News Posts matching "2019"

Return to Keyword Browsing

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.1 Drivers

Just in time for the release of Bethesda's open-world first-person shooter Rage 2 (find our performance analysis here), AMD has released their latest installment of the Radeon Adrenalin 2019 edition drivers for their graphics cards to make the most of the game. Indeed, AMD claims an improvement in game performance of up to 16% on the Radeon VII relative to last month's 19.4.3 drivers, and this is in addition to added support for the big Windows 10 May 2019 update and instruction tracing for AMD's GPU Profiler version 1.5.X. There is a plethora of fixed issues listed as well, and the usual list of known bugs, all of which can be seen past the break. We have also hosted the drivers installer for your convenience, which can be found at the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 19.5.1

Intel Switches Gears to 7nm Post 10nm, First Node Live in 2021

Intel's semiconductor manufacturing business has had a terrible past 5 years as it struggled to execute its 10 nanometer roadmap forcing the company's processor designers to re-hash the "Skylake" microarchitecture for 5 generations of Core processors, including the upcoming "Comet Lake." Its truly next-generation microarchitecture, codenamed "Ice Lake," which features a new CPU core design called "Sunny Cove," comes out toward the end of 2019, with desktop rollouts expected 2020. It turns out that the 10 nm process it's designed for, will have a rather short reign at Intel's fabs. Speaking at an investor's summit on Wednesday, Intel put out its silicon fabrication roadmap that sees an accelerated roll-out of Intel's own 7 nm process.

When it goes live and fit for mass production some time in 2021, Intel's 7 nm process will be a staggering 3 years behind TSMC, which fired up its 7 nm node in 2018. AMD is already mass-producing CPUs and GPUs on this node. Unlike TSMC, Intel will implement EUV (extreme ultraviolet) lithography straightaway. TSMC began 7 nm with DUV (deep ultraviolet) in 2018, and its EUV node went live in March. Samsung's 7 nm EUV node went up last October. Intel's roadmap doesn't show a leap from its current 10 nm node to 7 nm EUV, though. Intel will refine the 10 nm node to squeeze out energy-efficiency, with a refreshed 10 nm+ node that goes live some time in 2020.

AMD's Zen 2 Threadripper Conspicuously Absent From Company's Latest Roadmaps

We've all taken a look at AMD's March 2019 product roadmap, which showed us the upcoming 2019 tech the company would be bringing to the table in its "non-stop product momentum". However, it seems that this non-stop product momentum might be coming to an unexpected twist of fate that might delay it from entering the last station - the Zen 2-based Threadripper. In the company's latest May earnings call roadmap, the company silently removed the Zen 2 Threadripper from its product roadmap - where it used to sit right after the launch of Zen 2-based Ryzen products for consumers, is now just a big crop of the space it occupied.

This might mean many things, and a mistake on someone's part while cropping the PowerPoint slide could be the only thing going on here. However, the best and most plausible speculation that can be entertained when one considers this is simple - a supply problem. With the 7 nm node being the newest, most dense fabrication process possible, and with AMD having to share TSMC's 7 nm wafer production with a number of high profile companies - such as Qualcomm, for instance - may mean that supply is simply too tight to support Zen 2-based products across so many product stacks - Ryzen and Epyc - at the same time.

Backblaze Releases Hard Drive Stats for Q1 2019

As of March 31, 2019, Backblaze had 106,238 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across three data centers. Of that number, there were 1,913 boot drives and 104,325 data drives. This review looks at the Q1 2019 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way.

Hard Drive Failure Stats for Q1 2019
At the end of Q1 2019, Backblaze was using 104,325 hard drives to store data. For our evaluation we remove from consideration those drives that were used for testing purposes and those drive models for which we did not have at least 45 drives (see why below). This leaves us with 104,130 hard drives. The table below covers what happened in Q1 2019.

Intel on Q1 FY 2019: Servers Down, PC Market Up, Revenue Flat

Intel Corporation today reported first-quarter 2019 financial results. In the first quarter, the company generated approximately $5.0 billion in cash from operations, paid dividends of $1.4 billion and used $2.5 billion to repurchase 49 million shares of stock.

"Results for the first quarter were slightly higher than our January expectations. We shipped a strong mix of high-performance products and continued spending discipline while ramping 10nm and managing a challenging NAND pricing environment. Looking ahead, we're taking a more cautious view of the year, although we expect market conditions to improve in the second half," said Bob Swan, Intel CEO. "Our team is focused on expanding our market opportunity, accelerating our innovation and improving execution while evolving our culture. We aim to capitalize on key technology inflections that set us up to play a larger role in our customers' success, while improving returns for our owners."

ASUS Announces ROG Strix Scope Series Keyboard

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced ROG Strix Scope, the mechanical gaming keyboard with Xccurate Design - an extra-wide Ctrl key for enhanced precision on FPS battlefields. The Control (Ctrl) key is crucial to success in modern first-person-shooter games. With this in mind the ROG R&D team carefully examined the play style of FPS gamers, applying their findings to create a Ctrl key that's more than 2X wider than traditional Ctrl keys as well as a shortened left Windows key that's designed to be less of a target.

For gamers wanting to switch things up a bit, the all-black look of Strix Scope can be punctuated by four silver-colored caps for the vital WASD key group. Included with Strix Scope, these alternative caps create a striking contrast to the rest of the keys - a standout look that benefits both form and function. A special keycap-puller tool is also bundled for easy removal and customization of the most-used keys.

GameStop Records Worst Losses in Its History, Hinting at a Digital Future

or maybe that headline should read "Digital Present", because in many ways, it certainly seems we are already living in a heavily digital present. GameStop, one of the leading physical retailers for both new and used games, that usually has trade-in programs for games consoles as well, has reported a staggering $673 million loss in its 2018 performance.

