Thursday, December 14th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Graphics Cards
Harddisks
Headphones
Motherboards
NAS
Notebooks
Storage

Crytek Sues Cloud Imperium Games for Breach of CryEngine Contract

Crytek has filed a suit against Cloud Imperium Games (developers of Star Citizen and Squadron 42) for wrongdoings regarding Crytek's CryEngine. Cloud Imperium Games has recently moved over to Amazon's Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform triple-A game engine which has been built-upon by Amazon, based and licensed from Crytek's CryEngine in 2015. Apparently, in doing so, Cloud Imperium Games has violated a number of agreed-upon items on their engine licensing contract, for which Crytek is now going after for damages and compensation.

The essence of the suit stands in that Crytek only licenced its engine for the development of a single game - Star Citizen - and that CIG is now developing a second one in Squadron 42, for which it had no rights to use Crytek's IP and assets. Futhermore, CIG agreed, when signing the contract, to use Crytek's logos as part of the game development and final game presentation, so as to provide awareness for the company, but has since removed them from all instances of the game.

Latest Steam Client Beta Introduces Shader Pre-Caching for Games

The latest update for the Steam software brought with it an important new addition for the quality of life of gamers under the Linux or Windows suns everywhere: persistent shader caches for games. In the latest change-log, users are treated to the following message: "New feature: Shader Pre-Caching. Whenever possible, depending on hardware and driver support, Steam can download pre-compiled shaders for your specific video card. This reduces load times and in-game stuttering during the first few launches of OpenGL- and Vulkan-based games on supported hardware. This feature may use a small amount of additional bandwidth as Steam uploads and analyzes a shader usage report after each run of the game. The feature can be disabled via a new entry in the Settings dialog.

Under Steam Settings, you'll find a new Shader Pre-Caching item. The description reads as follows: "Shader Pre-Caching allows Steam to download pre-compiled GPU shaders matching your system configuration. This allows Vulkan and OpenGL games to load faster and improve framerate stability during gameplay. If enabled, Steam will collect shaders from your system when needed. Enabling this feature may slightly increase disk and bandwidth usage."

NVIDIA Titan V Achieves 82 MH/s in Ethereum Mining

"But how well does it mine?" This is one of the questions in the mind of many in the enthusiast community whenever a new GPU is launched. These are a fickle lot, to be sure; their primary interest is the power/performance ratio of any graphics card, which enables miners to maximize profits. Price/performance isn't much of a concern when users are confident they'll recoup the totality of their investment in the medium run - and sometimes even the short run, if recent changes in Ethereum pricing are any indication.

The folks at HotHardware have put an NVIDIA Titan V through its paces in Ethereum mining, eager to see this Volta-based chips' prowess in this type of workloads. Titan V reveals itself as a graphics card that achieves 69 MH/s at stock settings - and an even more impressive 82 MH/s when slightly overclocked. Overclocking methodology was simple - increase temperature and power targets for the Titan V, and then increase memory frequency until a bottleneck was found. And voila. The Titan V was happily churning out 82 MH/s in version 10.2 of the Claymore Miner - more than double the output of an RX Vega 64 and Titan Xp. Power consumption wasn't detailed in this test, and the Titan V would almost definitely consume more power than a Titan Xp - the chip is double the size - but when we take into account the fact that its TDP is the same, that it's built on a 12 nm process against the Titan Xp's 16 nm, and that it uses HBM2 memory instead of GDDR5X... Well, the differences likely aren't anything to write home about. But the performance is. I'll leave it over to our expert miners to say whether they'd invest in a Titan V for mining - all $2,999 of it.

Source: HotHardware

Mystery AMD APU with 1,792 SP Shows Up on SANDRA Database

A mysterious AMD APU showed up on SiSoft SANDRA online database, featuring a massive integrated graphics. The chip reports itself to SANDRA as "AMD Fenghuang Raven," and is likely a semi-custom chip being tested by an AMD engineer in the course of its development. SANDRA reports the integrated graphics component as "AMD 15FF Graphics," featuring 1,792 stream processors across 28 compute units, 555 MHz engine clock, and 2 GB of video memory with 182.15 GB/s memory bandwidth. The result doesn't put out too many details about the CPU component, except its 2.40 GHz clock speed. The iGPU scored 98 points on SANDRA graphics tests with Direct3D 11 API, and 39.99 GB/s observed score.
Wednesday, December 13th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Desktop PC
Harddisks
Keyboards
Memory
Mouse
NAS
Networking
PSUs
SSD

Synology DS918+ 4-Bay NAS

The Synology DS918+ is the successor to the DS916+ and features a new CPU, more RAM, a pair of M.2 slots, and trays with locks. Strangely enough, the older model seems to perform better in real-life scenarios; however, the DS918+ is fast enough to still meet the increasing demands of a home user.

