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Subject: Editorial | December 8, 2016 - 04:00 PM | AlexL
Tagged: podcast, Thrustmaster, thermaltake, tablet, snapdragon, razer, nvidia, microsoft, Mechwarrior, Khronos, Intel, hp, evga, Deepcool, AUKEY
PC Perspective Podcast #428 - 12/8/16
Join us this week as we discuss Khronos Group, Enterprise SSDs, Water cooled cases and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom
Program length: 1:13:35
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- Week in Review:
- 0:04:16 AUKEY KM-G3 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review
- 0:08:06 Thrustmaster TMX Review: Budget FFB for Xbox One and PC
- 0:15:16 Deepcool GamerStorm GENOME Liquid-Cooled Case Review
- 0:23:06 EVGA SuperNOVA 550W G3 Power Supply Review
- 0:28:01 Qualcomm and Microsoft Bring Full Windows 10 to Snapdragon Devices
- News items of interest:
- 0:32:07 Razer Joins The Khronos Group
- 0:36:54 Thermaltake Launches Water Cooling Friendly E-ATX Tower 900 Series Case
- 0:39:32 Intel Z270 Express and H270 Express Chipsets Support Kaby Lake, More PCI-E 3.0 Lanes
- 0:42:12 MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Announced on Unreal Engine 4
- 0:46:10 HP Launches Ruggedized Apollo Lake Powered Convertible Tablet For Students
- 0:47:33 Micron Launches 5100 Series Enterprise SSDs - 3D TLC up to 8TB!
- 0:52:12 WD and HGST Refresh Enterprise SSDs to Include 8TB, Push HDDs to 12TB and Beyond
- 1:02:37 NVIDIA Releases GeForce 376.19 Drivers (and Two Contests)
- 1:04:14 The Khronos Group Announces VR Standard Initiative
- Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 8, 2016 - 03:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, watercooling, tower 900, liquid cooling, E-ATX Case, case mods
You might remember mention of the Thermaltake 900 Vertical Super Tower on the podcast last night, if not it should be posted soon so you can catch up. This plus-sized tower was designed to give watercooling fanatics enough space to fit in whatever they can dream up and [H]ard|OCP received one for review. The design proved to be unfriendly for self contained watercoolers which have a two fan radiator, only single fan rads will fit in the front portion of the case. For the more serious, this case can contain up to three full enthusiast class radiators, 240, 280, 360, 480 or 540mm rads can be accommodated. The sheer size of the case makes installation convenient for those who will build a system worthy of this case. [H]ard|OCP gave this a gold, and offered some interesting modding suggestions on their conclusion page; check it out here.
"It's a tower and it's super! Thermaltake's new Tower 900 is not close to your typical PC computer enclosure. It is built for a very specific customer; the enthusiast that wants plenty of room to do highly customized build and then have the ability to easily show it off is the target demographic for this chassis."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5t @ Modders-Inc
- Cooler Master MasterBox 5t Review @ OCC
- Cooler Master MasterCase Maker 5T @ Benchmark Reviews
- Cooler Master Masterbox 5t @ eTeknix
- Corsair's Carbide Series Air 740 @ The Tech Report
- Rosewill Gram @ techPowerUp
Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2016 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, Intel, skylake-x, kaby lake x, LGA 2066
DigiTimes today published a possibly accurate post on the upcoming replacement for the ageing Broadwell-E platform, Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X. These chips will feature a new socket and along with that a new chipset, bearing the predictable name of X299. The quoted prices seem to fit with Intel's pricing scheme, from $468 to $1,780 but we did not hear of any core counts or frequency ranges, the expected release date is about a year away. The new chips will of course support DDR4 and we might see a hint of them at Gamescom 2017 in Germany. They also state you can expect to see Intel's 7xxx family of chips and the accompanying Z270 and H270 chipsets at CES this January; a reasonable expectation.
