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Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2018 - 01:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: registry cleaner, windows 10, microsoft, windows defender, crapware
Have you experienced the sheer frustration of explaining to a friend or family member that the reason their machine slowed down somewhat and is generating popups at a fearsome rate is because of the crapware they downloaded and not your ministrations? Convincing someone who installed a registry cleaner or supposed driver update tool that that software is the root of their suffering can be as profitable as arguing with a brick wall that it is mostly empty space and thus you should be able to walk through it; in other words an exercise in futility. Come March, Windows Defender will remove many of the more questionable ones automatically, though The Inquirer suggests some of the more innocuous ones may remain.
"We've all been there - warnings of out of date drivers, thousands of registry errors, and usually with a message claiming "we'll fix 30 for free, then you pay". Most of it is utter twaddle and won't affect your computing experience at all. In fact, in a lot of cases, they do more harm than good."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft Releases Skype As a Snap For Linux @ Slashdot
- No, Windows 10 hasn't overtaken Windows 7 @ The Inquirer
- Surpassing Windows 7's Market Share For the First Time, Windows 10 Now the Most Popular Desktop OS From Microsoft @ Slashdot
- DRAM, Samsung, these profits are on fire, NAND ain't that the truth @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2018 - 12:24 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Z-NAND, western digital, supernova, ssd, Samsung, podcast, NVMe, K68, Intel, evga, earnings, corsair, amd, 760p
PC Perspective Podcast #485 - 02/01/18
Join us this week for a recap of news and reviews including Intel and AMD Earnings, Samsung Z-NAND, GDDR6 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)
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison
Program length: 1:23:43
Podcast topics of discussion:
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
1:11:15 Ryan: APC 1500VA UPS
1:15:45 Jeremy: I’m impressed with how much I am enjoying Subnautica
1:17:15 Josh: Reasonably price Threadripper cooling
1:18:15 Allyn: Cheap portable batteries from Amazon? (act fast)
Subject: General Tech, Storage | February 1, 2018 - 03:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Seagate, quarterly earnings, Hard Drive, financial results, enterprise
Seagate Technology has announced its quarterly earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 (the quarter ending 12/29/2017). The Cupertino-based company has reported quarterly revenue of $2.9 billion, net income of $159 million, and diluted EPS of 55 cents. On a Non-GAAP reporting basis, Seagate saw Q2 FY2018 net income of $431 million and earnings per share of $1.48.
Seagate's revenue remained flat year-over-year, but increased 11.5% versus the previous quarter. Net income decreased 12% QOQ and 46% YoY using GAAP accounting methods, but on a non-GAAP basis Seagate reports a 54% increase versus the previous quarter and 4.6% increase versus the same quarter last year so it's not all bad news. The company is also managed to amass quite a bit of cash including $850 million from operations and $773 of free cash flow.
|Q2 FY2018||Q1 FY2018||Q2 FY2017||QOQ||YoY|
|Revenue||$2.9 billion||$2.6 billion||$2.9 billion||+11.5%||=|
|Net Income (GAAP)||$159 million||$181 million||$297 million||-12%||-46%|
|Diluted Earnings Per Share (GAAP)||0.55||0.62||1.00||-11.5%||-45%|
|Net Income (Non-GAAP)||$431 million||$279 million||$412 million||+54%||+4.6%|
|Diluted EPS (Non-GAAP)||1.48||0.96||1.38||+54%||+7.2%|
Seagate manufactures both mechanical hard drives and solid state drives, and while the company cranks out many internal and external drives for consumers, the company is very much focused on the enterprise market, especially where its solid state storage is concerned. Seagate states in its press release that it is heavily focused on cloud storage with its 60TB 3.5" SAS drive and NVMe add-in-card (which it demonstrated at FMS 2016). The company has partnered with Facebook to build its 1U Lightning storage solution (up to 120TB of flash storage using 60 2TB M.2 NVMe drives) and continues to target the enterprise and exascale/HPC markets with their absolutely massive and ever-growing data demands for big data analytics of financial and user data, uploaded and user-generated media, cloud backup, and research/simulation data for supercomputers. Further, the company continues to push mechanical enterprise storage to ever higher capacities with Barracuda Pro and also has its Ironwolf NAS and sequential-optimized Skyhawk drives for surveillance systems. On the flash storage front, Seagate has its Nytro M.2 NVMe and Nytro SAS SSDs.
