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Alienware and Dell Double Down On High-Performance PC Gaming and VR

Alienware and Dell head into this year's E3 with a triad of new PC gaming systems and components - high-end Alienware gaming desktops with new multi-core processor options, a full range of performance gaming monitors and peripherals with Alienware's signature design and a new Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop bringing VR to all. Alienware and Dell continue to demonstrate why, together, they have become a leading PC gaming brand worldwide with gaming solutions for players of all levels and budgets.

Driven by a fierce commitment to deliver what PC gamers want in gaming products and community, Alienware and Dell continues to make solid investments in PC gaming, virtual reality and esports through ever-expanding offerings and partnership innovation. This has stoked an incredible 17 consecutive quarters of PC growth*, continuously innovating with PC performance and designs, both in the realm of gaming, VR and beyond.

Dell Announces the UltraSharp UP2718Q: 27", 4K, HDR

Dell, which makes some of the best computer monitors around (though they really don't tend to be the most cost-effective), has announced a new addition to its line of monitors. The UP2718Q is a 27" monitor which boast of 4K (3140* 2160) resolution, and supports the UHD Alliance's HDR10 standard. Its peak brightness of 1,000 nits ensures its adherence to the HDR standards (which backs up to 400 nits brightness on non-HDR material), while the 100% Adobe RGB, 100% sRGB, 100% REC 709, 97.7% DCI-P3, and 76.9% REC2020 color coverage ensures this is a panel best used by professionals who need extreme color accuracy. Connectivity wise, we find 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x mini-DisplayPort 1.4, 2x HDMI 2.0a ports, 2x USB 3.0 ports, and a hub of 4x USB 3.0 ports, two of which are capable of charging.

Dell Begins Selling the 30" Ultrasharp UP3017Q - 4K, OLED, $3500

Here it is. The OLED monitor to beat all others. Sate your image quality needs with the new, $3500, 4K OLED monitor from Dell. Its 30" displays a 3840 x 2160 resolution, and presents a response time of just 0.1ms at a 60 Hz refresh rate - with no support for Freesync, sadly. It can 1.07 billion colors (Anandtech assumes it's probably a 10-bit presentation), and covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color space, 97.8% of the DCI-P3 color space (which is expected to be adopted in home movies and cinema in the future), as well as 85.8% coverage of Rec2020. Dell declares a 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which is basically only truly achievable on OLED displays, due to their ability to turn off individual pixels.

When it comes to inputs, the Dell Ultrasharp UP3017Q features 1x mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connector,1x HDMI 2.0 port, and 1x USB type-C port, which is compatible with video and data connectivity as well as power delivery up to 100W. The monitor's stand supports Tilt (5~21°), Pivot (+90°, -90°), and Height (100 mm) adjustments. AnandTech reports that Dell has implemented a special pixel-shifting technology to try and inhibit the possibility of static image burn-in, which is one of the drawbacks of this panel technology, and perhaps one of the reasons its transition towards a desktop environment wasn't made sooner. What do you think of this? Are you looking forward to having an OLED monitor in front of you, or would you prefer to keep high-frequency monitors?

Dell Starts Selling its 32-inch 8K UltraSharp Monitor

Dell today started selling its flagship 32-inch (31.5-inch viewable) 8K monitor on its website. The Dell UltraSharp UP3218K boasts of "visuals that rival life," thanks to its gargantuan 7680 x 4320 pixels resolution, which is four times that of 4K Ultra HD, and sixteen times that of Full HD. At its size, the display offers a stellar pixel density of 279 ppi. Under the hood is an IPS panel with 178°/178° viewing angles, 60 Hz refresh rate, 6 ms response time (GTG), 1,300:1 static contrast ratio with dynamic mega-contrast, and 400 cd/m² maximum brightness. The display takes input from two DisplayPort 1.4 connectors. Backed by a 3-year warranty, the UltraSharp UP3218K is priced at USD $5,000.

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

Microsoft is looking to reduce costs in its Azure cloud computing platforms for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data. And after having developed a version of Windows for servers that use ARM processors, in a joint work with Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft seems to also be looking forward to leave its dependency on Intel products as nothing but a memory. Microsoft's ARM server design, dubbed Project Olympus, looks to hardware innovations so as to reduce costs, boosting competitiveness and flexibility in regards to other big players in the cloud space, like Amazon and Alphabet. That the design is open source is also a boon to other businesses and Microsoft partners.


