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Subject: General Tech | October 27, 2017 - 02:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, andromeda, foldable
Microsoft have completely abandoned their mobile line which is why they have announced the new prototype Andromeda foldable mobile device. The foldable eReader-like device will run Win10 on ARM and will take advantage of Windows Ink to allow users to take accurate notes on the touchscreen. The device is rumoured to have celluar capabilities so it could replace an executives phone, or at least let them leave the laptop at the office. Unfortunately the announcement left out the most interesting detail, we do not know if the fold is between two seperate screens or if the Andromeda will feature a folding screen. Hopefully Windows Central will have an updated post soon.
"Microsoft isn't building this device for your average consumer. If it ever comes to market, and that's a big if, it isn't going to be an iPhone or Android competitor because as Microsoft has publicly claimed in the past, it's just too late for that."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Li-ion Batteries Blow Up Because They Breed Nanowire Crystals @ [H]ard|OCP
- Smart? Don't ThinQ so! Hacked robo-vacuum could spy on your home @ The Register
- Google says there's nothing wrong with Pixel 2 range, begins rolling out fixes @ The Inquirer
- AI bot rips off human eyes, easily cracks web CAPTCHA codes. Ouch @ The Register
- India Overtakes the US To Become the World's Second Largest Smartphone Market @ Slashdot
- SJCAM SJ6 Legend 4k Action Camera @ NikKTech
- AFA: The Flash revolution that's been a long time coming @ The Register
Subject: Editorial | October 27, 2017 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag, pcper
It's Friday, which means it's time for PC Perspective's weekly mailbag, our video show where Ryan and team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest hardware, the process of running a tech review website, and more!
Here's what you'll find on today's show:
00:25 - C-State performance penalty?
03:32 - Shared GPU memory in laptops?
06:10 - The future of external GPUs?
08:57 - Why are new 6-core CPUs faster than old 8-core CPUs?
11:40 - Retail availability of AMD EPYC?
14:00 - Why does Windows Task Manager report different CPU speed?
15:27 - Gaming frame rate bottleneck?
17:31 - NVIDIA GPUs with FreeSync monitors?
18:49 - Next NVIDIA GPU release date?
20:50 - When will 4K 120Hz become mainstream?
22:39 - Wait to buy a new monitor?
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!
Subject: Motherboards | October 26, 2017 - 04:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, Threadripper, gigabyte, X399, aorus gaming 7
[H]ard|OCP took exception to some of the design choices on the Gaming 7, specifically the placement of an M.2 slot directly underneath the first PCIe slot and some of the data and power connectors are inconveniently placed. On the other hand the performance of the board is top notch, the 1950X ran perfectly stable at 4GHz and as there are two headers for watercooling on separate sides of the motherboard you should be able to hit that yourself. They have learned some interesting facts about the X399 chipset so even if you are not picking up this board it is worth reading through the whole article.
"We review GIGABYTE’s X399 Aorus Gaming 7 and see how it stacks up in the world of HEDT motherboards. This motherboard is not priced all that high considering the amount of features it touts and certainly it is not priced high for the stability we were afforded while overclocking the Threadripper to 4GHz."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ECS Z270H4-I Review @ Neoseeker
- ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-F Gaming @ Guru of 3D
- ASRock Z370 Taichi @ TechPowerUp
- MSI X299 XPower Gaming AC @ [H]ard|OCP
- GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 3 @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2017 - 12:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pcie 4.0
PCI-SIG have announced PCIe 4.0 is on the horizon, with up to 16GT/s or just a hair under 32GB/s transfer rate on a 16x slot. The new standard will also allow devices to use more power, the draw from the slot remains at 75W but external power should be able to exceed 225W without exceeding the specs. This could mean GPUs can continue to emphasize performance over power efficiency, which could lead to some interesting products. There is no specific date for any products to arrive, this announcement is technically for revision 0.9, so it is a not quite ready for prime time. This may disappoint those who read about the new Optane drives, which are capable of x4 PCIe transfer as opposed to PCIe 4.0.
"PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe) industry-standard input/output (I/O) technology, today announced the release of the PCI Express 4.0, Revision 0.9 Specification, supporting 16GT/s data rates, flexible lane width configurations and speeds for high-performance, low-power applications"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- NSA bloke used backdoored MS Office key-gen, exposed secret exploits – Kaspersky @ The Register
- AMD's Ryzen 7 2700U and Ryzen 5 2500U APUs revealed @ The Tech Report
- Running Linux on a Chromebook @ Techspot
- Android 8.1 dev preview arrives with Neural Networks API, Android Go enhancements @ The Inquirer
- Google Pixelbook review: Prepared today for the possible reality of tomorrow @ Ars Technica
- noblechairs ICON Series Desk Chair @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2017 - 11:40 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: xbox one, x370, VROC, video, ROG Strix, podcast, nzxt, forza 7, b350, asus, ARM PSA, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #473 - 10/26/17
Join us for discussion on AMD Q3 Earnings, Forza 7 Performance, Allyn's storage rant, 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: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Ken Addison
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:03:33
Podcast topics of discussion:
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2017 - 09:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: nvidia, GTX 1070Ti, gtx 1070 ti, graphics card, gpu, evga
NVIDIA today announced the launch of the GTX 1070 Ti. The card, which has been the subject of leaks and rumors for several weeks, is NVIDIA’s first major response to AMD’s RX Vega line, designed to go head-to-head with the RX Vega 56, and give Vega 64 a run for its money in terms of price-to-performance in many games.
Compared to the GTX 1070, the 1070 Ti increases the GPU core count from 1920 to 2432 — 128 shy of the GTX 1080 — and raises the base clock frequency to the GTX 1080’s 1607 MHz. The 1070 Ti’s stock boost clock remains the same as the 1070, however, at 1683 MHz, although NVIDIA’s Pascal based cards have been shown to easily exceed this rated maximum clock speed. Other changes between the 1070 and 1070 Ti include an increase in texture units from 120 to 152 and a jump in TDP from 150 to 180 watts.
|RX Vega 64 Liquid||RX Vega 64 Air||RX Vega 56||Vega Frontier Edition||GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080||GTX 1070 Ti||GTX 1070|
|Base Clock||1406 MHz||1247 MHz||1156 MHz||1382 MHz||1480 MHz||1607 MHz||1607 MHz||1506 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1677 MHz||1546 MHz||1471 MHz||1600 MHz||1582 MHz||1733 MHz||1683 MHz||1683 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1890 MHz||1890 MHz||1600 MHz||1890 MHz||11000 MHz||10000 MHz||8000 MHz||8000 MHz|
|Memory Interface||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||2048-bit HBM2||352-bit G5X||256-bit G5X||256-bit||256-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||410 GB/s||484 GB/s||484 GB/s||320 GB/s||256 GB/s||256 GB/s|
|TDP||345 watts||295 watts||210 watts||300 watts||250 watts||180 watts||180 watts||150 watts|
|Peak Compute||13.7 TFLOPS||12.6 TFLOPS||10.5 TFLOPS||13.1 TFLOPS||11.3 TFLOPS||8.2 TFLOPS||8.1 TFLOPS||5.7 TFLOPS|
The GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition is launching at $449, which puts it $100 above the current MSRP of the 1070 and $50 higher than the RX Vega 56. The GTX 1080 and 1070 first launched at $599 and $379 but saw a price drop in late February to $499 and $349, respectively.
EVGA’s GTX 1070 Ti Launch Lineup
The GTX 1070 Ti launch will of course include dozens of options from NVIDIA’s partners, but we have some specifics to share from EVGA. The GPU maker is launching with four 1070 Ti models:
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GAMING
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti SC GAMING Black Edition
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti FTW2
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GAMING HYBRID
Following the pattern of EVGA’s other Pascal-based releases, the 1070 Ti GAMING features a basic blower-style cooler, the SC model features ACX 3.0 cooling, and the FTW 2 version includes EVGA’s ICX cooling system. The HYBRID model utilizes a self-contained, all-in-one 120mm water cooler.
