You must be reading this on a phone, seeing as how PCs are dead

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2017 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: market share, pc sales

Once again the death knell is ringing in the peanut gallery as they claim that the demise of the PC is nigh ... still.  What the data The Inquirer references is actually something we already know, sales of PCs were down 6.2% over 2016 thanks to the fact that there was little reason to upgrade your whole system.  Intel's waltz steps do not currently provide a compelling reason to upgrade, in part because of AMD's lack of new product; the lack of which has also hurt enthusiasts hoping to upgrade their AMD systems.  As for Windows 10, we have already seen the lack of influence on the market and those picking up VR headsets only tended to upgrade their GPU, which was not captured in this particular study. 

With the upcoming launches scheduled in 2017, this year should be somewhat more interesting for system builders and hardware enthusiasts both.

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"SKYLAKE microprocessors from Intel, the sudden appearance of virtual reality (VR), and the launch of Nvidia 10-series graphics cards were insufficient to prize open wallets in the run-up to Christmas or, indeed, during much of 2016."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

CES 2017: Gigabyte Teases New AM4 Platform Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | January 12, 2017 - 02:31 AM |
Tagged: x370, x300, ryzen, gigabyte, CES 2017, CES, b350, AM4, a320

Last week AMD provided additional details on the chipsets and AM4 platform (JoshTekk article link) that will support the company's upcoming Ryzen processors. On tap are the X370, B350, A320 for enthusiast, mid range, and budget markets respectively and the odd-man-out and somewhat mysterious pinky sized X300 chipset specifically geared for Mini ITX and other small form factor motherboards. Gigabyte answered some of Josh and I's questions on what actual motherboards will look like and what features manufacturers would take advantage of when it unveiled (nearly) its full lineup of AM4 motherboards at CES 2017.

Except for an X300-based motherboard which was absent from their booth, Gigabyte teased four new motherboards using each of AMD's new chipsets. Specifically, there will be two Aorus-branded high end X370-based motherboards known as GA-AX370-Gaming 5, GA-AX370-Gaming K5, a midrange B350-based Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3 motherboard, and a budget micro ATX A320M-HD3 using the lower end A320 chipset.

All four of the motherboards surround the 1331-pin AM4 processor socket with four dual channel DDR4 DIMM slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, at least one M.2 slot, at least two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, and modern USB 3.1 external IO connections.

Gigabyte GA-AX370 Aorus Gaming 5.jpg

Tech Report takes a look at Gigabyte's planned AM4 motherboard lineup.

The Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming 5 is the company's highest end motherboard and is clad in silver and black with white heatspreaders and "armor" plating. Being part of the Aorus brand, the motherboard has RGB LEDs and is reportedly at feature parity with Gigabyte's RGB-lit Z270 offerings. Powered by a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS, the Gaming 5 uses a 10-phase VRM along with large heat spreaders to facilitate overclocking. The board features three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots that are electrically wired as x16/x8/x4 with support for CrossFireX and SLI (though only AMD will let you go to three cards on the third x4 slot) and three PCI-E x1 slots. The storage subsystem includes a single U.2 port and two SATA Express connectors (part of the total six SATA 6Gbps, not in addition to).

External I/O includes:

  • 1x PS/2
  • 6x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 4x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (1 x Type-C)
  • 2x Gigabit Ethernet
    • 1x Intel
    • 1x Killer Ethernet 2500
  • 6x Audio
    • 5x Analog out
    • 1x SPDIF

Other little features like a BIOS code readout display and hybrid fan headers are part of the higher end boards but absent on the lower end ones.

Moving from the Gaming-5 to the GA-AX370-Gaming K5, the heat spreaders are scaled back and the color scheme is black and silver instead of white, silver, and black. Further, the power phases are less robust at seven phases, there is no LED display for error codes, no U.2 port, and no Killer Networks Ethernet. The slightly lower end board does keep the M.2 slot, SATA Express connectors, and PCI-E slots of the Gaming 5, however.

The Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3 is where things start to noticeably change in the feature set. The VRM area is scaled back further with seven phases and a smaller heatsink. There is no U.2 or SATA Express, and one fewer PCI-E x1 slot than the X370 offerings. The motherboard does have three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (I am guessing still wired as x16/x8/x4 but AMD's slide from Josh's story is a bit unclear in this regard) but officially CrossFire and SLI are not supported according to AMD's slide. Around back, the board differs from the higher end models by including display outputs and lacking S/PDIF audio outputs. Specifically, the Gaming 3 board features:

  • 2x USB 2.0
  • 1x PS/2
  • 4x Video outputs
    • 1x VGA
    • 1x DVI
    • 1x DisplayPort 1.2
    • 1x HDMI 2.0 [updated 10:32]
  • 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2
  • 1x Intel Gigabit Ethernet
  • 3x Analog audio outputs (AmpUp! audio)

Finally, the lowest end A320M-HD3 is a micro ATX motherboard with four DDR4 slots, six SATA port, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (likely wired as x8/x4), a single M.2 slot, and a PCI slot of all things. The all black board uses a 7 phase VRM and thanks to most of the connectivity being housed in the processor and A320 chipset, the PCB looks rather barren. This does have the positive effect of allowing AMD to still put four DIMM slots on the board and two PCI-E slots with room to spare. External I/O on this board is identical to the AB350-Gaming 3 above.

