Report: Wolfenstein 2 Optimized for AMD Vega with FP16 Shader Support

Subject: Graphics Cards | August 1, 2017 - 12:05 PM |
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.

vega-26.jpg

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.)

Source: Golem.de

To blindly go where no monitor has gone before

Subject: Displays | July 31, 2017 - 03:58 PM |
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.

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"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:

Displays

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Ryzen and Radeon Roundup

Subject: Processors | July 31, 2017 - 03:18 PM |
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.

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"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:

Processors

NZXT Kraken X62, X52 and X61 compatible with AMD Ryzen Threadripper

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 31, 2017 - 01:49 PM |
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.   

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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.

 

Source: NZXT

Flashback!

Subject: General Tech | July 31, 2017 - 01:11 PM |
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.

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"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:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

ASUS Announces Four RX Vega 64 GPUs Headlined By ROG STRIX RX Vega 64 OC Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2017 - 11:02 PM |
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.

asus-rog-strix-vega-64.jpg

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-specs-tbd.png

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.

Source: ASUS

AMD Outs Threadripper 1900X, 8-cores for $549, Details Availability and Preorders

Subject: Processors | July 30, 2017 - 10:30 PM |
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
Architecture Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Skylake-X Zen Zen Zen
Process Tech 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm 14nm 14nm
Cores/Threads 18/36 16/32 14/28 12/24 10/20 8/16 6/12 16/32 12/24 8/16
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 ? ?
Memory Support ? ? ? ? DDR4-2666
Quad Channel
DDR4-2666
Quad Channel
DDR4-2666
Quad Channel
DDR4-2666
Quad Channel
DDR4-2666 Quad Channel DDR4-2666 Quad Channel
PCIe Lanes ? ? ? ? 44 28 28 64 64 64
TDP 165 watts (?) 165 watts (?) 165 watts (?) 165 watts (?) 140 watts 140 watts 140 watts 180 watts 180 watts 180 watts?
Socket 2066 2066 2066 2066 2066 2066 2066 TR4 TR4 TR4
Price $1999 $1699 $1399 $1199 $999 $599 $389 $999 $799 $549

 

  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
Architecture Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen Zen
Process Tech 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm 14nm
Cores/Threads 16/32 12/24 8/16 8/16 8/16 8/16 6/12 6/12 4/8 4/8
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
Cache 40MB ? ? 20MB 20MB 20MB 16MB 16MB 16MB 8MB
Memory Support DDR4-2666
Quad Channel
DDR4-2666 Quad Channel DDR4-2666 Quad Channel DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
Dual Channel
DDR4-2400
PCIe Lanes 64 64 64 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
TDP 180 watts 180 watts 180 watts? 95 watts 95 watts 65 watts 95 watts 65 watts 65 watts 65 watts
Socket TR4 TR4 TR4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4 AM4
Price $999 $799 $549 $499 $399 $329 $249 $219 $189 $169

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.

tr-15.jpg

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.

Continue reading about the newly announced Ryzen Threadripper 1900X!!

Source: AMD

Looks Like Vega Nano is GO!

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 30, 2017 - 10:07 PM |
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.

vega_hook.jpg

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.

Source: Twitter

Alien organics displaying on scan! Alienware's 13 R3 gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | July 28, 2017 - 03:10 PM |
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.

Alienware-13-R3-Review-on-KitGuru-Open-Right-34.jpg

"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."

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Source: Kitguru

Conduct Psychic Warfare with MSI's new gaming mice

Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2017 - 01:12 PM |
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.

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"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:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Neoseeker

... and the crowd goes mild. Microsoft's Android integration starts out with a whimper

Subject: General Tech | July 28, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
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.

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"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:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

Adobe Flash Is End of Life in 2020

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 10:13 PM |
Tagged: Adobe

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.

adobe-2016-xd.jpg

Tilt your head 90-degrees left and you'll see why I chose this icon.

On the content creation side of things, Adobe rebranded Flash Professional into Animate CC about a year ago (February 2016) to signify its decoupling from the Flash platform. That was also around the time that they discontinued Adobe Edge, which was similar to Flash Professional but designed around HTML5 publishing, and pushed all of that work into Animate CC. If you’re into the Flash Professional workflow, then you will continue to use it, just with JavaScript instead of ActionScript (unless Adobe makes it compile down into WebAssembly or JavaScript at some point) and targeting Web technologies directly (or, of course, just export to linear, non-interactive video).

Interesting, it looks like Mozilla has stopped developing Shumway, which was a platform that ingested SWF files and executed them as JavaScript, about a year ago. Since it would only use web technologies, it wouldn’t have the security concerns that Flash Player would (because if someone knew how to use Shumway to exploit a browser, they could just make a malicious website that did it directly). That would have been an interesting way to preserve old Flash movies and games, without the original author converting it, but I guess it didn’t take off.

