doesn't Intel make RAM?
14:40 - Negative pressure PC case?
16:05 - Normalizing RAM prices?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

Podcast #509 - Threadripper 2950X/2990WX, Multiple QLC SSDs, and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2018 - 03:16 PM |
Tagged: xeon, video, Turning, Threadripper, ssd, Samsung, QLC, podcast, PA32UC, nvidia, nand, L1TF, Intel, DOOM Eternal, asus, amd, 660p, 2990wx, 2950x

PC Perspective Podcast #509 - 08/16/18

Join us this week for discussion on Modded Thinkpads, EVGA SuperNOVA PSUs, 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, Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:35:10

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. There is no 3
  2. Week in Review:
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Other stuff
  5. Picks of the Week:
  6. Closing/outro
 
 
Source:

6GHz across 32 cores, ThreadRipping mayhem

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2018 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: amd, threadripper 2, 2990wx, overclocking, LN2

The low cost workstation class 2990WX has been verified as running at 5.955GHz on an MSI MEG X399 Creation board, with the help of a lot of liquid nitrogen.  The Inquirer has links to the setup that Indonesian overclocker Ivan Cupa needed in order to manage this feat, which required fans to cool certain portions of the motherboard as well.  You are not likely to see this set up installed in a server room but the achievement is no less impressive as that is an incredible frequency to reach.  Check it out in all it's glory.

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"So far, it would seem that AMD is on top when it comes to willy-waving, though it's worth noting that overclocked performance is a tad nebulous and real-world in-app performance is really where choosing an Intel or AMD chip comes to play."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer
Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer: ARM

Aggressively Pursuing New Markets

ARM has had a pretty fascinating history, but for most of its time on this Earth it has not been a very public facing company. After the release of the iPhone and ARM’s dominance in the mobile market, they decided to push their PR efforts up a few notches. Now we finally were able to see some of the inner workings of a company that was once a little known low power CPU designer that licensed cores out to third parties.

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The company was not always as aggressive as what we are seeing now. The mobile space for a long time was dominated by multiple architectures that all have eventually faded away. ARM held steady with design improvements and good customer relations that ensured that they would continue into the future. After the release of the original iPhone, the world changed. Happily for us, ARM changed as well. In previous years ARM would announce products, but they would be at least three years away and few people took notice of what they were up to. I originally started paying attention to ARM as I thought that their cores might have the ability to power mobile gaming and perhaps be integrated into future consoles so that there would be a unified architecture that these providers could lean upon. This was back when the 3DS and PSP were still selling millions of units.

This of course never came to pass as I had expected it to, but at least ARM did make it into the Nintendo Switch. ARM worked hard to quickly put faster, more efficient parts out the door. They also went on a buying spree and acquired several graphics startups that would eventually contribute to the now quite formidable Mali GPU family of products. Today we have an extensive lineup of parts that can be bundled into a tremendous amount of configurations. ARM has a virtual monopoly in the cellphone market because they have been willing to work with anyone who wants to license their designs, technologies, and architectures. This is actually a relatively healthy “monopoly” because the partners do the work to mix and match features to provide unique products to the marketplace. Architectural licensees like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung all differentiate their products as well and provide direct competition to the ARM designed cores that are licensed to other players.

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Today we are seeing a new direction from ARM that has never been officially explored. We have been given a roadmap of the next two generations of products from the company that are intended to compete in not only the cellphone market, but also in the laptop market. ARM has thrown down the gauntlet and their sights are set on Intel and AMD. Not only is ARM showing us the codenames for these products, but also the relative performance.

Click here to read the entire ARM Roadmap Editorial!

Rage against the remake; Jagged Alliance exhumed once again

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2018 - 03:45 PM |
Tagged: gaming, jagged alliance rage

The first and second Jagged Alliance games, and to an extent the add-on to JA2 were incredible games for those that liked turn based tactical shooters.  From there it was all downhill as the original idea was corrupted into Jagged Alliance Online and the KickStarted Jagged Alliance: Flashback.  The devs behind JA Online are now working on Jagged Alliance: Rage!, which puts you in control of some aged mercenaries susceptible to infections and permanent injuries.  That mechanic is new and might indicate there is hope for the game yet, especially at the $20 price tag that has been chosen.  Take a peek at the announcement video over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.