Facebook's 1U Lightning JBOF System using 60 Seagate XM1440 M.2 SSDs.
I am interested to see where Seagate (STX) will go with its flash storage (Will they ever bring it to the consumer market in a big way? They do have a few products, but their focus seems to be mostly on enterprise.) and if they will manage to match or surpass Western Digital and Toshiba this year in the enterprise HDD capacity war. Currently, the company's Barracuda, IronWolf, and Exos drives top out at 12TB including the second generation Helium-sealed versions.
- Seagate BarraCuda Pro 10TB Review - Massive Helium Client HDD
- FMS 2016: Seagate Demos Facebook Lightning, 60TB 3.5" SSD!
- Seagate Duet Hard Drive Keeps Your Cloud Close, Syncs Files With Amazon Drive
- CERN Data Centre passes the 200-petabyte milestone
Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2018 - 12:44 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: simply nuc, nuc, Dawson Canyon, 8th generation core, Intel, fanless, SFF
Intel partner Simply NUC has announced its new commercial NUC lineup powered by Kaby Lake R vPro processors. The lineup includes the NUC7i7DNKE thin chassis, NUC7i7DNHE with tall chassis and 2.5" drive support, the board-only NUC7i7DNBE, and NUC7i7DNFE which features a fanless design.
The company's new Dawson Canyon NUCs are all based on the same 4" x 4" motherboard platform and the Intel Core i7 8650U vPro processor. Save for the taller model, the small form factor PCs share the same external I/O including four USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI 2.0 (4k@60Hz) video outputs, and an Intel-powered Gigabit Ethernet port. Specifically, networking is handled by an Intel i219-LM Ethernet controller and Intel 8265 802.11ac wireless (2x2 at up to 867 Mbps) + Bluetooth 4.2. The wireless module comes pre-installed in all except the board only SKU where it is optional. At a minimum the Simply NUC PCs (except board only) come with a 4GB SODIMM for RAM and a 128GB M.2 SATA solid state drive. Before OS or any other upgrades, the NUC with active cooling chassis systems start at 709.95. Pricing for the board only NUC7i7DNBE and fanless NUC7i7DNFE has not yet been released but I would expect the board only SKU to go for around $550 and the fanless model to come in around $750.
Users can add their own hardware or configure them from Simply NUC with up to 32 GB of RAM, 2TB of NVMe PCI-E storage (for a more than pretty penny!), and an additional 2TB of 2.5" SATA hard drive storage on the NUC7i7DNHE model.
The Core i7 8650U used in these Dawson Canyon NUCs is a quad core Kaby Lake R processor with a 15W TDP that runs at a base clockspeed of 1.9 GHz and can boost to up to 4.2 GHz. It supports Intel's vPro and AMT management technologies, has 8MB of cache, and features Intel UHD Graphics 620 running at up to 1.15 GHz.
The Dawson Canyon NUCs are available for pre-order now and are expected to ship as soon as March 2018 (though the Simply NUC website lists April 6th at time of publication). I am interested to see the fan-less model, but these machines seem very much targeted at the business and industrial markets rather than home PCs so expect to pay a premium for the small form factor if you are interested in them.
