Hardware Giveaway
Friday, November 15th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Headphones
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
NAS
Processors
Sound Cards
Storage
V-Color PRISM II RGB DDR4-3600 MHz CL18 2x8 GB

V-Color PRISM II RGB DDR4-3600 MHz CL18 2x8 GB

With a polished silver heat spreader and a pastel RGB LED diffuser that is available in seven different colors, the PRISM II RGB kit from V-Color certainly has flair. This premium kit has the perfect sweet spot for Ryzen performance with a 3600 MHz XMP profile and is affordably priced to boot.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis

Finally a new Star Wars game! EA took inspiration from titles like Dark Souls, Sekiro, Uncharted, and Tomb Raider, and the rich Star Wars lore takes it to the next level. Under the hood, Fallen Order uses Unreal Engine 4, delivering good graphics with solid framerates on both AMD and NVIDIA hardware.

NEC Launches the MultiSync PA311D Monitor: 31" IPS, 4K, 10-bit color, 100% AdobeRGB Coverage

NEC today announced the launch of the MultiSync PA311D, a new 31-inch IPS wide color gamut display with a 4K (4096x2160) resolution. "The MultiSync PA311D will take its place as our flagship monitor in the PA Series of professional desktop displays," said Kevin Christopherson, Director of Product Marketing at NEC Display Solutions. "It provides higher resolution, along with better black levels and contrast. Further, the PA311D includes USB-C connectivity with 65 W charging and several new cutting-edge features to meet the color-critical needs of professional graphic designers, photographers and video producers."

MSI Prepares Another Version of AMD Radeon RX 580 Armor Graphics Card

While AMD is giving all signs of being preparing to release their latest entries into the midrange graphics card market in the form of the RX 5500 and RX 5300 series of graphics cards based on Navi, AMD's AIB partners are giving the slow burn on existing inventories of AMD's Polaris graphics chips. MSI, in this case, seems to have bet on a slight redesign of their previously-released RX 580 Armor and Armor MK2.

Changed is the color scheme - MSI went full black on this one. There's also a redesigned PCB, a redesigned I/O bracket (which keeps four display connectors), and a new cooler shroud. The heatsink's surface area also seems to have been increased, which should provide lower operating temperatures (anything beyond that, such as higher overclockability and longer lifespan, are speculations). The redesigned Armor keeps the single 8-pin PCIe power connector. No other details are available at time of writing.

Curiously Named "Athlon Gold" Surfaces on Geekbench Database

A Geekbench database submission from an HP "17-ca2xxx" laptop (likely a prototype), spilled the beans on an upcoming AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor, with nomenclature that looks inspired from the Pentium Gold. Intel uses the "Gold" and "Silver" brand extensions to distinguish processors based on its performance microarchitectures from those based on its low-power microarchitectures (eg: a "Skylake" based Pentium Gold, and a "Goldmont" based Pentium Silver). The addition of "Gold" to the Athlon brand could denote performance rivaling mobile versions of Pentium Gold found in entry-level full-size notebooks.

Moving on to the test itself, and we see the Athlon Gold 3150U being listed as a "Raven Ridge" derivative featuring a 2-core/4-thread CPU and Radeon graphics (likely "Vega 3" as with its desktop counterpart). The CPU is shown having a 2.40 GHz base frequency, and 3.30 GHz boost, 512 KB L2 cache per core, and 4 MB shared L3 cache. The chip scores 3,559 single-core points, and 7,336 points multi-core, comparable to entry-level dual-core processors from this generation. This makes us wonder what the Athlon "Silver" could be, and whether AMD is working on a new low-power microarchitecture in the near future.

Sapphire Formally Launches the Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ Special Edition

In September, Sapphire unveiled its most powerful graphics card to date - the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 5700 XT - which delivers amazing 4K and 1440p performance, but also features very advanced RGB customization options. We even created a set of SAPPHIRE ARGB Fans specifically for this card (sold separately), so you could illuminate your system even more. Since then, many of you have asked if we could include the ARGB Fans with the card itself. oday we are ready and excited to announce the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ RX 5700 XT SPECIAL EDITION! Not only does it include the SAPPHIRE ARGB Fans out of the box, but we've increased the card's performance even more.

