MSI gets into the CPU heatsink business big time, the Core Frozr XL

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 5, 2017 - 03:38 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, msi, Core Frozr XL

The MSI Core Frozr XL is not the first CPU heatsink to come out of that company but it is the largest, 150.4x170.0x129.8mm in size and a hair short of 2kg with the included fans.  The fancy plastic shrouds over the fans also act as the mounting point for the fans and can be adjusted to provide a little more clearance for tall DIMMs though it is still going to be a tight squeeze.  As the cooler is designed for AMD's new Ryzen chips, as well as some legacy chips, Neoseeker tested it against AMD's Wraith cooler and the AiO Ryzen cooler.  The MSI heatsink did much better at load, however when the system was idle the bundled coolers were a little better; though how often is your system on and idling anyways? 

Check out this RGBeast here.

Capture.PNG

"The totally massive MSI Core Frozr XL benefits from a large nickel-plated copper thermal plate to quickly pull the heat away from the CPU. The heat then transfers from the thermal baseplate into the eight 6mm SuperPipes, which move the heat upward to the large aluminum dissipation fin array that can dissipate up to 250W of heat. Lastly, the two MSI 120mm Torx fans push-pull the heat away from all of that thermal mass and out of the computer case."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

Source: Neoseeker

Virtually the best benchmark for VR performance

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2017 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: gaming, oculus rift, fcat, fcat vr

FCAT for VR is rather new and so we have not seen a lot of reviews as of yet.  Ryan posted a detailed overview of what this tool measures, as well as results from a few games on the GTX 1060 and RX 480 which you should check out if you want a better understanding of the benchmark.  Babeltechreviews have also been using this tool to measure the VR performance of a variety of GPUs and have just posted a review covering Obduction, Robinson: The Journey and The Unspoken.  Drop by to take a look at what you could expect to see when gaming in VR on these six GPUs.

Obduction-2.jpg

"We have been playing more than 30 VR Oculus Rift games using 4 top NVIDIA and 2 top AMD video cards, and we have just completed performance benchmarking for Robinson: The Journey, The Unspoken, and Obduction."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Remember when Flash was plentiful? Samsung's Fabs remember!

Subject: General Tech | July 5, 2017 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: flash, Samsung

Historically, memory prices have been as volatile as the RAM they are used in but recently this has changed.  The demand for flash storage, volatile or not, has grown tremendously with the advent of SSDs, the ever increasing local flash storage provided on your phone and now even cars and other members of the IoT are devouring flash as quickly as it can be made.  This has lead to the new pricing trend we have been seeing, a slow increase in the price of flash memory.  Samsung is addressing this shortage, and looking to increase their revenue, by making a large investment in their existing infrastructure in South Korea.  All told these investments total $31.2 billion dollars and will enhance existing production lines as well as adding Extreme Ultra Violet machinery to a Fab which currently lacks that technology.  Drop by The Register for more detail.

Samsung_Logo.svg_.png

"It says it will invest KRW 30 trillion ($26.1bn) by 2021 in its existing plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, to expand its semiconductor fabrication capacity. This fab, claimed to be the single largest in the industry, is now making 64-layer 4th generation V-NAND flash chips."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Gamers Nexus Talks Mining with AIB and PSU Vendors

Subject: Graphics Cards, Cases and Cooling | July 5, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: supply shortage, shortage, ethereum, cryptocurrency

The cryptocurrency craze is kind-of like the old gold rush. Tokens are just out there waiting to be discovered, and value is applied when people trade it in exchange for goods and services. In this case, these tokens are discovered by doing math, and faster computers acquire more, and the algorithm is quite parallel. Some of the non-Bitcoin currencies are gaining traction, and becoming economically viable to mind with off-the-shelf parts, so gaming parts are being sold out... and not to gamers.

What do the video card add-in board (AIB) partners (as in the companies that take GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD and attach them to things that will actually plug into a motherboard) think of this? Gamers Nexus reached out to a bunch of them and, off the record, got a bunch of responses. The fifteen-minute video is quite interesting, and covers a lot of issues like brand loyalty, the second-hand market flooding, and RMA abuse. It even talks about the abnormal stress the GPU mining could have on power supplies. Most of the responses make sense, but it’s interesting to hear it coming from people in the industry, even if “who specifically said what” has been anonymized.