Subject: Storage | January 31, 2018 - 08:39 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z-ssd, Z-NAND, Samsung, HPC, enterprise, ai
Samsung will be introducing a new high performance solid state drive using new Z-NAND flash at ISSCC next month. The new Samsung SZ985 Z-SSD is aimed squarely at the high-performance computing (HPC) market for big data number crunching, supercomputing, AI research, and IoT application development. The new drive will come in two capacities at 800GB and 240GB and combines low latency Z-NAND flash with 1.5GB LPDDR4 DRAM cache and an unspecified "high performance" Samsung controller.
The Z-NAND drive is interesting because it represents an extremely fast storage solution that offers up to 10-times cell read performance and 5-times less write latency than 3-bit V-NAND based drives such as Samsung's own PM963 NVMe SSD. The Z-NAND technology represents a middle ground (though closer to Optane than not) between NAND and X Point flash memory without the expense and complexity of 3D XPoint (at least, in theory). The single port 4-lane drive (PCI-E x4) reportedly is able to hit random read performance of 750,000 IOPS and random write performance of 170,000 IOPS. The drive is able to do this with very little latency at around 16µs (microseconds). To put that in perspective, a traditional NVMe SSD can exhibit write latencies of around 90+ microseconds while Optane sits at around half the latency of Z-NAND (~8-10µs). You can find a comparison chart of latency percentiles of various storage technologies here. While the press release did not go into transfer speeds or read latencies, Samsung talked about that late last year when it revealed the drive's existence. The SZ985 Z-SSD maxes out its x4 interface at 3.2 GB/s for both sequential reads and sequential writes. Further, read latencies are rated at between 12µs and 20µs. At the time Allyn noted that the 30 drive writes per day (DWPD) matched that of Intel's P4800X and stated that it was an impressive feat considering Samsung is essentially running its V-NAND flash in a different mode with Z-NAND. Looking at the specs, the Samsung SZ985 Z-SSD has the same 2 million hours MTBF but is actually rated higher for endurance at 42 Petabytes over five years (versus 41 PB). Both drives appear to offer the same 5-year warranty though we may have to wait for the ISSCC announcement for confirmation on that.
It appears that the SZ-985 offers a bit more capacity, higher random read IOPS, and better sequential performance but with slightly more latency and lower random write IOPS than the 3D XPoint based Intel Optane P4800X drive.
In all Samsung has an interesting drive and if they can price it right I can see them selling a ton of these drives to the enterprise market for big data analytics tasks as well as a high-speed drive for researchers. I am looking forward to more information being released about the Z-SSD and its Z-NAND flash technology at the ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference) in mid-February.
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2018 - 07:31 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: western digital, quarterly earnings, financial results
Western Digital has reported its quarterly earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year 2018 (the quarter ending 12/29/2017). The San Jose-based storage company reported revenue of $5.3 billion and an operating income of $955 million. Under GAAP reporting, Wester Digital is reporting a net loss of $823 million (-$2.78/share) which includes $1.6 billion tax charge resulting from Western Digital repatriating foreign assets under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Under non-GAAP reporting, Western Digital had operating income of $1.4 billion and net income of $1.2 billion ($3.95/share). The company is reporting 9% revenue growth year over year and 2% growth versus last quarter. Operating income increased 72% versus the same quarter last year and 3% compared to the previous quarter (Q1 FY2018). Using non-GAAP numbers, Wester Digital saw operating income increase 47% and net income increase 78% year-over-year. Versus Q1 FY2018, operating income stayed the same (1.4 billion) and net income increased 9%.
Western Digital announced a 50-cent per share cash dividend on January 16th. Western Digital has a positive outlook for following quarters now that it has resolved negotiations with Toshiba to secure flash production and withdrawn its litigations. The company stated that it is on track to sample MAMR hard drives in the second half of this year and is ramping up production of 96-layer BICS 3D NAND X4 flash later this year. Western Digital's positive numbers are reportedly heavily influenced by its performance in the enterprise market with its large capacity hard drives and the continued growth of its flash product stacks.
