Should you hang out on the Bridge, or is it worth heading onto the Lake?

Subject: Systems | February 21, 2017 - 06:55 PM |
Tagged: upgrade, sandybridge, kaby lake

The tick-tock of Intel's waltz has stuttered a bit, with many users wondering if it is worth picking up a new Kaby Lake based system.  Gone are the good old days when a new generation of processors guaranteed enough of an increase in performance to justify decreasing your bank account immediately.  There are several reasons for this, including the difficulties in reducing the size of the process and increasing the amount of transistors, not just the current lack of competition in the marketplace.

At The Tech Report, one of their staff were curious enough to do the upgrade, dumping their  i7-2600K for an i7-7700k.  Check out the results of the upgrade, with some impressive effect on the wonky but beloved Arma III engine.

20170204105220_1.jpg

"The question of whether it's worth upgrading from Intel's Sandy Bridge chips accompanies every new TR CPU review. For one TR contributor, the arrival of Kaby Lake finally motivated him to make a move. See what the upgrade to a more modern platform did for him."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Lenovo Announces new ThinkPad P51s P51 and P71 Mobile Workstations

Subject: Systems, Mobile | February 6, 2017 - 08:37 PM |
Tagged: xeon, Thinkpad, quadro, P71, P51s, P51, nvidia, notebook, mobile workstation, Lenovo, kaby lake, core i7

Lenovo has announced a trio of new ThinkPad mobile workstations, featuring updated Intel 7th-generation Core (Kaby Lake) processors and NVIDIA Quadro graphics, and among these is the thinnest and lightest ThinkPad mobile workstation to date in the P51s.

P51s.jpg

"Engineered to deliver breakthrough levels of performance, reliability and long battery life, the ThinkPad P51s features a new chassis, designed to meet customer demands for a powerful but portable machine. Developed with engineers and professional designers in mind, this mobile workstation features Intel’s 7th generation Core i7 processors and the latest NVIDIA Quadro dedicated workstation graphics, as well as a 4K UHD IPS display with optional IR camera."

Lenovo says that the ThinkPad P51s is more than a half pound lighter than the previous generation (P50s), stating that "the P51s is the lightest and thinnest mobile workstation ever developed by ThinkPad" at 14.4 x 9.95 x 0.79 inches, and weight starting at 4.3 lbs.

Specs for the P51s include:

  • Up to a 7th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor
  • NVIDIA Quadro M520M Graphics
  • Choice of standard or touchscreen FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, or 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS display
  • Up to 32 GB DDR4 2133 RAM (2x SODIMM slots)
  • Storage options including up to 1 TB (5400 rpm) HDD and 1 TB NVMe PCIe SSDs
  • USB-C with Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • 802.11ac and LTE-A wireless connectivity

Lenovo also announced the ThinkPad P51, which is slightly larger than the P51s, but brings the option of Intel Xeon E3-v6 processors (in addition to Kaby Lake Core i7 CPUs), Quadro M2200M graphics, faster 2400 MHz memory up to 64 GB (4x SODIMM slots), and up to a 4K IPS display with X-Rite Pantone color calibration.

Thinkpad_P51.jpg

Finally there is the new VR-ready P71 mobile workstation, which offers up to an NVIDIA Quadro P5000M GPU along with Oculus and HTC VR certification.

"Lenovo is also bringing virtual reality to life with the new ThinkPad P71. One of the most talked about technologies today, VR has the ability to bring a new visual perspective and immersive experience to our customers’ workflow. In our new P71, the NVIDIA Pascal-based Quadro GPUs offer a stunning level of performance never before seen in a mobile workstation, and it comes equipped with full Oculus and HTC certifications, along with NVIDIA’s VR-ready certification."

Thinkpad_P71.jpg

Pricing and availability is as follows:

  • ThinkPad P51s, starting at $1049, March
  • ThinkPad P51, starting at $1399, April
  • ThinkPad P71, starting at $1849, April
Source: Lenovo

MSI's tiny Trident 3 gaming system

Subject: Systems | January 31, 2017 - 08:24 PM |
Tagged: gaming desktop, SFF, gtx 1060, i7-7700, msi, Trident 3

MSI's Trident 3 PC comes complete with Windows 10 Home, a DS4200 keyboard and a DS B1 gaming mouse.  The actual system is a mere 346.25x232.47x71.83mm (13.6x9.2x2.8") and hides a shrunken GTX 1060, a Core i7-7700, two 8GB sticks of DDR4-2400 and in the system that TechPowerUp reviewed, a 256GB Kingston SATA M.2 SSD and a 1TB Toshiba HDD.  It is easy to use for VR, with USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and Type-A ports as well as HDMI on the front panel.  MSI did need to make some sacrifices to squeeze these components in, the system does not support overclocking nor XMP profiles.  The performance at 1080p is respectable for a fully configured system and it starts at $899, with upgrades available.

all_open.jpg

"MSI's Trident 3 is a compact SFF system that can provide a console-like gaming experience. Equipped with an Intel Core i7-7700, a custom mITX MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB GAMING, 16 GB of RAM, an M.2 SSD and a mechanical HDD for storage duties, it is small yet extremely capable."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Source: TechPowerUp

Microsoft Xbox Project Scorpio Whitepaper Leaked

Subject: Systems | January 25, 2017 - 03:30 AM |
Tagged: xbox one, xbox, Project Scorpio, microsoft

Digital Foundry received an Xbox Project Scorpio whitepaper from an anonymous source, although they were able to validate its authenticity. Basically, they sent it to their own, off-the-record sources who would have access to the same info, and those individuals confirmed it’s an official document that they’ve seen before. Of course, the trust bottlenecks through Digital Foundry, but they’re about as reputable as you can get in this industry, so that works.

