Microsoft releases 64-bit SDK for Windows on Arm platforms

Subject: Processors, Mobile | May 8, 2018 - 07:30 PM |
Tagged: windows on snapdragon, windows on arm, microsoft, 64-bit

During the Microsoft BUILD developer conference, the Windows initiative for Qualcomm and Arm processors got a much needed shot in the arm (heh) with announced support for a 64-bit SDK.

Visual Studio 15.8 Preview 1 contains the early version of these tools that will give developers the ability to build native 64-bit Arm apps. Microsoft claims that this “represents the next step in the evolution of the Always Connected PC running Windows 10 on ARM” and I couldn’t agree more.

qcwindows.jpg

This gives software developers the ability to target Arm-based processors like the Snapdragon 835 from Qualcomm natively without forcing users to depend on emulation layers provided by Microsoft. While the emulation layer is critical for compatibility, it does slow performance quite a bit compared to native-running code.

While the Windows Store already supports ARM32 packages, ARM64 packages will be supported “soon” based on what Microsoft is telling us. Even more interesting, Microsoft is promoting the ability for developers to post the Win32 (non-Store) ARM64 version of software online, rather than waiting for the Store apps to be approved.

The Microsoft website has details on how developers can start this integration. Qualcomm has its own documentation as well.

From my own view, this a necessary step for Microsoft to take, even if it does seem later than many would have liked. The benefits of Windows 10 running on Snapdragon and Arm are real and substantial, but being hindered by performance due to emulation was always known to be a speedbump. Getting developers access to better, and easier to use, Arm compilation is the next step.

I would also like to see Microsoft take a more proactive role in pushing developers to offer both versions of software. MS simply cannot take a passive, backseat approach to the Always On, Always Connected PC initiative and have it be a success.

Source: Microsoft

The Ultimate SPEC – CORSAIR Launches New SPEC-OMEGA RGB

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 8, 2018 - 03:43 PM |
Tagged: corsair, carbide, Spec Omega RGB, RGB

Corsair's newest ATX case, the Spec Omega RGB wants to satisfy even the most hard core of RGB addicts, with a total of 54 lights on the case and fans.  Speaking of fans, the case ships with a pair of HD120 RGB LED fans in the front, with space for up to four more.  If you prefer watercooling, you can install a 360mm radiator on top, a 240mm in the front and a 120mm in the back.

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The asymmetrical design certainly makes this case unique, with tempered glass making up part of the front panel and all of the side, so you can see all those pretty lights.  Along with the case you will get the Lighting Node PRO digital RGB lighting controller so you can program your personal light show with their iCUE software.  There is plenty of space inside, a CPU heatsink of up to 170mm can be installed, GPUs of up to 370mm and even a hefty PSU of 180mm will fit. 

It is currently selling for $150ish on Amazon.

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FREMONT, CA, May 8th, 2018 - CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA RGB enthusiast PC case. Building on the award-winning angular tempered glass design of the SPEC-OMEGA, the SPEC-OMEGA RGB adds stunning RGB lighting courtesy of two CORSAIR HD120 RGB LED fans and a custom 30-LED RGB lighting strip integrated into the case’s front fascia. Powered by an included CORSAIR Lighting Node PRO digital RGB lighting controller, a total of 54 RGB LEDs illuminate your PC in stunning lighting effects and patterns, fully customizable using CORSAIR iCUE software and ready to go right out of the box.

Available in either white or black, SPEC-OMEGA RGB boasts unmistakable asymmetrical design and tempered glass panels to the front and side, making it the perfect backdrop for 54 RGB LEDs of customizable lighting. There’s a lot more to see behind the sharp angles and lighting though; a new removable PSU cover and a wealth of cable tie-downs, routing holes and grommets make hiding cables and connectors out of view easy. SPEC-OMEGA is also built with maximum compatibility in mind, able to fit up to a huge 360mm liquid cooling radiator, such as that used on the CORSAIR Hydro Series H150i PRO, so there needn’t be compromises on parts when your building system. Created to show off, and light up, your PC, this is the ultimate SPEC.

Availability, Warranty and Pricing
The CORSAIR Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA RGB is available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers and distributors as well as direct from the CORSAIR webstore.

The CORSAIR Carbide Series SPEC-OMEGA RGB is backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network.

