AMD's HBCC for you and me

Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2017 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: Vega, amd, raja koduri, HBCC

Techgage has posted a look at what AMD's new HBCC feature in Vega is and how it will help you run games faster.  HBCC allows your GPU to treat VRAM as a last-level cache, so that a request for data not currently located in VRAM can be pulled into Vega's HBC for immediate access while simultaneously flushing out data which is no longer needed.  In addition to describing how the feature functions they also did quite a bit of testing to determine the real world effect of enabling HBCC in games and benchmarks.  Drop by for a look.

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"AMD’s Vega GPU architecture brings many notable features to the table, but the one to find its way into Radeon chief Raja Koduri’s heart is HBCC – or “high-bandwidth cache controller”. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what HBCC is, why it offers no benefit right this moment, and talk about what it could offer in the future."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: Techgage

Back to school or just the beach, the best mobile devices to drag with you

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | August 21, 2017 - 11:49 AM |
Tagged: laptop, cellphone

The Tech Report have polled their crew to build a list of the best mobile devices on the market to help you enjoy your summer.  Amazon's tablets were a top pick thanks to the reasonable prices you can purchase them at; they won't be able to play Crysis but there are plenty of other things you can do.  For those who need a bigger screen without overly increasing the price you can peruse the Chromebooks or you could just head straight to the big ticket items in the gaming laptop section.  Drop by for a look at what you might be interested in over at TR.

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"It's time for another edition of The Tech Report's mobile staff picks, where we comb the worlds of tablets, laptops, and phones to separate the best from the rest."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Vulkan Support Soon

Subject: General Tech | August 19, 2017 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, oxide, Oxide Games, vulkan

Oxide Games has been mentioned all throughout the development of the next-generation graphics APIs, DirectX 12, Mantle, and Vulkan. Their Star Swarm “stress test” was one of the first practical examples of a game that desperately needs to make a lot of draw calls. Also, their rendering algorithm is very different from the other popular game engines, where lighting is performed on the object rather than the screen, which the new APIs help out with.

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Currently, Ashes of the Singularity supports DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, but Vulkan will be added soon. Oxide will be pushing the new graphics api in the 2.4 update, bringing increased CPU performance to all OSes but especially Windows 7 and 8 (neither of which support DirectX 12), and a free DLC pack that contains nine co-op maps. They also plan to continue optimizing Ashes of the Singularity for Vulkan in the future.

All of this will be available on Thursday, August 24th.

Fishing for Ice Lake rumours

Subject: General Tech | August 18, 2017 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: rumours, Intel, ice lake, coffee lake, 9th generation core

It's Friday so why not engage in some speculation with us about Intel's upcoming new chips?  We will start off by confusing the issue with a post detailing Intel's naming conventions that The Inquirer found.  It would seem that not only is the "Ice Lake processor family is a successor to the 8th generation Intel Core processor family" but it is also described as an "“8th generation Intel Core Processor Family” and available only to early access users.  One can only hope that there is a typo in Intel's decoder ring as the current naming schemes are already confusing enough between AMD and Intel without adding more levels of complexity.

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That makes the above a little more interesting than unannounced low power parts usually are.  AnandTech recently learned of these two new families of 8th gen chips, the i7-8xxx and i5-8xxx, both of which offer double the amount of cores as their 7th gen processors.  The base frequencies are lower than the previous generation, perhaps to remain inside the 15W TDP with double the amount of cores, with the turbo frequencies remaining a mystery for now.  With the aforementioned confusion, it is possible these could be Ice Lake based, though it is far more likely that they are indeed caffeinated instead.

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The final rumour for you to look at this morning is the above screenshot from Chiphell.  You will need to zoom and enhance to get the full story, however there are some interesting reveals in the legible parts of the slide.  Enjoy.

