Subject: Systems, Mobile | April 12, 2019 - 02:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Predator Helios 700, Predator CG437K P, ConceptD, Chromebook 715, acer
Acer showed off quite a bit of new kit at their Next event in New York, including a variety of laptops, wood grained desktops and a gigantic adaptive sync display. The Predator CG437K P is a 43", 4K VA adaptive sync panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz. One very big benefit to using a VA panel is that this display is VESA-Certified DisplayHDR 1000, none of this HDR 400 on this $1200 panel!
They also introduced the new ConceptD family of workstations, aimed at content creators and looking fairly sharp. AnandTech got a nice shot of the two desktop workstations, three mobile workstations, two professional monitors and the Windows Mixed Reality headset that currently represent this new brand.
The desktop workstations are impressive, the ConceptD 500 has a mere Core i9-9900K with up to 64 GB of DDR4, for serious power you want the Concept D 900 with two Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors paired with up to 192 GB of DDR4, both offer a choice between NVIDIA's RTX 4000 or Quadro RTX 6000.
The mobile versions include the ConceptD 5, ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 9 all of which contain Intel processors ranging from the Kaby Lake-G with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GL in the ConceptD 5 to the ConceptD 9 which contains an unspecified 9th Gen Core i9 and a full GeForce RTX 2080, no MaxQ for this mobile workstation.
Last, but not least is are the gaming models. The new Predator Helios 700, a gaming laptop has a new trick to show off, as it can transform. The keyboard, touchpad and palm rest all slide forward allowing you to choose your preferred layout, you can see it in action over at The Verge. When you slide the HyperDrift keyboard forward, the palm rest assembly tips down on an angle turning into more of a wrist rest while you use the keyboard and it reveals the cooling fans which should give your laptop a performance boost as the thermal efficiency improves. Inside the 9.9lb 17.3" laptop is a 1080p display, an Core i9 CPU and either a GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2070, not the Max-Q version either. Depending on the model you chose, you can have up to 64GB of DDR4 and a 1TB SSD or 2TB HDD.
If you prefer to stay in one spot when you game then check out the Predator Orion 5000 desktop. It has a watercooled i9-9900K with an RTX 2080 and a Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit NIC for those who prefer something other than a Killer NIC. The RGBs are big, while the case itself is smaller than you might think at 30L.
The ECS Liva series are well deserving of the moniker small form factor, as they are generally a bit larger than a deck of poker cards or two. The newest Q2 is no exception, at 70x70x33.4mm (2.75x2.75x1.3") it could theoretically fit in your pocket, though like your phone, that is probably not the best place for it. This new model upgrades the APU to a dual core Celeron N4000 with HD Graphics 600, 4GB of LPDDR4-2400 and 32 GB of eMMC flash for local storage.
TechPowerUp put the wee box through a variety of tests, including streaming video from various sources as that is what the Liva Q2 is most likely to be used for and it performed admirably, though the 4GB is a bit of a problem when using Chrome.
"ECS has upgraded the LIVA Q line with the new Q2. This ultra-tiny system really is a fully functional PC that will fit into your pocket. This latest release features not only a faster processor but also HDMI 2.0, which makes it the perfect HTPC that can also handle daily tasks and light workloads."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- AWD-IT CR8 NZXT PUBG H700 System @ Kitguru
- The Smallest Ryzen Yet: Asrock DeskMini A300 @ Techspot
- ASRock Phantom Gaming Alliance System Build (8700K + RX 580) @ TechPowerUp
- The Ars Technica System Guide, Winter 2019: The one about the servers
The continuing shortage of high end Intel CPUs for servers has been good for AMD, or at least it could be if they could get the major vendors to help sell them. While a local shop or small business might have had a bad experience years ago which has resolved them never to use another AMD products, large scale hosts like CTL or Amazon are not going to be limited by prejudice which has an effect on their bottom line.
What better way to demonstrate the abilities of an AMD EPYC system to someone than to build one and roll it out into production? Phoronix have done just that, using ASRock's EPYCD8-2T board so they could test the performance on eight different Linux distros. Check out the results for yourself and think about the possiblity of an upgrade, before you can get your hands on that Xeon.
