Podcast #500 - Steam cache, Ultra ultra wide Samsung monitor, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2018 - 05:37 PM |
Tagged: Z390, video, steam, spectre, Samsung, QLC NAND, Predator X27, podcast, nzxt, logitech, GTX1050, G513, FreeSync2, corsair, asus, acer

PC Perspective Podcast #500 - 05/24/18

Join us this week for discussion on Steam cache, Ultra ultra wide Samsung monitor, 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: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:55:11

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. 0:07:30 We reminisce about 500 episodes...
  2. Week in Review:
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:45:15 Jeremy: Xbox Adaptive Controller
    2. 1:47:25 Josh: How cheap can we go?
  5. Closing/outro
 
Source:

Hey Luce! I'm home ... with a new case from Antec

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 24, 2018 - 04:25 PM |
Tagged: tempered glass, p110 luce, antec

Antec's new aluminium and glass case offers a nice space to build a system, 518x23x489mm (20.4x9x19.2") in size and with removable vents and filters on all sides but the large tempered glass panel.  RGBs are limited to a seven colour backlit logo at the top left corner of the front panel, and a fairly simple controller to control any illuminated components you have.  That logo is the only feature on that surface as the ports and buttons have been moved to the top of the case.  Inside you will find a PSU shroud, decent cable management and an adapter to vertically mount your GPU.

The Tech Report takes you through the highs and lows of the case here.

front34.jpg

"Antec's P110 Luce weaves aluminum and tempered-glass panels into a sleek, premium-looking case with some nifty features inside. We built up our test system in this case to see whether it marks a return to form for the company's cases."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Roll your own keyboard

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2018 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: DIY, input, mechanical keyboard

The mechanical keyboard market is huge, with numerous companies offering a variety of designs, switches and keycaps but perhaps you just can't yet find the perfect model.  One answer to that dilemma would be to build your own keyboard from scratch and TechSpot just published a guide to help you do just that.  In part one they provide a bill of materials you can build a shopping list out of, with an impressive amount of choices for each component.  In part two they cover the build process as well as a large gallery of designs which just might inspire you to take this project on.

2018-05-17-image-6.jpg

"In the world of mechanical keyboards, big brand names like Corsair, Razer, HyperX, etc., take the bulk of the limelight. But what if I told you that every part of a keyboard can be customized? This goes far beyond the aesthetics, so if you're not one for making compromises, it may be time to build your own."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: TechSpot

The Sound Blaster K3+ is more than just a fancy headphone amp

Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2018 - 01:04 PM |
Tagged: SoundBlaster, K3+, xlr

Sound Blaster's K3+ is billed as a USB Audio Interface even though it can be used without USB, if you are into karaoke.  The K3+ offers support for two separately controlled XLR microphones, with 48V phantom power available and a proper ground.  There are also three 1/4" jacks, two for headphones and one which will accept input from a guitar or other electric instrument.  The K3+ outputs to two dual 3.5mm jacks as well as USB if you intend to feed it directly into a computer.  Check out what else this soundboard can do in Modders-Inc's full review.

DSC01854.jpg

"We first got a look at the Sound Blaster K3+ at CES when we stopped by the Creative Suite. It was advertised as a USB Audio Interface designed with streamers in mind. To say that I was impressed with the concept of the K3+ would be a vast understatement."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Modders Inc

Toshiba Constructing New 3D NAND BiCS Flash Memory Fabrication Facility In Japan

Subject: Storage | May 24, 2018 - 01:15 AM |
Tagged: toshiba, flash memory, fab, BiCS, 3d nand

Toshiba Memory Corporation (a subsidiary of Toshiba) is expanding its 3D flash memory production capabilities by beginning construction of a new state-of-the-art fab in Kitakami city which is in the Iwate prefecture in Japan. Toshiba Memory Corporation’s a new Toshiba Memory Iwate Corporation subsidiary began preparing for the new fab last September and construction will begin in July.

Toshiba BICS Flash.png

The new fab will be built with an earthquake absorbing structure and AI powered production lines with an emphasis on energy efficiency. TMIC plans to complete construction in 2019 and will hire 370 new graduates. Toshiba plans to use the new fab to boost its production capacity for its proprietary BiCS 3D flash memory to capture the massive growth market for enterprise and datacenter solid state drives. Further, Toshiba will extend its joint venture with Western Digital to include working together at the new fab.