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"In Jagged Alliance: Rage! you are constantly on the brink of breakdown. Badly equipped and outnumbered, it’s up to the player to lead their seasoned mercenaries in tactical turn-based missions and to light the spark of a revolution."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

The biggest little storehouse in Texas ... terabytes on gumsticks

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2018 - 02:42 PM |
Tagged: SK Hynix, Terabyte, toshiba, QLC NAND

This year at the Flash Memory Summit big is in as Toshiba unveils an 85TB 2.5" SSH and suggested a 20TB M.2 drive is not far off.  SK Hynix will release a 64TB 2.5" SSD with a 1Tbit die size which analysts expect to offer somewhat improved reads and writes compared o their previous offerings.  The two companies will be using 96-layer QLC 3D NAND in these drives and The Register expects we will see them use an NVMe interface as opposed to SATA.  Check out the story for more detail on these drives as well as what Intel is working on.

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"The Flash Memory Summit saw two landmark capacity announcements centred on 96-layer QLC (4bits/cell) flash that seemingly herald a coming virtual abolition of workstation and server read-intensive flash capacity constraints."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

BAPCo Launches SYSMark 2018 Benchmarking Suite for PCs

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2018 - 10:59 AM |
Tagged: sysmark, sysmark 2018, bapco, benchmarks

SYSMark is an application-based benchmarking suite used by many PC OEMs and enterprises to evaluate hardware deployments, as well as by us here at PC Perspective to evaluate system performance.

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By using a variety of widely used applications such as  Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite, SYSMark can provide insight into the performance levels of typical user activities like Productivity, which can be difficult to quantify otherwise.

As part of the upgrade to SYSMark 2018, the applications used to test are updated as well, including Microsoft Office 2016, Google Chrome version 65, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, Adobe Photoshop CC (2018), Cyberlink PowerDirector 15, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, AutoIT 3.3.14.2.

SYSMark 2018 is available today from BAPCo's online store.

Source: BAPCo

Real time ray tracing in still life

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 14, 2018 - 01:08 AM |
Tagged: Siggraph, ray tracing, quadro rtx 8000, quadro rtx 5000, nvidia, jensen

The attempt to describe the visual effects Jensen Huang showed off at his Siggraph keynote is bound to fail, not that this has ever stopped any of us before.  If you have seen the short demo movie they released earlier this year in cooperation with Epic and ILMxLAB you have an idea what they can do with ray tracing.  However they pulled a fast one on us, as they were hiding the actual hardware that this was shown with as it was not pre-rendered but instead was actually our first look at their real time ray tracing.  The hardware required for this feat is the brand new RTX series and the specs are impressive.

rtx specs.JPG

The ability to process 10 Giga rays means that each and every pixel can be influenced by numerous rays of light, perhaps 100 per pixel in a perfect scenario with clean inputs, or 5-20 in cases where their AI de-noiser is required to calculate missing light sources or occlusions, in real time.  The card itself functions well as a light source as well.  The ability to perform 16 TFLOPS and 16 TIPS means this card is happy doing both floating point and integer calculations simultaneously. 

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The die itself is significantly larger than the previous generation at 754mm2, and will sport a 300W TDP to keep it in line with the PCIe spec; though we will run it through the same tests as the RX 480 to see how well they did if we get the chance.  30W of the total power is devoted to the onboard USB controller which implies support for VR Link.

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The cards can be used in pairs, utilizing Jensun's chest decoration, more commonly known as an NVLink bridge, and more than one pair can be run in a system but you will not be able to connect three or more cards directly. 

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As that will give you up to 96GB of GDDR6 for your processing tasks, it is hard to consider that limiting.  The price is rather impressive as well, compared to previous render farms such as this rather tiny one below you are looking at a tenth the cost to power your movie with RTX cards.  The card is not limited to proprietary engines or programs either, with DirectX and Vulkan APIs being supported in addition to Pixar's software.  Their Material Definition Language will be made open source, allowing for even broader usage for those who so desire.

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You will of course wonder what this means in terms of graphical eye candy, either pre-rendered quickly for your later enjoyment or else in real time if you have the hardware.  The image below attempts to show the various features which RTX can easily handle.  Mirrored surfaces can be emulated with multiple reflections accurately represented, again handled on the fly instead of being preset, so soon you will be able to see around corners. 

