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SilentiumPC Announces Fera 3 RGB CPU Cooler

Fera 3 RGB HE1224 brings highly anticipated RGB illumination while still providing the ultimate blend of compact dimensions, high efficiency at an competitive price. In other words, the versatility that Fera users praised so much. Newly implemented illumination system lights up the fan and the top plate with stunning yet discreet colors and effects. Supporting all major motherboard RGB systems such as ASUS Aura as wells as manual control via the included Nano RGB controller, the Fera RGB is a ready-to-go RGB solution on a budget.

Based on a proven thermal platform, the Fera 3 RGB utilizes an asymmetrical heatsink design with four 6 mm high performance copper heatpipes with HE technology - direct contact with the CPU for fast and efficient heat dissipation. To ensure the cooler is as quiet as it is efficient, it was paired with the Sigma HP RGB 120 mm PWM-controlled fan. Optimized blade design significantly reduces noise while providing sufficient airflow at 1.600 RPM, allowing the cooler to work even with high TDP processors.

AMD Chip Manufacturing to Lay Solely With TSMC On, After 7 nm - And Why It's not a Decision, but a Necessity

It's been a tumultuous few days for AMD, as the company has seen Jim Anderson, Computing and Graphics Group leader after the departure of Raja Koduri, leave the company, at a time of soaring share value for the company (hitting $25.26 and leaving short positions well, short, by $2.67 billion.) However, there's one particular piece of news that is most relevant for the company: Globalfoundries' announcement to stop all ongoing development on the 7 nm node.

This is particularly important for a variety of reasons. The most important one is this: Globalfoundries' inability to execute on the 7 nm node leaves AMD fully free to procure chips and technology from competing foundries. If you remember, AMD's spin-off of GlobalFoundries left the former with the short end of the stick, having to cater to GlobalFoundries' special pricing, and paying for the privilege of accessing other foundries' inventories. Of course, the Wafer Supply Agreement (WSA) that is in place will have to be amended - again - but the fact is this: AMD wants 7 nm products, and GlobalFoundries can't provide.
To the forumites: this piece is marked as an editorial

Denuvo's Impact on Game Performance Benchmarked

Denuvo's impact on gaming performance has been spoken of immensely - as always has been the case for any and all DRM solution that finds its way into games. However, evidence always seemed to be somewhat anecdotal on whether or not Denuvo really impacted performance - for a while, the inability to test games with Denuvo implemented and officially removed (which, unsurprisingly, isn't the same as it being cracked) was a grand stopgap to any sort of serious testing.

Now, courtesy of Overlord's YouTube channel, we can see whether or not Denuvo impacts performance. In a total of seven games tested on a platform with an Intel Core i7 2600K stock CPU (for adequate testing of whether Denuvo really impacts more the CPU than any other system component) paired with a stock clocked 1080 ti. You really should take a look at the video; it's a short, informative one, but the gist of is this: Some games revealed performance improvements with Denuvo being removed: Mass Effect: Andromeda saw a huge boost from an average of 57 FPS all the way to 64 FPS due to the removal of the DRM solution; and Mad Max saw a more meager 54 to 60 FPS increase. The other games (which included Hitman, Abzu, and others, didn't see any performance difference.

AMD Threadripper II 2990X Listed for $1850 US, $2399 CAD at CanadaComputers

A storepage for AMD's upcoming 32-core, 64-thread monster of a CPU Threadripper 2990X popped up at Canadian hardware etailer CanadaComputers. The processor, listed for $2399 CAD, converts to some $1850 US dollars and doesn't stray too far from its earlier cameo over at German Cybersport.de.

The chip over at Canada Computers is being sold in a "in-store back order" template, so this pricing is likely close to the final mark - it does make sense that AMD would edge out its profits a little more on this behemoth of a CPU. Packaging seems to be a regurgitated, first-gen Threadripper box - it's unlikely AMD would simply keep the product packaging from first gen, especially since AMD themselves are branding these "Threadripper II". We still don't have confirmation on actual TDP - Cyberport listed some 180 W, CanadaComputers lists 250 W.

New "Spectre" Variant Hits Intel CPUs, Company Promises Quarterly Microcode Updates

A new variant of the "Spectre" CPU vulnerability was discovered affecting Intel processors, by security researchers Vladimir Kiriansky and Carl Waldspurger, who are eligible to bag a USD $100,000 bounty by Intel, inviting researchers to sniff out vulnerabilities from its processors. This discovery, chronicled under CVE-2018-3693, is among 12 new CVEs Intel will publish later this week. The company is also expected to announce quarterly CPU microcode updates to allay fears of its enterprise customers.

