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Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2017 - 01:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: security, microsoft
Microsoft and the NSA have each been blaming the other for the ability of WannaCrypt to utilize a vulnerability in SMBv1 to spread. Microsoft considers the NSA's decision not to share the vulnerabilities which their Eternalblue tool utilizes with Microsoft and various other security companies to be the cause of this particular outbreak. Conversely, the fact is that while Microsoft developed patches to address this vulnerability for versions of Windows including WinXP, Server 2003, and Windows 8 RT back in March, they did not release the patches for legacy OSes until the outbreak was well underway.
Perhaps the most compelling proof of blame is the number of systems which should not have been vulnerable but were hit due to the fact that the available patches were never installed.
These three problems, the NSA wanting to hoard vulnerabilities so they can exploit them for espionage, Microsoft ending support of older products because they are a business and do not find it profitable to support products a decade or more after release and users not taking advantage of available updates have left us in the pickle we find ourselves in this week. On the plus side this outbreak does have people patching, so we have that going for us.
"Speaking of hoarding, though, it's emerged Microsoft was itself stockpiling software – critical security patches for months."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCrypt variant @ The Register
- Intel, Samsung join Apple, FTC firing squad against rival Qualcomm @ The Register
- TSMC capacity utilization ramping up @ DigiTimes
Subject: General Tech | May 16, 2017 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: spir-v, opencl, Khronos
Aligning with the start of the International Workshop on OpenCL (IWOCL) 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The Khronos Group has published the finalized specification for OpenCL 2.2 and SPIR-V 1.2. The headlining feature for this release is the OpenCL C++ kernel language, which SPIR-V 1.2 fully supports. Kernels are the portion of code that execute on the compute devices, such as GPUs, FPGAs, super computers, multi-core CPUs, and so forth.
The OpenCL C++ kernel language is a subset of the C++14 standard, bringing many of its benefits to these less-general devices. Classes help data and code to be more tightly integrated. Templates help define logic in a general way for whatever data type implements whatever it requires, which is useful for things like custom containers. Lambda expressions make it easy to write one-off methods, rather than forcing the developer to name something that will only be used once, like comparing two data types for a special sort in one specific spot of code.
Exposing these features to the OpenCL device also enables The Khronos Group to further the SYCL standard, which aims for “single-source” OpenCL development. Having the code that executes on OpenCL-compatible devices contain roughly the same features as the host code is kind-of necessary to let them be written together, rather than exist as two pools.
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2017 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, AiZO, MK Retro
Who needs a mechanical keyboard that is inspired by something a mere three decades ago when you can purchase one that looks like a manual typewriter you would see in a museum exhibit? The AZiO MK Retro sports those raised circular keys use AZiO's own OARMY Olive switches, which NikKTech postulates were source from Kailh. If you are desperate for a unique looking keyboard without any sign of RGB-itis, then feast your eyes below and follow that link to the review.
"With the MK Retro typewriter mechanical keyboard AZiO takes us for a trip down memory lane and although it leaves us asking for me we do feel they're on the right track."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HyperX Alloy FPS Mechanical Keyboard @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Glaive RGB Mouse @ Kitguru
- Roccat Kone Pure Owl-Eye @ techPowerUp
- SteelSeries Rival 700 Elite Performance Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- EpicGear Morpha X Modular Mouse @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2017 - 12:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, Intel, Core i9
A two part rumour circulating the internet this morning, involving new processors and a new naming convention. The leak that The Inquirer posted about this morning reveals six new Intel processors, two Kaby Lake-X processors with four cores running at a base clock of 4GHz or 4.3GHz depending on the model and TDPs of 112W. More interesting are the new Kaby Lake-X processors which are referred to as Core i9 models, running from an i9-7800X @ 3.6GHz base to the i9-7920X which runs at an unspecified speed. All will have four times the L2 cache of the current i7-7700K and Turbo 2.0 Boost Max to increase the frequency of several cores at once as well as Turbo Boost 3.0 for single-threaded workloads.