"More news from Intel this morning, this time published directly on their website. With the upcoming announcement of the 8th Generation Core next week to which Intel has already posted teasers to the media, it would seem that someone at Intel decided to add processor details and pricing into Intel’s official Price List today."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AnandTech

Vulkan Renderer for Doom 3 BFG Source Code Published

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2017 - 09:41 PM |
Tagged: id software, vulkan, doom, Doom 3

Over the last few days, Dustin Land of id Software has been publishing commits to his vkDOOM3 GitHub repository. This project, as the name suggests, adds a Vulkan-based renderer to the game, although it’s not really designed to replace the default OpenGL implementation. Instead, the project is a learning resource, showing how a full application handles the API.

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This is quite interesting for me. While code samples can show you how a chunk of code is used in rough isolation, it’s sometimes good to see how it’s used in a broader context. For instance, when I was learning Unreal Engine 4, I occasionally searched into the Unreal Tournament repository for whatever I was learning about. Sometimes, things just don’t “click” until you see the context, especially when your question starts with “why”.

If you’re interested, check out the GitHub repo. You will need to own Doom 3 BFG Edition to actually play it, though.

Source: GitHub

Cooler Master's MasterPulse MH320, bargain or bust?

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2017 - 01:28 PM |
Tagged: audio, cooler master, masterpulse MH320, gaming headset

The MasterPulse MH320 gaming headset is a mere $40 on Amazon right now and TechPowerUp wanted to determine if it was a bargain or not.  The specifications are reasonable, 40mm neodymium drivers and a 20-20,000Hz frequency response, a bi-directional microphone and 3.5mm plugs, sans USB.  In testing they found spatial positioning to be a weakness, if you depend on audio clues to detect your enemies you will be disappointed but for games which do not require this feature as well as for listening to music the MH320's are a good deal.  They were also a big fan of CM utilizing a dual headband design on a budget level headset.  For more details head on over and read the full review.

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"By releasing the MasterPulse MH320, their least-expensive gaming headset to date, Cooler Master tries to grab the attention of gamers on a very tight budget. Even though it costs a mere $40, it offers a dual-headband design, a foldable bi-directional boom microphone, and a few other interesting features."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: TechPowerUp

NVIDIA's Quadro vDWS creates Tesla powered servers

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2017 - 12:48 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, pascal, grid, tesla, Quadro vDWS

NVIDIA have updated their GRID virtual PC architecture to allow up to 24 virtual desktops, each with a 1GB desktop, doubling the previous capacity of their virtual machine tool.  Along with this increase comes a new service called Quadro vDWS which allows you to power those virtual desktops with one of their HPC cards like their Pascal-based line of Tesla GPU accelerators.  For workflows which incorporate things such as VR or photorealism this will offer a significant increase in performance; unfortunately Minesweeper will not see any improvements.  NVIDIA accompanied this launch with a new blade server, the Tesla P6 which has 16GB of memory which can be split down to 16 1GB virtual desktops.   Drop by The Inquirer for more information including on where to get this new software.

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"NVIDIA has announced a new software suite which will allow users to virtualise an operating system to turn the company's ridiculously powerful Tesla GPU servers into powerful workstations."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #463 - AMD VEGA 64, Flash Memory Summit, and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 17, 2017 - 11:21 AM |
Tagged: video, T5, Samsung, RX VEGA 64, qualcomm, podcast, PC-Q39, P4800X, NX500, NGSFF, micron, Lian Li, Intel, EK Supremacy EVO, EDSFF, corsair, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #463 - 08/17/17

Join us for AMD Threadripper, Intel 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: Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Ken Addison, Sebastian Peak

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:37:18

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:26:30 Jeremy: caveat emptor
    2. 1:32:30 Ken: Prusa i3 MK2S 3D Printer (NOW IN STOCK!)
  4. Closing/outro
 

Source:

Only 10 days to train up for the Fragging Frogs VLAN #16

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2017 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: vlan, fragging frogs, gaming, kick ass

That's right fellow gamers, in just over a weeks time you will be able to once again dedicate your Saturday to a truly noble effort, fragging friends, family and strangers in the 16th Fragging Frogs VLAN party.  It kicks off at 10AM EDT and goes until the last player succumbs to weakness and falls asleep.  Lenny is hard at work organizing the event as well as gathering hardware and other goodies for the giveaways.

