... and the Roccat is on the Aim-o, Aim-o, Aim-o

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2018 - 03:43 PM |
Tagged: RGB, mechanical keyboard, input, vulcan 120 aimo, roccat

Roccat's Vulcan 120 Aimo uses low profile Titan mechanical switches, which have a travel distance of 3.6mm and an actuation distance of 1.8mm, compared to a similar Cherry MX switch with 4mm and 2mm respectively.  The Tech Report also found the spacing to be rather tight, in part due to the skirted design, so this might be one you want to test drive before purchasing.  The included Swarm software lets you program keys in a variety of ways including association noises with certain key presses, while the Aimo RGB option offers some interesting performance which you might have strong feelings about one way or the other.

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"Roccat's Vulcan 120 Aimo keyboard cuts a striking profile with its skirtless key caps and in-house Titan switches. We put the Vulcan 120 Aimo to the test to see whether a new spin on mechanical key switches is enough to help it stand out in a crowded market."

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Next season on The Jetsons, Professor X TOPS the list of special guests; and now a word from NVIDIA

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2018 - 01:15 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, machine learning, jetson, AGX Xavier

NVIDIA claims their newly announced Jetson AGX Xavier SoC can provide up to 32 trillion operations per second for specific tasks, requiring a mere 10W to do so.  The chips are design for image processing and recognition along with all those other 'puter learnin' things you would expect and chances are a device will have several of these chips working in tandem, which offers a lot of processing power.  It is already being used for real time monitoring of DNA sequencing and will be installed in car manufacturing lines in Japan.

The Inquirer points out that this performance comes at a cost, currently $1100 per unit as long as you are buying 1000 of them or more.

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"Essentially a data wrangling server plonked onto a silicon package, Jetson AGX Xavier is designed to handle all the tech and processing that autonomous things need to go about their robot lives, such as image processing and computer vision and the inference of deep learning algorithms."

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Source: The Inquirer

Intel Plans Ghost Canyon X NUC With Discrete Graphics Support In 2020

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | December 13, 2018 - 01:02 AM |
Tagged: Intel

Slated for an early 2020 release, Intel is planning a new larger (but still) small form factor NUC system dubbed Ghost Canyon X according to a report by FanlessTech. Ghost Canyon X will feature a larger 5 liter form factor that will be able to accomodate a discrete graphics card along with both M.2 and SATA 3 storage.

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The Ghost Canyon X NUC will be powered by 9th Generation Coffee Lake HR processors that will come in i5 and i7 flavors. The chips have a 45W TDP and will come in quad core i5-9XXXH, six core i7, or eight core i7-9XXXH configurations (with HyperThreading) and will be paired with two DDR4 DIMMs (up to 64GB DDR4 2400 MHz or 32GB DDR4 2666 MHz). Ghost Canyon X NUCs will have three HDMI 2.0 video outputs, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a SD card slot for external I/O (likely along with USB 3.1 and audio outputs though those are not pictured). Internal storage includes up to 3 M.2 drives (two M.2 2242 80/110 and one 80mm) using PCI-E 3.0 x4 links and SATA 3 for standard hard drives and SATA SSDs. The biggest change with the NUC platform is the inclusion of a single PCI-E x16 slot which can be used to add a discrete graphics card to the system. While 5 liters is quite a jump up from the 0.7L standard NUCs and the 1.2L of the Kaby Lake-G powered Hades Canyon gaming NUC, it is still a fairly small system so not all graphics cards are going to fit but enthusiasts should be able to use GPUs that have shorter Mini ITX designs easily enough.

FanlessTech notes that the reference Ghost Canyon X NUC will most likely be actively cooled, but third party fanless cases from makers like Akassa, Streacom, Tranquil PC and others should be achievable with a 45W TDP CPU (and even GPU if you go with a lower end model).

Further details are still unknown and the pictured case design is still subject to change as the system gets further along in the design process and closer to launch. Curiously, that expected early 2020 Ghost Canyon X launch would coincide with Intel’s plans for launching its own discrete graphics solution so an Intel NUC with an Intel graphics card would be an interesting system to see!

Stay tuned for updated NUC information as we get closer to Computex 2019 and CES 2020!

Source: FanlessTech

It's like Skyrim ... with guns ... in space ... with a Firefly meets Borderlands feel? The Outer Worlds teaser

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2018 - 02:56 PM |
Tagged: obsidian, The Outer Worlds, gaming

The teaser trailer for The Outer Worlds certainly looks interesting, though one has to wonder in Obsidian may have tried to combine too many different styles into a single game.  On the other hand they are responsible for the best of the first person Fallout games so we can hold out some hope.  Even better is the news from Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN that even though Microsoft now owns Obsidian, the game will be released by 2K and not a Windows Store exclusive launch! 

Head over to watch the teaser.

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"Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind RPGs from Alpha Protocol through Fallout: New Vegas to Pillars Of Eternity, tonight announced The Outer Worlds, a new singleplayer first-person RPG with a space-western twang."