In all, it is refreshing to see an updated AMD motherboard platform with the latest storage and graphics connectivity options, and while SATA Express and even U.2 aren't as useful as they could be (not many products actually use those connectors, M.2 has really stolen the show here) the inclusion of native USB 3.1 Gen 2 is great as is the ability to use all six SATA 6Gbps ports along with dual graphics cards (things get dicer when adding PCI-E storage and/or using the 4th x16 slot which may reduce the number of available SATA ports but that is a bit beyond this article.) It is nice to see these features coming from AMD directly and not having to rely on third party chips for modern features as AMD's AM3 platform had to. Seeing the initial launch boards take advantage of the new features fully is promising as well though I expect to see different configurations in the audio, M.2, and external I/O departments from future Gigabyte boards and their competitors. 

I am curious to see how well the chipsets perform versus Intel's in the USB 3.1 and PCI-E storage departments as well as how overclocking will work with Ryzen and how far the AM4 platform boards will be able to push the new chips. It appears that AM4 has Zen off to a good start, and here's hoping that the AM4 platform will carry Zen into the future and help Ryzen, ahem, rise up to the task of delivering on all those performance promises from AMD!

For more photos and information on Gigabyte's AM4 offerings, The Tech Report got a first look at the boards last week and Gamer's Nexus shot some video footage of them on the CES show floor.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

GTX 1070 on the run, Gigabyte's P57X v6 gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | January 11, 2017 - 07:39 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, P57X v6, gaming laptop, gtx 1070

NVIDIA no longer adds an 'm' after this generations mobile parts, the GTX 1070 in this gaming laptop from Gigabyte is simply labelled GTX 1070 even though it's boost clock of 1645MHz is somewhat lower than the reference of 1683MHz.  A 256GB Transcend MTS800 M.2 SATA SSD gives your OS and programs somewhere to live while the 1TB Hitachi Travelstar 7K1000 provides data storage and believe it or not this laptop also comes with a DVD-RW drive.

The slightly lower clock still provides enough performance for the integral 1080p display, and will power a VR headset over the USB 3.0 Type-A and HDMI 2.0 ports.  The Tech Report;s testing shows performance that tends to fall between the desktop GTX 1060 and 1070 which is not terribly surprising.  Check out their full review here.

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"Powered by Nvidia's mobile GeForce GTX 1070, Gigabyte's P57X v6 laptop promises truly desktop-class desktop-class performance in a relatively compact and portable chassis. We put it to the test to see what a new generation of mobile graphics means for gamers on the go."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

 

CES 2017: Asus Chromebook Flip Runs Chrome OS and Android Apps

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2017 - 06:56 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2017, asus, Chromebook, convertible tablet, 2-in-1, core m

In addition to high powered gaming laptops and high end motherboards, Asus also used CES to launch its convertible chromebook now called the Asus Chromebook Flip C302. The 2-in-1 device measures 13.7mm thick and weighs in at just over 2.6 pounds (1.2kg).

Asus is pairing a 12.5” 1080p LED backlit LCD on the top pane with a chiclet keyboard (scissor switches with 1.4mm key travel) and 61 x 104.5mm trackpad on the bottom pane. A 360-degree hinge allows the user to flip the display all the way around so that the keys are behind the display and it can be used as a tablet (or any position in between). There is no digitizer pen but the display does support 10 point multitouch.

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Port selection is actually pretty good for a portable (especially a chromebook) with two USB 3.1 Type-C (5Gbps) ports, a headset jack, and a micro SD card slot. The only thing missing that other similar class notebooks have is micro HDMI but being a chromebook it should pair up with a Chromecast should you need to share your desktop or media to the TV or larger monitor. Wireless connectivity includes 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. There are also two side speakers rated at 87dB.

Internally, Asus is using 6th generation Core M3 or M7 processors (there is also a Pentium 4405Y SKU) depending on your configuration  Further, the Chromebook Flip comes with 4GB or 8GB of system memory and 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of solid state storage. The chromebook runs Chrome OS but it is also able to run Android apps from the Google Play Store.

Battery life from the 39Whr battery is allegedly up to 10 hours according to Asus.

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The lightweight aluminum metal body Chromebook Flip has a starting price of $500 and will be available soon. Pricing on the higher end models has not yet been announced.