Toshiba is quoted in the press release in stating:

“Going forward, TMC will expand its memory and SSD business and boost competitiveness by timely investments responding to market needs, and by development of BiCS FLASH™ and new generation memories.”

It is promising to see new fabs being opened and production capacities expanded by Toshiba and others (such as Micron) as it means that flash memory prices should stabilize (hopefully!), and the increased and newer production equipment will help enable the progress of new increasingly complex memory technologies.

Source: Toshiba

Cryorig Shows Off Frostbit M.2 Cooler Ahead of Computex

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 23, 2018 - 09:10 PM |
Tagged: M.2, heatpipes, CRYORIG, air cooler

Cryorig teased a new M.2 cooler ahead of its Computex debut this week. The Cryorig Frostbit M.2 Cooler is the first dual heat pipe cooler that uses a thin 1mm heat pipe that spreads heat across a small heat spreader and a thicker heat pipe that draws heat away to a larger external heatsink.

Cryorig Frostbit M.2 Cooler.png

The Frostbit cooler measures 72mm x 26.3mm x 57mm (LxWxH) and weighs just over 0.12 pounds (56 grams). The angle of the external circular heatsink and heatpipe can be manually adjusted so that it can fit in systems with a large CPU or GPU cooler. Cryorig’s website notes that the Frostbit features 38 fins (19x2) and is rated at 12W cooling capability.

Cryorig Frostbit M.2 Dual Heatpipe Cooler.jpg

Cryorig's Frostbit certainly looks stylish and capable, but at the same time is definite cooling overkill. Allyn has noted in the past (mostly on podcasts) that while cooling or spreading the heat from the controller and cache can be beneficial, the flash dies themselves on the M.2 drives do not really need to be cooled and in fact a bit of heat can be good for them.

I can see this cooler being used for aesthetics especially in a hard-line water cooling build, but it is likely to come at a premium price. More information should be available on pricing and availability after Computex.

What do you think about this beast? Am I the only one thinking "Maximum Cooling" in a Crysis voiceover style when looking at this thing?

Source: CRYORIG

SPECgpc Releases SPECviewperf 13 Workstation Benchmark

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2018 - 09:01 PM |
Tagged: vega frontier edition, titan xp, specviewperf 13, specgpc

SPECgpc, makers of industry standard benchmarks such as SPECint, released an updated version of SPECviewperf today. The new SPECviewperf 13, is an update to the industry staple benchmark for measuring the graphics performance in workstation and professional applications.

specviewperf-viewsets.png

Ranging from a wide array of applications such as Solidworks, Maya, Creo, 3ds Max, and more, SPECviewperf provides an insight into the performance of mission-critical, but often difficult to benchmark scenarios.

Changes for this new version of SPECviewperf include:

  • Support for 4K resolution displays.
  • New reporting methods, including JSON output that enables more robust and flexible result parsing.
  • A new user interface that will be standardized across all SPEC/GWPG benchmarks.
  • New workloads and scoring that reflect the range of activities found in real-world applications.
  • Various bug fixes and performance improvements.

Given that the changes include new datasets for the energy, medical, Creo, and Maya viewsets, as well as tweaks to the others, we decided to grab some quick results from two high-end prosumer level GPUs, the NVIDIA Titan Xp and the AMD RX Vega Frontier Edition.

The full testbed configuration is listed below:

Test System Setup
CPU

Intel Core i9-7960XE

Motherboard ASUS PRIME X299 Deluxe
Memory

32GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4-3200

Operating at: 2400MHz

Storage Intel Optane SSD DC P4800X 750GB
Sound Card On-board
Graphics Card

NVIDIA GeForce TITAN Xp 12GB

AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition (Liquid) 16GB

Graphics Drivers

NVIDIA 397.64

AMD Radeon Pro 18.Q2.1

Power Supply Corsair RM1000x
Operating System Windows 10 Pro x64 RS4

results.png

While we see the Titan Xp handily winning most of the tests in SPECviewperf 13, there are some notable exceptions, including the newly updated energy workload where the Vega Frontier Edition manages to pull off a 13% lead. Additionally, Solidworks—a very widely used application for CAD work—sees a 23% performance advantage for AMD.