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It also introduces a new type of anti-aliasing called DLAA and there is no money to win for guessing what the DL stands for.  DLAA works by taking an already anti-aliased image and training itself to provide even better edge smoothing, though at a processing cost.  As with most other features on these cards, it is not the complexity of the scene which has the biggest impact on calculation time but rather the amount of pixels, as each pixel has numerous rays associated with it.

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This new feature also allows significantly faster processing than Pascal, not the small evolutionary changes we have become accustomed to but more of a revolutionary change.

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In addition to effects in movies and other video there is another possible use for Turing based chips which might appeal to the gamer, if the architecture reaches the mainstream.  With the ability to render existing sources with added ray tracing and de-noising features it might be possible for an enterprising soul to take an old game and remaster it in a way never before possible.  Perhaps one day people who try to replay the original System Shock or Deus Ex will make it past the first few hours before the graphical deficiencies overwhelm their senses.

We expect to see more from NVIDIA tomorrow so stay tuned.

 

Source: NVIDIA

NVIDIA Officially Announces Turing GPU Architecture at SIGGRAPH 2018

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2018 - 07:43 PM |
Tagged: turing, siggraph 2018, rtx, quadro rtx 8000, quadro rtx 6000, quadro rtx 5000, quadro, nvidia

Today at the professional graphics-focused SIGGRAPH conference, NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang has unveiled details on their much-rumored next GPU architecture, codenamed Turing.

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At the core of the Turing architecture are what NVIDIA is referring these as two "engines"– one for accelerating Ray Tracing, and the other for accelerating AI Inferencing.

The Ray Tracing units are called RT cores and are not to be confused with the announcement of NVIDIA RTX technology for real-time ray-tracing that we saw at GDC this year. There, NVIDIA was using their Optix AI-powered denoising filter to clean up ray-traced images, allowing them to save on rendering resources, but the actual ray-tracing was still being done on the GPU cores itself.

Now, these RT cores will perform the ray calculations themselves at what NVIDIA is claiming is up to 10 GigaRays/second, or up to 25X the performance of the current Pascal architecture.

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Just like we saw in the Volta-based Quadro GV100, these new Quadro RTX cards will also feature Tensor Cores for deep learning acceleration. It is unclear if these tensor cores remain unchanged from what we saw in Volta or not.

In addition to the RT Cores and Tensor Units, Turing also features an all-new design for the tradition Streaming Multiprocessor (SM) GPU units. Changes include an integer execution unit executing in parallel with the floating point datapath, and a new unified cache architecture with double the bandwidth of the previous generation.

NVIDIA claims these changes combined with the up to 4,608 available CUDA cores in the highest configuration will enable up to 16 TFLOPS and 16 trillion integer operations per second.

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Alongside the announcement of the Turing Architecture, NVIDIA unveiled the Quadro RTX 5000, 6000, 8000-series products, due in Q4 2018.

In addition to the announcements at SIGGRAPH tonight, NVIDIA is expected to announce the consumer, GeForce products featuring the Turing architecture next week at an event in Germany

PC Perspective is at both SIGGRAPH and will be at NVIDIA's event in Germany next week so stay tuned for more details!

Source: NVIDIA

ThreadRipper 2: Die Four Real

Subject: Processors | August 13, 2018 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: Zen+, Threadripper, second generation threadripper, ryzen, Intel, Core i9, 7980xe, 7960x, 7900x, 2990wx, 2950x

The 2950X and 2990WX are both ThreadRipper 2 chips but are very different beasts under the hood.  The 2950X has two active die similar to the original chips while the 2990WX has four active die, two of which utilize an Infinity Fabric link to the other two to communicate to the memory subsystem.  The W in the naming convention indicates the 2990WX is designed for workstation tasks and benchmarks support that designation.  You will have seen our results here, but there are many other sources to read through.  [H]ard|OCP offers up a different set of benchmarks in their review, with a similar result; with ThreadRipper AMD has a winner.  The 2990WX is especially important as it opens up the lucrative lower cost workstations market for AMD.

