Take a look what's 'Next' for Acer

Subject: Systems, Mobile | April 12, 2019 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: Predator Helios 700, Predator CG437K P, ConceptD, Chromebook 715, acer

Acer showed off quite a bit of new kit at their Next event in New York, including a variety of laptops, wood grained desktops and a gigantic adaptive sync display.  The Predator CG437K P is a 43", 4K VA adaptive sync panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz.  One very big benefit to using a VA panel is that this display is VESA-Certified DisplayHDR 1000, none of this HDR 400 on this $1200 panel!

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They also introduced the new ConceptD family of workstations, aimed at content creators and looking fairly sharp.  AnandTech got a nice shot of the two desktop workstations, three mobile workstations, two professional monitors and the Windows Mixed Reality headset that currently represent this new brand. 

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The desktop workstations are impressive, the ConceptD 500 has a mere Core i9-9900K with up to 64 GB of DDR4, for serious power you want the Concept D 900 with two Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors paired with up to 192 GB of DDR4, both offer a choice between NVIDIA's RTX 4000 or Quadro RTX 6000.

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The mobile versions include the ConceptD 5, ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 9 all of which contain Intel processors ranging from the Kaby Lake-G with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GL in the ConceptD 5 to the ConceptD 9 which contains an unspecified 9th Gen Core i9 and a full GeForce RTX 2080, no MaxQ for this mobile workstation.

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Last, but not least is are the gaming models.  The new Predator Helios 700, a gaming laptop has a new trick to show off, as it can transform.  The keyboard, touchpad and palm rest all slide forward allowing you to choose your preferred layout, you can see it in action over at The Verge.  When you slide the HyperDrift keyboard forward, the palm rest assembly tips down on an angle turning into more of a wrist rest while you use the keyboard and it reveals the cooling fans which should give your laptop a performance boost as the thermal efficiency improves.  Inside the 9.9lb 17.3" laptop is a 1080p display, an Core i9 CPU and either a GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2070, not the Max-Q version either.  Depending on the model you chose, you can have up to 64GB of DDR4 and a 1TB SSD or 2TB HDD.

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If you prefer to stay in one spot when you game then check out the Predator Orion 5000 desktop.  It has a watercooled i9-9900K with an RTX 2080 and a Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit NIC for those who prefer something other than a Killer NIC.  The RGBs are big, while the case itself is smaller than you might think at 30L.

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There is even more to see over at Acer.

 

Source: Acer

Viva la Liva Q2, ECS puts a computer in your pocket

Subject: Systems | April 2, 2019 - 04:02 PM |
Tagged: ECS, liva Q2, SFF, N4000

The ECS Liva series are well deserving of the moniker small form factor, as they are generally a bit larger than a deck of poker cards or two.  The newest Q2 is no exception, at 70x70x33.4mm (2.75x2.75x1.3") it could theoretically fit in your pocket, though like your phone, that is probably not the best place for it.  This new model upgrades the APU to a dual core Celeron N4000 with HD Graphics 600, 4GB of LPDDR4-2400 and 32 GB of eMMC flash for local storage. 

TechPowerUp put the wee box through a variety of tests, including streaming video from various sources as that is what the Liva Q2 is most likely to be used for and it performed admirably, though the 4GB is a bit of a problem when using Chrome.

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"ECS has upgraded the LIVA Q line with the new Q2. This ultra-tiny system really is a fully functional PC that will fit into your pocket. This latest release features not only a faster processor but also HDMI 2.0, which makes it the perfect HTPC that can also handle daily tasks and light workloads."

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Systems

Source: TechPowerUp

So, you're looking for an EPYC rack?

Subject: Systems | March 4, 2019 - 07:44 PM |
Tagged: amd, EPYC, asrock, EPYCD8-2T

The continuing shortage of high end Intel CPUs for servers has been good for AMD, or at least it could be if they could get the major vendors to help sell them.  While a local shop or small business might have had a bad experience years ago which has resolved them never to use another AMD products, large scale hosts like CTL or Amazon are not going to be limited by prejudice which has an effect on their bottom line.

What better way to demonstrate the abilities of an AMD EPYC system to someone than to build one and roll it out into production?  Phoronix have done just that, using ASRock's EPYCD8-2T board so they could test the performance on eight different Linux distros.  Check out the results for yourself and think about the possiblity of an upgrade, before you can get your hands on that Xeon.

