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Subject: Editorial | March 30, 2017 - 10:40 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: starcraft, Silverstone, Samsung, podcast, Phonoic, Optane, microSD, Lexar, HEX 2.0, drobo, CORSAIR ONE, ashes of the singularity, aida64, 5N2
PC Perspective Podcast #443 - 03/30/17
Join us for Thermoelectric Coolers, Tiny PSUs, Lots o' Storage, some trips down nostaglia lane, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:34:48
Subject: Mobile | March 30, 2017 - 12:37 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: google, Android, android o
A couple of sites have downloaded the upcoming Android preview and walked through the new features that they found. Google, themselves, published a “what’s changed” video (embed below) to their Android Developers channel, which is mostly about the specific API changes, rather than UI and feature differences.
The first couple of minutes was dominated by new limitations on background applications, increasing the privacy and decreasing the battery impact of apps that are not currently focused. “Notification Channel” interests me personally, because it allows apps to categorize notifications, which users can block individually. While good apps should have that sort of control in their own settings already, a unified implementation in the OS is welcome (if it can limit how many applications I need to outright block everything from).
As for the third-party previewers, Ars Technica has a pretty in-depth look, with screenshots for most differences (often side-by-side with the Nougat equivalent). For a second opinion, Paul Thurrott also has a brief overview with a handful of screenshots.
We should learn a lot more at Google I/O in mid-May.
Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2017 - 09:04 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: CaptoGlove, AR, VR, gaming, controller, bluetooth 4.0, BTLE 4.0, glove
There’s a new sheriff in town! The jauntily named “CaptoGlove” promises to be a true game and VR controller in a handy glove. Originally developed some five years ago by an Italian air force pilot for his recovering father, he has continued development of the unit so it is actually a useful game controller with a precise 3D space positioning system. Codeveloped with the Reusch group in Italy, the CaptoGlove looks to be a pretty polished piece of gaming equipment useful in a wide variety of applications.
The glove features 10 degrees of freedom and a variety of potential actuations. The glove caries about 10 hours of charge and can be quickly recharged. It features Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 connectivity. It is essentially plug and play and the user can assign functions to the different fingers.
It is a somewhat stylish looking product, which is not surprising given that Reusch has been making sporting gloves for some 80 years. The material looks robust and should last a long, long time. There are no details about replacing the battery, in fact many of the specifications about the glove are still unknown. It does look to be a pretty dextrous implementation that supersedes products coming before it.
This glove is on Kickstarter and they have almost achieved their goal in the past 6 days. A single glove will be $160 through the Kickstarter and a pair will run $299. The highest level includes two extra sensors that allow even more precision with gaming and VR/AR, but that comes at a steep $599.
The gloves have been tested with all kinds of games and functionality is good. The videos that CaptoGlove show off have decent performance and accuracy in many titles. Currently there is no force feedback enabled nor announced. This is not to say that it won’t show up in the future, but this first generation consumer product still has plenty of functionality to keep people interested.
AR/VR applications show the most promise for CaptoGlove. It has been tested with all of the major projects out there and seems to work fine. I will be very curious how well it works in applications like Tilt Brush! If eventually they make a haptic version of the glove, it could be a killer application for it.
Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2017 - 03:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, planescape, GOG
Planescape: Torment is an RPG that has a special place in a lot of peoples memories as one of the games stood out as being the best example of its genre. GOG have sold it for a while now, allowing people to revist the game or experience what exactly it is all the older gamers are reminiscing about. The problem has been that in order to make it run on newer machines with screens with resolutions somewhat better than 640x480 you needed to apply a lot of mods and hope for a bit of luck as things would often go horribly wrong. Today the Beamdog Enhanced Edition was announced, though places like Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN have already had a chance to play it.