 

Source: Corsair

Tick, Tock, Boom! A Cannon has interrupted the Intel waltz once again

Subject: General Tech | May 8, 2018 - 02:52 PM |
Tagged: Intel, cannon lake, H310

Cannon Lake and their 10nm process have proven a serious problem for Intel these past few years.  It was in 2016 that they originally announced Cannon Lake would be delayed a year, which was then corrected to 2018.  Barely a week ago we heard from Brain Krzanich that 2018 was too optimistic a date, and the 2016 CPU is now scheduled for some time in 2019. 

Along with the Cannon Lake delay, DigiTimes also reports that the supply of the 14nm H310 chipset has completely dried up and we may not see more for a month or so, with July being the latest expected date.  This means the only low teir Intel motherboard available for system builders, both professional and home, is the B360.  

The next quarter's financials for both AMD and Intel should be very interesting.

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"Intel initially planned to launch 10nm Cannon Lake CPUs in July 2018, but its CEO Brain Krzanich unexpectedly disclosed at a meeting with financial analysts in late April that volume production of 10nm chips will be moving from the second half of 2018 into 2019 as it will take time to improve yield rates."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes

Who's a pretty cult member?

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 7, 2018 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: Dunia 2, far cry 5, 4k

Armed with a GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition and a 4k display, you venture forth into the advanced graphics settings of Ubisoft's latest Far Cry game.  Inside you face a multitude of challenges, from volumetric fog through various species of anti-aliasing until finally facing the beast known as overall quality.  [H]ard|OCP completed this quest and you can benefit from their experience, although no matter how long they searched they could not locate any sign of NVIDIA's Gameworks which appeared in the previous Far Cry.  There were signs of rapid packed math enhancements, much to the rejoicing of those who have no concrete interest in Gameworks existence.

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"We will be comparing Far Cry 5's Overall Quality, Shadows, Volumetric Fog, and Anti-Aliasing image quality. In addition, we will find out if we can improve IQ in the game by adding Anisotropic Filtering and forcing AA from the control panel. We’ve have a video showing you many IQ issues we found in Far Cry 5, and those are plentiful."

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

Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Samsung 970 PRO and 970 EVO Get Purchase Day Price Cuts!

Subject: Storage | May 7, 2018 - 02:40 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 970, pro, EVO, price cut, msrp

A couple of weeks ago, the Samsung 970 EVO and PRO launched, but they were not available for purchase until today.

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It appears Samsung were paying attention to the many reviews pointing out that the price premium was getting harder to justify in the face of competing drives closing in on performance because along with purchase availability came some nice price cuts:

Old pricing:

  • 970 PRO
    • 512GB - $330 ($0.64/GB)
    • 1TB      - $630 ($0.62/GB)
  • 970 EVO
    • 250GB - $120 ($0.48/GB)
    • 500GB - $230 ($0.46/GB)
    • 1TB      - $450 ($0.45/GB)
    • 2TB      - $850 ($0.43/GB)

New pricing (MSRP):

  • 970 PRO
    • 512GB - $250 ($0.49/GB)
    • 1TB      - $500 ($0.49/GB)
  • 970 EVO
    • 250GB - $110 ($0.44/GB)
    • 500GB - $200 ($0.40/GB) (Amazon)
    • 1TB      - $400 ($0.40/GB) (Amazon)
    • 2TB      - $800 ($0.40/GB)

These are not sale prices - these are the revised suggested retail prices (MSRP) from Samsung! It looks like Newegg and Amazon are now populating their listings with 970 SSDs at the revised pricing.

Corsair's new quartet of wireless peripherals sing in Qi

Subject: General Tech | May 7, 2018 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: corsair, K63, wireless keyboard, Dark Core RGB SE, wireless mouse, mm1000, lapboard, Qi

The Tech Report combined four related Corsair products together for a review, as they may all curl up on your lap together.  The K63 wireless keyboard you see below sports Cherry Red switches and several of the function keys have uses specific to HTPC and Android TV to ensure you can stay put on your couch.  TR recommends turning it off between uses as the sleep mode is not very effective at reducing power draw.  The Dark Core RGB SE mouse is also wireless; charging via Qi as opposed to using replaceable batteries and it too comes with the recommendation for owners to turn it off when not in use. 

