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Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2016 - 01:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: qualcomm, centriq, centriq 2400, server
The days when AMD and Intel were the two choices to build a server with are long gone. The ARM architecture has been making serious inroads as various vendors have begun to offer various solutions utilizing ARM designs, up to and including AMD for that matter. Today, Qualcomm have joined these ranks, announcing their first processor family designed to power a server. The Centriq 2400 series is based on a 10nm process node, with up to 48 cores. As The Inquirer points out, this is a rather impressive shot across Intel's bow as Qualcomm will ship a 10nm FinFET before Intel does.
"The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series, the first in the Centriq product family that Qualcomm has been working on for four years, has up to 48 ARMv8-compliant cores targeting compute-intensive data centre applications that require power efficiency and is built on the 10nm FinFET manufacturing processor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Broadcom quietly dismantles its 'Vulcan' ARM server chip project @ The Register
- Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models @ The Register
- Mikko Hypponen On The Death Of Antivirus @ Tech ARP
- Christmas 2016 Mega Worldwide Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: Storage | December 6, 2016 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, dc400, enterprise ssd
One does not usually think of Kingston when building out a server but perhaps the DC 400 series of SSDs might change that. It uses 15nm MLC NAND and a pair of quad core Phison PS3110-S10 controllers, each with 256GB DDR3L-1600 of cache. You will find enterprise class features such as SmartRefresh, SmartECC and firmware controlled power loss management. Currently there are 480GB and 960GB models, with a 1.6TB model expected soon and all models have over-provisioning which can be modified by the user after purchase. Pop over to Kitguru to see if the drive can meet its advertised speeds.
"Kingston’s DC400 series are the latest additions to the companies Enterprise range of SSDs and have been designed as entry level drives for data centers. The new drives have been built with read-intensive applications in mind for use in a mixed workload environments."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA Premier SP550 480GB Solid-State Drive Review @ Techgage
- Plextor S2C 512GB Entry-Level SATA3 SSD @ eTeknix
- TerraStation F2-220 2-Bay SMB Cloud Storage NAS @ eTeknix
- Seagate Skyhawk 10TB Review @ OCC
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 6, 2016 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rx 480, gtx 1060, sapphire, RX 480 8GB Nitro+, GTX 1060 6GB GAMING, evga
It has been several months and more than a few driver releases since Hardware Canucks last reviewed the RX 480 and GTX 1060, as well as the arrival of more games with at least some DX12 support. They decided to revisit the performance results of these two cards, both stock versions as well as factory overclocked models. They chose Sapphire's RX 480 8GB Nitro+ and EVGA's GTX 1060 6GB GAMING models to compare and the results show that the extra work those companies put into these GPUs paid off. They tested a mix of over a dozen games and their results are interesting, in far more cases than in their first look at these cards the RX 480 comes out the clear performance winner, however that performance comes at a high enough cost that the GTX 1060 shows better performance per dollar. Take a look at this revised review if these cards are appropriate for your budget.
"More than four months after the launch of NVIDIA's GTX 1060, we take another look at its performance against AMD's RX 480 8GB in more than a dozen games. The results of this one may surprise you...... "
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- XFX RX 480 GTR Black Edition @ eTeknix
- ASUS GTX 1050 Ti STRIX OC 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming OC @ Guru of 3D
Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2016 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Skylake, kaby lake, Intel, 7th generation core
Ryan recently offered a sneak peek at Kaby Lake, which powered two HP Spectre laptops recently sent to PC Perspective for review. [H]ard|OCP managed to acquire a desktop version of the i7-7700K along with a mysterious unreleased motherboard which supports both Skylake and Kaby Lake architectures. When testing the two chips in Passmark there was no meaningful performance difference, a pattern repeated in 3D Mark and Sandra. The performance per clock is not the whole story with this chip, there are new features and possible overclocking improvements but at the moment it does not look like there is a compelling reason to upgrade if you are already on Skylake. The same is not true if you are using a previous generation.
