AMD live at CES

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2019 - 12:16 PM |
Tagged: amd

If you weren't already aware, Dr. Lisa Su is presenting AMD's CES keynote right now, which you can watch here.

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Hear about the last 50 years of AMD's history and what is in store for the future.

Source: AMD

ASUS ProArt PA32UCX 4K HDR Monitor with 1000 Zone Backlight, 1200 nits

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 10:17 PM |
Tagged: ProArt, mini led, monitor, local dimming, hdr, FALD, display, ces 2019, CES, asus, 4k, 1200 nits, 1000 zone

ASUS has their most advanced HDR monitor so far on display at CES 2019, and the ProArt PA32UCX combines a 4K resolution panel with a mini-LED backlighting system offering a whopping 1000 individual lighting zones. Another advantage of the powerful backlighting system is overall brightness, and this can reach a maximum of 1200 nits and exceeds VESA DisplayHDR 1000 requirements.

pa32ucx.jpg

The very best LED-backlit LCDs employ a technology called full-array local dimming to improve their contrast ratios. The LEDs are arranged in zones, with each zone corresponding to part of the screen, and dimming individual LEDs makes it possible to display an image with bright and dark areas while preserving detail in both.

Our ProArt PA32UCX expounds on this technology with Mini LEDs. These physically smaller LEDs are packed in more densely, which increases the granularity of our brightness control. Less space between the LEDs means small details, like a white cursor on a black background, can be illuminated more precisely. The halo effect that’s common with coarser LED arrays normally manifests as light bleed around bright points, but that’s minimized when there’s a higher number of smaller LEDs.

The ProArt PA32UCX packs 1,000 zones into its 32” form factor, compared to other monitors that use 384 local dimming zones. This is no small achievement, and we had to work closely with the panel and scaler manufacturers on a custom design for controlling all those lighting zones. This technology didn’t exist before, and it took months of testing different proposed solutions before it could be perfected. As a result, the PA32UCX is one-of-a-kind. It offers 1,200 nits of luminance and offers improved whiteness and color uniformity compared to larger OLED panels.

The ProArt PA32UCX, which supports the HDR10 standard, also offers 97% DCI-P3 and 89% Rec. 2020 color space coverage, connecting via USB Type-C as well as the conventional DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0. Pricing and availability have not been announced.

Source: ASUS

Hey AT&T, what's the word for when you say something that doesn't even come close to reflecting reality?

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 01:13 PM |
Tagged: AT%26T, 5GE, dirty pool, 256-QAM, MIMO

AT&T is terribly fond of Kurt Vonnegut's doodles, as they append them to numerous words to indicate that those words do not mean anything close to what they imply.  Previously it was there Unlimited* data plan which, in their own words actually means " If you use more than 22GB in a bill period, speeds may slow in congested areas".  This is actually an improvement over the previous blanket slow down, which was modified after they lost a court case

Yesterday they picked a new thing to lie about, as well as a new symbol to indicate that their statement does not actually represent reality.  Some users may now see a 5GE symbol on their phones, which indicates you have a 4G connection with a tiny boost in theoretical bandwidth.  The actual 5G standard will offer 20Gbps while AT&T's 5GBS offers a paltry 1Gbps theoretical top speed, a slight boost but nothing close to what the new network technology will offer.  If they had been even slightly more honest, the inclusion of 4x4 MIMO and 256 QAM to enhance 4G connectivity would have received a far friendlier welcome from review sites like The Register and others.

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"Think of the "E" as an asterisk, slumped under the desk in hope of avoiding being spotted, on its 5G coverage. A stop gap. A stepping stone. 4G with go-faster stripes."

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Source: The Register

EVGA Introduces Nu Audio for Life Like Sound from your PC

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2019 - 12:50 PM |
Tagged: sound card, pcie, evga, DAC, ces 2019, CES, Audio Note, audio, amp, AK4493

EVGA has announced a brand new product offering for enthusiasts, but this PCI Express device is not a graphics card - it's a premium sound card. And yes, I know that many people have written off audio boards in the era of ubiquitous motherboard audio, but if you are at all interested in quality audio and have ever looked into external DACs and headphone amps the Nu Audio card is shaping up to be a fantastic alternative to external component solutions.

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The product is a result of a partnership with UK-based Audio Note, a high-end audio equipment manufacturer that emphasizes technology and internal component quality in their designs, and the design of the Nu Audio card was made to those standards. EVGA says that is the pursuit of life-like sound that inspired this card, and their efforts have resulted in something that would be completely at home in an audiophile setting, RGB effects notwithstanding (yes, it has RGB!).

