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Subject: General Tech | August 2, 2017 - 12:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AR, acer
Acer's new mixed reality headset, is now available from the Microsoft Store. The $300 price tag compares extremely favourably to the $3000 Hololens that Microsoft is selling. The two headsets will both run on Windows Holographic and will have steep hardware requirements. Acer recommends a Ryzen 8 1700 or Core i7 paired with at least an RX 480 or GTX 980 and 16GB of RAM. The headset will not be able to overlay virtual images over real objects, hence the mixed reality moniker, rather it will be somewhat like a VR environment to work in. Drop by The Inquirer for a peek.
"The headset we tested in prototype last month is available to anyone looking to build content for it, for $300 a squirt. It had been made available in private beta to some devs back in April but now it's in the Microsoft Store."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Arozzi Vernazza Gaming Chair @ [H]ard|OCP
- IBM and Sony Cram Up To 330 Terabytes Into Tiny Tape Cartridge @ Slashdot
- Mozilla launches Firefox Send for up to 1GB file self-destruct file sharing @ The Inquirer
- HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office @ The Register
- Dirty carbon nanotubes offer telcos chance at secure quantum comms @ The Register
- NikKTech With Antec & Razer End Of Summer Giveaway
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 2, 2017 - 07:01 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: spir-v, opengl, Khronos
While Vulkan has been getting a lot of mindshare recently, OpenGL is still in active development. This release, OpenGL 4.6, adds a bunch of extensions into the core specification, making them more reliably available to engines. There’s a lot of them this time, many of which seem to borrow design elements from the work done on Vulkan.
The headlining feature is SPIR-V support as an ARB extension, which frees OpenGL programs from having their shaders written in GLSL. Many engines write their shaders in HLSL and use a transpiler to generate the corresponding GLSL, which may not support all features. The extension might also help titles target both OpenGL and Vulkan, although I’m not sure why we would see a driver that supports OpenGL 4.6 but not Vulkan.
Another extension is GL_KHR_no_error, which tells graphics drivers that they do not need to generate errors at runtime. This will save a bit of driver overhead. GL_ARB_indirect_parameters also helps with CPU overhead by allowing draws to pass parameters to other GPU-initiated draws, although this is a bit out of my domain. Also, if you’re not working in SPIR-V, GL_KHR_parallel_shader_compile will allow the driver to compile your GLSL shaders across multiple worker threads.
NVIDIA has a beta driver for developers, which is a couple of versions back compared to their consumer version, so you don’t want to install it unless you intend on developing OpenGL 4.6 applications. Mesa says that they shouldn’t be too far behind.
Subject: General Tech | August 1, 2017 - 01:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: audio, patriot, V361, V370, gaming headset, virtual 7.1, Viper
Patriot's new Viper V361 And V370 headsets are virtual twins, virtual 7.1 surround sound in fact. They share the same specifications, a dynamic range of 20 Hz – 20 KHz, 32Ohm
impedance and 40mm neodymium drivers with 30mm neodymium sub-drivers to provide the virtual surround sound. Indeed at first look the only difference is the price, $50 for the V361 and $70 for the V370. Techgage discovered the difference, the V370 is thoroughly infected with RGB-itis, if you find yourself in need of a glowing head. As for the audio quality, check out the full review.
"How often does a product force you into an attitude adjustment? Patriot’s V361 and V370 headsets have revealed themselves to be a pair of price and performance champs. The best thing? They prove that virtual surround sound doesn’t need to be pricey to be desirable. Let’s check them out."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MORE Triple Driver In-ears @ techPowerUp
- ASUS Cerberus V2 @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | August 1, 2017 - 12:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: photolithography, DOLFIN
In the eternal search for ways to fabricate smaller features in semiconductors, EUV seems to be the current focus for production facilities. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory may have a solution which could prove to be very useful in the future and could even see the mask technology currently used in photolithography become obsolete. DOLFIN, aka Direct Optical Lithography of Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials, creates features by making a film of nanoparticles with photoactive ligands which is then covered in a glas or quartz mask with a patterned metal layer and exposed to UV light. This is very similar to current methods, the mask is reusable and the amount of UV light required is similar to that needed currently.
