Radeon rumourmongering

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2019 - 12:32 PM |
Tagged: amd, rumour, Vega VII

There are several rumours bouncing around the internet about the new GPU from AMD, from overall shortages, to selling short through to the non-existence of custom cards from AIB partners.  As usual AMD is fairly tight lipped about unreleased product but did refute the post from Tweaktown stating there will be a mere 5000 cards available at launch, stating that they expected to be able to meet initial demand; a nice change from the issues that plagued the entire industry in 2018.

There are also allegations that the cost of the 16GB of HBM2 will mean AMD will take a loss on every single card sold at the $700 MSRP, which is honestly ludicrous on the face of it.  However there is one rumour that The Inquirer noticed AMD would not comment on, we still do not have confirmation of third party cards.  That would be an odd move on AMD's part, but as this year we will see Intel auction off a high end chip instead of selling them on the open market perhaps we are in for a strange year.

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"AMD, however, has dismissed that these supply issues exist, and said in a statement that it has enough supply of the 7nm GPU to meet demand."

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Source: The Inquirer

PC Perspective Podcast #529 - HyperX Cloud MIX, G-SYNC Compatible Monitors

Subject: General Tech | January 17, 2019 - 07:02 AM |
Tagged: video, Threadripper, podcast, Optane, micron, Intel, hyperx, g-sync compatibility, g-sync, freesync, cortana, 3dmark

PC Perspective Podcast #529 - 1/16/2019

This week on the show, we look at a review of a new wireless gaming headset from HyperX, talk about the new G-SYNC Compatibility program for FreeSync monitors, look at ray tracing performance in the new 3DMark Port Royal benchmark, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

Check out previous podcast episodes: http://pcper.com/podcast

Show Topics
01:34 - Review: HyperX Cloud MIX
05:19 - News: G-SYNC Compatible Monitor Driver
13:38 - News: Threadripper NUMA Dissociater
15:47 - News: HardOCP Interview with AMD's Scott Herkelman
21:35 - News: Intel-Micron 3D XPoint Split
24:34 - News: Cortana & Windows 10 Search
29:38 - News: 3DMark Port Royal Ray Tracing Benchmark
35:53 - Picks of the Week
46:24 - Outro

Sponsor: This week's episode is brought to you by Casper. Save $50 on select mattresses by visiting http://www.casper.com/pcper and using promo code pcper at checkout.

Picks of the Week
Jim: iPhone XS Max Battery Case
Jeremy: 3D-Printed Resistor Storage
Josh: ASRock X470 Taichi Motherboard
Sebastian: Koss KPH30ik Headphones

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jeremy Hellstrom
Jim Tanous

Microsoft Separates Cortana and Search in Latest Insider Build

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2019 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: windows insider, windows 10, search, microsoft, cortana, build 18317

In their announcement of the latest Windows 10 insider preview build (18317) Microsoft has revealed their separation of Cortana from Search. The news was posted on the Windows Blogs site this morning:

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Yes, this is Microsoft's official graphic from the announcement

"Going forward, we’ll be decoupling Search and Cortana in the taskbar. This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases. Some Insiders have had this update for a few weeks now, and we appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about it so far! For those new to this update, when it rolls out to you, you’ll find clicking the search box in the taskbar now launches our experience focused on giving you the best in house search experience and clicking the Cortana icon will launch you straight into our voice-first digital assistant experience.

Other available Search and Cortana settings have also now been split between the two, along with the familiar group policies."

Whether or not this change means that Cortana can be removed entirely without removing Search remains to be seen, though the known processes for completely disabling/removing Cortana are currently more involved than just unchecking a box in settings, to say the least.

Source: Microsoft

Fus ro dah with a little help from your friends

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2019 - 01:31 PM |
Tagged: skyrim, multiplayer, mod, gaming

Originally scheduled to be available a year or so back, the team developing a multiplayer mod for Skyrim are almost ready to release a closed beta.  You can see from the video posted over at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN that they have indeed managed to play together using their mod, as well as being compatible with a number of other mods as no one plays vanilla Skyrim anymore.  There are still some bugs to work out, as evidenced in the video and it lacks some of the tricks of Elder Scrolls Online.  On the other hand it doesn't have a lot of the negatives of that game either. 

