Hardware Giveaway
Saturday, December 15th 2018

AMD 7nm EPYC "Rome" CPUs in Upcoming Finnish Supercomputer, 200,000 Cores Total

During the next year and a half, the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) will be purchasing a new supercomputer in two phases. The first phase consists of Atos' air-cooled BullSequana X400 cluster which makes use of Intel's Cascade Lake Xeon processors along with Mellanox HDR InfiniBand for a theoretical performance of 2 petaflops. Meanwhile, system memory per node will range from 96 GB up to 1.5 TB with the entire system receiving a 4.9 PB Lustre parallel file system as well from DDN. Furthermore, a separate partition of phase one will be used for AI research and will feature 320 NVIDIA V100 NVLinked GPUs configured in 4-GPU nodes. It is expected that peak performance will reach 2.5 petaflops. Phase one will be brought online at some point in the summer of 2019.

Where things get interesting is in phase two, which is set for completion during the spring of 2020. Atos' will be building CSC a liquid-cooled HDR-connected BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer that will be configured with 200,000 AMD EPYC "Rome" CPU cores which for the mathematicians out there works out to 3,125 64 core AMD EPYC processors. Of course, all that x86 muscle will require a great deal of system memory, as such, each node will be equipped with 256 GB for good measure. Storage will consist of an 8 PB Lustre parallel file system that is to be provided by DDN. Overall phase two will increase computing capacity by 6.4 petaflops (peak). With deals like this already being signed it would appear AMD's next-generation EPYC processors are shaping up nicely considering Intel had this market cornered for nearly a decade.
Friday, December 14th 2018

AMD Radeon Technology Group, Senior VP and General Manager, Mike Rayfield to Resign

AMD's Radeon Technology Group (RTG) continues to be in a state of flux, with another executive leaving the company. This time, RTG General Manager and Senior Vice President, Mike Rayfield (pictured on the left below) will be resigning by year's end, marking the second time in a calendar year the group has been devoid of a formal leader. Rayfield previously worked for NVIDIA as the General Manager of their Tegra business unit, and was Vice President and General Manager of Micron's mobile storage business unit prior to that. Having served in all these roles for quite some time, it is somewhat of a surprise to see him leaving AMD so quickly, having only just joined the company back in February 2018. With that said, AMD has said the reason for this departure is so that he can "spend more time with his family and pursue his personal passions".

David Wang (picture on the right below), the current Senior Vice President of Engineering at RTG, will be his interim successor. He already has a storied history at AMD, having worked on ATI/AMD graphics cards as a GPU engineer from the R300 to GCN 1.0 in a time period ranging from the years 2000 to 2012. Under AMD's dual leadership model which was implemented after Raja Koduri's resignation, both Wang and Rayfield have worked together leading the RTG group. Thanks to this, the transition of duties should be relatively smooth even though Wang's role is only temporary, and it will be interesting to see whom AMD picks as Rayfield's long-term successor.

NVIDIA's Stock Has Been Plunging Since October; Softbank Reported to be Looking for a Way Out

The stock markets are the financial equivalent of a fickle mistress. Just ask NVIDIA. The company has, in recent months, introduced their Turing architecture and derived products - a move NVIDIA deemed such a significant leap over its previous generations that it prompted a change from the GTX of old to a new RTX moniker. The company's latest financial results also reported a 21% increase in revenue YoY, and a 2% increase relative to the last quarter. Despite this and increased cash dividends being delivered to the hands of investors, festive must not be NVIDIA's mind right now.

"Logitech Options" Software Vulnerability Disclosed, Users Should Uninstall Until Fix is Available

(Update 1: It seems that Logitech has launched an updated version of their Options software with a fix for the vulnerabiity - but this only happened after the vulnerabiiity became public. You can go on over Logitech's own webpage to download the updated version, which includes the fix in its changelogs, from here. Safe browsing.)

Adding to the critical vulnerability galore that's been coming out of Google's Project Zero, a researcher has demonstrated how an inherent bug in the "Logitech Options" software renders users vulnerable when visiting web pages. Tavis Ormandy, with Google Project Zero, found that Logitech Options opens a local Websocket port that doesn't require authentication for external commands. Attackers could exploit this issue by sending simulated keystrokes from any website - and thus execute pretty much anything on affected systems.