The new vulnerability, like most other "Spectre" variants, targets the speculative execution engine of the processor, in a bounds-check bypass store attack. A malicious program already running on the affected machine can alter function pointers and return addresses in the speculative execution engine, thereby redirecting the flow of data out of protected memory address-spaces, making it visible to malware. This data could be anything, including cryptographic keys, passwords, and other sensitive information, according to "The Register." Intel chronicled this vulnerability in section 2.2.1 of its revised speculative execution side-channel attacks whitepaper. You can also catch a more detailed whitepaper from the researchers themselves.

Upcoming Windows 10 Task Manager Update to Show Power Usage, Power Usage Trend per Process

One nifty new feature currently being deployed to Windows 10 Fast Ring users is the ability to see exactly how much power a given process is consuming in your system's hardware (CPU, GPU & Disk). The new feature, which appears as two additional Task Manager tabs, showcases the instantaneous power usage of a given process, but also features a trend calculator that covers a two-minute interval. This should be pretty handy, if the measurement process is close enough to the real power consumption. This could even be used as another flag for cryptomining malware or scripts in a given webpage. You can check the source for the additional updates that have been brought to build 17704 of the Windows Insider Program.

Intel Z390 Platform, Intel Core i9 CPU Lineup Leaked?

According to a report from WCCFTech, Intel is prepping the release of the Z390 chipset and is gearing up to bring their Core i9 branding series to the mainstream desktop platforms. Apparently, Intel's renaming scheme serves as a way to add the required "branding impact" to the fact that the i9 series of processors is finally hitting the mainstream - but don't be deluded. As we've previously covered, Intel's Z390 chipset may well become a rebrand of sorts from the current Z370 chipset, after Intel found insufficient capacity at its 14 nm node (which has to cope with the vast majority of Intel silicon production, following the smattering of delays hitting its 10 nm process). Basically, Intel's Z390 chipset will bring forward features that weren't built on the Z370 chipset at its inception, but have since become part of Intel's lineup (read, for example, its H370 chipset): Intel Wireless-AC 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 5.0; Intel Wireless-AC Adapter; and up to 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Ports.

According to WCCFTech, there's only confirmation of an 8-core, 16-thread CPU (Intel Core i9-9900K); a 6-core, 12-thread one (Intel Core i7-9700K) and a six-core, six-thread part (Intel Core i5-9600K ). No confirmation on an i3 part has been had yet, but it's very unlikely Intel has shelved that part of their lineup. A 4-core CPU is simply too important - from a yield perspective, mainly - for Intel to shelve it - and there's still enough demand for these, even with AMD's many-core democratization push.

OpenBSD Turns Off Hyper-Threading to Combat Intel CPU Security Issues

Lead developer for OpenBSD Mark Kettenis has announced that OpenBSD will no longer enable Hyper-Threading on Intel processors by default. This move is intended to mitigate security exploits from the Spectre ecosystem as well as TLB and cache timing attacks, because important processor resources are no longer shared between threads. Their suspicion is that some of the unreleased (or yet unknown) attacks can be stopped using this approach.

This move is supported by the fact that most newer motherboards no longer provide an option to disable Hyper-Threading via BIOS. OpenBSD users who still want to use Hyper-Threading can manually enable support for it using the sysctl hw.smt. The developers are also looking into expanding this feature to other CPUs from other vendors, should they be affected, too.

CRYORIG Announces Frostbit M.2 Cooler and C7 RGB for Computex 2018

Ahead of Computex 2018 CRYORIG announces new M.2 cooler Frostbit and RGB enhanced C7 RGB CPU Cooler. CRYORIG's Frostbit is not only the industry first aftermarket M.2 NVMe SSD cooler with dual heatpipes, it allows full adjustment of the Secondary Heatpipe and large volume Heatsink. The C7 RGB is based on CRYORIG's award winning ITX cooler C7, with a 12v RGB lighting enhanced 92 mm fan. Both products will be shown at CRYORIG's Computex booth at Nangang Exhibition Hall I0527.

EK Releases Limited Edition Supremacy Edge Water Blocks

What is the most recognized CPU water block shape on the market? Which is the most sold CPU water block on the market? That's right! The EK-Supremacy EVO! This is the moment when we pay respect to the most successful water block on the market up to this day. The EK-Supremacy Edge is a special Limited Edition package made to celebrate the success of the EK-Supremacy EVO CPU water block. It features a low polygon structure covering the front face of the block, symbolizing our never-ending pursuit to bring the best possible liquid cooling experience to our customers all around the world.