- Western Digital MAMR Tech Pushes Future HDDs Beyond 40TB
- CES 2017: Western Digital Launches WD Black NVMe PCIe SSD
- Western Digital Launches 12TB Gold Hard Drive To Consumers
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2018 - 02:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: unfortunate, GooBang, Doo ET-8178 RGB, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, input, outemu
The unfortunately named GooBang Doo ET-8178 RGB is a mechanical keyboard which uses Outemu Blue switches which Kitguru discovered to be very similar in feel to Cherry Blue switches. It ships without a numpad nor any software, the RGBs are controlled by function keys which allow you to swap between a half dozen modes. The keyboard itself compares favourably to more familiar brands such as Corsair and Thermaltake but at around ~$50US it is significantly less expensive. It currently seems to be limited in availability in NA, but worth investigating if you are on the other side of the pond.
"While there is no chance that the name is familiar to you, GooBang does have a number of products listed on Amazon and has been trading for at least a couple of years. The company’s web site itself is tragic, so we had no idea what to expect when offered the ‘Doo’ keyboard."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Corsair K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming keyboard @ Guru3D
- AZIO MK MAC BT Keyboard @ TechPowerUp
- The HyperX Alloy FPS Pro Mechanical Keyboard @ TechARP
- Corsair PBT Double-Shot Keycaps @ Guru3D
- Tt eSPORTS Nemesis Switch RGB Mouse @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2018 - 02:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ea, battlefield, lootboxes, dice
EA mentioned a new Battlefield game in passing, during a presentation in which they described how delaying BioWare's Anthem to early 2019 is not a delay. To make things even more unclear they replied to a question about lootboxes by describing "a need to tailor monetisation and content additions to each game" and not wanting to "bifurcate the community". That second comment seems to refer to the paid expansion DLC which EA has historically released for Battlefield games and implies we may not see that model used in this mysterious new, totally not announced, game. Pop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for more prognostication.
"Will it be set in the past, near-past, present, near-future, or future? Battlefield 5? Bad Company 3? Hardline 2? 1944? 2143? Hut hut! It’s all a big mystery for now. Assuming EA follow their traditional Battlefield behaviour, they’ll likely formally announce the game in May or June then release it in mid-to-late October."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Banner Saga 3 due in summer, earlier than expected @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Celeste review: With amazing twists, this 2D game reaches great heights @ Ars Technica
- Space Viking lovers rejoice: The Endless Space 2 – Vaulters expansion is out now @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Epic Games to close down its Paragon F2P MOBA game @ HEXUS
- ‘ave you heard? Vintage RPG remake Avernum 3 released, with free demo too @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Humble Rockstar Bundle/A>
- Stellaris’s Apocalypse DLC will blow you away on Feb 22 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2018 - 01:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: siri, security, google, Alexa
Some of us are old enough to remember when certain parties were convinced there were subliminal messages in the music which kids listened to which they creatively blamed for a wide variety of behaviour. This belief turned out to be as ridiculous as it sounds, though that doesn't stop it from recurring every couple of generations. There is a somewhat similar and very real issue which The Register talks about here; using a deep neural net they were able to modify songs in such a way that digital assistants such as Echo, Siri and others would hear and execute a command while the humans in the room would only hear a slight distortion in the audio. This particular method is much harder to protect against than the previously discovered vulnerability which was ultrasonic commands which a microphone could pick up but was well beyond the range of human hearing.
You do need to reverse engineer the audio processing software of the digital assistant before you will be able to craft your hidden commands, however once that is done this is a very effective attack.