"If you are looking to assemble an AMD EPYC workstation, a great ATX motherboard up for the task is the ASRock Rack EPYCD8-2T that accommodates a single EPYC processor, eight SATA 3.0 ports (including SAS HD), dual M.2 PCIe slots, dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports,and four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots all within ATX's 12 x 9.6-inch footprint."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Corsair ONE i160 Compact Gaming PC @ TechPowerUp
- Guru3D Winter 2019 PC Buyers Guide
- The Corsair One i140 is a nearly perfect SFF PC, but that price... @ The Tech Report
Subject: Graphics Cards, Systems | February 21, 2019 - 03:04 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, mx250, mx230, mx, gp108, geforce mx
Two new laptop GPUs launched in NVIDIA’s low-end MX line. This classification of products is designed to slide above the GPUs found on typical laptop CPUs by a wide enough margin to justify an extra chip, but not enough to be endorsed as part of their gaming line.
As such, pretty much the only performance number that NVIDIA provides is an “up-to” factor relative to Intel’s HD620 iGPU as seen on the Core i5-8265U. For reference, the iGPU on this specific CPU has 192 shader units running at up to 1.1 GHz. Technically there exists some variants that have boost clocks up to 1.15 GHz but that extra 4.5% shouldn’t matter too much for this comparison.
Versus this part, the MX250 is rated as up to 3.5x faster; the MX230 is rated at up to 2.6x faster.
One thing that I should note is that the last generation’s MX150 is listed as up to 4x the Intel UHD 620, although they don’t state which specific CPU’s UHD 620.
This leads to a few possibilities:
- The MX250 has a minor performance regression versus the MX150 in the “up to” test(s)
- The UHD 620 had significant driver optimizations in at least the “up to” test(s)
- The UHD 620 that they tested back then is significantly slower than the i5-8265U
- They rounded differently then vs now
- They couldn’t include the previous “up to” test for some reason
Unfortunately, because NVIDIA is not releasing any specifics, we can only list possibilities and maybe speculate if one seems exceedingly likely. (To me, none of the first four stands out head-and-shoulders above the other three.)
Like the MX150 that came before it, both the MX230 and MX250 will use GDDR5 memory. The MX130 could be paired with either GDDR5 or DDR3.
Anandtech speculates that it is based on the GP108, which is a safe assumption. NVIDIA confirmed that the new parts are using the Pascal architecture, and the GP108 is the Pascal chip in that performance range. Anandtech also claims that the MX230 and MX250 are fabricated under Samsung 14nm, while the “typical” MX150 is TSMC 16nm. The Wikipedia list of NVIDIA graphics, however, claims that the MX150 is fabricated at 14nm. While both could be right, a die shrink would make a bit of sense to squeeze out a few more chips from a wafer (if yields are relatively equal). If that’s the case, and they changed manufacturers, then there might be a slight revision change to the GP108; these changes happen frequently, and their effects should be invisible to the end user… but sometimes they make a difference.
It’ll be interesting to see benchmarks when they hit the market.
Subject: Systems | January 28, 2019 - 05:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: econobox, system build
With the holiday season out of the way, prices have stopped bouncing around like a fart in a mitten and system build guides are starting to appear. Not only did the hoary old HWLB get a refresh but The Tech Report have also updated their guides. They've expanded their build suggestions to eight, with several being sup-species such as the Econobox Gamer which adds an RX 570 and slightly boosted Ryzen processor without crossing $600.
For those that prefer to go all out, the No Holds Barred system is almost $8000 but more powerful some of the machines Pixar started out with!
"It's a new year, and after all the CES excitement, we're ready for another edition of The Tech Report System Guide! It's a fantastic time to build a PC, and we're here to ensure you pick the choicest components out there. Check out our range of builds, from the budget-friendly Econobox to the completely tricked-out, No Holds Barred workstation beast."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd
ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.