AMD Ryzen 3000U Series APUs Detailed, Geekbenched

AMD is putting final touches on its Ryzen 3000U series APUs for ultra-portable notebooks and 2-in-1 devices. Thai PC enthusiast Tum Apisak shared links to Geekbench scores of at least three SKUs, the Ryzen 3 3200U, the Ryzen 3300U, and the Ryzen 5 3500U. The Ryzen 3 3200U combines a 2-core/4-thread CPU component, while the Ryzen 3 3300U packs a 4-core/4-thread CPU, and the Ryzen 5 3500U a better equipped 4-core/8-thread CPU. While the 3200U's CPU is clocked high at 2.60 GHz, the 3300U and 3500U are both clocked at 2.10 GHz. The iGPU specs are still under the wraps as Geekbench only tested the single- and multi-threaded CPU performance. The 3200U scores 3428 points single-threaded owing to its higher nominal clocks, and around 6500 points multi-threaded. The 3300U scores 9686 points in multi-threaded owing to its additional cores (sans SMT). The 3500U increases the multi-threaded score to over 11280 points multi-threaded, on account of being quad-core with SMT.

There's no clarity on the underlying micro-architecture. While the source mentions the codename of these chips as Picasso, the silicon still appears to be 14 nm "Raven Ridge." Over generation, AMD only appears to have pushed its current parts lower down the product stack. For example, the Ryzen 3 3300U appears to share the same CPU configuration (albeit with 5% higher clock-speeds) as the Ryzen 5 2500U from the current-generation. The Ryzen 5 3500U, on the other hand, appears to have essentially the same (again, marginally speed-bumped) CPU as the Ryzen 7 2700U. HP is ready with notebook and 2-in-1 products based on all three chips, although they're unlikely to launch before year-end. Perhaps CES could be a nice launchpad.

LEGO: The Hobbit Available for Free From Humble Bundle

Another month, another free game from Humble Bundle, the company that shows that Christmas is whenever one feels like it. This month's free game is one of those that will put the hurt on your feet should you step on it... LEGO: The Hobbit will be free of charge for users that redeem it from Humble Bundle's page.

This promotion is available from Thursday, December 13 at 10 a.m. Pacific time to Saturday, December 15 at 10 a.m. Pacific time. Don't leave Gandalf waiting, now.

Silicon Power Launches First DDR4 RGB for Gamers - XPOWER Turbine

Silicon Power today announced that they're entering the gaming market with a special set of DDR4 memory modules that cater to everything enthusiasts want. This strategy will go on well into 2019 with a smattering of products across SP's line of products, while allowing the company to enter new markets where they previously didn't compete.

The first step on this road is the announcement and release of the new XPOWER Turbine DDR4 kit with RGB lighting (supporting ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light Sync, and ASROCK-Polychrome Sync), maxing out at speeds of 4133 MHz with 1.4 V. Backed by a lifetime warranty and with all modules being 100% tested, according to the company.

ASUS Announces ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Edition

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti OC Call of Duty : Black Ops 4 Edition graphics card, an exclusive limited-edition version that's restricted to a production run of just 500 units and available only in selected territories. Decorated with the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Edition insignia, the card pairs the NVIDIA A-list GPU with gargantuan power delivery and cooling, and boasts out-of-the-box Boost clocks up to 1665 MHz to ensure performance stays silky smooth during frantic action.

ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti OC Call of Duty : Black Ops 4 Edition keeps Turing cool by adopting a 2.7-slot design and devoting most of that real estate to a large heatsink that has 20% more surface area than previous-generation cards. The massive fin assembly allows completely passive operation during light gaming, and when active cooling is needed, it's provided by three IP5X-certified Axial-Tech fans developed specifically for the task. Featuring a smaller hub and longer blades surrounded by a barrier ring to increase structural integrity and static pressure, the new fans shift more air and generate less noise.
Thursday, December 13th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cooling
Desktop PC
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Headphones
Memory
Motherboards
Mouse
Networking
SSD
Book of Demons

Book of Demons

Book of Demons is a delightful little papercraft dungeon crawler by developers Thing Trunk. It has plenty of full fat features in typical diabolical dungeon crawler style, but uses cards as items and skills, which are used in live instead of turn-based combat. It's also everything I hoped and dreamed for in such a format.
NVIDIA DLSS Test in Final Fantasy XV

NVIDIA DLSS Test in Final Fantasy XV

Square Enix has added DLSS support to Final Fantasy XV. We take a closer look at NVIDIA's new machine-learning-powered image enhancement technique and provide comparison pictures for you to check out yourself.

