Need a CPU and only have $180USD?

Subject: Processors | April 17, 2019 - 03:52 PM |
Tagged: amd, Ryzen 5 2600X, i5-9400f, ryzen 2, coffee lake, Intel

To compete against the Ryzen 5 2600X which is currently selling for $180, Intel released the slightly refreshed i5-9400F which also retails at $180.  As far as the specifications on paper go, the Ryzen offers 6 cores and 12 threads at a top of 4.2GHz while Intel's offering has 6 cores and 6 threads with a top frequency of 4.1GHz; the AMD chip also comes with the Wraith Spire cooler while Intel's supports Optane. 

The real question is how they perform when you use them and to discover the answer you should check out TechSpot's latest CPU review.

intel.PNG

"Intel's been having some trouble competing with the wave of Ryzen processors, forcing the chip maker to be a little more creative. Today we have the Intel Core i5-9400F on hand, which is basically a refreshed i5-8400 with a 100 MHz clock speed boost, no integrated graphics and a lower price point."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: TechSpot

What do you do for fun, now that you've executed Order 66?

Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2019 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars, gaming

Second sister inquisitors and purge troopers, oh my!  We now know that the new single player Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order is currently scheduled to arrive on November 15th and there is a trailer, which you can check out at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.  You will play as Cal Kestis, a Padawan that survived the purge and his faithful droid BD-1 and the trailer does feature lightsabers and Force enhanced combat, though much seems to be pre-rendered scenes.  We don't know much more than that, but keep your eyes peeled as there will be more information slowly coming out over the coming months. 

yNGfbiTP.jpg

"Here’s a release trailer introducing the Padawan-in-hiding, Cal Kestis. He’s not very good flying under the radar, so luckily he’ll have Force powers and lightsaber combat to help him out of sticky situations."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

It's a Tile fire, another reason to distrust your new Start Menu

Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2019 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, windows 10, tiles, security, microsoft

If you like the animated Live Tiles which offer RSS type feed or even the animated ones that look fancy, there is something you should know.  The domain which provides the content to those tiles is no longer owned by Microsoft, though thankfully a security researcher was quick to notice this and is now hosting the site on his own Azure instance.  Predictably there is a lot of traffic asking for XML file updates to be able to display these feeds and according to the quote on Slashdot, he will not continue to sinkhole requests as it is running up his costs.

At this time Microsoft has not responded, so you might want to seriously consider removing any Live Tiles from your Win8/10 Start menu.

adcf84e0-87e8-4dde-8177-cf3d72570b3b.png

"The subdomain (notifications.buildmypinnedsite.com) is currently under the control of Hanno Bock, a security researcher and journalist for German tech news site Golem.de. The subdomain was part of the buildmypinnedsite.com service that Microsoft set up with the launch of Windows 8, and more specifically to allow websites to show live updates inside users' Start pages and menus."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Slashdot

NZXT H500 Vault Boy Case & N7 Z390 Vault Boy Cover

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 16, 2019 - 09:15 PM |
Tagged: nzxt, fallout

NZXT has just released a Fallout-themed H500 Vault Boy computer case that is painted in the iconic “Vault-Tec” style. It is an officially licensed product by Bethesda and ZeniMax, and only 1,000 will be made. The regular H500 has 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports in the front-top, alongside the typical headphone and microphone jacks. It can mount a 280mm radiator in the front and a 120mm in the back.

nzxt-2019-falloutcase-03.jpg

The H500 Vault Boy is available now for $164.99 USD in the USA and $149.99 USD in the rest of the world. I should note that the white, non-Fallout NZXT H500 is advertised for $74.99 on their website, which makes the Fallout branding worth around $90 USD in the USA. In terms of value as a component, that’s a hefty mark-up, although, if you’re a huge fan of Fallout, the difference in price could be viewed as a licensed ornament (rather than value as a part of a PC).

nzxt-2019-falloutcase-01.png

This segues into the second announcement: N7 Z390 Vault Boy motherboard cover for the NZXT N7 Z390 motherboard. This extends the aesthetic into the PC, covering the motherboard with the blue and yellow. This component will be available in late May for $49.99 USD, not including the motherboard of course.

nzxt-2019-falloutcase-02.png

The weirdest part about this announcement to me is that they have split the release date between the parts by about a month. If you want to get both, then you would need to buy the case before all 1,000 are gone… then sit on it for a month until the motherboard covers arrive.