Pricing is not yet known for every model, but we’ve learned that the base GAMING edition will start at $469 and the FTW2 will carry a $489 MSRP. For comparison, the FTW2 version of the GTX 1070 is currently priced at $480 (expect prices to change once 1070 Ti stock hits the market) while the GTX 1080 FTW2 is $600.
GTX 1070 Ti Availability
NVIDIA is doing things a bit differently for the 1070 Ti launch. Although today (October 26th) marks the official “launch date,” actual product availability and performance benchmarks won’t land until next Thursday, November 2.
Aside from the advertised specifications, we therefore having nothing more to share at this time in terms of benchmarking or performance analysis, but rest assured that we’ll have our complete coverage ready to go as soon as we get our hands on these new cards.
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 08:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xbox one x, xbox one s, xbox one, xbox, upscaling, gaming, console, backwards compatible
Microsoft is adding original Xbox games to its backwards compatibility program with 13 games available now with more on the way in spring of next year. Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X owners will soon be able to play a curated selection of original Xbox games at higher resolutions and with improved color details.
Microsoft claims that original Xbox games will run with up to four times the pixel count on Xbox One (and One S) and up to 16 times the pixels on Xbox One X. Gamers will be able to use their original Xbox game disc to play or they can purchase the older titles in digital form from the Microsoft Store. Original features like co-op and System Link will work, but there is no Xbox Live service support which means online multiplayer will not work. Further, Microsoft notes that players will not earn any achievements when playing original Xbox games.
The first batch of original Xbox games includes:
- BloodRayne 2
- Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
- Dead to Rights
- Fuzion Frenzy
- Grabbled by the Ghoulies
- King of Fighters Neowave
- Ninja Gaiden Black
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
- Red Faction II
- Sid Meier's Pirates!
- KOTOR (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
While I have not played most of those games, I played a ton of Red Faction II with my brother, and fondly remember KOTOR on the PC. The video above shows a comparison between the original KOTOR running on Xbox and the backwards compatible enhanced version of the game running on Xbox One, and the visual difference is impressive (still not as good as it can look on the PC with mods though heh) with the game being significantly sharper with deeper colors (the original Xbox game looks extremely blurry and washed out by comparison).
It is a small list currently, but there are some gems on the launch list, and I am interested to see how the games look running on the Xbox One X. Hopefully the frame rates and loading times can also be improved ;-). As an added bonus Microsoft also pointed out that Xbox Game Pass members can grab Ninja Gaiden Black for free.
Microsoft claims that gamers have spent 700 million hours playing the 400 backwards compatible Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One. There is certainly interest and it seems Microsoft is watching the numbers carefully which will be important for gamers in getting the Redmond-based company to continue adding support for additional classics.
- Project Scorpio Unveiled as "Xbox One X," Lands November 7th for $499
- Microsoft Details Upgrade Options For Xbox One X Including Network Transfer Of Games and Settings
- Xbox One Teardown - Microsoft still hates you
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 25, 2017 - 03:34 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: zotac, gtx 1080 ti, SFF, water cooler
Zotac finally made its watercooled GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm Mini official last week. A card that was first teased at Computex, the ArcticStorm Mini is a dual slot with metal backplate and full cover water block that has been significantly shortened such that it can fit into many more cases including Micro ATX and some Mini ITX form factors. Specifically, the ArcticStorm Mini measures 212mm (8.35”) x 164mm (6.46”) and uses a custom shortened PCB that appears to be the same platform as the dual fan air cooled model.
The star of the ArcticStorm Mini is the full cover waterblock with nickel plated copper base and a tinted acrylic top cover. According to Zotac the waterblock uses 0.3mm micro channels above the GPU to improve cooling performance by moving as much heat from the GPU into the water loop as possible. There are ports for vertical or horizontal barb orientation though I would have loved to see a card that routed the water cooling in and out ports to the rear of the card rather than the side especially since this is aimed at small form factor builds. The water block can accommodate standard G1/4” fittings and Zotac includes two barbs that support 10mm ID (inner diameter) tubing in the box. A metal backplate helps prevent warping of the PCB from the water cooling which can be rather hefty.