LG gram Notebooks for 2018 to Offer Enhanced Portability

LG Electronics (LG) will introduce its latest LG gram notebooks that deliver superior portability, enhanced powerful performance and convenience features. Since the incredibly lightweight notebook line debuted in 2014, LG has consistently surprised consumers by maximizing portability without sacrificing performance. The 2018 LG gram notebooks push the boundaries of portable computing with improved mobility and durability, as well as upgraded processors and more versatility.

"The new LG gram PCs have been designed for those users who want an all-round, high performance notebook with maximum portability," said Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. "The 2018 gram series ticks all the boxes for users who want versatile and lightweight notebooks with faster processing capabilities."

Microsoft Discounts Mixed Reality HMDs by up to $200 Today Only

As part of Microsoft's "12 Days of Deals" push towards achieving more and better sales of Microsoft-branded products, the company has pushed a pretty hefty discount for its MR HMDs mere months after their release. The discounts see the Acer Windows Mixed Reality, Dell Visor, HP, and Lenovo Explorer take price-cuts of $200 over the base price, while Samsung's Odyssey HMD sees a much more level $50 price-cut.

With a move so close to holiday season and in the wake of steep discounts from Virtual Reality headset makers Oculus and HTC, Microsoft is pushing as hard as it can towards shipping enough units to build a new VR ecosystem. Consumers are the ones that stand to gain the most here, however. Though if you want to get your hand son one of these, be fast: the Acer and Dell options are already sold out, and the others' supply might also be inferior to the demand. So go there, and grab them while they're hot.

Source: Microsoft Store

Intel to Deploy Management Engine Lock to Prevent Disabling, Rollback

It's been an interesting month for users as we've discovered that the most widely-used OS in the world could be one most of us had never even heard anything about before. Intel's Management Engine, a full-fledged computer inside Intel CPUs, runs on MINIX, and after it was outed that Intel's CPUs ran on it, multiple issues have been found with the approach, which has moved Intel towards outing a detection tool.

Intel is seemingly poising to move towards a full hardware lock of the Management Engines' capabilities, thus ensuring it can't be disabled. And even if Intel does send out firmware fixes for its already deployed CPUs with ME integration, the fact remains that the memory pool where the firmware is written is, well, re-writable - given enough access, miscreants could simply re-flash the ME to an earlier, vulnerable version, and thus acquire God Mode access to a victim's computer. To tackle both issues, Intel is moving towards a hardware lock of their ME.

"Intel inside" Campaign Funds Cut, Might Bring Higher Pricing to End Users

Intel has decided to rollback investment - read, funding - for its "Intel inside" marketing campaign, which has been with us since 1991. The "Intel inside" campaign is one where Intel has been offering OEMs and system integrators some amount of compensation and marketing funding for their Intel-based products, and is aimed at helping OEMs and channel partners drive PC sales growth. However, if CRN's report is right, Intel is looking towards cutting funding for this program by 40% to 60%.

OEMs have been including Intel's "Intel inside" funding as part of their annual marketing budgets, and the reduction of this funding from Intel can go one of two ways: manufacturers reduce marketing budget, or keep the same budget, but pass on the increased expenses towards consumers. For companies, the second option is likelier to be true, simply because marketing plays such a prominent role in company's visibility in the usually crowded markets.

Starbucks Wi-Fi Exploits Coffee Lovers' Devices for Cryptocoin Mining Operations

Nothing in life is free, not even the Wi-Fi at Starbucks cafes. That's something Noah Dinkin would discover eventually. While sipping his coffee at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Buenos Aires, the founder and CEO of stensul decided to log onto the Wi-Fi network to get some work done. To his surprise, there was an unusual delay before he was able to access the internet. Noah later found out that a malicious code was working behind the scenes to hijack customer's devices to mine Monero (XMR). He immediately reported the exploit to Starbucks via Twitter. Starbucks was unaware of the issue, but the company immediately contacted their internet provider to remove the code. To their defense, the Wi-Fi service is outsourced to a third-party provider, therefore, Starbucks doesn't own or control the Wi-Fi network. The company claims that this was an isolated case, and their other stores are safe.

Source: BBC News

Cherry Targets Office Users with Their New Ergonomic MW 4500 Wireless Mouse

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents the MW 4500, an ergonomic wireless mouse that reduces wrist strain thanks to its unique design. The new mouse aims to be a perfect all-rounder in office or home use.

Best-in-class ergonomics for fatigue-free work
CHERRY has designed the MW 4500 to be an extremely ergonomic mouse that relieves wrist tension and allows fatigue-free work. With its unique shape, the hand rests on the mouse at a 45-degree angle. This results in a more natural posture that prevents discomfort of the joints and tendons. An abrasion-resistant surface complements the ergonomic shape.

Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 Lands in Europe for £259.99 / €289.99

Fujitsu subsidiary PFU (EMEA) Limited is launching its Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional2 (HHKB Pro2) in Europe. Designed with programmers in mind, it can be a great asset for anybody in search of an excellent typing experience. The innovative and minimalistic high-quality keyboard uses a reduced layout with far fewer keys and offers an extremely satisfying and rapid typing experience.

Compact and minimalistic
The HHKB Pro2 is not just another gadget for computer enthusiasts, but is the result of systematic research and a co-operation with Professor Eiiti Wada, a renowned Japanese computer scientist. The 60 key compact build means that hands can stay on the home row which is good for speed, efficiency, and comfort. Due to a number of easy to learn function-layers the reduced layout is actually more ergonomic than traditional keyboards, winning it many fans over the last 20 years.

H1Z1 is Free to Play for a Week Starting December 14

From Dec. 14 - 21, Daybreak Games will kick off H1Z1's first-ever Free Week! The original standalone battle royale shooter will be free to download and play in full for the entire week, starting Thursday, Dec. 14. Additionally, during this week, H1Z1 will be on sale through Steam for 75% off. H1Z1 is also celebrating the holidays with Wreck the Halls! Throughout the month of December, players have the chance to obtain a four-piece holiday-themed outfit across multiple in-game events. To win a piece of the ensemble, players must finish 30th or better in any holiday event match.

Cherry Strait 3.0 Keyboard, Where Elegance Meets Reliability

CHERRY, the specialist for computer input devices, presents the Strait 3.0 for Mac. This wired keyboard is characterized by an elegant design and a durable build quality, making the Strait 3.0 for Mac a perfect and reliable keyboard for daily use.

Elegant design and durable build quality
The CHERRY Strait 3.0 for Mac charms with its elegant design and is a real eye-catcher on the desk thanks to its clean, ultra-flat design with a metal look. In combination with the durable build quality, this has resulted in a robust keyboard which is particularly suitable for permanent use.

DreamHack and CORSAIR Enter Strategic Partnership

CORSAIR, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, and DreamHack, the world's largest digital festival, are excited to announce a groundbreaking new partnership which will see CORSAIR and DreamHack working together for the next two years as strategic partners, with CORSAIR as a major sponsor of DreamHack's esport properties

Having previously sponsored numerous DreamHack events and competitions, most recently as a main sponsor of DreamHack Open, CORSAIR will greatly expand its sponsorship of DreamHack events, becoming the title sponsor of DreamHack's Dota 2 activities through DreamLeague, DreamHack's CS:GO arena championship series and the title sponsor of DreamHack Masters. The new sponsorships extend to naming rights, with DreamLeague now titled "CORSAIR DreamLeague" and DreamHack Masters now known as "CORSAIR DreamHack Masters". CORSAIR will also partner with DreamHack on as-yet unannounced events and tournaments, with more details in the coming months.

CORSAIR has exploded into the PC peripherals and esports market over the past six years, launching a diverse range of gaming keyboards, mice, headsets and accessories, in addition to its wide-ranging DIY and memory products. Know amongst gamers for its commitment to premium materials and lasting build quality, CORSAIR is a top-choice amongst gamers, from aspiring amateurs to world-renowned professionals.

Baidu Deploys AMD EPYC Single Socket Platforms to Power its 'ABC' Datacenters

AMD and Baidu, the leading Chinese language Internet search provider and leader in artificial intelligence (AI), today announced the immediate availability of AMD-powered AI, big data, and cloud computing (ABC) services. Utilizing the compute performance and advanced feature-set of the AMD EPYC processor in a single-socket platform allows Baidu to efficiently optimize and deliver massive storage and compute services to its customers. Baidu expects to further expand its use of AMD EPYC processors across its global datacenters beginning in the first quarter of 2018.

"By offering outstanding performance in single-processor systems, the AMD EPYC platform provides flexibility and high-performance in our datacenter, which allows Baidu to deliver more efficient services to our customers," said Liu Chao, senior director, Baidu System Technologies Department. "Baidu's mission is to make a complex world simpler through technology, and we are constantly looking to discover and apply the latest cutting-edge technologies, innovations, and solutions to business. AMD EPYC processors provide Baidu with a new level of energy efficient and powerful computing capability."