The graphics are upscaled to the resolution of your desktop but not overly polished so you will definitely notice this is not a modern game. On the other hand the quests are still there and it is not like many recent games feature a tour through the Outer Planes? You can grab it at GOG for 30% off if you already own the original, or pay $20 otherwise. You should also check out the changelog RPS captured from the webpage, there are some rather amusing notes found within for those who have played the game before.
"Not played PST before? PSTEE is all the invitation you need. Native high-res support, scaleable UI, a few helping hands and most of all it just works. Played PST before? Well, like me, the last time round you probably did it modded, and as such PSTEE, though a smoother ride, won’t feel particularly revelatory. If it’s your first time back since 1999, however, rest assured that it treats your memories well."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Persona 5 brings depth and complexity to its Robin Hood tale @ Ars Technica
- Wot I Think: Afghanistan 11 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Mass Effect Andromeda Performance Analysis @ Kitguru
- Rocket League gets Dropshot mode and Easter treats @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Roam free: A history of open-world gaming @ Ars Technica
- Endless Space 2 adds multiplayer, Riftborn faction @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2017 - 01:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10
Ars Technica takes you on a walk through the upcoming Creators Update for Windows 10, which will start being installed on machines in just under two weeks. Starting with the good, there are some interesting new features, such as Edge now being able to display EPUB titles natively even if you will not have the ability to mark up those pages as you can websites. It also sees the inclusion of Windows Holographic API, though as of yet nothing apart from MSPaint seems to benefit from this addition. Game Mode will also appear for users, with support for both win32 and UWP applications, though you will have to adjust settings in the non-UWP to enable the new feature.
There is a long list of other changes, for both better and worse, which you can check out in the full article.
"The next big update to Windows 10 is nearly upon us: Windows 10 version 1703, known as the Creators Update, will be published to Windows Update next Patch Tuesday, on April 11th."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Swan: Better Linux on Windows @ Hack a Day
- Source Parts on TaoBao: An Insider’s Guide @ Hack a Day
- Apple squashes cert-handling bug affecting macOS and iOS @ The Register
- So my ISP can now sell my browsing history – what can I do? @ The Register
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 29, 2017 - 12:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SFX PSU, modular phone, FSP Group, 80 Plus Gold
With small form factor systems growing in popularity, the market for SFX PSUs is increasing as well. FSP have just released their new Dagger family of SFX PSUs with two models, a $100 500W and a $110 600W. Both of these PSUs feature single 12V rails and are rated 80 Plus Gold, the internals are based off of server quality PCBs and offer DC to DC power.
They ship with a removable backplate to allow them to be used in full sized builds as well, with the small size of the PSU leaving more space in your case for cooling solutions and air flow. The PSU itself is cooled by an 80mm fan, about as large as you can fit in the 125x63.5x110 mm shell.
The Dagger is fully modular, with flat cables to make cable management even easier. The PSU ships with two PCIe 6+2 power connectors, five SATA, two molex and a floppy plug in addition to the motherboard power cables. You can check out the video below, or click through to read the full PR from FSP.
Subject: General Tech | March 29, 2017 - 03:04 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: tesla, tencent
Five percent of Tesla Motors has just been purchased by Tencent Holdings Limited. For our audience, this could be interesting in two ways. First, Tesla Motors is currently home to Jim Keller, who designed several CPUs architectures at AMD and Apple, including AMD’s K8, Apple’s A4 and A5, and AMD’s recent Zen. Second, Tencent has been purchasing minority chunks of several companies, including almost half of Epic Games, five percent of Activision Blizzard, and a few others, but the move into automotive technologies is somewhat new for them.
From Tesla’s perspective, Tencent could be strong leverage into the Chinese market. In fact, Elon Musk tweeted to Bloomberg Business that they are glad to have Tencent “as an investor and advisor”. Clearly, this means that they consider Tencent to be, in some fashion, an adviser for the company.
Personally, I’m curious how Tencent will affect the energy side of the company, including their subsidiary, SolarCity. I don’t really have anything to base this on, since it’s just as “out of left field” for Tencent as automotive technologies, but it’s something I’ll be occasionally glancing at none-the-less.