While there is no RGB on this card, Zotac did go with an always on white LED that along with the gray and silver colors of the card itself are supposed to be color neutral and allow it to fit into more builds (as opposed to Zotac’s usual yellow and black colors). Around the front are five display outputs including: DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b, and three DisplayPort 1.4 connections.
Out of the box, the GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm Mini comes with a modest factory overlock that pushes the GP102’s 3,584 CUDA cores to 1506 MHz base and 1620 MHz boost. The 11GB of GDDR5X remains clocked at the stock 11 GHz, however. (For comparison, reference clocks are 1480 MHz base and 1582 MHz boost.) The graphics card is powered by two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors and enthusiasts should be able to push it quite a bit further than the out of the box clocks simply by increasing the power target as we saw in our review of the 1080 Ti, and barring any silicon lottery duds this card should be able to clock higher and have more stable clocks than our card thanks to the liquid cooler.
As is usual with these things, Zotac did not reveal exact pricing or availability, but with the full sized GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm already selling for $809 on Amazon and $820 over at Newegg, I would expect the little SFF brother to sell for a bit of a premium beyond that, say $840 at launch with the price going down a bit with sales later.
It would have been nice to see this be a single slot card, and giving up DVI would be worth it, but you can’t have everything (heh). I am looking forward to seeing the systems modders and enthusiasts are able to cram this card (or two) into!
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 02:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, gaming, destiny 2, amd, 4k, 1440p
In their testing of the new PC port of Destiny 2, The Guru of 3D made some interesting discoveries. The first is that at 1080p, the game's performance can be somewhat limited by your CPU, but not at 1440p or higher resolutions. The second finding is the impressive showing of AMD's Vega 64 and 56 at 1440p and 4K, which both outperform the GTX 1080. It may be that NVIDIA will release an optimized driver and repeat the improvements seen in Forza 7 but for now AMD is in the lead.
"We test that PC enhanced Destiny 2 for Windows relative towards graphics card performance with the latest AMD/NVIDIA graphics card drivers. Multiple graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked. We have a look at performance with the newest graphics cards and technologies."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Winter’s Steam sales approacheth on these dates @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Returning to Second Life @ Ars Technica
- Humble Day of the Devs 2017 Bundle
- Stronghold HD: Free with every meninist fever-dream @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The best short games on PC @ PC Gamer
- Hitman GOTY Edition announced by IO Interactve @ HEXUS
- Here are Wolfenstein 2’s system requirements @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Stardock CEO talks Star Control: Origins’ player crafting and upcoming beta @ Ars Technica
- Wot I Think: Destiny 2 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - DX12 & Vulkan Short Analysis @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: epson, ebay
Apparently the profits from selling a substance worth more than gold or even the blood in your veins is not enough to enable Epson to survive a bit of competition and so they have demanded eBay remove a long list of compatible cartridges which are sold on that site. Their claim is based on the proprietary way in which "chip contacts on the cartridges are aligned"; presumably something resembling a single raised finger. HP tried a similar approach a year ago, adding DRM to their printers and ink cartridges which prevented refilled or third party cartridges from working. They also included an expiry date in the DRM, so even a full authentic cartridge would have to be replaced after a set date. This did not go well for them and they reversed their policy after a public outcry. You can read more about HP, Epson and the price of your blood over at The Inquirer.
For now it continues to be more economical to toss your Epson printer out when an ink cartridge runs dry than to replace it with a full one.