Anywho, disclaimer aside, the whitepaper unveils a few interesting details about how Project Scorpio is expecting to provide higher performance. The most interesting change is what’s missing: the small, on-chip RAM (ESRAM). Microsoft claims that the higher global memory bandwidth removes the need to have it on Project Scorpio.

Digital Foundry is still a bit concerned that, while the 320 GB/s bandwidth might be enough, the latency might be a concern for compatibility. Personally, I’m not too concerned. Modern GPUs do a huge amount of latency-hiding tricks, such as parking whole shaders at global memory accesses and running other tasks while the GPU fetches the memory the original shader needs, swapping it back and finishing when it arrives. Also, the increased GPU performance will mean that the game has more room to be wasteful of GPU resources, since it only needs to perform at least as good as a regular Xbox One. I expect that there wouldn’t be enough round-trips to ESRAM for it to be a major slowdown when running on Project Scorpio (and its not-ESRAM).

xboxcover.jpg

Seriously, Wall-E with a Freddie Mercury 'stache.

Microsoft does suggest that developers make use of ESRAM on Xbox One and Xbox One S, though. Yes, don’t deliberately throw away performance on the slower machines just because that accelerator isn’t available on higher-end devices, like Project Scorpio or a gaming PC (heh heh heh).

Another point that Digital Foundry highlighted was that the actual number of rendered fragments (pixels that may or may not make it to screen) didn’t scale up by a factor-of-four (going from 1080p to 4K) in all cases. A first-party developer noticed a case where it was only a 3.5x scaling between the two resolutions. (This metric was actually rendered pixels, not even just GPU load, which would include resolution-independent tasks, like physics simulations.) I’m not exactly sure how the number of fragments decreased, but it could be due to some rendering tricks, like when Halo renders the background at a lower resolution. (Yes, I’m using Khronos verbiage; it’s less ambiguous.)

They also assume that Project Scorpio will use pre-Zen AMD CPU cores. I agree. It seems like Zen wouldn’t be around early enough to make production, especially when you consider the pre-release units that are circulating around Microsoft, and probably third-party developers, too.

Project Scorpio launches this holiday season (2017).

Razer's Triple-Screen Laptop Prototype Reportedly Stolen from CES

Subject: Displays, Systems | January 10, 2017 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: triple-screen, theft, stolen, report, razer, Project Valerie, multi-display, laptop, igzo, gaming, CES 2017, CES, BBC, 4k, 3-screen

While Razer did not name any particular product when first publicly posting about a theft (see FaceBook screencap below) from their booth at CES, the BBC is now reporting that "the stolen prototypes" in question were indeed the Project Valerie triple-screen laptop introduced last week.

Razer Project Valerie - Open Perspective.jpg

"Two prototype models of an unusual gaming laptop with three screens have been stolen at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, according to PC maker Razer. The concept device boasts three 4K screens and is said to be the first portable laptop of its kind. Razer said the laptops had gone missing from its booth at the tech show on Sunday.

The incident was being taken 'very seriously', said chief executive Min-Liang Tan. A Razer spokesman said it was offering $25,000 (£20,600) for any 'original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction' of those allegedly involved in the crime."

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan initially posted news of stolen prototypes from his FaceBook page:

FB_Post_Capture.png

One would expect that the security in place at CES, including many security cameras, should produce some more information as the investigation unfolds.

Source: BBC News

CES 2017: Gigabyte Updates Gaming and Professional Laptop Lineup

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 9, 2017 - 02:25 AM |
Tagged: thin and light, nvidia, notebook, laptop, kaby lake, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gtx 1050, gigabyte, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Gigabyte had a full line of new laptops to show off at this year’s CES, with models ranging from larger gaming enthusiast designs to slim machines that still offer plenty of gaming power from their discrete graphics.

P56.jpg

We’ll start with the P56, a 15.6-inch machine with an optional 4K display, 7th-gen Intel Core i7 (Kaby Lake) processor, and GeForce GTX 1070 GPU.

“The P56 provides enthusiasts with not only ultra smooth performance but also with tools to victory. All packed in a portable quality chassis. Equipped with the next gen Intel 7th Gen Core i7 7700HQ processor and the all-powerful GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. The main core of the P56 is set to drive all the latest games, not at just 1080P but even at higher resolutions with the optional 15.6” UHD 3840x2160 display.”

The P56 is equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 port, island-style keyboard with customizable per-key RGB backlighting, and a large 91Wh battery.

Sabre15.jpg

Next we have the Sabre 15, which is also powered by a new 7th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB) and GTX 1050 (2GB) graphics options.

“Gamers can now fully enjoy the latest performance from the pascal architecture, with fluid gaming graphics at 1080p for most recent game titles. The keyboard plays a big role in winning or losing a game, that is why the Sabre 15 comes with optimized 2.2mm travel scissor type keys, for that extra feel and precision. To top that off, the Sabre 15 features RGB backlight keyboard with 16.8 million colors (optional).”

