NVIDIA is ready to storm the server room

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Networking, Shows and Expos | March 19, 2019 - 06:16 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, t4, amazon, microsoft, NGC, Mellanox, CUDA-X, GTC, jen-hsun huang, DRIVE Constellation, ai

As part of their long list of announcements yesterday, NVIDIA revealed they are partnering with Cisco, Dell EMC, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Inspur, Lenovo and Sugon to provide servers powered by T4 Tensor Core GPUs, optimized to run their CUDA-X AI accelerators. 

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Those T4 GPUs have been on the market for a while but this marks the first major success for NVIDIA in the server room, with models available for purchase from those aforementioned companies.  Those who prefer other people's servers can also benefit from these new products, with Amazon and Microsoft offering Cloud based solutions.  Setting yourself up to run NVIDIA's NGC software may save a lot of money down the road, the cards sip a mere 70W of power which is rather more attractive than the consumption of a gaggle of Tesla V100s.  One might be guilty of suspecting this offers an explanation for their recent acquisition of Mellanox.

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NGC software offers more than just a platform to run optimizations on, it also offers a range of templates to start off with from classification, and object detection, through sentiment analysis and most other basic starting points for training a machine.  Customers will also be able to upload their own models to share internally or, if in the mood, externally with other users and companies.  It supports existing products such as TensorFlow and PyTorch but also offers access to CUDA-X AI, which as the name suggests takes advantage of the base design of the T4 GPU to reduce the amount of time waiting for results and letting users advance designs quickly. 

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If you are curious exactly what particular implementations of everyone's favourite buzzword might be, NVIDIA's DRIVE Constellation is a example after JoshTekk's own heart.  Literally an way to create open, scalable simulation for large fleets of self-driving cars to train them ... for good one hopes.  Currently the Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development utilizes these products in the development of their next self-driving fleet, and NVIDIA obviously hopes others will follow suit. 

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There is not much to see from the perspective of a gamer in the short term, but considering NVIDIA's work at shifting the horsepower from the silicon you own to their own Cloud this will certainly impact the future of gaming from both a hardware and gameplay perspective.  GPUs as a Service may not be the future many of us want but this suggests it could be possible, not to mention the dirty tricks enemy AIs will be able to pull with this processing power behind them.

One might even dream that escort missions could become less of a traumatic experience!

Source: NVIDIA

CES 2019: Wacom Launches Cintiq 16 (Not Pro) Pen Display

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | January 13, 2019 - 07:34 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2019, wacom, wacom 16

Wacom has launched a new, lower-cost Cintiq pen display at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. This one is the Wacom Cintiq 16, which should not be confused with the previously-released Wacom Cintiq Pro 16. While the Pro had a 4K screen with 94% AdobeRGB, the new model downgrades to 1080p with 72% NTSC. Both are based on IPS panel technology.

(Note the different AdobeRGB vs NTSC color spaces. It’s hard to compare the two, but 72% NTSC roughly corresponds to 100% sRGB, which is smaller than 94% AdobeRGB… so the Pro should have better colors… but it’s just about impossible to exactly quantify the difference without calibrating both panels to both color spaces and comparing.)

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In exchange for the one-quarter resolution (albeit on a 16-inch screen) and lower color space, you get a much smaller price tag. The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 is listed at $1499.95 USD on the Wacom website, but the new Wacom Cintiq 16 is listed at just $649.95 USD. This price cut opens it up to users with a much different budget. It’s not quite in the “video game console” territory, but it’s not significantly higher than that $500 threshold either. It’s possible that you could see it barely squeeze into holiday gifts for teenagers and young adults that show a strong interest in art. It also makes it much easier to justify for small business art studios, too.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is expected to ship this month (January 2019) for $649.95.

Source: Wacom

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

CES 2019: New Lenovo "Legion" Displays: Y44w & Y27gq

Subject: Displays, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, g-sync, freesync 2, display, ces 2019, CES, amd

Lenovo has added two monitors to their Legion line of gaming devices.