Subject: General Tech | March 28, 2017 - 09:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zspace, VR, AR
A few weeks ago, we posted about an education company that joined the Khronos Group’s OpenXR Working Group for VR and AR APIs. As I mentioned at the time, I have a personal interest in education technologies, due in part to my background before joining PC Perspective. While the education field is in need of more than just technology, companies like zSpace are building infrastructure to deliver information in new and more varied ways, which will hopefully reach more students (and reach the rest more deeply).
As for the news: after the previous post, zSpace followed up to let us know that they’ve been accepted into the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) program. This is a fairly large (hundreds of millions of dollars, USD) investment fund that primarily focuses on their amount of innovation. The fund has a handful of “challenge” areas, such as health and water / electricity, that are considered for the “public good” and thus eligible. I’m guessing zSpace qualified under “Knowledge and Human Development Authority” but their press release doesn’t elaborate.
Previously accepted companies, according to Forbes, are Honeywell and Hyperloop.
I'm not sure how much of our audience is focused in the education / IT sector, so let us know in the comments if you found this follow-up relevant to you. (PC Perspective allows anonymous comments, so you don't have to jump through too many hoops to leave your opinion.)
Subject: Graphics Cards | March 28, 2017 - 04:32 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vulkan, DirectX 12, Futuremark, 3dmark
The latest update to 3DMark adds Vulkan support to its API Overhead test, which attempts to render as many simple objects as possible while keeping above 30 FPS. This branch of game performance allows developers to add more objects into a scene, and design these art assets in a more simple, straight-forward way. This is, now, one of the first tests that can directly compare DirectX 12 and Vulkan, which we expect to be roughly equivalent, but we couldn’t tell for sure.
While I wasn’t able to run the tests myself, Luca Rocchi of Ocaholic gave it a shot on their Core i7-5820K and GTX 980. Apparently, Vulkan was just under 10% faster than DirectX 12 in their results, reaching 22.6 million draw calls in Vulkan, but 20.6 million in DirectX 12. Again, this is one test, done by a third-party, for a single system, and a single GPU driver, on a single 3D engine, and one that is designed to stress a specific portion of the API at that; take it with a grain of salt. Still, this suggests that Vulkan can keep pace with the slightly-older DirectX 12 API, and maybe even beat it.
This update also removed Mantle support. I just thought I’d mention that.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 28, 2017 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Silverstone, Strider Platinum ST1200-PT, 1200W PSU, modular psu, 80 Plus Platinum
Externally the new Silverstone Strider Platinum ST1200-PT is identical to the 1000W model, sharing the same 80 Plus Platinum rating as well as a fan which does not start to spin until the PSU hits 40% load. The internals are somewhat different, as this PSU can deliver up to 100A on the 12V line and do it without any issues as you can see in [H]ard|OCP's review. Indeed the only drawback to this PSU is one it shares with others from SilverStone; the price is on the high side compared to the competition. Then again the quality also surpasses many other PSUs in the same class, so perhaps the premium price is worth it for you?
"SilverStone comes to us with huge Platinum efficiency power with its Strider PSU rated for 1200 watts of constant power delivery. The PSU also sports a beefy feature set to go along with being able to support even the healthiest enthusiast computer build. Fanless modes below 40% power, dust filtering, and 16 sets of SATA connectors lead the list."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- RIOTORO Enigma 850W @ [H]ard|OCP
- Seasonic PRIME 1200W Platinum @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master Masterwatt Maker 1200W MIJ @ Kitguru
- Seasonic PRIME 1000W Platinum PSU @ Kitguru
Subject: Mobile | March 28, 2017 - 01:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thx, Razer Blade Pro V, razer, gaming laptop, 4k, 1080
THX Certification, likely familiar to any movie-goers, is a standard which details certain display and audio requirements and it would seem that the new Razer Blade is the first gaming laptop to meet their standards. The display is 4K 17.3" IGZO G-SYNC panel, which has an LED backlight and capacitive multi-touch and is capable of displaying 100% of Adobe RGB colour space. The audio is a 7.1 Codec which supports Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater Edition as well as a THX Certified 3.5mm combo audio port which can drive high end headphones.
