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Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2017 - 12:01 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: whispermode, video, shadow rock 2, Seasonic FOCUS, Samsung, podcast, nvidia, nuc, MX Ergo, macchina, logitech, iphone x, iphone 8, Intel, hyperx, GTX 1070Ti, Dawson Canyon, Cites: Skylines, BeQuiet, ASUS ZenFone 4 Max, apple, 7nm, 11nm
PC Perspective Podcast #467 - 09/13/17
Join us for discussion on NVIDIA WhisperMode, HyperX Mechanical Keyboards, iPhone 8/X and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:27:20
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech, Storage | September 14, 2017 - 10:32 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: western digital, toshiba, nand, flash memory, bain capital
Toshiba remains in a financial crisis in the aftermath of massive losses in its Westinghouse US Nuclear power division and has been attempting to sell off its still very much profitable NAND flash manufacturing business to compensate and right the company to avoid being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Unfortunately for Toshiba it has now missed three target dates for selling off the business. Not for lack of suitors, but primarily because of legal issues resulting from anti-trust concerns as well as legal battles brought by Western Digital – who Toshiba is in a joint venture with for flash manufacturing in Japan – to attempt to prevent the sale.
Jumping to the present, Toshiba has decided to proceed with the negotiations with an investment group led by Bain Capital despite disappointment (and more legal objections) from Western Digital who tried to block similar negotiations back in June. On Wednesday, it was revealed that Toshiba had signed a “memorandum of understanding” and is engaging in private talks to negotiate the sale with an investment group led by Bain Capital and including SK Hynix (who is allegedly only providing financing at this point and not going after a stake in the business to try to avoid further delaying the sale from increased anti-trust red tape), Apple, Dell, Seagate, and two Japanese government controlled entities known as Innovation Network Corp and Development Bank of Japan (again, Bain Capital is offering them the chance to invest post any WD concessions and legal battles in the business to improve chances of the sale going through). As the preferred (by Toshiba) buyer, the Bain Capital-lead group deal is reportedly worth nearly 2.4 trillion Yen ($22 billion USD) including $1.8 billion earmarked for infrastructure. The company expects come to an agreement in late September and is hoping that it will be able to finalize the sale by March so that it can avoid reporting negative net worth and risking being de-listed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange and being cut off from a huge swath of public investors and capital.
Due to the negotiations being private, details are not readily available yet. It is not clear whether Toshiba will be able to pull it off or what the implications will be for the market if it does. (With Toshiba being the world’s second largest flash memory supplier, whoever ends up acquiring the company is going to have a lot of influence on the market and flash technology R&D.) It certainly seems Toshiba’s battle to right itself is going to continue into next year and Western Digital is not going to make it easy. The US-based WD stated:
“We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action. Our goal has been — and remains — to reach a mutually beneficial outcome that satisfies the needs of Toshiba and its stakeholders.”
A California court has reportedly ordered Toshiba to give Western Digital two weeks’ notice of any deal with the consortium and its two previous arbitration requests through ICC are still pending resolution. Barrons reports that Toshiba may convince WDC to allow the sale if it gives its joint venture partner enough concessions such as an assured long term NAND supply contract and agreed participation in joint Fab projects that would protect SanDisk's contractual rights. Other interested parties for the sale include Foxconn and Western Digital itself. Perhaps SoftBank or the $100 Billion Vision Fund will come in and scoop it up as well.
[Opinions follow heh] I am interested to see how it all will eventually shake out. It remains less than ideal to see Toshiba must sell it off and have the market possibly lose a big flash memory player as the market share power gets more consolidated if it does get picked up by an existing memory manufacturer (see: hard drives, flash memory seems to be going through the same consolidation of companies from lots of little players into fewer bigger ones). I am not certain on the deal specifics as far as ownership and control of TMC and any cash only vs equity splits but with Japanese investors as part of all three bidding / competing consortiums it seems at least part of the business (if only money from it if not voting power) will remain rooted in Japan even if not under the Toshiba brand.