3DFX's Canceled Rampage GPU Pictured, Put Through the Paces in 3D Mark 2001

3DFX is a well-known name for most in our community, I'd wager (I don't have the data to back me up on that, but bare with me). The company is one of the highest-profile defunct companies that vied for a place in the desktop, high-performance GPU space back in the day, and brought its guns bearing on NVIDIA and then ATI. The Rampage was the last GPU ever developed by the company, and looked to compete with NVIDIA's GeForce3. That never saw the light of day, though, with the company shutting its doors before development became viable for market release.

DSOGaming has some images of some of the Rampage GPUs that survived 3DFX's closure, though, and the graphics card is shown running Max Payne, Unreal Tournament & 3DMark 2001. For those of you that ever had a 3DFX graphics card, these should bring you right down memory lane. Enjoy.

Metro: Exodus Goes Gold, And Sees Release One Week Earlier Than Originally Announced

4A Games has announced that they're happy with the development on Metro: Exodus as it stands today, and have announced that the game has gone gold (meaning, that it is in a state where it can be produced en-masse and shipped to the achingly awaiting public). Metro: Exodus, the third game accompanying Artyom's struggle to survive in post-apocalyptic Russia, is the first game from the developer to feature an open-world design, and confidence should be going through the roof as it relates to this particular title's quality.

The game has a launch date for February 15th, and will be featuring support for NVIDIA's RTX technology (expectedly, upon launch day). We'll be here to see how that works out in this particular title, of course. In the meantime, 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver have released the full title sequence for the game, which should whet your appetites for the survival game that's coming soon.

GOG Winter Sale is On Until January 3rd

GOG, the sales arm of CD Projekt RED, have just announced a winter sale for the gems on their store. And the best way to start a game sale is by offering a game, as GOG has gotten us used to (other game stores, look here), with GOG offering a copy of Full Throttle Remastered for free in the first 48H of the sale (until December 15, 2:00 PM UTC).

The sale has some 1900+ offerings on the digital table for gamers everywhere that like to ask for their games without any kind of DRM and with extra goodies, and daily flash sales will be occurring, with never-before-seen prices for some titles being available for a period of 24H only. If you were looking at CD Projekt RED's own Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, for example, you can snag it for 20% off already. Cuphead sees the same discount percentage, while Divinity II: Original Sin Definitive Edition is available at 35% off. So go on, in you go to that particular GOG candyland.

The ZeniMax-Oculus Odyssey is Over - Facebook Settles the Dispute For Undisclosed Sum

Remember the lawsuit ZeniMax threw Oculus' way? Well, that seems to be settled now, after a back and forward that always saw Oculus (even after the Facebook acquisition) having to pay damages to ZeniMax - at first, $500 million, which was then reduced to $250 million.

Now, the litigation seems to have come to an end, as CNBC reports that ZeniMax's CEO has acknowledged that a settlement was reached. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed (and so was the sum that Facebook definitely had to pay ZeniMax), but CNBC got a statement from the ZeniMax CEO Robert Altman that read: "We are pleased that a settlement has been reached and are fully satisfied by the outcome. While we dislike litigation, we will always vigorously defend against any infringement or misappropriation of our intellectual property by third parties." While ZeniMax says they are fully satisfied with the outcome, it's certainly a far cry from the original up to $4 billion and Oculus sales being blocked that the company was after in the initial terms of the lawsuit.

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Launched, Here's What's New

AMD today released their yearly driver update called Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition v18.2.2. For the past three years, the company has been releasing year-end feature-packed updates to Radeon Software. The 2017 version saw the introduction of Radeon Software "Adrenalin", before which we had Crimson/ReLive and Omega. The company also sped up its driver release cycle to match AAA game releases, and over the years, increased its reliability score and customer satisfaction. With Radeon Software Adrenalin, AMD is targeting three key consumer segments: Gamers, Enthusiasts, and Creators.

Sharkoon Announces the Drakonia II Gaming Mouse - The Dragon Returns

Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals which boasts performance at a reasonable price. Sharkoon now introduces the successor to its popular gaming mouse, the Drakonia. The new Drakonia II is again presented with a distinctive dragon-scale design and pleasant ergonomic form. The mouse also features a high performance optical sensor from PixArt as well as numerous programmable buttons.

Shuttle Announces the XPC Cube Barebone SH310R4 Mini-PC

The successful XPC cubes model series gets a boost: With the new SH310R4, the 8th and 9th generation of the Intel Core processors is now also available in Shuttle's entry-level range making it a good-value, but yet powerful model based on "Coffee Lake".