Thermaltake Announces New Commander G Series Tempered Glass ARGB Cases

Thermaltake, a leading premium gaming tower manufacturer, is thrilled to announce a new compact design case line up- the Commander G Series Mid-Tower Chassis including G31, G32, and G33. The Commander G Series Tempered Glass ARGB Edition mid-tower chassis is a brand-new high airflow case designed with a special mesh front panel. This entry-level chassis comes with a preinstalled 200 mm ARGB fan that can be controlled via motherboard synchronization software or the RGB switch on the I/O port. Located at the rear of the chassis is another 120 mm standard fan preinstalled for outstanding ventilation. Other outstanding features include a 4 mm tempered glass panel, a riser GPU support bracket, and removable magnetic filters for an overall exceptional PC performance which is the deal for both gamers and enthusiasts.

GIGABYTE Also Announces the GeForce RTX 2080 Super Gaming OC WaterForce WB

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium water-cooled graphics card manufacturer, today announced the GIGABYTE WATERFORCE graphics cards - GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER GAMING OC WATERFORCE WB 8G powered by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPERTM GPU. Whether users are looking to fulfill the demands of their high-end water-cooled systems, or to enjoy the benefits of water-cooled GPU and CPUs, GIGABYTE WATERFORCE graphics card is the best choice. WATERFORCE WB graphics card is equipped with a top-of-the-line overclocked GPU certified by GIGABYTE GPU Gauntlet sorting technology.

It provides an all-around cooling solution for all key components of the graphics card. It takes care of not only the GPU but also VRAM and MOSFET to ensure stable overclock operation and longer durability. In addition, with excellent RGB lighting effects, protection metal back plate, Ultra-Durable top-grade materials and extended warranty for registered members, etc., GIGABYTE WATERFORCE WB graphics card is the best choice for top players to pursue both quiet operation and performance.

PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT Liquid Devil Pictured

Here's the first picture of the Radeon RX 5700 XT Liquid Devil by PowerColor. This premium graphics card is meant for people with DIY liquid-cooling setups, and comes with a factory-fitted full-coverage water-block. Sourced from EK Water Blocks, the cooling solution features a nickel-plated copper primary material, with an acrylic top and PowerColor-exclusive embellishments, which include a factory-fitted RGB LED setup. The card is 2-slot thick at the rear I/O. Under the block is a PCB similar in design to the air-cooled RX 5700 XT Red Devil graphics card. Its clock speeds and price are still under the wraps. We expect a price that's north of $500 given the cost of the block alone.

GIGABYTE Announces AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT Graphics Card

GIGABYTE, the world's leading premium gaming hardware manufacturer, today announced the launch of the AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT 8G, which is built upon the 2nd generation 7 nm processor technology with RDNA architecture. AORUS Radeon RX 5700 XT is equipped with the WINDFORCE 3x cooling system with alternate spinning fans, 6 copper direct touch heat-pipes for the GPU, BIOS switch for silence, RGB Fusion 2.0, protection metal backplate, GIGABYTE certified ultra-durable materials, and supports 6 Displays at once, gamers can experience top computing performance and overwhelming aesthetics smooth working state.

Even though graphics cards can generate strong performance during gaming, the thermal cooling system of graphics cards is an essential factor for many gamers to take into account. From alpha to omega, the tenet of the GIGABYTE WINDFORCE cooling system is to not only keep GPU temperatures lower but just as importantly, to tend to the temperatures of the VRAM and MOSFETs, so that the graphics cards offer more efficient and stable performance. Distinct from other brands' thermal solutions, GIGABYTE allows users to have low-temperature GPU performance and reduces the temperature of components such as the VRAM and MOSFETs to increase the lifespan. You never encounter the risk of damage to components from overheating when your GPU still works well under that scenario. GIGABYTE graphics cards are a good choice for gamers and delivers reliable, powerful performance.

Razer Kraken Ultimate Delivers the Winning Edge for Competitive Gamers

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, introduced today the Razer Kraken Ultimate, a competitive gaming headset featuring THX Spatial Audio technology that delivers pinpoint positional accuracy greater than 7.1 surround sound.