Tying these together is the MM1000 mouse pad, which is where you charge your mouse or compatible device, as it is a Qi charging station.  There is a charging spot on the mat as well as a plug for a puck if you need the space on the mouse mat or have multiple devices to charge. All of these combine on the K63 Wireless Lapboard to form a perfect excuse not to get up from the couch.

Check out all the details at The Tech Report.

lapboard-assembled.jpg

"Corsair's K63 Wireless keyboard, Dark Core RGB SE mouse, MM1000 mouse pad, and K63 Wireless Gaming Lapboard promise a seamless transition from gaming at a desk to gaming in the living room. We took these peripherals from point A to point B and back again to see just how they unplug and play."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Cooler Master's latest Mastercase wants to Mesh with you

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 4, 2018 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: cooler master, MasterCase H500P, mesh, eatx

We've seen the PR for the Cooler Master Mastercase H500P Mesh but this review from Guru 3D may be the first time we see it in action.  While it is a mid-tower there is enough space inside to fit an E-ATX motherboard and believe it or not those front fans are 200mm in size, with 140mm on the backside.  The interior design is impressively spacious, with drive mounts flush to the top of the case and additional ones hidden in the PSU shroud there is a lot of empty space apparent even after Modders Inc installed their full system

For $150, this case is worth taking a look at.

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"Companies are constantly coming up with new ways to dispel that heat and ensure those massive gaming systems are ice cold. Cooler Master has presented us with one of their latest innovations that will help solve this problem, The Cooler Master Mastercase H500P Mesh."

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

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: Modders Inc

Fools! You thought you had seen the last of ... The Spectre?

Subject: General Tech | May 4, 2018 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: Specter NG, Intel, security

Not to ruin your Friday, but it seems we have a sequel.  Spectre Next Generation refers to eight new vulnerabilities Intel CPUs posses, some of which Heise suggests could be even worse than the previously revealed flaws.  Intel's official response can be read at The Inquirer, AMD have stated they are investigating to see if there is any possible way their chips and vulnerable while ARM decided not to comment at all.  One of the more disturbing vulnerabilities can cross between or out of VMs, rendering your sandbox unsafe.  It is still early yet so we cannot say exactly what product lines are vulnerable, nor do we have specifics on the the eight flaws but you can expect to hear a lot more in the coming days.

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"The flaws, first reported by German tech site Heise which said it has been given full technical details on the vulnerabilities and said Intrl had reserved Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) numbers for them."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

PCPer Mailbag #42 - May the Fourth Be with Most of You

Subject: Editorial | May 4, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:45 - PCPer crew coding skills?
01:51 - Allyn's headset?
03:05 - Network wiring, Cat6 vs. coax?
04:19 - Optane cache for RAID array?
05:47 - Page file on RAM disk?
07:31 - Making an SSD last?
09:28 - SSD game load times: SATA vs. NVMe?
10:49 - Intel hiring AMD employees?
13:13 - Will Zen 2 beat Intel?
15:29 - Windows 10 April Update HDR improvements?
16:49 - Ryan's favorite Star Wars t-shirt?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 397.55 Hotfix Drivers

Subject: Graphics Cards | May 3, 2018 - 08:41 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers

The previous set of drivers, version 397.31 that was released last week, had a few bugs in them… so NVIDIA has released a hotfix (397.55) to address the issues (without waiting for the next “Game Ready” date). Of course, these drivers also went through a reduced QA process, so they should be avoided unless one of the problems affect you.

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And the fixed bugs are:

  • Device Manager may report Code 43 on certain GTX 1060 models
  • Netflix playback may occasionally stutter
  • Added support for Microsoft Surface Book notebooks
  • Driver may get removed after PC has been idle for extended periods of time

The last issue manifests in a couple of different forms. The forum page specifically mentions Windows 10, although users with Windows 7 and Windows 8 could also be affected by the bug, just with different symptoms. I experienced it, and for me (on Windows 10) it was just a matter of force-quitting all processes prefixed with “nv” in task manager. My symptoms were that GeForce Experience would attempt to re-download the drivers and StarCraft II would fail to launch. If you’re experiencing similar issues, then you’ll probably want to give this driver a shot.

You can download it from their CustHelp page.

Source: NVIDIA

Someone order a round of Samsung NVMe?