Source: NZXT

Peace were declared! Apple and Qualcomm hang up their positron shooters

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: shocking, rusty, qualcomm, apple, 5G

As strange as it may seem, Apple and Qualcomm have made peace after years of litigation and a day after the latest court case, theorized to be worth around $30 billion, kicked off.  The resolution sees the companies signing a six-year license agreement, appropriately the effective start is April 1, 2019, and it includes an option to extend the deal another two years beyond that, a multiyear chipset supply agreement and Apple is paying Qualcomm an undisclosed amount to boot.

The legal battle between the two since 2017 has reached heights that only past battles between Microsoft and various governments or Oracle against ... well, just about everyone ...  previously reached.  It was barely a week ago Apple was accusing Qualcomm of witness tampering, this is after years of billion dollar court battles. 

make bender happy.PNG

There is a possible method to the madness we are presented with today, which involves about five G's.  See, there has been a row going on since last year, when some benchmarks showed that Apple, whom chose to switch between Intel and Qualcomm cellular modems, were purposefully slowing the Qualcomm modems down so they did not outperform the Intel ones.  This problem seems to have continued into the coming generation, as Apple seems to be lagging behind with no public plans to release a 5G phone until some time in 2020

qcx50ref.jpg

Making peace with Qualcomm could accelerate the arrival of a 5G iThang, theoretically this year but more likely early 2020; earlier than it would have been if they had to depend on Intel to supply them as would be the case while litigation continued to escalate. In the end this does seem like good news for both companies as well as the consumer.

When asked for comment certain Intel employees responded with an interpretive dance yours truly was unable to decipher.

 

Source: Qualcomm

Attar o' Ryzen, AMD's new embedded R1000 series coming to a revived console near you

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 02:11 PM |
Tagged: ryzen embedded, ryzen, R1606G, R1505G, r1000, playstation 5, atari, amd, 7nm

You might not be immediately excited by a new embedded processor, after all you can't upgrade something soldered permanently onto the motherboard, but if the AtariVCS interests you in the least you should pay attention. 

models.PNG

One of those chips will be powering that system, and as they are capable of powering three 4K displays at up to 60 FPS, you should expect some impressive visuals from that console when it finally arrrives. For general media, these chips support H.265 Encode/Decode(10b) and VP9 decode3 capabilities so streaming should be impressive as well. 

WWKdOUcA.png

In other usage scenarios, the ability to use a 10Gb Ethernet connection and integral security features to protect the boot environment and memory will be attractive to those looking to upgrade their products which would use these embedded processors.  Your next flight to Vegas might feature the new chips on the plane as well as in the one armed bandits.  The R1000 series will also support 64-bit DDR4, 8 PCIe lanes, NVMe support and up to four USB 3.1 Gen 2 interconnects (pdf).

You can also find out more about the PlayStation 5 in Sebastian's post as well as at DigiTimes.

"The new SoC will be available this quarter to ODMs and OEMs worldwide and is already supported by numerous hardware and software companies including Advantech, ASRock, DFI, iBase, Netronome, Stratacache and many others. The Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC will also power the upcoming Atari VCS game system."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: AMD

Sony Shares Next-Gen PlayStation Details: AMD Zen2 and Navi, Ultra-Fast SSD

Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2019 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: Zen2, sony, PS5, playstation 5, navi, gaming, console, amd

Sony's lead system architect Mark Cerny has shared some high-level details of the next PlayStation (only referred to as "the next-gen console" in the interview) with Wired.com, confirming that it will indeed make use of the upcoming 7nm Zen2 CPU architecture from AMD, as well as Radeon Navi GPU cores in its custom chip.

Quoting from the Wired article:

"The CPU is based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. The GPU, a custom variant of Radeon’s Navi family, will support ray tracing, a technique that models the travel of light to simulate complex interactions in 3D environments."

As if to alleviate any doubt as to the AMD architecture involved, company CEO Lisa Su took to Twitter to promote AMD's partnership with Sony, and the Wired article:

And this upcoming PlayStation won't be just offer a faster SoC with the latest generation of AMD CPU and GPU architecture, as SSD storage will be standard - and not just any SSD, apparently (quoting the Wired article again):

"At the moment, Sony won’t cop to exact details about the SSD—who makes it, whether it utilizes the new PCIe 4.0 standard—but Cerny claims that it has a raw bandwidth higher than any SSD available for PCs. That’s not all. “The raw read speed is important,“ Cerny says, “but so are the details of the I/O [input-output] mechanisms and the software stack that we put on top of them. I got a PlayStation 4 Pro and then I put in a SSD that cost as much as the PlayStation 4 Pro—it might be one-third faster." As opposed to 19 times faster for the next-gen console, judging from the fast-travel demo."