Based on the Intel chipset H310, the XPC cube Barebone SH310R4 supports the latest Intel Core processors of the "Coffee Lake" series with socket LGA1151v2 and up to 95 Watt TDP. Therefore, even the particularly fast ones such as the i9-9900K with up to 8 cores and 16 threads can be used. Two slots on the mainboard allow a total of 32 GB of DDR4 memory to be installed.
Wednesday, December 12th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Gaming PC
Graphics Cards
Memory
Monitors
Motherboards
Networking
Processors
Storage
ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 STRIX OC 8 GB

ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 STRIX OC 8 GB

The ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 STRIX OC is a custom-design variant using a large triple-slot cooler that delivers excellent temperatures or very low noise levels because of the inclusion of a dual-BIOS feature, which offers a "quiet" mode. ASUS has also upgraded the power delivery capability of their card to 8-phase with 6+8-pin power input.

Razer Wants to Mine Crypto on Your PC in Return for Loyalty Rewards

In a move that made us go "WTF" internally, Razer has decided to test their fanbase's loyalty more so than ever before. Today, the company introduced Razer Softminer, a mining software program that is intended to be installed on computers and run to mine cryptocurrency. But instead of the users getting whatever new cryptocurrency is in fashion, Razer instead wants to retain all mined crypto and in turn "award" users with the so-called Razer Silver- loyalty reward credits, in their own words. The miner appears to be running off a version of the Gamma desktop application, as per speculation from TweakTown.

Razer Softminer utilizes heavy GPU performance loads, and there is no mention as to what the actual mining is for. It is clear, however, that the users are not mining Razer Silver (which Razer is quick to admit is not cryptocurrency) and these loyalty credits are handed out in an equivalent manner based on the mining power of the system. In their estimate, a sytem with at least a NVIDIA GTX 1050 or AMD RX 460 running the mining program for a whole day will net ~500 Razer Silver, and these can be used to "redeem Razer peripherals, digital rewards such as games, vouchers and more" from a dedicated rewards page.

Square Enix Unveils NieR:Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition, Releases Feb 26, 2019 for $39.99

NieR:Automata on the PC platform is a love-hate affair, the former due to excellent gameplay and replayability via multiple "routes" and the latter no thanks to the game in need of performance enhancements and bug fixes that were promised nearly two years ago but yet to come to fruition. Overall, the game holds an overwhelmingly positive review feedback on Steam, and won many game awards from various video game publications last year. For those who were hoping, or just waiting, for a complete GOTY edition to come out, perhaps this news is for you.

Today, Square Enix officially announced the NieR:Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition that includes the full base game as well as the 3C3C1D119440927 Expansion DLC, four pod designs (Grimoire Weiss pod, Retro Grey pod skin, Retro Red pod skin, Cardboard pod skin), the Machine Mask accessory and two digital wallpapers. This releases February 26, 2019 for $39.99 for PC and the PS4, with the XBOX One having received a "Become As Gods" earlier this year that had brought with it performance improvements. It remains to be seen if the new edition gets a similar patch, which interested users must keep track of before committing to a purchase as many players today have had to resort to a third-party patch to get things smoothly running.

Intel Launches B365 Express Chipset on 22nm Process, Possibly a Re-branded Z170

Intel today introduced the B365 Express desktop motherboard chipset as an in-between to its B360 Express and H370 Express chipsets. This model is part of Intel's optical enlargement of its motherboard chipsets to the 22 nm HKMG+ silicon fabrication node, to free up 14 nm++ for processors. Despite this, the TDP of the chipset remains unchanged at 6 Watts. The B365 has a couple of feature additions and subtractions over B360. To begin with it has a wider PCI-Express downstream root-complex, with 20 gen 3.0 lanes, on par with H370 Express. The B360, if you'll recall, only has 12 downstream PCIe lanes. This means B365 motherboards will have additional M.2 and U.2 connectivity.

According to the ARK specifications page for the B365 Express, this chip completely lacks integrated 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 connectivity. Perhaps the expanded downstream PCIe is really meant for motherboard vendors to use third-party USB 3.1 gen 2 controller chips. You still get eight 5 Gbps USB 3.0 ports (notice we didn't say USB 3.1 gen 1, because don't expect fast-charging features). The chipset also loses the latest generation Wireless AC integrated MAC. All of these point to the possibility of the B365 Express being a re-branded Z170 with locked CPU overclocking. Adding credence to this theory is the fact that while the B360 uses ME version 12, the B365 uses the older ME version 11. Much like the H310C, the B365 could include platform support for Windows 7.

