Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 4, 2018 - 11:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung Odyssey, Samsung, nvidia, max-p, Intel, coffee lake h
During Intel's launch event for its new Coffee Lake H processors in Beijing, China notebook manufacturers took the wraps off of their latest thin and light offerings. The latest announcement is from Samsung who launched its Notebook Odyssey Z gaming notebook. Measuring 375.6 x 255 x17.9mm and weighing 2.4 kg (5.29 pounds), it may not be particularly thin or light by most standards, but it is a unique design that brings a lot of mobile horsepower to bear for gaming tasks.
The Notebook Odyssey Z comes in Titan Silver with red accents and a red backlit keyboard. The top cover of the notebook has a silver and white repeating gradient design and the bottom of the notebook is covered almost entirely in mesh with the top half venting to the inside of the computer. Inside, the top half holds the 15.6" 1920x1080 display and a 720p webcam while the bottom half hosts two 1.5W speakers with angled grills and a red logo up top and the keyboard moved up to the front of the notebook and the trackpad is moved to the right side of the keyboard. The keyboard uses Crater keycaps and there are shortcut keys to record gameplay and change power modes (e.g. the Silent Mode clocks things down and changes the power envelop such that the notebook gets down to a quiet 22 decibels.
Around the edges there is a Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0, one USB Type C, one USB 2.0, one HDMI, one audio, and one DC-in for external I/O.
Internally, the Odyssey Z is powered by Intel's new 6-core Core i7 "Coffee Lake H" processor (Samsung doesn't mention which model, but the 45W i7 8750H is a likely option) and a NVIDIA GTX 1060 graphics card. Other hardware includes up to 16 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz memory and 1 TB of NVMe storage. The system is cooled by Samsung's Z AeroFlow cooler which includes vapor chamber heatsinks for the processors. and two blower fans. There is a 54WH battery and it comes with a 180W AC power adapter.
Samsung's Notebook Odyssey Z will be available in certain countries including Korea and China this month with US availability in Q3 2018. No word yet on pricing, however.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | April 3, 2018 - 09:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, i7-8750h, gtx 1070, gs65, gaming notebook, coffee lake h
MSI is introducing a new high-end gaming laptop as part of its stealth gaming GS series. The new MSI GS65 is a thin and light laptop at 0.69” thick and 4.14 pounds with ultra slim (4.9mm) bezels that allow it to pack a 15.6” display into a 14” laptop form factor. The GS65 utilizes the latest Intel processor and NVIDIA graphics along with all the RGB offered with a per-key backlit SteelSeries keyboard.
The MSI GS65 features a flat black design with gold trim and accents along with rounded corners. There are plenty of vents along the back and back corners of the left and right sides. External I/O includes Ethernet (the laptop is barely thick enough to hold the RJ-45 port), two USB 3.1 Gen 2, and two audio ports on the left side, and one USB 3.1 (10 Gbps), one Thunderbolt 3, one Mini DisplayPort, and one full size HDMI video output along the right side. Up top DynAudio speakers sit above the keyboard and a large trackpad sits below it. In addition to the built-in speakers, MSI also includes Nahimic 3 audio support for 7.1 virtual surround sound when using headphones. The display is a 15.6” 144 Hz display that is rated at a calibrated 94% NTSC color gamut.
Internally, MSI is using a beefy air cooling setup with three Whirlwind Blade fans (47 0.2mm thick fan blades), four heatpipes, and independent CPU and GPU coolers and airflow. Under the hood, MSI is offering up to an Intel Core i7-8750H Coffee Lake-H processor and either a NVIDIA GTX 1070 or GTX 1060 depending on the model. The Coffee Lake H processor is a 45W part featuring 6 cores / 12 threads clocked at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo and 9 MB cache. The CPU supports dual channel DDR4-2666 MHz RAM and Intel Optane storage (no vPro on this model).
MSI claims up to 8 hours of battery life when in power saving “green mode” and playing back 720p video content. Naturally, battery life when gaming will be much lower, but in those situations, you’ll want to be near a power outlet anyway and at least MSI has managed to slim down the power adapter by 28% on this model.
On the software side of things, MSI is bundling the gaming laptop with SteelSeries Engine 3 software to control the keyboard backlighting (which can be configured to show things like ammo and health remaining) as well as Dragon Center 2.0 software for system monitoring and game profiles for optimizing memory when running supported games.