- Apple Is in Talks With Bain for Toshiba Chips Business (VIDEO) @ Bloomberg
- Toshiba to focus on chip talks with Bain, but doesn't rule out other suitors @ Reuters
- Toshiba Says It Favors Bain Group’s Bid for Microchip Business @ NYT
- Toshiba agrees sale with Bain Capital over protests @ ABC News
- Group Including Apple, Dell Moves to Buy Toshiba’s Chip Business @ WSJ (requires subscription)
- Toshiba Plans To Spin Off Storage Business, Sell 20% Of New Company @ PC Perspective
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | September 14, 2017 - 02:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: password cracking, mining, gpgpu, cryptocurrency, colorful, ai
Colorful recently unveiled an interesting bare-bones motherboard focused on cryptocurrency miners and other GPU heavy workloads with its main feature being eight double spaced PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots. The non-standard form factor Colorful C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard measures 485mm x 195mm (approx. 19.1 x 7.7 inches) and offers a no-frills setup that is ready for miners to attach to open racks. The motherboard is based on Intel’s LGA 1151 socket and B250 chipset.
The majority of the board is taken up by eight PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots where the top slot is wired directly to the CPU and is electrically x16 while the rest are wired to the B250 chipset and are x1 slots. There are 16(!) PCI-E power connectors (eight 6-pin and eight 8-pin) for providing power to the GPU and two 4-pin ATX power connectors for powering the CPU and single SO-DIMM slot through what looks to be six power phases. Notably, there is no 24-pin power connector on this board to make it easier to use multiple power supplies and share motherboards between power supplies (though it’s not clear how Colorful plans to control turning all these power supplies on/off at the same time). Beyond the PCI-E slots there is not much to this motherboard. Internal I/O includes the 1151 socket for Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs, a single DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, one SATA port, one M.2 slot, and six fan headers. Around back are two USB ports, one HDMI video output, and a single gigabit ethernet port.
The board is a no-frills design that should be quite appealing for miners but also as an easy way to jump into GPGPU projects (AI research, rendering, machine learning, password cracking, etc.). The 2-slot spacing allows air cooled (hopefully blower style) cards to be installed without needing to find and test quality PCI-E riser cables. There is no word on pricing yet, and while it should be on the cheaper side based on the features and hardware it’s packing as it’s a custom design aimed at mining it may actually come out at a hefty premium for the convenience it offers them. On the bright side, it might have decent resale value to factor into the ROI calculations for the other non-mining applications I mentioned (a mean password cracking rig!). A neat board in any case, and as I mentioned previously it is interesting to see the new designs and configurations the mining craze has enticed manufacturers into exploring.
- Asus Launches B250 Expert Mining Motherboard With 19 PCI-E Slots
- Let's Talk About Mining - Cryptocurrency Revisited
- Donate to the PC Perspective Mining Pool! A NiceHash How-to
- A Quick Look at the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 470 Mining Edition
- NVIDIA Partners Launching Mining Focused P106-100 and P104-100 Graphics Cards
- Mining specific cards are real - ASUS and Sapphire GP106 and RX 470 show up
Subject: General Tech, Systems | September 13, 2017 - 07:29 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, nuc, kaby lake, Intel
Following last year’s Baby Canyon NUC kits, Intel is launching its Dawson Canyon NUCs powered by 15W Kaby Lake processors. Despite Dawson Canyon sounding more dramatic than Baby Canyon (which sounds more like a creek), the new NUCs are lower powered and ditch Iris Graphics and USB 3.1 Type C.
Specifically, Intel is launching six new models that will come in three flavors: barebones board, slim case kit, and a taller kit with room for a 2.5” drive. Each type of NUC kit will come with either a Core i3 or Core i5 processor. Dawson Canyon further supports Intel RST (Rapid Storage Technology) and Optane memory.
Processor options include the Core i3 7100U (2.4 GHz) and Core i5 7300U (2.6 GHz base, 3.5 GHz boost) which are both dual core processors with HyperThreading, 3 MB cache, Intel HD Graphics 620 GPUs, and 15W TDPs.
Internal I/O includes two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, two M.2 slots (one full length (80mm) and one 30mm slot for Wi-Fi adapters such as the included Intel 8265 with is included in the kits with cases but not the bare board kits.), one SATA port, and headers for serial, USB 3.0, and USB 2.0 ports.