Though the design isn't "deployed into production yet (...) that is the next logical step," said Jason Zander, vice president of Microsoft's Azure cloud division. "This is a significant commitment on behalf of Microsoft. We wouldn't even bring something (...) if we didn't think this was a committed project and something that's part of our roadmap."

Dell Unveils 32", 8K UltraSharp Monitor

At CES 2017, Dell has unveiled yet another addition to their monitor product line, and this one is drool worthy: an 8K, 32" UltraSharp monitor, with an insanely high resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 at 60Hz. Labeled as the world's first 32-inch 8K resolution display with Dell PremierColor, the UP3218K offers 1.07 billion colors and packs in more than 33 million pixels - four times as many as a 4K display and 16 times more than Full HD. That means it offers a PPI rating of 280 - which translates into "very high" settings for a desktop screen.

Dell Announces the Ultrathin QHD 27" HDR Monitor (S2718D)

Dell has announced at CES their new ultrathin 27" monitor. Aptly (and maybe unoriginally) named the "Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor", it sports a Quad HD (2,560 by 1,440 pixels) screen with a 178º viewing angle which also supports HDR (though apparently, and according to Dell, not the same as HDR standards you'll find in 4K TVs. However, it will still be able to display higher contrast and color range than most consumer monitors, with support for up to 99 percent of the SRGB gamut.

Tech Industry Leaders Unite, Unveil New High-Perf Server Interconnect Technology

On the heels of the recent Gen-Z interconnect announcement, an aggregate of some of the most recognizable names in the tech industry have once again banded together. This time, it's an effort towards the implementation of a fast, coherent and widely compatible interconnect technology that will pave the way towards tighter integration of ever-more heterogeneous systems.

Technology leaders AMD, Dell EMC, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, NVIDIA and Xilinx announced the new open standard to appropriate fanfare, considering the promises of an up-to 10x performance uplift in datacenter server environments, thus accelerating big-data, machine learning, analytics, and other emerging workloads. The interconnect promises to provide a high-speed pathway towards tighter integration between different types of technology currently making up the heterogeneous server computing's needs, ranging through fixed-purpose accelerators, current and future system memory subsistems, and coherent storage and network controllers.

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today's bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

Worldwide PC Shipments Down 9.6% in First Quarter of 2016, According to Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 9.6 percent decline from the first quarter of 2015, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This was the sixth consecutive quarter of PC shipment declines, and the first time since 2007 that shipment volume fell below 65 million units.

"The deterioration of local currencies against the U.S. dollar continued to play a major role in PC shipment declines. Our early results also show there was an inventory buildup from holiday sales in the fourth quarter of 2015," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner.

AMD Pushes for a Universal External Graphics Standard

AMD is working on a standardized external graphics solution for notebooks. This solution will allow people with ultra-thin notebooks to enjoy the mobility served up by frugal, mainstream hardware; as well as high-end gaming, with the graphics card plugged in at home. It also probably gives AMD greater control over design and cooling solutions. Unlike a mobile GPU that sits inside your notebook, and makes it bulky due to additional cooling and power requirements, an external graphics card sits on your desk, sipping on wall socket power.

AMD's external graphics solution isn't necessarily an AMD-branded piece of hardware, but rather an open specification for notebook vendors to follow. AMD will merely provide the GPUs and software ecosystem that makes the solution truly universal and plug-n-play, with "standardized connectors, cables, drivers, and OS support." Such a graphics card will interface with just any notebook with a high-speed interface (eg: Thunderbolt). Its drivers will make it crunch your games, while sending back output to your notebook's display, over the same connection. This gives you the mobility of an ultra-thin notebook. You should also be able to plug this into your work's boring Dell desktop, or any SFF ITX box. Pictured below is a Razer Core graphics solution embedding a Radeon R9 Nano. Other examples include MSI Gaming Dock and Alienware Graphics Amplifier.
Sources: Robert Hallock on Facebook, Forbes

Dell Intros UltraSharp U2717D with InfinityEdge Bezels

Dell introduced the UltraSharp U2717D monitor, featuring a super-thin bezel design, which the company refers to as InfinityEdge, that lets you build multi-display setups, with minimal bezel loss. The 27-incher features an IPS display panel, with WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, 6 ms (GTG) response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 1000:1 static- with dynamic mega-contrast ratio. The panel surface features 3H anti-glare coating. Inputs include DisplayPort 1.2, mDP 1.2, and HDMI 1.4a (with MHL support). A USB 3.0 hub comes included. Dell didn't reveal pricing or availability.

