It's a good day to be running an AMD APU, unless you like updating iGPU drivers

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2019 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: Intel, security, patch, igp

Today there are patches for no less than 19 vulnerabilities on Intel graphics drivers for Windows of various flavours.  Sysadmins out there should also pay attention, as there are  vulnerabilities specific to server chips as well, with patches for a variety of features up to and including the Trusted Execution Engine; if you are using a desktop chip with these features you should also pay attention.  The only silver lining to this is that the vulnerabilities require an already compromised machine to be exploited ... or physical access of course.

You can read through the synopsis of these CVEs over at The Register if you want to ruin your Thursday.

it_crowd_650px.jpg

"Chipzilla's March patch dump is highlighted by fixes for 19 CVE-listed vulnerabilities in its graphics drivers for Windows. If you use Windows and have those drivers (and if you're running an Intel CPU with integrated GPU, you almost certainly do) you will want to patch sooner than later."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PC Perspective Podcast #536 - GTX 1660, NVIDIA & Mellanox, DirectX 12 on Windows 7, and More!

Subject: General Tech | March 14, 2019 - 11:25 AM |
Tagged: video, podcast, phoenix point, Mellanox, halo, gtx 1660, DirectX 12, corsair

PC Perspective Podcast #536 - 3/13/2019

Join us this week as we review the new NVIDIA GTX 1660 and a high-end case from Corsair, discuss NVIDIA's Mellanox acquisition, get excited over Halo for PC, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:00:06 - Intro
00:03:47 - Review: NVIDIA GTX 1660
00:22:22 - Review: Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB Case
00:37:48 - News: NVIDIA Acquires Mellanox
00:47:58 - News: DirectX 12 for Windows 7
00:53:25 - News: Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC
00:58:21 - News: Windows 10 KB4482887 Issues & Fix
01:00:40 - News: AMD Navi Launch Date Rumors
01:02:29 - News: Navi GPU Benchmarks?
01:10:03 - News: Phoenix Point Jumps Ship to Epic Games Store
01:25:22 - News: Samsung eMRAM for IoT
01:30:12 - News: The Web's 30th B-Day
01:34:40 - News: Corsair Carbide Series 678C Low-Noise Case
01:37:38 - Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week
Jim: Humble Strategy Bundle 2019
Jeremy: Firefox Send
Josh: Resident Evil 2

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

MSI's RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio is a great card for those who tweak

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2019 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: msi, RTX 2080 Ti, gaming x trio

MSI's RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio is a beefy card, at 32.5cm (12.8") in length you should check the clearance on your case before considering a purchase.  Right out of the box the boost clock is 1755MHz, which doesn't really represent what this card is capable of, [H]ard|OCP found it sits around 1900MHz before they started tweaking it.  With a bit of TLC they saw the clock spike all the way to 2070MHz, though for the most part it ran just above 2000MHz which had a noticeable impact on performance.  It still wasn't enough to provide a decent experience playing Metro Exodus at 4k with Ultra Ray Tracing enabled, with that disabled the card happily managed 70FPS with all the other bells and whistles enabled. 

Check the numbers yourself in the full review.

155198019353empmcz7i_1_1.png

"The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GAMING X TRIO takes the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti to new heights in performance and overclocking. We’ve got Metro Exodus NVIDIA Ray Tracing performance, 1440p and 4K gameplay, and we compare this video card overclocked as well as in silent mode for more efficient gameplay."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Report: AMD's Upcoming Navi GPUs Launching in August

Subject: Graphics Cards | March 13, 2019 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: report, rumor, wccftech, amd, navi, gpu, graphics, video card, 7nm, radeon

Could Navi be coming a bit sooner than we expected? I'll quote directly from the sourced report by Usman Pirzada over at WCCFtech:

"I have been told that AMD’s Navi GPU is at least one whole month behind AMD’s 7nm Ryzen launch, so if the company launches the 3000 series desktop processors at Computex like they are planning to, you should not expect the Navi GPU to land before early August. The most likely candidates for launch during this window are Gamescom and Siggraph. I would personally lean towards Gamescom simply because it is a gaming product and is the more likely candidate but anything can happen with AMD!