"The new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors will feature a new LGA 2066 socket and support DDR4 memory. The CPUs will pair with Intel's new X299 chipsets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bluetooth 5 launches with eight times the capacity and double the speed @ The Inquirer
- Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking @ The Register
- Symantec: 95.4 percent of PowerShell script is malicious @ The Inquirer
- Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash @ Linux.com
- Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop @ The Register
- Microsoft Officially Closes Its $26.2B Acquisition of LinkedIn @ Slashdot
- Christmas 2016 Mega Worldwide Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: Processors | December 8, 2016 - 09:00 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: Xilinx, TSMC, standard cells, layout, FinFET, EDA, custom cell, arm, 7nm
Today ARM is announcing their partnership with Xilinx to deliver design solutions for their products on TSMC’s upcoming 7nm process node. ARM has previously partnered with Xilinx on other nodes including 28, 20, and 16nm. Their partnership extends into design considerations to improve the time to market of complex parts and to rapidly synthesize new designs for cutting edge process nodes.
Xilinx is licensing out the latest ARM Artisan Physical IP platform for TSMC’s 7nm. Artisan Physical IP is a set of tools to help rapidly roll out complex designs as compared to what previous generations of products faced. ARM has specialized libraries and tools to help implement these designs on a variety of processes and receive good results even on the shortest possible design times.
Design relies on two basic methodologies. There is custom cell and then standard cell designs. Custom cell design allows for a tremendous amount of flexibility in layout and electrical characteristics, but it requires a lot of man-hours to complete even the simplest logic. Custom cell designs typically draw less power and provide higher clockspeeds than standard cell design. Standard cells are like Legos in that the cells can be quickly laid out to create complex logic. Software called EDA (Electronic Design Automation) can quickly place and route these cells. GPUs lean heavily on standard cells and EDA software to get highly complex products out to market quickly.
These two basic methods have netted good results over the years, but during that time we have seen implementations of standard cells become more custom in how they behave. While not achieving full custom performance, we have seen semi-custom type endeavors achieve appreciable gains without requiring the man hours to achieve fully custom.
In this particular case ARM is achieving a solid performance in power and speed through automated design that improves upon standard cells, but without the downsides of a fully custom part. This provides positive power and speed benefits without the extra power draw of a traditional standard cell. ARM further improves upon this with the ARM Artisan Power Grid Architect (PGA) which simplifies the development of a complex power grid that services a large and complex chip.
We have seen these types of advancements in the GPU world that NVIDIA and AMD enjoy talking about. A better power grid allows the ASIC to perform at lower power envelopes due to less impedence. The GPU guys have also utilized High Density Libraries to pack in the transistors as tight as possible to utilize less space and increase spatial efficiency. A smaller chip, which requires less power is always a positive development over a larger chip of the same capabilities that requires more power. ARM looks to be doing their own version of these technologies and are applying them to TSMC’s upcoming 7nm FinFET process.
TSMC is not releasing this process to mass production until at least 2018. In 1H 2017 we will see some initial test and early production runs for a handful of partners. Full blown production of 7nm will be in 2018. Early runs and production are increasingly being used for companies working with low power devices. We can look back at 20/16/14 nm processes and see that they were initially used by designs that do not require a lot of power and will run at moderate clockspeeds. We have seen a shift in who uses these new processes with the introduction of sub-28nm process nodes. The complexity of the design, process steps, materials, and libraries have pushed the higher performance and power hungry parts to a secondary position as the foundries attempt to get these next generation nodes up to speed. It isn’t until after some many months of these low power parts are pushed through that we see adjustments and improvements in these next generation nodes to handle the higher power and clockspeed needs of products like desktop CPUs and GPUs.
ARM is certainly being much more aggressive in addressing next generation nodes and pushing their cutting edge products on them to allow for far more powerful mobile products that also exhibit improved battery life. This step with 7nm and Xilinx will provide a lot of data to ARM and its partners downstream when the time comes to implement new designs. Artisan will continue to evolve to allow partners to quickly and efficiently introduce new products on new nodes to the market at an accelerated rate as compared to years past.
Subject: Mobile | December 7, 2016 - 10:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: windows rt, windows 10, snapdragon, qualcomm, microsoft, arm
At the WinHEC developer conference in China today, Qualcomm and Microsoft have announced a partnership to enable a full Windows 10 computing environment on systems based on the next-generation of Snapdragon processors in the second half of 2017. The importance of this announcement can’t be overstated – it marks another attempt for Microsoft to enter the non-x86 market with mobile devices (think tablets and notebooks, less smartphones).