Now if only we could agree on a date for IPv6.

Source: Adobe

The best processor for under $150? Ryzen 3 shines on the testbed

Subject: Processors | July 27, 2017 - 05:58 PM |
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.

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"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:

Processors

AMD Releases Radeon GPU Profiler

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 27, 2017 - 05:45 PM |
Tagged: amd

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.

amd-2017-rgp-main.png

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.)

Source: AMD

Podcast #460 - ASUS Max-Q, Surface vs. iPad, AMD Q2 Results, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 27, 2017 - 01:34 PM |
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!

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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:37:41

 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:27:00 Allyn: Damn cheap 8TB drives (8TB Helium filled Reds!) ($160)
    2. 1:32:46 Alex: Bullet Bouquets - now with engraving!
  4. Closing/outro
 

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Source:

HTC Vive Standalone VR Headset to expand VR market with low cost, dedicated hardware

Subject: Mobile | July 27, 2017 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: htc, vive, VR, virtual reality, qualcomm, snapdragon, snapdragon 835

This article first appeared on MarketWatch and Shrout Research.

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.

Caption - VIVE Standalone VR headset designed for the Chinese market and....jpg

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.

Stupid sexy Shelob?

Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2017 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: weird, gaming, middle-earth, shadow of war

In the most bizarre departure from Tolkien's world yet, Shelob the child of Ungoliant now takes on a human form to help out the already strange pair of the undead Ranger Talion and his see through ringmaker buddy Celebrimbor. Apart from that, take a gander at the trailer which shows off what Shadow of War looks like and see if you can remember the Orc's which were your worst enemies as you may be meeting them again soon.  The trailer and more information can be yours by visiting Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.

25shelob1-620x300.jpg

"Middle-earth: Shadow of War is due October 10th, made by Monolith and published by Warner Bros. If you’d like, you can prepare for the launch by importing your Nemesis and dearest friend from Shadow of War."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Just what we weren't asking for, a new USB standard

Subject: General Tech | July 26, 2017 - 03:26 PM |
Tagged: usb 3.2, Type-C, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C

Thanks to the USB Promoter Group we will soon be able to type out USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C when talking about new systems, which should not be confused with USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C.  The bandwidth will double to 20Gbps which is a good thing and shows that USB can continue to be a less expensive alternative to Thunderbolt which currently runs at 40Gbps.  The increase comes from a change in the way USB can connect, previous generations utilized only two pairs of wires unlike DisplayPort or TB3 which can use all four.  With the new standard, the USB protocol will also take advantage of all four pairs.  

If you managed to get hold of high quality Type-C cables which do not have a desire to start fires you will be able to take advantage of the new standard ... once you pick up new devices which support the USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C as Ars Technica reminds us.

tc.jpg

"If you've invested heavily in USB Type-C cables, the USB Promoter Group has some good news for you. The next version of USB, USB 3.2, will double the speed of existing Type-C cables. Cables currently qualified for USB 3.1 generation 1's 5Gbps will be able to operate at 10Gbps; those qualified for generation 2's 10Gbps will be able to run at 20Gbps"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Ars Technica

AMD Reports Q2 2017 Results

Subject: Editorial | July 25, 2017 - 10:48 PM |
Tagged: Vega, Threadripper, ryzen, RX, Results, quarterly earnings, Q2 2017, EPYC, amd

The big question that has been going through the minds of many is how much marketshare did AMD take back and how would that affect the bottom line?  We know the second half of that question, but it is still up in the air how much AMD has taken from Intel.  We know that they have, primarily due to the amount of money that AMD has made.  Now we just need to find out how much.

AMD-Logo.jpg

Q2 revenue surpassed the expectations of both the Street and what AMD had predicted.  It was not a mind-blowing quarter, but it was a solid one for what has been a slowly sinking AMD.  The Q2 quarter is of course very important for AMD as it is the first full quarter of revenue from Ryzen parts as well as the introduction of the refreshed RX 500 series of GPUs.

The Ryzen R7 and R5 parts have been well received by press and consumers alike.  While it is not a completely overwhelming product in every aspect as compared to Intel’s product stack, it does introduce an incredibly strong dollar/thread value proposition.  Consumers can purchase an 8 core/16 thread part with competitive clock speeds and performance for around $300 US.  That same price point from Intel will give a user better single threaded and gaming performance, but comes short at 4 cores/8 threads.

The latest RX series of GPUs are slightly faster refreshes of the previous RX 400 series of cards and exist in the same price range of those previous cards.  These have been popular with AMD enthusiasts as they deliver solid performance for the price.  They are also quite popular with the coin miners due to the outstanding hash rate that they offer at their respective price points as compared to NVIDIA GPUs.

