PCIe 4 specifications arrive

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2017 - 12:38 PM |
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.

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"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"

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Source: PCI-SIG

Podcast #473 - AMD Q3 Earnings, Forza 7 Performance, Allyn's storage rant, and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2017 - 11:40 AM |
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!

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

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

Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:03:33

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 0:27:25 Allyn’s RAID rant
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 0:45:55 Allyn: Cinemaps
  4. Closing/outro

 

Source:

The GTX 1070 Ti: NVIDIA's Response to RX Vega

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
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.

gtx-1070-ti.jpg

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
GPU Cores 4096 4096 3584 4096 3584 2560 2432 1920
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
Texture Units 256 256 256 256 224 160 152 120
ROP Units 64 64 64 64 88 64 64 64
Memory 8GB 8GB 8GB 16GB 11GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
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
MSRP (current) $699 $499 $399 $999 $699 $499 $449 $349

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.

evga-gtx-1070-ti.jpg

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.

Source:

Microsoft Now Supports Original Xbox Games On Xbox One

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 08:33 PM |
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:

  1. BLACK
  2. BloodRayne 2
  3. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
  4. Dead to Rights
  5. Fuzion Frenzy
  6. Grabbled by the Ghoulies
  7. King of Fighters Neowave
  8. Ninja Gaiden Black
  9. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  10. Psychonauts
  11. Red Faction II
  12. Sid Meier's Pirates!
  13. 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.

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Source: Microsoft

Zotac Shrinks GTX 1080 Ti Into Water-Cooled Small Form Factor ArcticStorm Mini

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 25, 2017 - 03:34 PM |
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.

Zotac GTX 1080 Ti ArcticStorm Mini.jpg

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!

Source: Zotac

If you are going to play this game at high resolution it is your Destiny 2 buy a Vega

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 02:16 PM |
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.  

Drop by for their full review.

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"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."

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Source: Guru of 3D

Epson is quite upset someone is interfering with their license to print money

Subject: General Tech | October 25, 2017 - 01:29 PM |
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.

c11ca79-epson-stylus-office-bx305f-07.jpg.jpg

"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."

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Source: The Inquirer

AMD Q3 2017 Earnings: A Pleasant Surprise

Subject: Editorial | October 25, 2017 - 12:43 PM |
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.

AMD-Logo.jpg

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.

cpu2.jpg

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.

epyc-13.jpg

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.

 

Source: AMD

Speaking of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar ...

Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2017 - 02:43 PM |
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.

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"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."

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Source: Kitguru

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Strix Hero and Scar Editions

Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2017 - 01:38 PM |
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.

heroscar.PNG

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.

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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.

scar.png

You can read the full PR here.

Source: ASUS

Cryptonight mining with Chrome

Subject: General Tech | October 24, 2017 - 01:14 PM |
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.

monero-la-gi.png

"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."

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Source: The Register

ARM Introduces PSA (Platform Security Architecture)

Subject: Processors | October 24, 2017 - 02:12 AM |
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_secure_01.PNG

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.

arm_secure_02.PNG

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.

arm_secure_hardware.PNG

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.

 

Source: ARM

Flipping the lid on the i5-8600K

Subject: Processors | October 23, 2017 - 05:22 PM |
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.

1507657308tk6v6181eo_1_3_l.jpg

"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."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

The Sharkoon returns in the case of TG5

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 23, 2017 - 05:01 PM |
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.

P1000113-1.jpg

"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."

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Source: Kitguru

All you need to know about Windows 10's Controlled Folder Access

Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2017 - 04:27 PM |
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.

WCFA-Step2.png

"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."

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Source: Slashdot

Adobe Publishes "Sneaks" Clips from Adobe MAX 2017

Subject: General Tech | October 21, 2017 - 05:13 PM |
Tagged: Adobe

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.

Source: Adobe

The Radeon RX Vega 64 at 4K

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 20, 2017 - 04:30 PM |
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.

