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Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 15, 2016 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RGB, msi, GTX 1080, EKWB, factory overclocked
MSI has just turned 30 and to help you join in the festivities they've released a custom GTX 1080 for purchase. It uses an EK Predator Liquid Cooling Unit, the card is fully covered by a waterblock and a radiator and fan are already attached. The card comes in a wooden box as a keepsake.
The card is still two slots high and the GPU is overclocked somewhat, the boost is 1860 MHz. In addition to the 30th Anniversary and MSI logos on the card, there are of course RGB lights which offer 16.8 million colours controlled by the MSI Gaming App.
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2016 - 01:58 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: VR, video, tesla, Silverstone, podcast, nvidia, msi, MoCA, Maximus VIII Formula, MasterLiquid, holodeck, GFE, geforce experience, euclideon, cooler master, asus, actiontec
PC Perspective Podcast #417 - 09/15/16
Join us this week as we discuss the Maximus VIII Forumla, MoCA adapters, GFE logins and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath and Jeremy Hellstrom
Week in Review:
This episode is brought to you by Casper! (Use code “pcper”)
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: General Tech | September 15, 2016 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: t-mobile, hack, net neutrality
This probably won't last long, so try it out now if you want or just laugh at the way telco providers completely ignore net neutrality while the debate rages on in courts and government. It seems that T-Mobile does not count any data used in a speed test against your monthly bill, likely because customers on limited data might become quite irate at a T-Mobile tech blowing through their monthly data. A bright young kid has found a way to take advantage of this, he discovered any media sent from any folder labelled "/speedtest" will not count against monthly data limits and set up a proxy to allow anyone take advantage of this feature.
Drop by Slashdot for more information as well as their usual reasoned and well thought our discussion below the story, which may or may not contain numerous other ways to circumvent providers attempts at hiding the ways they circumvent their own billing for data usage.
"Ajit writes that he then created a proxy server that allows users to access any site with this method. All a T-Mobile user has to do is go to this page and input any URL they want to visit. "Just like that, I now had access to data throughout the T-Mobile network without maintaining any sort of formal payments or contract," Ajit wrote on Medium. "Just my phone's radios talking to the network's radios, free of any artificial shackles."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dell XPS 13 refresh boasts Kaby Lake internals and 22-hour battery life @ The Inquirer
- Did you know iOS 10, macOS Sierra has a problem with crappy VPNs? You do now @ The Register
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | September 14, 2016 - 09:55 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: rtg, radeon technologies group, Polaris, crimson, amd radeon, amd
It has now been a year since the formation of AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group and the graphics driven division has proven itself rather successful. Looking back with hindsight, AMD's new graphics division has enjoyed several wins with new products and advancements in driver support reclaiming market share from NVIDIA and new initiatives advancing VR, HDR, and open source visual effects.
Specifically, the Radeon Technologies Group, led by Raja Koduri, has managed to launch its new "Polaris" graphics architecture based on a 14nm FinFET process with the RX 400 series for consumers and the Radeon Pro Duo, Radeon Pro WX series, and Radeon Pro SSG (Solid State Graphics) for professionals. The company asl hit a milestone on FreeSync monitor design wins with a total of 101 displays launched to date.
Along with actual hardware, the graphics division has shaken up branding by rolling out new driver software under the Radeon Crimson Edition brand (with 21 driver releases since release) and dropping FirePro in favor of carrying over the Radeon name to create new Radeon Pro branding for its professional series of graphics cards. Driver support has also been enhanced on Linux and the AMDGPU-Pro driver works for RX 400 series.
Further, the Radeon Technologies Group launched its GPUOpen initiative back in December to foster the creation and advancement of free and open source visual effects and productivity code that developers are free to download, modify, and share.
Speaking of market share, AMD has managed to claw back some discrete GPU market share from a lowly 18% of GPUs in Q2 2015 to nearly 30% last quarter (Q2'16). That is a very respectable jump in just a year's time especially against NVIDIA's successful Pascal launches helped both by the price/performance of RX 400 as well as much needed focus on improving driver quality and timeliness of releases.
Where does this leave AMD and its RTG? Honestly, the graphics division is in a much better place than it was last year and it is in a decent position to survive and make a difference. There are still many unknowns and just as AMD's processor division is dependent on a successful Zen release, the graphics division will need Vega to be a hit in order for AMD to get wins on the high end and compete with NVIDIA on the flagship and performance fronts. They will further need Vega to update their professional series of cards many of which are still using the company's Fiji architecture which is not as power efficient as Pascal or future Volta (the competition).