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"If you are looking to assemble an AMD EPYC workstation, a great ATX motherboard up for the task is the ASRock Rack EPYCD8-2T that accommodates a single EPYC processor, eight SATA 3.0 ports (including SAS HD), dual M.2 PCIe slots, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports,and four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots all within ATX's 12 x 9.6-inch footprint."

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Source: Phoronix

NVIDIA Launches GeForce MX230 and MX250 Laptop GPUs

Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | February 21, 2019 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, mx250, mx230, mx, gp108, geforce mx

Two new laptop GPUs launched in NVIDIA’s low-end MX line. This classification of products is designed to slide above the GPUs found on typical laptop CPUs by a wide enough margin to justify an extra chip, but not enough to be endorsed as part of their gaming line.

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As such, pretty much the only performance number that NVIDIA provides is an “up-to” factor relative to Intel’s HD620 iGPU as seen on the Core i5-8265U. For reference, the iGPU on this specific CPU has 192 shader units running at up to 1.1 GHz. Technically there exists some variants that have boost clocks up to 1.15 GHz but that extra 4.5% shouldn’t matter too much for this comparison.

Versus this part, the MX250 is rated as up to 3.5x faster; the MX230 is rated at up to 2.6x faster.

One thing that I should note is that the last generation’s MX150 is listed as up to 4x the Intel UHD 620, although they don’t state which specific CPU’s UHD 620.

This leads to a few possibilities:

  1. The MX250 has a minor performance regression versus the MX150 in the “up to” test(s)
  2. The UHD 620 had significant driver optimizations in at least the “up to” test(s)
  3. The UHD 620 that they tested back then is significantly slower than the i5-8265U
  4. They rounded differently then vs now
  5. They couldn’t include the previous “up to” test for some reason

Unfortunately, because NVIDIA is not releasing any specifics, we can only list possibilities and maybe speculate if one seems exceedingly likely. (To me, none of the first four stands out head-and-shoulders above the other three.)

Like the MX150 that came before it, both the MX230 and MX250 will use GDDR5 memory. The MX130 could be paired with either GDDR5 or DDR3.

Anandtech speculates that it is based on the GP108, which is a safe assumption. NVIDIA confirmed that the new parts are using the Pascal architecture, and the GP108 is the Pascal chip in that performance range. Anandtech also claims that the MX230 and MX250 are fabricated under Samsung 14nm, while the “typical” MX150 is TSMC 16nm. The Wikipedia list of NVIDIA graphics, however, claims that the MX150 is fabricated at 14nm. While both could be right, a die shrink would make a bit of sense to squeeze out a few more chips from a wafer (if yields are relatively equal). If that’s the case, and they changed manufacturers, then there might be a slight revision change to the GP108; these changes happen frequently, and their effects should be invisible to the end user… but sometimes they make a difference.

It’ll be interesting to see benchmarks when they hit the market.

Source: NVIDIA

End off the month with some sweet system suggestions

Subject: Systems | January 28, 2019 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged: econobox, system build

With the holiday season out of the way, prices have stopped bouncing around like a fart in a mitten and system build guides are starting to appear.  Not only did the hoary old HWLB get a refresh but The Tech Report have also updated their guides.  They've expanded their build suggestions to eight, with several being sup-species such as the Econobox Gamer which adds an RX 570 and slightly boosted Ryzen processor without crossing $600. 

For those that prefer to go all out, the No Holds Barred system is almost $8000 but more powerful some of the machines Pixar started out with!

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"It's a new year, and after all the CES excitement, we're ready for another edition of The Tech Report System Guide! It's a fantastic time to build a PC, and we're here to ensure you pick the choicest components out there. Check out our range of builds, from the budget-friendly Econobox to the completely tricked-out, No Holds Barred workstation beast."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

 

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY Laptops Powered by AMD Ryzen 3000 Series

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd

ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.

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“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”

The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.

"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.

Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."

Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.

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Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • Display:
    • 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
    • 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x RJ-45 jack
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
    • 1x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard and touchpad  : 1.8mm key travel
  • Customizable RGB or red backlighting
  • Audio: DTS Headphone: X
  • Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)

Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.

Source: ASUS

CES 2019: Lenovo Yoga S940, Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED, Lenovo Yoga A940, Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2019 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: yoga, Lenovo, ces 2019, CES

Lenovo has also unveiled a new Yoga line of four very different products: two laptops, an all-in-one PC, and a mouse that is designed for presentations.