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Ok, so what is this exactly, and why is it any different from other PCIe sound cards? This is not your typical DSP-driven surround audio solution, and truly the emphasis is on 2-channel stereo audio reproduction. Reading over the specs this begins to look more like an audiophile product, with native DSD support and PCM audio up to 24-bit 384 kHz - and dual clock generators for native 44.1 and 48 kHz-based sample rates. Component choices were made to improve audio quality through the signal chain and to the output, with some impressive specs:

Premium Components:

  • DAC: AKM AK4493
  • ADC: AKM AK5572
  • OP-AMP (Headphone): ADI OP275
  • OP-AMP (Line Out): ADI AD8056
  • Capacitors: WIMA, Audio Note(UK), Nichicon
  • Power Regulators: Texas Instruments TPS7A47/TPS7A33 ultralow-noise power solution

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The demo in the EVGA suite featured a nice setup featuring some of the entry-level Audio Note components, showcasing hi-fi music playback from lossless files on a PC. It was quite impressive considering the sound card was fed directly into the integrated amp, and on display were also such features as separate analog control of the volume output (the internal amp can be controlled independently of the sound level in Windows), and the integrated RGB lighting that dynamically respond to music playback.

The Nu Audio sound card will retail for $249 when it launches, specifics on release date to follow.

Source: EVGA

HyperX Announces Cloud Orbit Gaming Headsets with Audeze Planar Drivers

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 11:05 PM |
Tagged: hyperx, CES, ces 2019, gaming, headset, Audeze, planar magnetic, Waves Nx

HyperX has announces the Cloud Orbit and Cloud Orbit S gaming headsets, produced in collaboration with Audeze to incorporate the company's planar magnetic driver technology.

"Cloud Orbit headsets are based on the ground-breaking Audeze Mobius Platform that features 100mm planar magnetic driver technology for clear and realistic spatial audio. Audeze planar magnetic designs utilize extremely thin-film speakers and powerful custom magnets, allowing you to accurately hear where your opponent is located. Feel completely immersed in the field of play with high resolution audio clarity and wide sound stage."

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In addition to the use of these 100 mm planar drivers the new headsets also feature Waves Nx 3D audio technology for a 360-degree audio experience.

"The Cloud Orbit S includes Waves Nx head tracking technology to deliver a stable hyper-realistic 360-degree audio environment where the users 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."

Cloud Orbit & Cloud Orbit S Specifications

Headphone

  • Driver: Planar transducer, 100 mm
  • Type: Circumaural, Closed back
  • Frequency response: 10Hz–50,000Hz
  • Sound pressure level: 120 dB
  • T.H.D.: < 0.1% (1 kHz, 1 mW)
  • Weight: 350g
  • Cable length:
  • 3.5mm (4-pole): 1.2m
  • USB Type C to Type A: 3m
  • USB Type C to Type C: 1.2m

Boom Microphone

  • Element: Electret condenser microphone
  • Microphone type: Noise-cancelling
  • Battery life: 10 hours (Tested at 50% headphone volume)

The new headsets will be on the premium end of the market with MSRPs of $299.99 for the HyperX Orbit and $329.99 for the Orbit S. A release date has not been announced just yet.

Source: HyperX
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Corsair

New Corsair Gaming Mice

This week at CES 2019 Corsair is launching two new gaming mice as well as featuring another recently-launched flagship. The M65 RGB Elite, released late last year, and the Harpoon RGB Wireless and Ironclaw RGB, launching at CES, each offer unique features geared toward specific games and user preferences, including improved optical sensors, refined designs, and more options for customization.

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We got an early peak at each mouse along with the MM350 Extended XL, the latest version of Corsair’s gaming mouse/desk pads. Read on for a quick look at what each new gaming mouse brings to your PC gaming experience.

Corsair Gaming Mice Spec Comparison

First, here's a quick look at the major features and price point of each new mouse.

  M65 RGB Elite Harpoon RGB Wireless Ironclaw RGB
Connectivity USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Bluetooth LE 4.2
2.4GHz Slipstream
USB 2.0
Resolution Up to 18,000 DPI Up to 10,000 DPI Up to 18,000 DPI
Buttons 8 6 7
Weight 97g 99g 105g
Battery Life N/A 30hrs 2.4GHz w/lighting
45hrs 2.4GHz
40hrs Bluetooth w/lighting
60hrs Bluetooth
N/A
MSRP $59.99 $49.99 $59.99

NVIDIA adapts to the market and frees their displays

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, g-sync, freesync, benq, asus, AOC, amd, adaptive sync, acer

G-SYNC is showing some signs of defeat as today NVIDIA announced that several Adaptive Sync monitors have been tested and rated as G-SYNC compatible.  Adaptive Sync is the official VESA technology which is present in AMD's FreeSync monitors and it offers a definitive financial advantage over NVIDIA's G-SYNC as the module required for G-SYNC can add hundreds of dollars to the price.