“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”
The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.
"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.
Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."
Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.
Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
- 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
- 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
- Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
- Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
- Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x RJ-45 jack
- 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
- 1x Kensington lock
- Keyboard and touchpad : 1.8mm key travel
- Customizable RGB or red backlighting
- Audio: DTS Headphone: X
- Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
- OS: Windows 10
- Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)
Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.
CES 2019: Lenovo Yoga S940, Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED, Lenovo Yoga A940, Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter
Subject: Cases and Cooling, Systems, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2019 - 02:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: yoga, Lenovo, ces 2019, CES
Lenovo has also unveiled a new Yoga line of four very different products: two laptops, an all-in-one PC, and a mouse that is designed for presentations.
Up first is the Lenovo Yoga S940. This is an ultra-slim, 14-inch laptop with a 4K, HDR screen and up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage. The processor is an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 backed by an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which seems to narrow down the possibilities to either the Core i7-8650U, the Core i7-8565U, or the Core i7-8550U. Each of these are quad-core, HyperThreaded processors, although the frequency changes quite a bit from model to model, so which one they actually chose could matter a bit.
Users can choose between 8GB and 16GB of RAM, although all three CPUs could have allowed 32GB – CPU support and “being able to actually fit it inside a tiny laptop” are two different things, however. In terms of connectivity, it has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports as well as a single USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That’s a bit light on the USB side of things, but the ability to attach two separate Thunderbolt 3 devices might make up for that. They do not list a 3.5mm audio jack, though.
The Lenovo Yoga S940 will be available in May for $1499 USD.
Next is the Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED. As the name suggests, it’s a laptop with an AMOLED screen, which supports 4K. They also say that the screen supports “100% color gamut” although they don’t claim what gamut that is. They don’t seem to make any HDR claims, either.
In terms of specs, once again we get an unnamed eighth-generation Core i7 processor and an Intel UHD 620 GPU, which could be one of the three processors that I listed in the S940 section, above. Also, the RAM is still limited to 16GB. Unlike the S940 that offered 1TB of PCIe SSD, this one maxes out at 512GB, although that should be a lot for most use cases. It would be a little low for the stuff I do with my work PC, though, such as multiple side-by-side installations of Visual Studio to handle multiple different projects. The S730 has just one Thunderbolt 3 USB-C port, but two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports, as well as an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Lenovo Yoga C730 with AMOLED will be available in April for $1649.99 USD.
Up next is… not a laptop. The Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one pen-input device like the Microsoft Surface Studio. It also comes with the Lenovo Precision Dial and the Lenovo Active Pen 1 AES 1.0, which should also be familiar to those who are interested in the Microsoft Surface Studio.
The entire device is powered by an again unnamed Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor, but this time it comes with an AMD RX 560 GPU to help with content creation tools (and games of course). Users can choose between 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB of RAM. Storage is a choice between 128GB PCIe SSD, 256GB PCIe SSD, 512GB PCIe SSD, 1TB SATA HDD, and 2TB SATA HDD. They don’t say whether a PCIe SSD can be installed alongside a SATA HDD, but I certainly hope so.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 launches in March for $2199.99 USD.
Last up is the Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter. It’s an ultra-thin mouse with a laser pointer built into it. The center can buckle to make an arc-shaped mouse, or it can be pushed flat. The whole device is 1.4cm thin, which is a little over half of an inch. Its sensor tops out at 1600 DPI, which can be reduced to 1200 DPI and 800 DPI if you are more comfortable at one of those speeds. It also has a built-in red laser pointer.
The Lenovo Yoga Mouse with Laser Presenter will be available in June for $69.99 USD.
Subject: Systems, Shows and Expos | January 7, 2019 - 08:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, Lenovo, Legion, Intel, geforce, gaming laptop, ces 2019, CES
Three new laptops have been added to Lenovo’s portfolio under their “Legion” gaming brand. All three of them will contain “Unannounced NVIDIA GeForce GPUs”.