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Up first is the Lenovo Yoga S940. This is an ultra-slim, 14-inch laptop with a 4K, HDR screen and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The processor is an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 backed by an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which seems to narrow down the possibilities to either the Core i7-8650U, the Core i7-8565U, or the Core i7-8550U. Each of these are quad-core, HyperThreaded processors, although the frequency changes quite a bit from model to model, so which one they actually chose could matter a bit.

Users can choose between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, although all three CPUs could have allowed 32GB – CPU support and “being able to actually fit it inside a tiny laptop” are two different things, however. In terms of connectivity, it has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a single USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That’s a bit light on the USB side of things, but the ability to attach two separate Thunderbolt 3 devices might make up for that. They do not list a 3.5mm audio jack, though.

The Lenovo Yoga S940 will be available in May for $1499 USD.

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Next is the Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED. As the name suggests, it’s a laptop with an AMOLED screen, which supports 4K. They also say that the screen supports “100% color gamut” although they don’t claim what gamut that is. They don’t seem to make any HDR claims, either.

In terms of specs, once again we get an unnamed eighth-generation Core i7 processor and an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which could be one of the three processors that I listed in the S940 section, above. Also, the RAM is still limited to 16GB. Unlike the S940 that offered 1TB of PCIe SSD, this one maxes out at 512GB, although that should be a lot for most use cases. It would be a little low for the stuff I do with my work PC, though, such as multiple side-by-side installations of Visual Studio to handle multiple different projects. The S730 has just one Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, but two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, as well as an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED will be available in April for $1649.99 USD.

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Up next is… not a laptop. The Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one pen-input device like the Microsoft Surface Studio. It also comes with the Lenovo Precision Dial and the Lenovo Active Pen 1 AES 1.0, which should also be familiar to those who are interested in the Microsoft Surface Studio.

The entire device is powered by an again unnamed Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor, but this time it comes with an AMD RX 560 GPU to help with content creation tools (and games of course). Users can choose between 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of RAM. Storage is a choice between 128GB PCIe SSD, 256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB SATA HDD, and 2TB SATA HDD. They don’t say whether a PCIe SSD can be installed alongside a SATA HDD, but I certainly hope so.

The Lenovo Yoga A940 launches in March for $2199.99 USD.

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Last up is the Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter. It’s an ultra-thin mouse with a laser pointer built into it. The center can buckle to make an arc-shaped mouse, or it can be pushed flat. The whole device is 1.4cm thin, which is a little over half of an inch. Its sensor tops out at 1600 DPI, which can be reduced to 1200 DPI and 800 DPI if you are more comfortable at one of those speeds. It also has a built-in red laser pointer.

The Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter will be available in June for $69.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2019: New Lenovo "Legion" Gaming Laptops Announced. 15-inch Y740, 17-inch Y740, 15-inch Y540

Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, Legion, Intel, geforce, gaming laptop, ces 2019, CES

Three new laptops have been added to Lenovo’s portfolio under their “Legion” gaming brand. All three of them will contain “Unannounced NVIDIA GeForce GPUs”.

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The Lenovo Legion Y740 comes in two sizes: 15-inch and 17-inch. Based on the slide deck, both models have the choice between the Intel Core i5-8300H and the Intel Core i7-8750H. The Core i5-8300H is a quad-core CPU with HyperThreading (eight threads) that can turbo up to 4 GHz. The Core i7-8750H is a six-core CPU with HyperThreading (twelve threads) that can turbo up to 4.1 GHz. This can be paired with 8, 16, or 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz, or “8GB + 8GB 3200MHz Corsair Overclocked Memory”.

As for storage, both models can have up to 512GB of PCIe SSD, 512GB of SATA SSD, or 2TB of spinning metal. The 17-inch model can also have an Intel Optane drive added to it, although they don’t list a specific size. Both models also have 1x USB-C connector with support for Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1. Alongside the USB-C is, also, HDMI, LAN, three standard USB 3.1 Gen 2, and a mini-DisplayPort connector. They also have an RGB keyboard, which, from the picture, appears to be tenkeyless. Both have Dolby sound, but only the 17-inch model also has a subwoofer. They do not list an audio jack, although I see a hole on the left side that could be either audio or a power plug. I think I also see power on the back, so I assume that it is audio on the side. Mobile phones are one thing, but a laptop better have a headphone jack.