It will be interesting to see if the Core i7 family continues as an upper middle class of processors with the i9 family replacing it's current standing or if the new processors will be priced like high end Xeons.
"The slide, which an Anandtech forum member claims is an internal Intel document, provides details of four new Skylake-X processors and two Kaby Lake-X CPUs. The Skylake-X processors are described as Core i9, and if the leak is genuinely - and that's a fairly big if - the new Core i9s will replace Core i7s as Intel's top-of the-pile PC chipset range."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- More UPNP woes: Crashable library bites routers and software @ The Register
- Car Security Experts Dump All Their Research and Vulnerabilities Online @ Hack a Day
- Google Tracker 2017—All the stuff Google has in the works ahead of Google I/O @ Ars Technica
- Microsoft, it's not just the NSA. If you want to kill WannaCry, fix broken Windows @ The Inquirer
- Asustek likely to discontinue ZenWatch product line @ DigiTimes
- Toshiba and WD execs sheathe blades, start talking over memory biz @ The Register
- Create Your Own Router and Firewall Solution With pfSense @ eTeknix
- Win a pair of Sony MDR-Z1R headphones worth £2000! @ Kitguru
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 13, 2017 - 11:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, pascal, nvidia, Inno3D, GP107
Hong Kong based Inno3D recently introduced a single slot graphics card using NVIDIA’s mid-range GTX 1050 Ti GPU. The aptly named Inno3D GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (1-Slot Edition) combines the reference clocked Pascal GPU, 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and a shrouded single fan cooler clad in red and black.
Around back, the card offers three display outputs including a HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and DVI-D. The single slot cooler is a bit of an odd design with an thin axial fan rather than a centrifugal type that sits over a fake plastic fin array. Note that these fins do not actually cool anything, in fact the PCB of the card does not even extend out to where the fan is; presumably the fins are there primarily for aesthetics and secondarily to channel a bit of the air the fan pulls down. Air is pulled in and pushed over the actual GPU heatsink (under the shroud) and out the vent holes next to the display connectors. Air is circulated through the case and is not actually exhausted like traditional dual slot (and some single slot) designs. I am curious how the choice of fan and vents will affect cooling performance.
Overclocking is going to be limited on this card, and it comes out-of-the-box clocked at NVIDIA reference speeds of 1290 MHz base and 1392 MHz boost for the GPU’s 768 cores and 7 GT/s for the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. The card measures 211 mm (~8.3”) long and should fit in just about any case. Since it pulls all of its power from the slot, it might be a good option for those slim towers OEMs like to use these days to get a bit of gaming out of a retail PC.
Inno3D is not yet talking availability or pricing, but looking at there existing lineup I would expect a MSRP around $150.
Subject: Mobile | May 12, 2017 - 04:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, DeX, galaxy s8, galaxy s8+
Move over Surface, the new Galaxies are getting a docking station too. The Dex is a charging port with talent, adding USB-A 2.0, ethernet, HDMI, and a USB-C charging port to your phone's capabilities. Plug the dock into a monitor and you will be presented a limited Android system which supports various Samsung apps, as well as Microsoft Office apps, Gmail and YouTube; The Inquirer tested out a few others for compatibility in their review. There is a virtual desktop app that will let you take over a desktop computer as well, according to the page on Samsung. Gaming is not particularly good, unless you utilize the workaround The Inq discovered; pick up a USB C to HDMI adapter and bypass the DeX as opposed to the native screen mirroring which occurs with the DeX software.