Dell Unveils a 30-inch Ultra HD Monitor with an OLED Panel

The star attraction at Dell's CES booth was undoubtedly its stunning new 30-inch monitor, the Ultrasharp 30. Featuring an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel, which offers the darkest blacks, and the brightest whites to get you contrast no LCD panel can ever come close to; this monitor also puts out Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution. Dell is asking US $5,000 for the Ultrasharp 30, which is reasonable, if you consider a similar spec'ed display from Sony going for $18,000. Dell plans to release the Ultrasharp 30 to the market by March 31, 2016.

Dell Refreshes its OptiPlex Desktop Lineup

Dell announced today at Dell World the most significant refresh to its OptiPlex commercial PC portfolio in five years, the Wyse 5050 AIO zero client for VMware, and new cloud multifunction printers to meet the changing needs of the future workforce. Considering the needs of a tech-savvy workforce always on the go, these new offerings are designed to increase employee productivity by helping them seamlessly connect to the business critical data and applications they need to get the job done. In addition, Dell Services is investing more in mobility applications and strategies to strengthen the way its commercial customers stay mobile, productive and efficient.

"We are defining the future of the PC and the role it plays in meeting our customers' most pressing computing needs," said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, Operations and president, Client Solutions at Dell. "We are investing in this part of our business like never before, bringing new innovations to market that are redefining the role of the PC - whether it's an ultra-mobile 2-in-1, thin or zero client, or a desktop that now handles workloads for a mobile workforce who require a robust collaboration solution."

Dell Expands its XPS Series

Dell today announced its new portfolio of award-winning XPS devices, featuring the innovative XPS 12 2-in-1, ultra-mobile XPS 13 notebook and stunning XPS 15 powerhouse laptop. Continuing to build on the XPS family's premium pedigree of form and function, this updated lineup is designed to offer the best consumer laptops, incorporating high performance 6th generation Intel Core processors and sleeker hardware, all built for an enhanced Windows 10 experience.

"Beginning with CES 2015, when we first unveiled the world's smallest laptop - the XPS 13 with our exclusive InfinityEdge display - the world took notice of the innovations coming out of Dell that no other laptop manufacturer was offering," said Frank Azor, general manager of Dell XPS. "Today we are further demonstrating our commitment to innovation and design by delivering the most impressive XPS lineup ever seen."

AMD Partners With Oculus and Dell to Power Oculus-Ready PCs

AMD today announced a collaboration with Oculus and Dell to equip Oculus Ready PCs with AMD Radeon GPUs, starting at $999 USD. The powerful PCs are designed to deliver stunning gaming performance and enable spectacular VR experiences for consumers around the world by leveraging AMD VR leadership with LiquidVR and Graphics Core Next architecture.

"It's an exciting time to be at the heart of all things Virtual Reality," said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president, Alliances and Content, AMD. "I'm confident that with Dell and Alienware, we can enable a wide audience of PC users with extraordinary VR capabilities powered by AMD Radeon GPUs."

Dell and Google Launch Premium Professional Chromebook

Dell today announced the continued expansion of its collaboration with Google with the launch of the Dell Chromebook 13, a premium 13.3-inch professional Chromebook solution. Designed for today's on-the-go lifestyle, the Dell Chromebook 13 offers class-leading performance from up to 5th generation Intel Core i5 processors, an ultra-sleek design, stunning display and up to 12 hours of battery life. Along with powering businesses with the speed and simplicity of Chrome for Work, the Chromebook provides customers with manageability and security software and applications, which allow it to fit seamlessly into any professional computing environment. The Dell Chromebook 13 joins Dell's Chrome portfolio and further showcases the commitment Dell and Google have made to developing innovative and flexible solutions to meet the evolving needs of the mobile workforce.