The built-in displays are 1080p, which is a good size for a laptop, and support 144 Hz G-Sync @ 300nit. There is also an upsell to a 500nit panel that has been certified for Dolby HDR400. They don’t say whether the upsell also supports 144Hz G-Sync, but I would assume that they do. Check before you buy, though.

Both sizes will be available in February 2019. The 15-inch starts at $1749.99 USD and the 17-inch starts at $1979.99 USD.

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The third model is the Lenovo Legion Y540. This one will be available a little bit later – May 2019. Interestingly, the CPU is listed as “Intel Core processors”. As such, I would assume that this laptop will use a new, unannounced processor alongside the unannounced GeForce GPU. Lenovo does mention that the laptop can be paired with up to 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz.

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The battery is listed as “52.5Wh & 57Wh (Configuration dependent)”. Since an extra 4.5Wh seems like a tough upsell, I am guessing that battery you receive will be tied to the chosen display, but Lenovo doesn’t say so I don’t know. It looks like there will be a choice between three displays: a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 250nits with “45%” color, a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color, and a 144Hz IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color. I put each of the color space percentages in quotations because they don’t list which color space. Since one of them is an HDR panel, I’m going to assume that they don’t mean sRGB… because that would be awful. I am hoping that they are referring to the DCI-P3 color space. They could mean NTSC 1976, although that would be a bit low for an HDR panel.

The laptop has a USB-C port but, unlike the Y740, it can only be used for USB 3.1. There are also three standard USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, one mini-DisplayPort, an Ethernet jack, and a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can still attach external monitors to it without the USB-C. They keyboard is backlight, but not RGB – just white.

As mentioned, the Lenovo Legion Y540 will be available in May 2019. It will start at $929.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

Build MEG's new Ripping Threads

Subject: Systems | January 7, 2019 - 05:43 PM |
Tagged: Threadripper, 2950x, MEG X399 Creation

If you haven't seen a Threadripper in person, or are just looking to sit back and enjoy watching someone set up a system then head over to [H]ard|OCP.  They've just posted a video showing the construction of a Threadripper 2950X on a MEG X399 Creation motherboard.  For those who haven't built a system recently or who are just curious how the pros do it this is a hour well spent.

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"Building a new computer for yourself is always fun. We had the chance to do it ourselves recently, and we decided to document the entire process on video. We use the MSI MEG X399 Creation motherboard and the MSI RTX 2080 Sea Hawk as the backbone of our system along with an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel Plans Ghost Canyon X NUC With Discrete Graphics Support In 2020

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | December 13, 2018 - 01:02 AM |
Tagged: Intel

Slated for an early 2020 release, Intel is planning a new larger (but still) small form factor NUC system dubbed Ghost Canyon X according to a report by FanlessTech. Ghost Canyon X will feature a larger 5 liter form factor that will be able to accomodate a discrete graphics card along with both M.2 and SATA 3 storage.

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC 5L Mini PC Coffee Lake HR.png

The Ghost Canyon X NUC will be powered by 9th Generation Coffee Lake HR processors that will come in i5 and i7 flavors. The chips have a 45W TDP and will come in quad core i5-9XXXH, six core i7, or eight core i7-9XXXH configurations (with HyperThreading) and will be paired with two DDR4 DIMMs (up to 64GB DDR4 2400 MHz or 32GB DDR4 2666 MHz). Ghost Canyon X NUCs will have three HDMI 2.0 video outputs, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a SD card slot for external I/O (likely along with USB 3.1 and audio outputs though those are not pictured). Internal storage includes up to 3 M.2 drives (two M.2 2242 80/110 and one 80mm) using PCI-E 3.0 x4 links and SATA 3 for standard hard drives and SATA SSDs. The biggest change with the NUC platform is the inclusion of a single PCI-E x16 slot which can be used to add a discrete graphics card to the system. While 5 liters is quite a jump up from the 0.7L standard NUCs and the 1.2L of the Kaby Lake-G powered Hades Canyon gaming NUC, it is still a fairly small system so not all graphics cards are going to fit but enthusiasts should be able to use GPUs that have shorter Mini ITX designs easily enough.

FanlessTech notes that the reference Ghost Canyon X NUC will most likely be actively cooled, but third party fanless cases from makers like Akassa, Streacom, Tranquil PC and others should be achievable with a 45W TDP CPU (and even GPU if you go with a lower end model).