"The researchers tested a variety of in-song commands delivered directly to Kaldi as audio recordings, such as: "Okay Google, read mail" and "Echo, open the front door." The success rate of these was 100 per cent."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Unsanitary Firefox gets fix for critical HTML-handling hijack flaw @ The Register
- Microsoft updates Office, OneDrive iOS apps with drag-and-drop, Files support @ Ars Technica
- LibreOffice 6.0 arrives as the open source Office alternative turns seven @ The Inquirer
- Samsung preps for Z-SSD smackdown on Intel Optane drives @ The Register
- Samsung is making ASIC chips for crypto mining to solidify its lead over Intel @ The Inquirer
- Inventing The Microprocessor: The Intel 4004 @ Hack a Day
Subject: Graphics Cards | January 30, 2018 - 04:57 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, gtx 1080 ti, waterforce extreme edition, watercooling, factory overclocked
On the odd occasion it is in stock, the GIGABYTE AORUS GTX 1080 Ti Waterforce Xtreme will cost you $1300 or more, about twice what the MSRP is. The liquid cooled card does come with overclocking, Gaming mode offers 1607MHz Base and 1721MHz Boost Clock, OC mode is 1632MHz Base and 1746MHz Boost Clock. [H]ard|OCP managed to hit an impressive 2038MHz Base, 2050MHz Boost with 11.6GHz VRAM. Check out the full review to see what that did for its performance.
"GIGABYTE has released a brand new All-In-One liquid cooled GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card with the AORUS Waterforce Xtreme Edition video card. This video card gives the Corsair Hydro GFX liquid cooled video card some competition, with a higher out-of-box clock speed we’ll see how fast this video card is and if there is any room left for overclocking."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- GALAX GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Hall of Fame Edition @ Guru of 3D
- Gigabyte GTX 1070 Ti Gaming OC 8G @ BabelTechReviews
- 50-game GTX 1070 Ti SLI @ BabelTechReviews
- 8 Years Later: Does the GeForce GTX 580 Still Have Game in 2018 @ Techspot
- Vulkan Continues To Show Its Gaming Strength On Low-End Hardware @ Phoronix
Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2018 - 02:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, corsair K68 RGB, RGB, cherry mx blue, cherry mx red
Hey, Mr. Spillypants, are you going through keyboards like crazy thanks to the variety of liquids you have fed them? Corsair has a solution with their K68 RGB mechanical keyboard, available with Cherry Red or Blue switches. It is rated at IP32 water and dust resistant shielding, which means you won't be able to hurt the keyboard by jabbing it with thick wires and it will not be harmed if water is dripped on it flat or up to a 15° angle.
The RGBs are controlled by CORSAIR's Utility Engine to allow you to program a variety of lightshows. The keyboard is reputed to offer 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover and the switches are rated for over 50 million key presses so this board will be with you for a while. Full PR below.
FREMONT, CA, January 30th, 2018 - CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the release of the new CORSAIR K68 RGB water-resistant mechanical gaming keyboard. Equipped with 100% CHERRY MX RGB keyswitches, every key on the K68 RGB is individually backlit and programmable, giving PC gamers virtually unlimited lighting customization in a vivid array of colors. Every keyswitch is also individually shielded from dust and liquid spills to an IP32 protection rating, defending against accidents so that gameplay never has to stop. Loaded with extras, from a removable wrist-rest to dedicated multi-media keys, and fully programmable with CORSAIR Utility Engine Software, the CORSAIR K68 RGB offers ultra-durable RGB gaming.
Like all CORSAIR mechanical keyboards, the K68 RGB uses only German-made Cherry MX gold-contact keyswitches for the utmost in reliability and consistency. Each switch is rated to over 50 million key presses, ensuring that the 50 millionth key press feels just as good as the first. Available with Cherry MX RGB Red switches, which provide a smooth, quiet and linear action, the K68 RGB’s keys feel instantly familiar, whether you’re typing or gaming.
With stunning RGB lighting embedded into every keyswitch, it’s easy to light up K68 RGB in almost any way you can imagine, from smoothly shifting colors and transitions to dynamic reactive effects. Choose from dozens of pre-programmed presets, thousands of user-made downloadable profiles, or create a unique custom lightshow, all from with the powerful CORSAIR Utility Engine (CUE) software. CUE also offers complete lighting synchronization between compatible CORSAIR mice, headsets and accessories with a single click, making it easy for gamers to make all their gear match. Every key is also fully programmable in CUE, from simple re-maps to complex multi-function macros, giving gamers the crucial edge when they need it the most.