AMD ended up reporting GAAP revenue of $1.22B with a net income of -$16M.  Non-GAAP net income came in at a positive $19M.  This is a significant boost from Q1 figures which included a revenue of $984M and a net income of -$73M.  The tail end of Q1 did include some Ryzen sales, but not nearly enough to offset the losses that they accumulated.  These beat out the Street numbers by quite a bit, hence the uptick in AMD’s share price after hours.

The server/semi-custom group did well, but is still down some 5% as compared to last year.  This is primarily due to seasonal weaknesses with the consoles.  Microsoft will be ramping up production of their Xbox One X and AMD will start to receive royalties from that production later this year.  AMD has seen its marketshare in the data and server market tumble from years past to where it is at 1% and below.  AMD expects to change this trend with EPYC and has recorded the initial revenue from EPYC datacenter processor shipments.

We cannot emphasize enough how much the CPU/GPU group has grown over the past year.  Revenue from that group has increased by 51% since last year.  We do need to temper that with the reality that at that time AMD had not released the new RX series of GPUs nor did they have Ryzen.  Instead, it was all R5/R7 3x0 and Fury products as well as the FX CPUs based on Piledriver and Excavator cores.  It would honestly be hard for things to get worse than that point of time  Still, a 51% improvement with Ryzen and the RX 5x0 series of chips is greater than anyone really expected.  We must also consider that Q2 is still one of the slowest quarters in a year.

AMD expects next quarter to grow well beyond expectations.  The company is estimating that revenue will grow by 23%, plus or minus 3%.  If this holds true, AMD will be looking at a $1.5B quarter.  Something that has not been seen for some time (especially post foundry split).  The product stack that they will continue to introduce is quite impressive.  AMD will continue with the Ryzen R7 and R5 parts, but will also introduce the first R3 parts for the budget market.  RX Vega will be introduced next week at Siggraph.  Threadripper will be released to the wild as well as the x399 chipset.  EPYC is already shipping and they expect that product to grow steadily.  Ryzen Pro and then the mobile APUs will follow up later in the 2nd half of the year.  Semi-custom will get a boost when Microsoft starts shipping Xbox One X consoles.

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What a change a year makes.  Lisa Su and the gang have seemingly turned the boat around with a lot of smart moves, a lot of smart people, and a lot of effort.  They are not exactly at Easy Street yet, but they are moving in the right direction.  Ryzen has been a success with press and consumers and sets them on a level plane with Intel in overall performance and power.  The RX series continues to be popular and selling well (especially with miners).  AMD still has not caught up with demand for those parts, but I get the impression that they are being fairly conservative there by not flooding the market with RX chips in case coin mining bottoms out again.  The demand there is at least making miners and retailers happy, though could be causing some hard feelings among AMD enthusiasts who just want a gaming card at a reasonable price.

AMD continues to move forward and has recorded an impressive quarter.  Next quarter, if it falls in line with expectations, should help return AMD to profitability with some real momentum moving forward in selling product to multiple markets where it has not been a power for quite some time.  The company has been able to tread water for the past few years, but has planned far enough ahead to actually release competitive products at good prices to regain marketshare and achieve profitability again.  2017 has been a good year for AMD, and it looks to continue to Q3 and Q4.

Source: AMD

Introducing the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N

Subject: Graphics Cards | July 25, 2017 - 06:36 PM |
Tagged: evga, Kingpin, 1080 ti, nvidia

A fancy new card with a fancy way of spelling K|NGP|N has just been announced by EVGA.  It is a rather attractive card, eschewing RGBitis for a copper heatsink peeking through the hexagonal grill and three fans.  The only glowing parts indicate the temperature of the GPU, memory and PWM controller; a far more functional use.

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As you would expect, the card arrives with default clocks, a base clock of 1582MHz and boost of 1695MHz, however the card is guaranteed to hit 2025MHz and higher when you overclock the cards.  The base model ships with a dual-slot profile, however EVGA chose to move the DVI port down, leaving the top of the card empty except for cooling vents, this also means you could purchase a Hydro Copper Waterblock and reduce the cards height to a single slot.

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The card currently holds several single GPU World Records:

  • 3DMark Time Spy World Record – 14,219
  • 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme World Record – 19,361
  • 3DMark Fire Strike World Record – 31,770
  • UNIGINE Superposition – 8,642

July 25th, 2017 - The GeForce® GTX™ 1080 Ti was designed to be the most powerful desktop GPU ever created, and indeed it was. EVGA built upon its legacy of innovative cooling solutions and powerful overclocking with its GTX 1080 Ti SC2 and FTW3 graphics cards. Despite the overclocking headroom provided by the frigid cooling of EVGA's patented iCX Technology, the potential of the GTX 1080 Ti still leaves room for one more card at the top...and man is it good to be the K|NG.

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Source: EVGA