Further details are still unknown and the pictured case design is still subject to change as the system gets further along in the design process and closer to launch. Curiously, that expected early 2020 Ghost Canyon X launch would coincide with Intel’s plans for launching its own discrete graphics solution so an Intel NUC with an Intel graphics card would be an interesting system to see!

Stay tuned for updated NUC information as we get closer to Computex 2019 and CES 2020!

Source: FanlessTech

The Model A is new again thanks to Raspberry

Subject: Systems | November 23, 2018 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi 3, Model A+, Cortex A53, arm

The newest Raspberri Pi 3 is under review over at Phoronix, the Model A+ which brings new hardware at the same $25 price point as the last Model A did.  It is powered by the Broadcom BCM2837B0 SoC, with four Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.4GHz.  There is only 512MB of RAM compared to the 1GB of the $35 Model B, and there is no LAN port so make sure you know what your project's requirements are when choosing which one to purchase. 

As long as those limitations do not prevent you from using the Model A+, the performance results show this is a great deal.

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"I was able to snag a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ for $25 with availability appearing to be better than some of the past Raspberry Pi releases. Here are some initial benchmarks of the RPi 3 Model A Plus compared to a few other ARM boards."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

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Source: Phoronix

Windows Media Centre has strut and fret it's hour upon the stage ...

Subject: Systems | October 22, 2018 - 04:20 PM |
Tagged: windows media center, htpc, hdhomerun, Connect Quatro

One of the casualties of Microsoft's new operating systems has been Windows Media Centre, an incredibly easy way to watch and record TV as well as stream your own media.  What does one do with that old HTPC, once you have finally moved on from an old Windows version that supported WMC?  This is the question that this Tech Report writer has answered in this article.   With the help of some old hardware and a new HDHomeRun Connect Quatro can he create a similar solution to his dear departed Media Centre?  How can the old .wtv files be saved?  Find out by clicking that link.

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"I figure I'm on the tail end of converts from ye olde Windows Media Center, but I know there are diehards still out there lamenting their loss or maybe still fighting to get Windows Media Center working on Windows 10 in a post-April Update world. To those of you good people, take a deep breath and listen to my tale. Maybe it will help you find peace."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

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CTL Announces i7-Powered Chromebox CBx1

Subject: Systems | October 16, 2018 - 07:49 PM |
Tagged: ctl, mini-pc

CTL is a PC manufacturer that focuses on customers in the education and government sectors. Today’s announcement is that they are adding a mini-PC to their line of Google Chrome OS devices, which is powered by a Core i7-8550U.

It will be available in November for $599 USD.

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Interestingly, the device is capable of dual-monitor output if you have one monitor that supports HDMI and another monitor that supports USB type C. They don’t say what else that type C port could be used for, however. It also has two USB 2.0 ports, 3 USB 3.0 ports, Wireless AC (2x2), and Bluetooth 4.2 for I/O. The models start at 8GB of RAM and 32GB of SSD, but that can be expanded to 16GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD.

The device is covered by a one-year warranty, although with two-way shipping covered.

Source: CTL

MSI's Aegis 3 gaming PC, aka Isaac

Subject: Systems | September 24, 2018 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: msi, aegis 3, gtx 1070 ti, i7-8700, Optane

If you like your system to glare aggressively at you, or are a fan of the Dead Space series then you should check out the review of MSI's latest Aegis system over at Kitguru.  It may look huge at first glance but it stands a mere 433x376x169mm (17x14.8x6.7") so you might just be able to fit this on your desk.  Inside is something a little unexpected, a 16GB Optane stick, which somehow doesn't fit with the i7-8700, GTX 1070 Ti and 16GB of DDR4-2400; especially as it MSI will not ship any with a GTX 1070 Ti, only a GTX 1060 or 1070.  There is also the matter of the 40mm fan which cools the PSU.

If you like the look of the case, and are willing to spend a premium to get it; take a look at the review.

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"I am of course talking about the aggressive, angular design of the machine – you will either love it or hate it. It does have some decent internal hardware, though, including an i7-8700, GTX 1070 Ti and support for Intel’s Optane technology. Is it any good?"

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

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Source: Kitguru

NVIDIA and Arrow Electronics New Jetson Xavier AI Computer

Subject: General Tech, Systems | September 10, 2018 - 04:59 PM |
Tagged: jetson xavier, nvidia, arrow electronics

Looking to do a little bit of black box programming but need new hardware to do it?  NVIDIA have partnered with Arrow Electronics to produce the newest Jetson system, the Xavier.