Only a 100 pieces are made of each model and color combination which makes these water blocks a rare collector's item! Each block is delivered in a custom designed box which just adds more flavor to the whole experience.

Cooler Master Announces Its First Addressable RGB AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

Cooler Master, a global leader in manufacturing CPU coolers, computer components and peripherals, introduces its first addressable RGB all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU coolers. The MasterLiquid ML240R RGB and MasterLiquid ML120R RGB are certified compatible with ASUS, MSI and ASRock motherboards and feature addressable RGB LEDs on both the fans and water block.

16.7 Million Color Customizing with Software or Wired Controller
The MasterLiquid ML240R RGB and MasterLiquid ML120R RGB feature a newly designed pump with 12 addressable RGB LEDs on the water block and eight addressable RGB LEDs on each fan, capable of 16.7million color options. Users can easily customize each LED, individually, through the addressable RGB software from ASUS, MSI and ASRock motherboards, or with Cooler Master's upcoming MasterPlus+ software for complete ambient control.

The Ncore V1 is the World's First Naked Die Cooling Waterblock for LGA1151 CPUs

The world's first waterblock designed for naked die cooling throws years of conventional wisdom out of the window. It features six unique patentable features including its "in-frame" mounting mechanism. The man behind NUDEcnc, Arek Tobiszewski has started this Kickstarter campaign in order to get a professional CNC machine, which will enable this inventor to deliver Ncore and other cool projects to the audience. He has been brave enough to send the Ncore for a review to Kyle Bennett from HardOcp; Linus tech tips; buildzoid, and Techlipton. Some of the reviews are already up, and are very promising.

Xilinx Unveils Their Revolutionary Adaptive Compute Acceleration Platform

Xilinx, Inc., the leader in adaptive and intelligent computing, today announced a new breakthrough product category called adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) that goes far beyond the capabilities of an FPGA. An ACAP is a highly integrated multi-core heterogeneous compute platform that can be changed at the hardware level to adapt to the needs of a wide range of applications and workloads. An ACAP's adaptability, which can be done dynamically during operation, delivers levels of performance and performance per-watt that is unmatched by CPUs or GPUs.

An ACAP is ideally suited to accelerate a broad set of applications in the emerging era of big data and artificial intelligence. These include: video transcoding, database, data compression, search, AI inference, genomics, machine vision, computational storage and network acceleration. Software and hardware developers will be able to design ACAP-based products for end point, edge and cloud applications. The first ACAP product family, codenamed "Everest," will be developed in TSMC 7nm process technology and will tape out later this year.

Scythe Bundles New Ninja 5 CPU Cooler with Two Silent Kaze Flex 120 PWM Fans

Japanese cooling expert Scythe launches the 5th Generation of its legendary Ninja CPU Cooler Series. Scythe bundles the Ninja 5 with two Kaze Flex 120 PWM fans with the goal to offer a significantly more silent solution without compromising the high performance that users expect from the Ninja Series. This goal has been achieved by mounting the two fans using the Push/Push principle and setting the fan rotation limit to only 800 rpm. Outstanding RAM compatibility is assured even when used with LGA 2066 Mainboards with 8 RAM-Slots thanks to a new heatsink optimization. In addition to that, Ninja 5 is equipped with the third generation of the Hyper Precision Mounting System (H.P.M.S.) which further simplifies the installation procedure and supports all the major AMD and Intel sockets.

Confessions of a Crypto Miner: CPU Mining

Welcome back to "Confessions of a Crypto Miner," my column about a crypto miner from 2013 trying to get caught up with the latest standards. I'm presently mining and reporting to you from a dual-GTX 1080 based rig mining zCash.
Today we are going to take a look at mining again - using the CPU in particular. CPU mining is the original form of mining cryptocoins.

Microsoft Pushes New Software-Based Spectre, Meltdown Mitigation Patches

The Spectre/Meltdown road is long and pocked with lawsuits and security holes as it is, and Microsoft is one of the players that's trying to put the asphalt back to tip-top, Autobahn-worth shape. The company has already improved users' security to the Meltdown and Spectre exploits on its OS side; however, hardware patches, and specifically BIOS-editing ones are much harder to deploy and distribute by the PC chain. That may be one of the reasons why Microsoft is now again stepping up with software-based mitigations for Intel-based systems, specifically.