The Lenovo Legion Y740 comes in two sizes: 15-inch and 17-inch. Based on the slide deck, both models have the choice between the Intel Core i5-8300H and the Intel Core i7-8750H. The Core i5-8300H is a quad-core CPU with HyperThreading (eight threads) that can turbo up to 4 GHz. The Core i7-8750H is a six-core CPU with HyperThreading (twelve threads) that can turbo up to 4.1 GHz. This can be paired with 8, 16, or 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz, or “8GB + 8GB 3200MHz Corsair Overclocked Memory”.
As for storage, both models can have up to 512GB of PCIe SSD, 512GB of SATA SSD, or 2TB of spinning metal. The 17-inch model can also have an Intel Optane drive added to it, although they don’t list a specific size. Both models also have 1x USB-C connector with support for Thunderbolt, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1. Alongside the USB-C is, also, HDMI, LAN, three standard USB 3.1 Gen 2, and a mini-DisplayPort connector. They also have an RGB keyboard, which, from the picture, appears to be tenkeyless. Both have Dolby sound, but only the 17-inch model also has a subwoofer. They do not list an audio jack, although I see a hole on the left side that could be either audio or a power plug. I think I also see power on the back, so I assume that it is audio on the side. Mobile phones are one thing, but a laptop better have a headphone jack.
The built-in displays are 1080p, which is a good size for a laptop, and support 144 Hz G-Sync @ 300nit. There is also an upsell to a 500nit panel that has been certified for Dolby HDR400. They don’t say whether the upsell also supports 144Hz G-Sync, but I would assume that they do. Check before you buy, though.
Both sizes will be available in February 2019. The 15-inch starts at $1749.99 USD and the 17-inch starts at $1979.99 USD.
The third model is the Lenovo Legion Y540. This one will be available a little bit later – May 2019. Interestingly, the CPU is listed as “Intel Core processors”. As such, I would assume that this laptop will use a new, unannounced processor alongside the unannounced GeForce GPU. Lenovo does mention that the laptop can be paired with up to 32GB of RAM at 2666MHz.
The battery is listed as “52.5Wh & 57Wh (Configuration dependent)”. Since an extra 4.5Wh seems like a tough upsell, I am guessing that battery you receive will be tied to the chosen display, but Lenovo doesn’t say so I don’t know. It looks like there will be a choice between three displays: a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 250nits with “45%” color, a 60Hz 1080p IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color, and a 144Hz IPS panel at 300nits with “72%” color. I put each of the color space percentages in quotations because they don’t list which color space. Since one of them is an HDR panel, I’m going to assume that they don’t mean sRGB… because that would be awful. I am hoping that they are referring to the DCI-P3 color space. They could mean NTSC 1976, although that would be a bit low for an HDR panel.
The laptop has a USB-C port but, unlike the Y740, it can only be used for USB 3.1. There are also three standard USB 3.1 ports, one HDMI port, one mini-DisplayPort, an Ethernet jack, and a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can still attach external monitors to it without the USB-C. They keyboard is backlight, but not RGB – just white.
As mentioned, the Lenovo Legion Y540 will be available in May 2019. It will start at $929.99 USD.
Subject: Systems | January 7, 2019 - 05:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Threadripper, 2950x, MEG X399 Creation
If you haven't seen a Threadripper in person, or are just looking to sit back and enjoy watching someone set up a system then head over to [H]ard|OCP. They've just posted a video showing the construction of a Threadripper 2950X on a MEG X399 Creation motherboard. For those who haven't built a system recently or who are just curious how the pros do it this is a hour well spent.
"Building a new computer for yourself is always fun. We had the chance to do it ourselves recently, and we decided to document the entire process on video. We use the MSI MEG X399 Creation motherboard and the MSI RTX 2080 Sea Hawk as the backbone of our system along with an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2950X."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- MSI Trident X @ Kitguru
- A Look At Intel Core i9-9900K Workstation & Gaming Performance @ Techgage
- Corsair Vengeance 5180 Gaming PC @ TechPowerUp
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | December 13, 2018 - 01:02 AM | Tim Verry
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.
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!