External I/O consists of four USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, and two HDMI outputs (one protected UHD).
Dawson Canyon NUCs will be available towards the end of the year (Q4’17) with pricing yet to be released. For the fanless, ahem, fans Fanless Tech reports that Simply NUC will be offering NUCs with custom fanless cases. These are likely to be cheaper than Baby Canyon and be popular with businesses wanting monitor mounted thin clients or low power workstations for office users that just need to run productivity applications.
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 07:03 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Blender, amd
The latest version of Blender, 2.79, makes a few significant changes, especially for users with AMD GPUs. Their main rendering engine, Cycles, has now reached feature-parity on OpenCL and CUDA. While those with NVIDIA GPUs will keep using the latter compute API, users of recent AMD GPUs can now (on Windows and Linux -- macOS requires a driver update) harness their graphics cards for higher performance.
10 samples is actually very low. I'm usually in the 100-1000 range.
For the rest of us, there are four improvements that I would consider major. First, Cycles now has a denoise filter, which reduces speckles and thus should let you get away with fewer samples. Second, Filmic Color Management is now included by default, which can represent a much wider dynamic range. This was available as a user mod for a while, but you needed to manually install it. Third is a shadow catcher object for Cycles, which lets you render off translucent shadows onto dummy objects and composite them later (in Photoshop, After Effects, or Blender’s video editor).
Fourth, and most interesting to me, is their new PBR shader. I’ve done PBR materials in Cycles before, and it’s a bit of a pain to set up. If I don’t copy/paste from an existing material, it takes about 15-20 minutes of my time to wire together diffuse nodes, glossy nodes, Fresnel nodes, and so forth such that I can attach metal, bump, and so forth to it. Now? Just drag in one node and hook up the correct textures and colors, like the ones that are generated in Substance or Quixxel.
As always, Blender is free, so have fun.
Subject: Motherboards | September 13, 2017 - 03:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, msi, X399, Threadripper, GAMING PRO CARBON AC
MSI have added a GAMING PRO CARBON AC motherboard to their X399 offerings for AMD's ThreadRipper. The exceptional socket makes the ATX board look a little disproportionate compared to previous members of this motherboard family but there is still a lot of space on the board. There are four PCIe Express x16 Gen 3 slots along with two 1x slots, three M.2 ports and an impressive array of USB ports including two USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Type-C ports, a single USB 3.1 Gen. 3 Type-A and nine USB 3.1 Gen.1 Type-A ports. The Guru of 3D provides benchmarks and overclocking results in their full review.
"Let's check out another Ryzen Threadripper motherboard. We review the one from MSI as they have released their X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC. The board is stylish, comes with very subtle LED effects and obviously offers everything you need from quadruple x16 PCI-Express slots, triple M2 SSD slots, quad-channel memory and some really supreme AC WIFI."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock X399 Tachi @ Guru3D
- MSI X299 Tomahawk Arctic @ Modders-Inc
- ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte X299 AORUS Ultra Gaming @ Modders-Inc
- MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK @ Kitguru
- ASRock X299 Gaming i9 @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, mod, fallout, Fallout: New California, fallout: new vegas
This mod has been eight years in the making but we may soon see it released for us all to enjoy. The New Vegas mod will put you into the wilds of the NCR after being rather abruptly ejected from your home in Vault 18. This will be a nice experience for those who found Fallout 4 to have strayed a bit far from the games roots, especially in the dialogue. Head over to Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a video showing off the mod and giving you a look into how your adventure will start.