Check out the full article at Wired.com for more of the interview with Cerny on the next Sony console.

Source: Wired

Float like a Zephyr, sting like an ROG! ASUS' new gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | April 15, 2019 - 05:55 PM |
Tagged: GX531-GX, asus, Zephyrus S, gaming laptop

In this corner, standing 15.6" diagonal and weighing in at 2.1kg, we have the new Asus ROG Zephyrus S!  With an i7-8750H processor, an RTX 2080 Max-Q and up to 24GB of DDR4-2666 this featherweight contender packs a lot of punch.  The screen is an IPS panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz, though it only offers 1080p resolution which may upset some viewers.  This is definitely a right hander, you can tell by the placement of the touchpad and buttons, an interesting choice but one which allows the keyboard to extend right to the bottom of the shell.

With such a light and compact build, can it stand up to the competition?  Check out the rumble over at eTeknix to see if it is a knockout or if we are looking at a split decision.

1-min-8.jpg

"When it comes to performance laptops, there are very few brands that demand more attention than the ASUS ROG Zephyrus range. In terms of gaming laptops, the Zephyrus design really does look to tick all of the right boxes with high-performance components with an ultra-slim and light weight design."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

More Mobile Articles

Source: eTeknix

The Scope of CTRL, the new ASUS ROG Strix gaming keyboard with a boss button

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2019 - 03:05 PM |
Tagged: asus, rog strix scope, gaming keyboard, mechanical keyboard, RGB, input, aura sync

The ROG Strix Scope keyboard, originally announced as the CTRL at CES, has arrived and is ready to be picked up for those who have been waiting.  Enthusiasts can choose between Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Speed Silver or Silent Red switches, all of which are fully RGB'd with 10 Aura Sync patterns already programmed in.

wave.PNG
 

The CTRL key is double wide for easy access and the WASD keycaps have a striking silver colour, which compliments the aluminium body as well as making them easy to spot. The board does come with a keycap puller if you have a burning desire to upgrade or swap them.   It is the Stealth function bound to the F12 key that is far more important for some however, as it functions as a boss button.  With one click it will hide all your running apps and mute all audio, so it looks like you were about to be productive and most definitely not playing a game.  Check out the full PR below.

biggun.PNG

Fremont, California (April 15, 2019) — ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design – an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields.

The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that’s more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys and a shortened left Windows key that’s designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys – a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

Strix Scope’s F12 key has its own unique secondary function, doubling as Stealth. This is a one-touch shortcut that hides all running apps and mutes all audio for instant privacy or peace.

All keycaps are designed to take full advantage of the ASUS Aura RGB backlighting that’s built in to Strix Scope, with secondary legends that are carefully placed to also be easily visible. The F5-F12 keys even have front-side illumination, so both media controls and F-key legends are clearly lit. The Quick Toggle Switch allows gamers to flip quickly between these two control modes.

An aluminum faceplate lends Strix Scope everyday resilience and is finished with a striking slash aesthetic for a little touch of style. The keyboard also includes Armoury II, enhanced driver-based software that offers more extensive controls while using less system resources. An intuitive UI makes it easy for gamers to tune Strix Scope to suit the game or gameplay style – enabling them to create profiles, customize colors and lighting effects, map keys, record macros and more. It’s even possible to track hardware stats during gameplay for data analysis. The outstanding design and innovation that went into the creation of Strix Scope has already been recognized and awarded, with the product winning the prestigious 2019 iF Product Design Award in the Computer Accessory category. The iF Product Design Awards spans multiple disciplines and attracts many thousands of entries from dozens of nations every year – so Strix Scope fought off strong international competition to secure its victory.

Cherry MX RGB switches for gamer-delighting feel and response
Strix Scope is constructed with Cherry MX RGB switches to deliver the precise mechanical feel preferred by gamers and enthusiasts alike. These premium-quality switches are manufactured in Germany and are renowned for delivering optimal actuation and responsiveness with every keystroke. The keyboard is fully compatible with Cherry MX Red, Brown, Blue, Black, Silent Red and Speed Silver switches¹, offering gamers the freedom to configure Strix Scope to play exactly the way they like – from smooth, quiet, linear actuation to tactile clicks.

“Gamers have come to love the feel, optimal actuation and responsiveness of mechanical keystrokes”, said Michael Schmid, Head of MX Technology Marketing at Cherry GmbH. “Cherry MX switches are the obvious trusted choice to use in the new high-end ROG Strix Scope keyboard, with a choice of six different switch types. ROG has always gamers in mind and develops products accordingly. For Strix Scope, innovative features like the enlarged Xccurate Design Ctrl key were made with FPS players in mind. This is the kind of attention to detail that Cherry loves – and why we’re excited to celebrate the arrival of Strix Scope."