"If you are wondering what Intel's new Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake processor's performance will look like when it is launched next month at CES, we have a quick preview for you here today. Just some quick and dirty synthetic benchmark numbers to whet your appetite at 4.5GHz with comparison to the i7-6700K at matched clocks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP Shutting Down Default FTP, Telnet Access To Network Printers @ Slashdot
- Galaxy S8 will reportedly ditch 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of USB-C @ The Inquirer
- Engineers say safety features got squished out of cramped Samsung Note 7 @ The Register
- Polypyrrole-MnO2 nanotubes improve lithium-sulphur batteries @ Nanotechweb
- Privacy groups: Amazon Go takes invasive technologies to a 'whole new level' @ The Inquirer
- Cyanogen parts ways with its founder @ The Register
Subject: Storage | December 6, 2016 - 08:58 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, ultrastar, ssd, SS200, SN200, SAS, NVMe, hgst, helium, He8, He6, He12, He10, He, hdd, 12TB, 10TB
First up is a second generation of HGST-branded SSD products - the Ultrastar SN200. These enterprise SSDs boast impressive specs, pushing random reads beyond 1 million IOPS, coming in 8TB capacity, and if you opt for the HHHL PCIe 3.0 x8 SN260, 6.2GB/s maximum throughput.
Moving into SAS SSDs, the SS200 uses a 12Gbit link to achieve 1.8 GB/s and 250,000 random read IOPS. Write specs dip to 37,000 random as this is a 1 DWPD endurance class product. These are also available in up to 8TB capacities.
Last but certainly not least are preliminary specs for the He12, which boast particularly impressive low QD random write performance and a notable bump in Watts/TB despite the addition of an eighth platter to achieve the 12TB capacity. Note that this is not an archive class product and is meant for continuous random access.
There is also a 14TB model in the lineup, but that is an archive class model that is essentially the He12 with Shingled Magnetic Recording enabled.
Press blast appears after the break.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 6, 2016 - 07:05 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, nvidia, graphics drivers, giveaways, giveaway
Alongside the release of the Oculus Touch controllers from Oculus VR, and the fifty-or-so games that launched with it, NVIDIA has published another graphics driver. The GeForce Game Ready 376.19 WHQL drivers also resolve one of two SLI issues in No Man’s Sky (the other bug, which involves temporal anti-aliasing, is still being worked on) and also fixes two issues with G-Sync for laptops.
Since it affects a few of our readers: the Folding@Home bug is not yet fixed, but it’s now classified as a top-priority bug, though. Personally, I’m guessing that it will be fixed soon, now that there’s a little down-time before and after the holidays, after and before the game release rushes. Otherwise, it seems pretty stable and smooth for me. One user is complaining about Windows 10 UI freezes and crashes, starting with 376.09, but it’s otherwise relatively quiet.
As for the contests
NVIDIA is hosting two giveaways: one on their social media sites (Twitter and Facebook) and the other on GeForce Experience. The first contest runs from Tuesday to Friday, where they are giving away a GTX 1080, game codes, and one grand prize of a custom PC, accessorized with an Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch. The other contest runs until December 30th, where NVIDIA will give away a bundle of Oculus Rift, Oculus Touch Controllers, and a GTX 1070 to ten people, at random, who log in to GeForce Experience.
Check out their blog post for details on how to enter, as well as get the new driver (if GeForce Experience hasn’t already started begging).
Subject: Motherboards | December 5, 2016 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, Intel X99, designare EX
Gigabyte's Designare EX is even more full of extras and add-ins than the non-EX model, featuring everything but an easily accessible CMOS battery. Ten SATA ports, although only six are RAID capable, one U.2 and a pair of M.2 ports are available and there is an Avago PEX8747 assuming to help your CPU provide enough PCIe lanes for everything. The USB Type-C port on the back is Thunderbolt 3 rated and there is a DisplayPort input on the back panel so you can use your graphics card to provide output for that Thunderbolt connection. The Tech Report loved the look of the board but ran into some hurdles when using and tweaking it, check out the full review for details.