The GS65 laptop looks the part with a premium finish and nice looking accents like the floating hinge and vents without going too crazy, but we will have to wait for reviews to see if the performance is there as well. The new 6-core Intel chip and GTX 1070 combo is a lot of horsepower for a portable gaming system and I’ll be interested to see what reviewers think of the build quality and 144 Hz display. As is usually the case with these things, MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability but more information should be available soon. Update: It appears that the MSI GS65 starts at $1800 with an i7-8750H, GTX 1060, 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD and $2100 for the GTX 1070 model on Amazon.
Are you rocking a gaming laptop? What do you think about MSI's latest stealthy offering?
- Intel Unveils More 8th Generation Mobile Processors, 6-Core Mobile CPUs
- MSI GS63VR Gaming Notebook - Another Take on Max-Q
Subject: Systems | March 29, 2018 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, video editor, 1950x
Here is a bit of a feel good movie from The Tech Report, who were nice enough to reach out to AMD, ASUS and several other companies to donate parts to create a brand new video editing machine for a friend of the site. The system build is more than impressive, a ThreadRipper 1950X on a Gigabyte Designaire EX with a Vega 56 Nitro + and a host of other components. Check out the reaction from Stephen, who has been using a Mac Pro which is now almost eight years old in their video reveal and build.
"A good friend of mine, Stephen Georg, recently came to me with a problem. Our mutual friend Dan Settembrini is a video editor by trade, and he helps Stephen create videos for his YouTube channels. Problem is, Dan's editing rig is a mid-2010 Mac Pro. We surprised Dan with a new video-editing PC for the ages with a little help from TR's friends."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- MSI WT73VR 7RM Mobile Workstation @ Kitguru
- Guru3D PC Buyers Guide Spring Edition 2018
- Briony Builds a Gaming PC! @ Kitguru
- Corsair One ELITE @ Kitguru
- Asrock DeskMini Z370 GTX 1060 @ TechSpot
- MSI Vortex G25 @ Kitguru
Announced at Intel's Developer Forum in 2012, and launched later that year, the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) project was initially a bit confusing to the enthusiast PC press. In a market that appeared to be discarding traditional desktops in favor of notebooks, it seemed a bit odd to launch a product that still depended on a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, yet didn't provide any more computing power.
Despite this criticism, the NUC lineup has rapidly expanded over the years, seeing success in areas such as digital signage and enterprise environments. However, the enthusiast PC market has mostly eluded the lure of the NUC.
Intel's Skylake-based Skull Canyon NUC was the company's first attempt to cater to the enthusiast market, with a slight stray from the traditional 4-in x 4-in form factor and the adoption of their best-ever integrated graphics solution in the Iris Pro. Additionally, the ability to connect external GPUs via Thunderbolt 3 meant Skull Canyon offered more of a focus on high-end PC graphics.
However, Skull Canyon mostly fell on deaf ears among hardcore PC users, and it seemed that Intel lacked the proper solution to make a "gaming-focused" NUC device—until now.
Announced at CES 2018, the lengthily named 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processors With Radeon™ RX Vega M Graphics (henceforth referred to as the code name, Kaby Lake-G) marks a new direction for Intel. By partnering with one of the leaders in high-end PC graphics, AMD, Intel can now pair their processors with graphics capable of playing modern games at high resolutions and frame rates.
The first product to launch using the new Kaby Lake-G family of processors is Intel's own NUC, the NUC8i7HVK (Hades Canyon). Will the marriage of Intel and AMD finally provide a NUC capable of at least moderate gaming? Let's dig a bit deeper and find out.
So… this is probably not for your home.
NVIDIA has just announced their latest pre-built system for enterprise customers: the DGX-2. In it, sixteen Volta-based Tesla V100 graphics devices are connected using NVSwitch. This allows groups of graphics cards to communicate to and from every other group at 300GB/s, which, to give a sense of scale, is about as much bandwidth as the GTX 1080 has available to communicate with its own VRAM. NVSwitch treats all 512GB as a unified memory space, too, which means that the developer doesn’t need redundant copies across multiple boards just so it can be seen by the target GPU.
Note: 512GB is 16 x 32GB. This is not a typo. 32GB Tesla V100s are now available.
