Windows 10, the Snapdragon 835 and its X16 LTE buddy

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2017 - 12:54 PM |
Tagged: qualcomm, snapdragon 835, x16 LTE

The Register has heard the names of the three vendors that Qualcomm will tap to produce Win10 machines running on their chips.  The winners are as expected, Lenovo, HP and ASUS will be licensed to sell these mysterious low powered and extremely mobile devices.  Unfortunately that is pretty much all we know, there were no dates nor models announced by Qualcomm or its new partners.  We can certainly speculate that these devices will be as thin as the battery will allow, the cooling solution for a Snapdragon can be extremely compact, assume that you will not see any wired NICs as the RJ-45 jack would be thicker than the device.  We should be able to assume their will be a headphone jack at least.

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"The chipmaker says the three vendors will be making PCs that will sport its Snapdragon 835 SoC (system-on-chip) and its X16 LTE chipset for wireless broadband connectivity. Qualcomm says all of the models will be fanless and will offer all-day battery life."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: The Register

OneLogin Reports Breach in Security

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2017 - 01:50 AM |
Tagged: onelogin, security

If you use OneLogin to manage your passwords, then you will want to check your email, which I’m assuming is they way they’ll contact customers, and see if they have any advice. (Although, now that the attack is public, be careful of spoof emails.) The password management company was recently accessed by a malicious entity, and data was copied. OneLogin claims that they encrypt sensitive data, however they also state that it’s possible the intruder also gained access to the ability to decrypt it, but they also may not have.

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The attack occurred on their US-based Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance. Apparently, OneLogin noticed several servers being created without authorization, so they considered those API keys compromised and shut down the servers.

There’s not much else to report at the moment. Check out the OneLogin blog to see what they find out as they find it out.

Source: OneLogin

HyperX Introduces Higher Speed DDR4 Memory Kits Up to 4,000 MHz

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2017 - 04:22 PM |
Tagged: hyperx, kingston, ddr4, ryzen, x299, overclocking

Kingston’s high-performance division HyperX recently announced the availability of a slew of new Predator DDR4 memory kits based on DIMMs capable of reaching 4,000 MHz at 1.35 volts.

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HyperX has added six new speed tiers to the lineup made up of individual DIMMs as well as kits of multiple sticks. Voltage is rated at 1.35V across the lineup. The kits and DIMMs being added to the lineup are listed below along with their rated CAS latencies. They reportedly all support built-in XMP profiles.

  • 2,400 MHz at CL12
  • 2,666 MHz at CL13
  • 3,000 MHz at CL15
  • 3,333 MHz at CL16
  • 3,600 MHz at CL17
  • 4,000 MHz at CL19

The majority of kits top out at 64GB, but HyperX did add a 128GB (eight DIMM) kit running at 3,000 MHz and CL15. At the high end is a single 4,000 MHz 16GB (2x8GB) kit (HX440C19PB3K2/16) running at CL19.

The Tech Report reports that the new kits are available now, but looking around online they do not appear to be listed at retailers quite yet so pricing information is unknown. I would expect the high capacity and high-speed kits to carry a decent premium though!

In any case, if you are in the market for a high-end Ryzen, ThreadRipper, or Skylake-X build these may be worth checking out.

Source: Tech Report

Podcast #452 - Computex Special

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2017 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: x299, WD, VROC, video, Vega, toshiba, Threadripper, snapdragon 835, ryzen mobile, qnap, podcast, nvidia, msi, max-q, Killer xTend, Intel, evga, Core i9, asus, asrock, arm, amd, agesa, a75, A55

PC Perspective Podcast #452 - 01/01/17

Join us for talk about Computex 2017 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg, Ken Addison

Program length: 2:07:12
 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. Intel news
    2. AMD news
      1. 0:55:00 RX Vega pushed to end of July (SIGGRAPH), FE on June 27th
    3. NVIDIA news
    4. ARM news
    5. Storage news
    6. New notebooks
  3. Closing/outro

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

Plex Launches Live TV Feature, Works on NVIDIA SHIELD

Subject: General Tech | June 1, 2017 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: shield, plex server, plex, nvidia, live tv, dvr

We’re pretty big fans of Plex around the PC Perspective offices, using it for storing, accessing and sharing loads of local content to our phones, PCs, consoles and more. (If you haven’t read Jim’s amazing Plex setup story from a couple years ago, do so.) Back in September the company rolled out a beta feature called Plex DVR that was able to record live OTA (over the air) TV directly to your library. There was a very important catch though – you could not watch the content until AFTER the recording was complete, and you had no way to watch the OTA TV channels live.

