PC Perspective Podcast #531 - Radeon VII Review, New Logitech Headsets, and More!

Subject: General Tech | February 7, 2019 - 09:54 AM |
Tagged: Z390, W-3175X, tuf, scythe, radeon vii, podcast, owc, logitech, Katana 5, gaming headset, g935, g432, DLSS

PC Perspective Podcast #531 - 2/6/2019

Join us this week for a look at the AMD Radeon VII launch and benchmarks, a review of a new TUF Z390 board from ASUS, new gaming headsets from Logitech, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

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

Show Topics
00:01:09 - Review: AMD Radeon VII
00:32:20 - Review: ASUS TUF Z390 Motherboard
00:39:50 - Review: Logitech G935 & G432 Headsets
00:43:57 - Review: Scythe Katana 5 CPU Cooler
00:46:25 - Review: OWC USB-C 3.1 Drive Dock
00:50:18 - Sponsor: Molekule
00:53:01 - News: NVIDIA DLSS Driver Update
00:57:30 - News: ASRock DeskMini A300 Mini-STX PC
01:02:24 - News: Intel Xeon W-3175X Availability
01:07:26 - News: Liquid-Cooled DDR4 Memory
01:10:00 - News: Synology DS1819+ NAS
01:15:29 - News: Misbehaving Canadian Telcos
01:17:56 - Picks of the Week

This episode is brought to you by Molekule. Get $75 off your first order by using promo code PCPER at checkout.

Picks of the Week
Jim: Humble Paradox Bundle
Jeremy: Fanatical Ancestor Bundle
Josh: Samsung BAR Plus Flash Drive
Sebastian: Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera

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

A new Star Wars game? No not that one, the other one ...

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2019 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: Star Wars, Respawn, Jedi: Fallen Order, gaming, ea

There is a possibility that Jedi: Fallen Order will actually arrive this year, according to EA's Q3 2019 earnings announcement.  This is not the one code-named RagTag which Visceral was working on until they were eviscerated, (or that other one) as it is still looking for a long term relationship with another developer.  We know very little about Fallen Order and EA remained very tight lipped when Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN inquired for more details

EA also confirmed that there will be a new Need For Speed as well as another Plants vs. Zombies, but the future of Titanfall is still a mystery to all. 

starwars1313.jpg

"EA chief operating officer Blake Jorgensen muttered in yesterday’s numberblast that they are looking forward to delivering Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in the autumn, “new Plants vs. Zombies and Need for Speed titles”, and supporting Titanfall’s new free-to-play battle royale spin-off Apex Legends ..."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Chrome browser is hungry!

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2019 - 01:34 PM |
Tagged: chrome, google, Chromium Gerrit

Chrome developers are working to end one of the internet's long standing gags, that of Chrome munching every bit of RAM it can get it's hands on.  The Chromium Gerrit project is in very early days and we don't have much information on it all except that they are working to develop a version of Chrome which "sets budgets for certain resource types".  The idea being that when you stop interacting with a page or tab, Chrome will stop large scripts from running until you start using that tab again. 

In theory this should provide a way to reduce the amount of system resources an idle page gobbles up, and The Inquirer, among others, hopes this will be more effective that current add-ons designed to do this.  With Microsoft intending to move Edge to Chromium, this will benefit quite a few people if ever successfully implemented.

RAM.png

"Full details are held on an unreleased design document, and we're far too early for even the Canary channel users to be seeing it in the wild - it may never happen at all, though it's very much hoped that it will."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

ASRock Launches DeskMini A300 Barebones Mini-STX PC Supporting AMD CPUs

Subject: General Tech | February 6, 2019 - 02:01 AM |
Tagged: SFF, ryzen, mini-stx, barebones, asrock, APU, amd, AM4

ASRock is launching a new small form factor barebones system later this month that incorporates what the company claims Is the first Mini STX motherboard for AMD’s Zen-based processors (primarily APUs) using the AM4 socket, a tiny case, and optional accessories. The DeskMini A300 and A300W are barebones PCs where you are responsible for adding your own CPU, RAM, and storage. Measuring 155 x 155 x 80mm (approximately 6.1” x 6.1” x 3.15”), the 1.92-liter PCs sit somewhere between an Intel NUC and a Mini ITX build. The DeskMini A300 case is all black with subtle rounded corners, a stylized front panel, and ample square mesh ventilation grills along the top, left side, and back. Up front sits two audio jacks (mic/headphone), one USB 3.1 Type-C, and one USB 3.1 Type-A (both USB 3.1 Gen 1 / 5Gbps) and two USB 2.0 ports can be added via an optional front panel add-on using a header on the motherboard. Around back ASRock’s A300M-STX motherboard offers up one USB 3.1 (5Gbps), one USB 2.0, one Gigabit Ethernet, and three display outputs (one each of HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort). There is also a DC-in jack for power with the kit using a 19V 120W power brick.