Subject: Storage | May 3, 2018 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 970 EVO, 970 PRO

We have 970 EVO and PRO reviews for you to peruse, as you patiently await them being in stock or perhaps you have one on the way.  Start out with The Tech Report's look at the 970 EVO as their RoboBench test is a bit different that the tests Allyn presented and they've included more drives for comparison.  Their test notes page also includes a long list of SSD models with controllers and NAND flavours listed out, which may help you make sense of the current SSD market and why some drives shine at certain benchmarks while falling behind on others.  Assuming you've already seen Al's review, start with The Tech Report and then head below the fold.

drive.jpg

"Samsung has taken the wraps off the successor to its trailblazing 960 EVO SSD. Join us as we put the 970 EVO through our test suite to find out whether it carries the EVO legacy forward."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

AMD and the 4K secret

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2018 - 01:39 PM |
Tagged: adrenaline 18.4.1, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, amd

Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.4.1 Driver Version 18.10.01.05 (extended edition) quietly arrived yesterday with a variety of fixes as well as a new feature for AMD cards; 4k Netflix.  AMD have added support for the Microsoft PlayReady 3.0 DRM which along with a display which supports HDCP 2.2, is required to stream Netflix in 4k.  You can check out the bug fixes included in this update as well as a caution about using multiple GPUs when watching Netflix right here, or you could head over to The Inquirer as they reveal the drawback to streaming Netflix on Windows.

 

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"The 18.4.1 drivers for the hyperbolically named driver software brought in support for the Windows 10 April Update as well as some fixes for known issues in a suite of triple-A games."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Slashdot

Podcast #498 - Microsoft Surface Book 2, Intel 905P Optane, and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 3, 2018 - 09:19 AM |
Tagged: windows 10, video, surface, podcast, Oculus, Nocutua, microsoft, kaby lake-x, Jim Keller, Intel, coolermaster, arm

PC Perspective Podcast #498 - 05/03/18

Join us this week for discussion on Microsoft Surface Book 2, Intel 905P Optane, 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: 1:31:26

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. Casper
  3. News items of interest:
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:21:20 Ryan: Oculus Go
    2. 1:22:20 Jeremy: Great deal on a B350
    3. 1:26:25 Allyn: Got a Vive? Buy a Gear VR cheap! (and do some modding with these)
  5. Closing/outro
 
Source:

Velocity Micro Unleashes Epyc ProMagix HD150 Workstation

Subject: Systems | May 3, 2018 - 07:39 AM |
Tagged: velocity micro, EPYC, EPYC 7601, amd, workstation

AMD scored another design win with Velocity Micro announcing a new workstation built around the Zen-based EPYC processor. The new ProMagix HD150 is a single socket Epyc-based system that slots in between the company's existing ThreadRipper-based HD80A and the dual socket Epyc HD360A workstations. The Velocity Micro system takes the company's GX4 aluminum E-ATX chassis and crams a ton of processing power into it.

Velocity Micro GX4.jpg

The new workstation is based around the Supermicro H11SSL motherboard and it can be confiugred with up to an AMD Epyc 7601 processor with 32 cores and 64 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 3.2 GHz boost with 64MB L3 cache and 128 lanes of PCI-E. The processor which is cooled by a closed loop liquid cooler with 240mm radiator can be paired with up to 512GB DDR4-2666 ECC RDIMMs or 256GB ECC LRDIMMs for main memory and up to a 2TB Samsung 960 Pro SSD (or two Crucial MX550s) and two 8TB mechanical hard drives for storage. The Supermicro board has sixteen SATA ports as well as multiple PCI-E x16 and x8 slots so users can add plenty of additional storage and I/O expansion. Further, users can configure the system with a NVIDIA Quadro GP100 graphics accelerator as well as up to two Radeon Pro SSG Vega 10 cards (there are also NVIDIA GTX, Titan, and Quadro or AMD Vega, WX Pro, and SSG options) for GPGPU tasks. The two Radeon Pro SSG cards have 4096 stream processors, 16GB of HBM2, and 2TB of solid state storage each and are rated at 12.3 TFLOPS of single precision and 769 GFLOPS of double precision performance.

Velocity Micro.jpg

Needless to say, you can configure an extremely capable workstation thanks to AMD's Epyc that can handle both CPU and GPU efficient tasks with plenty of I/O lanes for storage and expansion. Velocity Micro claims that the HD150 workstation is aimed at simulation, rendering, 8K video editing, and machine learning workloads. The systems can be configured on their website or customized by ordering over the phone and start at $3,299 with a default one year warranty and lifetime US-based support. The workstations are built and tested in Richmond, Virginia. As far as pricing, this, ahem, Epyc system is squarely an enterprise affair with fully loaded configurations passing $33,000 easily.