If you remember the first attempt at Windows on ARM, Windows RT, it’s failure was a result of a split software base: some applications could work between Windows RT and Windows 8 while most could not. It likely helped in the demise of that initiative that Windows 8 was overall very poorly received and that the overzealous box-style interface just wasn’t a hit with users. Major players like NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung and many different OEMs were all caught up in the mess, making it very unlikely that Microsoft would undertake this again without a surefire win.
Though details are light today, the success of this depends on software compatibility. Microsoft and Qualcomm claim that Windows 10 on mobile devices will bring “the scale of the mobile ecosystem with an unparalleled pace of innovation to address consumers’ growing need to be always on and always connected.” Modems and high performance SoCs for mobile systems is the realm of Qualcomm and form factors using these components as the base could be a solid source of innovation. The press release states as much, saying this partnership will “enable hardware makers to develop new and improved consumer products including handsets, tablets, PCs, head mounted displays, and more.”
Software is the silver bullet though.
New Windows 10 devices powered by Snapdragon supports all aspects of Microsoft’s latest operating system including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge browser, Windows 10 gaming titles like Crysis 2 and World of Tanks, Windows Hello, and touchscreen features like Windows Pen. It also offers support for Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and Win32 apps through emulation, providing users with a wide selection of full featured applications.
Based on what I have learned, the native software experience will come with UWP applications. UWP is Microsoft’s attempt to merge the software base for different platforms, and though it has been slow, adoption by developers and users has been increasing. If it’s true that everything being sold in the Microsoft app store today will be compatible with the ARM architecture processors in the Snapdragon SoC, then I think this leaves the door open for a wider adoption by an otherwise discerning audience.
Are you ready to hit that start button on your Snapdragon computer?
The emulation for ALL other Win32 (and x64) applications is critical as well. Being able to run the code you are used to running on an x86-based notebook will give users flexibility to migrate and the ability to depend on Qualcomm-based Windows 10 machine for work and for play. With emulation comes a performance hit – but how much of one has yet to be seen or discussed. The rumors have been circulating recently that ARM compatibility was coming to Windows 10 with the Redstone 3 update, and the timing of “late 2017” matches up perfectly with the announcement today.
While notebooks and convertibles are likely on the table for this platform, it’s the new form factors that should excite you. Microsoft’s Terry Myserson expects Qualcomm and Windows to bring “a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love.” Cristiano Amon, President at Qualcomm Technologies thinks they can provide “advanced mobile computing features, including Gigabit LTE connectivity, advanced multimedia support, machine learning and superior hardware security features, all while supporting thin, fan-less designs and long battery life.”
This partnership will lead to more than just new consumer products though, reaching into the enterprise markets with the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform addressing markets ranging from “mobility to cloud computing.”
Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2016 - 03:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: nvidia, amd, gaming, watch dogs 2, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gtx 1060, rx 480x, rx 470
[H]ard|OCP have spent a lot of with Watch Dogs 2 recently, enough to create three articles covering the game of which two are now published. The first article focuses on performance at ultra settings and finding the highest playable settings that the GPUs they tested were capable of, without installing the high resolution texture pack. As it turns out, the game is much more graphically demanding than many other recent releases, so much so that only the Titan X and GTX 1080 was able to perform at 4k resolutions, the GTX 1070 and 1060, as well as the RX 480 and 470 only feature at lower resolutions.
The second article looks at performance with the texture pack installed, which did not have much effect on overall performance but significantly increased VRAM usage. Even the mighty Titan X struggled with this game, we will need a new generation of GPUs to utilize all the available graphics features available in this game. The last review will be up soon and will focus on what effect each of the graphical settings have on the visual appearance of the game.