In all, it looks solidly built and has good specifications for a chromebook, but the pricing is going to hold a lot of people back in my opinion. Perhaps if it had an active digitizer and ran Windows I would be more interested. I am currently trying to find a replacement to my Dell XT (yes I know it is ancient haha!) and I find myself enamored by the Lenovo Yoga Book with the halo keyboard and the question if the typing experience there being the only thing that has me on the fence (I mention this because it is $549 for the Windows version and $500 with Android so is are in similar price points).

I am all for more options in this convertible space though and look forward to the reviews. If Asus’ Chromebook Flip has a great keyboard I might be persuaded!

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Asus

Pavonis takes a break from their Kickstarter to torment XCOM 2 fans

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2017 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: xcom 2, mod, long war, gaming

Fans of the Long War mod for XCOM: Enemy Unknown are in for a treat, though perhaps a rather sadistic one, as a teaser for the existence of Long War 2 just arrived.  This time the mod was announced by Firaxis as opposed to the mod team, though Pavonis have updated their website with a logo for the new project.  It will be interesting to see if this means that Long War 2 will be released as a free mod or as DLC with a price tag attached.  The difference may be in the amount of time Pavonis is willing to divert away from their current project Terra Invicta.  If Firaxis does invest their own resources into developing Long War 2 it would be somewhat appropriate for them to charge some money, even if many feel this is the game they should have released in the first place.  On the other hand, if they simply want to start turning third party mods into a revenue stream for themselves; we may have the start of a problem worse than preorders and paid for day one DLC. 

Pop by Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN for a look at the first Long War and links to the recent news.

longwar2.jpg

"Pavonis have already updated their website with a Long War 2 logo and haven’t removed info about their to-be-Kickstarted standalone game Terra Invicta. That’s an XCOM-y sort of thing, though the description suggests it’ll focus on diplomatic and political strategy rather than guns and psychics."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

Multi-monitor gaming troubles? It might not be your driver

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2017 - 05:42 PM |
Tagged: patch, oops, microsoft

If you game on multiple monitors and have noticed problems recently, with screens rendering with off clipping or not a timely manner you may want to look to Microsoft.  It seems that KB3213986 which was released yesterday, may well be to blame.  As there are no serious security updates contained in this particular patch you can feel safe uninstalling it, unless you really need two keyboards and a fingerprint touchscreen attached to your system.  Cheers to The Guru of 3D for posting this first.

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"Users may experience delayed or clipped screens while running 3D rendering apps (such as games) on systems with more than one monitor."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Guru of 3D

CES 2017: Gigabyte Shows Off First Aorus Branded Graphics Card

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2017 - 03:11 AM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2017, aorus, gigabyte, xtreme gaming, GTX 1080, pascal

One interesting development from Gigabyte at this year’s CES was the expansion of its Aorus branding and the transition from Xtreme Gaming. Initially used on its RGB LED equipped motherboards, the company is rolling out the brand to its other higher end products including laptops and graphics cards. While it appears that Xtreme Gaming is not going away entirely, Aorus is taking the spotlight with the introduction of the first Aorus branded graphics card: the GTX 1080.

Aorus GTX 1080 CES 2017 Pauls Hardware.png

Paul's Hardware got hands on with the new card (video) at the Gigabyte CES booth.

Featuring a similar triple 100mm fan cooler as the GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming 8G, the Aorus GTX 1080 comes with x patterned LED lighting as well as a backlit Aorus logo on the side and a backlit Eagle on the backplate. The cooler is comprised of three 100mm double stacked fans (the center fan is recessed and spins in the opposite direction of the side fans) over a shrouded angled aluminum fin stack that connects to the GPU over five large copper heatpipes.

The graphics card is powered by two 8-pin PCI-E power connectors.

In an interesting twist, the card has two HDMI ports on the back of the card that are intended to be used to hook up front panel HDMI outputs for things like VR headsets. Another differentiator between the upcoming card and the Xtreme Gaming 8G is the backplate which has a large copper plate secured over the underside of the GPU. Several sites are reporting that this area can be used for watercooling, but I am skeptical of this as if you are going to go out and buy a waterblock for your graphics card you might as well buy a block to put on top of the GPU and not on the area of the PCB opposite the GPU!). As is, the copper plate on the backplate certainly won’t hurt cooling, and it looks cool, but that’s all I suspect it is.

Think Computers also checked out the Aorus graphics card. (video above)

Naturally, Gigabyte is not talking clock speeds on this new card, but I expect it to hit at least the same clocks as its Xtreme Gaming 8G predecessor which was clocked at 1759 MHz base and 1848 MHz boost out of the box and 1784 MHz base and 1936 MHz boost in OC Mode respectively. Gigabyte also overlocked the memory on that card up to 10400 MHz on OC Mode.