This method differs in several ways, not least of which is it does not require as many rare and unhealthy solutes. What could really help it take off is the fact that seems to be cheaper and more reliable than current processes and it is capable of creating a six-layer 3D pattern in 19 process steps; conventional technology would take 43 steps. There is more over at Nanotechweb.
"The fact that the dose of UV required in the new technique is comparable to that for conventional photoresists opens up a plethora of opportunities for advanced device manufacturing, he tells nanotechweb.org."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cybenetics: Better Paid-For Badges for Your PSU? @ [H]ard|OCP
- Ahead Of Radeon RX Vega, AMDGPU+RadeonSI Is Offering The Most Competitive Performance Yet Against NVIDIA On Linux @ Phoronix
- Amazon Echo hack turns speaker into covert listening device @ The Inquirer
- AI quickly cooks malware that AV software can't spot @ The Register
- With 200 Million Daily Users, Giphy Will Soon Test Sponsored GIFs @ Slashdot
- Corsair T1 Race Gaming Chair @ techPowerUp
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2017 - 12:05 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Wolfenstein 2, vulkan, Vega, id Tech 6, id software, half-precision, game engine, FP16, amd
According to a report from Golem.de (German language), with the upcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus game AMD Vega owners will have the advantage of FP16 shader support from a new version of the id Tech 6 engine. The game supports both DX12 and the Vulkan API, but the use of half-precision calculations - the scope of which has not been specified - will potentially offer higher frame-rates for AMD Vega users.
AMD provided some technical details about Wolfenstein 2 during their Threadripper/Vega tech day, and this new game includes “special optimizations” in the id Tech 6 game engine for AMD Vega hardware:
“For what exactly id Software (is using) FP16 instead of FP32, AMD did not say. These could post-processing effects, such as bloom. The performance should increase in the double-digit percentage range, (though) id Software did not want to comment on it.” (Translated from German.)
Subject: Displays | July 31, 2017 - 03:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gsync, freesync
At recent AMD events, attendees were invited to try a blind sight test (an oxymoron if there ever was one) in which they had a chance to play on a AMD system with the new Vega GPU and Freesync as well as a machine powered by a GTX 1080 and G-Sync. The two machines and monitors were concealed so you could not tell which was which.
Seeing as how many of us did not have a chance to attend these conferences nor see the difference between the two, [H]ard|OCP decided to replicate the experiment, albeit with a GTX 1080 Ti in the G-Sync system. The two Windows 10 64-bit systems were powered by a AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU with 16GB of DDR4-2666MHz; the only difference was the GPU and display. The two displays were capable of up to a 100Hz refresh rate and the display settings were matched as well as humanly possible. The two monitors were a $720 ASUS MX34V with FreeSync and a $1300 ASUS PG348 G-Sync display, something worth noting for those with a shopping list.
Check out the video of the subjective experiences of the participants here, remembering that this is not exactly a rigid scientific experiment.
"Totally unscientific and subjective testing is scorned by many, so if that gets your panties in a bunch, I suggest you stop reading. We had the opportunity to preview AMD's RX Vega this weekend, and we put it up against NVIDIA's GTX 1080 Ti, both using 100Hz FreeSync and G-Sync panels, with our testers representing 223 combined years of gaming experience."