With that said, the team had solid wins since their formation and are gearing up for the future. According to the announcement, the Radeon Technologies Group will be focusing on pushing virtual reality (VR) and HDR (high dynamic range) in gaming by working with developers, improving drivers, adding to their GPUOpen software collection, and launching new products.
From the press release:
"We’re passionate about perfecting pixels and delivering an unrivaled gaming experience for our community, and uncompromising power and creative freedom for developers and content creators. And if you think our first year was exciting, wait until you see what RTG has lined up for the future."
In the near future, Raja Koduri told Venture Beat to expect VR backpacks to be on show at CES in January and to look out for mobile Polaris graphics cards. Also, Radeon Crimson Edition may be incorporating features from recently acquired startup HiAlgo who developed software to dynamically monitor gameplay and adjust the resolution to maintain maximum frame rates and prevent overheating during long game sessions. One of their techniques called HiAlgo Switch would allow gamers to switch from full to half resolution (and back again) at the press of a hot-key button so as to keep FPS high if a gamer anticipates they are about to enter a demanding area that would normally result in low frame rates. While these techniques are not very important for desktop gaming (especially the CPU/GPU limiter to prevent overheating), all three would come in handy for mobile gamers using laptops with discrete cards or especially APUs.
I am looking forward to seeing where Raja and the RTG team go from here and what they have in store for AMD graphics.
Subject: Storage | September 14, 2016 - 05:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VX500, ocz, toshiba, TC35, mlc, sata 6Gbs
We've seen a lot of high end SSDs lately so it is nice to be able to link to the new VX500 series from OCZ, or Toshiba to be more technically correct. Running with MSRPs of ~$150 for the 512GB model and ~$340 for the 1TB model these drives will fit more comfortably into many budgets. The 1TB model does come with a bit of a price increase thanks to the use of larger MLC NAND chips and the presence of a RAM cache, the 512GB model forgoes the cache altogether. Hardware Canucks put the 512GB and 1TB models to the test and their speeds hit the top of the SATA charts; if you can't afford the newest SSD tech this is a drive worthy of your consideration. They did not have the time to fully test the durability but the five year hassle free warranty and rated total disk writes show that the NAND is unlikely to die any time soon.
"OCZ is diving back into the mainstream SSD market in a big way. Their new VX500 series combines an affordable price with excellent performance and some incredible NAND durability."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Toshiba's OCZ VX500 512GB SSD @ The Tech Report
- Toshiba OCZ VX500 512GB @ Kitguru
- OCZ VX500 512 GB @ techPowerUp
- Toshiba OCZ VX500 SSD @ The SSD Review
- Adata's Premier SP550 480GB SSD @ The Tech Report
- Crucial MX300 750GB SSD, Now Packing Micron 3D TLC NAND @ Custom PC Review
- Kingston Industrial Temperature MicroSD @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: frame rating, deus ex: mankind divided, dx12, gaming
Just as we do here at PC Perspective, The Tech Report relies on rating frame times to provide accurate benchmarks as opposed to the raw number of frames per second a card provides. This means that their look at the new DX12 patch for Deus Ex focuses on different data which does not produce the same results as FRAPs would. This shows in their results, switching to DX12 results in much longer frame times in Deus Ex, with many spikes and a significant amount of frames that take more than 50ms to refresh. Drop by to see their full look here.
"An early version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's DirectX 12 rendering path is available now, and many sites and AMD itself are already producing average FPS numbers using that software. We go inside the second to see what the real story is."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - PC graphics performance @ Guru of 3D
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Review @ OCC
- Dishonored 2: Happy Hour With Corvo Attano @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Store End of Summer Sale
- Wot I Think: Master Of Orion @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- CryEngine 5.3 release to add Vulkan support this November @ HEXUS
- Quick Look: The Turing Test @ GiantBomb
- Endless Space 2 Hands On: Buying Planets As The Mafia-Like Lumeris @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada Opening Tau Beta Tomorrow @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 01:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, tesla, p40, p4, nvidia, neural net, m40, M4, HPC
The Register have package a nice explanation of the basics of how neural nets work in their quick look at NVIDIA's new Pascal based HPC cards, the P4 and P40. The tired joke about Zilog or Dick Van Patten stems from the research which has shown that 8-bit precision is most effective when feeding data into a neural net. Using 16 or 32-bit values slows the processing down significantly while adding little precision to the results produced. NVIDIA is also perfecting a hybrid mode, where you can opt for a less precise answer produced by your local, presumably limited, hardware or you can upload the data to the cloud for the full treatment. This is great for those with security concerns or when a quicker answer is more valuable than a more accurate one.