Aura RGB illumination on every key for infinite lighting possibilities No modern gaming keyboard is complete without eye-catching lighting, so Strix Scope features per-key ASUS Aura RGB LEDs, plus an illuminated ROG logo. Compatibility with the Aura Sync ecosystem makes it easy for gamers to harmonize Strix Scope’s light shows with other Aura Sync-enabled components, both from ASUS and partner manufacturers.

The keyboard also has a built-in memory to store up to six custom illumination profiles, which can be configured to correspond to different applications – providing custom layouts and lighting effects that are tailored for a particular game or activity.

The evolution of ROG Strix Scope
Avid ROG followers may have noted that Strix Scope was previously revealed as Strix CTRL during CES 2019. This product-development codename was subsequently changed and finalized as Strix Scope to clearly express a key battlefield benefit of the extended Xccurate Design Ctrl key.

specs.PNG

 

Source: ASUS

Mega Sega reboot, Analogue's Sg FPGA

Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2019 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: sega, analogue, Mega Sg, FPGA, nifty

If you haven't run into it yet, the Sega Mg is a $190 FPGA powered device with can play any any region's Genesis or Mega Drive cartridges, and has a connector for the Sega CD adapter if you happen to own one of those.  If you have the Genesis 32X add-on or a light gun you are out of luck as compatibility for those has not yet been developed, but overall it is an impressive mating of 30 year old technology with modern displays.  There are some interesting compromises made to display ancient titles at 1080p but overall from what The Tech Report has seen this is at least as good as the best emulators out there, if not better.

cart_small.jpeg

"Analogue's Sega clone was originally scheduled to ship this month, but it ended up releasing early, on March 25. My personal unit shipped even earlier than that, on the 22nd. There seems to be plenty of demand for the Mega Sg, since as of this writing, Analogue's store says new orders will ship in two to three weeks."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Rivet Networks Announces the 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 Killer AX1650

Subject: Networking | April 15, 2019 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: wireless, wi-fi 6, killer ax1650, killer, 802.11ax

Rivet Networks, maker of the Killer line of networking solutions, today announced its first Wi-Fi 6 chip, the Killer AX1650. The new network controller is the second multi-gig-compatible update from Rivet this year after the company launched its 2.5Gbps Killer E3000 Ethernet controller in January at CES.

killer-ax1650-1.jpg

Based on the new wireless specification formerly known as 802.11ax (hence the “AX” in Killer AX1650), the new 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 controller was built in collaboration with Intel and touts the significant performance and usability improvements promised by the emerging Wi-Fi 6 market. These include a theoretical maximum throughput of up to 2.4Gbps, up to 4 times increased throughput in dense environments, and improved power efficiency (thanks in part to the fact that faster speeds mean shorter time transferring data, allowing mobile devices to keep their networking chips in lower power states for longer periods of time compared to previous networking specifications).

killer-ax1650-3.jpg

While these benefits are common to most upcoming Wi-Fi 6 devices, Rivet is aiming to distinguish the AX1650 by combining them with the existing Killer network and gaming optimization software, which has been tuned to take advantage of the new faster networking specification. Key Killer software features include:

Killer Control Center 2.0: The newest version of Killer Control Center, which launched alongside the E3000 in January, lets users monitor and control their networking experience with features such as the ability to visualize real-time and historical traffic data, configure app-specific bandwidth priorities and limits, and block unsafe or unknown networking traffic. This is also where users can configure Killer GameFast, which can automatically pause unneeded applications and Windows processes when gaming to ensure the best gaming performance, and Killer Intelligence Engine, which can automatically optimize the user’s network configuration or recommend changes for improved performance and reliability.

killer-controll-center.jpg

Killer DoubleShot Pro: The Killer DoubleShot Pro technology, which can combine wireless and wired networking connections for improved throughput, is enhanced by the upgrade to Wi-Fi 6. When a device is equipped with both Killer Wi-Fi and Killer Ethernet chips, users can assign certain applications to either interface. Previously, users could assign their highest priority traffic to the Ethernet interface for the best speeds and reliability, while less important traffic, such as Windows Updates or background file transfers, could be routed to the wireless interface. With Wi-Fi 6 and the Killer AX1650, the wireless interface can often now be as fast or faster than the wired interface, giving users two high-speed options for independently routing network traffic.