MSI Intros Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Boost Graphics Card

MSI today rolled out its first quasi-custom design Radeon RX Vega 64 graphics card, the MSI RX Vega 64 Air Boost. This card combines an AMD reference-design (or at least close-to-reference) PCB, with a custom-design lateral-flow cooling solution by MSI. The lateral blower features a large base plate with a copper core; the base plate draws heat from the VRM, the copper core from the "Vega 10" MCM. The card ships with slightly overclocked speeds of 1272 MHz core, and 1575 MHz boost. Drawing power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors, the card puts out three DisplayPort 1.4 connectors, and an HDMI 2.0 port. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Confirms 2nd Generation Ryzen Processors to Debut in Q1-2018

At a press event, AMD confirmed that its 2nd generation Ryzen desktop processors will debut in Q1-2018 (before April). It also clarified that "2nd Generation" does not equal "Zen2" (a micro-architecture that succeeds "Zen"). 2nd Generation Ryzen processors are based on two silicons, the 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge," which is a GPU-devoid silicon with up to eight CPU cores; and "Raven Ridge," which is an APU combining up to 4 CPU cores with an iGPU based on the "Vega" graphics architecture. The core CPU micro-architecture is still "Zen." The "Pinnacle Ridge" silicon takes advantage of the optical shrink to 12 nm to increase clock speeds, with minimal impact on power-draw.

AMD is also launching a new generation of chipset, under the AMD 400-series. There's not much known about these chipsets. Hopefully they feature PCIe gen 3.0 general purpose lanes. The second-generation Ryzen processors and APUs will carry the 2000-series model numbering, with clear differentiation between chips with iGPU and those without. Both product lines will work on socket AM4 motherboards, including existing ones based on AMD 300-series chipset (requiring a BIOS update). AMD is reserving "Zen2," the IPC-increasing successor of "Zen" for 2019. The "Mattise" silicon will drive the multi-core CPU product-line, while the "Picasso" silicon will drive the APU line. Both these chips will run on existing AM4 motherboards, as AMD plans to keep AM4 as its mainstream-desktop socket till 2020.

Source: WCCFTech

NVM Express, Inc. Debuts NVMe Over Fabrics Compliance Testing

NVM Express, Inc., the organization that developed the NVM Express (NVMe) and NVMe Management Interface (NVMe-MI) specifications for accessing solid-state drives (SSDs) on a PCI Express (PCIe) bus as well as over Fabrics, hosted its eighth NVMe Plugfest at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) in Durham, N.H. during the week of October 30-November 2. The event offered the first official NVMe Over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) compliance and interoperability transport layer testing for RoCE, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet, and the Fibre Channel.

The testing performed by the UNH-IOL, an independent testing provider of standards conformance solutions and multi-vendor interoperability, generated 14 new certified products for the base NVMe Integrators List and one for the NVMe-MI Integrators List. Eight inaugural products were also approved for the newly launched NVMe-oF Integrators List, which accepts RoCE initiators and targets, Ethernet switches, as well as Fibre Channel initiator, targets and switches, and software.

"Since 2013, the UNH-IOL has certified over 112 NVMe-based products at the NVM Express Plugfests," David Woolf, senior engineer, Datacenter Technologies at the UNH-IOL, said. "By continuing to prioritize specification compliance and interoperability testing, companies can ensure faster time to market and seamless interactions with other devices NVMe-based solutions."
Tuesday, December 12th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Motherboards
Mousepads
PSUs
SSD
Storage

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Overview

The next version of AMD's Radeon Software Graphics Drivers, Adrenalin Edition, has been released today, and it aims to add more than just a customizable overlay. One of the many exciting new features is AMD Link, an iOS/Android app that makes the most of a second-screen experience. This is a driver release that merits the time to go through in detail.

Toshiba and WD Reach Global Settlement and Agree to Strengthen Collaboration

Toshiba Corporation, Toshiba Memory Corporation, and Western Digital Corporation have entered into a global settlement agreement to resolve their ongoing disputes in litigation and arbitration, strengthen and extend their relationship, and enhance the mutual commitment to their ongoing flash memory collaboration.

As part of this agreement, TMC and Western Digital will participate jointly in future rounds of investment in Fab 6, the state-of-the-art memory fabrication facility now under construction at Yokkaichi, including the upcoming investment round announced by Toshiba in October 2017. Fab 6 will be entirely devoted to the mass production of BiCS FLASH, the next-generation of 3D flash memory, starting next year. TMC and Western Digital similarly intend to enter into definitive agreements in due course under which Western Digital will participate in the new flash wafer fabrication facility which will be constructed in Iwate, Japan.

The parties will strengthen their flash memory collaboration by extending the terms of their joint ventures. Flash Alliance will be extended to December 31, 2029 and Flash Forward to December 31, 2027. Flash Partners was previously extended to December 31, 2029.

Greenliant Expands Portfolio of eMMC NANDrive

Greenliant Systems is now sampling its eMMC 5.1 NANDrive embedded solid state drive (SSD) product family with improved performance, enhanced features and a wide range of capacities (8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 GB). Ideal for automotive, industrial, medical, security, military and networking applications, the new GLS85VM NANDrive devices support the JEDEC eMMC 5.1 standard and operate at full industrial temperatures between -40 and +85 degrees Celsius.