CORSAIR has long been the industry leader in RGB mechanical keyboards, and K68 RGB adds a new dimension with the addition of IP32 water and dust resistant shielding. Each Cherry MX RGB key is surrounded by a rubberized shield that stops liquids and blocks dust, without blocking the RGB lighting from shining brightly beneath. Late night soda slip or snack spill? No problem.
With an affordable MSRP of $119.99, you’d be forgiven that K68 RGB’s features stop there, but instead it’s fully loaded with all the CORSAIR extras gamers have come to expect. A removable full-length wrist rest provides complete comfort, dedicated volume and multi-media controls made audio adjustments instant and a Windows Key Lock Mode prevents those game-breaking interruptions. K68 RGB is also 100% anti-ghosting with full key rollover, ensuring every key press registers faultlessly.
Equipped with the best in CORSAIR lighting, customization and durability, the K68 RGB ensures that whatever happens while you game, you’ll be able to play on.
Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2018 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, ea, valve, pubg, rumour, xbox
This one needs more than a few grains of salt but it is possible the Microsoft store might be looking at a significant expansion. Phil Spencer, once head of XBone and now Executive Vice President of Gaming is taking his role seriously and may be looking to grow Microsoft's presence in gaming. The company certainly has enough money to purchase all three companies, and in the case of EA they may actually improve the usefulness of Origin. Valve on the other hand has already mastered the art of online game distribution, unless Microsoft is willing to go with something 'not invented here' that Steam library of yours may be in some peril. This is pure rumour but that doesn't mean you can't fan the flames at The Inquirer, Polygon or below.
"SOMEONE HAS GIVEN the rumour mill an almighty kick as it's been suggested that Microsoft is considering buying-up game publishing behemoths EA and Steam, along with PUBG Corp."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cisco drops a mega-vulnerability alert for VPN devices @ Ars Technica
- You can't ignore Spectre. Look, it's pressing its nose against your screen @ The Register
- Deep sigh... Servers get teaser trailers now @ The Register
- Using Your GPUs & CPUs To Make Easy Money With NiceHash @ Techgage
- Radeon RX Vega GPUs are next to impossible to buy: Is AMD hitting pause or ...? @ TechSpot
Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2018 - 08:12 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: ue4, html5, webassembly, estranged
Proof that it’s running Unreal Engine: A toilet.
Also, the seat works. I tried.
It’s also a supported feature with Unreal Engine 4 as of 4.18.
As such, we’re beginning to see a few games built into the technology. One such demo, Estranged, is about an indie title about a fisherman. The demo currently has the Prelude level and a shooting range. Performance isn’t the best, but it’s interesting to see running in a web browser. It will continue to get better than WebAssembly (and browsers) support multi-threading, too.
Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2018 - 07:30 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: webgl, glsl
People tend to fear shader code for some reason. This is the little script that runs on the GPU once per primitive, vertex, pixel, or some other driving value (audio sample???). These are all run in parallel, with hundreds or thousands of little workers running the same code just with slightly offset data until it’s all done. When put together, it’s quite impressive what can be done.
Enter Fragment Foundry by Hugh Kennedy. The project’s a little over a year old at this point, but it’s a series of quizzes that are done in WebGL. They provide you with sample code and a GLSL shader editor, and you edit the code on the fly. If you get a parsing error, it will flag the line with a red dot. If you come up with the correct answer, often by changing a single line, it will automatically validate your response.