Rounding out the updated lineup are a trio of thin-and-light professional models that are still very capable gaming machines, beginning with the AERO 14, a 19.9mm-thick (and 4.17 lb) aluminum design which features a QHD (2560x1440) IPS screen, GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and 94.24Wh battery.

AERO.jpg

Finally we have the P34 and P35 laptops, which claim the title of “world’s lightest 14” GeForce GTX 1050 Ti laptop (P34) and “world’s slimmest 15.6” GeForce GTX 1070 laptop”, respectively.

P34.jpg

The P34 is indeed light for a gaming-ready laptop, with a weight of just 3.73 lbs. For its part the 15.6-inch P35 laptop is a very high-end option, regardless of its slim construction.

“The P35 comes in at an unbeatable 20.9mm thin and weighs just 2.3Kg. It is hard to believe that such a thin chassis has a GeForce GTX 1070 inside, outputting the same performance as the desktop GeForce GTX 1070, now on the go. GIGABYTE has swapped out the old 6th gen and opt for the latest 7th gen Core i7 processor, giving professionals multitasking capabilities like never before. The unparalleled graphical power of the GeForce GTX 1070 further drives the stunning 15.6” UHD 3840 x 2160 IPS display, professionals will definitely take advantage of such a high pixel density and high RGB accuracy display, stationed or mobile. The Swappable bay gives professionals the power to swap between Blu-ray drive or up to 2TB HDD of extra storage, providing that extra customization on the go.”

P35.jpg

Pricing and availability information for the new laptops is not yet available.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Gigabyte

Corsair is showing off two new PSUs and a brand new Bulldog

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2017 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: TX-M Series, PSU, HX Series, corsair, CES 2017, CES, bulldog, 80 Plus Platinum, 80 Plus Gold

We will let Corsair speak for themselves about these three products.

Platinum and Gold – HX and TX-M

Equipped with 100% Japanese 105°C capacitors the new HX series offers 80 Plus Platinum efficiency for up to 94% efficient operation. Fully modular cabling makes clutter-free builds easy, while a large 135mm cooling fan and Zero RPM mode allow for virtually silent operation. Rated for operating temperatures up to 50°C, the HX series is designed to deliver superb electrical performance and efficiency in the most demanding situations.

psus.jpg

Also furnished with 100% Japanese capacitors and rated to 50°C, the new TX-M series delivers 80 Plus Gold efficiency paired with fantastic electrical performance and reliability. Combined with semi-modular cables for immaculate builds, the TX-M series hits the sweet spot of features and performance that PC enthusiasts demand.

Bulldog 2.0 - Build Your Living Room PC Better

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CORSAIR Bulldog 2.0 retains the sleek looks and small form factor layout of its predecessor, effortlessly fitting into home theatre or living room setups. Within the glossy exterior, Bulldog 2.0 is completely upgraded for 2017, to be the ultimate living room barebone kit. Boasting the very latest Intel Z270 Mini-ITX motherboard from MSI, Bulldog 2.0 is ready to overclock and push performance limits with new Intel 7th Generation Core processors. Bulldog 2.0 also includes an all-new low-profile liquid CPU cooler, the H6SF, and the best-in-class CORSAIR SF600 SFX PSU, as well two low-noise 92mm PWM-controlled cooling fans based on the award-winning CORSAIR ML Series. With a high-performance case, PSU, cooler and motherboard all included and pre-installed, CORSAIR Bulldog 2.0 is the ideal starting point to build the ultimate living room PC.

 

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Corsair

CES 2017: ASUS Announces VivoMini PCs

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2017 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged: vivomini, SFF, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has just announced three mini PCs at CES. Each of them run Intel’s Kaby Lake processors, but they otherwise differ from one in terms of specifications, such as the number of drives, how they are connected, and so forth. Prices range from $275 up to $799, although that comparison ignores who each specific product targets, so read on for more detail below.

Asus-2017-ces-UN65.png

UN65U

The UN65U make up the cheapest units of the product stack, ranging from $275 to $449 USD and available in Q1 2017. Interestingly, it also allows for up-to 512GB of SSD to be connected through M.2 via PCIe Express, and that can be expanded upon with up to 1TB of 2.5-inch HDD. The design is based on their “spun metal” pattern, common for their laptops and smartphones, which I, personally, like the look of. The device can output 4K UHD via the integrated GPU, and it comes with 802.11ac WiFi built-in. ASUS has suggested using this machine as either a home theatre PC or as a small business terminal.

Asus-2017-ces-VM65_1 (1).jpg

VM65

The VM65 ups the graphics performance a little, including an NVIDIA GeForce 930M with Optimus technology. It apparently doesn’t have support for M.2 hard drives, but it can mount two, 2.5-inch drives, either SSD or HDD. It also has built-in WiFi and three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. It is expected to cost $549 USD and it also ships in Q1 2017.