Some rumors previously had suggested an October launch, but as of now, AMD is telling its partners to expect the launch exactly a month after the Ryzen 7nm launch."

AMD GPU Roadmap.png

Paying particular attention to the second paragraph from the quote above, if this report is coming from board partners we will probably start seeing leaked box art and all the fixings from VideoCardz as August nears - if indeed July is the release month for the Ryzen 3000 series CPUs (and come on, how could they pass on a 7/7 launch for the 7nm CPUs?).

Source: Wccftech

Phoenix Point suffers Epic mission creep

Subject: General Tech | March 13, 2019 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: phoenix point, gaming, epic games, Snapshot Games

Fans of the original X-COM will soon have a reason to visit the Epic Games Store, as not quite released yet Phoenix Point will be sold there, exclusively.  For those backers who cannot bear the idea of creating an account, you can request a refund but if you don't you will get a years worth of DLC for free, not that we know as of yet what those additions may be.  The offer does suggest that Snapshot Games is getting a good deal as the crowdfunding campaign fell short of a few reach goals which might be an indication of what the contents of the DLC will be.  If you didn't back the game and are still interested you will be able to pick it up for around $40. 

Drop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a look at the video announcement of this decision.

crabby.PNG

"Phoenix Point will launch exclusively on the Epic Games Store now for £36, although they are offering refunds for those who absolutely wanted the game on Steam or GOG. You can find its official site here."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

AMD's new 66AF:F1 GPU, a model number inspired by the USB-IF?

Subject: General Tech | March 13, 2019 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: navi, amd, leak, AMD 66AF:F1

It's not the leak that many were hoping for, regardless it is still a peek at what Navi may offer when released.  The Inquirer spotted a mysterious AMD 66AF:F1 GPU attached to some Compubench compute results that could be a Navi GPU.  If that is indeed what it is then the new GPU will offer mid-range performance, as opposed to competing against NVIDIA's current family of high end cards.  It is rather telling that the Bitcoin Mining benchmark was not run, as we have seen in recent financial reports that bubble has pretty much burst.

498eff757b336f811a4b437aeb7bd523_XL.jpg

"In leaked benchmarks on CompuBench, the compute performance of the mysterious GPU suggested that it lags a little behind the Vega 56 and is more on par with the Radeon RX 580."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA Acquires Mellanox: Beyond the Numbers

Subject: Editorial | March 12, 2019 - 10:14 PM |
Tagged: nvswitch, nvlink, nvidia, Mellanox, Intel, Infiniband, Ethernet, communications, chiplets, amd

In a bit of a surprise this past weekend NVIDIA announced that it is purchasing the networking company Mellanox for approximately $6.9 billion US. NVIDIA and Intel were engaged in a bidding war for the Israel based company. At first glance we do not see the synergies that could potentially come from such an acquisition, but in digging deeper it makes much more sense. This is still a risky move for NVIDIA as their previous history of acquisitions have not been very favorable for the company (Ageia, Icera, etc.).

633889_NVLogo_3D_H_DarkType.jpg

Mellanox’s portfolio centers around datacenter connectivity solutions such as high speed ethernet and InfiniBand products. They are already a successful company that has products shipping out the door. If there is a super computer somewhere, chances are it is running Mallanox technology for high speed interconnects. This is where things get interesting for NVIDIA.

While NVIDIA focuses on GPUS they are spreading into the datacenter at a pretty tremendous rate. Their NVLink implementation allows high speed connectivity between GPUS and recently they showed off their NVSwitch which features 18 ports. We do not know how long it took to design the NVSwitch and get it running at a high level, but NVIDIA is aiming for implementations that will exceed that technology. NVIDIA had the choice to continue in-house designs or to purchase a company already well versed in such work with access to advanced networking technology.