"EPSON HAS become the latest printer company to attempt a ban on third-party printer cartridges, asking eBay to issue takedown notices for sellers under the site's VeRO programme."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Seagate's at it HAMR and tongs for growth as revenues shrivel again @ The Register
- Dell Lost Control of Key Customer Support Domain for a Month in 2017 @ Slashdot
- Bad Rabbit: Ransomware linked to NotPetya hits Russia and Ukraine @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft Has Stopped Manufacturing The Kinect @ [H]ard|OCP
- Intel helped Google build the Pixel 2’s custom camera SoC @ Ars Technica
- Why We Must Fight For the Right To Repair Our Electronics @ Slashdot
- IoT pushes Arm over the Edge: Mbed Cloud offers to grab gadget gateways @ The Register
- Interference Scanner with Clear Instructions @ Hack a Day
Subject: Editorial | October 25, 2017 - 12:43 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, Threadripper, sony, ryzen, Q3, microsoft, EPYC, earnings, amd, 2017
Expectations for AMD’s Q3 earnings were not exactly sky high, but they were trending towards the positive. It seems that AMD exceeded those expectations. The company announced revenue of $1.64 billion, up significantly from the expected $1.52 billion that was the consensus on The Street.
The company also showed a $71 million (GAAP), $110 million (non-GAAP) net for the quarter, which is a 300% increase from a year ago. The reasons for this strong quarter are pretty obvious. Ryzen has been performing well on the desktop since its introduction last Spring and sales have been steady with a marked increase in ASPs. The latest Vega GPUs are competitive in the marketplace, but it does not seem as though AMD has been able to provide as many of these products as they would like. Add into that the coin mining effect on prices and stocks of these latest AMD graphics units. Perhaps a bigger boost to the bottom line is the introduction of the Epyc and Threadripper CPUs to the mix.
Part of this good news is the bittersweet royalties from the console manufacturers. Both Sony and Microsoft have refreshed their consoles in the past year, and Microsoft is about to release the new Xbox One X to consumers shortly. This has provided a strong boost to AMD’s semi-custom business, but these boosts are also strongly seasonal. The downside to this boost is of course when orders trail off and royalty checks take a severe beating. Consoles have a longer ramp up due to system costs and integration as compared to standalone CPUs or video cards. Microsoft and Sony ordered production of these new parts several quarters ago, so revenue from those royalties typically show up a quarter sooner than when actual product starts shipping. So the lion’s share of royalties are paid up in Q3 so that there is adequate supply of consoles in the strong Q4/Holiday season. Since Q1 of the next year is typically the softest quarter, the amount of parts ordered by Sony/Microsoft is slashed significantly to make sure that as much of the Holiday orders are sold and not left in inventory.
Ryzen continues to be strong due to multiple factors. It has competitive single and multi-core performance in a large variety of applications as compared to Intel’s latest. It has a much smaller die size than previous AMD parts such as Bulldozer/Piledriver/Phenom II, so they can fit more chips on a wafer and thereby lower overall costs while maximizing margins. Their product mix is very good from the Ryzen 3 to the Ryzen 7 parts, but is of course still missing the integrated graphics Ryzen parts that are expected either late this year or early next. Overall Ryzen has made AMD far more competitive and the marketplace has rewarded the company.
Vega is in an interesting spot. There have been many rumors about how the manufacturing costs of the chip (GPU and HBM) along with board implementations are actually being sold for a small loss. I find that hard to believe, but my gut here does not feel like AMD is making good margins on the product either. This could account for what is generally seen as lower than expected units in the market as well as correspondingly higher prices than expected. The Vega products are competitive with NVIDIA’s 1070 and 1080 products, but in those products we are finally seeing them start to settle down closer to MSRP with adequate supplies available for purchase. HBM is an interesting technology with some very acute advantages over standard GDDR-5/X. However, it seems that both the cost and implementation of HBM at this point in time is still not competitive with having gone the more traditional route with memory.
There is no doubt that AMD has done very well this quarter due to its wide variety of parts that are available to consumers. The news is not all great though and AMD expects to see Q4 revenues down around 15%. This is not exactly unexpected due to the seasonal nature of console sales and the resulting loss of royalties in what should be a strong quarter. We can still expect AMD to ship plenty of Ryzen parts as well as Vega GPUs. We can also surmise that we will see a limited impact of the integrated Ryzen/Vega APUs and any potential mobile parts based on those products as well.
Q3 was a surprise for many, and a pleasant one at that. While the drop in Q4 is not unexpected, it does sour a bit of the news that AMD has done so well. The share price of AMD has taken a hit due to this news, but we will start to see a clearer picture of how AMD is competing in their core spaces as well as what kind of uptick we can expect from richer Epyc sales throughout the quarter. Vega is still a big question for many, but Holiday season demand will likely keep those products limited and higher in price.