It is promising to see AMD's server processor getting design wins in this market space.

HyperX Launches Predator DDR4 RGB Modules With Infrared Sync

Subject: Memory | May 3, 2018 - 04:06 AM |
Tagged: hyperx, gaming, ddr4, ddr4-2933, RGB, RGB LED

Kingston’s enthusiast-focused HyperX brand recently launched a new set of RGB-equipped DDR4 memory modules that use IR transceivers to sync up the LEDs across all the DIMMs. The aptly named Predator DDR4 RGB memory kits feature stylized angular black aluminum heat spreaders and RGB LEDs along the top edge. The DIMMs use eight 1GB chips along a single side.

Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB.png

HyperX’s new Predator DDR4 modules are compatible with Asus Aura Sync, Gigabyte RGB Fusion, and MSI Mystic Light Sync RGB LED control software. The new kits are available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities using one, two, or four 8GB modules. HyperX rates (PDF) the modules at DDR4 2933 MHz with CL15-17-17 timings at 1.35V when using the Intel XMP profile. Out of the box, the modules run at 2400 MHz (CL17) and 1.2 volts, however.

The RGB modules reportedly offer smooth lighting effects with low latencies thanks to the direct module-to-module IR communication keeping everything in sync.

HyperX Predator RGB DDR4.jpg

The HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB modules come with a lifetime warranty and have a MSRP of $257 for the 16 GB (2x8GB) kit and $513 for the 32 GB (4 x 8GB) kit. Fortunately, the kits are going for a bit less than MSRP online with the 16 GB RGB kit going for $245.99 and the 32GB RGB kit going for $491.99 or about $20 to $30 over the non-RGB Predator DDR4 3000 MHz offerings.

Source: HyperX

Unity 2018.1 Released

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2018 - 08:13 PM |
Tagged: Unity, video games

The first entry in Unity’s 2018.x line of releases has just been published to their website. Developers can now choose to migrate their projects to it and expect official support until 2018.2, or they can stick with 2017.4 and for two years – but not get new engine features. That said, if you have a big project that is expected to ship within a handful of months, then you may just want things to stay constant and stable until you ship (and maybe publish a wave of DLC).

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There’s a few big additions with this version, but the ones I care about most are still in preview. The first is, of course, the ECS design pattern with the C# Job System. It is still super early days with this one, but I’m very interested in a rigid, optimized, data-driven workflow that makes it easy to batch tasks together. Give me constraints – it’s okay – if I can get value from it.

Then we get to the Scriptable Render Pipeline and its two presets: High-Definition Render Pipeline and Lightweight Render Pipeline. This allows the developer to control how their content is rendered, including how it is culled, how materials and lights are processed, what materials and lights can do, can so forth. They also say that some features will only come to the High-Definition Render Pipeline to get people off the standard workflow into the new render path… but I wonder how that will affect developers who create their own scriptable render pipeline. It’s reasonable to assume that a developer who makes their own path will need to do some level of tweaking to get new features, but I wonder how much effort Unity will put into helping those developers.

There is also a new, beta update to the Post Processing stack. This should be familiar to users of Unreal Engine 4. Unity has continued to push a bunch of effects, like color grading, bloom, reflection, ambient occlusion, certain antialiasing techniques, and so forth, into a canonical suite of filters. They have also added volumes that developers can place in their scene to add a hierarchy for smooth transitions between effects.

From a practical standpoint, the new package manager also looks very interesting. There’s not much to write about for it, in an enthusiast PC hardware site at least, but it could be a nice way of delivering features to users. Instead of waiting for a whole new Unity release, you can fiddle with new features on a one-by-one basis. Maybe even third-party content, typically found in the asset store, can find its way on there – with a network of dependencies that it just sorts out for you.

Check it out on Unity’s website.

Source: Unity

Faster my stompybots, faster! Mod out the pauses in BattleTech

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2018 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: mod, gaming, battletech

The slow pace of BattleTech, which is driving many people spare, seems to have been a deliberate choice on the developers part.  Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN links to Reddit posts which make this fact obvious and thankfully allow you to reverse this decision.  There are five variables you can edit in the games file directory with a text editor to reduce the pauses to 0, or whatever your preferred number is.   There are also several ways to multiply the speed at which your Mech's move, the easiest of which is creating a registry key which makes all mechs move five times as fast, or you can manually edit the 53 files for each mech with a multiplier of your choice.  There is a third way, involving activating a debug mode, which offers a wide variety of commands for your enjoyment if you so desire.