SPECviewperf is a benchmark that we rely on to evaluate profession application performance, and we are glad to see it's getting some improvements.

For anyone curious about the performance of their system, SPECviewperf 13 is free to download and use for non-profit entities that do not sell computer hardware, software, or related services.

Source: SPECgpc

NVIDIA Launches GTX 1050 3GB for Budget Gamers

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 23, 2018 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GP107, GDDR5, budget

NVIDIA recently quietly launched a new budget graphics card that neatly slots itself between the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti. The new GTX 1050 3GB, as the name suggests, features 3GB of GDDR5 memory. The new card is closer to the GTX 1050 Ti than the name would suggest, however as it uses the same 768 CUDA cores instead of the 640 of the GTX 1050 2GB. The GDDR5 memory is where the card differs from the GTX 1050 Ti though as NVIDIA has cut the number of memory controllers by one along with the corresponding ROPs and cache meaning that the new GTX 1050 3GB has a smaller memory bus and less memory bandwidth than both the GTX 1050 2GB and GTX 1050 Ti 4GB.

NVIDIA GTX 1050.png

Specifically, the GTX 1050 with 3GB GDDR5 has a 96-bit memory bus that when paired with 7 Gbps GDDR5 results in maximum memory bandwidth of 84 GB/s versus the other previously released cards' 128-bit memory buses and 112 GB/s of bandwidth.

Clockspeeds on the new GTX 1050 3GB start are a good bit higher than the other cards though with the base clocks starting at 1392 MHz which is the boost clock of the 1050 Ti and running up to 1518 MHz boost clockspeeds. Thanks to the clockspeeds bumps, the theoretical GPU performance of 2.33 TFLOPS is actually higher than the GTX 1050 Ti (2.14 TFLOPS) and existing GTX 1050 2GB (1.86 TFLOPS) though the reduced memory bus (and loss of a small amount of ROPs and cache) will hold the card back from surpassing the Ti variant in most workloads – NVIDIA needs to maintain product segmentation somehow!

  NVIDIA GTX 1050 2GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 3GB NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti 4GB AMD RX 560 4GB
GPU GP107 GP107 GP107 Polaris 11
GPU Cores 640 768 768 896 or 1024
Texture Units 40 48 48 64
ROPs 32 ? 32 16
GPU Base 1354 1392 1290 1175
GPU Boost 1455 1518 1392 1275
TFLOPS 1.86 2.33 2.14 up to 2.6
Memory 2GB GDDR5 3GB GDDR5 4GB GDDR5 2GB or 4GB GDDR5
Memory Clockspeed 7 Gbps 7 Gbps 7 Gbps 7 Gbps
Memory Bus 128-bit 96-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth 112 GB/s 84 GB/s 112 GB/s 112 GB/s
TDP 75W 75W 75W 60W to 80W
Pricing ~$150 ~$160 (Estimate) ~$200 ~$160

The chart above compares the specifications of the GTX 1050 3GB with the GTX 1050 and the GTX 1050 Ti on the NVIDIA side and the AMD RX 560 which appears to be its direct competitor based on pricing. The new 3GB GTX 1050 should compete well with AMD's Polaris 11 based GPU as well as NVIDIA's own cards in the budget gaming space where hopefully the downside of a reduced memory bus will at least dissuade cryptocurrency miners from adopting this card as an entry level miner for Ethereum and other alt coins giving gamers a chance to buy something a bit better than the GTX 1050 and RX 550 level at close to MSRP while the miners fight over the Ti and higher variants with more memory and compute units.

NVIDIA did not release formal pricing or release date information, but the cards are expected to launch in June and prices should be around $160 to $180 depending on retailer and extra things like fancier coolers and factory overclocks.

What are your thoughts on the GTX 1050 3GB? Is it the bastion of hope budget gamers have been waiting for? hehe Looking around online it seems pricing for these budget cards has somewhat returned to sane levels and hopefully alternative options like these aimed at gamers will help further stabilize the market for us DIYers that want to game more than mine. I do wish that NVIDIA could have changed the name a bit to better differentiate the card, maybe the GTX 1050G or something but oh well. I suppose so long as the 640 CUDA core GTX 1050 doesn't ever get 3GB GDDR5 at least gamers will be able to tell them apart by the amount of memory listed on the box or website.