The new updates introduce a software-based CPU microcode revision update, and work at the OS-level to plug some security holes on your Intel processors that might otherwise remain unpatched. The reasons for them remaining unpatched can be many: either Intel taking even more time to deploy patches to the still vulnerable systems; your OEMs not deploying the Intel CPU microcode revisions via a BIOS update; or the good old "I forgot I could do it" user story. Of course, being software based means these Microsoft patches will have to be reapplied should users format their Windows system. The update can for now only be manually downloaded and installed, and can only be applied to version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) and Windows Server version 1709 (Server Core), but that's definitely better than the alternative of forcing less knowledgeable users to try and find their way through BIOS updates. Of course, that is assuming OEMs will ever push BIOS updates to their products.

Alphacool Launches the Aurora XPX RGB Frame for Their Eisblock XPX CPU Coolers

The Alphacool XPX RGB frame is intended for users of the Eisblock XPX CPU cooler who are looking for the perfect lighting for their cooler. The RGB frame simply slides over the Eisblock XPX cooler and is then connected to the RGB controller. With an impressive 15 RGB LEDs evenly distributed over the XPX Eisblock CPU cooler, perfect lighting is guaranteed. The RGB controller lets you change not only the colors, but also add color effects like gradients, blinking, slow color changes, and much more. Many controllers also include a dimmer function. The Alphacool XPX RGB frame leaves nothing to be desired.

Updated Firmware Available for 6th, 7th and 8th Generation Intel Core Processors

Intel today shared in a blog post that they are deploying microcode solutions that have been developed and validated over the last several weeks. These updates aim to patch security vulnerabilities recently found in Intel processors, and will be distributed, mostly, via OEM firmware updates - users who want to have their system hardened against Spectre and Meltdown exploits will have to ensure that their system manufacturer of choice makes these microcode updates available. If they don't do it in a timely fashion, users have no choice but to be vocal about that issue - Intel has now done its part in this matter.

This is the second wave of Intel's patches to mitigate the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, after the first, hasty patch sent users on towards unstable, crashing systems and the inevitable update rollback. Security had already been reinstated, of sorts, for Intel's Skylake processors, but left users of any other affected Intel CPU family out in the cold. Here's hoping this is the one update that actually sticks after thorough testing and validation.

AMD Ryzen 2000-series "Pinnacle Ridge" CPUs Get Soldered IHS

AMD's second-generation Ryzen 2000-series "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, which succeed the company's first Ryzen "Summit Ridge," reportedly feature soldered integrated heatspreaders (IHS), according AMD spokesperson "AMD_Robert" on Reddit. This would make the chips different from the Ryzen 2000G-series "Raven Ridge" APUs launched earlier this week, which come with a thermal paste between the IHS and the die. Soldered heatspreaders are generally known to have better heat transfer between the IHS and die, when compared to packages with thermal pastes between the two; and are more expensive to manufacture. They remove the need to "de-lid" the processor (remove the IHS). Ryzen 2000-series processors are expected to debut in April 2018.

It's a Web Mining Odyssey, Part 3: YouTube Falls to Injected Mining Code

Web mining's advent was the opening of a veritable Pandora's box when it comes to users' peace of mind while surfing the internet. What started with The Pirate Bay's implementation and ended up with a full-on browser war against these injected, unauthorized hijacks of users' electricity and computing resources has now taken to one of the world's most known and visited websites: YouTube.

Users of YouTube started getting heads-up that something might be wrong due to their antivirus protection kicking off some cryptocurrency mining warnings that seemed to only pop up when users were visiting YouTube. These warnings kept popping up even after a web browser change, and then, on Friday, researchers from TrendMicro touched upon the issue, saying that YouTube's web mining injections had led to a more than three-fold spike in the total number of cryptocurrency web mining warnings. Luckily, the web mining exploit wasn't deployed across the entire world: Trend Micro researchers said that the attackers behind the ads were abusing Google's DoubleClick ad platform to display them to YouTube visitors in select countries, including Japan, France, Taiwan, Italy, and Spain.

Microsoft Issues Update to Rollback Intel Spectre, Meltdown Problematic Patches

Multiple reports pegged some issues on Intel's rapid-fire, microcode and software response towards addressing the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, with Intel themselves coming forward, admitting to the problems' existence, and urging users not to perform said updates. However, Intel's press release wasn't very clear on whether or not users would be able to rollback changes in order to recover their machines' stability. Microsoft has taken the matter into its own hands, via an out of band update for Windows, KB4078130, that specifically disables only the mitigation against CVE-2017-5715 - "Branch target injection vulnerability."