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This changes today with the release of the Live TV upgrade! For Plex Pass subscribers, it’s built directly into the Plex Media Server and works with quite a few modern tuner devices including the HDHomeRun series, and many more from companies like Hauppauge, AVerMedia, and DVBLogic. These tuners connect to an OTA antenna to bring you live television through a network or USB connection, and now Plex will support them to showcase the live channels available in your area.

Limitations of Live TV viewing exist for now though – only Android TV and iOS devices support playback of LIVE content. Plex has promised us more, including Android devices and Apple TV, inside of 60 days.

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There are some pretty impressive features that go along with Live TV being available as part of your Plex Server. For starters, you will soon be able (iOS and Android TV only for today) watch TV on any Plex client, anywhere in the world, regardless of region or device. Want to catch the live baseball game while sitting at the airport on your iPhone? You can do it now, and the Plex Server handles video transcoding on the fly to make sure you get it at the bandwidth best suited for your situation.

For those new to the Plex DVR feature set, recorded shows and movies are integrated right into your library, with metadata added, making them a searchable and shareable part of your system. You can then watch those recorded shows anywhere in the world, on any device.

Plex Server support for Live TV is currently supported on Windows and Mac, supported NAS devices and Android TV. The most interesting option here is likely the NVIDIA SHIELD, a device that already supported server and client application. The SHIELD will be able host AND VIEW Live TV through Plex, again making it the preeminent cord cutting hub for modern consumers of content.

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For many cord cutters, combining the Live TV feature with expanded and improved DVR functionality (including overlapping recordings, whole season support, etc.) and the built-in library you may have with Plex already running, this is CLOSE to the Holy Grail. In my talks with Plex this week I implored them to look at integrating support for over-the-top services like Sling or DirecTV NOW, giving me (and many others) a single hub location for all of our cord cutting content.

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There are some eccentricities I would like to see worked out, including a more linear program guide display option, and faster "channel surfing", but the initial rollout seems solid from my 24 hours of testing.

I am actively working on a multi-part series exploring my own cord cutting experiences at home (taking into account family considerations) and it looks like Plex has found an even more prominent place in it.

Source: Plex

Gaming on a Ryzen

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2017 - 02:21 PM |
Tagged: gaming, ryzen, amd

[H]ard|OCP decided it was time to test out the real world performance of AMD's Ryzen 7 1700 and did so with the programs most likely to be used ... games.  They tested 10 different games, from The Witcher 3 through DOOM at resolutions of 4K, 1440p, and 1080p.  The GPU installed on systems will vary which is why they included GTX 1080 Ti, 1080 and 1060 along with the RX 480 both in single GPU and Crossfire configurations.  Check out the full review to see how the Ryzen chip compares to the performance of Intel's 2600K and 7700K. 

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"With our AMD Ryzen 7 overclocked to 4GHz we find out if this is a competitive real-world gaming CPU or not. We compare it with two overclocked Intel 7700K and 2600K systems across six different video card configurations at 4K, 1440p, and 1080p to find out which CPU provides the best gameplay experience using playable game settings."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Computex 2017: Corsair K68 Spill-Resistant Mech. Keyboard

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: spill resistant, mechanical keyboard, corsair, cherry mx red

I wish I could say that I have yet to destroy a keyboard with a spill, but it’s happened to me… twice. Once was a bowl of soup on a Logitech G15 as I was writing a paper for college, although that only really broke the backlight controls, and the other time was a bottle of water on a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate, which completely wrecked it. That said, two in thirty years isn’t too bad, right? Right?

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Why am I saying this? Well, if you somehow are reading this without seeing the headline, Corsair has announced a dust- and spill-resistant keyboard, the K68. This peripheral is rated up to IP32, which means it’s resistant to small objects (larger than 2.5mm) and dripping water within 15 degrees of its “normal” position.

The device itself uses Cherry MX Red switches with full keyboard rollover. Once again, it’s branded as “100% anti-ghosting” but, really, it’s better than that – ghosting isn’t just blocked if it’s detected; the conditions that lead to ghosting cannot occur in the first place. As for the switch, the MX Red is Cherry's bumpless, low-resistance model. The keyboard has a red backlight.

The Corsair K68 is available now for $99.99 USD on their website.