killer-doubleshot-pro.jpg

Killer Wireless xTend: The existing Killer Wireless xTend feature lets users configure their Killer network interface as a Wi-Fi extender in addition to a receiver, helping cover areas of weak wireless signals without the need to upgrade a router or purchase dedicated wireless extender devices. With the AX1650, this feature can take advantage of the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, including improved range and throughput.

killer-xtend.jpg

Based on the combined benefits of these software and hardware features, Rivet is touting significant performance improvements compared to devices based on the 802.11ac specification. This includes real-world bandwidth of up 1.8Gbps in ideal conditions (with 1.5Gbps typical), up to 75 percent lower network latency, and up to a 3x improvement in online game latency.

killer-ax1650-2.jpg

The Killer AX1650 will be launching soon in high-end gaming laptops from Alienware. Exact models and availability have yet to be announced. Like all Wi-Fi 6 devices, the AX1650 is backwards compatible with 802.11ac/n, but you’ll need a Wi-Fi 6-capable router to take advantage of all of the AX1650’s features.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Launches the ROG Strix Helios Enclosure

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 13, 2019 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: ROG Strix, RGB, mid-tower, Helios, gaming, enclosure, chassis, case, ASUS ROG, asus, aluminum

The Republic of Gamers division of ASUS has launched the ROG Strix Helios, a deluxe EATX enclosure which is the "first ROG mid-tower gaming chassis made for showcase builds with tempered-glass panels, aluminum frame, Aura Sync lighting and an array of cooling options", according to ASUS. This is certainly a striking design, with a sharply angular look from an exterior that combines aluminum and tinted glass.

rog_helios_1.PNG

"Strix Helios is designed for those who want to create a gaming rig that will stand out in any crowd. It boasts three 4mm-thick, smoked, tempered-glass panels fitted in a refined brushed-aluminum frame, plus a stunning display of Aura RGB lighting integrated into the front panel. The LEDs are individually addressable, and can be customized with a palette of millions of colors and a range of preset effects – all easily synced with the vast Aura Sync hardware ecosystem to augment the build."

Key points include (via ASUS):

  • Three 4mm, smoked tempered-glass panels, refined brushed-aluminum frame and integrated front panel Aura Sync RGB lighting
  • Innovative multifunction cover with integrated GPU braces, two-piece PSU shroud and translucent rear cover offer effortless cable management
  • Supports up to EATX motherboards, with ample space for 420mm front / 360mm top radiators and water-cooling pump and reservoir

While we have seen an ASUS ROG case in the past - with custom enclosures part of the ROG Strix GL12 and ROG Huracan G21 systems - this is a standalone product targeting the high-end enthusiast segment.

rog_helios_2.PNG

"Strix Helios has been thoughtfully designed with flexible covers and a comprehensive cable-management system to keep the interior tidy, clean and sharp. An adjustable multifunction cover with GPU braces cleverly hides cabling, provides sturdy support to graphics cards and allows for an SSD or ROG Aura Terminal to be mounted for display. There’s also a two-piece PSU shroud with a front cut-out to enable compatibility with ROG Thor or other OLED-integrated power supplies. In the back, a translucent cable cover conceals unsightly wiring while allowing illuminations from RGB devices to shine through."

ASUS ROG also emphasizes the convenience features of the new enclosure, which offers unique tool-free side panels that have a hinge on the bottom, and a full compliment of dust filters.

"Building with and maintaining a Strix Helios is also made simple. Release buttons at the rear of the chassis allows builders to swing down the side panels for instant, tool-less access to the interior. The panels are bottom-hinged, and will remain supported at an angle until they’re ready to be completely detached. The case also comes with fan and radiator mounts, and removable filters on the top, front and underside for all-round dust protection."

rog_helios_3.PNG

So how much will the new ASUS ROG Strix Helios enclosure set you back? It has an MSRP of $279.99 and is available now at Newegg, "and soon available at other leading retailers" according to ASUS.

Source: ASUS ROG

Take a look what's 'Next' for Acer

Subject: Systems, Mobile | April 12, 2019 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: Predator Helios 700, Predator CG437K P, ConceptD, Chromebook 715, acer

Acer showed off quite a bit of new kit at their Next event in New York, including a variety of laptops, wood grained desktops and a gigantic adaptive sync display.  The Predator CG437K P is a 43", 4K VA adaptive sync panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz.  One very big benefit to using a VA panel is that this display is VESA-Certified DisplayHDR 1000, none of this HDR 400 on this $1200 panel!