Also read:

Source: NVIDIA

ASUS Unveils Pricing, Availability for PG27UQ HDR-enabled G-SYNC Display

Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 04:21 PM |
Tagged: Predator X27, PG27UQ, hdr, g-sync hdr, displayhdr 1000, asus, acer

We're one step closer to the official launch of G-SYNC HDR displays with the official announcement of a release window and pricing from ASUS for their PG27UQ 27" G-SYNC HDR Display. While the Acer Predator X27 was put up for pre-order last week and is set to ship on June 1st, this is the first indication of release details we have for the ASUS PG27UQ.

pg27uq-2.png

ASUS is touting the PG27UQ as the first "gaming monitor" to achieve VESA's DisplayHDR 1000 certification. While we've seen the announcement of another DisplayHDR 1000 monitor, the Phillips Momentum, it comes in at a TV-sized 43 inches.

DisplayHDR 1000 certification is achieved through the utilization of a 384-zone 1000cd/m2 peak brightness backlight as well as a quantum dot layer which allows the IPS panel to support 97% DCI-P3 and 99% AdobeRGB color gamut.

pg27uq.jpg

The PG27UQ also features ambient lighting controlled by their the ASUS Aura Sync software. A built-in ROG Light Signal will allow users to cast the ROG logo on the wall behind their monitor if they so choose.

The ASUS PG27UQ will be available in North America for a price of $1,999.99 starting in late June 2018.

Source: ASUS

EVGA and PC Perspective Massive May Giveaway!

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2018 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: giveaway, evga, contest

Tomorrow might be Star Wars day, but today we are creating our own holiday, courtesy of our friends at EVGA! In celebration of Spring and that it IS in fact, the month of May, may I present the EVGA and PC Perspective Massive May Giveaway!!

We have 11 different prizes up for grabs from keyboards to power supplies to motherboard to cases and coolers. Entry is allowed across the globe, and there are plenty of ways to enter. You don't have to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to do so, as there is a daily submission option as well. 

A HUGE thanks to our friends at EVGA for supplying all the hardware for our community. Good luck!

It's Gonna Be May! Massive May Giveaway from EVGA and PC Perspective!

 

Acer's new FreeSync Nitro displays

Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: VG0, RG0, nitro, ips, freesync, acer

Acer announced two new series of IPS displays in their recent press conference, the 4k Nitro VG0 and 1080p Nitro RG0.  The VG0 is available in 21.5", 23.8" and 27" models, all of which are available in 4k resolution, Freesync capable with a top refresh rate of 144Hz and a variety of colour management features, from six axis colour adjustment to 11 different black levels. 

Nitro_VG0_(VG270U- VG270K-VG240YU)_blue_right facing.jpg

The Nitro RG0 features a impressively svelte .27" profile on both its 27" and 23.8" displays.  The maximum variable refresh rate is a bit lower, at 75Hz as is the 1080p resolution.  This display is more appropriate for those lacking the GPU power to run at higher resolutions or those who opt for multiple displays. 

Nitro_RG0_(RG240Y-RG270-RG270Y)_left facing.jpg

These Nitro displays offer 72% NTSC colour coverage and ship with a pair of 2W speakers inside the bezel.  HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort connections are available, depending on your preference and they offer a variety of display modes as well as Acer's VisionCare which includes Flickerless, BlueLightShield and ComfyView.  As these are Freesync displays, the pricing is quite reasonable, the VG0 starts at $130 while the RG0 can be yours for $170. 

You can watch the full press conference here.

Source: Acer

A peice of your Stellaris galaxy physcially quarantined? Of course it is a good idea to open it up and explore!

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2018 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: stellaris, gaming, distant horizons

The newest update to Stellaris has arrived, with the Niven update available for everyone and the Distant Horizons story pack available for ~$10.  The update to the base game offers some major changes to anomalies, with failure no longer an option but instead the scientist having to keep researching until they finally figure it out.  You will also see binary and trinary star systems while roaming your galaxy, which has become more mysterious as hyperlanes are not revealed until you visit a system.