Intel was also in play for Mellanox, but that particular transaction might not have been approved by anti-trust authorities around the world. If Intel had made an aggressive bid for Mellanox it would have essentially consolidated the market for these high end networking products. In the end NVIDIA offered the $6.9B US for the company and it was accepted. Because NVIDIA has no real networking solutions that are on the market it will likely be approved without issue. Unlike other purchases like Icera, Mellanox is actively shipping product and will add to the bottom line at NVIDIA.

mellanox-logo-square-blue.jpg

The company was able to purchase Mellanox in a cash transaction. They simply dove into their cash reserves instead of offering Mellanox shareholders equal shares in NVIDIA. This $6.9B is above what AMD paid for ATI back in 2006 ($5.4B). There may be some similarities here in that the price for Mellanox could be overvalued compared to what they actually bring to the table and we will see write downs over the next several years, much as AMD did for the ATI purchase.

The purchase will bring them instant expertise with high performance standards like InfiniBand. It will also help to have design teams versed in high speed, large node networking apply their knowledge to the GPU field and create solutions better suited for the technology. They will also continue to sell current Mellanox products.

Another purchase in the past that looks somewhat similar to this is AMD’s acquisition of SeaMicro. That company was selling products based on their Freedom Fabric technology to create ultra-dense servers utilizing dozens of CPUs. This line of products was discontinued by AMD after poor sales, but they expanded upon Freedom Fabric and created the Infinity Fabric that powers their latest Zen CPUs.

I can see a very similar situation occurring at NVIDIA. AMD is using their Infinity Fabric to connect multiple chiplets on a substrate, as well as utilizing that fabric off of the substrate. It also has integrated that fabric into their latest Vega GPUs. This philosophy looks to pay significant dividends for AMD once they introduce their 7nm CPUs in the form of Zen 2 and EPYC 2. AMD is not relying on large, monolithic dies for both their consumer and enterprise parts, thereby improving yields and bins on these parts as compared to what Intel does with current Xeon parts.

mellanox-quantum-connectx-6-chips-652x381.jpg

When looking at the Mellanox purchase from this view, it makes a lot of sense for NVIDIA. With process node advances moving at a much slower pace, the demand for higher performance solutions is only increasing. To meet this demand NVIDIA will be required to make efficient, multi-chip solutions that may require more performance and features than what can be covered by NVLINK. Mellanox could potentially provide the expertise and experience to help NVIDIA achieve such scale.

Source: NVIDIA

ESA Winter 2019 Raised $30,080 for Save The Children

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: esa, speedrun, charity

It’s been a few weeks since the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) Winter 2019 marathon ended, although the organizers have, just last Thursday, announced the results in a press release. Combining both streams, the event raised $30,080 USD in the six days that it ran. All of this money went to Save The Children.

Moreover, ESA Winter 2019 was the first event from the group that was sold-out.

esa-2019-logo.png

In previous years, ESA had sponsors that did donation matching up to some amount; I distinctly remember something like a 10:1 multiple a couple of years ago. As far as I can tell, that was not the case this time, so that was all contributed by the fans, including the runners and attendees.

Two more events are planned for this year. In April, on the 13th and the 14th, ESA will be at TwitchCon Europe. ESA Summer 2019 will take place from July 19th through July 28th, which is about a month after Summer Games Done Quick 2019 (June 23rd to June 30th).

Source: ESA

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Coming to PC

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: steam, pc gaming, microsoft, halo

At today’s Inside Xbox event, Microsoft announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is coming to PC on both Steam and the Microsoft Store. Not all games will launch simultaneously; in fact, no pricing or release dates have been announced. The only thing we have is the release order.

halo-2019-masterchiefcollection.jpg

  1. Halo: Reach
  2. Halo: Combat Evolved (Anniversary)
  3. Halo 2 (Anniversary)
  4. Halo 3: ODST – Campaign Only
  5. Halo 3
  6. Halo 4

This fills in everything between Halo 3 and Halo 4, inclusive, and reads so weird now that I have that typed out in front of me, on the PC platform. Also, Halo 1 and Halo 2 are, as far as I know, essentially dead for multiplayer reasons now that GameSpy and Games for Windows Live have been shut down for a dog’s age. It could be a good nostalgia trip to play those games again.

microsoft-2017-xbox-e3-xboxlives.png

And, yes, I owned a copy of Halo 2: Vista. I was intending to create mods for it until I noticed that their tools were so unbelievably broken that their own example map was impossible to make, at least on release although I am pretty sure that it was never fixed. (They removed the ability to make individual assets and they forgot to include jump pads. Granted, jump pads were not a super-critical feature, but it was also the perfect illustration of how little they cared about mod support.)