"In a nutshell, DeX is a dock for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ that outputs a desktop experience from your phone to a big screen. It acts as little more than a portal, relying entirely on your phone's processing power to generate the experience, doing so via HDMI, making it compatible with most TVs and monitors."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- The ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom - iPhone 7 Plus Killer At Half The Price! @ Tech ARP
- LG G6 @ The Inquirer
- The Samsung Galaxy S8 Review - Leaving Apple In The Dust! @ Tech ARP
- The Best Budget Smartphone? A Review Of ZTE’s Blade V8 Pro @ Techgage
Subject: Systems | May 12, 2017 - 03:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: system guide
2017 has been a good year for system guides as we finally have new hardware with a compelling reason to upgrade. AMD now has new processors and the refreshed Polaris cards may tempt those who have a GPU several generations out of date. NVIDIA released a graphics card which will tempt those who want the best and the SSD market continues to grow exponentially.
The Tech Report have updated their build recommendations for May and you can check out their new builds right here. The recommendations span budgets from around $500 to $5000 so almost everyone is included.
"AMD's Ryzen 5 CPUs are shaking up the midrange CPU market, and we're here to help builders navigate this unfamiliar terrain with the latest edition of our System Guide. We also account for the introduction of AMD's Radeon RX 500-series graphics cards."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Corsair One Pro @ Kitguru
- ECS LIVA Z Plus Review @ OCC
- Overclockers UK Titan Katana System @ Kitguru
- Fierce PC Blackfire Hammerhead @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | May 12, 2017 - 02:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hp, keylogger, security
The poorly thought out feature HP added to their audio driver in some past models of laptops can now be removed. The previous driver listened for a certain key to be depressed actually recorded all keystrokes made by the user and stored the information in plain text under the Public profile. The file was deleted each time the computer restarted but could still exist in backups, you should check for MicTray.log in those backups. Slashdot reported this morning that HP has released a fixed driver which you should grab from Windows Update or HP.com immediately.
"HP says it has a fix for a flaw that caused a number of its PC models to keep a log of each keystroke a customer was entering. The issue, caused by problematic code in an audio driver, affected PC models from 2015 and 2016."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft confirms coming keyboard support for Xbox One games @ Ars Technica
- Microsoft's Windows 10 ARM-twist comes closer with first demonstration @ The Register
- Intel breathes $2bn sigh of relief over patent trial @ The Register
- Avast blocks the entire internet – again @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 05:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Starship, Naples, Zeppelin, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk, River Hawk, Snowy Owl, rumour
We have another leak today from wccftech, via VideoCardz, of AMD's upcoming enterprise level processors. Starship will use the successor to the current Zen architecture; Zen 2 is in some ways measurable as being fabricated with a 7nm FinFet process. The chips are a testament to AMD's dedication to multi-core designs, Starship will feature up to 48 cores with 96 threads. That does create a bit of heat, but not more than the chip it is replacing, the TDPs range from 35W up to 180W. These chips will be sold under the Opteron name and will likely not have a model with the number 1701.
Starship will replace Naples, which we already know quite a lot about, they will use the upcoming Zeppelin architecture. The thermals match Starship but the core count is lower and tops out at 32 cores, 64 threads. That count tells us there will be four interconnected Zeppelin dies, each having 8 cores in two CCX units.
Next up is the Snowy Owl family of BGA chips which also uses Zeppelin cores. They will have models with core counts of 8, 12 and 16. Snowy Owl will support DDR4 in quad channel, 64 PCIe 3.0 lanes, and up to 16 SATA or NVMe storage devices and should take flight before the end of the year,.
Lastly we have their new embedded R-Series APUs, Great Horned Owl, Banded Kestrel, Grey Hawk and River Hawk. These low power chips will be based off of the current Zen architecture with support for single and dual DIMM DDR4 channels. The CPU portion will have 2 or 4 cores and TDPs between 15-65W, Owl models will be paired with an graphics core possessing 11 CUs, Kestral with 3 CUs. According to the slides posted at wccftech the APUs will support 4K60 and up to four 4K monitors which is impressive for such a small chip. There will also rumoured to be models without an APU, for usage in device which do not need graphical capabilities.