"Vault 18 is at the heart of the California Wasteland high in the San Bernardino Mountains, and its legendary Wasteland Scouts have managed to keep its secrets safe for decades despite the wars raging beyond the great door. In their old age, their adventures have created a new generation to take their place… if their rebellious adopted kids survive the threat brewing within their own ranks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Destiny 2 Benchmarked: 30 GPUs Tested @ Techspot
- Destiny 2 review: Guardians rise up—and so does Bungie—to fix the first game @ Ars Technica
- F1 2017 Review @ OCC
- 7 essential mods for XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Agents of Mayhem Review @ OCC
- Get up to 3 free games when you spend £12 / $15 in GOG’s Weekly Sale @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The Ars 10: We pick our favorite indie games from PAX West 2017 @ Ars Technica
- Endless Space 2 update launches fighters and bombers @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Distrust: PC Survival Game @ Benchmark Reviews
- Humble Capcom X SEGA X ATLUS Bundle
- EA Origin makes SteamWorld Dig PC free 'On the House' @ HEXUS
- Star Wars Battlefront’s DLC is free right now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2017 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIR 850L wireless AC1200, ac1200, D-Link, router, security
If you have a D-Link DIR 850L wireless router or know anyone that does, you should unplug it without delay. The Register posted a link to the recently released findings of security researcher Pierre Kim, who originally contacted D-Link in February about the flaws only to see a single patch released since then. The vulnerabilities are rather severe, ranging from a lack of verification for firmware images, through stored default private keys to an actual buit in backdoor. The router is not compatible with DD-WRT so you cannot resolve the issue through that method; it should be treated as a brick until D-Link resolves these issues in an update.
"A security researcher has shamed D‑Link by publicly disclosing 10 serious, as-yet unpatched vulnerabilities in a line of consumer-grade routers without notifying the vendor first."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Apple's adoption of Qi signals the end of the wireless charging wars @ The Register
- TSMC starts equipment move-in at Nanjing plant @ DigiTimes
- It's September 2017, and .NET lets PDFs hijack your Windows PC @ The Register
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2017 - 02:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, nvidia, gtx 1070 ti
Take a gander at this picture below as possible proof of the existence of an unreleased GTX 1070 Ti.
The picture comes from My Drivers, who also posted untranslated commentary about the card here. The text describes a card with 2304 CUDA cores, falling between the GTX 1080's 2560 and the 1920 present in the GTX 1070. We do not have any insight into the memory clock on the card, nor if it is GDDR5 or GDDR5x but it should also fall between the two existing cards.
That's all the info we have for now on this card, hopefully we can find one before the miners do as this card is likely to be very popular with that segment.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 13, 2017 - 01:36 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: rtg, raja koduri, radeon technologies group, radeon, amd
Radeon Technologies Group SVP and Chief Architect Raja Koduri is taking sabbatical from AMD as of today, with a target return date in December. As first reported by our friends at Fudzilla (and also Tweaktown), and that I was able to confirm through AMD this evening, one of our favorite people in the graphics industry will be stepping aside for the time being. AMD CEO Lisa Su will be taking over the Radeon Technologies Group in the interim.
Raja is a great personality and innovator in the graphics market and I was able to interview him during the Polaris roll out last year. He was candid, open to ideas, and clearly cared about the gamers and PC gaming market. It was only in September of 2015 that he returned to AMD as the leader of the newly created Radeon Technologies Group, a division of AMD rededicated to graphics leadership.
AMD Radeon Technologies Group SVP, Raja Koduri
The easy response to this news, and the most common reaction, will be to assume that Raja was pushed out and will not return due to the state of the Radeon division after the launch of Vega. But in truth, despite it having issues with efficiency and performance that we noted in our reviews, AMD has had no issue selling the Vega cards its made. The professional markets are competitive again and AMD's entrance into the enterprise compute space opens up a wide array of new opportunity for AMD architectures.
Nor has it had issues selling Radeon RX 400 or RX 500 products either. Whether you consider that good planning by Raja and his team or just the luck of the cryptocurrency market, it really doesn't matter. The Radeon group has provided value to the company and to shareholders.
The Radeon Vega family of graphics cards
As with most things in life, the truth is likely more complex than we can decipher from a single note or message. I was able to get my hands on the letter sent from Raja to his team, which I have provided below:
You haven’t heard from me collectively in a while – a symptom not only of the whirlwind of launching Vega, but simply of the huge number of demands on my time since the formation of RTG. Looking back over this short period, it is an impressive view. We have delivered 6 straight quarters of double-digit growth in graphics, culminating in the launch of Vega and being back in high-performance. What we have done with Vega is unparalleled. We entered the high-end gaming, professional workstation and machine intelligence markets with Vega in a very short period of time. The demand for Vega (and Polaris!) is fantastic, and overall momentum for our graphics is strong.