"Watch Dogs 2 has been released on the PC. We will have a three part evaluation of performance and image quality starting today with performance comparisons. We will also find the highest playable settings for each graphics card and the gameplay experience delivered. Finally, a graphically demanding game."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubisoft Giving Away Yet Another Free Game @ [H]ard|OCP
- Dishonored 2 update 1.3 brings performance boosts @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Tobii Tech 4C eye tracker for gaming @ Kitguru
- Wot I Think: Tyranny @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Gears of War 4 DirectX 12 Graphics Performance @ eTeknix
- Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an off-brand Far Cry game @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- The Last Guardian Is Finally Here—and Yes, It Was Worth the Wait @ Wired
- Dead Rising 4 shambles onto Windows 10 @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Nvidia launches GeForce GTX 1050 and 1060 Indie Bundle @ HEXUS
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Graphics Performance Analysis @ eTeknix
- Mugs and mayhem: eight minutes of Prey @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Tenebra is a free horror game inspired by silent films @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | December 7, 2016 - 01:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: qualcomm, centriq, centriq 2400, server
The days when AMD and Intel were the two choices to build a server with are long gone. The ARM architecture has been making serious inroads as various vendors have begun to offer various solutions utilizing ARM designs, up to and including AMD for that matter. Today, Qualcomm have joined these ranks, announcing their first processor family designed to power a server. The Centriq 2400 series is based on a 10nm process node, with up to 48 cores. As The Inquirer points out, this is a rather impressive shot across Intel's bow as Qualcomm will ship a 10nm FinFET before Intel does.
"The Qualcomm Centriq 2400 series, the first in the Centriq product family that Qualcomm has been working on for four years, has up to 48 ARMv8-compliant cores targeting compute-intensive data centre applications that require power efficiency and is built on the 10nm FinFET manufacturing processor."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Broadcom quietly dismantles its 'Vulcan' ARM server chip project @ The Register
- Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models @ The Register
- Mikko Hypponen On The Death Of Antivirus @ Tech ARP
- Christmas 2016 Mega Worldwide Giveaway @ NikKTech
Subject: Storage | December 6, 2016 - 03:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, dc400, enterprise ssd
One does not usually think of Kingston when building out a server but perhaps the DC 400 series of SSDs might change that. It uses 15nm MLC NAND and a pair of quad core Phison PS3110-S10 controllers, each with 256GB DDR3L-1600 of cache. You will find enterprise class features such as SmartRefresh, SmartECC and firmware controlled power loss management. Currently there are 480GB and 960GB models, with a 1.6TB model expected soon and all models have over-provisioning which can be modified by the user after purchase. Pop over to Kitguru to see if the drive can meet its advertised speeds.
"Kingston’s DC400 series are the latest additions to the companies Enterprise range of SSDs and have been designed as entry level drives for data centers. The new drives have been built with read-intensive applications in mind for use in a mixed workload environments."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ADATA Premier SP550 480GB Solid-State Drive Review @ Techgage
- Plextor S2C 512GB Entry-Level SATA3 SSD @ eTeknix
- TerraStation F2-220 2-Bay SMB Cloud Storage NAS @ eTeknix
- Seagate Skyhawk 10TB Review @ OCC
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 6, 2016 - 01:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rx 480, gtx 1060, sapphire, RX 480 8GB Nitro+, GTX 1060 6GB GAMING, evga
It has been several months and more than a few driver releases since Hardware Canucks last reviewed the RX 480 and GTX 1060, as well as the arrival of more games with at least some DX12 support. They decided to revisit the performance results of these two cards, both stock versions as well as factory overclocked models. They chose Sapphire's RX 480 8GB Nitro+ and EVGA's GTX 1060 6GB GAMING models to compare and the results show that the extra work those companies put into these GPUs paid off. They tested a mix of over a dozen games and their results are interesting, in far more cases than in their first look at these cards the RX 480 comes out the clear performance winner, however that performance comes at a high enough cost that the GTX 1060 shows better performance per dollar. Take a look at this revised review if these cards are appropriate for your budget.
"More than four months after the launch of NVIDIA's GTX 1060, we take another look at its performance against AMD's RX 480 8GB in more than a dozen games. The results of this one may surprise you...... "
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- XFX RX 480 GTR Black Edition @ eTeknix
- ASUS GTX 1050 Ti STRIX OC 4 GB @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti G1 Gaming OC @ Guru of 3D
Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2016 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Skylake, kaby lake, Intel, 7th generation core
Ryan recently offered a sneak peek at Kaby Lake, which powered two HP Spectre laptops recently sent to PC Perspective for review. [H]ard|OCP managed to acquire a desktop version of the i7-7700K along with a mysterious unreleased motherboard which supports both Skylake and Kaby Lake architectures. When testing the two chips in Passmark there was no meaningful performance difference, a pattern repeated in 3D Mark and Sandra. The performance per clock is not the whole story with this chip, there are new features and possible overclocking improvements but at the moment it does not look like there is a compelling reason to upgrade if you are already on Skylake. The same is not true if you are using a previous generation.