Asus-2017-ces-VC66.jpg

VC66

The VC66 apparently goes back to integrated graphics, but allows both M.2 and two 2.5-inch drives, either SSD or HDD, and they can be joined with built-in RAID. It also has quite a few connectivity options: DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. It seems like they’re aiming this at businesses primarily, though, especially with the ability to remotely update its BIOS. Prices range from $499 to $799, and it ships in February 2017.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces ZenBook 3 Deluxe (UX490)

Subject: Systems | January 4, 2017 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: zenbook 3 deluxe, zenbook, asus

ASUS brings Kaby Lake to their ultrabook line-up with their new ZenBook 3 Deluxe (UX490). It is based around the Intel Core i7-7500U, which is a dual-core, four-thread processor that launched a few months ago. What’s more interesting is the support it has: 1TB of PCIe 3.0 x4-connected SSD and Thunderbolt 3.

asus-logo.png

Product Image Not Yet Available

You may or may not like the IO ports, however. The laptop has three USB 3.1 Type C ports, two of which also function as Thunderbolt 3, as mentioned, and a single headphone / microphone jack. Unlike the Apple MacBook Pro, however, it does not need to cater to the legacy of video producers and others who rely upon a variety of accessories. If that person is you, however, then you might find yourself stuck with a bunch of adapters in your laptop bag.

asus-2017-ces-UX490-specs.png

The ZenBook 3 Deluxe is 12.9mm thick and weights 2.42 lbs. It is expected to ship in May for $1699 USD.

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS ASUSPRO B9440 Business Notebook

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 05:17 PM |
Tagged: notebook, laptop, kaby lake, CES 2017, CES, business, B9440, ASUSPRO, asus, 7th generation core

ASUS has announced the ASUSPRO B9440, which the company claims to be "the world’s lightest 14-inch business notebook" at just 2.31 lbs.

B9440U_11.jpg

"The sleek B9440 is designed to be both stylish and practical, using an all-metal chassis crafted from magnesium alloy — a premium material that is lighter but more rigid than standard aluminum alloy. The ergonomic keyboard has an innovative tilting design that positions it perfectly for comfortable typing.

Like all ASUSPRO business notebooks, B9440 is designed to exceed military-grade durability standards. It also passes our extra-strict ASUSPRO reliability standards, undergoing a series of tough torture tests to ensure dependable operation in any environment.

The B9440 is equipped with the new 7th-gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) i5 and i7 U-series processors optional Intel vPro support, along with up to 16 GB onboard LPDDR3 memory and up to 512 GB SSD storage, with security features including TPM 2.0 and a fingerprint sensor.

B9440U_22.jpg

Specifications for the ASUSPRO B9440 from ASUS:


  • Processor: 7th Gen Intel Core i5/i7, with optional Intel vPro support
  • Display: 14-inch Full HD wide-viewing-angle display with anti-glare coating
  • Memory: 8GB/16GB LPDDR3 onboard
  • Storage: Up to 512GB M.2 PCIe or M.2 SATA SSD
  • Connectivity
    • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (one port supports docking, power delivery)
    • 1 x combo stereo headphone/mic port
  • Wireless: 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Security
    • Fingerprint sensor
    • TPM 2.0 (downgradeable)
  • Audio
    • Integrated dual-microphone array
    • Harman Kardon stereo audio system
  • Battery: 4-cell 48W Li-polymer
  • Operating system: Windows 10 / Windows 10 Pro
  • Dimensions: 12.65 x 8.51 x 0.35~0.58 inches
  • Weight: 2.31 lbs

B9440U_09.jpg

The ASUSPRO B9440 will be available in May with a retail price starting at $999.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Updates Notebook and AiO Lineup to Intel Kaby Lake

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 4, 2017 - 03:15 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, notebook, laptop, kaby lake, intel core, detachable, convertible, CES 2017, CES, asus, all in one, AIO, 7th generation

ASUS has refreshed their notebook and all-in-one (AiO) desktop lineup with the new 7th-generation Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processors, with models ranging from the ultra-thin UX330 to the 27-inch ZN270IE AiO.

UX330.jpg

The ZenBook UX330

The refreshed notebook lineup includes the 13.3-inch ZenBook models UX310 and UX330, and 15.6-inch ZenBook UX510. The convertible ZenBook Flip UX360UA and detachable Transformer Pro T304 have also been updated to Kaby Lake.

UX360.jpg

ZenBook Flip UX360

On the all-in-one side the refreshed models include Zen AiO Pro Z240IE and Zen AiO ZN241IC desktops, with a new model announced in the Zen AiO ZN270IE, a 27-inch (FHD) model which pairs a 7th-gen Core i7 processor with discrete NVIDIA graphics.

ZN270.jpg

Zen AiO ZN270

Pricing and availability of the updated machines is as follows:

Available immediately are the ZenBook UX310UA ($699), ZenBook UX330UA ($749), and ZenBook UX510UW ($999). The ZenBook UX360UAK ($899) and Transformer Pro T304 ($999) will be available in May. Updated AiO desktops will be available in March, with the ZN241IC and ZN270IE priced at $999, and the Zen AIO Pro Z240IE at $1799.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: ASUS Announces VivoPC X Compact VR-ready PC

Subject: Systems | January 4, 2017 - 03:48 AM |
Tagged: VR, small form factor, SFF, PC, gaming, desktop, CES 2017, CES, asus

ASUS has announced a compact, VR-ready desktop called the VivoPC X, and this small form-factor PC contains a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and discrete NVIDIA graphics.