ASRock DeskMini A300 Barebones PC Mini STX AMD AM4 Ryzen.png

Inside the case the DeskMini A300 uses the ASRock A300M-STM motherboard with measures 5” x 5”. While not the first Mini STX motherboard for AMD processors (Mini STX is generally an Intel form factor), it is reportedly the first for newer AMD chips using the AM4 socket. The board supports up to 65W CPUs and will generally only be used with APUs that have their own integrated graphics as this motherboard lacks a PCI-E x16 slot for installing a dedicated GPU. Granted, an enthusiast might well be able to use a CPU only Ryzen processor and sacrifice a M.2 slot to add in a GPU but then you would need a bigger case and at that point it might be easier to just go Mini ITX (Note that some Mini STX motherboards do support external graphics via MXM slots but those mainly mobile focused GPUs can come at a hefty premium). In any event, the AM4 socket is paired with two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots (up to 2933 MHz), two Ultra M.2 2280 slots for NVMe storage, one M.2 Key E for wireless modules, and two SATA 3 6Gpbs ports (RAID 0 and 1 are supported). ASRock sells an optional 65W CPU cooler, but if you plan to add your own height is limited to 46mm.

Audio is handled by the Realtek ALC233 codec/chipset while networking is handled by the Realtek RTL8111H NIC for wired and the Intel AC-3168 Wi-Fi for wireless (on the A300W SKU).

The DeskMini A300 barebones PC is slated for release later this month starting at $119 which gets you a tiny SFF motherboard, case, and power supply. Tom’s Hardware was able to get a hands-on look at the case and motherboard at CES and took several photos of the kit. It is an interesting product utilizing Mini STX and is nice to see an AMD option in this middle ground form factor.

Looking at the photos, the second M.2 slot as well as the CMOS battery being on the underside of the motherboard may prove to be rather inconvenient (it’s not clear if that case has a motherboard cutout for those areas or not). Using vertical SO-DIMM slots shouldn’t be a problem airflow wise in this case though and should be a bit sturdier than the angled approaches long term. Storage and other I/O seems decent especially considering this system uses the lower-end A300 chipset.

Hopefully reviewers (and modders!) will be able to get their hands on the small form factor hardware soon. What are your thoughts?

Related:

Source: ASRock

The case of the Phoebus cartel and the missing 100,000 hour bulb

Subject: General Tech | February 5, 2019 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: lightbulb, led, lies

You don't often notice a light bulb until it goes out and any disassembly on your part was likely violent and accidental, but there is some interesting tech in LED bulbs.  Hackaday were interested in what happened to shorten the lifespan of these type of bulbs which were originally marketed to last much longer than current models; indeed much longer than the actual bulbs ever managed to do.  They took a look at what is inside current generations of bulbs to see what differences exist between a bulb marketed for 15,000 hours versus one claiming 25,000 hours.

Along the way you will learn about the light bulb cartel which artificially limited the lifespan of incandescent bulbs and the famous Centennial Bulb which has been continuously burning for well over 1,000,000 hours. 

led-bulb-teardown.jpg

"So, what happened to those 100,000 hour residential LED bulbs? Were the initial estimates just over-optimistic? Was it all marketing hype? Or, did we not know enough about LED aging to predict the true useful life of a bulb?"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Hackaday
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Logitech G

Logitech G935 and G432 Gaming Headsets Review

This month, we were given a sneak peak at Logitech’s updated line of gaming headsets for 2019. We’ve spent the last week getting acquainted with two of the premiere entries in their new catalog with the Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset and the G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset. Each headset is an update to two of Logitech’s most popular models, the Artemis G933 and G430, and include a number of upgrades to bring them up to speed. Let’s see how they made out!

Specifications

Logitech G935 Wireless 7.1 LIGHTSYNC Gaming Headset

  • Price: $169.99
  • Driver: 50mm Pro-G
  • Sensitivity: 93dB SPL/mW
  • Battery Life: 12 hours
  • Wireless Range:
    • Indoor: 15m
    • Outdoor: 20m
  • Connection Type: USB 2.0
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 3.43" x 7.67" x 7.40"
  • Cable Length: 6.56ft/2m (Charging Cable), 4.92ft/1.5m (Mobile Cable)
  • Weight (w/o cable): 13.4oz (379g)

Logitech G432 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset

  • Price: $79.99
  • Driver: 50mm
  • Sensitivity: 107dB SPL/mW
  • Cable Length: 6.5ft (2m)
  • Dimensions (LxWxH): 6.77" x 3.22" x 6.77"
  • Weight (w/o cable): 9.14oz (259g)

Shared Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz
  • Impedance: 39 Ohms (Passive), 5k Ohms (Active)
  • Microphone:
    • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid(Unidirectional)
    • Condenser Size: 6mm
    • Frequency response:100Hz–10KHz
  • 2-year limited hardware warranty

Packaging

logitech-g935-g432-review-1.jpg

Starting with packaging, both headsets arrive in the usual Logitech grey and blue with big, beautiful product shots. There’s no mistaking these two headsets. The G935 is clearly larger and, even though the picture only shows blue lighting, it’s fully RGB enabled.

logitech-g935-g432-review-2.jpg

Inside the box, both headsets are packaged similarly, wrapped in a plastic sleeve and held in place with a cardboard arm. Folding the arm up frees the headset and reveals the accessories hidden inside. I actually really like this packaging style. It’s easy to retrieve your extra cables and other goodies without unfolding a cardboard jigsaw puzzle. It also makes putting everything away neatly that much easier #reviewerproblems.