Inside you will find a Core i7-7820HK, overclocked to reach a peak of 4.3GHz, an 8GB GTX 1080, 32GB of DDR4-2667 and two PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 of up to 2TB in size. As well the Razer offers an ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard and Killer DoubleShot Pro, which is a Killer Wireless-AC 1535 NIC as well as a Killer E2500.
You can read the full PR under the fold or head straight to the website.
Subject: General Tech | March 28, 2017 - 01:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Vega, rumour, HBM2
The Inquirer have posted a tiny bit of information about AMD's upcoming Vega and as any rumours about the new GPU are hard to find it is the best we have at the moment. AMD's claim is that the second generation HBM present on the 4GB and 8GB models could offer equivalent memory bandwidth to a GTX 1080 Ti, which makes perfect sense. The GTX 1080 Ti offers 484 GB/s of memory bandwidth while AMD's R9 series first generation HBM offers 512 GB/s. The real trick is filling that pipeline to give AMD's HBM2 based cards a chance to shine and which depends on software developers as much as it does the hardware. As well, The Inquirer discusses the possible efficiency advantages that Vega will have, which could result in smaller cards as well as an effective mobile product. Pop over to take a look at the current rumours, here is hoping we can provide more detailed information in the near future.
"AMD HAS TEASED more information about its forthcoming Vega-based graphics cards, revealing that they will come with either 4GB or 8GB memory and hinting that a launch is imminent."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- iPhone-havers think they're safe. But they're not @ The Register
- FYI Docs.com users: You may have leaked passwords, personal info – thousands have @ The Register
- LastPass scrambles to fix another major flaw – once again spotted by Google's bugfinders @ The Register
- Johnny Depp signs on to play John McAfee in a film of his life @ The Inquirer
- Samsung 4K Blu-ray Player @ Hardware Secrets
- Futuremark Ends Support for 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage @ [H]ard|OCP
- Konica Minolta Unveils the Future of Work, Or At Least Its Version @ Kitguru
- Win a PC hardware bundle with Gigabyte AORUS, HyperX and KitGuru
Subject: Processors | March 28, 2017 - 11:48 AM | Morry Teitelman
Tagged: FinalWire, aida64, ryzen, amd, Intel
Courtesy of FinalWire
Today, FinalWire Ltd. announced the release of version 5.90 of their diagnostic and benchmarking tool, AIDA64. This new version updates their Extreme Edition, Engineer Edition, and Business Edition of the software, available here.
The latest version of AIDA64 has been optimized to work with AMD's Ryzen "Summit Ridge" and Intel's "Apollo Lake" processors, as well as updated to work with Microsoft's Windows 10 Creators Update release. The benchmarks and performance tests housed within AIDA64 have been updated for the Ryzen processor to utilize the VX2, FMA3, AES-NI and SHA instruction sets.