The slides also hint at a mysterious a new MCM package product which will arrive this year. It is reputed to have 4 GB VRAM, 10 CUs and five dual-mode Display Port support arriving in 2017. There are a lot more slides you can see by clicking here.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 11, 2017 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nxzt, Kraken X62, AIO
[H]ard|OCP reviews the largest of the Kraken series from NZXT, the X62. This dual 140mm fan cooler measures 315x143x30mm and weighs just over 1.2kg so make sure your case has the space before purchasing this AiO watercooler. The default setting offers acceptable cooling performance while producing 39.9dBA but with a cooler of this stature the real performance numbers to pay attention to are the full speed numbers. At full speed the cooler surpasses the competition and ends up at the top of the charts albeit with an increase in audibility to 46.9dBA. It will cost you about $160 to pick up the Gold Award winning cooler.
"With today's NZXT Kraken review we step up the performance ladder and review its X62 model AIO CPU Cooler. As NZXT spells out on it website, and it is not modest about it, saying that the new Kraken series "have been redesigned to bring you the greatest experience in liquid cooling, all backed by an industry-leading 6-year warranty."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Fractal Design Celsius S36 AIO Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Fractal Design Celsius S24 @ Kitguru
- be quiet! Pure Rock Slim Cooler @ Kitguru
- CoolerMaster MasterBox Lite 5 @ Modders Inc
- Raijintek Metis Plus Aluminium Mini-ITX Chassis @ eTeknix
- Raijintek Thetis Tempered Glass Aluminium Chassis @ eTeknix
Subject: Memory | May 11, 2017 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: corsair, Corsair Dominator Platinum, ddr4, special edition torque, bulldog, DDR4-3600
Corsair have launched a new limited edition line of DDR4-3600 DIMMs, the DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque. The DIMMs feature brushed black aluminum heatsinks with orange accents and a heat-treated effect top bar. They do indeed feature lighting for the LED addicted and will fit in with your other bright components. They are XMP 2.0 certified for easy setup, or you can overclock to your own preferences as these DIMMs went through comprehensive testing.
As part of the release Corsair contracted case modder Lee Harrington to transform a Bulldog case into a classic hot rod. It has a flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts, working headlights and a whole lot of Torque; you can see the full gallery here.
You can read the PR below the prices.
FREMONT, CA – May 11th, 2017 - CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components today announced the immediate availability of its new DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory. Inspired by those for whom speed is an obsession, each module features a uniquely heat-treated effect top bar, combining the iconic DOMINATOR PLATINUM design with the aesthetic of high-performance engines. Completed by a brushed black aluminum heatsink, stunning built-in lighting and orange accents, each kit is individually numbered using high precision laser engraving, guaranteeing exclusivity. Available in limited quantities, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque DDR4 memory is built for speed – inside and out.
Fully compatible with the latest Intel® X99 and 200-series motherboards, each module is individually hand screened for added quality assurance and overclocking headroom. For the speed-obsessed looking to push their system to the limit and reach peak performance, DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition’s custom 10-layer PCB provides superior signalling for greater overclocking potential, allowing every DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque module to be safely overclocked to at least 3,600MHz. What’s more, with CORSAIR’s patented DHX cooling technology, the aluminum heat-spreader is built right into the PCB, ensuring rapid heat dissipation and lower temperatures.
To celebrate the launch of DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition Torque, CORSAIR commissioned renowned case modder Lee Harrington to create a chassis worthy of housing these limited edition DDR4 modules. Starting with a CORSAIR BULLDOG SFF kit, Lee created a stunning homage to 60’s hot-rods, complete with flaming paint job, pneumatic hood struts and working headlights. To see more of this amazing system build, check out the full builder’s gallery at the link below.