Check out the rest of our review of the new Logitech G935 and G432 gaming headsets!

The invasion of the nude GPU from Vega

Subject: General Tech | February 4, 2019 - 12:33 PM |
Tagged: amd, radeon vii

It's coming up on the release date for AMD's new GPU, which has traditionally become the time at which unboxing videos start to appear.  [H]ard|OCP did take the box apart and reveal the new card, but did not stop there.  Instead they kept on going, removing the shroud to reveal the PCB and components attached to it.  The video offers a little more insight into the new card, for those that like looking under the hood.  Stay tuned for actual results in the near future. 

hubbahubba.PNG

"We show you what is inside the new AMD Radeon VII reviewer's kit, and then breakdown the entire video card to show you what is under that sleek new shroud."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Like using Skype? Microsoft is going to fix that for you

Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2019 - 04:14 PM |
Tagged: skype, microsoft, uwp

Once again Microsoft is planning to forcibly move you to the new Skype without giving you an option other than going to the competition.  For those on Windows 10, this will mean the UWP version which is pretty much incapable of calling anything other than other Windows 10 machines, and not well even then.  For those with business machines that block the Microsoft store and who haven't downgraded to Skype For Business, this means you had better start shopping around for other solutions. 

As The Inquirer has seen themselves, if you are using Skype Classic you will now be offered the choice to either upgrade or exit the application.

skype-installer.jpg

"Users have been railing against the move since it was first announced, as Skype 8 has been beset by problems, many linked to the fact that it will see Windows 10 users forced to use a UWP (Microsoft Store) version of the app, which has historically not worked very well - a point we've made many times."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

PC Perspective Podcast #530 - New NVMe SSDs, RTX 2060 Overclocking, and AMD Q4 Earnings

Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2019 - 08:50 AM |
Tagged: wd black, W-3175X, TSMC, ssd, SFX, seasonic, samsung 970 evo, Samsung, RTX 2060, radeon vii, quarterly earnings, overclocking, NVMe, gtx 1660 ti, cooler master, benchmarks, podcast

PC Perspective Podcast #530 - 1/30/2019

This week on the show, we have reviews of two power supplies, two new NVMe SSDs from Samsung and Western Digital, a look at a new low-profile keyboard from Cooler Master, more RTX 2060 benchmarks and overclocking, Radeon VII rumors and leaked benchmarks, AMD's Q4 earnings, and more!

Subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast

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

Show Topics
00:02:30 - Review: Seasonic SGX-650 PSU
00:04:13 - Review: Cooler Master MWE Gold 750W PSU
00:05:21 - Review: WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD
00:10:33 - Review: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
00:18:18 - Review: Cooler Master SK630 Low Profile Keyboard
00:21:42 - Review: RTX 2060 1440p & Overclocking Benchmarks
00:27:57 - News: Trouble at TSMC?
00:31:00 - News: AMD Gonzalo APU & Next-Gen Console Specs
00:39:47 - News: Radeon VII Rumors & Benchmarks
00:44:15 - News: GTX 1660 Ti Rumors
00:46:50 - News: Samsung OLED Displays for Notebooks
00:50:14 - News: Backblaze HDD Longevity Report
00:52:44 - News: Intel 28-Core Xeon W-3175X
00:58:41 - News: Samsung 1TB eUFS Chip for Smartphones
01:01:56 - News: AMD Q4 Earnings
01:13:48 - Picks of the Week
01:20:59 - Outro

Picks of the Week
Jim: 36 Bottles of NyQuil
Jeremy: Legend of Zelda Total Conversion for Doom
Josh: Kindle Paperwhite
Sebastian: ShutUp10

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

Elude those electronic trails with TAILS 3.12

Subject: General Tech | January 31, 2019 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: security, linux, TAILS, debian, tor

TAILS is a Debian based Linux distro, specifically designed for you to boot from a USB to avoid storing any data locally as well as providing tools to keep online eyes from prying into your business.  Even those who have become jaded over the years by their knowledge of the prevalence of online tracking raised an eyebrow over the past week with the news about tracking by Apple, Google and Facebook, to name just a few.  TAILS will protect your browsing with TOR and as you are booting from a USB you won't end up with new trackers on your system.  The new version is based on the 4.19 kernel, with the variety of updates that offers, especially when it comes to graphics cards.  The Register has some advice before you install it though, which you can check out here.

In other news, we are sad to announce Ryan failed in his attempt to takeover Intel.

tails.PNG

"Hot on the heels of Apple's latest privacy blunder, The Amnesic Incognito Live System (TAILS) has emitted version 3.12."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register