The new story pack allows you to create or repair special gates, which lead to a part of the galaxy which is otherwise unreachable.  Obviously whomever locked these systems out had no idea what they were doing and you should absolutely reconnect them to the rest of the galaxy; what could possibly go wrong?  Drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a look at the release trailer and more details on the newest update to Stellaris.

stellaris-distant-stars.jpg

"As is often the way with Paradox strategy game expansions, it’s accompanied by a free update which reworks parts of the base game. Expect new binary and trinary star systems, anomaly studies no longer having a chance to fail, and other tweakies."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

April software brings May downers; hold off on the Windows 10 April Update for a bit

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2018 - 01:51 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, april update, avast, oops

Some machines are having a wee spot o' trouble with the new April Update from Microsoft, rendering their machines fairly unusable.  It seems that after the update your desktop is replaced by an error message, "C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is unavailable" and you are no longer able to use Windows Explorer.  There are numerous ways to recreate the desktop file under your systemprofile directory, however many of these could lead to losing files on your desktop, which is why you are better off following the instructions in this Reddit post.  

So far there have been numerous theories about what is causing this issue but many have proven inaccurate and the remainder are not overly compelling.  Long story short, if you have been holding off on installing this update, you should continue to do so; likely a decision you have already made a while ago.

23498735-70b4-4c11-8b8e-5d0939d5774d.png

"The problem, which first appeared in a posting on a Microsoft support forum on 14 May, has gained a bit of traction over the last two days with users taking to social media as they go through the three stages of installing this update: frustration, fury and despair."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Samsung Updates 2018 QLED TVs with FreeSync Support

Subject: Displays | May 23, 2018 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, qled, Predator X27, hdr. g-sync, freesync

Hot on the heels of the pricing and pre-order availability of the first G-SYNC HDR displays, we have news on more support for FreeSync, this time expanding to TVs.

Today, popular TV review site Rtings posted confirmation that the latest firmware (1103), released on May 21st, in fact, enables support for FreeSync on Q6FN, Q7FN, Q8FN, Q9FN, and NU8000 sets. We have no official confirmation that this is FreeSync 2 support, but all signs point to this being the case.

Given how well the 2018 QLED sets fair in Rtings own reviews, including HDR performance, this could be the first product to be released combining high-end HDR with variable refresh technology.

qled.jpg

Interestingly enough, you can currently pick up the 55" Samsung Q7F TV for around $1700, which translates to $300 less than the 27" Acer Predator X27 G-SYNC HDR display available for preorder now. While it would be difficult to fit a 55" display on your desk, it's an interesting comparison nonetheless.

If you happen to own one of these compatible TVs, you can find the firmware to enable FreeSync on Samsung's support page for your given model. For the rest of us, we'll be waiting for reputable outlets like Rtings to conduct their standard through testing of this new feature!

Source: Rtings

It's an Unreal Deal! Heh Heh Heh

Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2018 - 10:29 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, epic games, unreal

Seriously, though. Epic Games has just made Unreal Gold available for free on Steam and GoG if you add it to your library before the deal ends. If you have seen our posts about Origin’s “On the House” promotions, then it shouldn’t be too shocking. Still, it’s a good game and you can’t beat 100% off.

epic-2018-toiletcar-unrealwiki.jpg

Image Credit: UnrealWiki

This aligns with Unreal’s 20th anniversary. The first-person shooter launched on May 22nd, 1998. It was apparently well-received at the time, although people complained that the online multiplayer had issues with lag (and so forth). This feedback lead to Epic’s next title: Unreal Tournament.

As you can probably guess – that title did very well with multiplayer.

Unreal had a sequel, developed by Legend Entertainment (before they were shut down by Atari / Infogrames) called Unreal II: The Awakening. I’ve… never played that one, although it apparently had a dedicated fanbase of its XMP multiplayer expansion.

Source: Epic Games

Qt 5.11 Released

Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2018 - 08:22 PM |
Tagged: Qt

As we have mentioned in the past, Qt is a popular C++ framework, predominantly used to graphical user interfaces. Qt 5.9, which was released last year, wrapped up a block of new features with an LTS build. Qt 5.10 followed several months later with a non-LTS version, which focused on the release of Qt 3D Studio but also introduced basic Vulkan support.