 VivoPC M80.jpg

“VivoPC X is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10 series graphics, and is fully compatible with the latest VR headsets. Its compact 5-liter chassis can be placed anywhere in the home, and has extensive connectivity features including four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 ports for VR peripherals and controllers. VivoPC X is designed for general consumers who are looking for a VR-ready PC that meets the hardware demands of VR tasks and entertainment.”

VivoPC X_M80 Thermal.jpg

A look at the cooling system within the VivoPC X

Here are the specifications from ASUS:


  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7300HQ
  • Chipset: Intel HM175
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • Memory: 8GB DDR4 2133MHz
  • Storage     
    • Up to 2TB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)
    • 512GB M.2 SATA SSD
  • Connectivity    
    • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x 3-in-1 audio jack
    • 1 x RJ45 LAN (Gigabit)
    • 2 x HDMI
    • 1 x DisplayPort
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • Power supply: 230W adapter
  • Size: 2.99 x 10.23 x 11.02 inches

VivoPC M80 1.jpg

The console-sized VivoPC X will be available in March with an MSRP of $799.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2017: HP Announces EliteBook x360 1030 G2 Convertible Notebook

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 06:32 PM |
Tagged: x360, tablet, notebook, laptop, hp, elitebook, convertible, CES 2017, CES, business, 2-in-1

HP's EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is "the world’s thinnest business convertible", with a sleek aluminum unibody design, the latest 7th-generation Intel Core processors, and a 360-degree hinged design for laptop/tablet functionality.

HP_EliteBook_x360_Front_Left.jpg

"With 360° of versatility across five modes, unmatched security, and up to 16 hours and 30 minutes of battery life, the thin and light HP EliteBook x360 1030 is the perfect PC for highly mobile professionals. Wherever business or pleasure takes you, set a new benchmark for work and fun."

The optional HP Active Pen provides "a natural inking experience" on the Gorilla Glass-covered 13.3-inch display, which is available with a resolution of up to 3840x2160 (UHD). As to power, HP claims that this new EliteBook lasts up to 16.5 hours on a single charge with its 3-cell, 57 Wh battery.

HP_EliteBook_x360_Tablet_Mode.jpg


Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7600U, Intel Core i5-7300U, Intel Core i5-7200U
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Maximum Memory: 16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM
  • Internal Storage
    • 128 GB M.2 SSD
    • 256 GB up to 512 GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
    • 256 GB up to 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
    • 360 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Display Options
    • 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
    • 13.3" diagonal UHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (3840 x 2160)
    • HP Sure View integrated privacy screen 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA eDP ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
    • 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080);
    • 13.3" diagonal UHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (3840 x 2160)
    • HP Sure View integrated privacy screen 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA eDP ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
  • Wireless Technologies
    • HP lt4132 LTE/HSPA+ 4G Mobile Broadband; HP hs3210 WW HSPA+ Mobile Broadband; Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (non-vPro)
    • Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo; Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (vPro);
    • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (vPro and non-vPro) (Compatible with Miracast-certified devices.)
  • Communications
    • NFC (optional)
  • Expansion Slots
    • 1 microSD
  • Ports and Connectors
    • 1 USB Type-C with Thunderbolt; 2 USB 3.1 (1 charging); 1 HDMI 1.4; 1 external micro SIM; 1 AC power connector; 1 headphone / microphone combo (base)
  • Input Device
    • Spill-resistant backlit keyboard with drain and DuraKeys
    • Clickpad with image sensor and glass surface, multi-touch gestures enabled, taps enabled as default
  • Touch Fingerprint Sensor for fingerprint authentication with Windows Hello
  • Camera: 720p HD webcam, IR camera for face authentication with Windows Hello
  • Security Management
    • HP BIOSphere; HP SureStart; HP Secure Erase; Preboot Authentication; Security lock slot; HP Client Security; HP Security Manager; HP Password Manager; Absolute Persistence Module; TPM 1.2/2.0; Microsoft Defender; HP Spare Key; HP Device Access Manager
  • Power
    • HP Long Life 3-cell, 57 Wh Li-ion
    • Up to 16 hours and 30 minutes
    • Battery is internal and not replaceable by customer. Serviceable by warranty.
  • Operating System
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 – HP recommends Windows 10 Pro.
    • Windows 10 Home 64
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 (National Academic only)
  • Dimensions: 12.48 x 8.6 x 0.59 in / 31.69 x 21.85 x 1.49 cm
  • Weight: Starting at 2.82 lb / 1.28 kg

HP_EliteBook_x360_Tent_Mode.jpg

At less than 3 lbs and a hair under 15 mm thick, the EliteBook x360 is a very attractive business convertible option, though pricing and availability were absent from the press release.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: HP

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Legion Y720 and Y520 Gaming Laptops

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 08:01 AM |
Tagged: Y720, Y520, nvidia, notebook, Lenovo, Legion, laptop, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Lenovo has announced a pair of new gaming notebooks with the Legion Y720 and Y520, powered by NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 7th-generation Intel processors.

Lenovo Legion Y720 1.jpg

First we have the Legion Y720, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop that is also the “the world’s first Dolby Atmos PC” for immersive surround audio using the latest Dolby home theater standard. Graphical duties are handled by a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, with CPU options up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 (i7-7700HQ).

“Enter a breathtaking world of sight and sound with the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, the world’s first PC featuring Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos audio technology. VR Ready, this gaming laptop combines powerful processing, graphics, hardware and integrated Xbox One Wireless Support for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience.”