Venting past grievances aside, Halo has a good game flow with its relatively slow movement and shields. I am actually excited for it again. It might even be my go-to game if they allow mods again, which I strongly doubt.

Uh... WoW... World of Warcraft DirectX 12 on Windows 7

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards | March 12, 2019 - 04:53 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, wow, blizzard, microsoft, DirectX 12, dx12

Microsoft has just announced that they ported the DirectX 12 runtime to Windows 7 for World of Warcraft and other, unannounced games. This allows those games to run the new graphics API with its more-efficient framework of queuing work on GPUs, with support from Microsoft. I should note that the benchmarks for DirectX 12 in WoW are hit or miss, so I’m not sure whether it’s better to select DX11 or DX12 for any given PC, but you are free to try.

microsoft-2015-directx12-logo.jpg

This does not port other graphics features, like the updated driver model, which leads to this excerpt from the DirectX blog post:

How are DirectX 12 games different between Windows 10 and Windows 7?
Windows 10 has critical OS improvements which make modern low-level graphics APIs (including DirectX 12) run more efficiently. If you enjoy your favorite games running with DirectX 12 on Windows 7, you should check how those games run even better on Windows 10!

Just make sure you don’t install KB4482887? Trollolololol. Such unfortunate timing.

Of course, Vulkan also exists, and has supported Windows 7 since its creation. Further, both DirectX 12 and Vulkan have forked away from Mantle, which, of course, supported Windows 7. (AMD’s Mantle API pre-dates Windows 10.) The biggest surprise is that Microsoft released such a big API onto Windows 7 even though it is in extended support. I am curious what lead to this exception, such as cyber cafés or other international trends, because I really have no idea.

As for graphics drivers? I am guessing that we will see it pop up in new releases. The latest GeForce release notes claim that DirectX 12 is only available on Windows 10, although undocumented features are not exactly uncommon in the software and hardware industry. Speaking of undocumented features, World of Warcraft 8.1.5 is required for DirectX 12 on Windows 7, although this is not listed anywhere in the release notes on their blog.

Source: Microsoft

Meet Corsair's other release, the Carbide 678C

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 12, 2019 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: corsair, Carbide 678C, mid-tower, tempered glass

If you are looking for the Corsair Crystal RGB case then take a gander at the gorgeous pictures in Sebastian's review or one of the numerous reviews below the fold, for this is a look at the Corsair Carbide 678C.   You can pick between a white finish or the black model which the Guru of 3D reviewed, both with tempered glass side panels and a broad choice of cooling options.  The top can fit up to a 420mm radiator if you remove the optical drive, or if you leave it in you are limited to 360mm of fans or radiators and there are spaces on the front, back and bottom to accommodate even more cooling. 

As far as your CPU cooler goes, 170mm is the limit, with up to 370mm long GPUs fitting in as well.  Those are just some of the reasons the Guru of 3D loved this case, read on to see if you do too.

page1_2.jpg

"The Corsair Carbide 678C is meant to refresh the silent line of cases of the brand with a new, modern take using updated internals. With plenty of liquid-cooling capabilities, a fan controller, and wide body, it checks off a lot of points for enthusiasts, which may end up taking away from its intended target audience: the silent type."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: Guru of 3D

Happy Birthday to hypertext

Subject: General Tech | March 12, 2019 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: interwebs, series of tubes, happy birthday, Tim Berners-Lee, hypertext, CERN

It was 30 years ago today,

Tim Berners-Lee taught the internet how to play,

It's been going in and out of tubes,

And now it's totally full of rubes ...

What we now call the Internet was originally sketched out in this document released by Tim Berners-Lee where he first formally describes the idea of hypertext.  One year later came the first prototype web browser, which you can actually play with now if you are curious from whence this all came.  To mark the occasion he posted an open letter looking back at what has happened over three decades and what may come in the future.  You can read it in full from the link posted at The Inquirer, but they also quote what might be the most important thing for you to ponder ...