1MORE Introduces "True Wireless" In-ear Headphones

1MORE, whose products have been featured on TechPowerUp multiple times before, today added to their portfolio of audio peripherals with what they call their first truly wireless headphones. This is not necessarily their first wireless headphones, or even their first wireless in-ear headphones, but 1MORE's usage of the phrase here refers to these having no wires connecting both pieces of the headphones either- as opposed to the necklace style wireless headphones they had before.

Called simply the Stylish True Wireless In-Ear Headphones, which no doubt will make it harder to look them up in the long run, these new headphones come in black or gold color offerings and resemble many of the newer Bluetooth earphones in design. However, 1MORE says that they have used the uncommon non-conductive vacuum metallization (NVCM) process to get the final color and finish on these, as opposed to the more popular physical vapor deposition or even electroplating of metal surfaces. They claim is "an eco-friendly vacuum plated coating process that provides both a sleek metallic finish and stable signal transmission".

EKWB Releases Velocity D-RGB CPU Blocks with Addressable RGB Lighting

We took a detailed look at the EK-Velocity CPU waterblock recently, which was released in over 14 different combinations of top material (acetal, acrylic, nickel-plated brass), base plate (copper, nickel-plated copper), and even specific RGB and non-RGB versions. Part of their new "Quantum" design philosophy, today saw the addition of more versions to choose from. In particular, for those who felt having 24 RGB LEDs displaying the same color was not enough, EKWB has introduced two (each for Intel and AMD sockets) digital addressable RGB LED versions to allow for every single LED to shine a different hue.

As with the other RGB versions, these are compatible with ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light, Gigabyte/AORUS RGB Fusion, ASRock Polychrome Sync and other digital RGB controllers, thus allowing for a cohesive lighting ecosystem in your PC build. Everything else is similar, including the new cooling engine that offers lower restriction to coolant flow while not necessarily improving on thermal performance relative to the older EK-Supremacy EVO. The EK-Velocity D-RGB CPU block comes in a nickel/plexi or nickel/acetal version for Intel and AMD sockets and are priced at 99.90€ and 99.90€ respectively (inc. VAT in EU).

Be Quiet! Pure Power 11 PSU Series Now Available in the United States

Be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for twelve consecutive years, introduces its new mainstream power supply series, Pure Power 11, to the US market. The series consists of three models with fixed cables ranging from 500 to 700 watts and three models with modular cables also ranging from 500 to 700 watts. Previously, Pure Power 10 introduced DC-to-DC transformation to be quiet!'s best selling power supply series, improving crossload performance and voltage regulation on its minor rails. Pure Power 11 expands on this proven technology by upgrading both passive and active components, enabling higher efficiency of up to 92% with 80 PLUS Gold certification, and leading to less heat generation and quieter operation. Manufacturer warranty has also been increased from three to five years.

Intel's Foveros-based, Hybrid x86 CPUs Mean the Company Needed to Sprinkle some ARM

Intel at its architecture day revealed one of the more exquisite in-house designs for the company in recent years: a hybrid x86 chip that seems to imbibe from ARM's own big.Little design mantra. The new Hybrid x86 CPU that was announced takes this design choice in pairing a single, high-performance Sunny Cove core with four smaller Atom cores. This chip is built using Intel's Foveros manufacturing technology, which means a 22FFL IO chip serves as an active interposer, connected via TSVs to a 10nm die that contains both types of cores. The tiny chips measures just 12 x 12 x 1 mm (144 mm²), and looks to reduce footprint even further by including a POP (package on package) memory design.

The new Intel design is aimed at low-power environments, with the chip having been designed to work on a 2 mW standby power ratio, with less than a 7 W of power - for a big.Little five-core design and a 64 EU design with Gen11 graphics core. Intel's Jim Keller said that the company is testing the intricacies and advantages of this design internally, so more products based on this manufacturing and packaging mantra could pop up sometime in the future.

Intel Xᵉ Kicks the Door Open to Challenge the GeForce-Radeon Duopoly

Intel's discrete graphics card for PC enthusiasts is real. Intel won't just address the pro-graphics and accelerated-compute markets, but also consumer graphics, challenging the duopoly of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon. Scheduled for 2020, the new Intel Xᵉ is a family of discrete GPUs targeting client-segment (consumer graphics) as well as enterprise (pro-graphics and compute).

As for performance, we speculate that the first Xᵉ products could span a vast lineup of ASICs starting single-digit TFLOP/s range for the client-segment GPU, looking purely at a nondescript performance-time graph presented by Intel. This graph depicts performance double linearly over time up to Gen9, and increase to Intel's own state 1 TFLOP/s for the Gen11 iGPU core in 2019 (a full four years following Gen9). There are a spectrum of GPUs going from the entry-level client-segment all the way up to mid-range and enthusiast segment (Intel finally used the E-word).