All facets of GameStops' business have worsened: new hardware sales, new software sales, and pre-owned (which declined some 13.2% YoY) all lost money for the company, with no bright spot to be seen anywhere in the previously bright sheen of this particular part of the retail games and entertainment market. GameStop spoke of a "new cost savings and profit improvement initiative in place, we will focus our efforts on driving profitability", which justifies the company's positive outlook for 2019. How GameStop is optimistic about its future with these losses and a projected 5-10% lowered sales for the games market throughout 2019 is somewhat of a strange marriage of concepts, but if it works for the company, it works. Especially with the increased effort from a number of companies in bringing cloud gaming to fruition, with Google's Stadia and Microsoft's own expected push, it seems that a hugely important part of the market for the likes of GameStop (and let's mention other, digital storefronts as well) is going to be left dry without any sort of cut in game sales.

Witness the Power of Unity With Heretic Real-Time Demo, Megacity Tech Demo

Unity has grown from a relatively simple engine to one of the most flexible options available for developers, allowing everything from 2D platformers to 3D games and short cinematics, all rendered in real-time, in-engine. The new Heretic real-time demo, showcased at GDC 2019, is one such example of a 3D engine being used to render a breathtaking cinematic.

The Heretic builds upon learnings derived from both the Adam and Book of the Dead shorts, and take advantage of the latest technologies embedded into the Unity engine. Motion blur, bloom, depth of field, film grain, color grading, and Panini projection, including by real-time lights and usage of a probe-based lighting solution. Just take a look at the video yourself, right after the break, and read on for the other part of this Unity-related piece: the Megacity Tech Demo.

AMD Releases Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.3.2 Drivers - Offers New Vulkan Extensions

AMD has released the latest version of their Radeon Adrenalin 2019 Drivers. Beta version 19.3.2 is a significant update as it delivers support for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 and Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. AMD also claims up to 4% gain in regards to average performance on the Radeon VII when compared to the previously released 19.2.3 drivers. To go with the added game support and performance boost this release also supports DirectX 12 on Windows 7 for select titles. The Vulkan API also gets some love with this release with the addition of various extensions with the most notable one being the VK_EXT_depth_clip_enable extension which allows for depth clipping operations to be controlled by the application rather than the driver thus making it useful for Developers translating Direct3D content to the Vulkan API. For the full details for this release, you can check the changelog after the break.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 19.3.2 Beta

ENERMAX Unleashes the Beastly MAXREVO 1800W Power Supply

ENERMAX, a leading designer and manufacturer of high-end power supplies, announces the launch of MAXREVO 1800, a heavyweight 1800 watt power supply with peak power up to incredible 1900 watt. Characterized by the high-performance transformer, high-density PCB, and FMQ topology, MAXREVO 1800 PSU achieves a housing depth of only 180mm without sacrificing efficiency or performance, compared to its peers that normally come in 220 mm deep. Furthermore, 6 powerful +12V rails and 12 PCI-E connectors provide powerful output capabilities without compromising hardware safety. Specially designed for multi-GPU rigs, video editing workstations, industrial PC, and servers, MAXREVO 1800 is ready to quench the thirst of power-demanding systems.

MAXREVO 1800 is built with patented Turbo Switch; the design can help bring down the temperature of the critical components by 10-15°C. Through simply pressing the Turbo Switch, the PSU fan will spin at max speed (3100RPM) to create extra massive airflow to cool down the components.

TSMC Revises Financial Outlook, Accounts for January Chemical Contamination and Lost Silicon

TSMC has revised its financial outlook following the recent contamination of its 14 B Gigafab, which saw between 10,000 and 30,000 wafers affected. It seems that TSMC has needed to scrap a higher number of wafers than it had initially calculated (no word on where exactly on those 10,000-30,000 spectrum that number is). This has resulted in an expected, lowered first-quarter 2019 revenues by about US$550 million, gross margin by 2.6%, operating margin by 3.2%, and EPS (Earnings Per Share) by NT$0.42, the foundry house said.

TSMC said it expects to deliver these chips in the second quarter, making up for most of the lost revenue - it's not so much of a loss, but more of a delay in earnings. As it comes to the actual, final impact of the event on TSMC's operating profits, the company estimates a reduced gross margin by 0.2%, operating margin by 0.2%, and EPS by NT$0.08. TSMC said that it has been in constant conversation with customers, and has already scheduled replacement deliveries - surprising absolutely no one.

AMD May Offer Some Insights on Upcoming Ryzen 3000 Series at GDC 2019

AMD's Ryzen 3000 series is one of the most hotly anticipated hardware launches in recent times. I'd say that the hype surrounding AMD's processor launches, unlike Intel's, has become vested with an actual enthusiasm that is likely in our nature - to see the underdog come out with innovative products that reverse market expectations. AMD's processor launches have seen hype levels rivaling - and even surpassing, all of this anecdotally, of course - some GPU launches. It makes sense for AMD to embrace every opportunity it gets to build hype around its products - and it seems the company will be doing just so at GDC 2019, which will run from March 18th through March 22nd.

AMD will be hosting a time slot at GDC 2019 in San Francisco. Hosted by Ken Mitchell, the presentation that has been slotted in to GDC's panels is titled ""AMD Ryzen Processor Software Optimization (Presented by AMD)". As the announcement reads, this presentation is meant to "Learn about the Ryzen line up of processors, profiling tools and techniques to understand optimization opportunities, and get a glimpse of the next generation of "Zen 2" x86 core architecture. Gain insight into code optimization opportunities and lessons learned with examples including C/C++, assembly, and hardware performance-monitoring counters." So no, there won't be any architecture deep dives. But there will be some new information - and we all know that speculating and running through the breadcrumb trail is a huge part of the fun.
Return to Keyword Browsing