"Working in a high paced environment like The Weather Channel, it's essential we have the right technologies in place so we can stay up to date with the latest information and power our continuous coverage," said Nicholas Gardner, sr. director corporate technology, The Weather Company. "The Dell Chromebook 13 we've been testing has provided us with a secure, powerful and easy to manage device that we can use both in the office and on location. We're excited by its potential and look forward to seeing it come to market."

Dell Starts Shipping Windows 10 Devices

Dell customers will be among the first to experience Windows 10, Microsoft's best operating system yet, when it launches tomorrow. For those who purchased Windows 10-based devices during Dell's pre-sale period, systems will start shipping today with free next-business-day delivery. Today, nearly 70 configurations of laptops and 2-in-1s and desktops and all-in-ones featuring Windows 10 are available on Dell.com and 51 Dell systems will be available from leading retailers beginning tomorrow.

Whether buying a new Dell device or upgrading an existing PC, Dell makes it quick and easy to get the most from Windows 10 features, such as support for secure sign-on through integrated Intel RealSense cameras and unprecedented touch capabilities on select Dell screens. Unique to the Dell experience, proactive service and support options including ProSupport Plus and Premium Support keep commercial and consumer customers up and running easily while maintaining the health of their systems.

AMD and Dell Support Bioinformatics Studies at University of Warsaw in Poland

AMD today unveiled innovation in heterogeneous high performance computing (HPC) by delivering more than 1.5 petaFLOPS of AMD FirePro S9150 server GPU performance for the Next Generation Sequencing Centre (NGSC) at the Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw in support of bioinformatics research related to next generation sequencing (NGS) studies. The new ORION cluster features 150 Dell PowerEdge R730 servers with two AMD FirePro S9150 server GPUs, for a total GPU peak of 1.52 petaFLOPS single precision and 0.76 petaFLOPS double precision performance. The energy-efficient cluster enables high speed and efficient calculations for genomic data, applicable to a range of genomics and bioinformatics studies, using a fast and power efficient OpenCL implementation for research applications.

"We're committed to building our HPC leadership position in the industry as a foremost provider of computing applications, tools and technologies," said Sean Burke, corporate vice-president and general manager, AMD Professional Graphics. "This installation reaffirms AMD's leading role in HPC with the implementation of the AMD FirePro S9150 server GPUs in this 1.5 petaFLOPS supercomputer cluster. AMD and Dell are enabling OpenCL applications for critical science research usage for this cluster. AMD is proud to collaborate with Dell and NGSC to support such important life science and computer science research."

Dell Announces New Generation Inspiron Laptops

Dell today announced at Computex 2015 a comprehensive new line-up of Inspiron devices, offering a wide range of technology solutions to meet families' everyday computing needs. Adding to Dell's award-winning consumer product line up, the new portfolio includes the Inspiron 5000 Series laptops, Inspiron 15 7000 Series 2-in-1, Inspiron 15 7000 Series performance notebook, Inspiron 20 & 24 3000 Series All-in-One desktops, and a full line of Inspiron Desktops. Demonstrating Dell's commitment to offering something for everyone, these new devices are available with a wide range of processor options and configurable features, enabling students, families and value-conscious shoppers to connect, learn and achieve more.

"With today's new product launches, Dell's Inspiron brand continues its legacy of developing great devices that are easy to use, employing the latest technology to help families get more out of life," said Ray Wah, vice president, Consumer Product Group, Dell. "Everyday computing is more fun when you can power video chats and games with the latest processors and graphics, or enjoy an immersive multi-media entertainment experience courtesy of brilliant front-of-screen displays with fantastic audio. From laptops to convertible 2-in-1s to desktops, we are delivering devices for every need at an exceptional value, empowering our customers to easily create and share content and connect with the people who matter the most to them."

Dell Announces P2416D 24-inch WQHD Monitor

Dell announced the P2416D, a 24-inch monitor featuring WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) native resolution. Based on an IPS panel, the monitor offers 99% coverage of sRGB palette, and wide viewing angles, although the company didn't specify them. The monitor takes input from DisplayPort 1.2 (required for 2560 x 1440 @ 60 Hz), HDMI 1.4 (native resolution at 30 Hz), and D-Sub (lower than native resolution). Other features include a 4-port USB 2.0 hub, and a stand that allows tilt and height adjustments. Backed by a 3-year warranty, the P2416D will be priced at US $369.99, when it hits the stores, later this month.