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The Xavier supports JetPack and DeepStream SDKs, as well as CUDA, cuDNN, and TensorRT software libraries.  The 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor Cores offer 10 TFLOPS at FP16 and 20 TOPS at INT8, with the two NVDLA engines adding another 5 TOPS each.  It is not just the processing power which has been upgraded, running full out the Xavier is rated at 30W with the option to reduce that maximum to 10W or 15W if efficiency is more important than raw speed.

If you are currently using the Jetson TX2 you have some thinking to do as this units pin-out will not be compatible, however many of the signals are.  The units are in pre-order right now, with the Dev Kit selling for $2500 (USD), $1300 if you are a NVIDIA Developer Program member.

Check out the specs and PR below.

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SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NVIDIA and Arrow Electronics, Inc. today announced they are bringing NVIDIA Jetson Xavier, a first-of-its-kind computer designed for AI, robotics and edge computing, to companies worldwide to create next-generation autonomous machines.

The collaboration combines NVIDIA’s world-leading AI capabilities with Arrow’s global roster of industrial customers and its broad support network of engineers and designers. This opens the door to the development and deployment of AI solutions for manufacturing, logistics, smart cities, healthcare and more.

“We are entering a new era of intelligent machines that will supercharge industries from manufacturing to healthcare,” said Deepu Talla, vice president and general manager of Autonomous Machines at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA and Arrow are working together to ensure that the unmatched AI capabilities of the Jetson Xavier platform reach deep into the global marketplace with first-class technical support and design.”

“At Arrow, we focus on connecting our global customers and developers to the right technology to enable transformative digital business,” said Aiden Mitchell, vice president and general manager, IoT Global Solutions at Arrow. “NVIDIA’s AI platform and Jetson Xavier is at that point, and our industrial customers can secure the Xavier developer kit from Arrow.com today.”

Jetson Xavier — available as a developer kit that customers can use to prototype designs — is supported by comprehensive software for building AI applications.

This includes the NVIDIA JetPack and DeepStream SDKs, as well as CUDA, cuDNN and TensorRT™ software libraries. At its heart is the new NVIDIA Xavier processor, which provides more computing capability than a powerful workstation and comes in three energy-efficient operating modes.

“Edge intelligence in modern robotics is a critical component in driving new use cases and increasing adoption. This relationship is primed to showcase the value of robotics in new areas and help drive continued innovation in the space,” said John Santagate, research director of Worldwide Robotics at IDC.

The NVIDIA Jetson Xavier developer kit is now available for purchase through Arrow’s website at https://www.arrow.com/nvidia.

 

Source: NVIDIA

In the summertime, when the computer is hot ...

Subject: Systems | June 7, 2018 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: DIY, system build

Why not cool down with some new components or build an entire system; thus avoiding the fiery ball of death which inhabits the sky this time of year?  They are as excited as we on the Hardware Leaderboard that you do not have to mortgage your life in order to afford the RAM and GPU for a new build.  The benefits of competition show in their builds, with their system builds showing a mix of AMD and Intel processors; NVIDIA still holds the GPU choices for now however.  Drop by for a look at what might be your next build.

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"Welcome to TR's Summer 2018 System Guide. This is where the TR staff picks out the créme de la créme of hardware components fit for the most price-effective builds around. We've tried to create builds across a wide range of price points with parts that provide the best performance possible for the money."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Psst! Hey buddy, wanna buy an AMD powered gaming machine?

Subject: Systems | May 31, 2018 - 04:18 PM |
Tagged: ryzen 7, Predator Orion 5000, Predator Helios 500, Predator, nitro 50, gaming machine, amd, acer

The wait is almost over for those looking for a boutique built AMD gaming machine, of either the mobile or sedentary variety according to the announcement today from Acer.  They've announced the pending arrival of three new systems, the Predator Orion 5000 and Acer Nitro 50 desktops as well as the Predator Helios 500 gaming laptop all of which will be shown off at Computex 2018 in Taipei.

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Starting small, well relatively so, is the $2100, 17.3" Helios 500 laptop which comes with your choice of Freesync display, either a 1080p with a 144Hz top refresh rate or a 4k display if you so prefer.  Inside is a Ryzen 2 processor and a Vega 56 GPU, cooled by Acer's AeroBlade 3D metal fans, with exhaust worthy of a CEC YT-1300.  It also has some interesting audio features, using  Waves Nx head-tracking technology to control the built in speakers to give you a more immersive audio experience.