Intel 10nm "Ice Lake" to Combine "Sunny Cove" CPU Cores with Gen11 iGPU

Intel's upcoming "Ice Lake" die could be the company's biggest processor innovation in a decade, combining new clean-slate design "Sunny Cove" CPU cores, and a new integrated graphics solution based on the company's Gen11 architecture. "Sunny Cove" introduces significant IPC (single-thread performance) gains over "Coffee Lake," introduces new ISA instruction sets, including AVX-512; and a brand new uncore component; while the Gen11 graphics core is Intel's first iGPU to reach the 1 TFLOP/s mark. Intel demonstrated the ultra-low power "Ice Lake-U" SoC platform in its 2018 Architecture Day briefing.

This "Ice Lake-U" chip, with its TDP in the ballpark of 15 W, was shown ripping through 7-zip and "Tekken 7." With 7-zip, Intel was trying to demonstrate vector-AES and SHA-NI improving archive encryption performance by 75 percent over "Skylake." The Gen11 iGPU was shown providing a smoother gameplay than Skylake with Gen9, although the company neither mentioned resolution, nor frame-rates. Anandtech wagers it's above 30 fps.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 417.35 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 417.35 WHQL software. These drivers provide optimization to the latest update of Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, which introduces DLSS (deep learning super-sampling), NVIDIA's major image-quality enhancement feature released alongside "Turing." The 417.35 WHQL update also addresses a number of issues. "Rocket League" now no longer sometimes launch with a white screen and crash-to-desktop. The "Manage GPU Utilization" tab in the Workstation settings of NVCPL on machines running TITAN V no longer appears when it shouldn't. The drivers also fix SLI disabling after driver update on TITAN Xp SLI setups. Ansel support for "Battlefield V" is improved. Texture flickering in "Hitman 2: Silent Assassin" has been fixed. The drivers also include an updated GeForce Experience (version 3.16.0.140).

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 417.35 WHQL
The change-log follows.

Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

Intel today unveiled its first clean-slate CPU core micro-architecture since "Nehalem," codenamed "Sunny Cove." Over the past decade, the 9-odd generations of Core processors were based on incrementally refined descendants of "Nehalem," running all the way down to "Coffee Lake." Intel now wants a clean-slate core design, much like AMD "Zen" is a clean-slate compared to "Stars" or to a large extent even "Bulldozer." This allows Intel to introduce significant gains in IPC (single-thread performance) over the current generation. Intel's IPC growth curve over the past three micro-architectures has remained flat, and only grew single-digit percentages over the generations prior.

It's important to note here, that "Sunny Cove" is the codename for the core design. Intel's earlier codenaming was all-encompassing, covering not just cores, but also uncore, and entire dies. It's up to Intel's future chip-designers to design dies with many of these cores, a future-generation iGPU such as Gen11, and a next-generation uncore that probably integrates PCIe gen 4.0 and DDR5 memory. Intel details "Sunny Cove" as far as mentioning IPC gains, a new ISA (new instruction sets and hardware capabilities, including AVX-512), and improved scalability (ability to increase core-counts without running into latency problems).

Intel Gen11 iGPU Roughly as Fast as Radeon Vega 8 (Ryzen 3 2200G)

Today, Intel is revealing major details about its upcoming CPU and graphics architectures to select audience. A big scoop VideoCardz landed is the company's next-generation Gen11 integrated graphics core, the first major upgrade to the company's 4-year old Gen9 architecture. According to them, a Gen11 (default GT2 trim we assume) graphics core should offer a compute throughput of 1 TFLOP/s, which is in the league of the Radeon Vega 8, with its 1.12 TFLOP/s throughput. The Vega 8 is part of AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G processor.

Raw compute power only paints half the picture, the iGPU reportedly also supports tile-based rendering. This is a highly publicized method of rendering that made its consumer debut with NVIDIA "Pascal." Also mentioned are redesigned FPU interfaces, support for half-precision FP16, 2x pixel/clock pipelines, display stream compression that lets it support 5K and 8K displays, and adaptive sync. Intel will debut its Gen11 iGPU with its upcoming Core "Ice Lake" processors that debut on the company's 10 nm silicon fabrication process.

Phanteks Introduces The New PH-TC12LS RGB CPU Cooler

Phanteks today announced the new PH-TC12LS RGB CPU Cooler. The already popular CPU cooler now gets a new illumination upgrade from the award-winning Halos RGB fan frame.