There is no release day yet, but keep your eyes open for more news as well as where to grab it, as Steam has declined to host it via their Workshop.

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"A Skyrim multiplayer mod is about to enter closed beta, and will soon offer you and up to seven friends the chance to explore the snowy bit of Tamriel together. The devs say the closed beta won’t last long, and an open one will be hot on its heels."

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Look ma, no keyboard!

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2019 - 12:34 PM |
Tagged: DIY, dual screen, nifty

Anitomicals C is a inventive computer enthusiast who has built his own version of Microsoft's large PixelSense workspace (once called Surface); a dual touchscreen desktop machine.  It looks like a laptop in that it folds closed but packs desktop components, with graphics handled by a proper GTX 1080 and with a server PSU hidden inside.  At 10kg (22lbs) it is a bit heavy to carry around daily but certainly portable. He has designed it in such a way that input peripherals are superfluous, for those who do not need them or cannot use them.

Check out the quick overview at Hackaday and click through to the build video if you are so inclined.

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"He freely admits that it is a prototype and proof of concept, and that is obvious from its large size and extensive use of desktop components. But he has brought it together in a very tidy Perspex case serving as an interesting class in creating a portable computer with well-chosen desktop components, even though with no battery it does not pretend to fit the same niche as a laptop."

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Source: Hackaday

Let us see how you handle my Threadripper's new NUMA Dissociater attack!

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2019 - 02:57 PM |
Tagged: amd, NUMA, Threadripper, numa dissociator, coreprio

With Threadripper, AMD introduced something new and different to the market, a HEDT architecture with nonuniform memory access.  This has met with mixed results, as is reasonable to expect from such a different chip design.  There has not been much out of Redmond to adapt Windows to handle this new design compared to the amount of work coming out of the enthusiast community, especially those using Linux.

Phoronix has recently benchmarked a piece of software from CorePrio called NUMA Dissociater on both Windows and Linux.  It was designed to better address some performance issues on the Threadripper 2990WX and 2970WX than AMD's Dynamic Local Mode which can be enabled if you run their Ryzen Master software.  As you can see in the full review the results are not earth shattering, nor do they always increase performance, but the foundation for improvement is fairly solid. 

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"Here are some benchmarks of Windows 10 against Linux while trying out CorePrio's NUMA Dissociater mode to see how much it helps the performance compared to Ubuntu Linux. Additionally, tests are included of Windows Server 2019 to see if that server edition of Windows is able to offer better performance on this AMD HEDT NUMA platform."

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Source: Phoronix

It's simply the rest ... that Ars saw at CES

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2019 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: ces 2019, Lenovo, Samsung, LG, dell

Ars Technica takes you through an eclectic mix of devices which caught their eyes at CES, not necessarily award winners nor groundbreaking tech but at least somewhat eye catching.  For instance, Lenovo's smart alarm clock below with a 4" screen at 800x400. Powered by a 1.5GHz MediaTek 8167S SoC and a PowerVR GE8300 GPU with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage it has a significant amount of processing power, and one hopes security to stop someone from disabling your snooze button! 

There are also laptops, TVs in both OLED and MicroLED as well as a new Vive, all of which you can see here.

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"CES 2019 has finally come to an end—and by and large, it was a more interesting show than last year's. To that end, the Ars reviews staff has put together another annual Best in Show list, and this group of products we consider particularly interesting."

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Source: Ars Technica
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: HyperX

A Tale of Two Headsets

There is no shortage of wireless gaming headsets these days, with 2.4 GHz via USB dongle the most common option. The HyperX Cloud MIX provides wireless connectivity of the Bluetooth variety, and if you need or just prefer a wired connection don't worry - as the name implies these provide wired analog audio via a 3.5mm headset plug, with a Y-cable is also included to split off mic and audio to your sound card's requisite I/O.