"the biggest three dangers facing web users today - malicious activity, business models that reward clickbait, and unintended consequences such as aggression and angry discourse"

TBL-at-Web-Summit_Letter.jpg

"The web is for everyone and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won't be easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

CORSAIR Launches the Carbide Series 678C Low-Noise ATX Case

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 12, 2019 - 09:05 AM |
Tagged: SP140, quiet, mid-tower, enclosure, corsair, chassis, case, Carbide Series 678C, atx

Launching today alongside the Crystal Series 680X (see our review here), CORSAIR's Carbide Series 678C is designated a low-noise ATX case thanks to what CORSAIR says is extensive sound damping within the enclosure.

678C-White-01.png

We have the Carbide Series 678C in for review right now (the black version), and will have that available soon as we explore just how quiet this new enclosure is, and of course how effective the airflow is from the trio of included SP140 PWM fans as we measure temps from our test platform.

678C_Black_interior.jpg

Features of the Carbide Series 678C from CORSAIR:

  • Sophisticated Style: Defined by clean lines and smooth steel construction, with a crystal-clear
  • tempered glass side panel to show off your system’s components.
  • Extensive Sound Damping: Sound damping material on the side, front and roof panels ensure quiet operation – or swap in the included dust filter on the roof when performance is your top priority.
  • A Multitude of Cooling Options: Includes space for 360mm push/pull radiators in the front and roof, 280/240mm radiators on the floor, and 140/120mm radiators in the rear.
  • Massive Cooling Potential: Powerful and efficient airflow, with room to install up to 9x 120mm or 7x 140mm fans for massive cooling potential.
  • Take Command of Your Cooling: A PWM fan controller regulates three included SP140 PWM fans and up to three more. Reduce fan speed when you want keep your system quiet, or
  • increase when you want to push its performance.
  • High-Speed USB 3.1 Gen-2 Type-C Port: Front panel connector puts future-proof connectivity within easy reach.
  • Expand Your Storage Options: Install up to 6x 3.5in and 3x 2.5in drives. A versatile HDD/ODD design includes six modular trays that can be moved to eight mounting locations to give you the exact layout you want.
  • Easy Accessibility: Both the front panel and tempered glass side panel are hinged for tool-free easy access.

678C_Black_doors.jpg

One of my favorite aspects of both new cases launched by CORSAIR today are the hinged door panels, which make accessing the components a breeze.

The case is available with either a black or white finish, and as to pricing the new Carbide Series 678C case is squarely in the premium category, launching at $199.99.

Source: CORSAIR

G.Skill Announces OC World Cup With $25,000 In Cash Prizes

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 11:47 PM |
Tagged: computex, oc world cup, Extreme Overclocking Competition, G.Skill

Memory and computer peripheral maker G.Skill is already announcing Computex news with the reveal that its sponsored extreme overclocking competition -- the OC World Cup -- will take place at the company's booth at Computex 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan. Further, G.Skill is expanding the sixth annual competition to include nine contestants at its live qualifier (up from six in previous years) and upping the total cash prize amount to $25,000 total with $10,000 going to the first place grand prize winning overclocker.

01-oc-world-cup-2019-25k.jpg

There are reportedly three rounds to the competition with the first online qualifier taking place between March 13 and April 16 on hwbot.org where participants with a qualifying Intel platform and G.Skill DDR4 memory will compete for benchmark wins when overclocking and tweaking memory timings. The benchmarks used include raw memory speeds, SuperPi 32M, Geekbench 3 Memory Performance Single Core, and 3DMark11. G.Skill will award one random participant a Trident Z Royal DDR4 3600MHz (CL16) memory kit (2x8GB) and the top 9 particpants will progress and be offered a spot to compete at the live qualifier and then the grand final during Computex where the overclockers will be set loose with LN2 and grit to attempt world records and winning scores (last year G.Skill announced the overclockers beat 13 world overclocking records).

Cash prizes for contestants works out to $10,000 for first place, $3,500 for second, $2,500 for third, and $2,000 for fourth place with the prize amount decreasing in two hundred dollar increments down to the ninth place winner getting $1,000.