In Microsoft's testing, this particular update is the one that the company has found to be associated the most with stability issues on host machines, and their out of band update seems to mitigate these completely. Microsoft is also adding the possibility for users to either disable or enable the troublesome mitigation themselves, manually, via registry changes. Microsoft seems to have taken the job of cleaning house on themselves, after Intel's apparent hasty move to restore security to systems based on their CPUs.

Intel Processors to Have "In-silicon" Fixes to Meltdown and Spectre This Year

Intel, which benefited from the post-Q4 public-disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in its latest results, is hoping to mitigate its fallout on Q1-2018. The company, along with several other CPU designers, such as AMD and ARM, are firefighting the two devastating security vulnerabilities through OS kernel patches and CPU micro-code updates; which come at a slight expense of performance. In a bid to unnerve investors, company CEO Brian Krzanich announced that Intel is working on "in-silicon" fixes to Meltdown and Spectre.

An "in-silicon" fix would entail a major CPU micro-architecture design that's inherently immune to the two vulnerabilities and yet offers the benefits of modern branch-prediction and speculative execution. Krzanich says processors with in-silicon fixes to the two vulnerabilities will be released to market by the end of 2018.

BSODs from Meltdown and Spectre Firmware Updates Are Spreading Like the Plague

Have you ever taken your car to the mechanic shop to fix one thing but end up breaking another? Well, that's how Intel CPU owners are feeling right now. Intel previously confirmed that their Meltdown and Spectre firmware updates are causing irritating reboots on systems with Broadwell and Haswell processors. After analyzing the latest customer reports, they are acknowledging that the updates are also causing BSODs on the Kaby Lake, Skylake, Ivy Bridge, and Sandy Bridge platforms. This shouldn't come as a shocker considering how both the Meltdown and Spectre exploits affect Intel processors over the past 20 years. The possibility of all platforms suffering from the same side effects is extremely high. Fear not, though, as Intel is already working on an updated microcode to fix the constant system reboots. Motherboard vendors should have the beta microcode for validation by next week. Expect a new BIOS revision for your motherboard soon.

Intel Releases CPU Benchmarks with Meltdown and Spectre Mitigations

It's safe to say that there's one thing that you don't mess around with, and that's performance. Enthusiasts don't spend hundreds of dollars on a processor to watch it underperform. Given the complicated nature of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, Microsoft's so-called mitigations were bound to have an impact on processor performance. The million dollar question was: Just how much? The initial estimate was somewhere around 30%, but Intel, being optimistic as usual, expected the performance impact to be insignificant for the average user. They recently provided some preliminary benchmark results that looked quite convincing too. Well, let's take a look at their findings, shall we?

Intel measured the mitgations' impact on CPU performance using their 6th, 7th, and 8th Generation Intel Core processors but, more specifically, the i7-6700K, i7-7920HQ, i7-8650U, and i7-8700K. The preferred operating system used in the majority of the benchmarks was Windows 10, however, Windows 7 also made a brief appearance. Intel chose four key benchmarks for their testing. SYSmark 2014 SE evaluated CPU performance on an enterprise level simulating office productivity, data and financial analysis, and media creation. PC Mark 10, on the other hand, tested performance in real-world usage employing different workloads like web browsing, video conferencing, application start-up time, spreadsheets, writing, and digital content creation. 3DMark Sky Diver assessed CPU performance in a DirectX 11 gaming scenario. Lastly, WebXPRT 2015 measured system performance using six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads which include photo enhancement, organize album, stock option pricing, local notes, sales graphs, and explore DNA sequencing.

Samsung Optimizes Exynos 9810 for AI Applications and Richer Multimedia Content

Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today announced the launch of its latest premium application processor (AP), the Exynos 9 Series 9810. The Exynos 9810, built on Samsung's second-generation 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process, brings the next level of performance to smartphones and smart devices with its powerful third-generation custom CPU, faster gigabit LTE modem and sophisticated image processing with deep learning-based software. In recognition of its innovation and technological advancements, Samsung's Exynos 9 Series 9810 has been selected as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards HONOREE in the Embedded Technologies product category and will be displayed at the event, which runs January 9-12, 2018, in Las Vegas, USA.

"The Exynos 9 Series 9810 is our most innovative mobile processor yet, with our third-generation custom CPU, ultra-fast gigabit LTE modem and, deep learning-enhanced image processing," said Ben Hur, vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics. "The Exynos 9810 will be a key catalyst for innovation in smart platforms such as smartphones, personal computing and automotive for the coming AI era."
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