Powered by custom-tuned 50 mm drivers that produce a more natural sound curve, the realistic and immersive soundscape captures every auditory detail, allowing users to pick up even the slightest nuance in sound and use it to their advantage. The Kraken Ultimate's active noise canceling microphone allows for crystal-clear team communication completing a winning combination that gives gamers a competitive edge and the definitive gaming audio experience.

Intel Recalls Boxed Xeon E-2274G Processors Due to Inadequate Stock Cooler Effectiveness

Intel issued a product change notification (PCN) dated November 13, calling for a recall of boxed Xeon E-2274G processors from customers and distributors. The boxed SKU of the E-2274G, which includes a stock cooling solution, has been marked as "discontinued" and "end of life." Intel is offering an E-2274G tray processor (chip-only) as replacement for the returned inventory. The cause for the recall is the cooling solution included in the boxed SKU, which has been found to be insufficient to cool the E-2274G, a 4-core/8-thread processor based on the 14 nm++ "Coffee Lake" microarchitecture, with a rated TDP of 88 W.

The E973708-003 fan-heatsink included with boxed Xeon E-2274G processors is supplied by Foxconn, and has been known to be bundled with Intel's entry-level client-segment processors, such as the Pentium Gold series and Core i3 series (chips with TDP typically rated 65 W or less). It features a thin, circular, all-aluminium heatsink, which lacks a copper core that certain other LGA115x-compatible stock coolers by Intel have. The heatsink makes contact with the CPU over pre-applied TIM on an aluminium surface, with spirally-projecting fins dissipating heat under the fan's airflow. It could be been an oversight bundling such an underpowered cooler with an 88 W TDP processor that's designed for the rigors of mission-critical use-cases such as workstations and small-business servers.
Heatsink images courtesy: AndyKingParts (Amazon seller)

NVIDIA "Ampere" Successor Reportedly Codenamed "Hopper"

NVIDIA has reportedly codenamed a future GPU architecture "Hopper," in honor of Grace Hopper, an eminent computer scientist who invented one of the first linkers, and programmed the Harvard Mark I computer that aided the American war efforts in World War II. This came to light as Twitter user "@kopite7kimi," who's had a fairly high hit-rate with NVIDIA info tweeted not just the codename, but also a key NVIDIA product design change. The tweets were later deleted, but not before 3DCenter.org reported on them. To begin with, "Hopper" is reportedly succeeding the upcoming "Ampere" architecture slated for the first half of 2020.

"Hopper" is also rumored to introduce MCM (multi-chip module) GPU packages, which are packages with multiple GPU dies. Currently, GPU MCMs are packages that have one GPU die surrounded by memory dies or stacks. This combination of GPU dies could make up "giant cores," at least in the higher end of the performance spectrum. NVIDIA reserves MCMs for only its most expensive Tesla family of compute accelerators, or Quadro professional graphics cards, and seldom offers client-segment GeForce products.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.2

AMD Thursday released its latest version of Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition. Version 19.11.2 beta is the second release for the month of November 2019, and comes with optimization for "Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order." The driver also addresses a bug with certain map areas or cities in "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" (PUBG) intermittently experiencing stuttering or performance loss. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.11.2

NVIDIA Announces Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal 2020

NVIDIA today reported revenue for the third quarter ended Oct. 27, 2019, of $3.01 billion compared with $3.18 billion a year earlier and $2.58 billion in the previous quarter. GAAP earnings per diluted share for the quarter were $1.45, compared with $1.97 a year ago and $0.90 in the previous quarter. Non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.78, compared with $1.84 a year earlier and $1.24 in the previous quarter.

"Our gaming business and demand from hyperscale customers powered Q3's results," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "The realism of computer graphics is taking a giant leap forward with NVIDIA RTX. "This quarter, we have laid the foundation for where AI will ultimately make the greatest impact. We extended our reach beyond the cloud, to the edge, where GPU-accelerated 5G, AI and IoT will revolutionize the world's largest industries. We see strong data center growth ahead, driven by the rise of conversational AI and inference."
Thursday, November 14th 2019

Today's Reviews

Cases
Cooling
CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
SSD
MSI Immerse GH30

MSI Immerse GH30

The MSI Immerse GH30 is a simple $50 gaming headset with a few aces up its sleeve: it's foldable, comes with a detachable microphone, and sports best-in-class sound quality for headphones in its price range we have had a listen to.
CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB Fans

CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB Fans

One fan. 34 addressable RGB LEDs. That alone will be enough for many to decide if the new CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB fan is for you. Coming in both 120 and 140 mm sizes, CORSAIR's latest fans can do double duty and light up your house for the holiday season, in addition to your new PC build.