Subject: General Tech | May 11, 2017 - 12:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: whitehaven, s3, ryzen, rumour, amd
wccftech is reporting on two engineering samples of new AMD processors which feature 16 cores and 32 threads with a boost clock speed of 3.6GHz and a base clock of 3.0GHz. They have pictures of the architecture you can look over contained in this post. This chip will also use a new socket, called S3, marking a nice change in a company that stuck with the AM3(+) chipset for the better part of a decade. The chips will support quad channel DDR4 as well as expanded PCIe lanes to offer better storage options as well as PCIe slots. AMD is aiming at offering some competition to Intel's upcoming release of Skylake-X, we should know more at Computex at the end of this month as AMD is expected to officially announce the product at that show.
"AMD’s upcoming 16 core enthusiast Ryzen “Whitehaven” CPUs have been spotted. The new processors will come in variations of up to 16 cores and 32 threads and will support quad-channel DDR4 memory."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP laptops have been recording users' keystrokes since 2015 @ The Register
- Ubuntu Arrives in the Windows Store, Suse and Fedora Are Coming To the Windows Subsystem For Linux @ Slashdot
- Google Chrome will never be available on Windows 10 S @ The Inquirer
- Ubuntu 17.04 review: Don’t call it abandonware, per se @ Ars Technica
- Intel is concerned about the name of John McAfee's Privacy Phone @ The Inquirer
- And the name of the next Windows 10 update is… the Fall Creators Update @ Ars Technica
- Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down @ The Register
- Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer @ The Register
- NVIDIA Announces Volta, Holodeck, Iray AI, ISAAC Robots & Lots Of Deep Learning @ Techgage
Subject: Editorial | May 11, 2017 - 12:15 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: video, zalman, Z270-A, snapdragon, ryzen, qualcomm, NVIDIA Tesla, fractal design, corsair, asus, aptX, Alphacool, podcast
PC Perspective Podcast #449 - 05/11/17
Join us for NVIDIA Announcements, Dell Predictions, Reviews on watercooling components and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Morry Teitelman, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison
Week in Review:
0:44:51 NVIDIA Announces Q1 2018 Results
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Allyn: Statuscore CPU load / test (also works on Ryzen)
Subject: Editorial | May 10, 2017 - 09:45 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: nvidia, earnings, revenues, Q1 2018, Q1, v100, data center, automotive, gpu, gtx 1080 ti
NVIDIA had a monster Q1. The quarter before the company had their highest revenue numbers in the history of the company. Q1 can be a slightly more difficult time and typically the second weakest quarter of the year. The Holiday rush is over and the market slows down. For NVIDIA, this was not exactly the case. While NVIDIA made $2.173 billion in Q4 2017, they came remarkably close to that with revenues of $1.937 billion. While $250 million is a significant drop, it is not an unexpected one. In fact, it shows NVIDIA being slightly stronger than expectations.
The past year has shown tremendous growth for NVIDIA. Their GPUs remain strong and they have the highest performing parts at the upper midrange and high end markets. AMD simply has not been able to compete with NVIDIA, much less overcome the company with higher performing parts at the top end. GPUs still make up the largest portion of income that NVIDIA receives. NVIDIA continues to invest in new areas and those investments are starting to pay off.
Automotive is still in the growth stages for the company, but they have successfully taken the Tegra CPU division and moved away from the cellphone and tablet markets. NVIDIA continues to support their Shield products, but the main focus looks to be the automotive industry with these high performing, low power parts that sport advanced graphical options. Professional graphics continues to be a stronghold for NVIDIA. While it did drop quite a bit from the previous quarter, it is a high margin area that helps bolster revenues.
The biggest mover over this past year seems to be the Data Center. Last year NVIDIA focused on delivering entire solutions to the market as well as their individual GPUs. The past two years have seen them have essentially no income in this area to having a $400 million quarter. This is simply tremendous growth in an area that is still relatively untapped when it comes to GPU compute.
