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.

HyperX_Cloud_MIX_Main.jpg

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.)

wacom-2019-cintiq-16.jpg

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

Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 Sets New Personal Best

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2019 - 05:40 PM |
Tagged: speedrun, gdq, charity, agdq

The latest Games Done Quick marathon wrapped up at around 1 o’clock (EST) last night as the reverse boss order run of Super Metroid killed the poor, harmless animals. The runner took the detour to the “Save the Animals” room, opened the door, then fired a few times through it without entering… just to troll. I can appreciate that (despite donating to save the animals -- after the other incentives were met, of course).

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A few minutes later was the closing ceremony. Organizers thanked the staff, volunteers, and partners, and then added revenue from Twitch subs and bits, $217,226.12 USD, to the donation tracker. This brought the overall total to $2,394,423 USD, which is more than any other Games Done Quick event; the next highest was last year’s AGDQ at $2,295,191 USD. As usual, donations are still being accepted even though the stream has ended. It is currently sitting at $2,397,767.51 USD from 46377 donors, which benefits the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The next Games Done Quick is Summer Games Done Quick (SGDQ) 2019, which starts on June 23rd, 2019 in Bloomington, Minnesota. Next year’s Awesome Games Done Quick 2020, despite just moving to Maryland this year, will move again for its 10th anniversary… to Orlando, Florida.

If you don’t want to wait until the summer, then a different organization, the European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA), are holding their Winter 2019 event starting on February 18th.

PC Perspective Podcast #528 - RTX 2060, EVGA Nu Audio, and our CES Roundup

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2019 - 12:02 PM |
Tagged: video, sound card, ryzen 3, RTX 2060, radeon vii, podcast, evga, ces 2019

PC Perspective Podcast #528 - 1/11/2019

We're a little bit delayed this week due to CES, but we're back in action and ready to talk about the GeForce RTX 2060 review, some new Corsair gaming mice, AMD's big Ryzen and Radeon announcements, an awesome new sound card from EVGA, G-SYNC compatibility with FreeSync monitors, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

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

Today's Podcast Hosts
Sebastian Peak
Josh Walrath
Jim Tanous

Show Topics
00:00:35 - Review: GeForce RTX 2060
00:16:35 - Review: New Corsair Gaming Mice & Slipstream
00:21:20 - News: AMD CES Announcements
00:38:38 - News: AMD 2019 GPU Refresh
00:42:31 - News: GeForce RTX Mobile
00:49:21 - News: ASUS TUF AMD Gaming Laptops
00:52:50 - News: EVGA Nu Audio Sound Card
01:00:43 - News: Killer E3000 2.5Gbps NIC
01:10:26 - News: ASUS ProArt 1,000-Zone Backlight Display
01:16:04 - News: HyperX Cloud Orbit S & QuadCast
01:25:01 - News: Phison PCIe Gen4 NVMe Controller
01:28:52 - News: be quiet! White Cases & Slim CPU Coolers
01:32:33 - News: NVIDIA G-SYNC Compatible Displays
01:42:24 - Picks of the Week
01:49:04 - Outro

Picks of the Week
Josh - Acer Predator X34 Ultrawide Monitor
Jim - DockCase Adapter for MacBook Pro
Sebastian - Star Trek: Phase II

Mixcder E8 headset, no wires, no noise, no worries

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2019 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: audio, mixder, mixder e8, active noise cancellation, wireless headset

The Mixcder E8 offers Bluetooth 4 connectivity using the SBC codec, active noise cancellation and a $70 price tag.  It doesn't offer support for other codecs, nor does it provide more than stereo playback, which does seem reasonable for the price point.  It does use standard 40mm neodymium drivers and offers 32 Ω impedance, with a battery which will offer 16 hours or more of playback.

TechPowerUp tested them and found them to be about what you should expect from a wireless ANS headset at this price, with one small caveat.  The headphones offer a wired mode for extended use, however doing so disables the microphone.