AMD’s outlook overall is quite positive and we can expect a refresh of Zen desktop parts sometime in 1H 2018 due to the introduction of GLOBALFOUNDRIES 12nm process which should give a clock and power uplift to the Zen design. There should be a little bit of cleanup in the Zen design much as Piledriver was optimized from Bulldozer. Add in the advantages of the new process and we should see AMD more adequately compete with Coffee Lake products from Intel which should be very common by then.
Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2017 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ROG, strix scar, gaming laptop
The official ASUS announcement gave us the specification of their new ROG Strix gaming laptops, but to truly get an idea of how they will perform a review is needed. Thankfully Kitguru got their hands on the GTX 1060 powered model of the Scar and tested its performance in FPS games. As it turns out the design of the laptop helps get the most out of that GTX 1060; the fans are loud but very effective at preventing throttling because of high temperatures. It will not compete with a laptop containing a GTX 1080 but it provides a strong showing compared to similar machines. Drop by for a look at the full review and a video which demonstrates the decibel level you can expect at full load.
"ASUS ROG’s Strix Scar laptop is aimed squarely at first person shooter gamers. It boasts GTX 1060 graphics, an i7-7700HQ processor and 16GB of DDR4 – but most impressive is the 120Hz Full-HD display and its 5ms response time."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Dell Inspiron 13 7000 2-in-1 @ Techgage
- Testing NVIDIA’s WhisperMode On ASUS’ Zephyrus Gaming Notebook @ Techgage
- The ASUS ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro @ TechARP
- Pixel 2 and 2 XL review—The best Android phone you can buy @ Ars Technica
- Google Pixel 2 XL @ The Inquirer
- The Samsung Galaxy Note8 @ TechARP
Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2017 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: strix scar, strix hero, ROG, lion king, gaming laptop, asus
ASUS have updated their gaming laptop series with three new models, the ROG Strix Hero and ROG Strix Scar. The Hero is a 15.6" laptop designed for MOBA gaming while the two 17.3" Scar models are intended for FPS players.
As you can see in the specifications, there is no difference between the Hero and Scar GL703VM-DB74 model apart from the size and response rate of the screen. There is a GTX 1060 in both, with an i7-7700HQ and 16GB DDR4-2400 and a 120Hz panel, though only the Scar sports a response time fast enough to make you competitive in a FPS. All models will ship with a 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD and a 1TB FireCuda SSHD with 8GB cache, offering a level of storage performance which is pretty much expected from a gaming laptop today.
The Scar GL503VS-DH74 is a different beast, keeping the CPU and memory but replacing the graphics with a GTX 1070 which powers a 17.3" G-SYNC panel. There was also a variant model announced, which is trims the size to 15.6" but increases the maximum refresh rate to 144MHz.
Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2017 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cryptonight, chrome, mining, security
Have you noticed your Chrome sessions are using a lot more CPU power now than they used to and you have installed the Short URL (goo.gl) extension recently? Congratulations, you are a cryptocurrency miner! It seems some ne'r-do-well managed to infect the server which provides that app with a mining program called Cryptonight which enlists your browser into mining XMR coins. For now your best bet is to uninstall that application if you have it installed; it has been removed from Google Play if you do not. The Register has a bit more information on Cryptonight as well as some history on similar browser miners here.
"Another Chrome extension has been found secretly harboring a cryptocurrency miner – and it appears this issue is going to get worse before it gets better."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Arm isn't saying IoT firmware sucks but it's writing a free secure BIOS for device makers @ The Register
- Computer Parts Site Newegg Is Being Sued For Allegedly Engaging In Massive Fraud @ Slashdot
- Long polymer sequences show promise for data storage @ Nanotechweb
- E-BLUE COBRA-PRO Gaming Chair @ Modders-Inc
Subject: Processors | October 24, 2017 - 02:12 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: arm, cortex, mali, PSA, security, TrustZone, Platform Security Architecture, amd, cortex-m, Armv8-m
It is no wonder that device security dominates news. Every aspect of our lives is approaching always connected status. Whether it is a major company forgetting to change a default password or an inexpensive connected webcam that is easily exploitable, security is now more important than ever.