QtCompany_logo_1200x630.png

Qt 5.11, also not an LTS release, has just been pushed out. This one adds a bunch of accessibility features to Widgets on Windows, as well as improving the high-DPI support on that platform. They have also worked on their Unicode implementation, which is now compatible with Unicode 10. Unicode string parsing in C++ is particularly annoying, so letting Qt handle it might be a huge incentive for many projects, especially since it comes with a great UI framework.

They also have a Beta preview of Qt 3D Studio 2.0, which was released about a week ago. This update expects to replace the guts with one based on Qt 3D. Qt 3D Studio was created from NVIDIA’s WYSIWYG editor for car UIs, which allowed designers to make dashboard interface screens in 3D. NVIDIA gave it to Qt, who has made it, and its runtime, available under GPLv3.

The next release will be Qt 5.12, which is scheduled to be another LTS version.

If you’re interested, Qt is free for open-source projects due to its mix of GPL and LGPL licenses. Commercial projects will need to navigate the packages accordingly, however. Some can get away using LGPL versions, while others will need to buy a commercial license to opt-out of the GPL.

And, yes, the website is a little challenging to navigate. There is a way to download without buying a commercial license, though, even if you use it commercially (albeit in compliance with the LGPL).

Source: Qt

Spectre 3a and Spectre 4 Unfortunately Announced...

Subject: Processors | May 22, 2018 - 07:51 PM |
Tagged: x86, arm, Intel, amd, spectre

Security researchers at Microsoft and Google have found two new vulnerabilities along the lines of the Spectre and Meltdown bugs from early January. These are being called Spectre 3a (Rogue System Register Read) and Spectre 4 (Speculative Store Bypass). Like last time, hardware and software vendors have addressed the issues, which will be coming down via OS updates.

bond-2018-spectre-joke.jpg

Naturally, James Bond will steal information when there's Intel Inside.

On the AMD side of things, they claim that the Spectre 4 vulnerability will be patched as far back as Bulldozer (2011). They also claim that no action will be necessary, at least to their knowledge, for Spectre 3a on their x86 parts. They have also released a short, five-page whitepaper discussing the issue.

On the Intel side of things… a security bulletin has been posted for CPUs as far back as Nehalem. They don’t exactly clarify which processors are susceptible to which vulnerabilities, but they acknowledge that both Spectre 3a and Spectre 4 touch something on their product stack to some extent. They have submitted a beta microcode update to OS vendors, which they expect to be production ready “in the coming weeks”.

ARM is also affected to some extent. They have published a table that lists which architectures are vulnerable to what exploit. Interestingly, there are some processors that are vulnerable to 3a, but not 4, and others that are vulnerable to 4, but not 3a (and, of course, some that are vulnerable to both and neither). Since these exploits are based on optimizations gone awry, you would think that it would have built up over time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The only pattern I could notice is that Variant 4 only affects newish 64-bit ARM processors. I don’t know if that’s a red herring, or a well-known corollary of the bug that I just don’t know enough about, but it’s about all that I can see.

Regardless, expect patches soon, which might, again, lower performance by some amount.

SilverStone Launches SFF Nightjar NJ450-SXL Fanless Power Supply

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 22, 2018 - 07:10 PM |
Tagged: SilverStone 450W, Silverstone, SFX-L, SFF, Fanless Power Supply, 80 Plus Platinum PSU

SilverStone recently took the wraps off of a new fanless power supply for small form factor (SFX-L) systems. The Nightjar NJ450-SXL is a 450W PSU that conforms to the 80 PLUS Platinum specification where it can hit up to 92% efficiency at 100% load. The power supply, which SilverStone claims is the first SFX-L fanless PSU, features an extruded aluminum outer shell with aluminum fins running front to back on the top, bottom, left, and right sides. It measures 130mm x 63.5mm x 125mm and weighs 1.52 kg (3.35 pounds).

SilverStone NightJar NJ450-SXL Fanless PSU.jpg

The SFF PSU features a single +12V rail rated at 37.5A and is compatible with a single high end or dual mid-range GPU setup. It further features support for over current, over power, over voltage, and short circuit protection as well as active power factor correction (PFC) for cleaner AC input and more efficient power distribution to the components powered by the PSU.

The fully modular Nightjar NJ450-SXL features flat black cables that are fairly short (most of the cables are under a foot so no putting this bad boy in an E-ATX case!) to make cable management as easy as possible especially when it comes to airflow and shoving (I mean, uhm, organizing) them behind the motherboard tray to make the build look cleaner.