NVIDIA continues to be very aggressive in their product design and introductions. They have simply owned the $300+ range of graphics cards with the GTX 1070, GTX 1080, and the recently introduced GTX 1080 Ti. This is somewhat ignoring the even higher end TitanXp that is priced well above most enthusiasts’ budgets. Today they announced the V100 chip that is the first glimpse we have of a high end part running on TSMC’s new 12nm FinFET process. It also features 16 GB of HBM2 memory and a whopping 21 billion transistors in total.
Next quarter looks to be even better than this one, which is a shock because Q2 has traditionally been the slowest quarter of the year. NVIDIA expects around $1.95 billion in revenues (actually increasing from Q1). NVIDIA also is rewarding shareholders with not only a quarterly dividend, but also has been actively buying back shares (which tends to keep share prices healthy). Early last year NVIDIA had a share price of around $30 while today they are trending well above $100.
If NVIDIA keeps this up while continuing to expand in automotive and data center, it is a fairly safe bet that they will easily overtop $8 billion in revenues for the year. Q3 and Q4 will be stronger if they continue to advance in those areas while retaining marketshare in the GPU market. With rumors hinting that AMD will not have a product that will top the GTX 1080Ti, it is a safe bet that NVIDIA can easily adjust their prices across the board to stay competitive with whatever AMD throws at them.
It is interesting to look back when AMD was shopping around for a graphics firm and wonder what could have happened. Hector Ruiz was in charge of AMD and tried to leverage a deal with NVIDIA. Rumors have it that Huang would not agree to it unless he was CEO. Hector laughed and talked to ATI who was more than happy to sell (and cover up some real weaknesses in the company). We all know what happened to Hector and how his policies and actions started the spiral that AMD is only now recovering from. What would that have been like if Jensen had actually become CEO of that merged company?
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: WFT-3 Digital Receiver, Sangean, audio
The Sangean WFT-3 Digital Receiver looks like most stereo equipment until you look at the inputs. There you will find an ethernet port, WiFi antenna and USB plug in addition to a radio antenna and various audio out plugs. It connects to the internet to provide you access to your podcasts and Spotify, as well as being able to play directly off of a USB drive or receive local FM radio signals if you are a fan of any particular stations. Drop by NikKTech for a look.
"Thanks to its ability to receive Internet / DAB / DAB+ and FM-RDS radio and also function as a Network and USB audio media player the WFT-3 digital receiver by Sangean packs quite a punch especially when compared to similar products."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sony MDR-Z1R Review – £2,000 headphones (featuring Chord Dave DAC) @ Kitguru
- Bloody M660P Gaming Headset @ Benchmark Reviews
- Brainwavz B200 In-ears @ techPowerUp
- HyperX CLOUD Revolver S Pro @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 05:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, prey
Ars Technica is exploring Talos I, the setting of the game Prey and are having a great time. Similar to the other reviews below this is a quick look at the beginning of the game for Bethesda did not provide any reviewers with an advanced copy. After the introduction you find yourself equipped with nothing but a wrench and a "Gloo gun", in a station filled with alien Typhon Mimics which can turn into any inanimate object and lay in wait for you. If you are undecided if this game is worth picking up then read through the article and decide for yourself.
"Owing to Bethesda's recently enacted policy of withholding review copies until just before release, we've barely had five hours of in-game time with Prey prior to the game's launch today. Consider these impressions a review-in-progress as we work toward the game's conclusion. This piece includes spoilers for some very early portions of the game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Prey’s opening hours show that the setting is the star @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Prey Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Prey devs: use Steam refunds in lieu of a demo on PC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade Review @ OCC
- Quake Champions open tech test starts on Friday @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: Mobile | May 10, 2017 - 05:11 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: windows, sony, qualcomm, mdr1000x, CSR Harmony, bluetooth, aptX, a2dp
Recently, to prepare for a long plane flight I bought a pair of Sony MDR-1000X Bluetooth noise canceling headphones. While I won't get into the specifics of these headphones other than that I have been really satisfied with them, when I returned from my trip I wanted to start using them at the office.