ARM has a pretty good track record in providing solutions to their partners to enable a more secure computing experience in this online world. Their first entry to address this was SecurCore which was introduced in 2000. Later they released their TrustZone in 2003. Eventually that technology made it into multiple products as well as being adopted by 3rd party chip manufacturers.
Today ARM is expanding the program with this PSA announcement. Platform Security Architecture is a suite of technologies that encompasses software, firmware, and hardware. ARM technology has been included in over 100 billion chips shipped since 1991. ARM expects that another 100 billion will be shipped in the next four years. To get a jump on the situation ARM is introducing this comprehensive security architecture to enable robust security features for products from the very low end IoT to the highest performing server chips featuring ARM designs.
PSA is not being rolled out in any single product today. It is a multi-year journey for ARM and its partners and it can be considered a framework to provide enhanced security across a wide variety of products. The first products to be introduced using this technology will be the Armv8-M class of processors. Cortex-M processors with Trusted Firmware running on the Mbed OS will be the start of the program. Eventually it will branch out into other areas, but ARM is focusing much of its energy on the IoT market and ensuring that there is a robust security component to what could eventually scale out to be a trillion connected products.
There are two new hardware components attached to PSA. The first is the CryptoIsland 300 on-die security enclave. It is essentially a second layer of hardware security beyond that of the original TrustZone. The second is the SDC-600. This is a secure debug port that can be enabled and disabled using certificates. This cuts off a major avenue for security issues. These technologies are integrated into the CPUs themselves and are not offered as a 3rd party chip.
If we truly are looking at 1 trillion connected devices over the next 10 years, security is no longer optional. ARM is hoping to get ahead of this issue by being more proactive in developing these technologies and working with their partners to get them implemented. This technology will evolve over time to include more and more products in the ARM portfolio and hopefully will be adopted by their many licensees.
Subject: Processors | October 23, 2017 - 05:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: i5-8600K, Intel, delidding, coffee lake
[H]ard|OCP have once again voided a warranty in the goal of better overclocking. The past several generations of Intel chips have sparked debate on the effectiveness of their thermal solutions, prompting numerous users to delid their processor to replace the thermal compound inside to improve cooling performance. With the results of the tests it is clear that the TIM in Coffee Lake is limiting the processor, temperatures decreased by 10C or more at stock and [H] could reach higher stable overclocks once they replaced the TIM that Intel used. Delidding is not for the faint of heart however, many a CPU has met its death during the process so do be aware of that. Let us hope this trend does not continue for much longer.
"We've gotten to spend some quality time with our Intel Core i5-8600K Coffee Lake CPU, and of course we have spent our time finding out just how far we could push the processor's clock under both Air Cooling and Water Cooling. We relid and delid as well. The results look to be very promising for the overclocking enthusiast and gamer."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel Core i5 8600K @ Guru of 3D
- Intel Core i5-8400 @ TechSpot
- Core i7-8700K, i5-8600K, 8400 vs. Ryzen 7 1800X, R5 1600X, 1500X @ TechSpot
- AMD EPYC 7351P @ Phoronix
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & Ryzen 3 1200 Review @ OCC
- AMD EPYC 7251 Provides Great Value At Less Than $500 USD @ Phoronix
Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 23, 2017 - 05:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TG5, tempered glass, sharkoon
It has been a while since we've seen a Sharkoon product so why not check out Kitguru's review of the TG5 enclosure. The company has obviously been paying attention to the market, the case features a tempered glass side panel as well as numerous magnetically attached screen on the intake vents. At 452x220x465mm it will fix ATX motherboards with large heatsinks installed and as they have moved the four drive bays into the seperate PSU enclosure, the length of your GPU is no obstacle. You can grab one at NewEgg for $90.