Gigabyte also had new SLI HB bridges on display bearing the Aorus logo to match the Aorus GPU. The company also had Xtreme Gaming SLI HB bridges though which further suggests that they are not completely retiring that branding (at least not yet).

Pricing has not been announced, but the card will be available in February.

Gigabyte has yet to release official photos of the card or a product page, but it should show up on their website shortly. In the meantime, Paul's Hardware and Think Computers shot some video of the card on the show floor which I have linked above if you are interested in the card. Looking on Amazon, the Xtreme Gaming 1080 8GB is approximately $690 before rebate so I would guess that the Aorus card would come out at a slight premium over that if only for the fact that it is a newer release, has a more expensive backplate and additional RGB LED backlighting.

What are your thoughts on the move to everything-Aorus? 

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Streacom's DB4; a mini-ITX case or vase stand?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 10, 2017 - 06:47 PM |
Tagged: streacom, streacom db4

Streacom's DB4 Fanless Aluminium Chassis is impressively small at 260x260x270mm, which limits your board choice to mini-ITX and your PSU choices are even slimmer as they need to be both tiny and passively cooler.  The chassis is completely fanless and acts as the CPU heatsink, there are integral heatpipes connected to the case and a TIM pad which [H]ard|OCP recommends leaving in the packaging in preference of good thermal paste.  The case will sell for $300 and the PSU for just over $200, making this less attractive for some.  On the other hand it is very unique looking and provides exceptional passive cooling, if you set it up correctly.  Take a look at the full review here.

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"This case review is for all of you mini-ITX system builders out there that may be looking for something a bit different than the normal case....that looks like a computer case. The Streacom DB4 fanless chassis may be exactly the HTPC case that will grace your living room....with grace."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Hack your NES Classic ... carefully

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2017 - 05:34 PM |
Tagged: Nintendo, NES Classic, hack

The newly released Nintendo NES Classic shipped with 30 classic old games baked into its retrotacular ROMs.  It has now been hacked to be able to play any old game ROM you happen to be able to get your hands on, though of course you will have to make space as the storage capacity of this console is quite limited.  There are several caveats to this of course, ROMs are called read only for a reason and rooting around in them can lead to unintended and possibly permanent consequences.  There is also the source of your ROM to be considered, they tend to come from sources which could be considered slightly less than legitimate.  If you are still interested take a peek over at The Inquirer.

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"It was Russian retro gaming community GBX and a modder called Madmonkey that cracked the rebooted console, and it was Reddit users that seized on the opportunity, to give the hack a go."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Razer's Triple-Screen Laptop Prototype Reportedly Stolen from CES

Subject: Displays, Systems | January 10, 2017 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: triple-screen, theft, stolen, report, razer, Project Valerie, multi-display, laptop, igzo, gaming, CES 2017, CES, BBC, 4k, 3-screen

While Razer did not name any particular product when first publicly posting about a theft (see FaceBook screencap below) from their booth at CES, the BBC is now reporting that "the stolen prototypes" in question were indeed the Project Valerie triple-screen laptop introduced last week.

Razer Project Valerie - Open Perspective.jpg

"Two prototype models of an unusual gaming laptop with three screens have been stolen at the CES tech show in Las Vegas, according to PC maker Razer. The concept device boasts three 4K screens and is said to be the first portable laptop of its kind. Razer said the laptops had gone missing from its booth at the tech show on Sunday.

The incident was being taken 'very seriously', said chief executive Min-Liang Tan. A Razer spokesman said it was offering $25,000 (£20,600) for any 'original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction' of those allegedly involved in the crime."

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan initially posted news of stolen prototypes from his FaceBook page:

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One would expect that the security in place at CES, including many security cameras, should produce some more information as the investigation unfolds.

Source: BBC News

A backup drive for the digital hoarder; the Seagate Backup Plus 5TB

Subject: Storage | January 9, 2017 - 08:50 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, backup plus, 5TB, onedrive, SMR

If you have a huge collection of files you want backed up, Seagate's new external HDD is a decent alternative to deleting what you don't need anymore so it will fit on most drives.  Inside the Backup Plus is a shingled Barracuda with 5 platters of 1TB giving you a huge amount of storage for around $160.  It also comes with a two year OneDrive subscription which gives you another 200GB of online storage.  The copying process should not take a painful amount of time, the testing results at Nikktech show it to be one of the faster external drives they have benchmarked.

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"The brand new Backup Plus 5TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive by Seagate doesn't only offer plenty of storage capacity and impressive performance for when on the go but it also comes bundled with a 2-year OneDrive 200GB subscription. Oh and did we mention that it's priced just right?"

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: Nikktech

A new Radeon Software Crimson Edition for the New Year

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 9, 2017 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: Crimson Edition 16.12.2

Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.12.2 is now live and WHQL certified, ready for you to grab here or through the version you already have installed, which supports the recommended clean installation option. 