"Broadwell-E CPUs brought a new wave of X99 motherboards to go with them at price points both high and low. The GA-X99-Designare EX shows what's possible when Gigabyte's motherboard designers get to pull out all the stops. We put this board to the test to see what it's like to live the high life."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 @ techPowerUp
- GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Motherboard Review @ Techgage
- MSI X99A XPower Gaming Titanium @ Kitguru
Today Micron initiated the first of a multi-tier launch of a new SATA Enterprise SSD lineup built around their IMFT 32-layer 3D NAND Flash. It may seem odd for a full enterprise line to use IMFT 3D TLC, as that flash has not been known for the high random IOPS demands of the datacenter, but Micron looks to be making it work, and work well.
Above is a performance consistency plot of their MAX model. While this does have the highest OP of all of the models, the consistency is surpassing even NVMe models (using a bus *much* faster than SATA). Sure the results are only using 1-second averages and not our Latency Percentile, but we will be able to pick out any single-IO inconsistencies once we get samples in for detailed review.
Saturated IOPS performance also looks good 'on paper'.
The advantage to operating their flash in TLC mode is that the per die capacity moves from 32GB to 48GB, ultimately driving down the cost/GB of these products and making them an easier sell to enterprise customers. It also enables high capacities - the max capacity of the model with the least overprovisioning (ECO) will reach 8TB in a 2.5" SATA form factor when the last leg of this launch is completed later next year.
The three lines are all using the same controller and base firmware, but with differences in how the dies are laid out with respect to expected performance and endurance.
Below are all of the products being launched. All products use a Marvell 88SS1074 controller at SATA 6Gbit:
- 5100 ECO
- 2.5" 7mm: 480, 960, 1920, 3840, 7680 GB
- M.2 2280: 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 9k-31k IOPS
- Endurance: <=1 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.45 - $0.55
- 5100 PRO
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920, 3840 GB
- M.2 2280: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 78 (240GB)-93k / 26k-43k IOPS
- Endurance: 1-3 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.55 - $0.65
- 5100 MAX
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- M.2 2280: (none)
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 310-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 48k-74k IOPS
- Endurance: 5 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.65 - $0.75
All models come with Micron 'Flex Capacity', which enables custom *increases* in OverProvisioning. Flex Security enables FIPS 140-2 validated 256-bit AES encryption.
The specs are very good when you consider their performance consistency claims, meaning a 74k IOPS random write rating applies to random writes across the *entire span* of the SSD *at steady state*. Consumer SSD firmware typically chokes with this type of workload, even ones equipped with MLC flash.
We will have more on the 5100 Series from Micron as these products are rolled out and sampled to us for performance review.
Press blast after the break.
Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2016 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Puma, latency, lag
Intel's Puma 6 system on a chip is a popular choice in modem provided by ISPs across the western world and if you have recently upgraded your broadband modem you may have noticed an undesirable side effect. There is an issue with the chip which is causing bursts of high latency, ruining video streaming and gaming for those affected by the issue. There is good news, The Register confirmed with Intel that a fix is forthcoming and you should expect your ISP to push out a firmware update soon, hopefully not while you are in the middle of something important.
"Intel's Puma 6 chipset, used in gigabit broadband modems around the world, suffers from latency jitter so bad it ruins online gaming and other real-time connections."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sh... IoT just got real: Mirai botnet attacks targeting multiple ISPs @ The Register
- Does Windows 10's Data Collection Trade Privacy For Microsoft's Security? @ Slashdot
- Elon Musk uses GTA V to accelerate AI rise of the Terminators @ The Inquirer
- Netflix Keeping Bandwidth Usage Low By Encoding Its Video With VP9 and H.264/AVC Codecs @ Slashdot
- Windows 10 'HomeHub': Microsoft to rival Amazon Echo with no new devices @ The Inquirer
- AK Racing PRO X Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
- I made my dumb appliances smarter with the Internet of Things @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2016 - 02:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x360, Intel, hp, convertible tablet, apollo lake, 2-in-1
HP recently introduced a new convertible tablet for students. Built to be a bit more ruggedized than the consumer Pavilion model, the new HP ProBook X360 11G Education Edition is an 11” 2-in-1 laptop weighing in at 3.19 pounds, 0.78 inches thick, and designed to pass the MIL-STD 810G specification test with a spill resistant keyboard, shock and minor drop tolerance, and keyboard keys that are difficult to rip off (heh).