Notably, there are no vents on this power supply. Even so, SilverStone rates the PSU at operating temperatures of 0°C to 40°C while maintaining 100% load and 24/7 operation.

SilverStone SFX-L Fanless PSU.png

As far as supported connectors, the Nightjar NJ450-SXL features support for:

  • 1 x 24-pin ATX
  • 1 x 8-pin EPS
  • 4 x 8-pin PCI-E
  • 8 x SATA
  • 3 x 4-pin peripheral (think Molex style)
  • 1 x 4-pin floppy

SilverStone rates its new PSU at 100,000 hours MTBF at 25°C. It is not clear from its website what the pricing, availability, or warranty length will be (warranty is at least 1 year but it may be longer and the warranty page for the extended year(s) eligible products just hasn’t been updated). I am curious how this PSU will perform especially in a cramped SFF system. SilverStone claims that is silent at 0dBA, and hopefully the reviews can corroborate that. It looks like a good fanless option on paper, but I have a feeling it’s going to come at a premium price point!

Source: SilverStone

Potentially Worthwhile E3 2018 Events

Subject: General Tech | May 22, 2018 - 06:43 PM |
Tagged: E3, e3 2018, pc gaming

E3 is almost upon us. In fact, we’re well into the “leaks before the show” (intentional and unintentional) block of the calendar, so we already have a good idea what franchises many of the major studios plan to announce new entries for. EA will have Battlefield V. Bethesda will have RAGE 2. Nintendo will have a couple of live streams because who needs a stage. PC Gamer will have a press conference because they want a stage.

All that good stuff.

e3-2018-logo.png

So what are those times?

EA: June 9th (Saturday) at 2:00 PM EDT / 11:00 am PDT / 6:00 PM UTC

Microsoft: June 10th (Sunday) at 4:00 PM EDT / 1:00 PM PDT / 8:00 PM UTC

Bethesda: June 10th (Sunday) at 9:30 PM EDT / 6:30 PM PDT / 1:30 AM UTC

Devolver: June 10th (Sunday) at 11:00 PM EDT / 8:00PM PDT / 3:00 AM UTC

Square Enix: June 11th (Monday) at 1:00 PM EDT / 10:00 AM PDT / 5:00 PM UTC

Ubisoft: June 11th (Monday) at 4:00 PM EDT / 1:00 PM PDT / 8:00 PM UTC

PC Gaming: June 11th (Monday) at 6:00 PM EDT / 3:00 PM PDT / 10:00 PM UTC

Sony: June 11th (Monday) at 9:00 PM EDT / 6:00 PM PDT / 1:00 AM UTC

Nintendo: June 12th (Tuesday) at 12:00 PM EDT / 9:00 AM PDT / 4:00 PM UTC

Both YouTube and Twitch will also return to E3 2018. Beyond streaming the keynotes, they will also have various panels and interviews to talk about how hyped they are for specific games. Basically, they are taking the role that G4 once had, during the mid-to-late-aught years. Admittedly, it’s hard to get as excited for the event as I was back then, but it’s still a big time for gaming news.

So what do you hope to see?

Wave your arms in the air ... dual and single monitor mounts from Echogear

Subject: Displays | May 22, 2018 - 02:14 PM |
Tagged: monitor arm, echogear

An often neglected accessory for computers are monitor arms, which open up a large amount of space on your desk and allow you to switch from portrait to landscape and back quickly and easily.  Not all arms are created equally and a poorly designed one can sour your experience and cause you to abandon them altogether.  The Tech Report have just tested two models from Echogear, a single monitor stand as well as a dual monitor option.  The mounting procedure is quite easy as well as adjusting their profile to fit your personal needs, the only area which was mentioned as less than ideal was the included cable management rings.  Take a look at the full review to see if that is enough to sour your opinion or if these might be the accessories you are looking for.

echogear-dual.jpg

"Once upon a time, I had a sweet monitor-arm setup that proved such a hassle that I eventually put my screens right back on their included stands. Now, I'm putting my screens back on EchoGear's single-screen and dual-screen monitor arms to see whether the company can change my mind."

Here are some more Display articles from around the web:

Displays