If you have a few moments, it’s a fun group of brain puzzles, and it’s free.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 29, 2018 - 01:54 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: water cooling, Threadripper, LIQMAX II 240, enermax, amd, AIO
Carrying in what is becoming almost a specialty, [H]ard|OCP have reviewed Enermax's new AiO watercooler for AMD's Threadripper. The LiqTech TR4 280 is the third AiO cooler designed specifically for AMD's new chip, with a 240 and 360 model already on the market. In their testing it became clear where the TR4 280 sits in the market, not providing much more cooling than the smaller 240 model but generating less noise than either of the other two models. In fact it was the quietest according to their dB chart, which is contained in their full review.
"ENERMAX has been the most aggressive company when it comes to cooling AMD's Threadripper CPU with an easy to use and affordable All-In-One system. Today we are reviewing its THIRD socket TR4-specific AIO. It's previous offerings have been extremely solid and we think that Enermax has stayed on point."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair H115i PRO LCS @ Guru of 3D
- AeroCool Project 7 P7-L240 RGB Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Thermalright TRUE Spirit 120 Direct CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Deepcool GAMMAXX GT @ TechPowerUp
- AZZA Titan 240 Case Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | January 29, 2018 - 01:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, spectre, meltdown
This story has initiated a lot of guesswork and is likely not as bad as it is being made out to be, however it is a great example of how not to react to a major flaw. Without even delving into the selling of Intel stocks, it is already easy to point out how bad the Spectre and Meltdown flaws have been handled; from the initial Microsoft patches offering possible performance degradation to the Intel microcode patches rebooting machines and the final official recommendation to avoid the patches altogether for now.
As Slashdot linked to today, Intel reached out to their major customers before alerting the general public about the issue. This is a common practice in the industry, to inform vendors, resellers and manufacturing partners about major changes that they will be required to implement to mitigate a patch. However in these days of 'cyberwarfare', there is some cause for concern that foreign companies may have communicated this information knowingly or not, to their respective governments. Intel chose not to inform governments directly about the flaws, something which seems like it really should be done in today's world. It is unlikely anything horrible has happened on a widespread basis because of this flaw and the playing field is now level again; however this remains a great example of how not to deal with the discovery of a major architectural flaw which continues to cause grave security concerns globally.
"According to The Wall Street Journal, Intel initially told a handful of customers about the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, including Chinese tech companies like Alibaba and Lenovo, before the U.S. government. As a result, the Chinese government could have theoretically exploited the holes to intercept data before patches were available."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The Coolest Electronic Toys You’ll See At NAMM @ Hack a Day
- FYI: Processor bugs are everywhere – just ask Intel and AMD @ The Register
- Malwarebytes apologies for dodgy update that borked customers PCs @ The Inquirer
- Linux 4.15 kernel goes stable a week after surprise RC9 @ The Inquirer
- New Windows patch disables Intel’s bad Spectre microcode fix @ Ars Technica
- Lenovo's craptastic fingerprint scanner has a hardcoded password @ The Register
- Guru3D Rig of the Month - January 2018
Subject: General Tech | January 28, 2018 - 01:42 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: epic games, ue4
On January 16th, Epic Games announced handing out a total of $200,000 USD across thirteen recipients. This is a part of their Unreal Dev Grants program, which donates money to people that they think are doing cool things with (or alongside) their engine, no strings attached. It’s a simple bursary to let cool people do cool things in the realm of Unreal Engine.
Of this round of winners, twelve are listed in the blog post: ten are games, one is a feature film, and one is a game development tool. I don’t know what the thirteenth is, unless they’re counting one of the entries as two for some reason.
I will not be covering the games in this post – feel free to check the blog.
This leaves me with two: BlueprintUE.com and Allahyar and The Legend of Markhr.
The latter is a feature-length film that is rendered in Unreal Engine. It is from 3rd World Studios in Pakistan, and it has a bit of a Pixar-esque art style. Epic Games has in their EULA that capturing linear video from Unreal Engine 4 does not require a royalty, because the software is not being distributed, just the imagery produced by it is, which makes UE4 an interesting choice for video production. It is fast and high-quality, although it adds an extra stage in the content pipeline… but it’s a stage that you’re used to if you do UE4 work. Honestly, I’ve been considering UE4 as a render system for the animations I’ve done earlier, but I settled on Blender Cycles just because I had too many other things to worry about. I did know that the Paragon trailer was done in-engine, though. Maybe in the future.