HP’s new convertible uses the same 360-degree hinge design as the existing Pavilion x360 notebooks which allows the user to bend the display all the way back so that it can be used as a tablet with the keyboard on the underside. Unlike the older consumer versions though, it appears HP has slightly upgraded things.
On the outside the notebook is dark gray with black around the display and has a more business aesthetic while keeping the curves of the consumer model. The display is an 11” SVA panel with LED backlighting that is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. There is a 720p front facing webcam above the display and a 1080p camera on the keyboard that can be used while in tablet or tent modes while using the display as a viewfinder. Further, HP managed to cram what looks like a decent sized keyboard sans numpad and a trackpad that supports multi touch gestures
The display supports both multi touch and digitizer input using the optional Active Pen which is nice to see and a feature I had wanted to see on the Pavilion x360 when i was looking for a replacement for my old convertible (I'm still looking heh).
Along the edges HP has included HDMI 1.4b, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) Type A, one USB Type-C, one 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro SDXC card slot for expansion.
Internally, the ProBook X360 11G EE is powered by one of two possible Apollo Lake SoCs: a dual core Celeron N3350 running at 1.1GHz and up to 2.4GHz boost and HD Graphics 500 or a quad core Pentium N4200 clocked at 1.1GHz base and up to 2.5GHz with an Intel HD 505 GPU. Regardless of the processor choice, the convertible also includes 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory and a 64GB eMMC drive that can be upgraded to a 128GB ot 256GB M.2 SSD for better performance. Ditching the 500GB spinning rust drive of the consumer version is a good thing and is likely what helped HP get the ruggedized specifications.
Networking is handled by Intel dual band 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2, and Realtek-powered Gigabit Ethernet. HP claims up to 11 hours of battery life.
The ProBook X360 11G Education Edition comes with a 3 year warranty and starts at $329 with availability expected in January. Unfortunately, the convertible will initially only be available to educational institutions and HP partners though eventually you should be able to pick one up through a reseller. Another possible wrinkle is that the notebooks come preloaded with HP’s School Pack software which has software for students that lets a teacher do lesson planning, desktop sharing, and a student social network among other things. Of course if your school does not use this platform it is just more pre-installed software taking up resources. On the other hand, they do come with Windows 10 Pro rather than Home so that is something at least.
I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one to see how it feels as it sounds like it is more solidly built than the non education edition version.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 04:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, mechwarrior 5, Mechwarrior
Piranha Games, known for the free-to-play MechWarrior Online, has just announced MechWarrior 5: Merceneries. The first thing I noticed is that they revived the Merceneries subtitle, used twice before with expansion packs to MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 4. The second thing I noticed is that it now runs on Unreal Engine 4, despite MechWarrior Online being based on CryEngine.
The third thing I noticed is that, while it’s a bit of a meme to start MechWarrior things with the mech powering up, the video actually begins with the pilot on foot, walking through the hangar. I’m wondering whether this will be expanded upon in the gameplay or narrative. I don’t really see how it could work, but it seems like a fair amount of effort for no real intent. Yes, I’ve played MechAssault 2, but it seems highly unlikely that anything like that will happen.