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This particular update addresses Freesync issues with borderless Fullscreen applications as well as compatibility issues with Battlefield 1 and DOTA 2.  There are also numerous optimizations and fixes for issues with Radeon ReLive, which you can read in more detail under the Release Notes tab.

 

Source: AMD

CES 2017: GIGABYTE Launches AORUS Intel Z270 Gaming Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2017 - 05:50 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, intel z270, gigabyte, gaming, eatx, CES 2017, CES, atx, aorus

GIGABYTE announced their new AORUS Gaming lineup of motherboards featuring Intel's new Z270 chipset, and these enthusiast boards emphasize "customization and personalization" with liquid cooling support, RGB lighting effects, and improved smart fan controls.

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There are a total of six new Z270 models in this AORUS Gaming line, and will begin with the Z270X-Gaming 9 and Z270X-Gaming 8 motherboards:

Gaming9_8.jpg

The Gaming 9 features include:

  • Supports 7th/ 6th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C and Type-A
  • 4-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable Design
  • EKWB G-Frost Hybrid Water Block
  • Triple NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 Support
  • Dual NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 Connectors
  • Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA interface
  • Intel Optane Memory Ready
  • Creative Sound Blaster certified ZxRi 120dB+ Audio
  • Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro for the best networking experience possible
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
  • 2 External Thermistors Headers with 2 Included Thermistors
  • Extreme 40 Gb/s Thunderbolt 3
  • Integrated HDMI 2.0 Support
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS with Q-Flash Plus USB Port
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities

The Gaming 9's premium audio features "a combination of Hi-Fi grade WIMA capacitors and Nichicon audio grade Fine Gold capacitors", which is about as premium as it gets!

Specs for the Gaming 8 are virtually identical to the Gaming 9's above - with a couple of notable exceptions: The Gaming 8 uses a Bitspower G-Chill Hybrid Water Block instead of the Gaming 9's EKWB option for the CPU VRMs, and it offers a different LAN configuration, with a combo comprised of 1x Intel GbE and 1x Killer E2500 NIC, rather than the Gaming 9's dual Killer E2500 NICs.

Next up are the Gaming 7, and Gaming K7 models (and no, the K7 is not an AMD board from the Socket A era, I checked):

Gaming_7_K7.jpg

The feature list for the Gaming 7 motherboard is very close to the Gaming 8 (and Gaming 9, listed above), though a few things will be lost compared to its more premium siblings, including the removal of a water block for the VRMs, missing ZxRi 120dB+ audio support, and "merely" 3x GPU support, compared to the 4-way graphics support of the Gaming 8 and 9.

Finally we have the Gaming 5 and Gaming K5, which look to be the most affordable offerings in the new lineup, though features are still very good for a gaming motherboard.

Gaming_5_K5.jpg

Here's the feature list for the Gaming 5:

  • Supports 7th/ 6th Generation Intel Core Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Fast USB 3.1 Gen 2 with USB Type-C and Type-A
  • 3-Way Graphics Support with Dual Armor and Ultra Durable Design
  • Triple NVMe PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 Support
  • NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 U.2 Connector
  • Dual Ultra-Fast M.2 with PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA interface
  • Intel Optane Memory Ready
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi MB5 + ALC 1220 120dB SNR HD Audio
  • Killer E2500 Gaming Network + Intel Gigabit LAN
  • USB DAC-UP 2 with Adjustable Voltage
  • RGB FUSION LED Light Show design
  • Swappable Overlay for Accent LED
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers
  • Lightning-Fast Intel Thunderbolt 3 AIC Support
  • GIGABYTE UEFI DualBIOS
  • APP Center Including EasyTune and Cloud Station Utilities

The primary difference in features between the Gaming 5 and Gaming K5 is integrated LAN support, with the Gaming K5 losing the second Intel NIC and retaining the Killer E2500 as its sole onboard option.

The AORUS Gaming motherboards are available to order now, and a look at Newegg.com this afternoon shows pricing ranging from $179.99 for the Gaming K5, priced incrementally all the way up to $519.99 for the deluxe Gaming 9.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: GIGABYTE

That lovely CES hangover

Subject: Shows and Expos | January 9, 2017 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: CES, CES 2017

T'is the season to build up a list of all the products you covered at CES and see if there are any you missed.  Many tech sites are in the process of clearing out, for instance The Tech Report have conglomerated all of their CES observations right here.  They hit few more laptop booths, including Razer's triple monitor display which someone later walked off with, along with Samsung, Toshiba, Dell and numerous others.  They never did succeed in their search for a Freesync 2 monitor, nor did anyone else for that matter, nor could they escape the taste of the rainbow coming off of every peripheral and motherboard.  Sadly, they also missed the brush.