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The Lenovo Legion Y44w is a 43.4” gaming display. Most of that size is horizontal, however, because it has a 32:10 aspect ratio. If you have ever used a 1920x1200 monitor, which was the PC equivalent of 1080p while PC manufacturers believed that 16:9 was too wide so they settled on 16:10 for the Windows Vista era, then you should imagine two of them side-by-side in a single monitor. In fact, the Y44w supports two separate video inputs if you wish to split the monitor down the middle into two side-by-side 1920x1200 displays. It can also operate as a single, 3840x1200 display, of course. This resolution is a little over half of a 4K panel, so it should be easier for second-tier GPUs to feed.

Beyond the resolution, the color gamut is listed as “99% sRGB, BT.709, DCI-P3” and it is certified as VESA HDR400. If the slide deck is correct and it can do 99% DCI-P3 at HDR400, then it should have an amazing picture. It can also do 144 Hz with FreeSync 2, so you do not need to compromise refresh rate to get those beautiful colors. The also have an optional speaker from Harman Kardon that can be attached to the display.

The Lenovo Legion Y44w will be available in April 2019 for $1199.99 USD.

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Lenovo also announced the Legion Y27gq gaming monitor. This one is a standard 16:9, 1440p, TN panel that can be driven up to 240 Hz. It supports G-Sync, but not HDR. Despite not supporting HDR, it still covers 90% of DCI-P3, which is quite wide for a TN panel. Lenovo is listing it as an “eSport gaming monitor”… so you can probably guess that high refresh rate and G-Sync are the focus.

If you gotta go fast, then the Lenovo Legion Y27gq is available in April 2019 for $999.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

CES 2019: Lenovo "Legion" Peripherals: H500 7.1 Pro & H300 Gaming Headsets, K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, M500 RGB Mouse

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM |
Tagged: RGB, mechanical keyboard, Lenovo, Legion, headset, gaming mouse

Lenovo has just announced two new gaming headsets, a gaming mechanical keyboard, and a right-handed gaming mouse.

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The Lenovo Legion H500 7.1 Pro Gaming Headset is the high-end of the two announced. For $99.99 USD, the headphones have 50mm drivers in an all-black with black anisotropic metal highlight design. It supports virtual 7.1 surround sound via its USB sound card, although it can also be plugged into 3.5mm analog jacks. The microphone is retractable.

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For $59.99 USD, the Lenovo Legion H300 Gaming Headset still has 50mm drivers although it loses the USB sound device with 7.1 surround; it can only attach by 3.5mm, stereo. The headset design is somewhat similar, though, including the retractable microphone.

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Moving on to the Lenovo Legion K500 RGB Mechanical Keyboard. This device is based on Cherry MX Red switches, which means you will not feel a click or a bump as the key passes it actuation point. I personally don’t like linear keys, because I don’t like having no feedback until I bottom out, but that is 100% user-preference. The bottom of the keyboard has a full palm rest, which is detachable if you want to save that little bit of room. Its media keys are standard buttons on the top-left of the keyboard. I like how it contributes to the overall simple, clean design, although I would prefer a volume roller or dial. The price is listed as “starting at $99.99” (USD) although I don’t see any upsells listed.

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The Lenovo Legion M500 RGB Gaming Mouse uses a 16,000 DPI Pixart sensor and Omron mechanical switches. It also had three-zone RGB lighting and seven programmable buttons. There is also a 10g adjustable weight to customize how it feels to move. It is expected to cost $59.99 USD.

All peripherals are available in April 2019.

Source: Lenovo

Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 Starts Tomorrow (Sunday)

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 5, 2019 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: agdq, gdq, agdq 2019, speedrun, charity

Twice each year, Games Done Quick hosts a week-long, 24-hour marathon of games done quick… or blindfolded… or two games done on one controller… etc. The entire event is donation-based, with the money raised going to a specific charity. Typically, the winter event (Awesome Games Done Quick) raises money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the summer event (Summer Games Done Quick) benefits Doctors Without Borders.