Seemingly that would be easy, as these headphones feature a 3.5mm input, but I am frequently walking around the office and I wanted to fully utilize the wireless features. While I could have just used any Bluetooth adapter compatible with Windows, I wanted to test out one of the features of these headphones — AptX technology.
AptX is an alternate Bluetooth audio codec from Qualcomm which aims to feature higher audio quality. Sebastian took a look at a pair of AptX-enabled headphones earlier this year, and I have wanted to check out the technology ever since.
After receiving the USB adapter, I first installed the CSR Harmony software from the Azio website. This is a piece of software that sits on top of the Windows Bluetooth Stack and enabled advanced Bluetooth features, including AptX, on certain Bluetooth chipsets.
Once the software was installed, I plugged in the device and found a new Bluetooth icon sitting in my Windows tray.
From here, you can simply right click the icon and search for a new Bluetooth device.
Once I put the headphones into pairing mode I was able to pair to them successfully.
And, that's it! Once you are successfully paired to an AptX device, you should see this popup from the Windows tray confirming that AptX is working. From here, you can use the headphones just like you would with any Windows audio playback device.
This certainly isn't a review of AptX audio quality, I will defer to Sebastian's analysis for that in which he calls the headphones he tested "audiophile-approved Bluetooth."
For a $12 investment, it seems like a no-brainer for users who already have an AptX-enabled device that they use on their smartphone.
Subject: General Tech | May 10, 2017 - 04:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: fuschia, google, Android, iot
Fuchsia is still a work in progress which has been available on Github for a while now but we haven't really seen a demonstration of it in action. A Texan enthusiast has been working on creating one and you can take a peek at it in this video over at The Register. The tiny OS is design to run on almost anything, from smart light bulbs to phone and even full sized computers. It is based on BSD with additional resources developed at MIT and will be backwards compatible with current Android libraries.
"When Fuchsia broke cover last August, we noted the project's ambition. The presence of a compositor indicated it was capable of running on more than lightbulbs and routers, although the tiny new Magenta kernel also allows it go there too."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia GTC: A first look at Nvidia's new campus @ The Inquirer
- It's 2017 and Windows PCs are being owned by EPS files, webpages @ The Register
- Windows 10 Now On 500 Million Devices, Up By 200 Million in a Year @ Slashdot
- Persirai: Mirai-a-like malware is your latest IoT security worry @ The Inquirer
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2017 - 01:32 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: v100, tesla, nvidia, gv100, gtc 2017
During the opening keynote to NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang formally unveiled the latest GPU architecture and the first product based on it. The Tesla V100 accelerator is based on the Volta GPU architecture and features some amazingly impressive specifications. Let’s take a look.
|Tesla V100||GTX 1080 Ti||Titan X (Pascal)||GTX 1080||GTX 980 Ti||TITAN X||GTX 980||R9 Fury X||R9 Fury|
|GPU||GV100||GP102||GP102||GP104||GM200||GM200||GM204||Fiji XT||Fiji Pro|
|Base Clock||-||1480 MHz||1417 MHz||1607 MHz||1000 MHz||1000 MHz||1126 MHz||1050 MHz||1000 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1455 MHz||1582 MHz||1480 MHz||1733 MHz||1076 MHz||1089 MHz||1216 MHz||-||-|
|ROP Units||128 (?)||88||96||64||96||96||64||64||64|
|Memory Clock||878 MHz (?)||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||10000 MHz||7000 MHz||7000 MHz||7000 MHz||500 MHz||500 MHz|
|Memory Interface||4096-bit (HBM2)||352-bit||384-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||384-bit||384-bit||256-bit||4096-bit (HBM)||4096-bit (HBM)|
|Memory Bandwidth||900 GB/s||484 GB/s||480 GB/s||320 GB/s||336 GB/s||336 GB/s||224 GB/s||512 GB/s||512 GB/s|
|TDP||300 watts||250 watts||250 watts||180 watts||250 watts||250 watts||165 watts||275 watts||275 watts|
|Peak Compute||15 TFLOPS||10.6 TFLOPS||10.1 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||5.63 TFLOPS||6.14 TFLOPS||4.61 TFLOPS||8.60 TFLOPS||7.20 TFLOPS|
While we are low on details today, it appears that the fundamental compute units of Volta are similar to that of Pascal. The GV100 has 80 SMs with 40 TPCs and 5120 total CUDA cores, a 42% increase over the GP100 GPU used on the Tesla P100 and 42% more than the GP102 GPU used on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The structure of the GPU remains the same GP100 with the CUDA cores organized as 64 single precision (FP32) per SM and 32 double precision (FP64) per SM.