Incredibly, we as AMD also managed to spectacularly re-enter the high-performance CPU segments this year. We are all exceptionally proud of Ryzen, Epyc and Threadripper. The computing world is not the same anymore and the whole world is cheering for AMD. Congratulations and thanks to those of you in RTG who helped see these products through. The market for high-performance computing is on an explosive growth trajectory driven by machine intelligence, visual cloud, blockchain and other exciting new workloads. Our vision of immersive and instinctive computing is within grasp. As we enter 2018, I will be shifting my focus more toward architecting and realizing this vision and rebalancing my operational responsibilities.
At the beginning of the year I warned that Vega would be hard. At the time, some folks didn’t believe me. Now many of you understand what I said. Vega was indeed hard on many, and my sincere heartfelt thanks to all of you who endured the Vega journey with me. Vega was personally hard on me as well and I used up a lot of family credits during this journey. I have decided to take a time-off in Q4 to spend time with my family. I have been contemplating this for a while now and there was never a good time to do this. Lisa and I agreed that Q4 is better than 2018, before the next wave of product excitement. Lisa will be acting as the leader of RTG during by absence. My sincere thanks to Lisa and rest of AET for supporting me in this decision and agreeing to take on additional workload during my absence.
I am looking to start my time-off on Sept 25th and return in December.
Thank you, all of you, for your unwavering focus, dedication and support over these past months, and for helping us to build something incredible. We are not done yet, and keep the momentum going!
Straight from the man himself, the intention and reason for the leave appears to be to catch up on family responsibility. As someone who has often traded work-related travel for home-based committments in future months, I understand this completely.
I have no doubt that Raja takes this leave with some reluctance. He built this team himself (for the most part) and my conversations with AMD employees always mention respect and appreciation for what he has been able to do. He loves the industry, he loves the technology, he loves the fans. That doesn't mean he can't or won't leave or be forced out if comes down to it, but it does give me hope that the potential for his return after the sabbatical is better than most other news outlets and pundits might lead us to believe.
For the interim, I have a lot of faith in Lisa Su to handle RTG. She has led AMD out of the CPU doldrums and into competitiveness for the first time in a decade. Any additional knowledge, experience, or input she can can gleam from her time as the lead at the Radeon Technologies Group can only be a benefit to AMD in the long run.
Subject: Mobile | September 12, 2017 - 07:09 PM | Sebastian Peak
Apple today announced the successors to the iPhone 7 (and another, more impressive device), and this time the company has decided to forgo the “S” branding of an incremental update as the new phones are simply the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Though receiving the expected annual updates (SoC, camera, etc.) the phones still have largely similar designs and are offered with the same screen sizes (4.7 and 5.5 inches) and resolutions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. So what exactly is new?
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
The new iPhone 8 design, which sports a glass back for the first time since the iPhone 4/4S, allowing Apple to add Qi wireless charging to the iPhone 8/8 Plus, has a new SoC under the hood. Both sizes feature the new 6-core Apple A11 Bionic processor, which combines two high-performance and four "efficiency" CPU cores along with Apple's Neural Engine and M11 motion coprocessor.
The iPhone 8 Plus (image credit: Apple)
During the announcement much was made of camera advancements with the iPhone 8 Plus specifically, with its dual camera system now sporting optical image stabilization for both wide-angle and telephoto cameras - although Samsung was able to beat Apple to the punch with the Note8 announcement last month, with dual-OIS a major feature of the Note8’s rear camera system.
The biggest announcement was saved for last, with an homage to the Steve Jobs Columbo-inspired "one more thing" from CEO Tim Cook at the end of the keynote presentation. The iPhone X (pronounced ten, as this is the Roman numeral - though I imagine just as many people will say “ex” as they did when Apple used this for their OS) will occupy a new premium iPhone space for Apple, segmenting the iPhone in a way they never did in the first ten years.