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"Well, CES 2017 is over. We don't know if you were busy last week, but things were pretty crazy here at TR HQ. We doubled down on CES coverage and did our best to take a good look at all the hardware news that poured out from the show. Check out our full coverage below."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

CES 2017: Gigabyte Updates Gaming and Professional Laptop Lineup

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 9, 2017 - 02:25 AM |
Tagged: thin and light, nvidia, notebook, laptop, kaby lake, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gtx 1050, gigabyte, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Gigabyte had a full line of new laptops to show off at this year’s CES, with models ranging from larger gaming enthusiast designs to slim machines that still offer plenty of gaming power from their discrete graphics.

P56.jpg

We’ll start with the P56, a 15.6-inch machine with an optional 4K display, 7th-gen Intel Core i7 (Kaby Lake) processor, and GeForce GTX 1070 GPU.

“The P56 provides enthusiasts with not only ultra smooth performance but also with tools to victory. All packed in a portable quality chassis. Equipped with the next gen Intel 7th Gen Core i7 7700HQ processor and the all-powerful GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. The main core of the P56 is set to drive all the latest games, not at just 1080P but even at higher resolutions with the optional 15.6” UHD 3840x2160 display.”

The P56 is equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 port, island-style keyboard with customizable per-key RGB backlighting, and a large 91Wh battery.

Sabre15.jpg

Next we have the Sabre 15, which is also powered by a new 7th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB) and GTX 1050 (2GB) graphics options.

“Gamers can now fully enjoy the latest performance from the pascal architecture, with fluid gaming graphics at 1080p for most recent game titles. The keyboard plays a big role in winning or losing a game, that is why the Sabre 15 comes with optimized 2.2mm travel scissor type keys, for that extra feel and precision. To top that off, the Sabre 15 features RGB backlight keyboard with 16.8 million colors (optional).”

Rounding out the updated lineup are a trio of thin-and-light professional models that are still very capable gaming machines, beginning with the AERO 14, a 19.9mm-thick (and 4.17 lb) aluminum design which features a QHD (2560x1440) IPS screen, GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, and 94.24Wh battery.

AERO.jpg

Finally we have the P34 and P35 laptops, which claim the title of “world’s lightest 14” GeForce GTX 1050 Ti laptop (P34) and “world’s slimmest 15.6” GeForce GTX 1070 laptop”, respectively.

P34.jpg

The P34 is indeed light for a gaming-ready laptop, with a weight of just 3.73 lbs. For its part the 15.6-inch P35 laptop is a very high-end option, regardless of its slim construction.

“The P35 comes in at an unbeatable 20.9mm thin and weighs just 2.3Kg. It is hard to believe that such a thin chassis has a GeForce GTX 1070 inside, outputting the same performance as the desktop GeForce GTX 1070, now on the go. GIGABYTE has swapped out the old 6th gen and opt for the latest 7th gen Core i7 processor, giving professionals multitasking capabilities like never before. The unparalleled graphical power of the GeForce GTX 1070 further drives the stunning 15.6” UHD 3840 x 2160 IPS display, professionals will definitely take advantage of such a high pixel density and high RGB accuracy display, stationed or mobile. The Swappable bay gives professionals the power to swap between Blu-ray drive or up to 2TB HDD of extra storage, providing that extra customization on the go.”

P35.jpg

Pricing and availability information for the new laptops is not yet available.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Gigabyte

Just Cause 3 Multiplayer Mod Released... No, the Other One

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2017 - 09:46 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, just cause 3

While Just Cause isn’t really on my radar, the second one in the series had a relatively popular multiplayer mod that released a few years down the road. According to PC Gamer, there was another one in development, this time for Just Cause 3, but it was canceled as the developer was hired by Avalanche Studios.

At the same time, a second mod team, called nanos GbR, has released their own version of Just Cause 3 multiplayer. Why? Just ‘cause! Also, they are promoting their multiplayer framework, which includes plug-ins for Unreal Engine and CryEngine. It sounds like they want to be integrated into commercial projects, but, try as I might, I can’t seem to find anything concrete by them besides their mods to existing video games.

The Nanos Just Cause 3 Multiplayer mod is in public beta and available for download.

Source: nanos GbR

CES 2017: Netgear Shows Off Nighthawk S8000 Semi-Managed Switch

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2017 - 04:58 PM |
Tagged: networking, netgear, CES 2017, CES

Netgear introduced a new semi-managed switch under its Nighthawk brand called the Nighthawk S8000. The new gigabit switch offers eight ports and a GUI web management interface.

s7_image.png

The Nighthawk S8000 keeps the stealth bomber design aesthetic of its larger router brethren with clean lines, sharp angles, and a dark zinc alloy housing. The one downside to this design is that these switches are not stackable but if you need that many ports you are probably looking at a bigger single switch anyway.