The eMMC 5.1 NANDrive products are HS200/HS400 compliant and support command queuing for faster data throughput and better multitasking. These high-performance products also offer high-reliability features, such as advanced wear-leveling, bad block management and effective error correction code (ECC) capabilities to significantly extend the life of the product. eMMC 5.1 NANDrive SSDs are available in a 14mm x 18mm, 100-ball, 1.0mm pitch package (backward compatible with Greenliant's 100-ball eMMC 4.4 NANDrive SSDs) and will also be offered in a smaller 11.5mm x 13mm, 153-ball, 0.5mm pitch package.

Corsair Launches the World's Fastest DDR4 SODIMM 32GB Memory Kit

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC components high-performance gaming hardware and enthusiast memory, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4,000MHz 32GB (4x8GB) kit, the world's fastest DDR4 SODIMM DDR4 memory kit.

While PC enthusiasts might be more familiar with SODIMM memory from laptops or all-in-one PCs, CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz is designed to power the latest small-form-factor systems running Intel's high-end-desktop X299 motherboard platform. Motherboards such as the ASRock X299E-ITX are able to fit all the power and performance of Intel's high-end motherboard chipset into a tiny Mini-ITX form factor but have, until now, been limited on memory frequency and bandwidth. With CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz, PC builders and enthusiasts can now pack 32GB of high-frequency quad-channel 4,000MHz DDR4 alongside Intel's Core i9 processors, for up to 36 threads of processing power and massive memory bandwidth, in Mini-ITX small-form-factor PCs.

The Future is Quantum: Microsoft Releases Free Preview of Q# Development Kit

So you want to learn how to program a quantum computer. Now, there's a toolkit for that. Microsoft is releasing a free preview version of its Quantum Development Kit, which includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator and other resources for people who want to start writing applications for a quantum computer. The Q# programming language was built from the ground up specifically for quantum computing.

The Quantum Development Kit, which Microsoft first announced at its Ignite conference in September, is designed for developers who are eager to learn how to program on quantum computers whether or not they are experts in the field of quantum physics. It's deeply integrated into Visual Studio, Microsoft's suite of developer tools, so aspects of it will be familiar to people who are already developing applications in other programming languages. And it's designed to work with a local quantum simulator, also released as part of the kit, that can simulate around 30 logical qubits of quantum computing power using a typical laptop computer. That will allow developers to debug quantum code and test programs on small instances right on their own computers.

The GOG Winter Sale is Up - And There's a Grim Fandango Remastered Giveaway

Another wintry - depending on your global position - December, another videogame sale for our hearts' content. This time, it's GOG, part of CD Projekt Red, that's having a Winter sale, and what est way to start a sale than actually waiving all sales of a particular game? That's what's been done here, with a free copy of Grim Fandango Remastered being offered for free. Just click the banner on GOG's website or GOG Galaxy application, and off you go. Yous till have some time, though - the sale is live from today up to December 26th.

Unlike Steam's sales, GOG is still adding new games on sale each day, and they are quoting 900+ games with up to 90% discounts. There are some amazing pieces of software there, and everyone should find something to enjoy themselves with. Besides, it's DRM free, and you're indirectly funding the development of other games - namely Cyberpunk 2077 - from CD Projekt Red by filling their coffers through buying games on sale. How better could this deal be? Hardly better, that's how.

Bungie Vows to Stop Locking Destiny 2 Players' Activities Behind Latest DLC

A lot of controversy has hit Bungies' Destiny 2. If some concerns regarding the first game have been (somewhat) answered with the new systems and story integration of the latest Bungie release, the fact is that Destiny 2 has been, time and again, in the crosshairs of gamers for some reason or other. From weapons shipping with game-breaking bugs, to controversies regarding hidden experience scaling systems, it seems Bungie is moving from one trap to another in Destiny 2. And for the second time in a month, the company has vowed to start being more transparent, and listening more to the community they serve - and need.

The controversy now stems from Bungie's decision to lock players out of the late game content following the launch of Curse of Osiris. The idea was solid - increase the level of endgame activities, such as Raids and the Trials of the Nine multiplayer, to keep them relevant in the wake of new, higher-level equipment. However, this effectively locked players with only the base game from virtually all chances of succeeding in these activities, since only Curse of Osiris equipment could give players the Light level they'd need to have a chance at completing those activities. IN a blog post, Bungie has vowed to do better for gamers next time, and is moving to reset all base game activities to their base level - keeping base-game only players in the loop, and able to experience Destiny 2's systems.

EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone's Winter Update Brings Holiday Cheer to Players

Today, CCP Games is excited to launch the Winter Update for EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone - the acclaimed multiplayer first-person spaceship shooter set in the gritty-but-glorious universe of EVE - across PlayStation4 and PC, including all high-end VR headsets (PlayStationVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive). This update introduces highly requested community tools and Spectator Mode designed for player-run tournaments, along with a new EVE Online: Lifeblood-themed map, plus support for TrackIR and Tobii delivering head-tracking for non-VR players.

First is the long-awaited addition of Custom Matches. No longer will you have to wait for a specific game mode, now you can set up your own matches on EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone's official dedicated servers. You can also control the lobby through passcodes, private invites and a public server browser. Additionally, you'll find options for map rotation, game mode and a ton of other settings to tweak the game for maximum enjoyment (…or carnage, depending on your preference).

Fujitsu's WAN Acceleration Technology Delivers Transfer Speeds Up to 40 Gbps

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of WAN acceleration technology that can deliver transfer speeds up to 40Gbps for migration of large volumes of data between clouds, using servers equipped with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Connections in wide area networks (WANs) between clouds are moving from 1Gbps lines to 10Gbps lines, but with the recent advance of digital technology, including IoT and AI, there is an even greater demand for faster high-speed data transfers as huge volumes of data are collected in the cloud. Until now the effective transfer speed of WAN connections has been raised using techniques to reduce the volume of data, such as compression and deduplication. However, with WAN lines of 10Gbps there are enormous volumes of data to be processed, and existing WAN acceleration technologies usable in cloud servers have not been able to sufficiently raise the effective transfer rate.

Magewell Ships the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT

Magewell - an award-winning developer of innovative video interface devices - is now shipping the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT, the latest member of the company's popular Pro Capture family of PCI Express capture hardware. The new model extends the powerful feature set of the previously-released Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus with HDMI signal loop-through connectivity to simplify wiring and workflows.

Like the earlier model, the Pro Capture HDMI 4K Plus LT captures video up to 4096x2160 at 60 frames per second over an HDMI 2.0 input interface, enabling high-quality Ultra HD acquisition for markets and applications including broadcast, medical imaging, gaming, streaming, surveillance, and virtual reality (VR) production. The new loop-through connection reduces workflow costs and complexity by enabling source signals to be sent simultaneously to additional displays or equipment without the need for an external HDMI splitter.

Inno3D Launches New P104-100 Crypto-Mining Accelerator

INNO3D, a leading manufacturer of awesome high-end multimedia components and various innovations enriching your life, introduces its new P104-100 Crypto-Mining Accelerator. The new range will be available in TWIN X2 edition. The P104-100 has been designed with no less than 40% more mining power than its predecessor allowing the miner to enhance ETH, ZEC, etc. number crunching to levels, that have never been seen before. The freshly forged radical comes packed with 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory, and 4GB memory for optimizing cryptocurrency calculations. By deploying the INNO3D P104-100, miners now enjoy the ultimate power and utilize best-in-class hash rate today.

Fallout 4 VR is Out for the HTC Vive

We're pleased to announce that Fallout 4, the legendary post-apocalyptic adventure from Bethesda Game Studios and winner of more than 200 'Best Of' awards, is available now worldwide in virtual reality on the HTC VIVE. Fallout 4 VR is a true, full-length open-world game, offering an unparalleled amount of VR content for players, including the complete core game with all-new combat, crafting, and building systems fully re-imagined for virtual reality.

As the sole survivor of Vault 111, players enter a world destroyed by nuclear war and must rebuild the Wasteland and determine the fate of its residents. Within the massive world, players can interact with hundreds of locations, characters, and quests, all while collecting, upgrading, and building thousands of items in the most advanced crafting system ever. In addition, an all-new graphics and lighting engine brings the Wasteland to life like never before. From the blasted forests of the Commonwealth to the ruins of Boston, every location is packed with dynamic detail.

Marvell Announces the Industry's Most Complete 802.11ax Wireless Portfolio

Marvell, a leader in storage, networking, and connectivity semiconductor solutions today introduced the industry's most complete 802.11ax wireless product portfolio. The Marvell 802.11ax product family is architected to deliver breakthrough performance, improved network efficiency, low latency and enterprise-grade reliability. Marvell is the first to offer a full MU-MIMO and OFDMA uplink and downlink based on the latest IEEE 802.11ax standards which will help the next generation of high-end users, "Generation Upload," with real-time cloud-based requirements.

Delivering consistent performance and reliability is becoming increasingly difficult for networks already straining to support a dramatic increase in connected devices, high definition streaming video, social media and cloud applications. The average household will have about 50 connected devices by 2022. Major technology advancements are needed to better support today's diverse users that are driving higher end emerging use cases such as virtual and augmented reality, live streaming and smart cities.