The iPhone X (image credit: Apple)
The 5.8-inch display is OLED, and from Apple's remarks on this it could be inferred that we are going to see the first RGB-stripe OLED display on a phone, rather than the PenTile matrix subpixel layout common to existing AMOLED displays (here's hoping).
“The beautiful 5.8-inch Super Retina display is the first OLED panel that rises to the standards of iPhone, with stunning colors, true blacks, a million-to-one contrast ratio and wide color support with the best system-wide color management in a smartphone. The HDR display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, which together make photo and video content look even more amazing. The addition of True Tone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience.”
The top of the display houses the TrueDepth camera system (image credit: Apple)
iPhone X is a striking design, though far less impressive than it might have been if Samsung had not released the Galaxy S8 - with its beautiful edge-to-edge display - beforehand. A (nearly) full-body OLED front display (featuring what Apple is calling "Super Retina HD" resolution) on the iPhone X is interrupted by an upper area occupied by a cluster of cameras and other devices required to make the new FaceID system function, which creates an odd protrusion into the screen that is especially cumbersome when the device is in its horizontal position (as a result full-screen videos do not use the full width of the display, either).
In what this editor considers a concession masquerading as progress, FaceID likely replaces an in-display fingerprint sensor which neither Apple nor Samsung have been able to successfully implement. For their part Samsung slapped a clunky sensor on the rear of their GS8/GS8+, next to the camera sensor (which for some users will be eternally smeared as a result). Apple decided against implementing a rear fingerprint sensor, leaving only a facial recognition tech for biometrically securing the device. This is fine as long as iPhone X users are fine with appearing to take a selfie every time they want to unlock their phone, and the technology (which does work in the dark thanks to IR) seems impressive.
Specs for this new iPhone X include (view the rest from Apple here):
- SoC: A11 Bionic with Neural engine and embedded M11 motion coprocessor
- Display: 5.8-inch OLED, 2436x1125 resolution (458 ppi), HDR, True Tone, P3 color
- Rear Cameras: 12MP wide-angle and telephoto, optical zoom, dual OIS, quad-LED True Tone flash, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting (beta)
- Front Camera: 7MP TrueDepth camera, Portrait mode, Portrait Lighting (beta)
- Face ID: Enabled by TrueDepth camera for facial recognition
The battery "lasts up to 2 hours longer than iPhone 7", but actual capacity was not announced for the iPhone X.
The dual rear cameras on the iPhone X are in a vertical orientation (image credit: Apple)
The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are priced starting at $699 and $799 for a 64GB model. The iPhone X starts at $999 for 64GB. Pricing for the iPhone 8, which rose $50 from last year's iPhone 7 launch, provides double the base storage capacity to justify the increase. As to the iPhone X, its $999 price tag seems rather shocking at first glance, though Samsung's Note8 is over $900 as well. Needless to say, installment plans will be very popular with this new flagship iPhone.
Subject: Graphics Cards | September 12, 2017 - 03:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Vega, ryzen 7, ryzen 5, ryzen, RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, ruby, repetition, quake champions, amd
Remember Ruby, that animated heroine ATI used in tech demos many years back? She has returned recently and is now playable in Quake Champions for those who claim their free key. In addition to appearing in the game, she is also the centre of attention in this announcement from AMD.
If you purchase a new Ryzen 5 or 7 APU, or a RX 560, 570 or 580 you can now claim the Champions pack for Quake Champions for free. The Champions pack will retail for $40 and add access to all current and future characters to your game, including a custom Ruby skin for Nyx. If you purchased one of these products after August 22nd you are eligible to claim your key over at AMDRewards. The contest will run until October 29th or until the keys run out.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 12, 2017 - 02:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, ryzen 7, AM4, XSPC RayStorm
The question is if installing the XSPC RayStorm Threadripper waterblock on an AM4 actually improves your systems thermals. [H]ard|OCP tested out the difficulty of the installation process and the performance of the cooler on a Ryzen 7 1700X overclocked to 4GHz. The mounting worked exactly as advertised, mating perfectly with the AM4 processor; the performance on the other hand demonstrates the advantage of using coolers specifically designed for your processor.