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Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 continues with the Prevent Cancer Foundation. The last two AGDQ events brought in over $2.2 million USD, and the most recent Summer Games Done Quick was just under $2.2 million USD.

The whole schedule is available at their website. One interesting slot should be Friday evening’s TASBot plays mari0, which is Super Mario Bros. 1 with a Portal gun on custom levels. TASBot blocks also sometimes contain innocent-looking segments that are much more entertaining than they let on. For example, one year TASBot played Pokémon Red, although “playing” actually meant overloading the game’s controller input and using that memory access to install a Twitch chat client. As such, it’s always a good idea to watch the entire TAS block... just in case.

I also want to check out The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 1-Hit K.O. block on Saturday early afternoon. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars was also entertaining in the past, and it’s being run again on Tuesday evening.

The event starts with a one-and-a-half-hour run of Hollow Knight, Sunday (tomorrow) at noon.

Acer shows off their stuff at IFA in Berlin

Subject: Shows and Expos | August 29, 2018 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: Swift 5, Predator XB273K, OJO 500, Nitro XV273K, g-sync, freesync, aspire, acer

Acer announced a variety of new products at IFA, from monitors to laptops by way of a gaming throne. First up are a pair of monitors, the G-Sync Predator XB273K and FreeSync Nitro XV273K and two other models.  The 4k IPS Predator sports an impressive 144Hz top refresh rate, with a variety of Acer VisionCare features to reduce eyestrain.

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The Nitro series support FreeSync, and come in three models, a 4k IPS display and two 2560×1440 models, one IPS and one TN.  All three monitors can match the 144Hz top refresh rate of the Predator.  Purists will be a little disappointed that all four of these monitors were designed to the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard.

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A wide variety of laptops were revealed, including the Swift 5 which is the lightest 15" laptop on the market.  The magnesium-lithium alloy construction of the body keeps the weight to 990g (2.2lbs), which is lighter than most high end CPU heatsinks.  Inside you can choose from a i7-8565U or Core
i5-8265U, up to 16GB DDR4 and an NVMe SSD.

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Their Aspire lineup has been updated with the Aspire 7 series featuring the Intel i7-8705G or or i5-8305G processor both of which have AMD's Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics onboard.  The Aspire 5 will offer a choice of 8th gen Amber Lake-Y or Whiskey Lake-U chips paired with NVIDIA's GeForce MX150 GP while the Aspire 3 line will offer a low cost laptop for students, with the choice to include an optical drive.

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If you are looking for an all-in-one, the Aspire Z 24 is a impressive implementation of that form factor.  Hidden behind the 1080p 10 point touchscreen is a Whiskey Lake-U processor paired with a GeForce MX15 and even support for up to 32GB of Optane memory.  It is designed to be controllable from up to 4 metres away, offering more than just a small footprint on a work desk.

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Last but not least is the OJO 500 Mixed Reality headset.  The two screens combine to offer a 100 degree FOV at a 2880 x 1440 resolution with up to a 90Hz refresh rate.  Acer chose to include small speakers in the headset as opposed to integrated headphones, in keeping with the mixed reality nature of the headset. The headset and two Bluetooth controllers will sell for $399US and will be compatible with Steam as well as Windows 10.

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This is a Thronos, in which a Predator desktop PC and three screens can prevent any chance of human interaction.

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Source: Acer

IFA 2018: Dell Announces Updated XPS 13 2-in-1, Cheaper XPS 13 Configuration

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 29, 2018 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: xps 13 2-in-1, XPS 13, ifa 2018, i7-8500Y, i5-8200Y, dell, core m, amber lake

Hot on the heels of Intel's announcement of new Amber Lake-Y ultra-low voltage processors, Dell today announced an updated version of their XPS 13 2-in-1 device. 