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"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:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Detachable PC ... the HP Spectre x2 and EliteBook x2

Subject: Systems | October 20, 2017 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: spectre x2, EliteBook x2, hp

The HP ZBook x2 is a workstation class PC with a detachable screen, similiar to the Surface but significantly more powerful.  Depending on the model you prefer it will contain a Kaby Lake or Coffee Lake i7 or i5 processor and either a SATA or NVME PCIe SSD.  All models come with 32 GB DDR4-2133 and a Quadro M620 GPU. 

HP ZBook x2_GroupShot_V3_preview.jpeg

When detached, the batteryless Wacom EMR based HP pen allows you to draw up your designs on the fly on its 4K screen, for more serious work the ZBook x2 can power up to five HD displays or a pair of 4K monitors from its dock.  Graphic designers can opt for a model which comes with a optional 10 bit, billion colour HP DreamColor display that is capable of 100% Adobe RGB.

HP ZBook x2_FrontRight_Open_preview.jpeg

AS VEGAS, NV, October 18, 2017 - Today at AdobeMAX, HP will showcase the world’s most powerful detachable PC designed to solve the performance and mobility needs of artists, designers and digital imaging professionals who need to push Adobe Creative Cloud and other professional applications to the limit.

The performance of the HP ZBook x2, the world’s first detachable workstation, increases productivity and allows digital creators and storytellers the freedom to work when and where inspiration strikes. HP’s reinvention of detachable PCs began earlier this year with the introduction of the HP Spectre x2 and the HP Elite x2. Today’s introduction of the HP ZBook x2 completes HP’s trifecta with its most powerful detachable solution targeted for the creative community. With this new offering, HP is extending its PC leadership by pioneering a new era for detachable PCs that offer superb performance, elegance and efficiency.

“As the world’s most powerful and first detachable PC workstation, there is no device better suited to turn the vision of artists and designers into reality,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc.

“With the HP ZBook x2,we are delivering the perfect tool to accelerate the creative process with unprecedented power, performance and natural ease of use. This device will make it easier than ever for creators to do what they do best bring inspiring new ideas to life and enrich the world around us.”

Liberating Digital Creativity
The HP ZBook x2 allows designers to effortlessly create with quad-core Intel Core processors, twice the memory of any other detachable PC and NVIDIA Quadro Graphics that deliver 73 percent higher graphics performance compared to the Surface Pro. A quiet, dual fan active cooling system is designed to dissipate heat from the powerful graphics card and processor.

To better meet the needs of the creative community, including Adobe users, HP also developed customizable, application aware HP Quick Keys, to provide artists with 18 time saving shortcuts. "At Adobe, our goal is to accelerate creativity. Creative Cloud is the platform that enables us to deliver powerful innovation in our apps and cloud based services supported by Adobe Sensei with artificial intelligence at the heart of every customer experience,” said Mala Sharma, vice president and general manager, Creative Cloud Product, Marketing and Community. “Adobe is thrilled with our collaboration with HP, which we know will further fuel creativity and give Creative Cloud members more power and freedom to create wherever inspiration strikes.”

Today, many creative professionals use multiple devices such as a MacBook Pro plus an iPad to accomplish the same tasks that can be done on the HP ZBook x2. Knowing that ultimate mobility is important, HP created a single device that delivers the same performance capabilities from inking to docked mode. HP’s most versatile detachable to date, the HP ZBook x2 operates in four modes: laptop, detached, docked and tablet.

In laptop mode, the HP ZBook x2 is a powerful mobile workstation with a keyboard leveraged from the HP ZBook Studio. In detached mode, it allows users to create on the tablet with HP’s most accurate and expressive pen while still having full access to all of their shortcut keys with the Bluetooth enabled keyboard off to the side. In docked mode, the HP ZBook x2 can power two additional 4K displays or five total displays. In tablet mode, it maintains full graphics performance allowing users to capture ideas with powerful NVIDIA 3D graphics. Using HP’s most natural pen with the HP ZBook x2, users can create without interruption as the pen never needs to be charged. The batteryless, HP designed pen based on Wacom EMR technology, responds instantly to every nuance of the artist’s hand for natural motion. The HP ZBook x2 offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with multidirectional tilt capabilities and includes a dedicated eraser.

As a member of the world’s most secure and manageable mobile workstation family, the HP ZBook x2 features HP SureStart Gen3 for BIOS protection, TPM 2.0 for hardware based encryption to secure credentials, secure authentication methods through the Smart Card Reader and HP’s Client Security Suite Gen3 to protect data, device and identity, including facial recognition and fingerprint reader.

HP ZBook x2 Highlights
The HP ZBook x2 embodies the intersection of mobility and performance in a fully machined, aluminum and die cast magnesium body starting at just 3.64 pounds and 14.6mm thin when in tablet mode, and 4.78 pounds and 20.3mm in laptop mode. The HP ZBook x2 has a stunning 14” diagonal, 4K multitouch display with an optional 10-bit, one billion color HP DreamColor display calibrated to 100 percent of Adobe RGB. The HP ZBook x2 has the world’s most advanced detachable PC display and includes an antiglare touchscreen allowing users to immerse themselves while working in any lighting condition.

At the desk, it can power dual 4K displays from the HP ZBook Dock with Thunderbolt3. This detachable PC hasup to 10 hours of battery life for maximum productivity and ultrafast recharge (50 percent in just 30 minutes. The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 4.2GHz of Intel Turbo Boost, 32GB RAM over dual channels for more responsiveness under heavier workloads like complex layering in Photoshop.

The model’s HP Z Turbo Drive storage is up to 6X faster than SATA SSD and up to 21X faster than traditional HDD storage. The HP ZBook x2 offers up to 2TB of local PCIe storage and incorporates a full sized SD card slot, perfect for professional photographers. Using the dock or Thunderbolt3 ports on the HP ZBook x2, it can transfer large files from cameras, external storage, phones and other peripherals.

Designed to go anywhere and handle the toughest workloads, the HP ZBook x2 mobile workstation is designed to pass MIL-STD810G testing. The HP ZBook x2 also undergoes dozens of tests for certification and optimized performance with the industry’s leading software providers like Adobe and Autodesk.

HP ZBook x2 Pricing and Availability
HP ZBook x2 is scheduled for availability in December starting at $1,749.

 

Source: HP

Come on baby, IoT fear the reaper

Subject: General Tech | October 20, 2017 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: security, Reaper, iot

There is another IoT botnet running rampant, with several million devices already infected inside over a million businesses and homes, according to the report over at The Inquirer.  Experts are expecting the IoT_reaper to be worse than Mirai once it is activated as it is far more sophisticated than that botnet.  Some time in the near future you can expect serious issues as routers, IP cameras and fridges start launching DDoS attacks.  There is little that you can do at this point apart from ensuring your devices are patched and the firmware is up to date.  You can get an idea of the scope of this botnet by following the link in the story.

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"Check Point first unearthed the botnet, codenamed 'IoT_reaper', at the beginning of September and claims that, since, it's already enslaved millions of IoT devices including routers and IP cameras from firms including GoAhead, D-Link, TP-Link, Avtech, Netgear, MikroTik, Linksys and Synology."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

PCPer Mailbag #14 - 10/20/2017

Subject: Editorial | October 20, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
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:

00:36 - Why benchmark high-end components at 1080p?
03:52 - Release timing for Cannon Lake and Ice Lake CPUs?
05:31 - Due to x86 licensing, will AMD ever beat Intel?
07:06 - When will we see X399 NVMe RAID tests?
08:16 - Where are all the FreeSync 2, HDR, and OLED monitors?
11:05 - PCPer office tour?
12:08 - CPU and GPU bottlenecks for gaming?
15:09 - Video outro song?
15:57 - Achtung PCPer!

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!

Source: YouTube