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"The Mixcder E8 is a pair of wireless, over-ear headphones with active noise cancelling, and a price that's much lower than you'd expect after going over the list of features. Just about everyone is after a pair of wireless headphones nowadays; here's something worth considering if you're on a tight budget."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: TechPowerUp

These three foundries aren't scared of a wee 7nm

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2019 - 01:14 PM |
Tagged: amd, 7nm, CoWoS, TSMC, SPIL, TFME

DigiTimes today is sharing some information about just where AMD's 7nm chips will be processed and there seems to be a name missing.  TSMC, SPIL and TFME will all be producing specific products but there is no mention of GLOBALFOUNDRIES in the news post.

TSMC will handle the bulk of the EPYC and HPC versions of Vega production with their chip-on-wafer-on-substrate, as one might expect; SPIL and TFME will handle desktop Ryzen and GPUs.  One hopes that by diversifying their production sources we can avoid shortages from one line effecting the entire market as we have seen in the past. 

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"TSMC is also among the backend partners of AMD for its new 7nm computing and graphics products, according to industry sources. Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) under Taiwan's ASE Technology Holding, and China-based Tongfu Microelectronics (TFME) are other backend service providers for the chips, the sources continued."

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Source: DigiTimes

CES 2019: HyperX QuadCast Microphone & Cloud Orbit S Headset

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 10:56 PM |
Tagged: RGB, microphone, hyperx, headset, gaming mouse, gaming headset, ddr4, ces 2019, CES

HyperX is here at CES demoing several new products — including a new product category — as well as some updates to their existing product line. The highlights include the company's first microphone and a new premium gaming headset made with Audeze's planar magnetic drivers.

Check out the complete launch details below as well as our impressions from our visit to the HyperX suite at CES.

HyperX Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse

The HyperX Pulsefire Raid RGB mouse is designed for gamers who need additional buttons for key binding or to execute a variety of commands. HyperX Pulsefire Raid features 11 programmable buttons and is designed with a Pixart 3389 sensor for accuracy and speed with settings up to 16,000 DPI. Customizable native DPI settings allow gamers to monitor settings with an LED indicator. In addition, the mouse includes Omron switches with 20M click reliability. Pulsefire Raid is designed for accurate, fluid and responsive tracking, without acceleration. Using HyperX NGenuity software, gamers can assign personalized macro functions to the 11 programmable keys and store them in a macro library.

hyperx-pulsefire-raid.jpg

Our impressions: The Pulsefire Raid Gaming Mouse doesn't do anything new in terms of basic design, but its 11 programmable buttons are more than found on many competing gaming mice and will be appreciated by competitive gamers looking to map as many in-game functions as possible.

The wired mouse feels good in the hand and includes nice RGB effects that can by configured via software or turned off if desired. The Pulsefire Raid includes the normal range of higher-quality components — Omron switches and a 16,000 DPI Pixart 3389 sensor — at a competitive price point of about $60. Recent purchasers of mid-range and higher gaming mice probably won't be tempted to switch, but if you're looking for a new gaming mouse or craving those additional programmable buttons, the HyperX Pulsefire Raid will be a nice choice at it expected price point when it launches in Q2.

HyperX QuadCast Microphone

The HyperX Quadcast is a standalone microphone designed to meet the exacting demands of PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac professional or aspiring streamers. The QuadCast features an anti-vibration shock mount, an easily-accessible gain control adjustment, four selectable polar patterns, and tap-to-mute functionality with convenient LED lighting to indicate broadcast status. With crystal clear voice capturing, Quadcast connects streamers to their viewers like never before.

hyperx-quadcast.jpg

Our impressions: While we couldn't fully test the QuadCast's audio capabilities in a noisy CES demo suite, what we could hear sounded promising. Users have a choice of polar patterns, quick gain control via a dial on the bottom, a 3.5mm headphone output for live monitoring, and a tap-to-mute feature that indicates the mute status by turning off the microphone’s red light.