So far only a dozen monitors out of around 400 tests have been rated as G-SYNC compatible, so don't expect to be mixing your monitors quite yet but it does imply in some cases the extra controller is not required for variable refresh rates with either NVIDIA's or AMD's GPUs.   The results of this test give AMD bragging rights for implementing adaptive sync in the most attractive way but this change could hurt GPU sales as users can now opt for an GeForce card paired with a FreeSync display.

Even if your display is not listed in those models, you can try enabling adaptive sync over DisplayPort and see if it works, though your results may vary. Ars Technica lists the models here.

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"Besides being unexpected good news for gamers who already own one of these FreeSync monitors, this is also great news for gamers that want to add VRR to their Nvidia graphics card setup without breaking the bank."

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Source: Ars Technica
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: FlexiSpot

FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro Review

I'm no doctor, but the consensus appears to be clear: sitting for long periods of time isn't healthy. There are lots of jobs where prolonged sitting can be a problem, and writing about and reviewing PC hardware is certainly one of them.

Our knowledge of the dangers of prolonged sitting or, more positively, the benefits of standing while working, isn't new. Indeed, several years ago when I first started my career focused on online writing I purchased what was then a relatively novel motorized sit-to-stand desk from Steelcase.

That Steelcase desk, which I continue to use to this day, is solid and well built, but it was insanely expensive at the time I bought it. Since then lots of companies have entered the market to offer cheaper sit-to-stand solutions, but few are high quality or feature-rich enough to justify their price points.

In my time looking at options ranging from Ikea to boutique companies specializing only in the standing desk product category, I've found that desks either lack features such as height memory, feel cheap with loud jerky motor movement, or involve a complicated and time consuming assembly process. There are good options out there, of course, and while they're far cheaper than my original Steelcase desk, they're still quite expensive.

But we were recently contacted by a company called FlexiSpot, who asked us to evaluate one of their motorized high-adjustable desks. We receive all kinds of review requests here, including frequent requests related to things on the periphery of the PC hardware industry such as desks and other furniture. But what caught my attention with FlexiSpot's proposal was their claim of an "easy 5-minute assembly" for their desk.

So, intrigued by that, I agreed to a review sample of the FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro. Priced at $599.99 for the basic desk, the SanoDesk Pro isn't cheap, but in my testing I found it to offer premium construction and operation at a lower price than many alternatives of equal quality. And yes, that "5-minute assembly" claim is actually true.

Read on for our impressions of the FlexiSpot SanoDesk Pro.

Hit it with your best double shot; fancy keycaps come standard on this HyperX Alloy

Subject: General Tech | January 4, 2019 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, Kailh Silver, input, HyperX ALLOY FPS, double shot, kingston

Cool kids know that single shot ABS keycaps are for n00bs and that only doubleshot injected legends on PBT plastic are worthy of being caressed by your fingers.  Instead of tracking down a compatible kit to replace the caps on your current board Kingston would like you to have them right from the start.  The HyperX Alloy FPS keyboard sports fancy keycaps as well as Kailh Silver Speed RGB switches which you can see in all their glory at TechPowerUp!

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"HyperX provides an RGB version of the Alloy FPS mechanical keyboard for those wanting the additional bling, but there's more. A new switch type combined with a unified software driver makes for an improved user experience, and optional accessories including wrist rests and replacement keycaps complete the package."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Cortana shall babble about cat videos no more!

Subject: General Tech | January 4, 2019 - 12:51 PM |
Tagged: windows 10, cortana

The most widely used OS on the planet has finally received an upgrade worth getting excited over.  Anyone who spends time imaging machines is all to familiar with the voice of Cortana emanating from a fresh machine, to the point where the dive for the mute button is reflexive and doesn't require any thought.  Until today, there was no way to stop the inane advice about logins and WiFi but now, for non-Home versions of Windows 10, Cortana will be gagged by default during the setup process.

For those wondering why this is such a wonderful thing; check out the video at The Inquirer and taste the pain.

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"Actually, it's not quite as simple as that. Cortana will only be gagged if you're installing Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education - the voice assistant is still its perky, annoying self on Home installations."

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Source: The Inquirer