02-oc-world-cup-live-competition.jpg

The live extreme overclocking competition at last year's Computex. (Image courtesy G.Skill)

I am looking forward to seeing the extreme overclocking action and how far they are able to push the hardware as well as all the other Computex news!

Source: G.Skill

SplitmediaLabs Is Now a Gold Sponsor of OBS Project

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 11:33 PM |
Tagged: OBS, xsplit

The makers of XSplit, SplitmediaLabs, has just become a Gold Sponsor of the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) project, which is an open-source alternative to their XSplit Broadcaster. According to the OBS Open Collective page, this amounts to $20,000 USD, which ties them for first with Games Done Quick.

Note that the third-place organization has contributed $250, so there’s a lot of room for smaller companies to jump in.

obs-2019-logo.png

At the same time, Andreas Hoye, COO of SplitmediaLabs, published the blog post “Why XSplit is sponsoring OBS” to answer the obvious question “Why is XSplit sponsoring OBS?” According to his words, there appears to be three main reasons. The first reason is that the developer of OBS did this as a passion project, and multiple companies have swooped in to make for-profit forks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; companies, such as RedHat, have shown that you can be valuable by establishing a service atop an open-source platform. It’s reasonable for XSplit to see the open-source OBS as their true competitor, and they’re doing it for nothing, so why not show a friendly gesture to someone in your industry who is only there because they want to be?

This leads into the second reason: competition. The post claims to want to keep OBS strong so the open-source project innovates and thus shows XSplit new ways to better their own software. It’s the not-zero-sum way of looking at the world, where you make the entire industry grow rather than eat away at each other’s market share.

As for the third reason? XSplit makes other software than just Broadcaster, and their new VCam webcam background remover is compatible with OBS.

Regardless of the reason, it’s cool when a company supports open-source. XSplit being a competitor of OBS just makes the story better.

Seasonic FOCUSes on quality in their new SGX PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 11, 2019 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: FOCUS SGX, seasonic, modular psu, 80 Plus Gold, 650W

Given its small size, having four PCIe connectors, six SATA connectors, and three Molex connectors on the Seasonic FOCUS SGX is no mean feat.  That will give almost any SFF build more than enough power, or even a full sized build if you prefer a small PSU for whatever reason.  The 10 year warranty indicates Seasonic has a lot of faith in this unit, and [H]ard|OCP's testing shows it is deserved.  You will pay a little more for the FOCUS SGX but in this case it is actually worth it.

1549304872q2n97gwibz_2_8_l.jpg

"Seasonic is FOCUSing more on small footprint high output power supplies, and the new FOCUS SGX series is targeting the small form factor market once again. This beefy 650 watt unit is fully modular, packs a 10 year warranty, is diminutive in size, had good efficiency, and comes complete with an ATX adapter plate as well."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Samsung is rolling out eMRAM for the IoT

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: everspin, eMRAM, Samsung, iot, Optane

Embedded magnetic RAM has been around for a bit, usually thanks to the work of Everspin whom have licensed their technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES, though today Samsung has announced they are developing their own.  It is less expensive to produce than STT-RAM, PC-RAM or memristors yet offers many of the same advantages over flash memory, namely much higher performance and lower electrical requirements.  

Samsung is a ways from production, according to The Register Samsung doesn't expect to tape out a 1Gb eMRAM test chip until later this year.  This would be a big leap forward for the performance of embedded systems, as ARM is working with Samsung to ensure compatibility and we may even see eMRAM onboard ARM chips once Samsung's production lines ramp up.  It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on the market once it arrives; hopefully a larger splash than a certain other type of non-volitile memory!

samsung_news_05.jpg

"Samsung this week claimed it is mass-producing and commercially shipping embedded magnetic RAM (eMRAM) to replace EEPROM, SRAM, and NAND memories in embedded electronics."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

PC Perspective Podcast #535 - EVGA RTX 2060 Ultra, USB4, and the Return of Diablo

Subject: General Tech | March 11, 2019 - 08:50 AM |
Tagged: video, usb4, Threadripper, swiftech, RTX 2060, radeon vii, podcast, mx518, MK730, logitech, GOG, evga, eUFS, diablo

PC Perspective Podcast #535 - 3/7/2019

Editor's Note: Our apologies for the delayed release of this week's podcast. We had an increasingly catastrophic storage disaster that required some lengthy data recovery. But we're back up and running and thankfully lost nothing but a bit of time.