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Next in power would be the Acer Nitro 50 desktop, also featuring a second generation Ryzen processor and a choice of either RX 580 or GTX 1060 GPUs to power your chosen monitor.  As with the CPU and GPU, the storage depends on the model you chose, with a 516GB SSD and 3TB HDD at the top tier.  The Nitro 50 also comes with a Qi compatible wireless charging deck for wireless lovers.  It will start at $900 and head up from there.

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Last comes the big hitter, the Predator Orion 5000 pairing a Ryzen 2 with a GTX 1080 in it's most powerful configuration.  As you would expect from a $1500+ system, it has been designed to look good as well as perform.  Tempered glass on the side, with easy access to the interior for upgrades along with comprehensive cable management and Acer's IceTunnel 2.0 airflow management system which segregates your components into different sections to improve heat transfer. 

You can't buy them quite yet but expect to hear more about these and other Ryzen powered gaming machines in the near future.

Source: Acer

Velocity Micro Unleashes Epyc ProMagix HD150 Workstation

Subject: Systems | May 3, 2018 - 07:39 AM |
Tagged: velocity micro, EPYC, EPYC 7601, amd, workstation

AMD scored another design win with Velocity Micro announcing a new workstation built around the Zen-based EPYC processor. The new ProMagix HD150 is a single socket Epyc-based system that slots in between the company's existing ThreadRipper-based HD80A and the dual socket Epyc HD360A workstations. The Velocity Micro system takes the company's GX4 aluminum E-ATX chassis and crams a ton of processing power into it.

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The new workstation is based around the Supermicro H11SSL motherboard and it can be confiugred with up to an AMD Epyc 7601 processor with 32 cores and 64 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 3.2 GHz boost with 64MB L3 cache and 128 lanes of PCI-E. The processor which is cooled by a closed loop liquid cooler with 240mm radiator can be paired with up to 512GB DDR4-2666 ECC RDIMMs or 256GB ECC LRDIMMs for main memory and up to a 2TB Samsung 960 Pro SSD (or two Crucial MX550s) and two 8TB mechanical hard drives for storage. The Supermicro board has sixteen SATA ports as well as multiple PCI-E x16 and x8 slots so users can add plenty of additional storage and I/O expansion. Further, users can configure the system with a NVIDIA Quadro GP100 graphics accelerator as well as up to two Radeon Pro SSG Vega 10 cards (there are also NVIDIA GTX, Titan, and Quadro or AMD Vega, WX Pro, and SSG options) for GPGPU tasks. The two Radeon Pro SSG cards have 4096 stream processors, 16GB of HBM2, and 2TB of solid state storage each and are rated at 12.3 TFLOPS of single precision and 769 GFLOPS of double precision performance.

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Needless to say, you can configure an extremely capable workstation thanks to AMD's Epyc that can handle both CPU and GPU efficient tasks with plenty of I/O lanes for storage and expansion. Velocity Micro claims that the HD150 workstation is aimed at simulation, rendering, 8K video editing, and machine learning workloads. The systems can be configured on their website or customized by ordering over the phone and start at $3,299 with a default one year warranty and lifetime US-based support. The workstations are built and tested in Richmond, Virginia. As far as pricing, this, ahem, Epyc system is squarely an enterprise affair with fully loaded configurations passing $33,000 easily.

It is promising to see AMD's server processor getting design wins in this market space.

Rumor: Intel to Launch Cannon Lake-U NUCs with AMD RX 500-series Graphics

Subject: Systems | April 20, 2018 - 01:05 PM |
Tagged: RX 550, radeon, NUC8i3CYSM3, NUC8i3CYSM2, nuc, Intel, i3-8121u, Dawson Canyon, crimson canyon, cnl-u, cannon lake u, baby canyon, amd

 

Rumors surfacing from the WinFuture site seem to indicate that the Hades Canyon NUC and Kaby Lake-G processors aren't the end of Intel and AMD's relationship for compact PCs.

WinFuture was able to get their hands on some photos of both the hardware and software of the yet to be announced Crimson Canyon NUC. While there have been rumors, and even retail listings floating around recently about this Cannon Lake U-based NUC, WinFuture has uncovered a secret within this device—a discrete AMD Radeon GPU.

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Source: WinFuture.de

On the CPU side, the Crimson Canyon NUC seems to be based on the i3-8121U. Based on previous leaks, this processor will be part of the Cannon Lake-U family and one of the first parts produced on Intel's 10nm manufacturing process.