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An interesting addition to the standard Bluetooth codecs with the Cloud MIX is aptX support, which means this headset has the capability of far better wireless audio quality than the standard SBC codec can provide - if you have a way to connect with aptX, that is. It's also worth noting that the Cloud MIX is actually the first Bluetooth-capable headset HyperX has released, with latency a roadblock to its adoption in this market.

Before moving on here is a look at the full specifications from HyperX:


  • Headphone
    • Driver: Custom dynamic, 40mm driver with neodymium magnets
    • Type: Circumaural; Closed back
    • Frequency Response: 10Hz–40,000Hz
    • Impedance: 40Ω
    • Sound Pressure Level: 100dBSPL/mW at 1kHz
    • T.H.D.: < 2%
    • Weight: 260g
    • Weight with Mic: 275g
  • Cable Length:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  1.3m
    • PC Extension Cable:  2m
    • USB Charging Cable:  0.5m
  • Connection Type:
    • Detachable Headset Cable:  3.5mm plug (4 pole)
    • PC Extension Cable:  3.5mm stereo and mic plugs
  • Boom Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Noise-cancelling
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-18,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -42dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Built-in Microphone
    • Element: Electret condenser microphone
    • Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
    • Frequency Response: 50Hz-8,000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: -33dBV (0dB=1V/Pa,1kHz)
  • Battery Life (50% headphone volume) 20 hours
  • Bluetooth Version: 4.2
  • Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters

Pricing and Availability: $199.99, Best Buy

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Continue reading our review of the HyperX Cloud MIX Wired Headset with Bluetooth!

AMD's Scott Herkelman on CES, Radeon VII and NVIDIA

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2019 - 01:04 PM |
Tagged: Scott Herkelman, radeon vii, amd

[H]ard|OCP had a chance to talk with Scott Herkelman, the man with a plan from AMD, about the new generation of GPUs which were teased at CES.  Among other things, they confirmed that the card shown at CES with the triple fan design will match the card AMD will be selling directly as well as the requirement for a pair of 8pin PCIe power connectors.  The cards will natively support HDMI 2.0, with 2.1 possible in the future with an active adapter. 

You can read more in the entire interview, including his reaction to Jen-Hsun's comments about the new card and NVIDIA's reluctant compatibility with Adaptive Sync.

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"We had the opportunity to talk to Scott Herkelman at AMD about the new Radeon VII GPU at CES 2019, and he was kind enough to answer questions that we had. We get his thoughts on the new Radeon VII, its full specifications and die size, FreeSync, multi-GPU, 16GB of HBM2, AMD getting back into direct retail sales of video cards, and more."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 2019: Wacom Launches Cintiq 16 (Not Pro) Pen Display

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | January 13, 2019 - 07:34 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2019, wacom, wacom 16

Wacom has launched a new, lower-cost Cintiq pen display at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. This one is the Wacom Cintiq 16, which should not be confused with the previously-released Wacom Cintiq Pro 16. While the Pro had a 4K screen with 94% AdobeRGB, the new model downgrades to 1080p with 72% NTSC. Both are based on IPS panel technology.

(Note the different AdobeRGB vs NTSC color spaces. It’s hard to compare the two, but 72% NTSC roughly corresponds to 100% sRGB, which is smaller than 94% AdobeRGB… so the Pro should have better colors… but it’s just about impossible to exactly quantify the difference without calibrating both panels to both color spaces and comparing.)

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In exchange for the one-quarter resolution (albeit on a 16-inch screen) and lower color space, you get a much smaller price tag. The Wacom Cintiq Pro 16 is listed at $1499.95 USD on the Wacom website, but the new Wacom Cintiq 16 is listed at just $649.95 USD. This price cut opens it up to users with a much different budget. It’s not quite in the “video game console” territory, but it’s not significantly higher than that $500 threshold either. It’s possible that you could see it barely squeeze into holiday gifts for teenagers and young adults that show a strong interest in art. It also makes it much easier to justify for small business art studios, too.

The Wacom Cintiq 16 is expected to ship this month (January 2019) for $649.95.

Source: Wacom