Phanteks' PH-TC12LS RGB is a low profile CPU cooler designed for cases that are limited in space and clearance. The PH-TC12LS RGB uses six C-type heat-pipes (6mm diameter) to deliver thermal conductivity more efficiently. Equipped with Phanteks' PH-F120MP fan, the PH-TC12LS RGB provides exceptional static pressure and airflow through the heatsink for better cooling performance. The PH-TC12LS RGB includes the Halos RGB fan frame to add ambient illumination to complement your system.

INNO3D Announces Their New iCHILL X3 JEKYLL Dual-Fan Cooling Solution - Two Fans, Two Personalities

INNO3D, a leading manufacturer of awesome high-end graphics hardware components and various innovations, introduces its new iCHILL cooling solution, the iCHILL X3 JEKYLL. Designed around NVIDIA's GeForce RTX series factoring in the sheer power and performance of the RTX 20 series, with the first beneficiary's being the INNO3D GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2080. The iCHILL X3 JEKYLL is fully equipped to allow heat dissipation and airflow optimization so that you can push your high-end graphics card to the limit.

URCDKeys Now Selling Windows 10 Pro OEM and Office 2016 Lifetime Keys at Up To 92% Off

URCDKeys is a sensational new deep-discount online software license store. The store is selling two of its most popular products among TechPowerUp readers, at an unbeatable discount of up to 92% off the regular online price. Windows 10 Pro is a recommended flavor of Windows 10 for PC enthusiasts as it gives you greater control thanks to Group Policy Editor, and other administrative tools. URCDKey is selling the OEM license key to Windows 10 Pro for USD $14.86, which further goes down to $11.81 when you apply a TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon at checkout.

Your Windows 10 PC is incomplete without Microsoft Office, and URCDKey is stocked with Office 2016 Professional lifetime global license keys for just $38.02, with a further 20% off for TechPowerUp readers, making the effective price you pay just $30.42. That's a fraction of the price you'd pay for an annual subscription of Office 365. This deal is particularly useful for students, so they don't have to shell out $100 every two semesters.

Buy Windows 10 Pro OEM from URCDKeys | Buy Office 2016 Professional Plus from URCDKeys

Exclusive Discount for TechPowerUp readers: Don't forget to use coupon-code TP20 at checkout for an additional 20% off on the already discounted prices!

TechPowerUp and Be Quiet! Present Upgrade Kit Giveaway

TechPowerUp and German PC cooling experts Be Quiet! partner to bring you a unique opportunity to overhaul the casing, power, and cooling of your rig, with the Upgrade Kit Giveaway. One randomly-selected lucky winner stands to win a kit consisting of a Be Quiet! Silent Base 801 case, Straight Power 11 550W 80 Plus Gold power-supply, and a Dark Rock 4 CPU cooler (all three). Additionally, two runners up receive a Dark Rock 4, each. Open from today, the Giveaway ends on December 22. It is open to all our readers worldwide (wherever legal). To participate simply fill up a short form that helps us get back to you if you've won. Be Lucky with Be Quiet!

For more information and to participate, visit this page.

In Win 307 RGB ATX Case Uses its Front Panel Like a Display

When we first caught the In Win 307 at this year's Computex, we were mesmerized by its front panel, which features 144 RGB LEDs in a rectangular matrix that can be programmed to work like a display. You use In Win's GLOW application to either paint what you want on it, or use it for a number of interactive functions; or simply a really groovy showpiece. The company finally got around to launch the case.

This mid-tower packs room for graphics cards up to 35 cm in length, CPU coolers up to 16 cm in height, and a horizontally partitioned layout in which the smaller partition that holds the PSU is located along the top and inverted sideways. The sidewall can now hold a 360 mm x 120 mm radiator. If you're willing to sacrifice the bottom two expansion slots of your ATX motherboards, an additional 360 mm radiator can be mounted along the bottom. A 120 mm rear exhaust completes the ventilation features. Drive bays include two each of 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch. Measuring 501 mm x 238 mm x 537 mm (HxWxD), the case is made mostly of SECC steel, silicone, and tempered glass (left panel). The company didn't reveal pricing.

Microsoft Revamping Its IntelliMouse With Improved Sensor

Microsoft has apparently taken its IntelliMouse through an upgrade process. One of the more recognizable products harking back to Microsoft's past, the revamped IntelliMouse keeps its form, but sees the inclusion of an improved PixArt PAW 3389 Pro-MS sensor. The PixArt PAW 3389 features 50 levels of DPI sensitivity, running from a base 200 up to 16,000.