As for the hardware, NVIDIA claims the optimizations on the P40 will make it "40 times more efficient" than an Intel Xeon E5 CPU and it will also provide slightly more throughput than the currently available Titan X. You can expect to see these arrive in the market sometime over then next two months.
"Nvidia has designed a couple of new Tesla processors for AI applications – the P4 and the P40 – and is talking up their 8-bit math performance. The 16nm FinFET GPUs use Nv's Pascal architecture and follow on from the P100 launched in June. The P4 fits on a half-height, half-length PCIe card for scale-out servers, while the beefier P40 has its eyes set on scale-up boxes."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update might not arrive on your PC until November @ The Inquirer
- iOS 10 reviewed: There’s no reason not to update @ Ars Technica
- iOS 10 rollout goes titsup as update 'bricks' iPhones and iPads @ The Inqurier
- DevOps and the Art of Secure Application Deployment @ Linux.com
- HTC to unveil new Desire smartphones on September 20 @ DigiTimes
- Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today @ The Register
- New York Fines Viacom, Mattel and Hasbro For Tracking Kids Online @ Slashdot
- Microsoft's Service Fabric for Linux hits public preview @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 14, 2016 - 01:34 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, fallout 4, bethesda
I don't usually post individual deals, but this is a fairly big drop in price for a very popular game. The physical copy of Fallout 4, for PC of course, is currently a little over $18. Since, digitally, it is still a $60 game, this is about 70% less than the price on Steam.
I'm guessing that this deal is to clear out stock for an upcoming Game of the Year edition. This is something to keep in mind. The last DLC has just been released two weeks ago, and, if history serves, that means it won't be too long before they release the game with the DLC bundled in. Probably, if you waited this long, you should wait until that gets released (and goes on sale) to pick it up. I doubt that it would arrive before 2017, though, so it's up to you.
Subject: Processors | September 13, 2016 - 06:51 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, FD-SOI, 12FDX, process technology
In addition to the company’s efforts to get its own next generation FinFET process technology up and running, GlobalFoundries announced that will continue to pursue FD-SOI process technology with the addition of a 12nm FD-SOI (FDX in GlobalFoundries parlance) node to its roadmap with a slated release of 2019 at the earliest.
FD-SOI stands for Fully Depleted Silicon On Insulator and is a planar process technology that uses a thin insulator on top of the base silicon which is then covered by a very thin layer of silicon that is used as the transistor channel. The promise of FD-SOI is that it offers the performance of a FinFET node with lower power consumption and cost than other bulk processes. While the substrate is more expensive with FD-SOI, it uses 50% of the lithography layers and companies can take advantage of reportedly easy-to-implement body biasing to design a single chip that can fulfill multiple products and roles. For example, in the case of 22FDX – which should start rolling out towards the end of this year – GlobalFoundries claims that it offers the performance of 14 FinFET at the 28nm bulk pricing. 22FDX is actually a 14nm front end (FEOL) and 28nm back end of line (BEOL) combined. Notably, it purportedly uses 70% lower power than 28nm HKMG.
A GloFo 22nm FD-SOI "22FDX" transistor.
The FD-SOI design offers lower static leakage and allows chip makers to use body biasing (where substrate is polarized) to balance performance and leakage. Forward Body Biasing allows the transistor to switch faster and/or operate at much lower voltages. On the other hand, Reverse Body Biasing further reduces leakage and frequency to improves energy efficiency. Dynamic Body Biasing (video link) allows for things like turbo modes whereby increasing voltage to the back gate can increase transistor switching speed or reducing voltage can reduce switching speeds and leakage. For a process technology that is aimed at battery powered wearables, mobile devices, and various Internet of Things products, energy efficiency and being able to balance performance and power depending on what is needed is important.
22FDX offers body biasing.
While the process node numbers are not as interesting as the news that FD-SOI will continue itself (thanks to marketing mucking up things heh), GlobalFoundries did share that 12FDX (12nm FD-SOI) will be a true full node shrink that will offer the performance of 10nm FinFET (presumably its own future FinFET tech though they do not specify) with better power characteristics and lower cost than 16nm FinFET. I am not sure if GlobalFoundries is using theoretical numbers or compared it to TSMC’s process here since they do not have their own 16nm FinFET process. Further, 12FDX will feature 15% higher performance and up to 50% lower power consumption that today’s FinFET technologies. The future process is aimed at the “cost sensitive mobile market” that includes IoT, automotive (entertainment and AI), mobile, and networking. FD-SOI is reportedly well suited for processors that combine both digital and analog (RF) elements as well.