"If you could mount your Threadripper custom cooling waterblock on your socket AM4 Ryzen 7 CPU, wouldn't you? Of course the answer is yes. However, the results turned out a bit different than we thought those might."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Game Max Iceberg 240mm Liquid Cooler @ Kitguru
- Swiftech Apogee SKF "Heirloom Series" CPU Water Block @ techPowerUp
- Thermaltake View 27 Snow Gull-Wing @ [H]ard|OCP
- CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi @ techPowerUp
- Be quiet! Shadow Rock TF 2 CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Gigabyte ATC700 AORUS CPU cooler @ Guru3D
- Corsair Commander Pro: fan, lighting, temperature control w/ Link @ Kitguru
- Rosewill ORBIT-Z1 @ techPowerUp
- Fractal Design Meshify C @ Guru3D
- Mean:IT 5PM LUM RED Case @ Modders-Inc
- Game Max Moonstone (Tempered Glass w/ RGB Fans) Case @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2017 - 02:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: chrome, symantec, security
The original issue dates back two years ago, when a serious security issue was discovered effecting all Norton and Symantec products which allowed an attacker to easily infect your Windows kernel without any user interaction. Following that revelation were a round of firings at Symantec which were intended to reassure customers and security experts which were somewhat successful, until earlier this year. In January it was discovered that Symantec provided digital certificates to verify the authenticity of several questionable sites, including ones never authorized by ICANN. This has been enough for Google; Chrome will no longer trust older Symantec certs in version 66 and will not trust any as of version 70. The Inquirer provides a full timeline here.
"The decision to remove Symantec certificates came as a result of the discovery of a dodgy certificate in 2015, leading to a fuller investigation that brought forward more issues with security at the beginning of this year."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Optical quantum memory shrinks to the nanoscale @ Nanotechweb
- WD Gold offers 12TB of storage aimed at the data centre @ The Inquirer
- Chatbot Lets You Sue Equifax For Up To $25,000 Without a Lawyer @ Slashdot
- What's a storage burrito, you ask? Why all the newsy tidbits chopped, cooked and wrapped up @ The Register
Subject: Mobile | September 12, 2017 - 10:01 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: live, video, apple, keynote, iphone, iphone x, iphone 8
Today we are going to re-broadcast and talk over the Apple keynote, giving you some perspective on the new announcements from a more technical standpoint. We will look into the new CPU and GPU architectures as much as Apple will allow us, and we have a diverse crowd of Apple and Android users to discuss and dissect the new features that the iPhones, Apple TV, Apple Watches, etc. might provide.
We will have the live chat open to take questions and comments as we go! (You can find the live chat over on our PCPer Live! page right here.)
Join us at 12:45pm ET / 9:45am PT!
Subject: Displays | September 11, 2017 - 11:38 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: va, ultrawide, productivity, philips, business, 32:9, 1080p gaming
Philips recently revealed a massive 49” ultra-wide monitor slated for release in the second half of next year. The so-called Philips 492P8 takes the bigger is better approach with its 32:9 aspect ratio ultra-wide monitor based on the same VA (vertical alignment) panel as Samsung’s more expensive (and feature-full) CH90 QLED. With a planned MSRP of $1,077, Philips has cut a few features in its model namely support for AMD’s FreeSync 2 and Samsung’s QLED backlighting. It Is not yet clear whether or not the monitor will retain the same 144Hz refresh rate and high dynamic range (HDR).
The 49-inch diagonal monitor features a 3840 x 1080 resolution and a 1800R curvature. The 492P8 is rated at a maximum brightness of 600 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 5,000:1. The monitor is based on a VA panel which is a compromise between the fast response times and refresh rates of TN and the colors and viewing angles of IPS (and PLS) with strong contrast, good viewing angles, decent refresh rates (response times can be an issue in gaming as far as possible motion blur), and the ability to crank up the brightness. With the axing of FreeSync 2 support, this may not be the best option for gamers wanting an ultra-wide, but this monitor is sure to find a place in the corporate world with lots of side-by-side windows open in brightly lit office environments. Depending on reviews it could also be good for flight sims, 4X games, and other gaming as well.