The 136 g IntelliMouse is being rated for accelerations up to 50G, and a maximum polling rate of 1,000 Hz; it's of the wired variety, and features a small RGB detail on the palm rest, near the back of the mouse. For now, it's only available in the Chinese Microsoft store (where it's available for 400 Yuan, roughly €50, but it should eventually find its way to other markets.

EVGA Releases Hybrid Kit AIO Liquid Coolers for its RTX 20-series Graphics Cards

EVGA today released four new all-in-one (AIO) liquid VGA coolers for its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards, under its Hybrid Kit branding. The Hybrid Kit "400-HC-1184-B1" is meant for RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 XC, XC2, and Founders Edition variants. The "400-HC-1384-B1" is designed for RTX 2080 Ti Founders Editon and EVGA's XC and XC2 renditions of the RTX 2080 Ti. Both these models are priced at USD $169.99. The "400-HC-1284-B1" is designed for FTW3 series cards based on the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080; while the "400-HC-1484-B1" is meant for the RTX 2080 Ti FTW3. Both these FTW3 variants are priced at $179.99.

These coolers earn their "Hybrid" name in being a combination of liquid and air cooling. An AIO pump-block pulls heat from the GPU, while a heatsink ventilated by a 100 mm fan suspended along a shroud cools the VRM areas of the graphics cards. A base-plate covers the memory areas, and transfers heat to the AIO block. A 120 mm radiator along with a 120 mm PWM fluid-bearing fan dissipate heat drawn from the GPU and memory. The shroud covering it all is studded with addressable RGB LEDs that plug into the aRGB header of the PCB.
Tuesday, December 11th 2018

Today's Reviews

Accessories
Cases
Cooling
Headphones
Keyboards
Mouse
Notebooks
SSD
Antec Torque

Antec Torque

The Antec Torque is the company's take on open air cases. It doubles down on a compact but elaborate look with the usual material mix focusing on aluminium and tempered glass.
Nixeus REVEL Fit

Nixeus REVEL Fit

Nixeus is back in the mouse game with their second model called the REVEL Fit. Is the shape familiar? No wonder as its design is based on the iconic Logitech MX500 series. The specification are great: PixArt PMW3360 sensor, separated main buttons with switches rated for 20 million clicks, rubberized matte black finish, and, of course, RGB lighting.

Fallout 76 Patch Adds FOV & DOF Sliders, Improves Camp Placements and Construction

After what seemed to be a series of never ending bad news concerning Bethesda's latest game, Fallout 76 received a major patch today that aims to improve the gaming experience in more ways than one. For PC users, a welcome addition comes in the form of the much-needed FOV (field of view) slider that has already helped tackle some complaints as seen online after launch. This comes along with a depth of field slider to allow further customization of the in-game view, which should also have a graphics performance effect depending on your hardware and DOF setting.

More importantly, Bethesda Game Studios has finally conceded that their current C.A.M.P system was far too broken. In particular, users were noticing their camp was lost entirely in between online sessions if someone else occupied the same space/location. This meant that a lot of resources were suddenly lost, and brought the online, multiplayer-only aspect of the game to be more similar to, say, State of Decay wherein players had to treat individual game sessions as possibly not having a point of resumption anymore. It added unnecessary frustration on top of what is frankly a bad video game by all records, and this is before we even get to the various bugs and monetary mishaps the game has seen since. Today's patch is a positive step, however, and hopefully this is one of many, many more that are needed before the game gets any real traction on the PC or console platforms alike. A full list of changes can be seen in the source linked in the full post.

Intel Demoes "Sunnycove" High Performance Core

Intel is inching closer to its December 12 "2018 Architecture Day" event targeted at assuring investors and channel partners that its short-term and intermediate-term CPU architecture roadmap looks competitive, by even demonstrating early prototypes of future architectures. One such exhibit revealed a processor demo platform codenamed "Sunnycove." It's not clear if this is a derivative of an upcoming CPU architecture (such as "Ice Lake,") or if it's the first fundamentally new CPU core design since "Nehalem."

The numbers put out by Intel scream "up to 75% more 7-zip performance," without elaborating whether they mean compression, decompression, or encryption. Speaking of the latter, this chip has some serious encryption chops, including support for new encryption instruction-sets that include SHA-NI (secure hash algorithm new instructions), and vector-AES. Much of the chip is designed to accelerate encryption, and its applications could be focused on the enterprise.
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