New features include:
- AVX2 and FMA accelerated 64-bit benchmarks for AMD Ryzen Summit Ridge processors
- Microsoft Windows 10 Creators Update support
- Optimized 64-bit benchmarks for Intel Apollo Lake SoC
- Improved support for Intel Cannonlake, Coffee Lake, Denverton, Kaby Lake-X, Skylake-X CPUs
- Preliminary support for AMD Zen server processors
- Preliminary support for Intel Gemini Lake SoC and Knights Mill HPC CPU
- NZXT Kraken X52 sensor support
- Socket AM4 motherboards support
- Improved support for Intel B250, H270, Q270 and Z270 chipset based motherboards
- EastRising ER-OLEDM032 (SSD1322) OLED support
- SMBIOS 3.1.1 support
- Crucial M600, Crucial MX300, Intel Pro 5400s, SanDisk Plus, WD Blue SSD support
- Improved support for Samsung NVMe SSDs
- Advanced support for HighPoint RocketRAID 27xx RAID controllers
- GPU details for nVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Quadro GP100, Tesla P6
Software updates new to this release (since AIDA64 v5.00):
- AVX and FMA accelerated FP32 and FP64 ray tracing benchmarks
- Vulkan graphics accelerator diagnostics
- RemoteSensor smartphone and tablet LCD integration
- Logitech Arx Control smartphone and tablet LCD integration
- Microsoft Windows 10 TH2 (November Update) support
- Proper DPI scaling to better support high-resolution LCD and OLED displays
- AVX and FMA accelerated 64-bit benchmarks for AMD A-Series Bristol Ridge and Carrizo APUs
- AVX2 and FMA accelerated 64-bit benchmarks for Intel Broadwell, Kaby Lake and Skylake CPUs
- AVX and SSE accelerated 64-bit benchmarks for AMD Nolan APU
- Optimized 64-bit benchmarks for Intel Braswell and Cherry Trail processors
- Advanced SMART disk health monitoring
- Hot Keys to switch LCD pages, start or stop logging, show or hide SensorPanel
- Corsair K65, K70, K95, Corsair Strafe, Logitech G13, G19, G19s, G910, Razer Chroma RGB LED keyboard support
- Corsair, Logitech, Razer RGB LED mouse support
- Corsair and Razer RGB LED mousepad support
- AlphaCool Heatmaster II, Aquaduct, Aquaero, AquaStream XT, AquaStream Ultimate, Farbwerk, MPS, NZXT GRID+ V2, PowerAdjust 2, PowerAdjust 3 sensor devices support
- Improved Corsair Link sensor support
- NZXT Kraken water cooling sensor support
- Corsair AXi, Corsair HXi, Corsair RMi, Enermax Digifanless, Thermaltake DPS-G power supply unit sensor support
- Support for Gravitech, LCD Smartie Hardware, Leo Bodnar, Modding-FAQ, Noteu, Odospace, Saitek Pro Flight Instrument Panel, Saitek X52 Pro, UCSD LCD devices
- Portrait mode support for AlphaCool and Samsung SPF LCDs
- System certificates information
- Advanced support for Adaptec and Marvell RAID controllers
AIDA64 is developed by FinalWire Ltd., headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. The company’s founding members are veteran software developers who have worked together on programming system utilities for more than two decades. Currently, they have ten products in their portfolio, all based on the award-winning AIDA technology: AIDA64 Extreme, AIDA64 Engineer, AIDA64 Network Audit, AIDA64 Business and AIDA64 for Android,, iOS, Sailfish OS, Tizen, Ubuntu Touch and Windows Phone. For more information, visit www.aida64.com.
Subject: General Tech | March 28, 2017 - 02:55 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: starcraft, pc gaming, blizzard
On the night of the GSL Season 1 finals, and the week of StarCraft’s 19th birthday, Blizzard made a couple of announcements associated with the game. First, the game will receive a patch (1.18a) with an official observer mode, improved support for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, support for the UTF-8 character set, and a couple of bug fixes.
It will also be made free. Anyone can download and play it.
But... if you want a graphical upgrade, Blizzard also announced the (not free) StarCraft Remastered edition. This will arrive in the summer, and it will include new audio and artwork, bringing the early-Windows 9x graphics up to 4K (with 1080p cutscenes). The gameplay will be the same, to the point of even being cross-play compatible with the original game’s multiplayer. The addition of Battle.net skill-based matchmaking will apparently be exclusive to owners of the Remastered edition, though.