Lenovo Legion Y720 2.jpg


Lenovo Legion Y720 Specifications:

  • Display
    • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS or
    • 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare
  • Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i7-7700HQ Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i5-7300HQ Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2 x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2 x 2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity:
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: Up to 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (USB Type-C), Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 5-Hour 4 Cell; 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 277 x 29 mm / 14.96 x 10.9 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 7.05 lbs (3.2 kg)

Next we have the slimmer (and lighter) Y520 laptop, which pairs up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU.

Lenovo Legion Y520 1.jpg

“Lean and mean, the Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop comes with the latest in processors, graphics and hardware, providing gaming function while a lightweight and smudge-free design deliver a portable form. This laptop is perfect for those who like to game on-the-go, online or with their friends in the same room.”


Lenovo Legion Y520 Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9; IPS; Anti-Glare
  • Processor: Up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage:
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2x 2W Harman Certified Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Connectivity
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: 1x1 WiFi 802.11ac or 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 4-Hour 3 Cell; 45 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm / 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.01 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

Lenovo Legion Y520 4.jpg

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

Need a pre-CES shopping list?

Subject: Systems | January 2, 2017 - 07:56 PM |
Tagged: system build, recommedations

You can kick off the new year with some light reading over at The Tech Report, who have compiled their final System Guide before CES kicks off.  There will be a lot of new kit shown off at the show but most of it will not be immediately available and possibly priced outside your budget.  The systems recommendations will change over the coming year so you can also consider this a shopping list of parts soon to be deprecated and discounted, though many will last throughout the coming year.   You can expect an update of our own HWLB soon, as products are released to market.

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"In this pre-CES edition of The Tech Report System Guide, we account for new products and price cuts in the entry-level graphics card market. We also examine the impact of Samsung's 960-series SSDs on the high-end storage market."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Elitegroup showing new PC LIVA Z family at CES

Subject: Systems | December 30, 2016 - 07:47 PM |
Tagged: ECS, LIVA, LIVA Z, LIVA XE, LIVA ZE, LIVA Z PLUS, SFF, CES 2017

At CES 2017 we will be looking at a host of new SFF systems from ECS, the LIVA Z Mini PC, LIVA ZE Mini PC and LIVA Z Plus.  The LIVA XE will be the smallest of the bunch at 1156x83x51mm and a Braswell CPU to allow up to three USB 3.0 ports.  The LIVA Z below is a bit more interesting, with an Apollo Lake processor which will allow it to support 4K playback as well as a built in microphone so you can yell at Cortana to change the channel instead of having to do it yourself.

LIVA Z_IMAGE.jpg

The LIVA ZE is the workhorse of the bunch, with four Com Port configurations for industrial use as well as an M.2 interface for a current generation SSD as well as a place to fit a 2.5" drive.  The LIVA Z Plus is the flagship, it will contain a Core i7 processor and support up to 16GB of DDR4 in a dual channel configuration.  This will be powerful enough for gamers and still small enough to fit anywhere.

LIVA ZE_IMAGE.jpg

Keep an eye out on the front page for updates once CES goes into full swing.

【Taipei, Taiwan】ECS is popular in the world with its fine texture appearance and is highly praised and loved in the market with its rich multimedia specifications since「LIVA」came into the market. CES 2017 is about to be developed, and ECS praises itself as the leading brand in mini PC and introduces a new generation of LIVA Z family, which can provide a series of all-round more diversified choice for mini PC enthusiasts.

We are constantly striving for perfection all the time and in pursuit of perfection in innovation, efficiency and product design. At the same time, we spare no effort to provide the best experience for consumers with superior quality and excellent performance. A new generation of LIVA Z family series products will appear at Las Vegas Venetian exhibition from January 4th to January 7th(West America time).

The display products of ECS include LIVA Z Mini PC, LIVA ZE Mini PC, LIVA Z Plus and Mini PC. Among them, LIVA Z Plus Mini PC will be displayed in Exhibition Hall Live Demo, showing Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake latest performance and emphasizing the rich use situation.

We will display dual screens that display both HDMI and DisplayPort independent monitors, with extra monitors allowing you to have more space for multitasking. At the same time, it presents the seamless connection of life style. The built in 802.11ac is three times faster than the old version of the Wi-Fi standard networking speed. You can easily share the network and provide peripherals device for network roaming through mobile hotspot function. It is compatible with any Bluetooth device and realizes wireless entertainment free life with Bluetooth 4.0. LIVA Z Plus minicomputer is equipped with the latest Intel graphics technology and makes the family entertainment and games step into a new realm. The exhibition will also show the popular game LOL(League of Legends) by using high-resolution settings smooth screen. You can enjoy the lifelike photos and there will be no distortion of the situation.

LIVA XE: Mini PC is evolved with high speed, equipped with a new generation USB 3.0 transmission interface.
LIVA XE adopts the exquisite and light design with the size of only 1156 x 83 x 51 mm. The volume is more or less the same with your palm. It empties the valuable desktop space for you. Apart from the LIVA X series features of quietness, fair price and energy conservation, it is equipped with a new generation of Intel Braswell processor, so that the original 1 set USB 3.0 interface is changed into 3 sets. The product design specifications and configuration become flexible. Users will no longer feel USB 3.0 is inadequate for use. Thus it provides a more comprehensive use experience for consumers.