Here are some more Display articles from around the web:
- Acer Predator XB271HU bmiprz 144-165 Hz @ techPowerUp
- Philips BDM4350UC 43in 4k IPS @ Kitguru
- The Frame TV by Samsung Revealed! @ TechARP
Subject: Processors | July 31, 2017 - 03:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vega 64, vega 56, vega 10, Vega, radeon, amd, X399, Threadripper, ryzen, 1950x, 1920x, 1900x
Just in case you wanted to relive this weekends event, or you feel that somehow Ryan missed a detail when he was describing Threadripper or Vega, here is a roundup of other coverage of the event. The Tech Report contrast the Vega 64 and Vega 56 with a few older NVIDIA cards as well as more modern ones, giving you a sense of the recent evolution of the GPU. They also delve a bit into the pricing and marketing strategies which AMD has chosen, which you can check out here.
"AMD's Radeon RX Vega graphics cards are finally here in the form of the RX Vega 64 and RX Vega 56. Join us as we see what AMD's new high-end graphics cards have in store for gamers."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU Specs and Pricing Revealed @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Radeon RX Vega Preview @ techPowerUp
- AMD Vega Microarchitecture Technical Overview @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper Specs and Pricing Revealed @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 1950X, Threadripper 1920X, and Threadripper 1900X CPUs revealed @ The Tech Report
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 31, 2017 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nzxt, kraken, Kraken X62, Kraken X52, Kraken X61, Threadripper, amd
NZXT has announced that their three popular AiO watercoolers, the Kraken X62, Kraken X52, and Kraken X61 will be compatible with Threadripper, arriving soon to retailers.
NZXT has been working with AMD and created an adapter for SocketTR4 to allow you to use their cooler in your new system. The retention clip will be supplied by AMD, in the package the new CPUs. This is a good thing, considering the unique new way in which you install Threadripper processors. If you haven't seen the video demonstrating the installation process you can see it below.
Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2017 - 01:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: flash, Adobe, bad idea, open source
Just when you thought it was safe, there is a group who are attempting to ensure that Adobe Flash never dies, just like the killer from a horror movie in the 80's and 90's. These poor misguided fools feel that by making Flash open source, the community will be able to salve the open sores which Flash is covered in. If you can pass a sanity check, you might wonder why anyone would want to keep this application alive. It would seem that the developer who started this petition on GitHub because "Flash is an important piece of Internet history and killing Flash means future generations can't access the past,". One could make the same argument about Geocities and sound roughly as coherent. You can pop over to The Inquirer for a name, as well as a link to the petition.
"A LOYAL but misguided fool has started a petition in the hope of convincing Adobe to take Flash's source code into the open source."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- It Is Easy To Expose Users' Secret Web Habits, Say Researchers @ Slashdot
- The complete history of the IBM PC, part two: The DOS empire strikes @ Ars Technica
- Microsoft won't patch SMBv1 flaw that only an idiot would expose @ The Register
- Microsoft's Windows 10 subsystem for Linux is out of beta @ The Inquirer
- Yeehaw! And welcome to another rootin'-tootin' storage pony wrangling @ The Register
- OpenGL 4.6 Released With Vulkan/SPIR-V Ingestion, Parallel Shader Compiles & Finally AF @ Phoronix
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2017 - 11:02 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: vega 64, strix, radeon rx vega, ASUS ROG, asus, amd
Although AMD’s own cards are the focus of attention this weekend, the company’s partners are also ready with some RX Vega announcements of their own. ASUS today announced four new cards based on the highest-tier Vega 64 design:
- ASUS RX Vega64 Water Cooled Edition
- ASUS RX Vega64 Air Cooled Edition
- ROG Strix RX Vega64 OC Edition
- ROG Strix RX Vega64
The first two cards, the non-Strix models, feature AMD’s corresponding reference design for the air and water-cooled models, while incorporating support for both ASUS’s GPU Tweak II software and XSplit Gamecaster.
The Strix models will feature a custom triple fan ASUS cooler, RGB lighting with Aura Sync support, and two “VR-friendly” HDMI ports (the reference RX Vega design only has one). ASUS has yet to announce base or boost clocks for the ROG Strix RX Vega64. See below for complete specifications:
ASUS RX Vega64 Air and Water Cooled editions will launch on August 14th. ASUS states “early September” availability for the ROG Strix models. Pricing was not disclosed as of the date of this article’s publication.