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With a choice of either the Core i5-8200Y or Core i7-8500Y, the chassis design of the XPS 13 2-in-1 remains largely unchanged from when it's introduction in 2017. However, users should look forward to the increased performance and battery life from the new 8th generation Intel processors.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 will start shipping September 11th, starting at $999.99.

Dell also launched a slightly more inexpensive option for users looking at their standard XPS 13 notebook for users looking who aren't as performance conscious.

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Featuring a dual-core Intel Core i3-8130U, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SATA SSD, and a 1080P display, this new XPS 13 configuration is now available for $899 from the Dell site and other retailers.

Finally, Dell announced that their popular Developer Edition XPS 13 is now shipping with the latest release of Ubuntu (18.04). As always, these Developer Editions come preconfigured with Ubuntu and all the necessary drivers out of the box and are less expensive than their Windows-toting counterparts.

Source: Dell

NVIDIA teases RTX 2080 performance and features

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Shows and Expos | August 22, 2018 - 02:06 PM |
Tagged: turing, RTX 2080, nvidia, geforce, ansel

NVIDIA has been showing off a slideshow in Germany, offering a glimpse at the new features Turing brings to the desktop as well as in-house performance numbers.  As you can see below, their testing shows a significant increase in performance from Pascal, it will be interesting to see how the numbers match up once reviewers get their hands on these cards.

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While those performance numbers should be taken with a grain of salt or three, the various features which the new generation of chip brings to the table will appear as presented.   For fans of Ansel, you will be able to upscale your screenshots to 8k with Ansel AI UpRes, which offers an impressive implementation of anti-aliasing.  They also showed off a variety of filtres you can utilize to make your screenshots even more impressive.

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The GigaRays of real time ray tracing capability on Turing look very impressive but with Ansel, your card has a lot more time to process reflections, refractions and shadows which means your screenshots will look significantly more impressive than what the game shows while you are playing.  In the example below you can see how much more detail a little post-processing can add.

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There are a wide variety of released and upcoming games which will support these features; 22 listed by name at the conference.  A few of the titles only support some of the new features, such as NVIDIA Highlights, however the games below should offer full support, as well as framerates high enough to play at 4k with HDR enabled.

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Keep your eyes peeled for more news from NVIDIA and GamesCom.

Source: NVIDIA

This is your Yoga on tiger blood; Intel's dual display demo duo

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 7, 2018 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: Tiger Rapids, Intel, kaby lake

Recently seen in the Lenovo Yoga devices, mobile devices with dual screens are attracting attention but so far the implementation has not been without troubles.  Intel showed off two prototype machines at Computex that they believe will offer what this segment of customers is looking for.  The Tiger Rapids machine has a conventional touchscreen on one side and some sort of electronic paper display on the other, which has a bit of give to it so that using a stylus on it gives you some tactile feedback.  It is powered by a Kaby Lake processor of some description, with an SSD and the unfortunately common lone USB Type-C port on it.  At 4.7mm thin it is a fairly impressive design. 

Their second does not bear a code name but resembles the Yoga as it has two traditional touchscreens with one generally displaying a keyboard.   We don't know much about them, but you can take a peek at them over at The Inquirer.

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"The first machine codenamed Tiger Rapids - this is Intel after all - mixes one touchscreen panel with an electronic paper display designed specifically for note taking and stylus scribbling, even coming with a slight give to simulate writing on paper."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

InWin gets artistic at Computex with the Z-Tower

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2018 - 05:24 PM |
Tagged: Z-Tower, InWin 307, InWin, computex 2018

Behold InWin's new flagship case, the Z-Tower, and stare in amazement at eight giant pieces of cast aluminium it is made from.

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If you look carefully at the picture from their product page below you can just make out what appears to be a PSU at the bottom as well as a motherboard mounted on the back, or possibly not ...  regardless the airflow in the case is certainly not restricted, assuming you can determine how to install the components.  This limited edition case will certainly make your system stand out, as we certainly haven't seen its like before.