Following the roll out of 22FDX GlobalFoundries will be preparing its Fab 1 facility in Dresden, Germany for the 12nm FD-SOI (12FDX) process. The new process is slated to begin tapping out products in early 2019 which should mean products using chips will hit the market in 2020.
The news is interesting because it indicates that there is still interest and research/development being made on FD-SOI and GlobalFoundries is the first company to talk about next generation process plans. Samsung and STMicroelectronics also support FD-SOI but have not announced their future plans yet.
If I had to guess, Samsung will be the next company to talk about future FD-SOI as the company continues to offer both FinFET and FD-SOI to its customers though they certainly do not talk as much about the latter. What are your thoughts on FD-SOI and its place in the market?
Also read: FD-SOI Expands, But Is It Disruptive? @ EETimes
Subject: Mobile | September 13, 2016 - 01:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, GX800VH, watercooling
Kitguru got their hands on the ASUS ROG GX800, the gaming laptop with the docking station that provides watercooling. The design is unique and it certainly looks big enough to deal with the heat produced by a pair of desktop class GTX 1080s and an overclocked i7-6820HK. The laptop's cooling system links to the radiator and pump inside the docking station via a small port on the bottom of the laptop, which also has dual 330W power bricks to add extra power to the system. From the testing it seems ASUS really did do a great job, the four different profiles based on the amount of power and cooling available to the laptop do have an effect on performance which shows in the benchmarks. The price is going to be equally impressive, when ASUS finally releases the GX800.
"The model code suggests that GX800 is an upgrade of GX700, however that is wide of the mark. GX800 has a similar appearance to GX700 but the hardware is all new, starting with a pair of Nvidia GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI. Yes, two 1080s in a laptop, driving a 4K display for maximum gaming pleasure."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- MSI GE72VR Apache Pro (GTX 1060) @ techPowerUp
- The HTC 10 Smartphone @ Tech ARP
- Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro @ Tech ARP
- lloclip Active Lens iPhone 6 / 6s & 6 / 6s plus @ MissingRemote
- CHJGD 10000mAh Ultra Compact PowerBank Review @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | September 13, 2016 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR, holoverse, euclideon
It is hard to believe but it was indeed five years ago when Euclideon first started talking about their Unlimited Detail technology and how it can be used to create a holodeck. You can now visit their first hologram entertainment centre, assuming you can get to Australia where the centre is located. The video that [H]ard|OCP posted along with their interview looks very impressive, though it is difficult to get a feeling of what it would be like inside the room.
Ryan sat down (virtually) with the CEO of Euclideon, Bruce Dell, to talk about the recent updates to their Euclideon Unlimited Detail engine, the addition of animation capability and the opening of virtual reality hologram entertainment rooms based on the tech.
The technology used to create the rooms is fascinating and very different from the polygon based rendering techniques we are accustomed to. They have named it Unlimited Detail and describe it as using 'trillions of little computer generated atoms' to create flat images on the wall or 3D holograms inside the room. Their UD engine can also stream 3D graphics from hard drives at a speed which does not need a cache, essentially giving them unlimited video memory which they use to project the equivalent of 20,000,000 converted polygons per square metre. Check out the article as it is well worth looking at.
"It's been five years since we last heard from Bruce Dell of Euclideon about its Unlimited Detail Technology and how he saw it changing the gaming world. Since then Bruce has not been sitting on his hands, and are now delivering the Holoverse VR / AR experience to the folks Down Under. And a new video showing this off!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you @ The Register
- This changes every-string: the companies keen to fix Apple's iPhone 7 AirPods @ The Inquirer
- Ericsson strikes partnerships with Intel and Google for pay TV @ The Register
- SOHOpeless Seagate NAS boxen become malware distributors @ The Register
- Microsoft To Kill The Lumia Brand In Favor of a New Surface Phone, Says Report @ Slashdot
- Watching semiconductor superlattices grow @ Nanotechweb
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 12, 2016 - 03:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wall mount, thermaltake, Core P3
We spotted the Thermaltake Core P3 wall mounted enclosure at CES but never had a chance to set up a system inside of it. Recently [H]ard|OCP did have an opportunity to test out this enclosure which can either stand on its own or be easily attached to a wall. They walk you through the assembly of the case, the variety of accessories which ship with the case and the various configuration options the Core P3 offers. Not only does this case make your system look very unique, it passed their cooling tests with flying colours. It retails for ~$120, not bad at all for a decent case, let alone such a unique looking one. Check out their full review right here.