You can't win unless you let him know you are coming by posting to this thread and if you don't set up Teamspeak then you'll never know if you won or not, not to mention that the day is a lot more fun when you are chatting with your fellow Frogs.  The thread also lets you suggest games as well as providing valuable information on the event and getting your mods and patches set up.

Be there or be a pixellated block!

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Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Source: PCPer Forums

Well that's not good, VGA RAM prices spike 30%

Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2017 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, SK Hynix, micron, EVGA G3 850W

DigiTimes is the bearer of bad news for fans of GPUs, as the supply challenges which have marked 2017 are now spreading to GDDR5(x).  This month the price has spiked up just over 30% and that trend is going to continue into September and perhaps beyond.  This will not have an immediate effect on the MSRPs of graphics cards, not that we would notice due to the price inflation from the current mining craze however it will reduce the margins that NVIDIA and AMD receive from sales.  They do not specifically mention AMD in the article, nor HBM2, however the same companies fabricate both so there are likely to be repercussions felt by both technologies.  On the positive side, flash storage prices are reported to have stabilized; so we have that going for us.

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"August quotes for RAMs used in VGA graphics cards have risen to US$8.50, up by 30.8% from US$6.50 in July. Both RAM industry leaders Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix have allocated part of their VGA RAM production capacities to producing memories for servers and handsets, fueling the price rally."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

Patriot’s Viper V570 RGB, a mouse for bargain hunting gamers

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2017 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: patriot, Viper V570 RGB, gaming mouse, RGB

For a $50 mouse, the Patriot Viper V570 RGB has a lot going for it.  There are weights you can use to adjust the heft of your rodent, an Avago 9800 sensor which can be adjusted from 800 to 3200 DPI and eight programmable buttons without counting the right, left and scroll wheel.  Techgage found the materials used in the mouse felt a little lower quality than other mice but not enough to overly concern them, especially considering the price though Patriot did not skimp on the feet.  Check out the full review, including the RGB, over at Techgage.

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"Have just 50 bucks to spend on a new gaming mouse, but feel anxious about the features you may have to give up? With its Viper V570 RGB, Patriot has your back. Despite its modest price, the V570 sports a weight system, RGB lighting (as its name suggests), awesome macro support, and even a solid software solution."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Techgage

Qualcomm's new Spectra Module Program and ISPs

Subject: General Tech | August 15, 2017 - 01:35 PM |
Tagged: qualcomm, spectra

Back in May Ryan covered the hardware that comprises Qualcomm's new SOCs, the Snapdragon 660 and 630 which will feature the new Spectra Image Signal Processors.  Today, The Tech Report have published a look at how these powerful new ISPs will change the mobile market.  The Spectra Module Program has been created to offer the a complete package to hardware developers instead of having them create the software themselves and customize the hardware for that software.  Drop by to take a look at the various sensor packages Qualcomm will be offering right here.

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"Qualcomm's next-gen Spectra image signal processors bring extensive depth-sensing capabilities to the company's mobile processing platforms. We explore how these capabilities could shape the next generation of mobile devices."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

A look at Surfacegates past and present

Subject: General Tech | August 14, 2017 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: surface, microsoft, Skylake

Paul Thurrott has posted a reasoned look at the recent negative rating Consumer Reports have handed the Microsoft Surface and Intel's reaction to it.  There were problems with the release of Skylake powered Surface products and Microsoft initially laid the blame fully on Intel; which proved awkward when they conversed with Lenovo about the problems Skylake caused as Lenovo had not had a similar experience.  Instead the reliability issues stemmed from Microsoft's drivers and when you break down the issues, most had to do with frozen screens and unresponsive touch interfaces. 