PRvNSfx8xNWqvJLzfLM2c7-650-80.jpg

They also introduced the new ConceptD family of workstations, aimed at content creators and looking fairly sharp.  AnandTech got a nice shot of the two desktop workstations, three mobile workstations, two professional monitors and the Windows Mixed Reality headset that currently represent this new brand. 

ConceptD_Family_01-678_678x452.jpg

The desktop workstations are impressive, the ConceptD 500 has a mere Core i9-9900K with up to 64 GB of DDR4, for serious power you want the Concept D 900 with two Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors paired with up to 192 GB of DDR4, both offer a choice between NVIDIA's RTX 4000 or Quadro RTX 6000.

ConceptD-500_CT500-51A_01_575px.jpg

The mobile versions include the ConceptD 5, ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 9 all of which contain Intel processors ranging from the Kaby Lake-G with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GL in the ConceptD 5 to the ConceptD 9 which contains an unspecified 9th Gen Core i9 and a full GeForce RTX 2080, no MaxQ for this mobile workstation.

ConceptD-9_CN917-71_02_575px.jpg

Last, but not least is are the gaming models.  The new Predator Helios 700, a gaming laptop has a new trick to show off, as it can transform.  The keyboard, touchpad and palm rest all slide forward allowing you to choose your preferred layout, you can see it in action over at The Verge.  When you slide the HyperDrift keyboard forward, the palm rest assembly tips down on an angle turning into more of a wrist rest while you use the keyboard and it reveals the cooling fans which should give your laptop a performance boost as the thermal efficiency improves.  Inside the 9.9lb 17.3" laptop is a 1080p display, an Core i9 CPU and either a GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2070, not the Max-Q version either.  Depending on the model you chose, you can have up to 64GB of DDR4 and a 1TB SSD or 2TB HDD.

sac.PNG

If you prefer to stay in one spot when you game then check out the Predator Orion 5000 desktop.  It has a watercooled i9-9900K with an RTX 2080 and a Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit NIC for those who prefer something other than a Killer NIC.  The RGBs are big, while the case itself is smaller than you might think at 30L.

Predator-Orion-5000_PO5-600s_03.png

There is even more to see over at Acer.

 

Source: Acer

Corsair's Carbide 275Q offers some peace and quiet in this turbulent world

Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 12, 2019 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: corsaie, carbide 275Q, dampening

If you have a loud machine and are willing to trade a little thermal conductivity for some serious sound dampening then check out Corsair's Carbide 275Q.   It is fairly compact, at 460x211x455mm but still roomy inside and can handle a 370mm GPU and a 170mm CPU heatsink.  Along with the sound dampening material, this ~$100 case comes with a PWM repeater you can attach to a fan header on your motherboard and control six fans. 

The Guru of 3D declared this a wise choice for someone looking for an inexpensive and quiet mid-sized system.

page5_3.jpg

"The Corsair Carbide Series 275Q is a quiet mid-tower ATX case that matches minimalist design with whisper quiet operation thanks to built-in high-density sound damping panels."

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

CASES & COOLING

Source: Guru of 3D

Everybody's flashing for the weekend, even Intel wants a little romance

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2019 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: security, patch, Intel, flash

If you and your Intel chips are feeling insecure, why not show them some love this Friday night and flash them with new updates?  There are new updates including one to mitigate Spoiler, and one for the Broadwell U i5 vPro found in the Intel NUC.  There are also software update, which resolves permission escalation vulnerabilities in the Graphics Performance Analyzer for Linux and the Intel Media SDK. 

As when flashing your motherboard or GPU, do be careful to read and follow all the steps, unless you have a love of bricking expensive equipment.  Drop by The Register for links to all four updates.

IMG_5364_large.jpg

"Chipzilla's April patch load includes fixes for a pair of bugs considered by Intel to be high security risks, as well as a speculative execution bug reported by university researchers last month."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

This wee GTX 1660 from Zotac has at least two fans

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 11, 2019 - 01:21 PM |
Tagged: zotac, nvidia, GTX 1660 Twin Fan 6GB, gtx 1660

Zotac's GeForce GTX 1660 Twin Fan 6G is designed for SFF systems, measuring 173.4x111.15x35.3mm (6.83x4.38x1.39") but still needing two slots which in this day and age of the triple wide is considered svelte.  The GPU Boost clock remains at the reference 1,785 MHz and while the memory runs at 8 GHz, it is worth noting it is GDDR5, not GDDR6 like you find in their GTX 1660 Ti.  With a bit of overclocking, either manually or with OC Scanner The Guru of 3D was able to hit ~2050 MHz Boost, 9.7GHz memory for about a 10% increase in performance.