LIVA Z : Being silent and multi-functional, it is the best choice for daily home computing.
The brand new LIVA Z mini PC can meet all of your home computing demand. Equipped with the latest 14 nanometer Intel Apollo Lake quad-core processor, it owns rich I/O connection ability and 4K/UHD ultra HD display support and is the perfect choice of the home entertainment center. LIVA Z passes through the built-in digital microphone, and support Windows10. With the perfect combination of hardware and software, it can have remote control of Windows 10 Cortana voice secretary and enjoy efficient and convenient performance no matter in work or entertainment. It is undoubtedly the most ideal solution in home entertainment center. In addition, it is characterized by quietness and energy-conservation, so that you can enjoy music and movies without interference of noise while running your computer.

LIVA ZE:The smart dual storage design and can support Com port(RS 232) communication port.
LIVA Z family series product LIVA ZE mini PC modular dual storage design supports the M.2 interface SSD and 2.5 inch HDD hard disk, which allows consumers to choose SSD with quick access and support large capacity 2.5 inch hard disk storage. In particular, the LIVA ZE is built with 4 Com Port configurations with external industrial applications that provide users with better access to data and connection options for space, productivity and industrial use.

LIVA Z Plus:The Powerful mini PC with Intel Kaby Lake SoC and blazing-fast DDR4 RAM
In the 2017 CES exhibition, ECS will display LIVA Z plus mini PC Live Demo, equipped with brand new Intel the seventh generation of Intel® Core™ processor with two built-in DDR4 SO-DIMM slots. The single slot can support 8GB capacity at most and support 16GB DDR4 RAM maximum. At the same time, it can support Intel dual -channel technology. The performance of the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor is about 11% higher than the previous generation. At the same time, data transmission speed by DDR4 RAM is twice faster than DDR3 RAM. Compared to the previous generation of Skylake display core, in CES field, ECS will display LIVA Z Plus equipped with Kaby Lake and its graphics performance has about 20% efficiency improvement. Meanwhile, with 4K video in HEVC 10-bit and VP9 format, it can present smooth 4K UHD visual effect and fluent game screen, and can be applied in a variety of usage situations, thus making LIVA Z Plus minicomputer become the best and first choice both for work computing and home entertainment center.

Source: ECS

You have MSI at your back if you buy their Aegis Ti gaming machine

Subject: Systems | November 30, 2016 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: msi, aegis ti, gaming pc, vr ready

Depending on which model you order, the MSI Aegis Ti PC will have an i7-6700K or i5-6600K and a pair of either GTX 1080s or 1070s.  The model which shipped to TechPowerUp for testing sported a pair of M.2 Samsung 950 PROs and 32GB of DDR4-2400, along with the i7-6700K and GTX 1080s of course.  The unique looking enclosure is VR Ready, in that there are USB and HDMI ports in the front to let you easily attach your VR goggles and is more than powerful enough to power said device at high settings.  If you would prefer to spend $3000 on a configured gaming rig with some interesting features as opposed to building one yourself, pop over for a look at the full review.

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"MSI sent us their latest fully featured PC, the Aegis Ti, to take a look at. This PC departs from the "traditional box" design in a big way and is ready to support not just one but two GTX 1080s! It's VR ready, including an HDMI port in front and dual M.2 drives, which can be configured in RAID, making it ready for whatever you want to throw at it."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Source: TechPowerUp

Ben Heck Tears Down (and Repairs) a Virtual Boy

Subject: Systems, Mobile | November 27, 2016 - 09:25 PM |
Tagged: virtual boy, RISC, Nintendo, nec

I was one of the lucky kids who got a Virtual Boy, which was actually quite fun for nine-year-old me. It wasn’t beloved by the masses, but when you’re in a hotel, moving across the country, you best believe I’m going to punch that Teleroboxer cat in the head, over and over. It was quite an interesting piece of technology, despite its crippling flaws.

To see for yourself, Ben Heck published a full disassemble, with his best-guess explanations. He then performs a repair by 3D printing a clamp to put pressure on a loose ribbon connector.

From a performance standpoint, the Virtual Boy was launched with a 32-bit NEC RISC processor, clocked at 20 MHz. Keep in mind that, one, this is a semi-mobile, battery-powered device and, two, it launched around the same time as the original Pentium processor reached 120 MHz. The RAM setup is... unclear. I’m guessing PlanetVB accidentally wrote MB and KB to refer to “megabit” (Mb) and “kilobit” (kb) instead of “megabyte” and “kilobyte”, meaning the Wikipedia listing of 128KB VRAM, 128KB DRAM, and 64KB WRAM is accurate. The cartridge could also address up to an additional 16MB of RAM, meaning that specific titles could load as much as they need, albeit at a higher BOM cost. Shipped titles maxed out at 8KB of cartridge-expanded RAM, though.

Ben Heck’s video will be part of a series, where he will try to make it smaller and head-mounted.

Samsung Denies PC Business Acquisition Talks with Lenovo

Subject: Systems | November 26, 2016 - 09:21 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Lenovo

thebell, a Korean news outlet and sister site of ZDNet Korea, published a rumor that Samsung was in talks to sell their PC business to Lenovo. While I’m struggling with the Google Translate from Korean, it sounds like this would be caused by Samsung selling their printing business to HP, leading to the company divesting from related markets, too. This news was picked up by the American ZDNet and, some time after, Samsung released a statement outright denying the rumor: “The rumor is not true.”