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"Two things stand between BattleTech and true greatness. User guides and videos solve the bonkers decision to not so much as hint at absolute combat necessities that make the difference between grim slugfest and satisfying tactical supremacy, but the other one’s trickier."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Seven brown new fans from Noctua

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 2, 2018 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: sfma1, noctua, NF-P12 redux, NF-A12x25

Noctua have released seven new fans across three product lines, the NF-A12x25 family, the NF-P12 redux family and a single NA-SFMA1.   The naming scheme helps you determine what their function is, the PWM models for fan controllers, ULN are the ultra low noise fans and the FLX allow you to choose between two adapters to balance your cooling and noise levels.

noctua_nf_a12x25_PWM_3.png

These new fans are built from Sterrox liquid-crystal polymer to add strength and stability to the fans even at high speeds and rotation as well as Noctua's self-stabilizing oil-pressure bearings.  The NF-A12x25 series are designed to be able to provide enough static pressure to be effectively used on radiators when paired with the SFMA1 adapter, as well as being used as an air cooler.  Those with sensitive ears should look to the NF-P12 redux series with three models rotating at 1700, 1300 or 900RPM, ranging from 25.1 dB(A) down to 12,6 dB(A).

The NF-A12x25 will retail for $29.90US, the NF-P12 redux for $13.90 and the NA-SFMA1for $11.90.  Check out the full PR below.

na_sfma1_2.jpg

Vienna, May 2nd 2018 – Noctua today presented its much-anticipated next-generation 120x25mm A-series fan and the complementary NA-SFMA1 adaptors that allow it to be used on 140mm based watercoolers. The new NF-A12x25 is the first fan made of Noctua’s novel Sterrox® LCP material and integrates the company’s latest innovations in aerodynamic engineering in order to achieve an unprecedented level of quiet cooling performance. While the NF-A12x25 becomes the new flagship model in the 120mm range, the classic NF-P12 will be reissued in the streamlined, more affordable redux line.

“The NF-A12x25 is our most advanced fan today. We’ve spent more than 4.5 years developing it and it’s been easily the most thorny, intricate development project we’ve completed so far,” explains Lars Strömbäck (Noctua CTO): “In order to achieve our goal of surpassing our renowned NF-F12 and NF-S12A, we went for a completely different approach and had to use a tip clearance of only 0.5mm, which poses various new difficulties in manufacturing.”

Whereas the award-winning NF-F12 and NF-S12A are specialised solutions that are either optimised for maximum static pressure or maximum airflow, the new NF-A12x25 follows the approach of Noctua’s A-series in being a true all-rounder that yields superb results in all types of usage, regardless of whether it’s in low-impedance, airflow-oriented applications such as case cooling, or high-impedance, pressure-demanding scenarios such as on heatsinks and watercooling radiators. In practice, the NF-A12x25 not only outperforms the renowned NF-F12 on 120mm based watercooling radiators, but combined with the new, optional NA-SFMA1 adaptor frames, it also offers better efficiency than many 140mm fans on 140mm based systems.

One of the cornerstones of the NF-A12x25’s next-generation performance is its record tight tip clearance (distance between the blade tips and the inside of the frame) of only 0.5mm. This highly ambitious design helps the NF-A12x25 to work more efficiently against back pressure, such as on heatsinks or radiators, by reducing leak flows through the gap between impeller and frame. Manufacturing a fan with such a small tip clearance is extremely delicate and was only made possible by Noctua’s new Sterrox® liquid-crystal polymer (LCP) material, which features extreme tensile strength, an exceptionally low thermal expansion coefficient and excellent dimensional stability.

“We have never put so much research and effort into a single fan so far, both on the level of fine-tuning the aerodynamic construction and on the level of materials and manufacturing,” says Roland Mossig (Noctua CEO): “Many challenges had to be overcome, but now we’re proud with the end result and confident that the NF-A12x25 will become a new benchmark for premium-quality quiet 120mm fans.”