AMD Announces the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

AMD today released a major upgrade to its advanced software suite for Radeon graphics, Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, designed to give gamers deeply immersive gameplay while engaging with their friends and the gaming community.

Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition introduces the all-new Radeon Overlay, a seamless user interface designed to enable gamers to monitor their GPU performance without ever leaving the game, tailor their gameplay to their unique preferences and connect with their friends, all in one place. AMD is also launching the AMD Link mobile app, being made available to millions of iOS and Android users. A powerful complement to Radeon desktop software, AMD Link serves as a "second screen" for monitoring GPU performance and PC system info, enabling gamers to easily share their greatest gaming moments, and keeping them informed about AMD's latest updates. A wide range of features including Radeon Chill, Radeon WattMan, Enhanced Sync and Radeon ReLive - all part of Radeon Software Core Technologies - have also been updated to deliver expanded performance tuning and gaming optimizations.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition | Read our Overview Article.

AMD Radeon Pro Adrenalin Edition 17.12.1 Drivers Detailed

AMD today unveiled its big annual driver releases for its consumer-graphics Radeon line, and the professional-graphics Radeon Pro and FirePro lines. The BAR (big annual release) for the latter is titled AMD Radeon Pro Adrenalin Edition 17.12.1 WHQL, and introduces a slew of new features that add value to the company's FirePro and Radeon Pro graphics cards. Since its 2016 BAR (Radeon Pro Crimson ReLive), the company's regular driver updates for enterprises achieved a predictable cadence of the 2nd Wednesday of the 2nd month of each quarter, capped off with a big annual release in December, besides prioritized 24x7 support. This, AMD claims, has been well received by its customers.

With the Radeon Pro Adrenalin Edition, AMD is expanding its software in four key directions - Pro Render, Pro Settings, New Driver Options, and Virtualization. It also chronicles driver releases over 2017 have gradually increased performance levels by up to 16 percent compared to last year's big annual release. AMD expanded the feature-set of ProRender, its in-house and highly modular 3D rendering engine for CAD designers and 3D artists, including its support for Maxon Cinema 4D; interactive viewport de-noising for Blender; a new Game Engine Importer extension that can import geometry and materials in real-time from SolidWorks to Unreal Engine; accelerating VR ports of popular games and professional 3D scenes; and a set of additional features such as PBR Shader for Blender. The drivers also add macOS support for Maya and Blender, which will be implemented "soon," along with support for 2018 releases of 3DSMax and Maya.

ADATA and TechPowerUp XPG EMIX Giveaway: The Winners

Earlier this month, ADATA and TechPowerUp brought you the XPG EMIX Giveaway, a chance for three lucky winners to get an set of ADATA XPG EMIX H30 Headset and SOLOX F30 Amplifier, each. Together, the XPG EMIX H30 headset and SOLOX F30 amp make for a high-end, eSports tournament-grade audio solution for competitive gamers. The XPG EMIX H30 combines the highest grade acoustic-dampening with large drivers. The SOLOX F30 is a tailor-made amp for this headset, that puts out just the right impedance and range, along with a great degree of physical and software control. Without further ado, the winners:
  • Joshua from the United States
  • Manuel from Spain
  • Kevin from Canada
A huge congrats to you three! TechPowerUp will return with more such interesting giveaways!

Bitcoin Futures Listed by Chicago Board Options Exchange

That sole title may make proponents of Bitcoin make waves of contentment, whereas those that are more skeptical of the cryptocurrency (or cryptocurrencies in general) will likely find themselves shaking their heads in dismay. Whether you're on one of those camps, or Bitcoin is just indifferent for you, the fact that a cryptocurrency has made its way to a bona fide exchange should likely mean one thing: Bitcoin's valuation is only ever more likely to increase now.

Futures trading is one of the wildest, less material forms of trading, since the actual property of the item whose futures you're investing into never becomes yours. Instead, futures trading is more akin to betting, where investors gauge the expected value of a product in the future. A futures trader may invest in the price of rice in China, the expected value of shares for a given company, the value of a fiat currency... And now, the value of bitcoin. Usually, the best futures traders make their decisions based on actual real world data that might affect their investment. The thing here that might propel Bitcoin's value upwards, is that we're already seeing the effect this futures trading has brought upon Bitcoin. Remember that Nicehash hack that resulted in the theft of a puny $68M? Well, historically, hacks in cryptocurrencies have brought about plummeting value, as investors knee-jerk and cash-out before the same can happen to them (among other variables). However, the hype from Bitcoin being traded in an exchange has been so great in the past few weeks that the Nicehash hack didn't register as so much as a blip in Bitcoin's value, in the grand scheme of things. It's just kept on increasing.
Monday, December 11th 2017

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Keyboards
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
PSUs
SSD
Storage

Antec P8

The Antec P8 is a compact chassis at a decent price that comes equipped with three white LED fans, four individual SSD trays, and a 4-mm-thick glass side panel. With its nice and clean looks, the P8 could be a serious crowd pleaser, so join us as we take a closer look!