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Interestingly, NVIDIA has already told us the clock speed of this new product as well, coming in at 1455 MHz Boost, more than 100 MHz lower than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and 25 MHz lower than the Tesla P100.
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Volta adds in support for a brand new compute unit though, known as Tensor Cores. With 640 of these on the GPU die, NVIDIA directly targets the neural network and deep learning fields. If this is your first time hearing about Tensor, you should read up on its influence on the hardware markets, bringing forth an open-source software library for machine learning. Google has invested in a Tensor-specific processor already, and now NVIDIA throws its hat in the ring.
Adding Tensor Cores to Volta allows the GPU to do mass processing for deep learning, on the order of a 12x improvement over Pascal’s capabilities using CUDA cores only.
For users interested in standard usage models, including gaming, the GV100 GPU offers 1.5x improvement in FP32 computing, up to 15 TFLOPS of theoretical performance and 7.5 TFLOPS of FP64. Other relevant specifications include 320 texture units, a 4096-bit HBM2 memory interface and 16GB of memory on-module. NVIDIA claims a memory bandwidth of 900 GB/s which works out to 878 MHz per stack.
Maybe more impressive is the transistor count: 21.1 BILLION! NVIDIA claims that this is the largest chip you can make physically with today’s technology. Considering it is being built on TSMC's 12nm FinFET technology and has an 815 mm2 die size, I see no reason to doubt them.
Shipping is scheduled for Q3 for Tesla V100 – at least that is when NVIDIA is promising the DXG-1 system using the chip is promised to developers.
I know many of you are interested in the gaming implications and timelines – sorry, I don’t have an answer for you yet. I will say that the bump from 10.6 TFLOPS to 15 TFLOPS is an impressive boost! But if the server variant of Volta isn’t due until Q3 of this year, I find it hard to think NVIDIA would bring the consumer version out faster than that. And whether or not NVIDIA offers gamers the chip with non-HBM2 memory is still a question mark for me and could directly impact performance and timing.
Subject: Graphics Cards | May 10, 2017 - 07:02 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: vrworks, nvidia, audio
GPUs are good at large bundles of related tasks, saving die area by tying several chunks of data together. This is commonly used for graphics, where screens have two-to-eight million (1080p to 4K) pixels, 3d models have thousands to millions of vertexes, and so forth. Each instruction is probably done hundreds, thousands, or millions of times, and so parallelism greatly helps with utilizing real-world matter to store and translate this data.
Audio is another area with a lot of parallelism. A second of audio has tens of thousands of sound pressure samples, but another huge advantage is that higher frequency sounds model pretty decently as rays, which can be traced. NVIDIA decided to repurpose their OptiX technology into calculating these rays. Beyond the architecture demo that you often see in global illumination demos, they also integrated it into an Unreal Tournament test map.
And now it’s been released, both as a standalone SDK and as an Unreal Engine 4.15 plug-in. I don’t know what its license specifically entails, because the source code requires logging into NVIDIA’s developer portal, but it looks like the plug-ins will be available to all users of supported engines.