"If you are wondering what Intel's new Core i7-7700K Kaby Lake processor's performance will look like when it is launched next month at CES, we have a quick preview for you here today. Just some quick and dirty synthetic benchmark numbers to whet your appetite at 4.5GHz with comparison to the i7-6700K at matched clocks."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- HP Shutting Down Default FTP, Telnet Access To Network Printers @ Slashdot
- Galaxy S8 will reportedly ditch 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of USB-C @ The Inquirer
- Engineers say safety features got squished out of cramped Samsung Note 7 @ The Register
- Polypyrrole-MnO2 nanotubes improve lithium-sulphur batteries @ Nanotechweb
- Privacy groups: Amazon Go takes invasive technologies to a 'whole new level' @ The Inquirer
- Cyanogen parts ways with its founder @ The Register
Subject: Storage | December 6, 2016 - 08:58 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, ultrastar, ssd, SS200, SN200, SAS, NVMe, hgst, helium, He8, He6, He12, He10, He, hdd, 12TB, 10TB
First up is a second generation of HGST-branded SSD products - the Ultrastar SN200. These enterprise SSDs boast impressive specs, pushing random reads beyond 1 million IOPS, coming in 8TB capacity, and if you opt for the HHHL PCIe 3.0 x8 SN260, 6.2GB/s maximum throughput.
Moving into SAS SSDs, the SS200 uses a 12Gbit link to achieve 1.8 GB/s and 250,000 random read IOPS. Write specs dip to 37,000 random as this is a 1 DWPD endurance class product. These are also available in up to 8TB capacities.
Last but certainly not least are preliminary specs for the He12, which boast particularly impressive low QD random write performance and a notable bump in Watts/TB despite the addition of an eighth platter to achieve the 12TB capacity. Note that this is not an archive class product and is meant for continuous random access.
There is also a 14TB model in the lineup, but that is an archive class model that is essentially the He12 with Shingled Magnetic Recording enabled.
Press blast appears after the break.
Subject: Graphics Cards | December 6, 2016 - 07:05 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, nvidia, graphics drivers, giveaways, giveaway
Alongside the release of the Oculus Touch controllers from Oculus VR, and the fifty-or-so games that launched with it, NVIDIA has published another graphics driver. The GeForce Game Ready 376.19 WHQL drivers also resolve one of two SLI issues in No Man’s Sky (the other bug, which involves temporal anti-aliasing, is still being worked on) and also fixes two issues with G-Sync for laptops.
Since it affects a few of our readers: the Folding@Home bug is not yet fixed, but it’s now classified as a top-priority bug, though. Personally, I’m guessing that it will be fixed soon, now that there’s a little down-time before and after the holidays, after and before the game release rushes. Otherwise, it seems pretty stable and smooth for me. One user is complaining about Windows 10 UI freezes and crashes, starting with 376.09, but it’s otherwise relatively quiet.
As for the contests
NVIDIA is hosting two giveaways: one on their social media sites (Twitter and Facebook) and the other on GeForce Experience. The first contest runs from Tuesday to Friday, where they are giving away a GTX 1080, game codes, and one grand prize of a custom PC, accessorized with an Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch. The other contest runs until December 30th, where NVIDIA will give away a bundle of Oculus Rift, Oculus Touch Controllers, and a GTX 1070 to ten people, at random, who log in to GeForce Experience.
Check out their blog post for details on how to enter, as well as get the new driver (if GeForce Experience hasn’t already started begging).
Subject: Motherboards | December 5, 2016 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, Intel X99, designare EX
Gigabyte's Designare EX is even more full of extras and add-ins than the non-EX model, featuring everything but an easily accessible CMOS battery. Ten SATA ports, although only six are RAID capable, one U.2 and a pair of M.2 ports are available and there is an Avago PEX8747 assuming to help your CPU provide enough PCIe lanes for everything. The USB Type-C port on the back is Thunderbolt 3 rated and there is a DisplayPort input on the back panel so you can use your graphics card to provide output for that Thunderbolt connection. The Tech Report loved the look of the board but ran into some hurdles when using and tweaking it, check out the full review for details.