Of course, this is for the best, because you'll get more candid responses that way.

Polybutylene terephthalate is in, the Cooler Master MasterKeys L PBT

Subject: General Tech | July 4, 2017 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: input, cooler master, MasterKeys L PBT, Cherry MX, mechanical keyboard

The MasterKeys L PBT keyboard offers typists a lot of choice, there are models featuring Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Green, or Silver so you can choose the type of switches you prefer.  The PBT portion of the name refers to the keycaps, which are thicker than the more common ABS keycaps you find on most keyboards, a feature which Techpowerup were quite taken by.  The price is also uncommon for a mechanical keyboard as both the full sized model and the TKL model are priced under $100.  Drop by for a look.

title.jpg

"Cooler Master have listened to consumer feedback and with their MasterKeys PBT series they have thick PBT plastic keycaps out of the box on all the switches. The keyboard also includes onboard support for multiple OS and typing layouts, macro recording and an option for the rare Cherry MX Green switches; all for less than $100."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: TechPowerUp

AMD's market share is Ryzen

Subject: General Tech | July 4, 2017 - 12:40 PM |
Tagged: passmark, amd, Intel, ryzen, market share

The designers of Passmark benchmarking software have noticed a trend in the past year, a surge in the number of AMD processors being tested.  The jump is quite impressive and even if it does not directly represent sales it certainly suggests that AMD's recent launch of Ryzen has been attracting enthusiasts.  At the beginning of the year AMD accounted for just over 18% of the benchmarks being run but as of now over a quarter of all benchmarks are being run on AMD processors.  With Threadripper on the horizon this number could grow, though perhaps not as dramatically as with the launch of the lower priced Ryzen family.  Drop by The Inquirer for more.

maxresdefault.jpg

"However, AMD's share has bounced back this year, rising from 18.1 per cent logged at the beginning of the first quarter to 26.2 per cent at the beginning of the third quarter. Intel's share has dipped to 73.8 per cent at the same time."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 384.76 Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 30, 2017 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

Aligning with the LawBreakers “Rise Up” open beta, as well as the Spider-Man: Homecoming VR Experience VR experience, intentionally written twice, NVIDIA has released new graphics drivers!

nvidia-geforce.png

The GeForce Game Ready 384.76 WHQL drivers were published yesterday on GeForce Experience and their website. Apart from game-specific optimizations, the driver also fixes a bunch of issues, many of which seem very important. First, if you are a fan of Firefall, and your system was unable to launch the game, this driver should remedy that. The driver also claims to remove some or all of the stuttering experienced by GTX 1080, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 GPUs on Prey 2. Texture corruption in No Man’s Sky, for those who still play the game in an SLI configuration, should be fixed as well, which I believe was a long standing issue, although I could be wrong (as I haven’t been following that game). Vulkan support on Doom (2016) has also been improved.

I should note that, when I tried to custom install the driver through GeForce Experience, the install “failed” three times -- as in, the installed wouldn’t even draw the install button. Eventually, it gave me an install button, and it installed just fine. Not sure what’s going on with that, but I thought you all should know.

Source: NVIDIA

Noontec's Zoro II Wireless Limited Edition headset, lots of battery and bass for your earholes

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2017 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: audio, Noontec, zoro II, wireless headset

The Tech Report recently looked at Noontec's Zoro II Wireless Limited Edition headset, which can be connected via Bluetooth as well as a 3.5-mm headphone jack for those days when Bluetooth just doesn't want to cooperate or your battery finally dies.  The USB cable is for charging, with an advertised 35 hour battery life that should see you through even long days on the road.  TR were quite taken with the audio quality of these over the ear headphones, the sound was clear and there was a lot of bass to the audio but not the overpowering amount you often get from headphones with bass boost features.  The headset will run you around $130-160; check out the full review here.

partiallyfoldedshadowed.png

"Noontec's Zoro II wireless headphones embrace the headphone-jack-free future with a Bluetooth connection and a long-lasting internal battery. We jammed out with the Zoro II to see whether it's time to cut the cord."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Fine! I'll go build my own blockchain, with blackjack and ...