MechWarrior 5 takes place in 3015, which means that it will have a very small subset of the weapons and equipment that you would see in, say, MechWarrior 3 (~3060) and MechWarrior 4 (~3063). There probably will not be ER weapons, pulse lasers, gauss rifles, ECM, LBX autocannons, or anything like that. I would be surprised to see anything more than standard lasers, PPCs, short-range missiles, long-range missiles, machine guns, and standard autocannons. It will be an interesting change of pace.
MechWarrior 5 also might be single-player only. The teaser site seems to suggest that MechWarrior Online will continue to be updated, which I interpret to mean that it will be its multiplayer companion.
It is expected for release in 2018.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, vulkan, libretro
About half of a year ago, LibRetro added Vulkan support to their Nintendo 64 renderer. This allowed them to do things like emulate the console’s hardware rasterization in software, and do so as an asynchronous shader, circumventing limitations in their OpenGL path trying to emulate the console’s offbeat GPU.
Image Credit: Universal Interactive via Wikipedia
They have now turned their sights (“for the lulz”) to the original PlayStation, creating a Vulkan back-end for emulators like Beetle PSX.
The fairly long blog post discusses how the PlayStation is designed in detail, making it an interesting read for anyone curious. One point that I found particularly interesting is how the video memory is configured as a single, 1MB, 2D array (1024x512x16-bit). At this time, texture resolution was quite small, and frame buffers were between 256x224 and 640x480, so that’s a lot of room to make a collage out of your frame and all textures in the scene, but it’s still odd to think about a console imposing such restrictions now that we’re spoiled by modern GPUs.
In terms of performance, the developer claims that modern GPUs can handle 8k resolutions with relative ease, and four-digit FPS at lower resolutions.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2016 - 03:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: magnetic levitation, corsair, air cooling, ML 120, ML140 Pro, ML120 Pro, led
Instead of using sleeve bearings, ball bearings or fluid dynamic bearings, the Corsair ML series relies on magnetic levitation to deal with the friction created by a spinning fan. The fans are available in 120mm and 140mm sizes, with blue, red or white LEDS, or none if you prefer. The fans use a 4-pin PWM connection to allow you to control their speed and should be compatible with any case, heatsink or radiator you might want to use them with. Techgage tried them out in a Cooler Master CM 690 III. They are somewhat pricey, the Pro version which ships with rubber mounts more so, with the non-Pro models shipping in pairs. Read all about them in their review.
"I’m a big fan of magnets, they’re just plain cool. Corsair was attracted to the idea of using magnets in it’s latest fans and created the ML-Series. Sporting magnetic levitation, the ML Series fans are meant to be the last set of fans you’ll ever need. Maintaing both high performance and quiet operation, we take the ML120 and ML140 PRO LED fans for a spin."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide 270R Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Antec KUHLER H2O H1200 Pro AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2016 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIY, self driving car, comma.ai, geohot
George Hotz, aka [Geohot], created the comma.ai program in an effort to create and sell a program to control self driving cars. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took offence to this, citing the possibility of this endangering humans in a letter sent to his company Comma.Ai. He shut down the project rather than having to deal with lawyers, red tape and regulations. The code survived however and is now available on GitHub. Hack a Day took a look and discovered it is written in Python with some C included and is rather easy to interpret if you are familiar with the language. It is compatible with Acura ILXs or Honda Civic 2016 Touring models, if you are so inclined.
"First there was [Geohot]’s lofty goal to build a hacker’s version of the self-driving car. Then came comma.ai and a whole bunch of venture capital. After that, a letter from the Feds and a hasty retreat from the business end of things. The latest development? comma.ai’s openpilot project shows up on GitHub!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal @ The Register
- INQ's guide to Christmas 2016: Gifts for gamers, geeks and gadget fans
- Intel to push SSD products for 4 major markets in 2017 @ DigiTimes
- Buffer overflow exploit can bypass Activation Lock on iPads running iOS 10.1.1 @ Ars Technica
- Foxconn manager in doodah for pinching 5,700 iPhones @ The Inquirer
- Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators @ The Register
- Parrot Security Could Be Your Next Security Tool @ Linux.com
- D-Link Performace Series DIR-890L AC3200 Enthusiast Router @ eTeknix
Subject: Motherboards | December 2, 2016 - 08:19 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Intel, z270, h270, intel z270, kaby lake, Optane, PCI-E 3.0
Details on Intel’s upcoming Z270 and H270 chipsets surfaced last month that fleshed out the new platform and its capabilities including the inclusion of additional PCI-E 3.0 lanes and out-of-the-box support for 7th Generation Intel Kaby Lake processors versus the current generation Z170 and H170 chipsets.