Toshiba Unveils Embedded NAND Flash Memory Products for Automotive Applications

Toshiba Memory Corporation, the world leader in memory solutions, today announced that it has begun shipping samples of embedded NAND flash memory products for automotive applications that are compliant with JEDEC UFS version 2.1. The new products meet AEC-Q100 Grade2 requirements and support a wide temperature range of -40°C to +105°C, offering the enhanced reliability capabilities that are required by increasingly complex automotive applications. The line-up meets a broad range of applications requirements with five different capacities: 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.

The new products are embedded NAND flash memory products that integrate NAND chips fabricated with 15 nm process technology and a controller in a single package. Storage requirements for automotive applications continue to increase as systems including automotive information & entertainment systems and ADAS become more sophisticated, and UFS supports their high performance and density needs. The addition of automotive UFS expands Toshiba Memory Corporation's line-up of embedded NAND flash memory products for automotive applications, which currently includes automotive e-MMC products. Utilizing the UFS interface allows the new products to achieve sequential read of 850 MB/s and random read of 50,000 IOPS, which are approximately 2.7 times and 7.1 times faster than their current e-MMC counterparts, respectively.

VESA Announces the DisplayHDR v1.0 Specification

The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) today announced it has defined the display industry's first fully open standard specifying high dynamic range (HDR) quality, including luminance, color gamut, bit depth and rise time, through the release of a test specification. The new VESA High-Performance Monitor and Display Compliance Test Specification (DisplayHDR) initially addresses the needs of laptop displays and PC desktop monitors that use liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

The first release of the specification, DisplayHDR version 1.0, establishes three distinct levels of HDR system performance to facilitate adoption of HDR throughout the PC market. HDR provides better contrast and color accuracy as well as more vibrant colors compared to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) displays, and is gaining interest for a wide range of applications, including movie viewing, gaming, and creation of photo and video content.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Will Have Four Player Co-Op & Full Mod Support

Piranha Games announced tonight at Mech_Con that the upcoming and highly anticipated MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will feature four-player co-op and full modding and Steam Workshop support, and during the keynote speech at the event revealed all-new gameplay footage showcasing a variety of 'Mechs in combat on a selection of biomes to be featured in the final game, set to launch in late 2018.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries features intense PvE 'Mech combat in an immersive, career-based Mercenary campaign driven by player choice. Featuring an advancing timeline starting in the year 3015, players will adopt the role of a new MechWarrior mercenary thrust into leadership of a mercenary squad as the Third Succession War continues to fracture the Inner Sphere; the vast region of colonized space surrounding Earth. Victory, prestige, and profit will not only require skill on the battlefield, but in the maintenance and enhancement of your BattleMechs.

Quake Champions to Receive Largest Update to Date

id Software has continued to update and improve Quake Champions throughout Early Access based on the feedback and requests of the player community. This week on Dec. 14, Quake Champions will receive one of its largest updates to date, delivering new content and features including a new Champion, Keel, who returns from Quake 3 Arena and Quake Live; a new arena for Duel and 2v2, Vale of Pnath; Ranked Play and Leaderboards; plus a ton of festive, holiday-themed gear and maps for a limited time.

HP Laptops Shipped with Hidden Keylogger

Michael Myng, more commonly known as ZwClose, was approached by a friend to look into the possibility of controlling the keyboard's backlighting on his HP laptop. Michael was down for the challenge, and his friend sent the Synaptics SynTP.sys file over to him. After analyzing the keyboard driver, he found the sleeping keylogger. The logging function is disabled by default. However, intruders can enable it easily by modifying the registry value through malicious code. Michael reported the issue to HP, and the company released a list of the affected laptop models along with a security patch. The list contains over 400 models from HP's most popular product lines like the EliteBook, ProBook, ZBook, Spectre Pro, ENVY, Pavilion, OMEN - just mention a few. Now that the vulnerability is public, we urge HP laptop owners to install the security patch ASAP. The fix is also available on Windows Update if that's your preferred method.

Sources: ZwClose, HP

Intel Announces New Pentium Silver and Celeron Processors

Intel delivers industry-leading innovations and creates new experiences across its portfolio products. Today, Intel unveils the all-new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors.

The new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors are based on Intel's architecture codenamed Gemini Lake, and are engineered for a great balance of performance and connectivity for the things people do every day - working on office documents and spreadsheets, browsing online, enjoying favorite shows and movies, and editing photos - with great battery life. And it can all be performed on a range of devices at an amazing value. Pentium Silver will deliver 58 percent faster productivity performance compared with a similar 4-year-old PC.
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