Exact specifications are not yet available, but the Layer 2 GS808E switch reportedly offers per-port prioritization and QoS (Quality of Service), DoS (Denial of Service) protection, and IGMP snooping (they don't list which version though so I can't say if this would work well with AT&T Uverse and running TV and PCs on). There are reportedly three pre-set modes and two user customizable profiles that can be set for each port depending on usage: gaming, media streaming, and standard LAN. Further, there are four (Netgear’s site lists 3 in some places) levels of prioritization.

The gigabit switch does support link aggregation (port trunking) up to 4 ports for a single 4Gbps connection to devices that also support link aggregation. This can be configured as a single 4Gbps connection or as redundancy in case one port or cable fails. The use case for something like this would be multiple PCs sending and receiving large amounts of data from a NAS at the same time where the wider connection back to the switch can be meaningfully utilized.

The Nighthawk S8000 comes with a 3 year warranty and will be available in March for $99.99.

There may be better options, especially at $99.99 but fans of Netgear’s Nighthawk wireless routers might be interested. It is hard to say if it is worth the price yet as independent reviews are not out yet. For those interested, PC Gamer has more photos of the switch.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Netgear

(Leak) AMD Vega 10 and Vega 20 Information Leaked

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 8, 2017 - 08:53 AM |
Tagged: vega 11, vega 10, navi, gpu, amd

During CES, AMD showed off demo machines running Ryzen CPUs and Vega graphics cards as well as gave the world a bit of information on the underlying architecture of Vega in an architectural preview that you can read about (or watch) here. AMD's Vega GPU is coming and it is poised to compete with NVIDIA on the high end (an area that has been left to NVIDIA for awhile now) in a big way.

Thanks to Videocardz, we have a bit more info on the products that we might see this year and what we can expect to see in the future. Specifically, the slides suggest that Vega 10 – the first GPUs to be based on the company's new architecture – may be available by the (end of) first half of 2017. Following that a dual GPU Vega 10 product is slated for a release in Q3 or Q4 of 2017 and a refreshed GPU based on smaller process node with more HBM2 memory called Vega 20 in the second half of 2018. The leaked slides also suggest that Navi (Vega's successor) might launch as soon as 2019 and will come in two variants called Navi 10 and Navi 11 (with Navi 11 being the smaller / less powerful GPU).

AMD Vega Leaked Info.jpg

The 14nm Vega 10 GPU allegedly offers up 64 NCUs and as much as 12 TFLOPS of single precision and 750 GFLOPS of double precision compute performance respectively. Half precision performance is twice that of FP32 at 24 TFLOPS (which would be good for things like machine learning). The NCUs allegedly run FP16 at 2x and DPFP at 1/16. If each NCU has 64 shaders like Polaris 10 and other GCN GPUs, then we are looking at a top-end Vega 10 chip having 4096 shaders which rivals that of Fiji. Further, Vega 10 supposedly has a TDP up to 225 watts.

For comparison, the 28nm 8.9 billion transistor Fiji-based R9 Fury X ran at 1050 MHz with a TDP of 275 watts and had a rated peak compute of 8.6 TFLOPS. While we do not know clock speeds of Vega 10, the numbers suggest that AMD has been able to clock the GPU much higher than Fiji while still using less power (and thus putting out less heat). This is possible with the move to the smaller process node, though I do wonder what yields will be like at first for the top end (and highest clocked) versions.

Vega 10 will be paired with two stacks of HBM2 memory on package which will offer 16GB of memory with memory bandwidth of 512 GB/s. The increase in memory bandwidth is thanks to the move to HBM2 from HBM (Fiji needed four HBM dies to hit 512 GB/s and had only 4GB).

The slide also hints at a "Vega 10 x2" in the second half of the year which is presumably a dual GPU product. The slide states that Vega 10 x2 will have four stacks of HBM2 (1TB/s) though it is not clear if they are simply adding the two stacks per GPU to claim the 1TB/s number or if both GPUs will have four stacks (this is unlikely though as there does not appear to be room on the package for two more stacks each and I am not sure if they could make the package bit enough to make room for them either). Even if we assume that they really mean 2x 512 GB/s per GPU (and maybe they can get more out of that in specific workloads across both) for memory bandwidth, the doubling of cores and at least potential compute performance will be big. This is going to be a big number crunching and machine learning card as well as for games of course. Clockspeeds will likely have to be much lower compared to the single GPU Vega 10 (especially with stated TDP of 300W) and workloads wont scale perfectly so potential compute performance will not be quite 2x but should still be a decent per-card boost.