An alleged Z270 motherboard from ASUS (STRIX Z270G GAMING) per Wccftech.
TechPowerUp reported that Intel’s 200-series chipsets – which would be used on motherboards with the LGA 1151 socket – would feature incremental improvements over their current generation equivalents including the upgrade to Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) version 15, support for Intel Optane Technology, and additional downstream PCI-E 3.0 lanes. The Z270 and H270 chipsets each have four extra lanes compared to their 100-series predecessors. These “downstream lanes” allow for additional high bandwidth connections that hang off the chipset (which does appear to still be ultimately limited by the physical four PCI-E 3.0 lanes that make up the DMI 3.0 link between the CPU and PCH). Examples include extra Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, and PCI-E slots for NICs, capture cards, storage controllers, or even graphics cards.
Intel Z270 Express will feature 14 general purpose PCI-E lanes versus 10 on Z170 Express along with a total lane budget of 30 versus 26 (16 of those lanes are reserved for CPU to one or two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (electrically 1x16 or 2x8) and the others come from the chipset but really connect back to the CPU over a DMI 3.0 link that is equivalent to four lanes of PCI-E 3.0. H270 also features 14 general purpose lanes versus what appears to be six on H170. H270 and H170 have 16 PCI-E 3.0 lanes coming from the CPU for graphics so it is a total lane budget of 30 versus 22 respectively.
|High Speed IO (HSIO)||30||26||30||22|
|PCI-E 3.0 Lanes||24||20||20||16|
|Maximum M.2 slots||3||3||2||2|
H270 will see the biggest benefit from the additional PCI-E lanes which could mean systems like HTPCs and budget desktops where overclocking and multi-GPU setups are not a concern using H270 chipset motherboards could still support a full range of external IO and fast storage.
One interesting thing I noticed from the table is that Z270 and H270 do not support additional M.2 slots. The maximum number of M.2 slots remains the same as their 100-series counterparts at three and two respectively. After talking with Allyn, this makes sense because of that limiting factor that is the four lane DMI 3.0 link to the CPU and memory. Specifically, he explained:
“Think of the chipset as a means of fanout to individual things that won't simultaneously consumer more than x4. You can use the extra lanes for other stuff, like additional USB 3.1 controllers, Ethernet, audio, etc. Heck, you can route them to the last PCIe slot if you wanted.”
Further, Intel will continue to differentiate the Z270 Express and H270 Express by supporting multiplier overclocking and multi-GPU setups solely on Z270-based motherboards. H270 will be single x16 slot boards that do not allow multiplier-based overclocking at best and more than likely any CPU overclocking. The tradeoff being that H270-based boards should be much cheaper.
Intel Optane support is compelling, but will not be a reason to upgrade quite yet as drives are still a ways off and when they do arrive are sure to be very expensive. Rumors do suggest that Intel may introduce a small 3D XPoint-based Optane SSD up to 32GB alongside the rollout of Kaby Lake and new motherboards but as that is not large enough for an OS drive it will remain more of a niche thing at first. As larger drives come out at lower price points, the support for them on Z270 and H270 would help make the case for enthusiasts running Z170 and H170 boards to make the jump.
Of course, that brings me to my main thought surrounding Z270 and H270 based motherboards which is that while someone looking to build a new PC could justify going straight to the newer chipset-based motherboards, users running existing Z170 and H170 motherboards – many of which will support Kaby Lake processors with a BIOS update – have little reason to jump at an upgrade. Budget builds might even justify going to the older and cheaper boards if they don’t need the new features and putting the saved money towards something like more memory or a better CPU cooler.