Intel Announces Atom x3, x5, and x7 Series

Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich today announced a series of mobile platforms including the company's new low-cost system-on-chip (SoC) for phones, phablets and tablets, a global LTE solution, innovative personal computing experiences, and a range of customers for mobile device and network infrastructure offerings. With technologies that span silicon, software and security, Krzanich said Intel was one of the few companies able to deliver solutions end-to-end, for devices, the network and the cloud.

The announcements include the Intel Atom x3 processor series, Intel's first integrated communications SoC solution for the growing value and entry device markets, and the five-mode Intel XMM 7360 LTE Advanced solution, designed for performance and worldwide coverage. In addition, Krzanich highlighted joint efforts with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei to address the demand for new telecommunications, cloud and data center services, improve network efficiencies, and accelerate the industry's move toward a software-defined infrastructure.

PC Leaders Continue Growth And Share Gains As Market Remains Slow: IDC

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 80.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14), a year-on-year decline of -2.4%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Total shipments were slightly above expectations of -4.8% growth, but the market still contracted both year on year and in comparison to the third quarter. Although the holiday quarter saw shipment volume inch above 80 million for the first time in 2014, the final quarter nonetheless marked the end of yet another difficult year - the third consecutive year with overall volumes declining. On an annual basis, 2014 shipments totaled 308.6 million units, down -2.1% from the prior year.

Although the U.S. and Europe remained stronger than other markets, growth in these mature regions slowed from earlier in the year. Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) continued to strengthen, seeing only a very slight increase in volume as a number of public projects and improving consumer demand helped stabilize the market. Similarly, commercial demand, which boosted growth earlier in the year, has slowed while consumer demand is gradually coming back. Nevertheless, the market progress has been fueled by low-priced systems, including growth of Chromebooks and promotion of Windows 8 + Bing. Constraints on Bing promotions, such as limits on larger-sized devices, could remove a key market driver while some fourth quarter production was attributed to getting ahead of holiday-related production constraints in Asia in the first quarter, effectively shifting volume from early 2015 into the end of 2014.

DisplayLink Shows 5K Display Connectivity over Single USB Cable

DisplayLink, the leading provider of USB graphics technology, will demonstrate the very latest commercially available Dell UltraSharp 5K monitors connected over a single, standard universal USB cable providing 5120x2880 resolution. The new solution to future-proof notebook expansion is being showcased at CES from January 6th ~ 9th 2015 at the DisplayLink booth #36258 in South Hall 4.

"DisplayLink is proud to demonstrate the scalability of its solutions with the highest commercially available monitor again at CES," said John Cummins, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. "5K monitors with 5120x2880 resolutions were just released in Q4. DisplayLink is demonstrating dramatically simplified 5K connectivity to any PC, Notebook, or tablet using a single, completely standard, USB 3.0 cable, in comparison to dual DisplayPort cables currently required."

Dell to Price its 27-inch 5K Monitor Under $2,000

Dell plans to launch the first consumer 5K monitor some time in December 2014, priced at just under $2,000 a pop. This comes in the wake of Apple launching the first consumer product with a 5K display, its latest iMac Retina all-in-one desktop. Dell's UltraSharp UP2715K is a 27-inch display with 5K (5120 x 2880 pixels) native resolution, which lends it a staggering 218 ppi of pixel density. Compare that to the 157 ppi of 28-inch Ultra HD monitors. 5K is four times as many pixels as WQHD.

The UltraSharp UP2715K features a 10-bit IPS panel, with 99 percent Adobe RGB and 100 percent sRGB palette coverage, and a 12-bit LUT. It offers viewing angles of 178°/178°, 8 ms response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 1000:1 static contrast-ratio, with dynamic mega-contrast. The display needs two DisplayPort connections for sufficient bandwidth, to beam those many pixels at 60 Hz. There's also a mini-DisplayPort, but using that would either cap resolution at 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz, or drop refresh-rate at the native resolution.

Source: TFT Central
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