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For the RGB addicts comes a simliarly impressive case, the 307, which bears a resemblance to the already available 303 chassis but with a big difference.  The front panel features an array of RGB LEDs which are connected to an audio sensor so that the lightshow can change in real time based on the music you are listening to.  If you prefer you can use the GLOW software to program your own animated featurette to display

To make it even more impressive and to boost your EGO you can add some of their new RGB fans.

 

 

Source: InWin

Seasonic shows off their new System Cable Management Device

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 6, 2018 - 02:53 PM |
Tagged: scmd, System Cable Management Device, seasonic, PSU, computex 2018, backplane

Seasonic have come up with a new cable management system which could replace the modular cabling that is the current choice for those who despise case clutter.

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As you can see above, with a compatible PSU you are able to connect directly to the Seasonic Backplane, aka the SCMD, with all of your power plugs distributed on the side of the device.  Simply connect the cabling you require, and leave out any you do not need.  It is thin enough to fit behind your motherboard, thus hiding almost all of your wiring and also ensuring you do not have to stretch that additional motherboard power cable. 

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Seasonic claims that introducing the SCMD into your power loop will only drop efficiency by 1% overall, making it a perfect alternative to modular cabling.  As with all things Computex this year, it does indeed sport an RGB logo, if you prefer to install it where it can contribute to the rave party in your case. We do not yet have a price or a date on which it becomes available, but Seasonic suggests it will come in three sizes to ensure a proper fit in almost any system.

 

Source: Seasonic

ASUS reveals the new ZenBook Pro 15 UX580 at Computex

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2018 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: xenbook, UX580, thunderbolt 3, pantone, asus

ASUS revealed their new Xenbook, with its new ScreenPad and NanoEdge bezels, which give this laptop an 83% screen-to-body ratio.  You will be able to get a variety of models, including a 4k alternative for those who can't stand 1080p anymore. 

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Inside you will find a processor of up to an i9-8950HK, 16GB of DDR4-2400, a GTX 1050 Ti and a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD.  The 15.6" screen is PANTONE vaildated with guaranteed Delta-E colour difference of less than 2.0 for the 4K display model and less than 3.0 for the 1080p, as well as 100% Adobe RGB and 132% sRGB coverage. 

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The ScreenPad is a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, replacing a standard touchpad with support for up to to four finger gestures.  As it is more capable than the run of the mill touchpad, ASUS included a configureable menu at the top of the ScreenPad, which can perform a variety of tricks.  If you are using a compatible Microsoft Office product the menu will offer you various ribbon commands, or you can control your YouTube and Spotify sessions.  If you prefer you can also use it as a secondary monitor or use the ASUS Sync app to display and control your smartphone.

This adds up to a powerful little machine, with a reported MSRP of $2300.   Now have some PR ...

Source: ASUS

AORUS RGB's all the things at Computex

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Memory, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2018 - 05:39 PM |
Tagged: RGB, M5, m3, h5, gigabyte, computex 2018, aorus

Gigabyte went full spectrum RGB at this years Computex, announcing an entire gamut of equipment with dancing colourful lights.  The first of these are are the four piece AORUS RGB 16GB DDR4-3200MHz memory kit, which ships with two 8GB DIMMs and a pair of dummies.

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The dummies, as you are no doubt asking yourself, are to let you populate all four DIMM slots and yet keep the price down to ~$230.   The dummies are not dim, they have the same lighting features as the DIMMs do, making the rave in your case even more impressive.

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The Aorus M5 and M3 mice also give off illumination which will satisfy dedicated RGB enthusiasts, especially when paired with the Aorus P7 RGB mousemat. 

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The M5 contains a Pixart 3398 optical sensor, capable of up to 16,000 DPI as well as removable weights which let you pick your preferred heft, at least between 18g to 130.5g.  The M3 uses a Pixart 3988 sensor, which tops out at 6400 SPI which is honestly quite sufficient for the vast majority of users.  The two mice are both able to function while slightly lifted about a surface and can produce 16.7 million hues with their RGBs.