While not a huge step up from a GTX 1060, the ~$220 price tag makes it worth consideration if you are running an older generation mid-range card.

img_8086.jpg

"In this article we test and review the new Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Twin Fan, it is priced spot on 219 USD, the MSRP of the new non-Ti model, meet the small and compact GeForce GTX 1660 Twin Fan edition. Based on a dual fan and a small form factor it performs as expected."

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

Graphics Cards

Source: Guru of 3D

I see your wireless password is early adopter

Subject: General Tech | April 11, 2019 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: WPA3, wireless, security, bug, dragonblood, sae

WPA3 is a year old and it seems it has a few flaws which still need to be ironed out, though it can still offer better protection than WPA2.  The Inquirer describes this flaw in Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) handshake, dubbed Dragonblood, in this recent article.  It is not a theoretical architectural flaw, indeed the researchers that discovered it could make use of it to brute-forcing an eight-character lowercase password with about $125 in Amazon EC2 instances; not good for a protocol which was intended to prevent all dictionary attacks. 

The good news is that a change in the SAE algorithm could mitigate this specific flaw and as WPA3 is not yet widely adopted that is something which could be done before it does start to become mainstream.

WFA_Alliance_Flat_Print_HR_NY.png

"Launched in January 2018, WPA3 uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) protocol to improve WiFi network security. However, a new research paper published by Mathy Vanhoef and Eyal Ronen shows that the protocol may not be as safe as previously thought."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

NVIDIA Releases Ray Tracing Driver for GeForce GTX Cards, New Ray-Tracing Demos

Subject: Graphics Cards | April 11, 2019 - 09:02 AM |
Tagged: turing, rtx, ray tracing, pascal, nvidia, gtx, graphics, gpu, geforce, dxr, demo

NVIDIA has released the Game Ready Driver 425.31 WHQL which enables ray tracing for GeForce GTX graphics cards - a capability previously reserved for the company's RTX series of graphics cards. This change "enables millions more gamers with GeForce GTX GPUs to experience ray tracing for the first time ever", as the list of DXR-capable graphics cards from NVIDIA has grown considerably as of today.

DXR_GPUs.png

The list of NVIDIA GPUs that are DXR-capable now includes (in addition to the RTX series):

  • GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1660
  • NVIDIA TITAN Xp (2017)
  • NVIDIA TITAN X (2016)
  • GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1080
  • GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • GeForce GTX 1070
  • GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • Laptops with equivalent Pascal and Turing-architecture GPUs

NVIDIA previously warned of a performance deficit when comparing even high-end Pascal GPUs such as the GTX 1080 Ti to the Turing-based RTX 20-series GPUs when this driver update was discussed during GTC, and their position is that for the best experience dedicated ray tracing cores will be required, and will make a measurable impact - with or without DLSS (a feature that requires the RT cores of the RTX series of GPUs).

"With dedicated RT cores, GeForce RTX GPUs provide up to 2-3x faster performance in ray-traced games, enabling more effects, higher ray counts, and higher resolutions for the best experience. With this new driver however, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and higher GPUs can execute ray-tracing instructions on traditional shader cores, giving gamers a taste, albeit at lower RT quality settings and resolutions, of how ray tracing will dramatically change the way games are experienced."

In addition to the driver release which enables the visual goodies associated with real-time ray tracing, NVIDIA has also released a trio of tech demos on GeForce.com which you can freely download to check out ray tracing first hand on GTX and RTX graphics cards. Not only will these demos give you a taste of what you might expect from games that incorporate DXR features, but like any good demo they will help users get a sense of how their system might handle these effects.

The demos released include, via NVIDIA:

atomic-heart-rtx-screenshot.jpg

Atomic Heart RTX tech demo - Atomic Heart tech demo is a beautifully detailed tech demo from Mundfish that features ray traced reflections and shadows, as well as NVIDIA DLSS technology.

JusticeRTXDemo.jpg

Justice tech demo - Justice tech demo hails from China, and features ray traced reflections, shadows, and NVIDIA DLSS technology.  It is the first time that real time ray tracing has been used for caustics.

GEFORCE-RTX-Star-Wars.jpg

Reflections tech demo - The Reflections tech demo was created by Epic Games in collaboration with ILMxLAB and NVIDIA. Reflections offers a sneak peek at gaming’s cinematic future with a stunning, witty demo that showcases ray-traced reflections, ray-traced area light shadows, ray-traced ambient occlusion for characters and NVIDIA DLSS technology.