The QuadCast's stand is sturdy with a functional and attractive built-in shock mount. But it also comes with an adapter for mounting it to another microphone stand or arm. The QuadCast will be priced at $139 when it launches in Q2.

HyperX Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S Headset

The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets are the first HyperX gaming headsets powered by Audeze’s patented 100mm Planar Magnetic Drivers for accurate sound. Waves Nx® 3D audio technology brings an immersive cinematic audio experience to gaming. The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx® head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the user’s head movements bring the room to life 1,000 times a second. HyperX gaming headsets paired with Audeze and Waves technology bring audio quality to the next level with audio technology previously found only in audiophile headsets.

hyperx-cloud-orbit-s.jpg

Our impressions: HyperX is no stranger to gaming headsets, but the new Cloud Orbit series is their first project in collaboration with high-end audio company Audeze. The Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S feature Audeze's planar magnetic drivers in a headset that eschews the common more "aggressive" gamer design for a subtle yet attractive black and gray look.

In addition to high quality sound from the planar magnetic drivers, the higher-end Cloud Orbit S features Waves NX 3D audio processing that can optionally position the user's audio sources via head tracking. When enabled, the current audio output is "placed" in a static position. When the user then turns their head, the headset uses head-tracking technology to pan the audio accordingly. In other words, the Waves Nx processing is simulating what it would sound like if you were sitting in a theater with multi-channel surround sound speakers and then turn your head to the side or behind.

We had a chance to demo Waves Nx on the Cloud Orbit S and the effect is quite realistic and impressive. But while it makes a great demo, we're not sure how many users would find a feature like this useful in the long-run since many users would prefer to have their audio "follow them" regardless of head positioning. However, we're hoping to get a chance to try it out more in a quieter environment.

Set to arrive in Q2, the Cloud Orbit S with head tracking will set you back $329 while the non-tracking Cloud Orbit will land at $299.

HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB Memory

The HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB is now available in 16GB modules in speeds of 3000MHz and 3200MHz as individual modules and kits of 2 and 4 up to 64GB. Predator DDR4 RGB features synchronized RGB lighting with HyperX Infrared Sync technology, allowing multiple modules to sync LED lighting and produce an exceptional color and pattern display. Powered directly from the motherboard, this patented technology provides an enhanced visual experience of RGB memory for gaming, overclocking PCs and DIY system builds.

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Our impressions: HyperX launched its Predator DDR4 RGB memory — which uses infrared light to sync RGB effects between modules — last year, but only in single-module capacities of up to 8GB. This of course limited the amount of memory users could install in their system, especially on desktop motherboards/chipsets which only feature two or four DIMM slots.

Now HyperX is adding a 16GB module to the product lineup, doubling the maximum amount of RAM that users of this product can fit into their builds. The new capacity will be available later this month starting at $167.

Source: HyperX

Rounding up CES

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2019 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, ces 2019, amd

The Tech Report just posted a nice assortment of updates covering their travels at CES, including their take AMD's new GPU and processors.  They also took a look at Intel's offerings, and not just the fresh splash of seemingly bottomless Coffee, this time without the picture drawn on the top.  What was far more interesting were the lineup of 10nm chips announced, Lakefield for low power applications, Ice Lake mainstream chips and Snow Ridge, an SoC designed for network applications.  Of course, it wouldn't be an Intel briefing without Optane, to which the H10 series was announced, which sports both QLC 3D NAND and 3D XPoint on a M.2 2280 gumstick.  It has a controller for both types of memory which means the bulk of the heavy lifting will be done onboard and not pushed onto your CPU. 

 

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"That title probably rests on the shoulders of four upcoming Intel products based on the company's beleaguered 10-nm fabrication process: the Lakefield low-power client processors, the Snow Ridge network SoC, and Ice Lake chips for every market segment."

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