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"AMD teased us a bit last week by showing off its new 2nd Generation Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X packaging and specifications. This week AMD lets us share all our Threadripper data we have been collecting. The 2990WX is likely a lot different part than many people were expecting, and it turns out that it might usher AMD into a newly created market."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Coffee Lake S will be released along with the pumpkin spice

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2018 - 01:49 PM |
Tagged: Intel, rumour, release, coffee lake s, i9-9900K, i5-9600K, i7-9700K

According to the various sources The Inquirer has, the Coffee Lake refresh will be launched on the first of October, in time to ensure systems builders have models ready for the holidays.  This new processor does not offer a compelling upgrade for those with a modern system, as it is very similar to it's predecessor.  If you have something a little older however, the three new processors offer increased frequencies and core counts, the 9900K sports a default Boost Clock of 5GHz, which is nothing to sneeze at.

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"If you were expecting anything bigger then allow us to disappoint you as, really the ninth-gen chips are mild upgrades on their predecessors, unless Intel has been keeping something very well hidden up its corporate sleeves."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Intro and NNEF 1.0 Finalization

SIGGRAPH 2018 is a huge computer graphics expo that occurs in a seemingly random host city around North America. (Asia has a sister event, called SIGGRAPH Asia, which likewise shuffles around.) In the last twenty years, the North American SIGGRAPH seems to like Los Angeles, which hosted the event nine times over that period, but Vancouver won out this year. As you would expect, the maintainers of OpenGL and Vulkan are there, and they have a lot to talk about.

In summary:

  • NNEF 1.0 has been finalized and released!
  • The first public demo of OpenXR is available and on the show floor.
  • glTF Texture Transmission Extension is being discussed.
  • OpenCL Ecosystem Roadmap is being discussed.
  • Khronos Educators Program has launched.

I will go through each of these points. Feel free to skip around between the sections that interest you!

Read on to see NNEF or see page 2 for the rest!

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Widening the Offerings

Today, we are talking about something that would have seen impossible just a few shorts years ago— a 32-core processor for consumers. While I realize that talking about the history of computer hardware can be considered superfluous in a processor review, I think it's important to understand the context here of why this is just a momentous shift for the industry.

May 2016 marked the launch of what was then the highest core count consumer processor ever seen, the Intel Core i7-6950X. At 10 cores and 20 threads, the 6950X was easily the highest performing consumer CPU in multi-threaded tasks but came at a staggering $1700 price tag. In what we will likely be able to look back on as the peak of Intel's sole dominance of the x86 CPU space, it was an impossible product to recommend to almost any consumer.

Just over a year later saw the launch of Skylake-X with the Intel Core i9-7900X. Retaining the same core count as the 6950X, the 7900X would have been relatively unremarkable on its own. However, a $700 price drop and the future of upcoming 12, 14, 16, and 18-core processors on this new X299 platform showed an aggressive new course for Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) platform.

This aggressiveness was brought on by the success of AMD's Ryzen platform, and the then upcoming Threadripper platform. Promising up to 16 cores/32 threads, and 64 lanes of PCI Express connectivity, it was clear that Intel would for the first time have a competitor on their hands in the HEDT space that they created back with the Core i7-920.

Fast forward another year, and we have the release of the 2nd Generation Threadripper. Promising to bring the same advancements we saw with the Ryzen 7 2700X, AMD is pushing Threadripper to even more competitive states with higher performance and lower cost. 

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Will Threadripper finally topple Intel from their high-end desktop throne?

Click here to continue reading our review of the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX.

GamersNexus vs The Thermal Paste Cabal

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 11, 2018 - 11:24 PM |
Tagged: thermal paste

A couple of weeks ago, GamersNexus published a video and article that benchmarked CPU performance across various thermal paste patterns. It’s well established that the best method of applying the compound is to spread it out as thin as possible, so it fills the gaps with something better than air but doesn’t insulate the parts that would naturally make perfect contact. That takes effort, though, and it’s not clear how much that buys you for modern CPUs with integrated heat-spreaders (IHS).

Video credit: GamersNexus

If you’re attaching a heatsink to a GPU or other bare die ASIC? Different story. Their tests are focused on CPUs with heat spreaders.