Microsoft have since rectified this issue and the new Surface products do not have the same issues as the previous models.   There is an interesting bit of speculation in the article about the fallout of this issue, it could be that this was the driving force behind Microsoft's sudden push to have Windows 10 run on ARM processors.  For more on that as well as some interesting background on how companies measure the success of their products you should head over to read the full article.  At the very least you can bask in the glory of the quote from an internal memo at the beginning of the article, describing your purchase as an "ownership journey with our products".

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"Thurrott.com has seen an internal Microsoft memo that indicates that the software giant is readying a broader campaign to undercut this past week’s news from Consumer Reports. It also provides greater insight into why Microsoft believes the Consumer Reports recommendations are incorrect."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Thurrott

Just Delivered: Oculus Rift with Touch Controllers

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2017 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, Oculus

The Oculus Summer Sale finally gave me the courage to pick up a VR system. In Canada, where the Oculus, with touch and two sensors (something that their website doesn’t highlight very well), is currently $550 CDN and the Vive is $1100 to $1200 CDN, it feels like the former dropped into impulse buy territory, especially as a game development tool. More on that in the coming days or weeks (I hope).

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I played around with it over the weekend, mostly Robo Recall, Lucky’s Tale, and Valve’s The Lab. I was a bit surprised at how virtual objects (like GLaDOS and the Robo Recall robots) getting into your personal space feels slightly intimidating. More accurately, I am a bit surprised how effective the “layer of glass” effect that a traditional computer game, on a computer monitor, isolates you from what’s going on. I know this was a hot topic a couple years ago, but I didn’t experience it at the time. Now I did. It could be very useful for expressing ideas...

From a technical side, it’s a bit annoying setting up the sensors. They were a bit picky until I figured out what they were trying to do, and I would probably want a third sensor at some point for when I turn around. Setting up the back end of the play area perimeter is annoying when you’re trying to move your body around to not block the sensor.

Also, the extra USB devices pushes my system to about the limit, showing me a few notifications of my USB hard drive dropping and reconnecting at times. I’ve heard that many people install add-in cards for extra USB ports (if they don’t have a high-end processor platform). That could be useful.

Windows Defender no longer protects you from third party antivirus software

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2017 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, Kaspersky Labs, windows defender

Microsoft have decided to remove the function in Windows Defender which disabled other antivirus software without notifying the user.  The decision comes after Kaspersky Labs brought an antitrust law suit against Microsoft for disabling products their customers had purchased and expected to work.  The resolution will not be immediate, it will be the Fall Creators Update which brings this change as well as changing the permissions of third party AV messages.  Drop by The Inquirer for more details on the changes to the messaging.

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"Microsoft had poo-pooed the complaint but previously confessed that an update changed the way that Windows 10 deals with AV incompatibilities - by switching them off without warning the user."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Podcast #462 - AMD Threadripper, Intel Rumors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2017 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: x299, X-Series, wraith max, video, Threadripper, Shogun, ryzen, podcast, msi, LaCie, Intel, corsair, coffee lake, bitfenix, amd, 850W

PC Perspective Podcast #462 - 08/10/17

Join us for AMD Threadripper, Intel 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, Ken Addison, Sebastian Peak

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:29:38

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:16:00 Ryan: Lenovo X1 Carbon
    2. 1:28:00 Allyn: Fire Extinguisher
  4. Closing/outro
 

Source:

VLAN the 16th, the Fragging Frogs are hosting a party on Saturday August 26 and you are invited

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2017 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: VLAN party, kick ass, gaming, fragging frogs

It is time for another Fragging Frogs VLAN, the best way to avoid getting sunburnt during this rather warm summer.  It will kick off at 10AM EDT on Saturday August 26th and continue until the last member succumbs to the need to sleep.  If you have never attended one of these events, please take a look through the guidelines which Lenny has posted here to get an idea of how the Frogs roll, not to mention posting in the thread to let us know you are coming.  This would also be a requirement to have your name added to the draws for secret prizes, of which there will be more than a few.