Source: Corsair

AMD AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 Will Support Configurable Memory Sub Timings And Clockspeeds Up To 4,000 MHz

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2017 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: x370, ryzen, overclocking, ddr4, bios, b350, amd, agesa

AMD recently announced a new AGESA update that will improve memory compatibility and add new memory and virtualization features that have been sorely missing from AMD’s new Ryzen platforms. The new AGESA 1.0.0.6 update has been distributed to its motherboard partners and will be part of updated BIOSes that should be out by the middle of June.

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The AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) code is used as part of the BIOS responsible for initializing the Ryzen CPU cores, memory controller, and Infinity Fabric. With the 1.0.0.6 update, AMD is adding 26 configurable memory options (including subtimings!) that were previously locked out or limited in the range of values users could set. The biggest change is in clockspeeds where AMD will now allow memory clocks up to 4,000 MHz without needing to adjust the CPU base clock (only the very high-end motherboards had external clock generators that allowed hitting higher than 3200 MHz easily before this update). Additionally, when overclocking and setting clockspeeds above 2667 MHz, users can adjust the clockspeeds in increments of 133 MT/s rather than the currently supported 266 MT/s increments. Also important is that AMD will allow 2T command rates with the new update (previously it was locked at 1T) which improves memory kit compatibility when pushing clockspeeds and/or when running in a four DIMM configuration rather than 2 stick configurations (2T is less aggressive). These changes are especially important for overclocking and, in addition to all the other knobs that will become available, dialing in the highest possible stable clockspeeds. Reportedly, the updated AGESA code does improve on memory kit compatibility and support for more XMP profiles, but the Ryzen platform still heavily favors Samsung B-die based single rank kits. In all, it sounds like there is still more to be done but the 1.0.0.6 update is going to be a huge step in the right direction.

Beyond the memory improvements AMD is also adding support for PCI Express Access Control Services which will improve virtualization support and allow users with multiple graphics cards to dedicate a card to the host and another card to the virtual machine.

ASUS and Gigabyte have already rolled out beta BIOSes for their high-end boards, and other manufacturers and motherboards should be getting beta update’s shortly with the stable releases based on the new AMD code being available next month. I am very interested to see Ryzen paired with 4GHz memory and how that will help gaming and everyday performance and improve things in the Infinity Fabric and CCX to CCX latency department!

Source: AMD

We interrupt our Computex coverage to bring you Computex coverage

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2017 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: Intel, computex, core x, x299

To ensure we haven't missed anything in the hustle and bustle, perhaps sheer insanity, which is Computex here is a look at what The Tech Report garnered from Intel about their new chip and chipset.  They have also taken the path of least resistance and are reporting from a remote location as opposed to the front lines, which can make compiling information more effective.  The top question on peoples minds are the pricing of the new chips and we can now report them, starting with the most expensive part.  The Core i9-7900X will run $1000, significantly less than the i7-6950X, the i7-7820X will run $600 and the i7-7800X a cool $390.  It seems that AMD have succeeded at attracting Intel's attention and Intel has reduced their pricing for this generation of chips.  Let's hope AMD can continue to rip it up! 

More of TR's coverage can be found here and keep your eyes on this page as there will be much more of our coverage coming!

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"As Computex kicks off, Intel is refreshing its high-end desktop platform from top to bottom. We take a first look at the company's Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs and the X299 platform."

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Fluid Simulations via Machine Learning Demo for SIGGRAPH

Subject: General Tech | May 29, 2017 - 08:46 PM |
Tagged: machine learning, fluid, deep neural network, deep learning

SIGGRAPH 2017 is still a few months away, but we’re already starting to see demos get published as groups try to get them accepted to various parts of the trade show. In this case, Physics Forests published a two-minute video where they perform fluid simulations without actually simulating fluid dynamics. Instead, they used a deep-learning AI to hallucinate a convincing fluid dynamics result given their inputs.

We’re seeing a lot of research into deep-learning AIs for complex graphics effects lately. The goal of most of these simulations, whether they are for movies or video games, is to create an effect that convinces the viewer that what they see is realistic. The goal is not to create an actually realistic effect. The question then becomes, “Is it easier to actually solve the problem? Or is it easier having an AI learn, based on a pile of data sorted into successes and failures, come up with an answer that looks correct to the viewer?”

In a lot of cases, like global illumination and even possibly anti-aliasing, it might be faster to have an AI trick you. Fluid dynamics is just one example.