For the highest end (save HEDT) builds, Z270-based boards should offer more connectivity options for Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 ports and the ability to dive into XPoint storage when it fully rolls out is nice. There are arguments to be main on both sides.
What are your plans for Kaby Lake? Will you be upgrading to the new processor, and if so will be using a Z170/H170 or a new Z270/H270 board?
- Intel 7th Generation Core Processor: Kaby Lake Revealed
- IDF 2016: Intel To Demo Optane XPoint, Announces Optane Testbed for Enterprise Customers
- Kaby Lake support is official, ASUS releases UEFI updates their LGA 1151 boards
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2016 - 02:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: watercooling, tower 900, thermaltake, liquid cooling, E-ATX Case, case mods
Thermaltake is readying the Tower 900 for launch later this month. Clad in all-black or snow white, the Tower 900 was designed in concert with Watermod France to be modder and liquid cooling friendly with a design that allows enthusiasts to show off their DIY builds.
The upcoming Tower 900 series is part of Thermaltake’s TT Premium line and is constructed using a “dismantlable module design” that allows builder to completely strip the case down to the frame to make modding the various panels and pants easier. The case used a neat dual chamber design that puts the PC components front and center and the liquid cooling, power supply, and storage devices behind the motherboard chamber.
The front chamber is surrounded on three sides by 5mm thick tempered glass and holds up to E-ATX motherboards vertically and supports 260mm high CPU coolers and 400mm long graphics cards. There are 8 PCI expansion slots. In addition to the motherboard, the front chamber holds two 3.5”/2.5" drive trays that are visible through the case windows, two hidden 2.5" SSD mounts, and up to two large coolant reservoirs. Thermaltake suggests that the Tower 900 would work well with dual loop systems, and I tend to agree. Modders will be able to put together some very nice looking builds, especially if they use rigid tubing.
Other features include large rounded case feet, a single 5.25” drive bay nestled in the bottom of the front panel, and four USB 3.0 and one audio jack for front panel I/O up top.
Around back, the Tower 900 hosts a standard ATX power supply, up to four 3.5” or 2.5” drives in a hard drive cage (though you give up some radiator capacity on the right side if you use the HDD cage), and up to an impressive 480mm or 560mm (depending on if its 120mm or 140mm fans) radiator on both the left and right sides! In theory you could have a 560mm radiator for your multi GPU setup on one loop and 360mm radiator for the CPU on a second loop along with all four hard drives or if you can get by with the two 2.5” drives in the front chamber your CPU could also have a 480/560mm radiator of its own.
If you are into air cooling, the Tower 900 supports a total of 13 120mm or 140mm fans. One fan in the front chamber above the SSD drive trays, four on the left, four and four on the right in the back chamber, and two fans each on the top and bottom.
For those curious, the case measures 29.6” x 16.7” x 19” and weighs 54 pounds. Once it is full of water and PC components, you should probably team lift this monster heh. Additional photos and videos can be found here.
It certainly looks nice, and I can see a lot of potential for custom PCs. I am looking forward to seeing the full reviews as well as what enthusiasts are able to do with it!
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2016 - 12:58 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: VR, razer, osvr, Khronos
The Khronos Group is the standards body that maintains OpenGL, Vulkan, OpenCL, along with several other APIs and formats. They are made up of several members, which include companies of various sizes along with educational institutions, with a couple of tiers where members of the higher level, Promoter, get board nomination rights.
The lower level, Contributor, has just received a new member: Razer. The Khronos Group published a little statement to their front page, but didn’t provide a way to permanently link it and the Read More just directs to Razer’s homepage. Also, Razer didn’t provide a press release on their website, at least by the time this news was published, so I included the statement below to prevent it from getting buried in a few days:
The Khronos Group is proud to announce that Razer has joined as a Contributor Member. Razer is a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers. Its award-winning design and technology span systems, peripherals, audio and wearable technologies. Razer co-founded OSVR, an open-source platform that integrates VR, AR and mixed reality hardware and software APIs that support a universal VR ecosystem.