Subject: General Tech | June 30, 2017 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: gambling, blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum

Argonaut Software founder and Ethereum guru Jez San’s Funfair project looks to make online gambling more secure with blockchains.  He related a story about how the admins of an online casino site used privileges to view players' cards and pass the information onto accomplices, tilting the odds even more in favour of the house.  With a blockchain every single transaction is publicly recorded and anyone can inspect and audit that record so such nefarious schemes would immediately be spotted.  This also opens up an interesting choice for regulators, who could either embrace the technology and be able to monitor and police it or attempt to ignore or prevent it, in which case they would be totally shut out of the entire process.  This is a very complex idea, for a deeper look into how this could work and the repercussions of it being embraced you can pop over to The Register.

index.png

"One of the brains behind classic Nintendo game Star Fox is launching a blockchain-based online gambling service that could leave regulators stumped – and says he has raised $200,000 from the public to launch it."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Radeon Vega Frontier Edition GPU and PCB Exposed

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 30, 2017 - 02:17 PM |
Tagged: Vega, radeon, Frontier Edition, amd

Hopefully you have already read up on my review of the new Radeon Vega Frontier Edition graphics card; it is full of interesting information about the gaming and professional application performance. 

IMG_4620.JPG

But I thought it would be interesting to share the bare card and GPU in its own post, just to help people find it later on.

For measurements, here's what we were able to gleam with the calipers.

(Editor's Update: we have updated the die measurements after doing a remeasure. I think my first was a bit loose as I didn't want to impact the GPU directly.)

  • Die size: 25.90mm x 19.80mm (GPU only, not including memory stacks)
    • Area: 512.82mm2
  • Package size: 47.3mm x 47.3mm
    • Area: 2,237mm2

Enjoy the sexy!

DSC03538 copy.jpg

Click to Enlarge

DSC03539 copy.jpg

Click to Enlarge

DSC03536 copy.jpg

Click to Enlarge

DSC03540.JPG

Click to Enlarge

DSC03541.JPG

Click to Enlarge

DSC03544.JPG

Click to Enlarge

Interesting notes:

  • There is a LOT of empty PCB space on the Vega FE card. This is likely indicative of added area needed for a large heatsink and fan to cool 300-375 watt TDP without throttling.
  • Benefits of the smaller HBM-based package appears to be at a cost of SMT components on the GPU substrate and the PCB
  • The die size of Vega is large - bigger than GP102 even, despite running at a much lower performance level. It will be interesting to see how AMD answers the question of why the die has expanded as much as it did.

Feel free to leave us some comments if anything stands out!

StarCraft Remastered Trailer, Release Date, and Pre-order

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2017 - 09:34 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, blizzard

We first reported on StarCraft Remastered when it was announced, which was alongside the GSL 2017 Season 1 finals on March 26th. This was accompanied by a patch that brought the base game up to modern standards, which conveniently allows it to be multiplayer-compatible with Remastered, although skill-based matchmaking is exclusive to Remastered.

It has now been given a trailer, above, and a release date: August 14th, 2017.

As for the price? Pre-orders for StarCraft Remastered are available at $14.99 USD, although it’s unclear whether this price will stick after the pre-order period. I should note that the page states that StarCraft Remastered requires “StarCraft Anthology”. The way its worded makes it look like you need to buy something else, but StarCraft Anthology was made free with the aforementioned 1.18a patch. Basically, it looks like Blizzard is treating StarCraft Remastered as a paid booster to StarCraft Anthology, but, again, the latter is free so it probably only matters in terms of the install process. At least, that’s how it looks to me.

Source: Blizzard

Is the OnePlus 5 a Galaxy S8+ class smartphone for $600

Subject: Mobile | June 29, 2017 - 03:09 PM |
Tagged: smartphone, oneplus 5, oneplus

You can pick up the OnePlus 5 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $640, or if really want you could grab the model which Ars Technica reviewed for $620 but you have half the storage and only 6GB of RAM.  There are likely better deals out there if you shop around, Ars found their review model @ $479. 

The phone uses the same Snapdragon 835 SoC and Adreno 540 GPU as the Galaxy S8+ which Sebastian just tested, which shows in the benchmarks Ars Technica ran it through up to and including battery life.  In all but the storage tests we see the OnePlus meet or exceed the S8+, however the screen cannot compete.  It is a 1080p screen with a lot more bezel than you will find on a Galaxy or even iPhone for that matter.  Take a look at the review and decide if you value form over function when it comes to your mobile phone.