Subject: Processors | July 30, 2017 - 10:30 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, ryzen, amd, 1950x, 1920x, 1900x
At SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles this week, AMD released even more details about the its upcoming Ryzen Threadripper product family ahead of its retail release in August. Though readers of PC Perspective are already well aware of the Threadripper 1950X and 1920X CPUs that were announced just a couple of weeks back, along with prices, clock speeds, performance estimates, and more. At tonight’s Capsaicin event, we learned about the on-sale, preorder date, and even a surprise new SKU option.
|i9-7980XE||i9-7960X||i9-7940X||i9-7920X||i9-7900X||i7-7820X||i7-7800X||TR 1950X||TR 1920X||TR 1900X|
|Base Clock||?||?||?||?||3.3 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.8 GHz|
|Turbo Boost 2.0||?||?||?||?||4.3 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Turbo Boost Max 3.0||?||?||?||?||4.5 GHz||4.5 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Cache||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||13.75MB||11MB||8.25MB||40MB||?||?|
|DDR4-2666 Quad Channel||DDR4-2666 Quad Channel|
|TDP||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||140 watts||140 watts||140 watts||180 watts||180 watts||180 watts?|
|TR 1950X||TR 1920X||TR 1900X||Ryzen 7 1800X||Ryzen 7 1700X||Ryzen 7 1700||Ryzen 5 1600X||Ryzen 5 1600||Ryzen 5 1500X||Ryzen 5 1400|
|Base Clock||3.4 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.4 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.2 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.2 GHz|
|Turbo/Boost Clock||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.8 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.0 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.4 GHz|
|DDR4-2666 Quad Channel||DDR4-2666 Quad Channel||DDR4-2400
|TDP||180 watts||180 watts||180 watts?||95 watts||95 watts||65 watts||95 watts||65 watts||65 watts||65 watts|
Let’s not bury the lead here: the Ryzen Threadripper 1900X is the third entrant into the Threadripper family and will consist of 8-cores, 16-threads, a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a Turbo clock of 4.0 GHz, while still supporting XFR for as much as 200 MHz of additional clock speed. It will still have 64 lanes of PCI Express, four channels of DDR4 memory support, and will come with a price tag of $549.
The 1900X becomes a very interesting part for a number of reasons. Its price puts it between the Core i7-7820X and the 7800X (8-core and 6-core parts from Intel’s Skylake-X family). Even with a base clock speed of 3.8 GHz it will find itself slower than the 7820X due to lower IPC and similar clock rates. However, AMD is counting on the appeal of 64 lanes of PCIe, countering the 28 lanes on the 7820X from Intel, along with a slight cost advantage, to help it shine. The 1900X will have the same core and thread count as the Ryzen 7 family, though at higher clock speeds, a higher TDP and double the DDR4 memory channels and more than 2x the PCIe lanes. For just $50-100 more, the 1900X is a compelling option against the 1800X if you are a connectivity, storage, or multi-GPU junkie.
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2017 - 10:07 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Vega, Siggraph, Nano
This doesn't look like it was really meant to happen, but it is in the wild now! Twitter user Drew has posted a picture of Chris Hook holding up a Vega Nano card outside the show. It draws its design from the previous Vega products that we have seen with the shroud and the red cube in the top right corner. No specifications were included with this post, but we can see that the card is significantly shorter than the RX Vega FE that Ryan had reviewed.
TDPs should be in the sub-200 watt range for such a design. The original Nano was a 150 watt TDP part that performed quite well at the time. Pricing is again not included, but we will be able to guess once the rest of the Vega lineup is announced later.