The 1.18a patch will arrive in a couple of days, making the original (non-Remastered) game free. The Remastered edition will arrive in the summer, but no word on price yet.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 27, 2017 - 02:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Cougar, Panzer Max, eatx
Calling the Cougar Panzer Max a tank is something of an exaggeration but at 266x612x556mm (10.5x24x21.9") it is certainly large and capable of housing even eATX motherboards. The size also allows up to eight drives to be installed as well as eight 120mm or almost as many 140mm fans or the equivalent radiators, with a full installation you will be glad of the handles on the top. TechPowerUp gives this case high marks but the Panzer Max did fall short of perfection, see if you agree with what they felt could have been better implemented by Cougar in their full review.
"The Cougar Panzer Max is a full-tower representation of the Panzer chassis. It is larger, bulkier, has more space, and looks a lot more menacing to boot. It really does resemble a tank, which is what "Panzer'' means in German. So in this review, we take the Panzer Max for a joy ride, fill it with some ammunition, and see if it is a straight shooter."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Core P3 @ Hardware Secrets
- Antec Cube Certified By EKWB Mini-ITX Case Review @ NikKTech
- Cryorig R1 Ultimate Cooler @ Kitguru
- Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riing RGB 360 Edition Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Cryorig H7 Air Cooler @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2017 - 01:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: bloody, B820R Light Strike RGB Animation, gaming keyboard, input, LK Optic Switch
We have seen a handful of Bloody keyboards on the market, with their unique take on switches. They use an LK Optic Switch as opposed to a mechanical switch, it detects keypresses when an photosensors detect an interruption in the beam emanating from the infrared LEDs within the keyboard. The other difference in the design comes from the RGB feature, instead of being integral to the key they are actually installed in the body of the keyboard. Benchmark Reviews have become somewhat expert at Bloody keyboards, check out what they thought of this model in their full review.
"In this article for Benchmark Reviews, we’ll take a closer look at the Bloody B820R Light Strike RGB Animation Gaming Keyboard, and determine if this latest offering has what it takes to set itself apart from the rest of the mechanical keyboard market."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GAMDIAS Hermes RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ TechARP
- Silverstone ES02-USB 2.4GHz Wireless PC Remote Control Kit @ Modders-Inc
- Razer DeathAdder Elite Mouse @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | March 27, 2017 - 12:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, flash, fedex, coupon
FedEx seems to be indicating they are not quite ready for Adobe Flash to go away, by offering certain customers a $5.00 coupon to enable it. This was likely triggered by the mass migration of browsers from Adobe's much beleaguered media program; Chrome only loads Flash content after user intervention and both Edge and Firefox will soon discontinue support as well. The offer is for FedEx Office Print customers but you can certainly take a peek yourself if you want to try it, though The Register cautions against abusing it lest we all lose the benefit. There is a link to download Flash on FedEx's website but if you do decide to update or install Flash we would suggest you head straight to Adobe to get it.
"The offer's being made to users of FedEx Office Print, the custom printing tentacle of the transport company. FedEx Office Print lets customers design posters, signs, manuals, banners and even promotional magnets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Galaxy Note 7 Is Not Dead, Samsung Says It Will Sell Refurbished Units @ Slashdot
- Replica Fallout Terminal @ Hack a Day
- AMD Ryzen forces price cuts to legacy FX and A10 CPUs @ The Inquirer
- An insecure dishwasher has entered the IoT war against humanity @ The Inquirer
- Netgear Orbi @ PC Review
- Inside OpenSSL's battle to change its license: Coders' rights, tech giants, patents and more @ The Register
- The Spotify Q&A Session With Sunita Kaur @ Tech ARP
Subject: Storage | March 27, 2017 - 12:16 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: XPoint, Optane Memory, Optane, M.2, Intel, cache, 3D XPoint
We are just about to hit two years since Intel and Micron jointly launched 3D XPoint, and there have certainly been a lot of stories about it since. Intel officially launched the P4800X last week, and this week they are officially launching Optane Memory. The base level information about Optane Memory is mostly unchanged, however, we do have a slide deck we are allowed to pick from to point out some of the things we can look forward to once the new tech starts hitting devices you can own.