For a little recap, Tesla V100 cards run a Volta-based GV100 GPU, which has 5120 CUDA cores and runs them at ~15 TeraFLOPs of 32-bit performance. Each of these cores also scale exactly to FP64 and FP16, as was the case since Pascal’s high-end offering, leading to ~7.5 TeraFLOPs of 64-bit or ~30 TeraFLOPs of 16-bit computational throughput. Multiply that by sixteen and you get 480 TeraFLOPs of FP16, 240 TeraFLOPs of FP32, or 120 TeraFLOPs of FP64 performance for the whole system. If you count the tensor units, then we’re just under 2 PetaFlops of tensor instructions. This is powered by a pair of Xeon Platinum CPUs (Skylake) and backed by 1.5TB of system RAM – which is only 3x the amount of RAM that the GPUs have if you stop and think about it.
The device communicates with the outside world through eight EDR InfiniBand NICs. NVIDIA claims that this yields 1600 gigabits of bi-directional bandwidth. Given how much data this device is crunching, it makes sense to keep data flowing in and out as fast as possible, especially for real-time applications. While the Xeons are fast and have many cores, I’m curious to see how much overhead the networking adds to the system when under full load, minus any actual processing.
NVIDIA’s DGX-2 is expected to ship in Q3.
Subject: General Tech, Systems | March 22, 2018 - 04:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sbc, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi, gigabit ethernet, dual band, bluetooth, 802.11ac
Tim did a great write up of the new hardware found in the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ which you should check out below if you missed. Technical specifications are only the first step as we still need to see how the new 1.4GHz Cortex A53's perform in benchmarks and Phoronix have published just that. They compared the Pi 3 to a variety of chips including the previous model, ASUS' Tinkerboard, the two Jetson boards, a few Celerons and even a Core i3. Overall the chip showed an advantage over the previous model; not earth shattering but as the price remains at $35 for the Pi 3 that is still a good deal.
"I've been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- 2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations @ The Register
- Best Buy Stops Selling Huawei Smartphones @ Slashdot
- Apple to enter trial production of new iPhone series in 2Q18, say sources @ DigiTimes
- ICO still waiting for 'urgent' warrant to raid Cambridge Analytica's London HQ @ The Inquirer
- Mozilla Pulls Advertising from Facebook @ Slashdot
- Facebook's Zuck comes out of hiding, admits company 'made mistakes' @ The Inquirer
- Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way @ The Register
- Slack's GDPR changes means admins can now snoop on private chats @ The Inquirer
- Tomb Raider Remasters Have Been Cancelled @ [H]ard|OCP
- HITMAN Spring Pack Is FREE For A Limited Time! @ Tech ARP
Subject: Systems | March 2, 2018 - 04:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Chillblast, Threadripper, gtx 1080 ti, amd, Fusion Centauri
Are you the type of person that is always running low on threads, PCIe lanes and VRAM? Then Chillblast has a system for you! Inside is a watercooled Threadripper 1950X, 64GB of DDR4-2666, two watercooled ASUS GTX 1080 Ti's, a 1TB Samsung 960 PRO M.2 for your systems and a wee little 10TB Seagate Barracuda HDD for storage. Sure it will run you about £7,500, or just a hair over $10,000USD, but if you want to play all the things in 4k you need to spend a bit of cash. Check out Kitguru's full review here.
"The new Threadripper processors from AMD already push the envelope when it comes to multi-threaded performance, and the Chillblast Fusion Centauri Ryzen Threadripper Ultimate takes the red team’s fantastic hardware and pairs it with a stupendous, eye-catching build"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Overclockers UK Cobalt Overclocked Gaming PC Review – 8350K & GTX 1060 @ KitGuru
- iMac Pro review: Hard to upgrade, but holy Jony Ive it’s fast @ Ars Technica
- Axiom TS Mini PC with Raven Ridge @ Modders-Inc
- PCSpecialist Vulcan Pro @ Kitguru
- Budget Overclocking Guide: Ryzen 3 2200G @ TechSpot
- Intel Atom C3950 + Tyan Tempest S3227 @ Phoronix
- ECS Liva Q Pocket Size PC @ Guru of 3D
- ECS LIVA Q @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Systems | February 14, 2018 - 01:49 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, silent, SFF, nvidia, mini PC, Intel, Inferno, GTX 1080, gaming, fanless, core i7 7700k, compulab, Airtop2
Compulab, maker of mini systems such as the fitlet and Airtop is bringing the compact, fanless concept to a powerful gaming system - with no less than an Intel Core i7-7700K and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. The catch? Is is not yet available, pending an upcoming Kickstarter campaign beginning February 24.