The download page for the tech demos can be found here.

And now to editorialize briefly, I'll point out that one of the aspects of the RTX launch that did not exactly work to NVIDIA's advantage was (obviously) the lack of software to take advantage of their hardware ray tracing capabilities and DLSS, with just a few high-profile titles to date offering support. By adding the previous generation of GPUs to the mix users now have a choice, and the new demos are a big a part of the story, too. Looking back to the early days of dedicated 3D accelerators the tech demo has been an integral part of the GPU experience, showcasing new features and providing enthusiasts with a taste of what a hardware upgrade can provide. The more demos showcasing the effects possible with NVIDIA's ray tracing hardware available, the more Pascal GPU owners will have the ability to check out these features on their own systems without making a purchase of any kind, and if they find the effects compelling it just might drive sales of the RTX 20-series in the endless quest for better performance. It really should have been this way from the start, but at least it has been corrected now - to the benefit of the consumer.

Source: NVIDIA

Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage Coming to a Laptop Near You

Subject: Storage | April 10, 2019 - 03:48 PM |
Tagged: storage, ssd, QLC, Optane Memory, Optane H10, Optane, NVMe, notebook, laptop, Intel

Intel has shared information about Optane memory H10, a new product that combines Optane memory with Intel QLC NAND on the same M.2 device. Not offered as a standalone product (at least not yet), Intel is partnering with OEMs (including Dell, HP, and ASUS) to include this new storage in upcoming consumer devices, with the first systems available at Best Buy in Q2 of this year.

intel-optane-memory-h10.jpg

This will not be a desktop option at first, as Intel mentions only "thin and light notebooks and certain space-constrained desktop form factors – such as all-in-one PCs and mini PCs" in their press release. So what makes up this new storage product? Intel provided some key specifications outlined below:

Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage - Key Specs
Type Intel Optane Technology & Intel QLC 3D NAND Technology
Intel controller and firmware
Interface PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe
M.2 2280 Single Sided (2280-S3-M)
Capacities 16GB Intel Optane Memory + 256GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 512GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB Storage
Power Deep Sleep/L1.2: <15 mW (combined)
Operating Temperature 0-70° C
Endurance Up to 300 TBW (over warranty)
Warranty 5 Years

"The combination of high-speed acceleration and large SSD storage capacity on a single drive will benefit everyday computer users, whether they use their systems to create, game or work. Compared to a standalone TLC 3D NAND SSD system, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage enables both faster access to frequently used applications and files and better responsiveness with background activity."

Intel_H10_slide_1.png

"8th Generation Intel Core U-series mobile platforms featuring Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will be arriving through major OEMs starting this quarter. With these platforms, everyday users will be able to:

  • Launch documents up to 2 times faster while multitasking.
  • Launch games 60% faster while multitasking.
  • Open media files up to 90% faster while multitasking."

Intel_H10_slide_3.png

"SSDs with Intel Optane memory are the fastest compared to NAND SSDs in the majority of common client use cases. Intel-based platforms with Intel Optane memory adapt to everyday computing activities to optimize the performance for the user’s most common tasks and frequently used applications. With offerings of up to 1TB of total storage, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will have the capacity users need for their apps and files today — and well into the future."

Some very Malventano-like benchmark examples were also provided in the press deck, emphasizing that real-world system performance primarily hits low queue depths:

Intel_H10_slide_4.png

Intel_H10_slide_5.png

You can read the entire press release from Intel at the source link.

Source: Intel

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha X399 includes everything, even the kitchen sink

Subject: Motherboards | April 10, 2019 - 03:00 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, asus, amd

If you push your Threadripper to the limit of its capabilities you are going to need a serious X399 motherboard.  MSI's MEG Creation has been the go to board for quite a while now, but ASUS is looking to change that with the ROG Zenith Extreme Alpha, which offers you a lot of features if you slap down $620.  As you can see below, everything has a heatsink and there is also integrated watercooling, which is great news for Bjorn3D who had a bit of trouble when they paired a 2990WX with a Gigabyte Gaming 7 board. 

It makes the most sense to pair this with that top end ThreadRipper as other models won't require such extreme measures, if you can afford the bill you will end up with one of the best X399 boards on the market today.

MG_0111.jpg

"Well long story, kinda short, the VRM when under render loads would escalate to over 110C in a matter of a minute or less and was simply not feasible for running this new chip. Enter ASUS as I reached out to them to see if they had a solution. Enter the Zenith Extreme [Alpha]."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: Bjorn3D