Microsoft Could Bring x86-64 App Emulation to Windows on ARM

According to the sources close to Neowin, Microsoft is expected to launch x86-64 (or x64 in short) emulation support for Windows on ARM (WoA) devices. Expected to arrive in Windows 10 21H1, or around 2020 for all the Windows Insiders, the new feature will enable a vast majority of apps made for Windows OS, currently built for x64 architecture, to run on ARM ISA and all Windows on ARM computers.

So far, only 32-bit x86 applications were able to be emulated, however, if these rumors are to be believed, many users of WoA devices should get a chance to run all of their favorite 64-bit software that was previously unavailable. The launch of this feature will boost the adoption of the WoA ecosystem with benefits reaching all existing laptop models, including Microsoft's newly launched Surface Pro X laptop that utilizes an ARM-based chip called SQ1 (customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor).

KIOXIA America Introduces Industry's First 512GB Automotive UFS

The next generation of automotive systems are hungry for more. More advanced infotainment and ADAS1 systems. More storage for event data recording. Support for more 3D mapping. In a move that makes more a reality, KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that it has begun sampling the industry's first 512 gigabyte (GB) Automotive Universal Flash Storage (UFS) JEDEC Version 2.1 embedded memory solution. KIOXIA America's Automotive UFS supports a wide temperature range (-40°C to +105°C), meets AEC-Q100 Grade 2 requirements and offers the extended reliability required by various automotive applications. The 512 GB device joins the company's existing lineup of Automotive UFS, which includes capacities of 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB.

Innovations such as autonomous vehicles, more advanced infotainment systems, digital clusters, telematics, and ADAS provide not only an elevated driver experience but also a greater demand for storage within vehicles.

CORSAIR Launches iCUE QL RGB Fans for Spectacular Lighting from Any Angle

Editor's note: Our review is here, for those interested.

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced a new line of PC cooling fans to elevate the aesthetics of any build: CORSAIR iCUE QL RGB PWM fans. Available in 120 mm and 140 mm sizes, every QL RGB fan features quad light loops lit by a total of 34 individually addressable RGB LEDs, creating incredible visuals from either side. Multi-fan kits of QL RGB fans are bundled with a CORSAIR iCUE Lighting Node CORE RGB Lighting Controller, capable of controlling the lighting for up to six CORSAIR RGB fans at once through CORSAIR iCUE software.

No other RGB fan comes close to the brightness and vibrancy of QL RGB. With inner and outer light loops on both the front and back of the fan, it is uniquely capable of intricate, bright, and detailed lighting effects that impress from any angle, regardless of whether it's used for intake or exhaust. A semi-transparent fan blade allows the RGB lighting to shine through, while a durable machined aluminium hub cover on either side completes the QL RGB's stunning look.

Sharkoon Announces the REV200 Case

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals, offering performance at a reasonable price. Now, with the REV200, Sharkoon introduces a real revolution in midi ATX towers. Compared to conventional models, the well thought out construction of the case allows the mainboard to be rotated 90 degrees and the remaining hardware to be installed vertically. This provides an easy and a particularly striking presentation of the components. In addition, the five pre-installed 120-millimeter RGB fans provide the necessary airflow as well as the appropriate illumination to set the scene for the hardware. The cable compartment under the top panel and the multi-functional tunnel on the underside both ensure an especially tidy appearance.

Thanks to the innovative construction, the PC can now be placed on the left side of the desk without foregoing the view into the inside of the case. To make this possible, Sharkoon has positioned the tempered glass side panel onto the right-hand side of the case. If the desk thus has its left side against the wall, the user still has a view into the case interior. And another positive effect of this configuration is that gamers who have their PCs on top of their desk will have more space to move around the mouse. Moreover, in combination with the glass element and triangular, offset surfaces on the front panel, the case is definitely an eye-catcher.