The format is very flexible and you get a say in which games will be played; anything is possible so if you have a favourite please add it into that forum thread as you never know how many others might want to play with you.  Check your patches and update your Teamspeak client to ensure you get the most gaming time possible.  If you want to truly have the best time you should ensure you log into the Teamspeak server, not just so you can win prizes but so you can banter with the gang as you are fragging them.

Hope to see you there!

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Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Source: PCPer Forums

PCPer Live! AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive Discussion and RX 580 Giveaway!

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | August 9, 2017 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: video, relive, radeon software, radeon, live stream, live, giveaway, crimson, amd

UPDATE: Did you miss today's live stream? Catch it right here:

Last year, AMD and its software team dispatched some representatives to our offices to talk about the major software release that was Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition. As most of you probably saw last week, AMD launched the Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 driver and we are pleased to let you know that we will again be hosting a live stream with our friends at AMD! Come learn about the development of this new driver, how the new features work and insight on what might be coming in the future from AMD's software team.

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And what's a live stream without prizes? AMD has stepped up to the plate to offer up some awesome hardware for those of you that tune in to watch the live stream! 

  • 2 x MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X Graphics Cards

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AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Live Stream and Giveaway

10am PT / 1pm ET - August 9th

PC Perspective Live! Page

Need a reminder? Join our live mailing list!

The event will take place Wednesday, August 9th at 10am PT / 1pm ET at https://www.pcper.com/live. There you’ll be able to catch the live video stream as well as use our chat room to interact with the audience. To win the prizes you will have to be watching the live stream, with exact details of the methodology for handing out the goods coming at the time of the event.

I will be joined by Adrian Castelo, Software Product Manager and Gurman Singh, Software Marketing Manager. In short, these are two people you want to hear from and have answer your questions! (Apparently Terry Makedon will be hiding in the background as well...)

If you have questions, please leave them in the comments below and we'll look through them just before the start of the live stream. Of course you'll be able to tweet us questions @pcper and we'll be keeping an eye on the IRC chat as well for more inquiries. What do you want to know and hear from AMD?

So join us! Set your calendar for Wednesday at 10am PT / 1pm ET and be here at PC Perspective to catch it. If you are a forgetful type of person, sign up for the PC Perspective Live mailing list that we use exclusively to notify users of upcoming live streaming events including these types of specials and our regular live podcast. I promise, no spam will be had!

NVIDIA rides shotgun in autonomous vehicles

Subject: General Tech | August 9, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, autonomous vehicles, HPC

NVIDIA has previously shown their interest in providing the brains for autonomous vehicles, their Xavier chip is scheduled for release some time towards the end of the year.  They are continuing their efforts to break into this market by investing in start ups in a program called GPU Ventures.  Today DigiTimes reports that NVIDIA purchased a stake in a Chinese company called Tusimple which is developing autonomous trucks.  The transportation of goods may not be as interesting to the average consumer as self driving cars but the market could be more lucrative; there are a lot of trucks on the roads of the world and they are unlikely to be replaced any time soon.

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"Tusimple, a Beijing-based startup focused on developing autonomous trucks, has disclosed that Nvidia will make a strategic investment to take a 3% stake in the company. Nvidia's investment is part of a a Series B financing round, Tusimple indicated."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Valve Announces Artifact Game with Three Somethings

Subject: General Tech | August 8, 2017 - 10:16 PM |
Tagged: valve, pc gaming

During their The International tournament for Dota 2, Valve announced a whole new game and a whole new reason for Blizzard to be annoyed at them: Artifact. While the teaser doesn’t really say much, they allowed Sean Plott, better known as Day[9], discuss his experiences playing it.

Apparently, it’s a card combat game that is based on the Dota 2 universe. Borrowing from the MOBA formula, there are actually three boards, which he called lanes at one point, that you will need to balance your efforts between. Some strategies can push a single board, while others can just safely lean on all three (although I’m not sure whether the metagame will heavily favor one or the other... in practice).

It’s unclear whether Valve will use their own engine, or license a third-party engine like Unity, which was used by Blizzard for Hearthstone and Valve, themselves, for some of their VR content.

Artifact is expected at some time in 2018.