Long story short? Not so much difference. The “pea sized” method had a little issue because it didn’t fully cover the IHS, but they went on with the tests because it’s supposed to reflect real-world situations, and that was a real-world type of error. Even still, that corresponded to less than a degree Celsius under load (as measured on an Intel Core i7-8086k). The article mentions something about delidding the CPU, although the photos clearly have an IHS (and that’s the point of the test in the first place) so I’m guessing they only took the IHS off temporarily and replaced it.

It’s interesting how close they ended up. I would have thought that 30 minutes of full load would show at least a few degrees of variance, but apparently not, even with a little patch of uncovered space.

Check out their post (and video above) for more info!

Source: GamersNexus

Blender Benchmark / Blender Open Data Announced

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2018 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged: Blender, benchmark

The Blender Foundation is wrapping up development on Blender 2.8, “The Workflow Update”. We have been following it for a while, but today’s announcement caught me by surprise: a benchmark database. It seems simple, right? Blender wants its users to know what hardware is best to use, especially when rendering images in Cycles (which can be damn slow).

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A bit lopsided...

The solution is to make a version of Blender that creates and validates benchmarks, then compiles the data on their website. It’s still early days for this, with just 2052 entries (at the time of writing) and the  majority of those were from Linux boxes. Also, they only break it down into a handful of categories: Fastest CPU, Fastest Compute Device, Submissions Per OS, then a few charts that compare the individual benchmark scenes against one another in a hardware-agnostic fashion. They pledge to add a lot of more metrics in the future.

Personally, I’m curious to see a performance vs OS metric. Some benchmarks back from 2016 (Blender 2.77 on an EVGA GTX 980 Ti) show Linux out-performing Windows 10 by over 2x, with Windows 7 landing in between (closer to Linux than Windows 10). At the time, it was attributed to NVIDIA’s CUDA driver being horribly optimized for the newer OS, which seems to be validated by the close showing of the GTX 1080 on Windows 10 and Linux, but I would like to see a compiled list of up-to-date results. I could soon be able to.

Discord Nitro Dips Toes into Game Sale and Distribution

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2018 - 10:45 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, discord, Rust, mozilla, steam, GOG

Starting with a slowly-ramping group of ~50,000 Canadians, Discord has begun distributing PC games. Specifically, there will be two services for paying members of the Discord Nitro beta program: a store, where games can be purchased as normal, and a library of other games that are available with the (aforementioned) Discord Nitro subscription.

“It’s kinda like Netflix for games.”

discord-2018-gamestore.png

When talking about subscription services for video games, I am typically hesitant. That said, the previous examples were, like, OnLive, where they planned on making games that ran exclusively on that platform. The concern is that, when those games disappear from the service, they could be gone from our society as a whole work of art. (Consoles and DRM also play into this topic.)

In this case, however, it looks like they are just getting into curated, off-the-shelf PC games. While GoG holds its own, it will be nice to see another contender to Steam in the Win32 (maybe Linux?) games market. (I say Win32 because of the developer certification requirements for Windows Store / UWP.)

Dead horse rant aside, Discord is doing games… including a subscription service. Yay.

One more aspect to this story!

Over the last five-or-so years, Mozilla has been talking about upgrading their browser to use a more safe, multi-theaded, functional, job system, via their home-grown programming language, Rust. Turns out: Discord used this language for a lot of the store (and surrounding SDKs). Specifically, the native code for the store, the game SDK (with C, C++, and C# bindings), and the multiplayer network layer are all in Rust. This should make it fast and secure, which were the two design goals for Rust in the first place.

It was intended for web browsers after all...

Source: Discord

DOOM Eternal Gameplay at QuakeCon 2018

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2018 - 10:16 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, doom, bethesda

Bethesda, as usual, held a keynote at their QuakeCon event in the Dallas / Fort Worth region of Texas. So far so good. They then revealed DOOM Eternal with over 15 minutes of gameplay spread across three brutal segments.

Even though the reboot had a lot more… airborne activity… than the original, the new “meat hook” ability allows the player to grapple toward enemies. (At least, I only saw them grapple enemies. Maybe other things too? Probably not, though.) While not exactly a new mechanic, it looks like it flows well with DOOM’s faster-paced gameplay.

DOOM Eternal is coming to the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and even the Nintendo Switch. No release date has been announced.