"Broadwell-E CPUs brought a new wave of X99 motherboards to go with them at price points both high and low. The GA-X99-Designare EX shows what's possible when Gigabyte's motherboard designers get to pull out all the stops. We put this board to the test to see what it's like to live the high life."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Gaming i7 @ techPowerUp
- GIGABYTE X99-Ultra Gaming Motherboard Review @ Techgage
- MSI X99A XPower Gaming Titanium @ Kitguru
Today Micron initiated the first of a multi-tier launch of a new SATA Enterprise SSD lineup built around their IMFT 32-layer 3D NAND Flash. It may seem odd for a full enterprise line to use IMFT 3D TLC, as that flash has not been known for the high random IOPS demands of the datacenter, but Micron looks to be making it work, and work well.
Above is a performance consistency plot of their MAX model. While this does have the highest OP of all of the models, the consistency is surpassing even NVMe models (using a bus *much* faster than SATA). Sure the results are only using 1-second averages and not our Latency Percentile, but we will be able to pick out any single-IO inconsistencies once we get samples in for detailed review.
Saturated IOPS performance also looks good 'on paper'.
The advantage to operating their flash in TLC mode is that the per die capacity moves from 32GB to 48GB, ultimately driving down the cost/GB of these products and making them an easier sell to enterprise customers. It also enables high capacities - the max capacity of the model with the least overprovisioning (ECO) will reach 8TB in a 2.5" SATA form factor when the last leg of this launch is completed later next year.
The three lines are all using the same controller and base firmware, but with differences in how the dies are laid out with respect to expected performance and endurance.
Below are all of the products being launched. All products use a Marvell 88SS1074 controller at SATA 6Gbit:
- 5100 ECO
- 2.5" 7mm: 480, 960, 1920, 3840, 7680 GB
- M.2 2280: 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 9k-31k IOPS
- Endurance: <=1 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.45 - $0.55
- 5100 PRO
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920, 3840 GB
- M.2 2280: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 380-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 78 (240GB)-93k / 26k-43k IOPS
- Endurance: 1-3 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.55 - $0.65
- 5100 MAX
- 2.5" 7mm: 240, 480, 960, 1920 GB
- M.2 2280: (none)
- Sequential read/write: 540 / 310-520 MB/s
- Random read/write: 93k / 48k-74k IOPS
- Endurance: 5 DWPD
- Cost / GB: $0.65 - $0.75
All models come with Micron 'Flex Capacity', which enables custom *increases* in OverProvisioning. Flex Security enables FIPS 140-2 validated 256-bit AES encryption.
The specs are very good when you consider their performance consistency claims, meaning a 74k IOPS random write rating applies to random writes across the *entire span* of the SSD *at steady state*. Consumer SSD firmware typically chokes with this type of workload, even ones equipped with MLC flash.
We will have more on the 5100 Series from Micron as these products are rolled out and sampled to us for performance review.
Press blast after the break.
Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2016 - 01:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, Puma, latency, lag
Intel's Puma 6 system on a chip is a popular choice in modem provided by ISPs across the western world and if you have recently upgraded your broadband modem you may have noticed an undesirable side effect. There is an issue with the chip which is causing bursts of high latency, ruining video streaming and gaming for those affected by the issue. There is good news, The Register confirmed with Intel that a fix is forthcoming and you should expect your ISP to push out a firmware update soon, hopefully not while you are in the middle of something important.