As for BlueprintUE.com, it is a tool that allows users to copy and paste blueprint networks into a web-based flow chart editor. Users can then add comments and share the logic with others. As far as I can tell, you cannot directly manipulate the blueprints in the editor, and they have not said that this feature is in development – but I’d be surprised if they haven’t at least thought of it.
Subject: General Tech | January 27, 2018 - 11:20 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: epic games, paragon
Paragon was a MOBA, based on Unreal Engine 4, that played in a third-person action style. Typically, these sorts of games are played top-down, which is probably due to the genre’s most popular, early entries being mods of Blizzard games (WarCraft III and StarCraft). While applying the formula to a different player controller is not unheard of, such as the first-person Minecraft mod that we mentioned back in 2012, Epic Games decided to try their hand at it, too.
Unfortunately, it’s being shut down. The servers are going offline on April 26th.
IIRC -- Epic Games said that this cinematic was made with LOD0 assets.
Sure, the game didn’t look as good as a directed cinematic, but the assets were in-game assets.
That said, you won’t be out anything. If you made any purchase in Paragon, on any platform, Epic Games will provide a full refund. On the one hand, it’s sad to see that the game was a total loss for a good company, apart from the engine research it drove.
On the other hand, it’s good to see that Epic isn’t forcing their fans to carry this burden.
Subject: Mobile | January 27, 2018 - 11:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: zte, axon 7
Until this weekend, the ZTE Axon 7 was running on the August patch level of Android 7.1.1. The phone manufacturer was hinting that Oreo could be provided, and a few leaks have shown Android 8.0 running on the device. My assumption was that ZTE was just holding off on updates until their build of Android 8.0 is ready.
Today, my phone was updated to Android 7.1.1 with the December patch level.
To me, this says that – well, one, the Blueborne and KRACK vulnerabilities are finally fixed. Two: if ZTE was holding out on updates until Android 8.0, then they no longer expect to ship it in the immediate future. They could still be working on it, and I’m guessing that they are unless they found a showstopper bug that simply cannot be worked around, but it’s slower than they projected.
That said, I’m glad that ZTE is still patching their device, two years later. The availability of updates is a major factor in my choice of which phone to buy. While I’ve had some hiccups with it, it’s been well worth the price, and software support is a big differentiator in that category. Sure, it’s not going to compete with Google’s first-party devices, especially in terms of update frequency, but it’s not competing with Google’s first-party devices.
Let’s see how long the support will last.
Subject: General Tech | January 26, 2018 - 04:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, Cougar, phontum, gaming headset
Cougar have come up with a brand new word to go with their new headset, unless they are referring to a certain old geographical location in Thailand. At ~$50 it does not represent a major investment even with its 53mm drivers and the two pairs of earcups included in the box. Neoseeker found the microphone to be decent enough for conversational usage and were thoroughly happy with sound reproduction when listening to music or gaming. If you are in the market for a headset but can't justify spending $100 or more, this is worth a look.
"The Cougar Phontum gaming headset incorporates a 53mm driver to provide more audio output across multiple situations than the standard 50mm driver. Next, Cougar utilizes a dual-chamber design to achieve a profound distinction between bass, midrange and treble frequencies. Finally we have a graphene diaphragm to reduce distortion due with their lighter and stiffer construction – making for faster response with less unwanted flex of the cone."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sennheiser Game One @ TechPowerUp
- ASUS ROG Fusion 500 Headset @ Kitguru
- Noontec Hammo Wireless @ TechPowerUp
- Genius Mobile Theater MT-20 Bluetooth Speaker @ Benchmark Reviews