"The Thermaltake Core P3 chassis can be mounted standing, in a desktop orientation, or directly to the wall. The open design allows you to see all the components in your system easily and the wall-mount option allows you to place your system in view like a work of art. All of these options come in at an easy-on-the-wallet price as well."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Lian Li PC-M25A Micro-ATX @ Benchmark Reviews
- IN WIN 303 Mid Tower Case Review @ NikKTech
- Alphacool Eisbaer 240 CPU AIO Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- Corsair H115i Review @ OCC
- Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT @ techPowerUp
Subject: Systems, Mobile | September 12, 2016 - 01:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: VR One, msi, VR, backpack, htc vive
MSI released some more images of their VR One backpack PC designed to give you more freedom of movement when playing around in VR and to make it easier to cart around to show off to friends and relations. We know very little about the internals as of yet, it will have an unspecified overclocked CPU and a GTX 10 series graphics card and will weigh 2.2kg empty, 3.6kg with a batteries installed; it ships with two which are hot-swappable. At 1.5 lbs each, it will be very interesting to see which storage cell technology they used to reach the estimated 1.5 hours of full speed gameplay. It also ships with an adapter so you can utilize mains power.
The VR One is HTC VIVE optimized though in theory an Oculus should work as the connectivity includes an HDMI port, MiniDP and one ultra-speed Thunderbolt 3 port, aka USB 3.1 Type-C as well as four USB 3.0 ports. Cooling is provided by two 9cm ultra blade fans and 9 heat pipes which should only produce noise 41dBA which is good as the system will be on your back while you are using it.
Not all the flashing lights on the backpack are for show, LEDs will tell you the status of your battery to let you know when to swap it out. This can be achieved without shutting the system down, presumably there is a physical switch on the armoured shell of the backpack to allow this feat as it would not accomplish much simply doing it in VR. You can pop by MSI for more information on the MSI Dragon Center system software and the SHIFT Technology, aka the fan controller.
Subject: General Tech | September 12, 2016 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mit, terahertz camera, georgia tech
MIT have come up with a camera which radiates EM at terahertz frequencies which can read a bit of a closed book thanks to the difference in reflectivity between ink and paper. This is less a spy device than a way to read ancient scrolls and parchments which could disintegrate at a touch. The camera can only penetrate to a depth of about nine pages before the clarity of the image degrades and the text can no longer easily be read. The software the camera communicates with is able to recognize the letters and words in the images, it is not the scientists who read the manuscripts directly. The Inquirer points out that this means it is also capable of defeating captchas, an impressive feat in and of itself though one with possible negative repercussions.
"IMAGINE IF you could read a book like Superman. Well, thanks to research by MIT and Georgia Tech, X-ray vision could be the next big thing in reading after the team created a camera that can read closed books."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Mos Eisley Recreated By Obsidian Artists Just For Fun @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Samsung to 'remotely deactivate' Note 7 handsets after six-year-old injured @ The Register
- Intel pulls out hard cash to gobble virtual CPU upstart Soft Machines @ The Register
- Firefox 49 Postponed One Week Due To Unexpected Bugs @ Slashdot
- Seagate is being sued by its own staff over big leaky phish @ The Register
- Sony’s PS4 Pro: The Pros, The Cons & The Baffling @ Techgage
Subject: Editorial | September 12, 2016 - 12:13 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sweepstakes, giveaway, contest, cancer, amy
Every once in a while I call upon our amazing community to help out someone in need. We have done raffles for the Down Syndrome Association, others to support members that have suffered heart attacks, and now I ask for your help in supporting my own family. My sister-in-law, a 30 year old mother of two amazing children, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last month. As you might expect in an environment where both parents need to work to support the kids, losing your income from a semi-full-time position can have a dramatic impact.
As a result, I am raffling off an EVGA provided GeForce GTX 1080 ACX 3.0 graphics card worth over $700. In return, I ask that readers and fans of PC Perspective donate to my sister-in-law Amy's GoFundMe campaign with a minimum of $5.00. Getting even a small portion of our audience to pitch in will make a dramatic difference in the family's stability and mind set as she continues with the first several sessions of chemotherapy.
I encourage you to enter the contest below and contribute to the GoFundMe campaign. From all of us at PC Perspective and the Shrout/Roark family: Thank you.