The teaser image of the upcoming Airtop2 Inferno fanless gaming system
The Airtop2 is already available for purchase in a fanless workstation version, built-to-order with up to an Intel Xeon E3-1275 v6 and NVIDIA Quadro P4000 (starting at $2575 for that configuration before adding memory/storage), and this new "Inferno" version of the Airtop2 promises to be very interesting to silent computing enthusiasts.
Front and rear views of the Inferno system
A fanless gaming system with high-end components is only going to be as effective as its cooling system, and here Compulab has a lot of experience on the industrial/embedded side of things.
Exploded view of the standard Airtop2 design (no images of the Airtop2 Inferno interior available yet)
Compulab lists these specs for the Airtop2 Inferno (along with the teaser, "and a little more..."):
- Unlocked Intel Core-i7 7700K
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
- Up to 64 GB DDR4 2400 RAM
- 2x NVMe + 4x 2.5″ SSD / HDD
- 2x USB 3.1 + 7x USB 3.0 | dual LAN | front (and back) audio
Compulab has also provided some benchmark results to demonstrate how effective their fanless implementation of these components is, with results using 3DMark and Unigine Heaven available on the Inferno product page.
The company has set up a Q&A page for the Airtop2 Inferno, but pricing/availability info will probably have to wait until February 24th when the Kickstarter campaign is active.
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: small form-factor, small form factor, project spark, Digital Storm, desktop pc
Digital Storm has just announced a new water-cooled, enthusiast PC, called Project SPARK. As the video shows, the device is about the width of a coffee mug and its handle, although it’s a bit deeper and taller. This cuts down on the amount of surface area the PC covers, which matters more than height for something that sits on a desk. The specs? Up to an Intel Core i7-8700k and an NVIDIA GTX 1080.
One of the interesting aspects of Project SPARK is that it is also user-upgradable. Digital Storm designed the system to have an accessible CPU and GPU, not just RAM and storage (but those are, of course, accessible too). Speaking of storage, the PC uses up to 3x M.2 SSDs. I should note that the PC uses MXM slot GPUs, so you can’t just plug in a triple-slot PCIe card in there… but, come on. You’re buying a small form factor PC.
The Digital Storm Project SPARK launches in Q2 with prices starting at $1299 USD (GTX 1060 SKU).
Subject: Systems | January 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Tinker Board 3, tinker board, small form factor, SFF, PN40, PB40, mini PC, Chromebox 3, Chromebox, CES 2018, CES, asus
ASUS has four new small form-factor devices on display at CES, with mini-PC hardware as well as a new Chromebox 3 and Tinker Board 3. We start with the mini-PCs:
ASUS PB40 mini PC
“The ASUS PB40 mini PC offers unparalleled connectivity with up to six USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ ports and a flexible I/O port design with VGA/DP/COM/HDMI support. Its metallic chassis houses the latest 8th Generation Intel Pentium® Silver processor for powerful performance. The PB40 is also offered in a fanless design with Intel Celeron® processors for completely silent operation. In addition to its compact design, the PB40 supports optional stackable modules such as optical drives to provide space-saving versatility for a wide range of usage scenarios.”
ASUS PN40 mini PC
“Powered by 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors, the new ASUS PN40 mini PC features a sliding bottom case design for easy upgrades. Compact and lightweight, it measures 114 x 114 x 49mm and weighs just 1.54lbs. With a wide range of connectivity options including USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C for fast data transmission, and a changeable I/O port for VGA or COM support, the PN40 is ideal for both home entertainment and business solutions.”
Next we have the third-generation Chromebox, ASUS's Chrome OS mini-PC:
ASUS Chromebox 3
“ASUS Chromebox 3 is the latest addition to the ASUS Chromebox family and is powered by an 8th Generation Intel Core processor and DDR4-2400 memory for faster, smoother and more energy-efficient performance. It is equipped with a versatile USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port for quick data transfers, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi and Gigabit LAN for faster streaming along with DisplayPort and HDMI connectivity for 4K UHD playback of your favorite videos.”
Finally we have the new Tinker Board S, with "S" clearly meaning storage here as this new Tinker Board adds 16GB of onboard eMMC. This should make getting a project started that much easier as the previous design only offered a memory card slot, requiring a microSD card of at least 8GB.
ASUS Tinker Board S
“The new Tinker Board S features 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage, while retaining the same board size and component placement as the original Tinker Board.”
Availability for all of these products - PB40, PN40, Chromebox 3, and Tinker Board S - is expected in the first half of 2018, with pricing to be announced at launch.