So, as far as we know, Samsung is staying in the PC market.

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Since it was a clear denial, not a decline to comment, this probably means that the rumor is either completely false, or, if it’s based on a kernel of truth, it’s very early or very tiny. It seems likely, though, that Lenovo would want to buy up pretty much anyone’s PC business at this point, if the price is right. As for Samsung selling? I could see it being something that could have been discussed behind-the-scenes to some level of seriousness, although that’s what hoaxes prey upon. Again, as far as we know, Samsung will keep their PC business, and there isn’t really anything concrete to say otherwise.

Source: ZDNet

Oculus Launches Asynchronous Spacewarp, 45 FPS VR

Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | November 10, 2016 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: VR, rift, Oculus, atw, asynchronous timewarp, asynchronous spacewarp, asw

Oculus has announced that as of today, support for Asynchronous Spacewarp is available and active for all users that install the 1.10 runtime. Announced at the Oculus Connect 3 event in October, ASW promises to complement existing Asynchronous Timewarp (ATW) technology to improve the experience of VR for lower performance systems that might otherwise result in stutter.

A quick refresher on Asynchronous Timewarp is probably helpful. ATW was introduced to help alleviate the impact of missed frames on VR headsets and started development back with Oculus DK2 headset. By shifting the image on the VR headset without input from the game engine based on relative head motion that occurred AFTER the last VR pose was sent to the game, timewarp presents a more accurate image to the user. While this technology was first used as a band-aid for slow frame rates, Oculus felt confident enough in its advantages to the Rift that it enables for all frames of all applications, regardless of frame rate.

ATW moves the entire frame as a whole, shifting it only based on relative changes to the user’s head rotation. New Asynchronous Spacewarp attempts to shift objects and motion inside of the scene by generating new frames to insert in between “real” frames from the game engine when the game is running in a 45 FPS state. With a goal of maintaining a smooth, enjoyable and nausea-free experience, Oculus says that ASW “includes character movement, camera movement, Touch controller movement, and the player's own positional movement.”

Source: Oculus

To many of you that are familiar with the idea of timewarp, this might sound like black magic. Oculus presents this example on their website to help understand what is happening.

Source: Oculus

Seeing the hand with the gun in motion, ASW generates a frame that continues the animation of the gun to the left, tricking the user into seeing the continuation of the motion they are going through. When the next actual frame is presented just after, the gun will have likely moved slightly more than that, and then the pattern repeats.

You can notice a couple of things about ASW in this animation example however. If you look just to the right of the gun barrel in the generated frame, there is a stretching of the pixels in an artificial way. The wheel looks like something out of Dr. Strange. However, this is likely an effect that would not be noticeable in real time and should not impact the user experience dramatically. And, as Oculus would tell us, it is better than the alternative of simply missing frames and animation changes.

Some ASW interpolation changes will be easier than others thanks to secondary data available. For example, with the Oculus Touch controller, the runtime will know how much the players hand has moved, and thus how much the object being held has moved, and can better estimate the new object location. Positional movement would also have this advantage. If a developer has properly implemented the different layers of abstraction for Oculus and its runtime, separating out backgrounds from cameras from characters, etc., then the new frames being created are less likely to have significant distortions.

I am interested in how this new feature affects the current library of games on PCs that do in fact drop below that 90 FPS mark. In October, Oculus was on stage telling users that the minimum spec for VR systems was dropping from requiring a GTX 970 graphics card to a GTX 960. This clearly expands the potential install base for the Rift. Will the magic behind ASW live up to its stated potential without an abundance of visual artifacts?

Oculus-Rift-Promo.jpg

In a blog post on the Oculus website, they mention some other specific examples of “imperfect extrapolation.” If your game or application includes rapid brightness changes, object disocclusion trails (an object moving out of the way of another object), repeated patterns, or head-locked elements (that aren’t designated as such in the runtime) could cause distracting artifacts in the animation if not balanced and thought through. Oculus isn’t telling game developers to go back and modify their titles but instead to "be mindful of their appearance."

Oculus does include a couple of recommendations to developers looking to optimize quality for ASW with locked layers, using real-time rather than frame count for animation steps, and easily adjustable image quality settings. It’s worth noting that this new technology is enabled by default as of runtime 1.10 and will start working once a game drops below the 90 FPS line only. If your title stays over 90 FPS, then you get the advantages of Asynchronous Timewarp without the potential issues of Asynchronous Spacewarp.

The impact of ASW will be interesting to see. For as long as Oculus has been around they have trumpeted the need for 90 FPS to ensure a smooth gaming experience free of headaches and nausea. With ASW, that, in theory, drops to 45 FPS, though with the caveats mentioned above. Many believe, as do I, that this new technology was built to help Microsoft partner with Oculus to launch VR on the upcoming Scorpio Xbox console coming next year. Because the power of that new hardware still will lag behind the recommended specification from both Oculus and Valve for VR PCs, something had to give. The result is a new “minimum” specification for Oculus Rift gaming PCs and a level of performance that makes console-based integrations of the Rift possible.

Source: Oculus