Subject: Mobile | July 28, 2017 - 03:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: alienware, Alienware 13 R3, oled, 1440p, gtx 1060, Tobii
Alienware is continuing to provide impressive hardware in their high end laptops, along with a price tag to match. The new R3 model contains impressive hardware, a Core i7-7700HQ, 16GB DDR4-2400MHz, a GTX 1060 and a 256GB Toshiba XG3 NVMe. Those components are not what makes this laptop stand out however, it is the 1440p OLED touch screen and Tobii Aware eye tracking software which make this laptop interesting. Kitguru did have some issues with the screen brightness adjusting during usage however "the OLED screen is absolutely amazing." Check out the review but remember, if you have to ask you can't afford it.
"Thankfully the review sample we were sent by Alienware is the Big Kahuna with the OLED screen and a mighty QHD resolution of 2,560×1,440 which is a heck of a lot of pixels packed into a 13.3-inch screen. The screen brightness is 400 nits and it has touch control."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 @ TechARP
- Gigabyte Aero 15W-CF2 @ Kitguru
- The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet & S Pen @ TechARP
- Huawei P10 @ Techspot
- OnePlus cash equals 5: Rebel flagship joins upmarket Android crew @ The Register
- OnePlus 5 @ Techspot
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2017 - 01:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, clutch, Clutch GM60, Clutch GM70, gaming mouse, wireless mouse, ambidextrous
MSI's Clutch GM 60 and Clutch GM70 gaming mice are almost twins, the difference being the GM70's support for wireless usage and a slight weight gain thanks to the required hardware. Both of these mice are somewhat modifiable, you can switch out the wings as well as a portion of top shell; they are also symmetrical so can be used in either hand comfortably. The mice contain a PMW 3360 optical sensor with sensitivity adjustable between 1000-3600 Hz in 100Hz steps. Neoseeker tested out the performance of the mice for gaming and as a source for a funky light show in their recent review.
"The Clutch GM 60 and Clutch GM70 gaming mice are essentially the same mouse design, with the GM70 model being a few grams heavier when calculating the added internal wireless hardware. Both mice come with two sets of side grips to allow the user to configure their mouse choice to fit their hand with a "dragon scale" pattern on the sides to facilitate a firm grip, improving movement precision during use."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- ASUS ROG Strix Evolve @ Kitguru
- Lightweight, But Bold: A Look At The $50 HyperX Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse @ Techgage
- Tt eSPORTS Draconem RGB Gaming Mousepad @ Modders-Inc
- HyperX Alloy Elite Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ CPCR
- AZIO Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Penclic Mini Keyboard C2 @ techPowerUp
- Tt eSPORTS MEKA PRO Gaming Keyboard @ Modders-Inc
- Tt eSPORTS MEKA Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard @ NikKTech
- AZIO Retro Classic @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2017 - 12:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft, Android
Can you imagine a world in which you're able to share links between your phone and computer? This is the brave new frontier which Microsoft is exploring in Version 16251 of Win10 which will allow you to link to an Android phone via a app for Android on the Windows Store. Mind you there are a variety of programs out there which already fulfill this purpose, The Inquirer offers an example here, and if you sign into Chrome it will happily sync itself on all your devices.
On the other hand this is a first step towards admitting that Windows Mobile is not the success they had dreamed. Microsoft does see this as a much a larger project and taking the initial steps slowly could help in the long run; as long as they can get people to notice what they are doing and attract at least some attention.
"But it does lay foundations, and it does show intentions. It's hugely unlikely that Windows Mobile is ever going to claw its way back to the levels to compete with iOS and Android, so it is important that as it approaches its second birthday, Windows-as-a-Service is approachable from other mobile operating systems."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- FreeBSD 11.1 Released @ Slashdot
- Facebook AI shut down after it starts speaking in its own made up language @ The Inquirer
- Smart Gun Beaten by Dumb Magnets @ Hack a Day
- Researchers Discover Critical Security Flaws Found In Nuke Plant Radiation Monitors @ Slashdot
- Apple kills off the last original iPods @ The Inquirer
- Cisco bugs leave network automation vulnerable to attack @ The Register
- Startup Aims to Make 3D Metal Printing 100 Times Faster @ Extremetech
Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 10:13 PM | Scott Michaud
It’s been a long time in the making, but Adobe, Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others will completely end-of-life Flash Player by the end of 2020. Adobe will not update or even distribute the player after that point, and the browser vendors will block the plug-in. Until then, however, Adobe will continue to ship updates that improve security, fix bugs, and even possibly add features.