TechPowerUp and TerraMaster Present NAS Giveaway

TechPowerUp is partnering with TerraMaster to present the TerraMaster NAS Giveaway. Open for readers from the US and the EU, two randomly selected lucky winners stand a chance to get a TerraMaster F2-210 NAS. The F2-210 is the most powerful 2-bay NAS priced under USD $200, with a performance-optimized SoC for maximum throughput. It offers multiple layers of data-security over your network and the Internet. The TNAS interface is a powerful browser-based user-interface that lets you access your data over the local network and remotely, with a ton of security settings. Find out more about the F2-210 in its product page.

For more information and to participate, visit this page.
Wednesday, November 13th 2019

Today's Reviews

CPU Coolers
Graphics Cards
Keyboards
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Notebooks
Sound Cards
SSD
EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra

EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra

EVGA's GeForce GTX 1660 Super SC Ultra is priced at NVIDIA MSRP of $230 yet comes with an overclock out of the box. The cooler is also decent, offering temperatures comparable to much more expensive custom designs. Idle-fan-stop and a metal backplate are included, too.

7nm Intel Xe GPUs Codenamed "Ponte Vecchio"

Intel's first Xe GPU built on the company's 7 nm silicon fabrication process will be codenamed "Ponte Vecchio," according to a VideoCardz report. These are not gaming GPUs, but rather compute accelerators designed for exascale computing, which leverage the company's CXL (Compute Express Link) interconnect that has bandwidth comparable to PCIe gen 4.0, but with scalability features slated to come out with future generations of PCIe. Intel is preparing its first enterprise compute platform featuring these accelerators codenamed "Project Aurora," in which the company will exert end-to-end control over not just the hardware stack, but also the software.

"Project Aurora" combines up to six "Ponte Vecchio" Xe accelerators with up to two Xeon multi-core processors based on the 7 nm "Sapphire Rapids" microarchitecture, and OneAPI, a unifying API that lets a single kind of machine code address both the CPU and GPU. With Intel owning the x86 machine architecture, it's likely that Xe GPUs will feature, among other things, the ability to process x86 instructions. The API will be able to push scalar workloads to the CPU, and and the GPU's scalar units, and vector workloads to the GPU's vector-optimized SIMD units. Intel's main pitch to the compute market could be significantly lowered software costs from API and machine-code unification between the CPU and GPU.
Image Courtesy: Jan Drewes

KIOXIA PCIe 4.0 Enterprise NVMe SSDs Take Storage Performance to New Heights

KIOXIA America, Inc. (formerly Toshiba Memory America, Inc.), the U.S.-based subsidiary of KIOXIA Corporation, today announced that its lineup of PCIe 4.0 NVMeTM enterprise solid state drives (SSDs) has achieved PCI-SIG compliance for PCIe 4.0 and University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) certification. KIOXIA's CM6 Series successfully passed interoperability tests at the August 2019 PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop - the first workshop to include official PCIe 4.0 specification tests. KIOXIA America will be on hand at Supercomputing 2019 later this month to showcase new levels of flash performance enabled by its CM6 Series SSDs.

The first company to publicly demonstrate PCIe 4.0 SSDs, KIOXIA has established itself as a leader in developing PCIe 4.0 NVM Express SSDs and continues to push the limits of flash storage performance. The CM6 Series brings planned performance improvements of 3x over its PCIe 3.0 predecessors and is 12x faster than SATA drives. KIOXIA's lineup of Gen4 PCIe SSDs also includes the CD6 Series, which is targeted to cloud and scale-out environments.

TechPowerUp and Computer Upgrade King Giveaway: The Winners!

TechPowerUp and Computer Upgrade King brought you a chance to bring home the Continuum Micro-ATX tower chassis, a unique blend of infinite-reflection RGB along the front panel, and all essentials covered from a premium Micro-ATX build on the inside, with room for DIY liquid cooling. The Giveaway closed and the results are in. We have three lucky winners who will each receive the Computer Upgrade King Continuum. Without further ado, here they are:
  • John from New Jersey, USA
  • Petar from Bulgaria
  • Richard from The Netherlands
A huge Congratulations to you three! TechPowerUp will return with more such interesting giveaways.