The NF-A12x25 will be available in a 4-pin PWM version for automatic speed control, 3-pin FLX version with Low-Noise Adaptors for three different speed settings as well as a near-silent 3-pin ULN (Ultra-Low-Noise) version. As the NF-A12x25 becomes the new flagship model in Noctua’s 120mm range, the classic NF-P12 moves to the streamlined, more affordable redux line. It will henceforth be available in 1700 and 1300rpm 4-pin PWM versions as well as 1300 and 900rpm 3-pin versions.

 

Source: Noctua

Go Go Gadget Oculus Go, the cord cutters VR headset

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2018 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: oculus go, vr headset, wireless vr headset

The Oculus Go just went on sale for a mere $200 and Ars Technica snapped one up for review.  The most striking feature of the VR headset is the lack of wires, the headset communicates via 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.1 with GPS built in as well and the 2600 mAh battery will give you roughly 2 hours of continuous use before needing a charge.  The headset shuts off after 5 minutes if it cannot detect both a face and hand motion, old 80's muppets aren't enough to keep it on.

The technical specs are close to what you would expect, with a combined resolution of 2560×1440 5.5" and two refresh modes, a standard 60Hz and an overclocked 72Hz refresh rate.  There were more than a few corners cut to reduce the price, such as the ability to adjust the distance between the screens to match your pupils with a slider but nothing quite as bad as the additional requirements you need to use the headset; you must install, long into and run an app on a connected smartphone as well as provide your GPS location when using the Oculus Go.  Those last two requirements make this headset rather less attractive, but it is still worth checking out the review.

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Surprise! Oculus released a new virtual reality headset today. The Oculus Go standalone headset is now for sale at Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy starting at $199—yes, $199, with no other hardware required—following a retail-launch unveil at Facebook's annual F8 conference."

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Source: Ars Technica

ARM Introduces Physical Security to Cortex-M Line

Subject: General Tech | May 2, 2018 - 11:00 AM |
Tagged: voltage, physical attacks, exploits, EM, CryptoIsland, CryptoCell, Cortex-M35P, cortex, arm

 

The world is rife with exploits. We see and hear about them everyday. It is a major problem for device makers that try to use cutting edge technology in their products, but do not know what potential vulnerabilities can be exposed. ARM has a robust security suite available for their chips that can be licensed and implemented, but so far these have dealt primarily with software. Nothing has been done in consumer chips to protect from other side-channel exploits in which the chip is physically accessed.

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Physical security was once the realm of military style hardware that were hardened and designed to be nearly impervious if falling into the wrong hands. Now ARM is offering partners the ability to implement several physical security features into their chips to help defeat those who wish to exploit these products.

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The first product to get this treatment is the new Cortex-M35P. This is based on previously released Cortex-M3x technology featuring the Armv8-M ISA. It is a new chip in that it has all of the features for physical security integrated into the design. It also features all of the previous security IP that ARM has released including TrustZone, CryptoIsland, and CryptoCell.

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Physcial attacks can come through a variety of ways. Monitoring voltage and EM from the chip is the least invasive, while physically accessing the device and exposing the core down to the transistor level obviously destroys the chip but gives the attacker a lot of information about the chip. The former attacks can be done by people with varying levels of experience and commonly acquired tools. The latter attack requires a tremendous amount of knowledge as well as require high end equipment not normally found outside of chip design and fabrication firms. ARM cannot protect against dissecting the part, but they can help protect against the more non-invasive exploits.

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EM and voltage monitoring can give clues about potential sideband exploits that would work with the chip. The attacker records these measurements when the chip is doing work such as encryption. This then can lead to more specific attacks on the chip. ARM is able to design countermeasures on these chips to either limit EM output or to “dirty” the output so that it reveals little about the operation of the chip. ARM is able to do much the same when it comes to voltage tampering.

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ARM did not go into any significant detail on the actual mechanisms of these security features. All we know is that these are features designed into the chip from the beginning and cannot be applied retroactively to previous chips. This makes sense due to these being physical attacks, and if ARM detailed the countermeasures, then the attackers can more easily work around them.

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Security is a process. One fix will not create a totally locked-down world. It takes a pretty extensive infrastructure to address all of the threats that are likely to be encountered by IoT devices throughout the world. Adding to the physical IP with security measures allows ARM and its clients to be that little bit more confident that they are exposing their users to the least amount of risk possible when it comes to exploiting these products.

Source: ARM