11-1-1440x1080.jpg

"Today OnePlus is both announcing the OnePlus 5 and lifting the review embargo on the device, which we've had for about two weeks now. $479 (£449) gets you an aluminum-clad pocket computer with a 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3,300mAh battery."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

Source: Ars Technica

G.Skill Readies DDR4-4400 Kits for Intel's X299 HEDT Platform

Subject: Memory | June 29, 2017 - 02:03 PM |
Tagged: x299, trident z, samsung 8Gb, overclocking, G.Skill, ddr4

G.Skill recently announced new DDR4 memory kits for the Intel X299 HEDT platform. The new kits include a dual channel DDR4 4400 MHz kit for Kaby Lake X and a quad channel DDR4 4200 MHz kit for Skylake X. The dual channel kit is available under the company’s Trident Z RGB and Trident Z Black brands depending on whether you want RGB lighting or simple black heatspreaders. The quad channel DDR4-4200 kit is only available in non-RGB Trident Z modules.

Trident Z.png

According to G.Skill, all of the new memory kits use Samsung 8Gb dies and feature CAS latencies of 19-19-19-39. The quad channel 4200 MHz DDR4 modules need 1.40V to hit those specifications, and while it is not yet known what the higher clocked dual channel DDR4 4400 MHz kits need to hit CL19 timings I would presume they need a bit more.

GSkill Memory Kits.jpg

The new kits will be available in an 8GB x 2 (16GB) 4400 MHz kit and up to 64 GB (8GB x 8) 4200 MHz kits. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the new RAM kits should be available soon. While Intel processors do not get as much of a boost from increased memory speeds as AMD’s APUs and Ryzen CPUs do, there are still noticeable gains to be had with faster memory though gamers should still prioritize graphics cards and processors over memory when picking parts for a budget build.

Note that since these kits are using Samsung 8Gb ICs, they also have a good chance of working with Ryzen, but check with your motherboard manufacturer and reviews before ponying up the cash. 

 

Source: G.Skill

ASUS has created a new hybrid, the Poseidon GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 29, 2017 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: asus, ASUS ROG, gtx 1080 ti, Poseidon GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition, poseidon, DirectCU H20, factory overclocked

We've seen the ASUS ROG Poseidon before, the last one that comes to mind being the GTX 980 Ti from Computex 2015.  The name refers to the hybrid cooling solution which incorporates both watercooling and aircooling, giving you the option to add watercooling to increase your thermal dissipation or to remain with aircooling.  [H]ard|OCP is working on a two part review of the card, this first article covering the performance of the card on aircooling alone.  The card exceeded the quoted boost clock of 1708MHz, averaging 1939MHz in the BF1 test on default Gaming Mode clocks, 2025MHz once they overclocked.  That is an impressive clock but there are other air cooled cards which are able to reach higher frequencies so it will be interesting to see what adding watercooling to the card will do.

1498296583dovqse1mjt_1_5_l.png

"Air cooling? Liquid Cooling? How about both, the ASUS ROG Poseidon GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Platinum Edition hybrid video card can run them both. In Part 1 of our evaluation we will test the video card on "air cooling" and overclock it as high as possible. In Part 2, we pump liquid through its veins and compare overclocks."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

How exactly do we type these new Ryzen Pro parts? R7P, Ryzen 7P, R7 Pro?

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen pro, EPYC

Official news about Ryzen Pro has finally arrived and The Tech Report was right on top of it.  This is the first we have seen of the "3" parts, a Ryzen 3 Pro 1300 and Ryzen 3 Pro 1200, their four non-SMT cores clocked at a decent 3.5/3.7GHz and 3.1/3.4GHz respectively.  That makes the Ryzen 3 Pro 1300 essentially the same chip as the Ryzen 5 Pro 1500 but with half the total cache and without multi-threading, theoretically reducing the price.  Five of the six new parts have a TDP of 65W with only the top tier Ryzen 7 Pro 1700X hitting 95W, with its 8 cores, 16 threads operating at 3.5/3.7GHz.