Based on this, it’s easy to speculate that Razer is looking to have a say and a vote in how graphics APIs evolve, nudging it as needed for OSVR, their co-founded virtual reality platform. Basically every other VR developer worth mentioning is already a member, including Google, Microsoft, Oculus VR, Samsung, Sony, and Valve. Likewise, Vulkan is undergoing rapid development, and the next version, codenamed Vulkan Next, has VR as one of its “top priorities”. It seems like a good time for Razer to get involved.
Otherwise? Not much to speak of here. Razer is a fairly big company that wants to be active in technology development, and it can easily afford the Khronos Group membership fee. I mean, the amount they spent on USB ports with a specific shade of green would cover about twenty years of membership to the Khronos Group, so it seems within their reach.
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2016 - 03:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming mouse, input, dream machines, DM Pro S
The Dream Machines DM1 PRO S gaming mouse uses a Pixart PMW 3360 optical sensor, not one commonly utilized in the market. The DPI of the sensor can be toggled in set increments from 400 up to 12000, with the colour of the light under the logo indicating your current setting; the lack of software precludes manipulation of those presets. The overall design of the mouse looks ambidextrous, however there are only thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse. TechPowerUp were very impressed with the performance of the new sensor, as to the rest of the features you will just have to pop over and read them yourself.
"A few months ago, we reviewed the Dream Machines DM1 PRO, and Dream Machines is now back with the DM1 PRO S. This version has an updated sensor, has been slimmed down to be even lighter, and has a rather nice glossy finish. Improvements, which could be a game changer."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Dream Machines DM1 PRO S Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master MasterMouse Pro L RGB Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Roccat Skeltr Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Rosewill's RK-9000V2 RGB mechanical keyboard @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | December 1, 2016 - 02:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gift guide, holiday gift guide
Ryan has started cracking the whip but we haven't quite assembled our picks for the Christmas season so for now you can check out what the gang at The Tech Report has on offer. As you might expect, the HTC Vive appears but you might not have suspected that a pressure cooker and sous-vide machine are on their list. There is a lot more in the way of recommendations, from a CPU delidder to a projector or a 55" 4K TV with HDR if you are more of a traditionalist. Hide your credit cards and check out the whole list.
"The TR staff knows just how hard it can be to find the right gift to please the nerd in your life, so we've compiled a list of the items we've used and enjoyed over the past year. If you're stuck on what to buy for your favorite techie this holiday season, maybe we can help."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- GPU Upgrade & New Build Buyer’s Guide 2016 @ Techgage
- Plex Media Player Now Doesn't Require a Subscription; Pass Users Get Kodi Plug-in @ Slashdot
- Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online @ The Register
- Windows 10 on track to claim a quarter of PC market by the end of 2016 @ The Inquirer
- Well, FC-NVMe. Did this lightning-fast protocol just get faster? @ The Register
- Nokia returns to phone biz with first Android smartphones coming in 2017 @ The Inquirer
- Google's New Public NTP Servers Provide Smeared Time @ Slashdot
- How to Build an Email Server on Ubuntu Linux @ Linux.com
- BarrelCool Rifle Chamber Fan @ Benchmark Reviews
- IN £3000 of Gaming Hardware to Build Yourself a New Rig @ Kitguru
Subject: Editorial | December 1, 2016 - 11:54 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Zen, video, Samsung, podcast, microsoft, megaprocessor, Lenovo, kaby lake, Intel, GTX 1050 Ti, arm, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #427 - 12/01/16
Join us this week as we discuss leaked Zen prices, Kaby Lake performance leaks, GTX 1050 Ti upgrades 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, Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:20:41
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Jeremy: Corrupt them young!