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Now that the inside and outside of your computer as well as the mouse and its mat are glowing away in glorious technicolour, you should not leave yourself out of the show.  Strap on the Aorus H5 headset and become part of the show as you sync your ears with the patterns produced by your other peripherals.  As with the other components the H5 is not just eye candy, the 50mm beryllium magnets in the headset will deliver your ear candy as well. 

Keep an eye out for more from Gigabyte and Aorus.

 

Source: Gigabyte

CES 2018: Crucial Expands MX500 Lineup - 2.5" SATA up to 2TB, M.2 2280 SATA up to 1TB

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2018 - 07:38 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, slc, sata, nand, MX500, DWA, crucial, CES 2018, CES, 3d nand

Crucial showed off the upcoming M.2 variant of its MX500 product, available in capacities up to 1TB. They also announced (press release after the break) that the MX500 will be available from 250GB up to 2TB capacities.

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Here is Crucial's product tour video for the MX500:

We previously tested the 1TB MX500, and Crucial passed along a 500GB model that I was able to spot check to ensure there was no performance fall-off at the smaller capacities of this line:

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Looks good so far, and nearly identical to the 1TB capacity across our entire test suite. We did also speak with Crucial reps (Jon and Jon) about the TRIM speed issues noted in our previous review. They are looking into replicating our testing and may be pushing out a firmware to help improve this metric moving forward.

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We also saw some sweet looking new RGB Ballistix memory, due out shortly. More to follow there! Crucial's MX500 CES announcement appears after the break.

Source: Crucial

CES 2018: Intel Launches Optane 800P M.2 2280 SSDs, 60/120GB Capacities

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2018 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: XPoint, Optane, Intel, CES 2018, CES, 800p, 60GB, 3D XPoint, 120gb

Intel broke news just now that they will be launching a larger version of their 16/32GB Optane Memory modules. The new 800P looks very much the same as its little brother but is designed to operate as a sole boot SSD. Mobile applications are also possible now as the 800P includes power management features that the Optane Memory modules lacked (as they were not intended for mobile).

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We are under embargo as far as performance goes, but from what we know about how Optane parts scale, it's a safe bet that performance will be very close to what we've seen out of the Optane Memory parts. Warranty will be 5 years with an endurance of ~200GB per day. No word on cost at this time. Overall these though fit nicely between Optane Memory (16/32GB) and the 900P (280/480+GB) capacity points.

The elephant in the room is the capacity. While these can store more than the 16/32GB variants, 60/120GB may not be enough for most users out there. Fortunately, devices like these are great in Zx70 RAID or even VROC configurations!

CES 2018: Toshiba Announces RC100 NVMe and XS700 Portable SSDs

Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2018 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: XS700, toshiba, ssd, RC100, portable, ocz, NVMe, CES 2018, CES

Toshiba announced a couple of new additions to their SSD lineup. First up is the RC100:

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This is a DRAMless design intended to target budget builds - something much needed in the current (pricey) SSD landscape. Just because there is no DRAM present in the design does not mean that the RC100 can't perform well. Toshiba has implemented the Host memory Buffer (HMB) feature, which allows the NVMe driver to share a small (38MB) portion of host memory via the same PCIe 3.0 x2 link used to transfer user data. This memory portion effectively caches a portion of the FTL, which should bring the random performance of smaller sections of the SSD up to what you would expect to see from a higher performance product. Specs are as follows:

  • Capacities: 120/240/480GB
  • PCIe 3.0 x2
  • Random read/write: 160/120k IOPS
  • Sequential read/write: 1620/1130 MB/s
  • Warranty: 3 years

Up next is the XS700, Toshiba's first portable SSD:

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Specs:

  • 240GB only
  • USB 3.1 Gen2 (type-c connector on device)
  • Ships with type-c to type-a cable

The XS700 is the first portable SSD I've seen out of Toshiba. It was just a matter of time here as just about every other major SSD maker has offered a similar product.

We don't have pricing yet, but these should shape up to be highly price-competitive products offering decent performance. Both models will be coming later this year.