"Intel's Puma 6 chipset, used in gigabit broadband modems around the world, suffers from latency jitter so bad it ruins online gaming and other real-time connections."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Sh... IoT just got real: Mirai botnet attacks targeting multiple ISPs @ The Register
- Does Windows 10's Data Collection Trade Privacy For Microsoft's Security? @ Slashdot
- Elon Musk uses GTA V to accelerate AI rise of the Terminators @ The Inquirer
- Netflix Keeping Bandwidth Usage Low By Encoding Its Video With VP9 and H.264/AVC Codecs @ Slashdot
- Windows 10 'HomeHub': Microsoft to rival Amazon Echo with no new devices @ The Inquirer
- AK Racing PRO X Gaming Chair Review @ NikKTech
- I made my dumb appliances smarter with the Internet of Things @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | December 5, 2016 - 02:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x360, Intel, hp, convertible tablet, apollo lake, 2-in-1
HP recently introduced a new convertible tablet for students. Built to be a bit more ruggedized than the consumer Pavilion model, the new HP ProBook X360 11G Education Edition is an 11” 2-in-1 laptop weighing in at 3.19 pounds, 0.78 inches thick, and designed to pass the MIL-STD 810G specification test with a spill resistant keyboard, shock and minor drop tolerance, and keyboard keys that are difficult to rip off (heh).
HP’s new convertible uses the same 360-degree hinge design as the existing Pavilion x360 notebooks which allows the user to bend the display all the way back so that it can be used as a tablet with the keyboard on the underside. Unlike the older consumer versions though, it appears HP has slightly upgraded things.
On the outside the notebook is dark gray with black around the display and has a more business aesthetic while keeping the curves of the consumer model. The display is an 11” SVA panel with LED backlighting that is protected by Gorilla Glass 4. There is a 720p front facing webcam above the display and a 1080p camera on the keyboard that can be used while in tablet or tent modes while using the display as a viewfinder. Further, HP managed to cram what looks like a decent sized keyboard sans numpad and a trackpad that supports multi touch gestures
The display supports both multi touch and digitizer input using the optional Active Pen which is nice to see and a feature I had wanted to see on the Pavilion x360 when i was looking for a replacement for my old convertible (I'm still looking heh).
Along the edges HP has included HDMI 1.4b, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) Type A, one USB Type-C, one 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro SDXC card slot for expansion.
Internally, the ProBook X360 11G EE is powered by one of two possible Apollo Lake SoCs: a dual core Celeron N3350 running at 1.1GHz and up to 2.4GHz boost and HD Graphics 500 or a quad core Pentium N4200 clocked at 1.1GHz base and up to 2.5GHz with an Intel HD 505 GPU. Regardless of the processor choice, the convertible also includes 8GB of DDR3L-1600 memory and a 64GB eMMC drive that can be upgraded to a 128GB ot 256GB M.2 SSD for better performance. Ditching the 500GB spinning rust drive of the consumer version is a good thing and is likely what helped HP get the ruggedized specifications.
Networking is handled by Intel dual band 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2, and Realtek-powered Gigabit Ethernet. HP claims up to 11 hours of battery life.
The ProBook X360 11G Education Edition comes with a 3 year warranty and starts at $329 with availability expected in January. Unfortunately, the convertible will initially only be available to educational institutions and HP partners though eventually you should be able to pick one up through a reseller. Another possible wrinkle is that the notebooks come preloaded with HP’s School Pack software which has software for students that lets a teacher do lesson planning, desktop sharing, and a student social network among other things. Of course if your school does not use this platform it is just more pre-installed software taking up resources. On the other hand, they do come with Windows 10 Pro rather than Home so that is something at least.
I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one to see how it feels as it sounds like it is more solidly built than the non education edition version.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 04:43 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, mechwarrior 5, Mechwarrior
Piranha Games, known for the free-to-play MechWarrior Online, has just announced MechWarrior 5: Merceneries. The first thing I noticed is that they revived the Merceneries subtitle, used twice before with expansion packs to MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 4. The second thing I noticed is that it now runs on Unreal Engine 4, despite MechWarrior Online being based on CryEngine.
The third thing I noticed is that, while it’s a bit of a meme to start MechWarrior things with the mech powering up, the video actually begins with the pilot on foot, walking through the hangar. I’m wondering whether this will be expanded upon in the gameplay or narrative. I don’t really see how it could work, but it seems like a fair amount of effort for no real intent. Yes, I’ve played MechAssault 2, but it seems highly unlikely that anything like that will happen.
MechWarrior 5 takes place in 3015, which means that it will have a very small subset of the weapons and equipment that you would see in, say, MechWarrior 3 (~3060) and MechWarrior 4 (~3063). There probably will not be ER weapons, pulse lasers, gauss rifles, ECM, LBX autocannons, or anything like that. I would be surprised to see anything more than standard lasers, PPCs, short-range missiles, long-range missiles, machine guns, and standard autocannons. It will be an interesting change of pace.