With that out of the way, join us for a look at the EVGA RTX 2060 Ultra, the Cooler Master MK730 mechanical gaming keyboard, a pricey CPU water block from Swiftech, the latest USB news, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
00:00:06 - Intro
00:07:19 - Review: EVGA RTX 2060 XC Ultra
00:24:01 - Review: Cooler Master MK730 Mechanical Keyboard
00:29:49 - Review: Swiftech Apogee SKF Heirloom Water Block
00:33:12 - News: USB4
00:40:53 - News: Third-Gen Threadripper & Navi Details
00:47:33 - News: RTX Triple-Threat Bundle & 419.35 Drivers
00:51:01 - News: Radeon VII Undervolting
01:01:29 - News: Windows Retpoline Optimizations & Game Breakers
01:06:09 - News: Intel CPU SPOILER Vulnerability
01:14:26 - News: GPU Price Cuts?
01:20:03 - News: Samsung eUFS 3.0 Mobile Storage
01:28:36 - News: HoloLens 2
01:32:54 - Picks of the Week

Picks of the Week
Jim: Syba 10GBase-T NIC
Jeremy: Logitech MX518 Legendary
Josh: MSI Radeon RX Vega 56
Sebastian: Diablo

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Valve Lays Off 13 Full-time Employees and More

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2019 - 05:16 PM |
Tagged: valve, layoffs

UploadVR received a statement from Valve that 13 full-time employees and “a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated”. The statement goes on to say that “It’s an unfortunate part of business, but does not represent any major changes at the company.”

UploadVR (and others of course) then went on to check who the affected people were. Based on their research, they found individuals working on projects related to VR and the Steam Controller claiming that their employment at Valve ended in 2019.

valve-DOG_controller_MED.jpg

An old render of the Steam Controller. Image Source: Valve Software.

I have not heard any info about the contractors, such as who they are or what they were doing.

According to a PC Gamer post from 2016, there were approximately 360 employees at Valve at that time. Assuming then is roughly the same as now, which is not really a good assumption but it’s what we need to work with, this would represent about 4% of their workforce… depending on how instrumental the “portion of our contractor agreements” was.

A restructure for larger companies is typically around 10% lay-offs, which 4% is significantly below. Granted, I’m not too worried about Valve’s financial health, but it’s generally good to check as an early sign of financial or structural issues involving the whole company.

Source: UploadVR

Windows 10 KB4482887 Update Causes Performance Issues

Subject: General Tech | March 8, 2019 - 04:03 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, retpoline

Microsoft has just acknowledged a graphics and mouse input performance issue with their March 1st, 2019 update for Windows 10. The “Known Issues” section of the update’s documentation, KB4482887, claims that users “may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games, such as Destiny 2”.

Microsoft is working on a patch for the patch. For now, affected users must remove KB4482887.

windows-10-bandaid.png

While the update, which brings Windows 10 up to build 17763.348, contains several fixes, one that stands out is the addition of Retpoline for high-performance Spectre 2 mitigation. (Check out Tim's post on it.) It was a bit of a surprise when this update was released for the Windows 10 October 2018 update (rather than waiting a month until the April 2019 update). Further, even though it is added with the update, it is disabled by default and must be activated with a registry key. If this was the offending issue, then I would expect a registry flag to simply disable it as opposed to telling users to remove the entire update.

Of course, the cynic in me would find it hilarious if the offending branch/commit was the one responsible for “Updates time zone information for Chile” or “Addresses an issue that may prevent Internet Explorer from loading images that have a backslash (\) in their relative source path”. Something small and innocuous sounding.

Thankfully, I did not install the update, so I flipped Windows Update into “Paused” mode. (I am running Windows 10 Pro.) It’s probably a good idea to avoid this patch for a bit.

Source: Microsoft