Rune 2 Developer Human Head Studios Shuts Down, Immediately Sets Up Shop Under Bethesda as Roundhouse Studios

Well, this is something new. Human Head Studios, who have developed and just released Rune 2 yesterday on the Epic Games Store as an exclusive release, today announced their studio was shutting down. At the same time, Bethesda announced it was founding a new game studio, Roundhouse Studios, which would be fully populated by the Human Head Studios' staff, left unemployed from the closure of that developing label. While it's obviously great that in effect nobody was left unemployed... Does this "make sense much"?

It does. However, there are some interesting tidbits to this story. One of the more pressing questions is: how will Rune 2 be supported in the future? That question wasn't addressed by now Roundhouse Studios Creative Director Chris Rhinehart - we just assume the game has been released in an "as is" state and it doesn't matter whether there are some breaking bugs in that release. Any reported bug will be filed under "no developer found; won't fix". There are also some more interesting nuances to this deal, though. You might remember Human Head Studios previously worked on Prey 2, with Bethesda acting as publisher, but was removed from the project after the studio declined Bethesda's offer to buy Human Head Studios. This action cost the studio the IP, and led them towards development of Rune 2. However, all of that bad blood has seemingly been left behind them, according to press releases from both parties. You can read those after the break.

Crytek Releases Hardware-Agnostic Raytracing Benchmark "Neon Noir"

Crytek today released the final build for their hardware-agnostic raytracing benchmark. Dubbed Neon Noir, the benchmark had already been showcased in video form back in March 2019, but now it's finally available for download for all interested parties from the Crytek Marketplace. The benchmark currently doesn't support any low-level API such as Vulkan or DX 12, but support for those - and the expected performance improvements - will be implemented in the future.

Neon Noir has its raytracing chops added via an extension of CRYENGINE's SVOGI rendering tool that currently Crytek's games use, including Hunt: Showdown, which will make it easier for developers to explore raytracing implementations that don't require a particular hardware implementation (such as RTX). However, the developer has added that they will add hardware acceleration support in the future, which should only improve performance, and will not add any additional rendering features compared to those that can be achieved already. What are you waiting for? Just follow the link below.

AMD Radeon Pro 5000M Series Mobile GPUs Bring High-Performance AMD RDNA Architecture to Apple's New 16-inch MacBook Pro

AMD today announced that the latest Apple MacBook Pro features the new AMD Radeon Pro 5500M and 5300M mobile GPUs. AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series are the first 7 nm discrete mobile GPUs for professional users, leveraging industry-leading process technology and powerful AMD RDNA architecture to provide groundbreaking levels of graphics performance for video editing, 3D content creation and macOS-based game development.

AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series mobile GPUs are built upon the all-new AMD RDNA architecture, designed from the ground up for superior performance, scalability and power efficiency. The new GPUs include up to 8 GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory with up to 192 GB/s memory bandwidth - double the bandwidth of GDDR5 - and also deliver up to 4.0 TFLOPS of single-precision floating-point (FP32) performance. The GPUs are optimized for today's top professional content creation applications and compute-intensive image rendering workloads, delivering breathtaking, ultra-smooth, high-framerate visuals on the MacBook Pro Retina display.

Apple Introduces 16-inch MacBook Pro, the World's Best Pro Notebook

Apple today unveiled an all-new 16-inch MacBook Pro — the world's best pro notebook — designed for developers, photographers, filmmakers, scientists, music producers and anyone who relies on a Mac to create their life's best work. The all-new MacBook Pro features a brilliant 16-inch Retina Display, the latest 8-core processors, up to 64 GB of memory, next-generation graphics with up to 8 GB of VRAM and a new advanced thermal design, making it the most powerful MacBook Pro ever.

Featuring a new Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism and 1 mm travel for a more satisfying key feel, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers the best typing experience ever in a Mac notebook. The 16-inch MacBook Pro also includes a six-speaker sound system, longer battery life, Touch Bar, Touch ID, the Force Touch trackpad and the Apple T2 Security Chip.