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Source: WinFuture.de

WinFuture has also sourced an image from what appears to be the AMD's Radeon Software package showing this NUC features "Radeon 500-series" graphics. While this could mean a few things, we take it along with reference to "2GB of GDDR5" on the leaked NUC box to mean that Intel is integrating a Polaris-based GPU and GDDR5 memory into a NUC system.

Unlike the Hades Canyon NUC, we do not expect this to be a CPU and GPU on the same package. Rather, it appears that Intel will be integrating the Polaris GPU, GDDR5, and associated power circuitry on the NUC motherboard.

Based on the 90W power adapter for the entire system, 2GB of GDDR5, and the leaked core clock frequency from the Radeon Software, it seems likely this GPU will be most closely related to AMD's current RX 550 GPU. 

Update: It appears our speculation of the mystery GPU being an RX 550 is correct according to a 3DMark score listing we've been pointed to. For reference, this would place 3DMark 11 performance levels around the MX150 found in a lot of ultrabooks, as we measured here.

Interestingly enough, we found the RX550 to be in the same class of graphics performance as AMD's Ryzen 5 2400G APU when we reviewed that processor a few months ago.

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A leaked Geekbench score from earlier in the year outs the i3-8121U as a dual-core, hyperthreaded part. Performance of this i3 part seems to be roughly in line with the Baby Canyon-based NUC7i5BNH containing an i5-7260U processor. 

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Interestingly enough, from the retail listings it appears this NUC will be sold as pre-configured systems, with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB 2.5" HDD, and Windows 10 as opposed to the traditional barebones NUC options.

Overall, it seems odd for Intel to be launching their first traditional form factor NUC with discrete graphics on top of an i3-based CPU. We'd love to see the potential for discrete AMD graphics with a quad-core based U-series part like i7-8650U found in the Dawson Canyon NUC we took a look at recently.

We're eager to hear more about this Crimson Canyon NUC, it's Radeon graphics, and the 10nm Cannon Lake-U processor hiding inside. Stay tuned for more news about this platform as they become available!

Source: WinFuture

HP Announces Chromebook x2, World's First Detachable Chromebook

Subject: Systems | April 9, 2018 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: hp, detachable, core m3-7y30, ChromeOS, chromebook x2, 2-in-1

Today, HP is announcing the Chromebook x2, building upon their existing Chromebook 11 and Chromebook x360 devices.

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As you might have guessed from the "x2" moniker, the HP Chromebook x2 is a detachable 2-in-1 device. While we've seen Acer announce the first ChromeOS tablet a few weeks ago with the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the HP Chromebook x2 is the first detachable device to be running ChromeOS.

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HP Chromebook x2
Processor Intel Core M3-7Y30 (Kaby Lake)
Memory 4GB LPDDR3-1600 (Onboard)
Screen 12.3-inch Touchscreen (2400x1600)
Storage 32GB eMMC (non-upgradable)
Camera

HP Wide Vision 5MP Camera (front facing)

13 MP HP Camera (rear facing) 

Wireless Intel 802.11ac 2x2 + BT 4.2
Connections 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
MicroSD Card Reader
Audio combo jack
Battery 48 Wh
Dimensions 11.50 in (W) x 8.32 in (D) x 0.33 in (H) 
 1.62 lb (tablet); 3.07 lb (tablet + base)
OS ChromeOS
Price $599 - available starting in June

Specs-wise, the HP Chromebook x2 looks to be one of the higher performance ChromeOS device. Built around an Intel Core M3-7Y30 processor, HP is aiming for the Chromebook x2 to be used as a primary computing device for consumers looking for more available horsepower on a ChromeOS device. 

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Along with the tablet mode capabilities come the included HP Active Pen stylus for sketching, notetaking, and navigation. 

Additionally, HP Chromebook X2 will support the running of Android apps from the Google Play Store inside ChromeOS. This will allow users to access more tablet-optimized Android apps, which should be great for media consumption.

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With pricing of $599, with the keyboard dock included, the HP Chromebook x2 is one of the few premium ChromeOS devices we've seen besides Google's Pixel offerings. 

While it remains to be seen if users are interested in the 2-in-1 detachable form factor for a device running ChromeOS, the HP Chromebook x2 seems to be a premium product and a compelling option for users looking for the Chromebook experience.

Source: HP