Alright, so this is Optane Memory in a nutshell. Put some XPoint memory on an M.2 form factor device, leverage Intel's SRT caching tech, and you get a 16GB or 32GB cache laid over your system's primary HDD.
To help explain what good Optane can do for typical desktop workloads, first we need to dig into Queue Depths a bit. Above are some examples of the typical QD various desktop applications run at. This data is from direct IO trace captures of systems in actual use. Now that we've established that the majority of desktop workloads operate at very low Queue Depths (<= 4), lets see where Optane performance falls relative to other storage technologies:
There's a bit to digest in this chart, but let me walk you through it. The ranges tapering off show the percentage of IOs falling at the various Queue Depths, while the green, red, and orange lines ramping up to higher IOPS (right axis) show relative SSD performance at those same Queue Depths. The key to Optane's performance benefit here is that it can ramp up to full performance at very low QD's, while the other NAND-based parts require significantly higher parallel requests to achieve full rated performance. This is what will ultimately lead to a much snappier responsiveness for, well, just about anything hitting the storage. Fun fact - there is actually a HDD on that chart. It's the yellow line that you might have mistook as the horizontal axis :).
As you can see, we have a few integrators on board already. Official support requires a 270 series motherboard and Kaby Lake CPU, but it is possible that motherboard makers could backport the required NVMe v1.1 and Intel RST 15.5 requirements into older systems.
For those curious, if caching is the only way power users will be able to go with Optane, that's not the case. Atop that pyramid there sits an 'Intel Optane SSD', which should basically be a consumer version of the P4800X. It is sure to be an incredibly fast SSD, but that performance will most definitely come at a price!
We should be testing Optane Memory shortly and will finally have some publishable results of this new tech as soon as we can!
Subject: Storage | March 25, 2017 - 02:13 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Lexar, thumb drive
A new line of USB flash drives has been announced by Lexar, which focuses on both durability and USB 3.1 support (compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 3.0). From the technical side, the Lexar JumpDrive Tough drives can read up to 150 MB/s and write up to 60 MB/s, which is obviously nowhere near SSD speed, but reasonably fast for the typical cases that you would use a thumb drive.
As for its robustness, Lexar claims that the JumpDrive Tough will operate normally between -13F and 300F, which is just shy of the bake cookies temperature. It is also water resistant up to 98 feet.
The Lexar JumpDrive Tough will be available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models for $19.99, $34.99, and $59.99, respectively. While I don’t normally consider manufacturer returns for something like this, Lexar is backing this purchase with a 3-year limited warranty, which gives some legal teeth to their claims (if anyone takes them up on it). They are available now.
Subject: General Tech | March 24, 2017 - 06:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, AB350-Gaming 3, b350, amd, ryzen
The design of the Gigabyte GA-AB350-Gaming 3 is quite spartan, but don't let that fool you as it is heavily infected with RGB-itis. This brand new AMD motherboard is a hair thinner than your average ATX motherboard, at 305x230mm but that doesn't mean the board is lacking in features. There is a single x16 PCIe 3.0 slot, and a sole x4 PCIe 2.0 slot with three x1 PCIe 2.0 slots for additional cards. Of the six SATA ports, only four can be used if you install an M.2 SSD, a reasonable pool of drives for most. There is HDMI 1.4 and DVI connectors on the back, along with a half dozen USB 3.1 ports on the back of which two are Gen 2 and four Gen 1. Check out the full review at Modders Inc.
"AMD is back with a new CPU line-up that brings competitive performance once again against Intel’s current generation of processors at a lower price. In true AMD fashion, the AM4 motherboard line offers the same value alternative as well, offering the latest features similarly found on the latest generation Intel processors natively including USB 3.1 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe support …"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Professional Gaming i7 @ Kitguru
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming-ITX/ac Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASUS ROG Maximus IX Apex @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI Review @ Neoseeker