Cray and Fujitsu Partner to Power Supercomputing in the Exascale Era

Global supercomputer leader Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, and leading Japanese information and communication technology company Fujitsu, today announced a partnership to offer high performance technologies for the Exascale Era. Under the alliance agreement, Cray is developing the first-ever commercial supercomputer powered by the Fujitsu A64FX Arm -based processor with high-memory bandwidth (HBM) and supported on the proven Cray CS500 supercomputer architecture and programming environment. Initial customers include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, RIKEN Center for Computational Science, Stony Brook University, and University of Bristol. As part of this new partnership, Cray and Fujitsu will explore engineering collaboration, co-development, and joint go-to-market to meet customer demand in the supercomputing space.

"Our partnership with Fujitsu means customers now have a broader choice of processor technology to address their pressing computational needs," said Fred Kohout, senior vice president and CMO at Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. "We are delivering the development-to-deployment experience customers have come to expect from Cray, including exploratory development to the Cray Programming Environment (CPE) for Arm processors to optimize performance and scalability with additional support for Scalable Vector Extensions and high bandwidth memory."

Intel CPUs Since Haswell Vulnerable to "Zombieload v2" Attacks, "Cascade Lake" Included

All Intel CPU microarchitectures since 2013 are vulnerable to a new class of "Zombieload," attacks, chronicled under "Zombieload v2" (CVE-2019-11135). This is the fifth kind of microarchitectural data sampling (MDS) vulnerability, besides the four already disclosed and patched against in Q2-2019. The vulnerability was kept secret by the people who discovered it, as Intel was yet to develop a mitigation against it. There is no silicon-level hardening against it, and Intel has released a firmware-level mitigation that will be distributed by motherboard manufacturers as BIOS updates, or perhaps even OS vendors. While Intel's latest enterprise and HEDT microarchitecture, "Cascade Lake" was thought to be immune to "Zombieload," it's being reported that "Zombieload v2" attacks can still compromise a "Cascade Lake" based server or HEDT that isn't patched.

"Zombieload v2" is an exploitation of the Asynchronous Abort operation of Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX), which occurs when malware creates read operation conflicts within the CPU. This reportedly leaks data about what else is being processed. "The main advantage of this approach is that it also works on machines with hardware fixes for Meltdown, which we verified on an i9-9900K and Xeon Gold 5218," reads the latest version of the Zombieload whitepaper that's been updated with "Zombieload v2" information. TSX is a requisite for "Zombieload v2," and all Intel microarchitectures since "Haswell" feature it. AMD processors are inherently immune to "Zombieload v2" as they lack TSX. Intel downplayed the severity or prevalence of "Zombieload v2," but dispatched microcode updates flagged "critical" nevertheless.

Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ Special Edition Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of a new "Special Edition" or SE variant of Sapphire's premium Radeon RX 5700 XT NITRO+ graphics card. The card introduces a higher factory-overclock than the original NITRO+, including a memory overclock, and a cosmetic change. To begin with, the NITRO+ SE ships with 14.4 Gbps overclocked GDDR6 memory, whereas the original NITRO+ sticks to the reference 14 Gbps.

Sapphire also dialed up the maximum engine boost frequency to 2035 MHz (vs. 2010 MHz on the original NITRO+). Sapphire also gave the card a cosmetic update. The three fans now come with transparent impellers that are illuminated with their own four RGB LEDs, each. The Special Edition will be a limited SKU, available in select markets from November 15, priced above the original NITRO+, at 520€ (including VAT).

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 November 2019 Update (1909)

Microsoft late Tuesday released its second major update to Windows 10 for the year, the Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909). This update beats conventions in that is "minor" in comparison to the Windows 10 May 2019 (1903) Update, in that Microsoft didn't change too many under-the-hood components, but updated the operating system's user-interface. For example, the operating system retains the older version's driver model.

The Actions Center received several UI updates such as the ability to add items to your agenda directly from the calendar, improved sorting of notifications, improved accessibility of the Start menu, and the ability to use third-party accessibility software from even the Lock screen. The only notable under-the-hood changes concern the scheduler. Windows 10 now gets the ability to address multiple "favored" cores in a multi-core processor. A favored core is a physically superior core that can sustain higher boost clocks for longer.
Microsoft's change-log follows.
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