MechWarrior 5 also might be single-player only. The teaser site seems to suggest that MechWarrior Online will continue to be updated, which I interpret to mean that it will be its multiplayer companion.
It is expected for release in 2018.
Subject: General Tech | December 4, 2016 - 02:42 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pc gaming, vulkan, libretro
About half of a year ago, LibRetro added Vulkan support to their Nintendo 64 renderer. This allowed them to do things like emulate the console’s hardware rasterization in software, and do so as an asynchronous shader, circumventing limitations in their OpenGL path trying to emulate the console’s offbeat GPU.
Image Credit: Universal Interactive via Wikipedia
They have now turned their sights (“for the lulz”) to the original PlayStation, creating a Vulkan back-end for emulators like Beetle PSX.
The fairly long blog post discusses how the PlayStation is designed in detail, making it an interesting read for anyone curious. One point that I found particularly interesting is how the video memory is configured as a single, 1MB, 2D array (1024x512x16-bit). At this time, texture resolution was quite small, and frame buffers were between 256x224 and 640x480, so that’s a lot of room to make a collage out of your frame and all textures in the scene, but it’s still odd to think about a console imposing such restrictions now that we’re spoiled by modern GPUs.
In terms of performance, the developer claims that modern GPUs can handle 8k resolutions with relative ease, and four-digit FPS at lower resolutions.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 2, 2016 - 03:58 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: magnetic levitation, corsair, air cooling, ML 120, ML140 Pro, ML120 Pro, led
Instead of using sleeve bearings, ball bearings or fluid dynamic bearings, the Corsair ML series relies on magnetic levitation to deal with the friction created by a spinning fan. The fans are available in 120mm and 140mm sizes, with blue, red or white LEDS, or none if you prefer. The fans use a 4-pin PWM connection to allow you to control their speed and should be compatible with any case, heatsink or radiator you might want to use them with. Techgage tried them out in a Cooler Master CM 690 III. They are somewhat pricey, the Pro version which ships with rubber mounts more so, with the non-Pro models shipping in pairs. Read all about them in their review.
"I’m a big fan of magnets, they’re just plain cool. Corsair was attracted to the idea of using magnets in it’s latest fans and created the ML-Series. Sporting magnetic levitation, the ML Series fans are meant to be the last set of fans you’ll ever need. Maintaing both high performance and quiet operation, we take the ML120 and ML140 PRO LED fans for a spin."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Carbide 270R Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Antec KUHLER H2O H1200 Pro AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280 Review @ OCC
Subject: General Tech | December 2, 2016 - 02:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DIY, self driving car, comma.ai, geohot
George Hotz, aka [Geohot], created the comma.ai program in an effort to create and sell a program to control self driving cars. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took offence to this, citing the possibility of this endangering humans in a letter sent to his company Comma.Ai. He shut down the project rather than having to deal with lawyers, red tape and regulations. The code survived however and is now available on GitHub. Hack a Day took a look and discovered it is written in Python with some C included and is rather easy to interpret if you are familiar with the language. It is compatible with Acura ILXs or Honda Civic 2016 Touring models, if you are so inclined.
"First there was [Geohot]’s lofty goal to build a hacker’s version of the self-driving car. Then came comma.ai and a whole bunch of venture capital. After that, a letter from the Feds and a hasty retreat from the business end of things. The latest development? comma.ai’s openpilot project shows up on GitHub!"
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal @ The Register
- INQ's guide to Christmas 2016: Gifts for gamers, geeks and gadget fans
- Intel to push SSD products for 4 major markets in 2017 @ DigiTimes
- Buffer overflow exploit can bypass Activation Lock on iPads running iOS 10.1.1 @ Ars Technica
- Foxconn manager in doodah for pinching 5,700 iPhones @ The Inquirer
- Brit upstart releases free air traffic app for drone operators @ The Register
- Parrot Security Could Be Your Next Security Tool @ Linux.com
- D-Link Performace Series DIR-890L AC3200 Enthusiast Router @ eTeknix