Tilt your head 90-degrees left and you'll see why I chose this icon.
Now if only we could agree on a date for IPv6.
Subject: Processors | July 27, 2017 - 05:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 1200, 1300x, amd, ryzen, ryzen 3, Zen
Two Ryzen CPUs have been revealed and tested today, opening a new battle at the lower end of the market. These CPUs will not take any performance crowns, instead they are battling for domination in a market extremely sensitive total cost and to performance per dollar. The Ryzen 3 1300X at $129 and 1200 at $109 need are competing against the lower end of Intel's SKUS, like the ~$80 Pentium G4560, the $165 Core i3-7350K and the i3-6100 or i3-7100 at ~$115.
The Tech Report found similar results to Ryan's testing, with performance right in line with pricing; not faster but not lagging behind by much. In many cases the decision as to which chip to get could lie in the future of the system being built. If you are not worried about highly parallel software which requires more cores nor planning to get a discrete GPU then Intel's offerings make sense. On the other hand if you see multi-threaded applications as vital and plan to purchase a GPU as opposed to relying on a CPU with an iGPU then a Ryzen 3 chip could last you quite a while. TR's full review is here and there are plenty more below the fold.
"AMD's Ryzen 3 CPUs bring the Zen architecture to its most affordable price point ever. Join us as we dive into gaming and productivity workloads with these new chips to see whether they can unseat Intel's evergreen Core i3s."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- AMD Ryzen 3 arrives to take on Intel's Core i3 from £105 @ The Inquirer
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200 @ Kitguru
- The AMD Ryzen 3 Processor Tech Report @ TechARP
- AMD Ryzen 3 @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200 & 1300X CPU Review @ Neoseeker
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X & 1200 Performance Review @ Hardware Canucks
- AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 3.4 GHz @ techPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen 3 1200 3.1 GHz @ techPowerUp
- Simulating AMD Ryzen 3 1200, 1300 Performance @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen 5 1600 vs Intel Core i7-7800X: 30 Game Battle! @ Techspot
- Intel Core i9 7900X & Core i7 7740X Review @ OCC
- Overclocking the Intel Core i9-7900X @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 27, 2017 - 05:45 PM | Scott Michaud
Alongside the big Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.7.2 release, AMD pushed out a new developer tool to profile performance on AMD GPUs. First and foremost, it’s only designed to work with the newer graphics APIs, DirectX 12 and Vulkan, although it supports many operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 10, and Linux (Ubuntu 16.04). It doesn’t (yet) support Vega, so you will need to have a 400-, 500-, or Fury series GPU. I expect that will change in the near future, though.
So what does it do? These new graphics APIs are low-level, and there’s a lot going on within a single frame. Other tools exist to debug thing like “which draw call is painting a white blotch over part of my frame”, with AMD recommending RenderDoc. Radeon GPU Profiler is more for things like “did I feed my GPU enough tasks to mask global memory access latency?” or “what draw call took the longest to process?” Now that a lot of this is in the hands of game developers, AMD wants them to have the tools to efficiently load their GPUs.
While the software is freely available, it’s not open source. (You will see a “Source code” link in the release section of GitHub, but it’s just a Readme.)
Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 01:34 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: ZM-K900M, Zephyrus, zalman, XG5, x370, video, usb 3.2, toshiba, Threadripper, Surface Pro, ryzen, ROG, RGB, podcast, max-q, ipad pro, GX501, EKWB, Crosshair VI, crimson relive, asus, AMD4, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #460 - 07/27/17
Join us for ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
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- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous
Week in Review:
0:08:40 0:23:25 ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501 GTX 1080 Max-Q Gaming Notebook
0:22:51 0:24:13 ZALMAN ZM-K900M RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
News items of interest:
0:52:00 AMD Reports Q2 2017 Results
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
1:21:10 Ryan: TechOrbits USB 3.1 Type C to DisplayPort 4K UHD Adapter
1:23:52 Jeremy:Rosewill save you money
1:26:10 Josh:$249 on Sale! Only FreeSync though...
1:27:00 Allyn: Damn cheap 8TB drives (8TB Helium filled Reds!) ($160)
1:32:46 Alex: Bullet Bouquets - now with engraving!
Subject: Mobile | July 27, 2017 - 01:12 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: htc, vive, VR, virtual reality, qualcomm, snapdragon, snapdragon 835
During the ChinaJoy 2017 event in Shanghai, VR pioneer HTC announced its standalone VR headset aimed at the China market. This marks the first major player in the virtual reality space to officially reveal a standalone product intended for the broad consumer market that requires a more affordable, portable VR solution.
Standalone VR headsets differ from the current options on the market in two distinct ways. First, they are disconnected from a PC and don’t require attachment to a desktop for processing or display output. The current HTC Vive product that ships in the market, as well as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, require a high-end PC to play VR games and use HDMI and USB connections to power the headsets. This new standalone design also moves away from the slot-in design of the Samsung Gear VR and doesn’t require the user to monopolize their smartphone for VR purposes.
Though mobile-first VR solutions like Gear VR have existed for several years, selling on the market before the PC-based solutions were released, the move of HTC from tethered virtual reality to a wireless standalone unit signals a shift in the market. Consumers see the value and quality experiences that VR can provide but the expense and hassle of in-place configurations have stagnated adoption.
HTC is using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform to power the Vive Standalone VR Headset, the same chipset used in many high-end smartphones on the market today. Qualcomm and HTC can modify traits of the processor to improve performance without worrying about the sensitive battery life of a consumer’s phone. Though we don’t know the specifics of what HTC might have modified for the configuration of this standalone unit, it likely is a mirror of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 VR hardware development kit that was announced in February. That design includes the capability for six degrees of freedom tracking (moving around a space accurately without external sensors), high resolution displays for each eye, and a full suite of graphics and digital signal processors to handle the complex workloads of VR experiences.
Though HTC is the first to announce and a complete standalone VR product, HTC and others announced their intent to release standalone units in the US later this year through Google’s Daydream program. Lenovo plans to build a VR headset using the same Qualcomm reference design for the Daydream platform.
Facebook-owned Oculus has not officially announced its intent but rumors in July point us to another Qualcomm-powered headset that will sell for around $200. Facebook plans to reveal the hardware in October.
HTC’s decision to target the China market first is driven by its ability to promote its custom Viveport software store in a region that does not offer Google services like the Android Play Store or Daydream. HTC will leverage a customer base that is larger than North America and Western Europe combined, and one that is expected to grow rapidly. IDC statistics show VR headset shipments reaching 10.1 million units this year and target 61 million units by 2020 worldwide. iResearch Consulting estimates Chinese VR market revenues to reach $8.1B in that same time frame.
Growth in VR and AR (augmented reality) is driven by the consumer markets but it is the enterprise implementations that provide the push for expanded usage models. Medical professionals already utilize VR technology to analyze data and mechanical engineers can dissect and evaluate models of products in a virtual space to improve and speed up workflows. Target fields also include factory workers, emergency personnel, the military, delivery drivers, and nearly all facets of business. As VR technology improve usability, comfort, and general societal acceptance, the merger of virtual and augmented reality hardware will create a new age of connected consumers.