Press blast after the break.

Qualcomm Showcasing Windows on Snapdragon and Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform on Tech Summit Live Stream

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | December 4, 2017 - 01:50 AM |
Tagged: windows on snapdragon, snapdragon 845, snapdragon, qualcomm, live stream

Qualcomm is preparing for its second annual Technology Summit, this time from the sunny shores of Maui, where it will unveil the roadmap and technologies that it will be driving into the ecosystem for 2018. Hosted by EVP of Qualcomm Technologies Cristiano Amon, this event will play host to not just Qualcomm personnel but several other key leaders in the hardware and software industry, backing Qualcomm’s play into flagship mobile, Windows, and more.

The PC Perspective team is on-site to cover the announcements, interview executives, and attempt to gauge the potential for this technology being presented. If you want to follow along at home, Qualcomm is hosting a live stream of the event on its website and of course will be tweeting all of the key details from its primary account. It starts bright and early at 8:30am HST in Hawaii but that translates into 10:30am PST and 1:30pm EST for those of you on the mainland.

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There are definite announcements coming that you should expect during the live stream. First, Qualcomm will be updating its flagship mobile platform to the Snapdragon 845, a potentially significant bump over the 835 shipping today. We have already seen rumors of several next-gen Android smartphones using the SD 845 including Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The company announced the SD 835 and corresponding technology in November of 2016 at the first Tech Summit, so expect Qualcomm to follow suit for the SD 845 this year.

More exciting to many might be the pending release of the much-hyped Windows on Snapdragon hardware. We have been talking about it for more than a year now, but we have it on high authority that we are past theory and will be seeing real hardware from real vendors with real prices and real time tables. These Windows 10-based notebooks and convertibles should include Gigabit-class LTE, extended battery life, and a true Windows 10 experience. But details up to this point have been sparse – hopefully this week we’ll have much more definitive information in our hands.

That’s all I can say for sure we’ll see at the Qualcomm Tech Summit, but who knows, the company may have some more surprises in store for us. The company has a lot of technology in development in areas like self-driving cars, mobile connectivity, IoT, VR; any of which could make for an interesting addition to our pre-CES flurry.

Source: Qualcomm

IFA 2017: Dell announces refreshed Quad-Core XPS 13 Notebook

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 28, 2017 - 10:20 PM |
Tagged: ifa, IFA 2017, dell, XPS 13, 8th generation core, i7-8550U, i5-8250U

As expected, this year's IFA trade show in Berlin is proving busy for notebook manufacturers. Hot on the heels of Intel's announcement of 15W 8th Generation quad-core processors in the Kaby-Lake refresh family earlier in the month, we are starting to see some announcements of actual products utilizing these new processors.

Not to be left behind, Dell has officially announced the refreshed version of their well-received XPS 13 notebook. 

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It appears that there has been little physical change to the XPS 13 centered around these new processor options. Customers will still find 2 USB-A Ports upgraded to USB 3.1 Gen 2, a Thundebolt 3 Port, full-size SD card slot, a standard headphone jack, and a power connector (although charging over Thunderbolt 3 is supported). There's no indication yet as to the Thunderbolt 3 implementation, but we hope Dell has gone with the full PCIe x4 bandwidth instead of x2 as found on the current XPS 13.

Same as the current XPS 13, customers will be able to choose from a 1080p non-touch display or a 3200x1800 touchscreen, up to 16GB of RAM, and SSD options including SATA and NVMe.

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Battery size remains at 60Wh, which Dell claims has a MobileMark battery life score of 22 hours on the 1080p display model and 12 hours with the 3200x1800 QHD+ Touchscreen option.

Expect a longer rollout than usual with these new 8th generation parts from Dell, with the highest end i7-8550U to be available starting September 12th, and the i5 parts coming later in October. We have no current indications of pricing, but I would expect it to fall along the current XPS 13 models, in which the i7 model starts at $1349 along with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, and the 1080p display.

Source: Dell