AMD-Vega-GPU.jpg

Raja Koduri holds up a Vega GPU at CES 2017 via eTeknix

Moving into the second half of 2018, the leaked slides suggest that a Vega 20 GPU will be released based on a 7nm process node with 64 CUs and paired with four stacks of HBM2 for 16 GB or 32 GB of memory with 1TB/s of bandwidth. Interestingly, the shaders will be setup such that the GPU can still do half precision calculations at twice that of single precision, but will not take nearly the hit on double precision at Vega 10 at only 1/2 single precision rather than 1/16. The GPU(s) will use between 150W and 300W of power, and it seems these are set to be the real professional and workstation workhorses. A Vega 10 with 1/2 DPFP compute would hit 6 TFLOPS which is not bad (and it would hopefully be more than this due to faster clocks and architecture improvements).

Beyond that, the slides mention Navi's existence and that it will come in Navi 10 and Navi 11 but no other details were shared which makes sense as it is still far off.

You can see the leaked slides here. In all, it is an interesting look at potential Vega 10 and beyond GPUs but definitely keep in mind that this is leaked information and that the information allegedly came from an internal presentation that likely showed the graphics processors in their best possible/expect light. It does add a bit more hope to the fire of excitement for Vega though, and I hope that AMD pulls it off as my unlocked 6950 is no longer supported and it is only a matter of time before new games perform poorly or not at all!

Also read: 

Source: eTeknix.com

CES 2017: Cherry Launches MX Board Silent Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2017 - 08:36 AM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, Cherry MX Silent, Cherry MX, cherry, CES 2017, CES

Cherry, the company behind the ever popular Cherry MX line of mechanical keyboard switches, has announced an update to its popular G80-3000 keyboard called the Cherry MX Board Silent. The refreshed keyboard comes in black and gray and uses the International / EU layout.

Cherry MX Board Silent.png

The major feature of the Cherry MX Board Silent is the inclusion of new MX Silent switches that purportedly keep noise to a minimum by using a shaped rubber pad and "2-component stem" that reduces noise at the bottom out and top out points of a key press. The switches come in two flavors: the MX Red Silent and the MX Black Silent which feature release force of 45 centinewtons and 60 centinewtons respectively.

The keyboard further features 14 key N-key rollover which allows the user to hold down up to 14 keys simultaneously without phantom key presses becoming an issue.

We will have to wait for reviews to see how the new keyboard holds up build quality wise and, more importantly, just how silent the MX Board Silent is. The keyboard will be available soon with an MSRP of $149.

Also read: Mechanical Keyboard Switches Explained and Compared

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Cherry

CES 2017: Mohu Shows Off Wireless Antenna To Stream OTA Television

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2017 - 06:37 AM |
Tagged: streaming, mohu, cord cutting, CES 2017, CES, broadcast tv, antenna

Mohu (the company behind untangle.tv) was on hand at CES 2017 to show off a new product called the Airwave that the company hopes will help people to cut the cord and ditch their cable TV subscription. The Mohu AirWave is a wireless television antenna that picks up over the air broadcast TV signals and then streams that video to any device that can run its Mohu TV app.

airwave-website-hero2.jpg

The Airwave can be placed anywhere in your home (wherever it gets the best signal) and can connect to your home network over Wi-Fi or Ethernet (I'd recommend the wired connection it if at all possible). Users can then use the Mohu TV app on their smartphones (Android and iOS) and tablets as well as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Firestick streaming boxes connected to a TV. The Mohu TV app offers an electronic program guide that pulls metadata from the digital TV stream and displays it along with showing current and upcoming programs. The guide also lets users set up a list of favorite channels.

Of course, the exact channels users will be able to watch will depend on their location and what is broadcast in their market. The Mohu representative at CES indicated that the initial AirWave is an un-amplified antenna with an average range of about 30 miles though they were able to tune into channels up to 40 miles away in their testing. An amplified antenna is coming in the future for users that live further away from the city and broadcast towers. While it is unamplified, you can move it around to get the best possible number of channels and the ClearPix technology is, at least supposed to, reduce pixelation. In addition to picking up broadcast TV, the AirWave also integrates with some streaming television providers such as Newsy and Twit.tv. You can see an example of that in this video by The Streaming Advisor where he takes a look at their demo setup at CES.

Carl from Abt.com interviewed Mohu at their CES booth which you can see in the embedded video below.

The Mohu AirWave will be available this spring for around $150. In all, it looks to be an easy to use and set up product for turning into your local live TV and if that is all that is holding you back from cutting the cord this might be a solution that ends up being cheaper than something like DirectTV Now (which also doesn't have DVR functionality (yet)) or Sling TV. On the other hand, the lack of DVR might leave heavy TV watchers frustrated (who has time to watch TV live these days? heh) and they might be better served with a custom setup using OTA tuners and Plex or a box with DVR like the Tablo.

As a companion streamer or something to set and forget for the less tech savvy though this could be a good option that would save them money and hassle by not having to deal with their local cable monopoly (heh) and I'm all for that!

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PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

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Source: Mohu