The monitor features DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, and USB Type-C display inputs (one each) as well as (using the USB Type-C port to connect to a PC) a two port USB 3.0 hub, one Ethernet jack, and two 3.5mm audio jacks (one headphone and one microphone).
The Philips 492P8 32:9 VA monitor is slated for a Q2 2018 release with a MSRP of $1,077 (C899). OF course, there is plenty of time for specifications and pricing to change between now and then, but it seems Philips is aiming for a budget option under $1100.
I would have liked to see more vertical resolution (I mean, why not at least 1200p? heh) but you can’t have everything, especially for cheap. What do you think about the 32:9 aspect ratio? Also, would you put a 49" ~34 pound monitor on your desk?
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2017 - 05:27 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, TSMC, Samsung, ryzen, Intel, euv, 8nm, 7nm, 14nm, 11nm, 10nm
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2017 - 03:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Grado, GH2 Heritage, audio
We have mentioned Grado headsets often hear, and one model graces the ears of Josh during podcasts. They are more expensive than most of the models you see reviewed, however they are also of much higher quality and each headset is hand made, something you will never get from Beats. The Grado GH2 Heritage Limited Edition headphones sport Cocobolo wood around the outside of the open design ear cups with their new 'red' drivers inside. You will also receive a number of soft pads for the headphones which not only allow you to increase your comfort, they are also billed as modifying the various elements of your audio. Head over to Kitguru for a listen to what they thought of this headset.
"Today’s Grado GH2 Heritage are a limited edition headphone, and they join an exclusive list of Grado limited run production headphones such as the ‘John Mayer’ and ‘Billy Joel’ headphones, made in very limited edition runs."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MSI Immerse GH70 Gaming Headset Review @ Neoseeker
- Cougar Immersa Pro Gaming Headset Review @ Neoseeker
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lag-Free Wireless Gaming Headset Review @ NikKTech
- Corsair VOID PRO Wireless Gaming Headset Review @ Techgage
- Sound BlasterX AE-5 Pro Gaming Sound Card Review @ Hardware Asylum
Subject: Motherboards | September 11, 2017 - 03:17 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, Z370, Intel, coffee lake
Obviously this is neither raven nor writing desk, instead it is confirmation we will see a new Z370 motherboard arrive soon, October 5th being the expected end of term. While the picture below is from AORUS' official Twitter feed; in this rare case the social media platform is a reliable source, there have also been a few leaks about AORUS' Z370 lineup.
The models include the Aorus Z370 Gaming K3, Z370 Gaming 3, Z370 Gaming 5, Z370 Gaming 7 and Z370 Ultra Gaming with no Gaming 9 model announced as of yet. You can expect quad channel memory support as well as at least two M.2 ports and support for Intel Optane on these ATX boards when they arrive for sale.
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2017 - 02:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wigig, Intel, 802.11ad, VR
News of the impending demise of Intel WiGig hardware, originally touted as a way to transmit various signals such as PCIe or HDMI wirelessly arrived over at The Inquirer today. Some companies adopted the hardware into docking stations, monitors and external storage however the flexibility of WiGig was offset by transmission limitations which competing standards such as Bluetooth or WiFi do not suffer from. The improved performance offered by Thunderbolt 3 also prompted companies to choose wired connectivity over Intel's WiGig, the outcome of which has been a refocusing of Intel's resources to VR headset development. This move could hurt a VR incumbent, the HTC Vive incorporated WiGig into a recent wireless headset prototype. Companies have until the end of the month to order hardware.
"Just days after announcing plans to discontinue its 6th-gen Skylake processors, Intel that it's ditching almost all of its current WiGig, or 802.11ad hardware by the end of 2017, including antennas and controllers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft says it won't fix kernel flaw: It's not a security issue. Suuuure @ The Register
- Tesla Temporarily Boosts Battery Capacity For Hurricane Irma @ Slashdot
- iPhone 8 release date, specs and price: iOS 11 mega-leak confirms 'iPhone X' name, Face ID support @ The Inquirer
- Equifax mega-leak: Security wonks smack firm over breach notification plan @ The Register
- Cougar Armor Gaming Chair @ techPowerUp