"Sharkoon may not be the first name you think of when it comes to buying a new computer case but they have been very active through the years crafting components and peripherals. They mostly focus on the budget side of the market, however some of their fans which we have tested have been very good."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- AeroCool Project 7 P7-C0 Pro Mid-Tower Review @ NikKTech
- Deepcool Captain 120 EX, 240 EX and 360 EX RGB Liquid Coolers @ Kitguru
- Aerocool P7-L240 All-in-One @ TechPowerUp
- Reeven Naia 240 AIO Water Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2017 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: windows 10, security, windows defender
One feature of the Fall Creator's Update which has not seen much coverage is the new Controlled Folder Access security setting under Windows Defender Security Center. It is enabled for system files automatically, blocking the ability for all but approved apps from making changes to the files in your system folders. You can also add additional folders as well as approved applications by following the simple instructions which Slashdot linked to. The primary goal is to prevent ransomware's ability to encrypt vast swaths of folders on your machine but it will also help protect folders you choose from being modified by applications you have not approved.
"With the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update last week, the "Controlled Folder Access" that Microsoft touted in June is now live for millions of users. As the name hints, the Controlled Folder Access feature allows users to control who can access certain folders."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google and Intel cook AI chips, neural network exchanges – and more @ The Register
- Malware hidden in vid app is so nasty, victims should wipe their Macs @ The Register
- Google could be forced to recall Pixel 2 XL after screen burn pics emerge @ The Inquirer
- Canadian govt snoops emit their own malware detection tool, eh @ The Register
- The VertDesk v3 @ BabelTechReviews
- Noblechairs ICON Series Faux Leather Gaming Chair @ NikKTech
Subject: General Tech | October 21, 2017 - 05:13 PM | Scott Michaud
One of the highlights of the Adobe MAX show is their Sneaks segment, where they show off cute demos from their research labs. Some, but not all of these end up in future products. They can be related to any product category, from audio editing to photo touch up to video. This one was hosted by Kumail Nanjiani, a comedian and actor on HBO’s Silicon Valley, and Paul Trani of Adobe.
For a complete list, check out their blog post, but I’ll highlight some that interest me.
First, Project Cloak is like content-aware fill, but for video. Using a command-line tool, because research projects are research projects, the algorithm follows a mask as it moves over time. It then performs content-aware fill on this mask, and it does so in a way that tries to look natural from frame-to-frame. About two-thirds of the way through the clip, you see a backpack strap be removed, even as lighting conditions change throughout the environment. They then remove the whole people from the scene because why not.
Second, Project Sidewinder allows 3D VR video to be viewed from slightly different angles. If you play PC games, then you will probably notice the effect devolve like parallax occlusion mapping does, but that’s not its goal. The human brain tracks the tiny movements of the head and uses it to build a 3D environment in our mind. Since these movements are tiny, it should stay within the believable tolerance and enhance the immersion... from a stationary, pre-recorded camera.
Third, Project Scene Stitch. This one looks very practical, and it seems like something Adobe will want to roll out. Content-aware fill is an algorithm that looks at your selection, tries to find other places on the image that is compatible, and pastes from there into the fill. Project Scene Stitch is similar, except that it crawls through Adobe Stock (using their Adobe Sensei deep-learning algorithm) to find parts of other images that are compatible. They joke about how it breaks down in certain situations, but I could definitely see this being a part of their Adobe Stock push going forward.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 20, 2017 - 04:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, RX VEGA 64, 4k
[H]ard|OCP updated their benchmarking suite with several new games and have published a review of AMD's Vega 64 focusing on 4K performance. The race between the GTX 1080 and Vega 64 is quite close, with many benchmarks showing less than a 10% difference in performance. Neither card came close to touching the GTX 1080 Ti, that card is still the only one that can truly handle 4K gaming with graphics options on high or ultra. For 1440p performance, the GTX 1080 is better overall but the Vega is still a very strong contender.
Pop over for a look at the detailed results.
"Does the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 play games well at 4K resolution? What game settings work best at 4K, and how does it compare to GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? Ten games are tested, new and old, DX11, DX12, and Vulkan at playable game settings and pushed to the max in this all out 4K brawl."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web: