Mixcder E8 headset, no wires, no noise, no worries

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2019 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: audio, mixder, mixder e8, active noise cancellation, wireless headset

The Mixcder E8 offers Bluetooth 4 connectivity using the SBC codec, active noise cancellation and a $70 price tag.  It doesn't offer support for other codecs, nor does it provide more than stereo playback, which does seem reasonable for the price point.  It does use standard 40mm neodymium drivers and offers 32 Ω impedance, with a battery which will offer 16 hours or more of playback.

TechPowerUp tested them and found them to be about what you should expect from a wireless ANS headset at this price, with one small caveat.  The headphones offer a wired mode for extended use, however doing so disables the microphone.

title.jpg

"The Mixcder E8 is a pair of wireless, over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling, and a price that's much lower than you'd expect after going over the list of features. Just about everyone is after a pair of wireless headphones nowadays; here's something worth considering if you're on a tight budget."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: TechPowerUp

These three foundries aren't scared of a wee 7nm

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2019 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: amd, 7nm, CoWoS, TSMC, SPIL, TFME

DigiTimes today is sharing some information about just where AMD's 7nm chips will be processed and there seems to be a name missing.  TSMC, SPIL and TFME will all be producing specific products but there is no mention of GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the news post.

TSMC will handle the bulk of the EPYC and HPC versions of Vega production with their chip-on-wafer-on-substrate, as one might expect; SPIL and TFME will handle desktop Ryzen and GPUs.  One hopes that by diversifying their production sources we can avoid shortages from one line effecting the entire market as we have seen in the past. 

screen_shot_2018-03-12_at_14.34.45.png

"TSMC is also among the backend partners of AMD for its new 7nm computing and graphics products, according to industry sources. Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) under Taiwan's ASE Technology Holding, and China-based Tongfu Microelectronics (TFME) are other backend service providers for the chips, the sources continued."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Phison Previews PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe with PS5016-E16 Controller

Subject: Storage | January 11, 2019 - 09:36 AM |
Tagged: ssd controller, ssd, solid state drive, PS5016-E16, phison, PCIe Gen4, PCI Express 4.0, NVMe

One of the areas that can see an immediate impact from PCI Express Gen 4 which will first arrive with AMD’s upcoming Ryzen desktop processors is storage, and to that end Phison is not waiting around to show just what we can expect from the first generation of PCIe Gen4 SSDs.

Phison_PS5016_E16_CB.jpg

Phison PS5016-E16 performance slide (image credit: ComputerBase)

The company’s PS5016-E16 controller was on display at CES in a prototype device, and is powered by a quad-core solution combining two ARM cores with a pair of proprietary CO-X processor cores from Phison. Basic specs from Phison include:

  • PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe
  • 8 Channels with 32 CEs
  • NAND interface: 800 MT/s support
  • DDR4 interface: 1600 Mb/s support
  • 3D TLC and QLC support
  • Designed with Phison’s 4th Gen LDPC Engine

phison_ps5016_e16_prototype_LR.jpg

Phison PS5016-E16 prototype device (image credit: Legit Reviews)

As to performance, Phison lists sequentials of 4000 MB/s reads and 4100 MB/s writes, while providing a graphic showing CrystalDiskMark results slightly exceeding these numbers. How can Phison exceed the potential of PCIe Gen3 x4 with this early demo? As reported by Legit Reviews Phison is using a Gen4HOST add-in card from PLDA, which “uses a PCIe 3.0 x16 (upstream) to PCIe 4.0 x8 (downstream) integration backplane for development and validation of PCIe 4.0 endpoints”.

phison_ps5016_e16_system_LR.jpg

Phison PS5016-E16 demo system in action (image credit: Legit Reviews)

The Phison PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe controller is expected to hit the consumer market by Q3 2019.

Source: ComputerBase

CES 2019: HyperX QuadCast Microphone & Cloud Orbit S Headset

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 10:56 PM |
Tagged: RGB, microphone, hyperx, headset, gaming mouse, gaming headset, ddr4, ces 2019, CES

HyperX is here at CES demoing several new products — including a new product category — as well as some updates to their existing product line. The highlights include the company's first microphone and a new premium gaming headset made with Audeze's planar magnetic drivers.

Check out the complete launch details below as well as our impressions from our visit to the HyperX suite at CES.

HyperX Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse

The HyperX Pulsefire Raid RGB mouse is designed for gamers who need additional buttons for key binding or to execute a variety of commands. HyperX Pulsefire Raid features 11 programmable buttons and is designed with a Pixart 3389 sensor for accuracy and speed with settings up to 16,000 DPI. Customizable native DPI settings allow gamers to monitor settings with an LED indicator. In addition, the mouse includes Omron switches with 20M click reliability. Pulsefire Raid is designed for accurate, fluid and responsive tracking, without acceleration. Using HyperX NGenuity software, gamers can assign personalized macro functions to the 11 programmable keys and store them in a macro library.

hyperx-pulsefire-raid.jpg

Our impressions: The Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse doesn't do anything new in terms of basic design, but its 11 programmable buttons are more than found on many competing gaming mice and will be appreciated by competitive gamers looking to map as many in-game functions as possible.

The wired mouse feels good in the hand and includes nice RGB effects that can by configured via software or turned off if desired. The Pulsefire Raid includes the normal range of higher-quality components — Omron switches and a 16,000 DPI Pixart 3389 sensor — at a competitive price point of about $60. Recent purchasers of mid-range and higher gaming mice probably won't be tempted to switch, but if you're looking for a new gaming mouse or craving those additional programmable buttons, the HyperX Pulsefire Raid will be a nice choice at it expected price point when it launches in Q2.

HyperX QuadCast Microphone

The HyperX Quadcast is a standalone microphone designed to meet the exacting demands of PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac professional or aspiring streamers. The QuadCast features an anti-vibration shock mount, an easily-accessible gain control adjustment, four selectable polar patterns, and tap-to-mute functionality with convenient LED lighting to indicate broadcast status. With crystal clear voice capturing, Quadcast connects streamers to their viewers like never before.

hyperx-quadcast.jpg

Our impressions: While we couldn't fully test the QuadCast's audio capabilities in a noisy CES demo suite, what we could hear sounded promising. Users have a choice of polar patterns, quick gain control via a dial on the bottom, a 3.5mm headphone output for live monitoring, and a tap-to-mute feature that indicates the mute status by turning off the microphone’s red light.

The QuadCast's stand is sturdy with a functional and attractive built-in shock mount. But it also comes with an adapter for mounting it to another microphone stand or arm. The QuadCast will be priced at $139 when it launches in Q2.

HyperX Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S Headset

The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets are the first HyperX gaming headsets powered by Audeze’s patented 100mm Planar Magnetic Drivers for accurate sound. Waves Nx® 3D audio technology brings an immersive cinematic audio experience to gaming. The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx® head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the user’s head movements bring the room to life 1,000 times a second. HyperX gaming headsets paired with Audeze and Waves technology bring audio quality to the next level with audio technology previously found only in audiophile headsets.

hyperx-cloud-orbit-s.jpg

Our impressions: HyperX is no stranger to gaming headsets, but the new Cloud Orbit series is their first project in collaboration with high-end audio company Audeze. The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S feature Audeze's planar magnetic drivers in a headset that eschews the common more "aggressive" gamer design for a subtle yet attractive black and gray look.

In addition to high quality sound from the planar magnetic drivers, the higher-end Cloud Orbit S features Waves NX 3D audio processing that can optionally position the user's audio sources via head tracking. When enabled, the current audio output is "placed" in a static position. When the user then turns their head, the headset uses head-tracking technology to pan the audio accordingly. In other words, the Waves Nx processing is simulating what it would sound like if you were sitting in a theater with multi-channel surround sound speakers and then turn your head to the side or behind.

We had a chance to demo Waves Nx on the Cloud Orbit S and the effect is quite realistic and impressive. But while it makes a great demo, we're not sure how many users would find a feature like this useful in the long-run since many users would prefer to have their audio "follow them" regardless of head positioning. However, we're hoping to get a chance to try it out more in a quieter environment.

Set to arrive in Q2, the Cloud Orbit S with head tracking will set you back $329 while the non-tracking Cloud Orbit will land at $299.

HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB Memory

The HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB is now available in 16GB modules in speeds of 3000MHz and 3200MHz as individual modules and kits of 2 and 4 up to 64GB. Predator DDR4 RGB features synchronized RGB lighting with HyperX Infrared Sync technology, allowing multiple modules to sync LED lighting and produce an exceptional color and pattern display. Powered directly from the motherboard, this patented technology provides an enhanced visual experience of RGB memory for gaming, overclocking PCs and DIY system builds.

hyperx-predator-rgb-ram.jpg

Our impressions: HyperX launched its Predator DDR4 RGB memory — which uses infrared light to sync RGB effects between modules — last year, but only in single-module capacities of up to 8GB. This of course limited the amount of memory users could install in their system, especially on desktop motherboards/chipsets which only feature two or four DIMM slots.

Now HyperX is adding a 16GB module to the product lineup, doubling the maximum amount of RAM that users of this product can fit into their builds. The new capacity will be available later this month starting at $167.

Source: HyperX

Looking at Chromebooks now that we know Ryzen will soon be an option?

Subject: Mobile | January 10, 2019 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: Chromebook, guide

During AMD's CES keynote they mentioned that their new Ryzen chips will be appearing in some models of Chromebook, which might create some new interest in these mobile devices.  Ars Technica recently published an in depth guide walking you through the important features to look for if you are shopping for a Chromebook.  They also offer quick overviews of the best models currently available, if you weren't going to wait for the new ones to be released.

asuschromebookflip1-1440x960.jpg

"All of those factors, plus the recent introduction of Android apps into the ecosystem, have made Chromebooks popular with younger users, teachers, and anyone who works and plays primarily within the confines of the Chrome Web browser."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

Source: Ars Technica

Mushkin's CES extravaganza

Subject: Storage | January 10, 2019 - 02:16 PM |
Tagged: Mushkin, ces 2019, carbon x100, Source 2, carbon z100, helix-l, pilot-e, M.2, thunderbolt

Mushkin launched a number of new storage products at CES and they passed on a bit of information on them for you to peruse.

pilot2.PNG

Pilot-E - M.2 2280 PCIe SSD
Featuring Silicon Motions SM2262EN Controller and Mushkin’s M.E.D.S. the Pilot-E brings high performance with low power consumption to Mushkin’s 2019 product line-up. Offering PCIe x4 NVMe 1.3, twice the capacity*, and 30%* more performance of its previous generation.

  • Built-in LDPC ECC provides the most-powerful data correction level in use today
  • End-to-end data path protection
  • Data shaping means greater endurance
  • StaticDataRefresh ensures data integrity
  • Global wear-leveling evens program/erase counts across data blocks to extend lifespan

HELIX-L_4.jpg

Helix-L - M.2 2280 PCIe SSD
Equipped with the Silicon Motion SM2263XT and cutting-edge 96-layer micron 3D TLC NAND your computer will have the power and responsiveness to help your productivity soar. Experience amazing gaming performance, seamlessly edit and share 360 video, and enjoy fantastic 4K Ultra HD entertainment– all with the lightning fast data transfers.

You will benefit from the same security and longevity as with the Pilot-E series.

SOURCE_2_2.PNG

Source 2 – 2.5” SATA III SSD
Designed using Silicon Motion's SM2259 controller and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND, the Source 2 holds nothing back.

Carbon_X100_3.jpg

Carbon X100 – External USB 3.1 Gen2 SSD
The Carbon X100 will transform the way you game and streamlines storage intensive workflows. Get stunning sequential read/write speeds of 1,000/1,000 MB/s, up to 500% faster writes than a standard USB 3.0 flash drive.  Compatible with PC and Mac right out-of-the-box, also XBOX and PS4 Compatible, Type-C to Type-A cable included.

Carbon_Z100_3.jpg

Carbon Z100 – External Thunderbolt SSD
Equipped with Thunderbolt 3 and an all-aluminum enclosure, the Carbon Z100 with Thunderbolt 3 is perfect for the vital high-performance photo and video editing applications your work requires.

New Line of AMD Ryzen compatible OC Memory Modules.
There is also a new series of Mushkin Redline DIMM kits specifically for that new Ryzen chip you are eyeing.

Source:

Rounding up CES

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, ces 2019, amd

The Tech Report just posted a nice assortment of updates covering their travels at CES, including their take AMD's new GPU and processors.  They also took a look at Intel's offerings, and not just the fresh splash of seemingly bottomless Coffee, this time without the picture drawn on the top.  What was far more interesting were the lineup of 10nm chips announced, Lakefield for low power applications, Ice Lake mainstream chips and Snow Ridge, an SoC designed for network applications.  Of course, it wouldn't be an Intel briefing without Optane, to which the H10 series was announced, which sports both QLC 3D NAND and 3D XPoint on a M.2 2280 gumstick.  It has a controller for both types of memory which means the bulk of the heavy lifting will be done onboard and not pushed onto your CPU. 

 

image001.png

"That title probably rests on the shoulders of four upcoming Intel products based on the company's beleaguered 10-nm fabrication process: the Lakefield low-power client processors, the Snow Ridge network SoC, and Ice Lake chips for every market segment."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Your CPU wants to help with ray tracing as well?

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: gaming, battlefield V, ray tracing, RTX 2080, RTX 2070

[H]ard|OCP have been spending a lot of time with Battlefield V, determining the effect of enabling ray tracing on performance.  In their latest look, they compare the effect of running the game on an i9-9700K running at 4.6GHz versus an i7-7700K at 5GHz.  Their results are quite clear, when testing they saw a performance difference between 1-1.5 fps; well within the margin of error. 

When it comes to BFV, your CPU is not the limiter on your performance.

154647384695hwgsnvwl_1_1.jpg

"We have been doing some deep dives into playing Battlefield V 64-person multiplayer lately and testing what exactly the cost of using NVIDIA Ray Tracing is in terms of framerate performance using new NVIDIA RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 cards. We did get questioned on using a 5GHz overclocked 7700K instead of the suggested CPU that EA recommends."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD's Radeon 7 and Third Gen Ryzen

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 9, 2019 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: radeon 7, ces 2019, amd

AMD is still mid-keynote but that's no reason not to start filling you in on what we know, especially since the CES gang just got a free copy of The Division 2 so we may not see them for a while. 

r7 release.PNG

The new Radeon 7 looks similar to the Vega series but offers improved performance, especially at 4K resolutions.   According to their internal benchmarks you will see a noticeable improvement from the VEGA series on a number of games.

r7 game.PNG

The new card is not just for gaming, they also showed a slide covering the increases you can expect on a variety of creative software.

cc r7.PNG

As far as the specifications go, we know the card will feature 60 CUs, or 3840 Stream Processors and an impressive 16GB of HBM2 memory with a 1.8GHz GPU at the core.  It will require a pair of 8pin PCIe power connectors to drive all of that.

AMD-Radeon-VII.jpg

The card will be available on Feb 7th for an MSRP of $699, with a free copy of The Division 2 for as long as supplies last, you can also enjoy that deal on select Ryzen chips  That places it under the cost of NVIDIA's top GPUs, but significantly more than the new RTX 2060, but we still have to see where it sits in the benchmark charts!

3rd-Gen Ryzen CPUs Coming

chipllet.PNG

The new third generation Ryzen uses AMD's chiplet design, with a smaller core and a large IO chip. Code-named Matisse, the 7nm Zen 2 desktop parts are not yet ready for release, with final clock speeds not announced. (AnandTech was able to go a little deeper into the the matter before the announcement, and they offer some analysis of the feasability of adding another chiplet to the die and meeting the 16-core number some expected based on the rumors we saw prior to this event. Ed.)

power.PNG

Dr. Su did not share much information of the new chip with us on stage, though we know it may pull less power than a Core i9, at least in Cinebench.  Owners of AM4 boards can rest assured knowing that upgrading to the new chips will be as easy as a BIOS update as the socket will indeed remain the same.

am4.PNG

Expect more coverage as we catch up!

Source: AMD

Never mind the 7nm chips, let Intel show your their perfected 10nm

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 12:38 PM |
Tagged: Intel, 10nm, Sunny Cove, Project Athena, ice lake

If physically imposing 7nm chips aren't your thing, Intel did present their keynote yesterday which partially focused on their upcoming 10nm chips but once again included a refresh of your Coffee.  As far as actual products go, they announced a half dozen chips with a new suffix , i9-9900KF, i7-9700KF, i5-9600KF, i5-9400, i5-9400F and i3-9350KF.  The K still indicates the chip can be overclocked while the F indicates a lack of a working GPU on the die. 

Ars Technica also posted what they could glean about Project Athena, Intel's new proposed standard for laptops, simlar to the highly successful and not at all self contradictory Ultrabook standard from years back. 

Intel-News-Event-2-620x414.jpg

"This year's presentation was very different. The company's 10nm process is finally due to achieve volume production this year, and late last year the company told us that 10nm was bringing with it a new architecture named Sunny Cove, a new, much faster GPU, and new manufacturing techniques with 3D die stacking."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Ars Technica

AMD live at CES

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: amd

If you weren't already aware, Dr. Lisa Su is presenting AMD's CES keynote right now, which you can watch here.

Capture.PNG

Hear about the last 50 years of AMD's history and what is in store for the future.

Source: AMD

be quiet! Dark Rock Slim CPU Cooler, Shadow Wings 2 and Dark Wings 2 Fans

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2019 - 03:27 AM |
Tagged: Shadow Wings 2, Dark Wings 2, Dark Rock Slim, cooling, cooler, ces 2019, CES, be quiet!, air cooler

The Dark Rock 4 from be quiet! is their highest-end air cooler, with a large footprint and distinctive sleek all-black aesthetic that has been a welcome alternative to more ostentatious designs on the market. But be quiet! is aware that this large heatsink, like many of this type on the market, can present clearance issues for taller RAM. Enter the Dark Rock Slim, a more compact single-tower cooler design that offers better RAM compatibility while still maintaining powerful cooling capabilities, handling up to a 180W TDP processor. The same stealthy aesthetic from the other Dark Rock coolers is retained with the new slim model, including a black brushed aluminum top cover and black heatsink fins and heat pipes.

dark_rock_slim.jpg

The Dark Rock Slim poses for the camera (via be quiet! on Twitter)

Features from be quiet! include:

  • 180W TDP
  • Slim heat sink design for maximum RAM compatibility
  • Silent Wings 3 120mm PWM funnel shaped front fan: Airflow-optimized blades, six-pole fan
    motor and fluid dynamic bearing (FDB)
  • Decoupled fan mounting
  • Four advanced high-performance copper heat pipes maximize heat conductance
  • Small dots on the fin surface increase cooling area
  • Special black coating with ceramic particles for perfect heat transfer
  • Brushed aluminum top cover with high-grade diamond cut finish
  • Convenient top mounting
  • Support for an additional 120mm fan – installation clamps for standard fans included

The Dark Rock Slim launches in Q2 2019 with a retail price expected to be around $50.

Also shown at the be quiet! suite was Shadow Wings 2, which are low-RPM case fans that feature a decoupled mounting system, airflow optimized fan blades, and a rubber frame and mounting system with optional push-pin installation. There is also a white version on the way which is made of white plastic, and not simply painted, and provides a unified look inside white enclosures such as the Dark Base 700 White Edition.

bequiet_fans.jpg

The Shadow Wings 2 fans launch this month beginning with the black version, with the white version slated for Q2 2019. Pricing will range from $15.90 - $18.90.

And finally we have the Pure Wings 2 high-speed fans, which spin at up to 2000 RPM in the 120 mm version, and 1600 RPM in the 140 mm version. The fans offer a rifle bearing with 80,000 hour operating life, and are available in both PWM and 3-pin versions. The fans will be available this month at prices ranging from $12.50 - $13.90.

Source: be quiet!

be quiet! Dark Base 700 White Edition Enclosure at CES 2019

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 9, 2019 - 03:24 AM |
Tagged: white, RGB, mid-tower, limited edition, inverted motherboard, enclosure, Dark Base 700, case, be quiet!

be quiet! has a limited-edition white version of their Dark Base 700 enclosure on display at CES 2019, combining high style and plenty of practical functionality in a premium mid-tower design.

Dark Base 700 marks one of the most critically acclaimed cases be quiet! ever designed. As a way to thank the loyal fans, the case is released in a white edition, limited to 3,000 pieces worldwide. The technical details remain untouched but be quiet! took great care to have a unified white finish on the different materials. For aesthetic reasons, the side window of the white edition is clear and not tinted.”

bequiet_700_white.jpg

This white version of the case offers the same features of the standard Dark Base 700, including a modular construction with a removable motherboard tray which can be inverted, and the tempered glass panel can be installed on either side based on standard/inverted configuration. The case also features a subtle RGB lighting integration that can be controlled manually or via motherboard header, and comes with a pair of Silent Wings 3 140 mm PWM fans pre-installed.

The Dark Base 700 White Edition features from be quiet! include:

  • Tempered glass side panel with rubber seal
  • Integrated RGB LEDs in the front with RGB controller and motherboard control option
  • State-of-the-art I/O panel with USB 3.1 Gen. 2 type C connector
  • High grade of versatility and modularity
  • Mainboard tray can be inverted
  • Motherboard tray can be used as a bench table
  • Side window can be installed on both sides as well
  • Removable fan bracket in the top for easy installation of fans or radiators
  • PSU shroud to hide cables and drives
  • Up to seven single HDD cages (three included)
  • Slot covers for unused HDD slots
  • Vertical GPU installation possible (riser not included)
  • Impeccable cooling and silence
  • Intelligent airflow with noise-dampening vents
  • Decoupled mainboard tray and hard drives
  • Sound insulation foam
  • Integrated 4-step dual-rail fan controller for up to 6x PWM fans

Launch timeframe is February 2019, with a retail of $189.

Source: be quiet!

ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY Laptops Powered by AMD Ryzen 3000 Series

Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd

ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.

FX705DY_1.png

“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”

The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.

"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.

Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."

Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.

FX705DY_Red Matter.png

Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
  • Display:
    • 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
    • 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Connectivity:
    • 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x HDMI 2.0
    • 1x RJ-45 jack
    • 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
    • 1x Kensington lock
  • Keyboard and touchpad  : 1.8mm key travel
  • Customizable RGB or red backlighting
  • Audio: DTS Headphone: X
  • Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)

Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.

Source: ASUS

ASUS ProArt PA32UCX 4K HDR Monitor with 1000 Zone Backlight, 1200 nits

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: ProArt, mini led, monitor, local dimming, hdr, FALD, display, ces 2019, CES, asus, 4k, 1200 nits, 1000 zone

ASUS has their most advanced HDR monitor so far on display at CES 2019, and the ProArt PA32UCX combines a 4K resolution panel with a mini-LED backlighting system offering a whopping 1000 individual lighting zones. Another advantage of the powerful backlighting system is overall brightness, and this can reach a maximum of 1200 nits and exceeds VESA DisplayHDR 1000 requirements.

pa32ucx.jpg

The very best LED-backlit LCDs employ a technology called full-array local dimming to improve their contrast ratios. The LEDs are arranged in zones, with each zone corresponding to part of the screen, and dimming individual LEDs makes it possible to display an image with bright and dark areas while preserving detail in both.

Our ProArt PA32UCX expounds on this technology with Mini LEDs. These physically smaller LEDs are packed in more densely, which increases the granularity of our brightness control. Less space between the LEDs means small details, like a white cursor on a black background, can be illuminated more precisely. The halo effect that’s common with coarser LED arrays normally manifests as light bleed around bright points, but that’s minimized when there’s a higher number of smaller LEDs.

The ProArt PA32UCX packs 1,000 zones into its 32” form factor, compared to other monitors that use 384 local dimming zones. This is no small achievement, and we had to work closely with the panel and scaler manufacturers on a custom design for controlling all those lighting zones. This technology didn’t exist before, and it took months of testing different proposed solutions before it could be perfected. As a result, the PA32UCX is one-of-a-kind. It offers 1,200 nits of luminance and offers improved whiteness and color uniformity compared to larger OLED panels.

The ProArt PA32UCX, which supports the HDR10 standard, also offers 97% DCI-P3 and 89% Rec. 2020 color space coverage, connecting via USB Type-C as well as the conventional DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0. Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Source: ASUS

I'll get you next time gadget! Corsair's new rodent with the Ironclaw

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 8, 2019 - 07:11 PM |
Tagged: corsair, ironclaw, gaming mouse, PMW3391

Yellow alert!  Corsair has released a trio of new peripherals and a playmat for them to roam on, as you saw in Jim's review.  He wasn't the only one to take a look at the new mice, The Tech Report also received a Corsair Ironclaw mouse.   It houses a PMW3391 sensor, a max polling at 1000Hz and Omron sensors.  The mouse is compatible with iCUE, allowing you to modify the lightshow, if you can catch it over at The Tech Report

topdown.png

"One of a trio of fresh Corsair mice, the Ironclaw has an ample body that will especially appeal to palm grippers who want to keep things light."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

VisionTek Unveils Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX External Graphics Enclosure

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 8, 2019 - 05:46 PM |
Tagged: visontek, thunderbolt 3, external gpu, ces 2019

VisionTek announced a new external GPU enclosure today at CES, costing $350 for the enclosure and 240W power (cinder) block.  The dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers provide enough bandwidth for your GPU as well as a pair of USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit ethernet and a SATA III port. 

mini_egpu4.jpg

At 8.5x6x2.75" it is small enough to be easily accomodated on a desk whle still able to hold a variety of cards, up to about the size of an AMD Vega 56 8GB.   It is compatible with Windows 10 and OS X and will let you string together up to six 4K displays @ 60fps.  You can see the full PR below.

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure is ideal for creative professionals, IT/enterprise power users, professional users in healthcare, finance, scientific research labs, etc., and gaming enthusiasts seeking the ultimate GPU performance improvement to Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops. Delivering up to 40Gbps of bandwidth, Thunderbolt 3 is the industry’s fastest interface that is rapidly becoming popular on new generation of laptops and mini PCs. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX combined with a graphics add-in card significantly boosts the GPU performance of a Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop, via a plug and play connection to the enclosure.

Sleek, Portable, and Future Proof for the Most Demanding Applications

The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure combines a sleek and portable design that easily fits discretely on a desk, or hidden away, to handle all your graphic intensive applications. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX Enclosure can be plugged into any Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptop or mini-PC to accelerate the most demanding 3D intensive software programs. Best of all, the Mini eGFX enclosure can be upgraded to perfectly match the application’s performance requirements. Consumers have the option of selecting from many mini ITX cards or standard compatible graphic card models for the Mini eGFX to optimize GPU processing requirements for each user’s specific needs.

"With the launch of the Mini eGFX external enclosure, users can turbocharge their Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops with cutting edge discrete GPU add-in cards on the fly," said Michael Innes, President, VisionTek Products, LLC. “VisionTek embraces technology innovations from Intel that enhance the way we utilize our GPU technology to increase the efficiency, performance, and resolution of 3D visual PC applications.” “The VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX enclosure is one of the most compact, yet flexible eGFX enclosures available in the market today,” said Jason Ziller, General Manager, Client Connectivity Division at Intel. “With this solution, VisionTek can broadly address the many professional graphics verticals, enterprise and consumer gaming markets as it can be easily configured to fit the needs of the customer with many inter-changeable graphic cards available.”

Expansive Selection of Laptop Compatibility
Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops and mini-PCs connected to the new VisionTek Mini eGFX dock enclosure drives the most demanding 3D graphic intensive applications. Visiontek is proud to announce compatibility and availability with many new Thunderbolt 3 equipped laptops and mini-PCs in 2019. The speed, reliability, efficiency and compact size of VisionTek’s Mini eGFX Enclosure eliminates limitations of a laptop or mini-PC environment and opens possibilities for the perfect combination of portability and performance when required.

Select from a wide performance range of add-in graphics cards certified by VisionTek to improve 3D imaging rendering, 4K HD applications, video editing, run multi-monitor displays, improve PC gaming, and more. The VisionTek Mini eGFX is design to fit most mini ITX discrete graphics cards, as well as select reference card designs. Visit VisionTek’s product page for the most current list of graphics cards recommended. Benefits of the VisionTek Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure for external GPUs include:

  • Compact Design – Form & function collide to create one of the most compact and flexible enclosure designs in the industry to accommodate a variety of graphics cards (enclosure dimensions: 8.5” x 6” x 2.75”)
  • 3D Graphics Performance – Whether you’re rendering complex 3D images or playing intense first-person shooters, the eGFX enclosure supports a wide range of mini ITX size graphics cards.
  • Power – 240W of dedicated power is provided with the VisionTek Mini eGFX Enclosure.
  • Multiple Displays – Supports up to six 4K displays @ 60fps from laptops & mini PC’s. Scalable to the needs of the user with the addition of a graphics card to fit the application’s needs.
  • Maximum 3D Resolution Control –Set limits using the GPU’s proprietary firmware controls to customize resolution settings, enhance 3D performance, and assign multi-monitor layouts.
  • Additional High-Speed USB 3.0, Ethernet Connection, and SATA III Port – The design uses a second Thunderbolt controller with PCIe-to-USB and PCIe-to-LAN controllers to provide Two (2) additional USB 3.0 ports that are conveniently accessible on the front panel of the eGFX enclosure and one (1) RJ45 ethernet Gigabit LAN connection located on the back side of the enclosure.

 

Source: VisionTek

CES 2019: Lenovo Yoga S940, Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED, Lenovo Yoga A940, Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2019 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: yoga, Lenovo, ces 2019, CES

Lenovo has also unveiled a new Yoga line of four very different products: two laptops, an all-in-one PC, and a mouse that is designed for presentations.

lenovo-2019-ces-yoga-s940.png

Up first is the Lenovo Yoga S940. This is an ultra-slim, 14-inch laptop with a 4K, HDR screen and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The processor is an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 backed by an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which seems to narrow down the possibilities to either the Core i7-8650U, the Core i7-8565U, or the Core i7-8550U. Each of these are quad-core, HyperThreaded processors, although the frequency changes quite a bit from model to model, so which one they actually chose could matter a bit.

Users can choose between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, although all three CPUs could have allowed 32GB – CPU support and “being able to actually fit it inside a tiny laptop” are two different things, however. In terms of connectivity, it has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a single USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That’s a bit light on the USB side of things, but the ability to attach two separate Thunderbolt 3 devices might make up for that. They do not list a 3.5mm audio jack, though.

The Lenovo Yoga S940 will be available in May for $1499 USD.

lenovo-2019-ces-yoga-c730amoled.png.jpg

Next is the Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED. As the name suggests, it’s a laptop with an AMOLED screen, which supports 4K. They also say that the screen supports “100% color gamut” although they don’t claim what gamut that is. They don’t seem to make any HDR claims, either.

In terms of specs, once again we get an unnamed eighth-generation Core i7 processor and an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which could be one of the three processors that I listed in the S940 section, above. Also, the RAM is still limited to 16GB. Unlike the S940 that offered 1TB of PCIe SSD, this one maxes out at 512GB, although that should be a lot for most use cases. It would be a little low for the stuff I do with my work PC, though, such as multiple side-by-side installations of Visual Studio to handle multiple different projects. The S730 has just one Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, but two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, as well as an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED will be available in April for $1649.99 USD.

lenovo-2019-ces-yoga-a940.png.jpg

Up next is… not a laptop. The Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one pen-input device like the Microsoft Surface Studio. It also comes with the Lenovo Precision Dial and the Lenovo Active Pen 1 AES 1.0, which should also be familiar to those who are interested in the Microsoft Surface Studio.

The entire device is powered by an again unnamed Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor, but this time it comes with an AMD RX 560 GPU to help with content creation tools (and games of course). Users can choose between 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of RAM. Storage is a choice between 128GB PCIe SSD, 256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB SATA HDD, and 2TB SATA HDD. They don’t say whether a PCIe SSD can be installed alongside a SATA HDD, but I certainly hope so.

The Lenovo Yoga A940 launches in March for $2199.99 USD.

lenovo-2019-ces-yoga-mouse.png

Last up is the Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter. It’s an ultra-thin mouse with a laser pointer built into it. The center can buckle to make an arc-shaped mouse, or it can be pushed flat. The whole device is 1.4cm thin, which is a little over half of an inch. Its sensor tops out at 1600 DPI, which can be reduced to 1200 DPI and 800 DPI if you are more comfortable at one of those speeds. It also has a built-in red laser pointer.

The Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter will be available in June for $69.99 USD.

Source: Lenovo

Hey AT&T, what's the word for when you say something that doesn't even come close to reflecting reality?

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: AT%26T, 5GE, dirty pool, 256-QAM, MIMO

AT&T is terribly fond of Kurt Vonnegut's doodles, as they append them to numerous words to indicate that those words do not mean anything close to what they imply.  Previously it was there Unlimited* data plan which, in their own words actually means " If you use more than 22GB in a bill period, speeds may slow in congested areas".  This is actually an improvement over the previous blanket slow down, which was modified after they lost a court case

Yesterday they picked a new thing to lie about, as well as a new symbol to indicate that their statement does not actually represent reality.  Some users may now see a 5GE symbol on their phones, which indicates you have a 4G connection with a tiny boost in theoretical bandwidth.  The actual 5G standard will offer 20Gbps while AT&T's 5GBS offers a paltry 1Gbps theoretical top speed, a slight boost but nothing close to what the new network technology will offer.  If they had been even slightly more honest, the inclusion of 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM to enhance 4G connectivity would have received a far friendlier welcome from review sites like The Register and others.

Thats7.jpg

"Think of the "E" as an asterisk, slumped under the desk in hope of avoiding being spotted, on its 5G coverage. A stop gap. A stepping stone. 4G with go-faster stripes."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

EVGA Introduces Nu Audio for Life Like Sound from your PC

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: sound card, pcie, evga, DAC, ces 2019, CES, Audio Note, audio, amp, AK4493

EVGA has announced a brand new product offering for enthusiasts, but this PCI Express device is not a graphics card - it's a premium sound card. And yes, I know that many people have written off audio boards in the era of ubiquitous motherboard audio, but if you are at all interested in quality audio and have ever looked into external DACs and headphone amps the Nu Audio card is shaping up to be a fantastic alternative to external component solutions.

nu_audio_side.png

The product is a result of a partnership with UK-based Audio Note, a high-end audio equipment manufacturer that emphasizes technology and internal component quality in their designs, and the design of the Nu Audio card was made to those standards. EVGA says that is the pursuit of life-like sound that inspired this card, and their efforts have resulted in something that would be completely at home in an audiophile setting, RGB effects notwithstanding (yes, it has RGB!).

nu_details_section.jpg

Ok, so what is this exactly, and why is it any different from other PCIe sound cards? This is not your typical DSP-driven surround audio solution, and truly the emphasis is on 2-channel stereo audio reproduction. Reading over the specs this begins to look more like an audiophile product, with native DSD support and PCM audio up to 24-bit 384 kHz - and dual clock generators for native 44.1 and 48 kHz-based sample rates. Component choices were made to improve audio quality through the signal chain and to the output, with some impressive specs:

Premium Components:

  • DAC: AKM AK4493
  • ADC: AKM AK5572
  • OP-AMP (Headphone): ADI OP275
  • OP-AMP (Line Out): ADI AD8056
  • Capacitors: WIMA, Audio Note(UK), Nichicon
  • Power Regulators: Texas Instruments TPS7A47/TPS7A33 ultralow-noise power solution

capacitors_resistors.png

The demo in the EVGA suite featured a nice setup featuring some of the entry-level Audio Note components, showcasing hi-fi music playback from lossless files on a PC. It was quite impressive considering the sound card was fed directly into the integrated amp, and on display were also such features as separate analog control of the volume output (the internal amp can be controlled independently of the sound level in Windows), and the integrated RGB lighting that dynamically respond to music playback.

The Nu Audio sound card will retail for $249 when it launches, specifics on release date to follow.

Source: EVGA