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A break from your regular Intel briefing

Subject: General Tech | December 12, 2018 - 12:37 PM |
Tagged: RTX 2060, nvidia, navi, amd

The majority of today's news will cover Intel's wide range of announcements from their architecture day, with new Optane DIMMs seeking to reduce latency to come close to matching that of DRAM to Foveros chiplets and hints of coming in off the Lake to spend some time in a Sunny Cove.  Indeed there are more links below the fold offering more coverage as yesterdays announcements  were very dense.

That might overshadow a rumour which dedicated discrete GPUs lovers would be interested in, the fact that NVIDIA might be able to get the RTX 2060 to market before AMD can launch a Navi based card.  The Inquirer has seen rumours that NVIDIA might be able to release the card in the first half of 2019, while the 7nm Navi isn't expected until the second half of year.  The early supply of mid-range NVIDIA GPUs might attract buyers who no longer want to wait; though depending on how Navi performs they could come to regret that lack of patience. 

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"GRAPHICS CARDS IN 2019 are set to get a good bit more interesting, as a leak suggests that Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 could reach the market before AMD's next-gen Navi Radeon cards."

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Source: The Inquirer

Samsung's new Supremely Suspcious Deal

Subject: General Tech | December 11, 2018 - 01:10 PM |
Tagged: supreme, oops, Samsung

It will be a surprise to many that Supreme is a skateboard fashion brand; even more surprised was Supreme, when Samsung announced they were forming some sort of partnership with the company.  It seems that a knock-off version of the New York based provider of duds for skaters exists in Italy, thanks to a less than effective trademark and that company not only convinced Samsung they were the real deal but also that it would benefit Samsung to partner with them to host a big fashion show in Beijing.

Samsung is rather embarrassed about the whole thing, so don't taunt them too much.  Pop by Ars Technica for a bit of a lesson on why you should double check anything a skater tells you is true!

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"Supreme is not working with Samsung, opening a flagship location in Beijing or participating in a Mercedes-Benz runway show. These claims are blatantly false and propagated by a counterfeit organization."

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Source: Ars Technica

That's no Zune, it's a FiiO M7

Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2018 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: audio, FiiO, m7, Exynos 7270, Sabre 9018Q2C, DAC

There are those for whom the idea of listening to audio via a phone is painful to contemplate, as the lack of a dedicated high fidelity DAC will ruin the experience.  They will quite happily drop $200 on something like the FiiO M7 and consider it a bargain.  The device is also interesting technically, with a DAC and Exynos processor running it, which is why the device is somewhat interesting to non-audiophiles as well.   Check out Nikktech for a look at the interface, hardware and audio quality if you are curious.

It also has an FM receiver!

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"It may not be the flagship music player in the entire High-Resolution lineup by FiiO but thanks to its Exynos 7270 Processor and the Sabre 9018Q2C DAC/Amp the M7 should have no problem satisfying even the most demanding audiophiles."

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Source: Nikktech

Just Cause it's new is no excuse Four this performance

Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2018 - 01:42 PM |
Tagged: just cause 4, gaming, benchmarks, 4k, 1440p, 1080p

One of the best pieces of stress relief software* just got a major update, and TechSpot has discovered it may actually cause more stress than it relieves.  The focus of their article is on performance but before offering a hint at what to expect it is worth noting they found Just Cause 4 to be a downgrade from the previous release, with many of the graphics being similar or lower quality than the previous game and at a much higher performance cost.

If you have anything below a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 you will struggle to maintain 60fps on very high quality at 1080p and you might be able to scrape by at 1440p with a GTX 1080 or Vega 64 but smooth 4K is beyond even an RTX 2080.  Since the game itself, apart from some of the detailed scenery, doesn't seem that much different from the previous title it will be interesting to see if the reported performance issues lessen over time.

*There is a game included as well.

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"Today we’re benchmarking Just Cause 4 with a boatload of different GPUs to help you determine if your graphics card will handle this brand new title, and if need be, work out a suitable upgrade option."

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Source: TechSpot

Out on a branch, speculating about possible architectural flaws

Subject: General Tech | December 10, 2018 - 12:38 PM |
Tagged: spectre, splitspectre, speculator, security, arm, Intel, amd

The discovery of yet another variant of Spectre vulnerability is not good news for already exhausted security experts or reporters, but there is something new in this story which offers a glimmer of hope.  A collaborative team of researchers from Northeastern University and IBM found this newest design law using an automatic bug finding tool they designed, called Speculator.

They designed the tool to get around the largest hurdle security researchers face, the secrecy of AMD, Intel and ARM who are trying to keep the recipe for their special sauce secret, and rightly so.  Protecting their intellectual properly is paramount to their stockholders and there are arguments about the possible effectiveness of security thorough obscurity in protecting consumers from those with nefarious intent but it does come at a cost for those hunting bugs for good. 

Pop by The Register for details on how Speculator works.

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"SplitSpectre is a proof-of-concept built from Speculator, the team's automated CPU bug-discovery tool, which the group plans to release as open-source software."

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Source: The Register