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 07:09 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, Kalypso, humble bundle
Update: Annnnnnnnnnnd it's over. Sorry everyone who just noticed the post. Original below.
If you have heard about the On The House promotion from EA's Origin service, then this will sound familiar. For the next eighteen hours, the Humble Store is giving away Tropico 4 from Kalypso Media Digital. It does not include any of the expansions or DLC, but it normally retails for $17 CDN and you're getting it for free if you redeem it before it expires. Also, according to the Steam page, the game requires that users register a (free) account with Kalypso to login.
Again, you're getting it for free, though, and I know of a few people that love it. Tropico is a city-building game of sorts, except that, instead of playing as an omnificent being that benevolently rules over a region, you play as an actual dictator. I haven't played it myself, but I just added it to my Steam account, so I'll hopefully get around to it soon.
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: doom, pc gaming, bethesda
Adrian Courrèges is a software developer who, from time to time, does a break down on rendering techniques for major gaming titles. His latest one is on DOOM, and it explains, in remarkably simple (given the subject matter) terms, how the game draws a frame at a point early in the game. Most of the information was gathered from using debug tools, but a bit was pulled from Tiago Sousa and Jean Geffroy's slide deck at last month's SIGGRAPH conference.
I obviously cannot really summarize what the article says in this post. You kind-of need to read it for yourself. The post goes into how Vulkan is used for updating Mega-Textures, but it doesn't go into anything like asynchronous compute, though. Most of the figures are animated too, usually by a slideshow of images, but a few WebGL demonstrations are included, too.
Subject: Motherboards | September 9, 2016 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z170X-Designare, gigabyte, RGB
At $250 the Gigabyte Z170X-Designare motherboard is a bit on the expensive side for this chipset but it does come with a long list of features which make it interesting. This ATX board has both three reinforced PCIe 16x and 1x slots as well as onboard U.2, Thunderbolt 3 with dual USB 3.1 Type-C, and dual Intel LAN which is more that you find on a Z170 board. Modders Inc offers more information on additional features present on this board, including the RGB rash present on it, as well as performance benchmarks in this recent review.
"The majority of mainstream motherboards are priced under $200. When it comes to describing one situated north of this border, "practical" is not exactly the first word that comes to mind. For the budgetary pragmatic, this is indulgence territory and for the most part that is a correct assessment. But as the old proverb goes, all work and no play …"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Asus Republic Of Gamers RAMPAGE V Edition 10 @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming Aura @ Kitguru
- MSI Z170A MPOWER GAMING TITANIUM (Intel LGA1151) @ techPowerUp
- ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, nvidia, gtx 1050
DigiTimes have heard that NVIDIA hope to release the GTX 1050 at the end of the month or early in October but there are hints it may be somewhat of a paper launch. NVIDIA will have some silicon for sale but only a few who are quick enough on the draw will be able to purchase them; similar to the launch of the GTX 1080 and 1070 or even AMD's new cards for that matter. Both vendors had great difficulty providing retailers with cards to sell at launch, the supply has increased and prices are much closer to the MSRP than they were a month ago but there are still plenty of out of stock models when you start looking for deals.
Hopefully this situation will resolve soon, but for now patience is recommended for upgraders on a tight budget.
"Nvidia's Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 graphics cards are seeing strong demand from the market and therefore are currently in tight supply. To further expand into the market, Nvidia is planning to release its mid-range GTX 1050 graphics card at the end of September at the earliest."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Humble Summer Sale Kicks Off With Free Tropico 4 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Apple markets the iPhone 7 as a penis in Hong Kong @ The Inquirer
- Ten-year-old Windows Media Player hack is the new black, again @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | September 9, 2016 - 07:00 AM | Scott Michaud
The Blender Foundation maintains the most popular, free, open-source 3D suite, Blender. One major component of any 3D application is the chunk that turns 3D geometry into one or more 2D images. This is often passed to third-party software, like mental ray or Pixar Renderman, but basically everyone has their own internal ones.
About five years ago, Blender released a new rendering engine, called Cycles, whose just-released 2016 demo reel is embedded above. Not being held back by history, they swung for the fences with it. It supports multiple GPUs (albeit mostly NVIDIA, even to this day, due to CUDA vs OpenCL at the time -- but AMD might be commissioning development soon) and integrates tightly with the editor. It produces great images, although it's very slow for cartoonish imagery (but Blender is working on a viewport renderer for that sort of content anyway).
Also, Blender with Cycles is what we used for our recent animation projects. Version 2.78 is currently in release candidate mode, and should be released very soon.