The speeds and core counts are not the most important features of these chips however, it is the features they share with AMD's soon to arrive EPYC chips.  AMD Secure Processor features, TPM 2.0 and DASH which offers features similar to Intel's vPro architecture.  This one area in which AMD offers a broader choice of products than Intel whose Core i3 parts do not support enterprise features; at least not yet.  Click the link above to check out more.

ryzenpro-stability.png

"AMD's Ryzen Pro platform blends business-class security and management features with the performance of the Zen architecture. We take an early look at how AMD plans to grapple with Intel in the battle for the standard corporate desktop."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Podcast #456 - Radeon Vega FE, Intel SSD 545S, GTX USB, Mining Specifc Cards, and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 29, 2017 - 11:06 AM |
Tagged: video, Vega FE, thermalright, Spirit 140, Samsung, radeon, prorender, podcast, mining, mini ITX, microcode, logitech, GTX USB, gigabyte, galaxy s8+, G433, amd, AM4

PC Perspective Podcast #456 - 06/28/17

Join us for talk about Radeon Vega FE, Intel SSD 545S, GTX USB, Mining Specifc Cards, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 1:28:14
 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Source:

Summer Games Done Quick 2017 Begins Sunday

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 11:39 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, gdq, speedrun

Starting on Sunday, Games Done Quick will be hosting their twice-annual, 24-hour speedrun marathon until 3am on the following Sunday. It will begin with a one-handed playthrough of NieR: Automata, and just keep going through game after game, including a handful of races between popular runners of applicable titles. (Personally, those tend to be my favorite segments.) Many are run on the PC!

gdq-2016-sgdq logo.png

This event will benefit Doctors Without Borders.

Until Awesome Games Done Quick 2017, it looked like the amount raised per week-long event settled at around 1.3 million. That one, however, leapfrogged the previous year’s total by a whole million dollars, ending up at $2.22 million USD. Summer Games Done Quick, apart from last year, tends to do a little less, but who knows?

Unity Labs Announces Global Research Fellowship

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged: Unity, machine learning, deep learning

Unity, who makes the popular 3D game engine of the same name, has announced a research fellowship for integrating machine learning into game development. Two students, who must have been enrolled in a Masters or a PhD program on June 26th, will be selected and provided with $30,000 for a 6-month fellowship. The deadline is midnight (PDT) on September 9th.

unity-logo-rgb.png

We’re beginning to see a lot of machine-learning applications being discussed for gaming. There are some cases, like global illumination and fluid simulations, where it could be faster for a deep-learning algorithm to hallucinate a convincing than a physical solver will produce a correct one. In this case, it makes sense to post-process each frame, so, naturally, game engine developers are paying attention.

If eligible, you can apply on their website.

Source: Unity

NVIDIA and Epic Games Announce "Edge" Program

Subject: Graphics Cards | June 28, 2017 - 11:00 PM |
Tagged: epic games, ue4, nvidia, geforce, giveaway

If you are an indie game developer, and you could use a little more GPU performance, NVIDIA is hosting a hardware giveaway. Starting at the end of July, and ongoing until Summer 2018, NVIDIA and Epic Games will be giving away GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards to batches of Unreal Engine 4 projects.

epic-ue4-infiltrator.jpg

To enter, you need to share screenshots and videos of your game on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, tagging both UnrealEngine and NVIDIA. (The specific accounts are listed on the Unreal Engine blog post that announces this initiative.) They will also feature these projects on both the Unreal Engine and the NVIDIA blog, which is just as valuable for indie projects.

So... hey! Several chances at free hardware!

Source: Epic Games

Deux Ex: Mankind Divided Frame Breakdown

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2017 - 10:40 PM |
Tagged: square enix, pc gaming, eidos montreal, deus ex: mankind divided

Frames of modern video games can be made up of tens of thousands of draw calls, which consist of a set of polygons and a shader pipeline that operates on it, and compute tasks. Last September, we found an article by Adrian Courrèges that broke down a single frame of DOOM, and discussed all of the techniques based on information from debug tools and SIGGRAPH slides.

This time, we found a video from János Turánszki that analyzes the ~32,000 - 33,000 graphics API calls of a single Deus Ex: Mankind Divided frame, using NVIDIA Nsight. As he scrubs through these events, he mentions things like how text is painted, a bug with temporal anti-aliasing, what appears to be a multi-pass blur for frosted glass, and so forth.

János Turánszki develops the open-source (MIT licensed) Wicked Engine.

Source: YouTube