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AMD To Continue Offering Reference Design for RX 5700, RX 5700 XT

With the introduction of AMD's AIB partners' custom designs for the Navi-based RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT graphics cards, rumors (ie, reports) started to float around of AMD's discontinuation of their reference designs. However, AMD's own Scott Herkelman confirmed via Twitter that the company isn't transitioning its reference designs to an EOL (End of Life) status, and that they will continue to be offered in the traditional venues.

However, Scott did say that AMD is in the stage of transitioning their AIB partners fully to their own custom designs. This means that AMD will likely keep the market cornered on blower-style designs, that can be bought by users planning to stick their own aftermarket cooling solution and just want the cheapest possible card. This way, AIB partners will always sell Radeon cards under their own brand names, instead of something like "ASUS Radeon RX 5700".

Samsung Kills Production of Famed B-die DDR4 Memory in Favor or Higher Densities

As the world becomes more and more centered on data, as well as its processing and storage, increased memory density across products is becoming more of a necessity. It seems that out of this necessity and a need to streamline its memory production towards favoring denser outputs, Samsung is killing of the famous B-die chips, which were - and still are - part of a love affair with any enthusiast's Ryzen desktop.

Memory compatibility issues with the first gen Ryzen took a while to dissipate, and didn't vanish entirely; however, overclockers quickly found that the most stable and overclockable memory ICs all were of the Samsung B-die type. Now, the company has updated its product catalogue to reflect EOL (End of Life) status for B-dies, replacing it with denser M-Die and A-Die products. M-dies were supposed to bring 32 GB densities to a single rank of memory - and have apparently been siphoned off to server applications and left out in the cold for consumer purchase), while the new A dies increase memory density per IC, meaning less of these are necessary to achieve the same final memory footprint. Whether or not these will feature the same Ryzen compatibility and overclockability as their B-die predecessors is unknown at this point, but it would make a lot of enthusiasts slightly unhappy - and increase the value of B-die offerings in any sort of discerning second-hand market - if they did not.

Intel Kaby Lake-X Processors Get Early Retirement

With less than a year after their release, Intel are already retiring their Kaby Lake-X processors. Initially introduced with the X299 platform, the Intel Core i5-7640X and Intel Core i7-7740X were quad-core entry models into the HEDT platform. Unfortunately, they never really took off as planned. Intel openly admitted that market demand for the Core i5-7640X and Core i7-7740X has shifted to other Intel products. Therefore, the two aforementioned models will reach end-of-life status on May 7, 2018. Retailers, suppliers, and OEMs can still order these processors up to November 30 of this year with the last shipments scheduled for May 31 of next year. Goodbye, Kaby Lake-X. It was nice knowing you.

Six First-Generation AMD Ryzen Processor Models Reach EOL

With the April 19 introduction of four new second-generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" desktop processor SKUs, namely the 2700X, 2700, 2600X, and 2600; AMD is retiring six first-generation "Summit Ridge" SKUs from its lineup, according to a Guru3D report. Six SKUs have been marked EOL (end of life), meaning retailers can no longer order them from AMD. They can sell their remaining inventory, and AMD will honor full product warranties and aftersales support, to end users.

Among the retired SKUs are the previous-generation flagship Ryzen 7 1800X, 1700X, and 1700 (non-X); Ryzen 5 1600X, 1400, and the Ryzen 3 1200. As revealed in its product stack slide, the 2700X currently replaces both the 1800X and 1700X as the "8-core high performance" SKU, followed by the 2700 as the "8-core high efficiency" SKU, which replaces the 1700. The 2600X and 2600 succeed the 1600X and 1600, respectively. The Ryzen 5 1400 finds itself replaced by the GPU-equipped Ryzen 5 2400G "Raven Ridge" APU, and the entry-level Ryzen 3 1200 by the sub-$100 Ryzen 3 2200G. The table below reveals the updates prices of first-generation SKUs still in the product stack.

Windows 10 Support for Older Hardware Encountering Difficulties, Cut Off

As part of its new "Windows as a Service" model, Microsoft elected to provide users with a guaranteed, steady stream of updates with virtually no clear, hard-defined EOL. However, Microsoft took refuge, as well it should, from an increasingly difficult support for different hardware sets: a little footnote, saying that you are eligible for Windows 10 for the "supported lifetime of the device." Yes, it's true you now don't have to purchase a new Windows version. But that also means that your devices potentially won't be supported for Microsoft's previous 5 + 5 policy (meaning, 5 years of feature and security updates, and 5 extra years for security updates only.)

The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, they are currently blocked from installing Windows 10 Version 1703 - the "Creators Update." Attempts to install result in a message saying that "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC." The problem is that each Windows 10 update receives security fixes for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Trail machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018 - after which they'll cease to receive any patches at all.

Western Digital to Stop Shipping PATA Hard Drives

Western Digital is expected to end shipments of parallel-ATA (PATA or legacy ATA) hard drives from December 29, 2013. The company maintained a small lineup of PATA hard drives in its product stack, to cater to people with older laptops looking for hard drive upgrades, and whoever else may be using the old standard that was blasted into obsolescence exactly a decade ago, with the introduction of SATA and AHCI. Product discontinuation notifications (PDNs) for the company's last Caviar PATA hard drives, bearing model numbers WD800AAJB (80 GB), WD1600AAJB (160 GB), WD2500AAJB (250 GB), WD3200AAJB (320 GB), WD4000AAJB (400 GB), and WD5000AAJB (500 GB) were issued this may, soliciting the last orders from OEMs and distributors. The last of those orders will be fulfilled by the 29th, when the drives will enter end-of-life (EOL) state. The company will only honor active warranties from then on.

GeForce GTX 560, 550 Series Discontinuation to Quickly Follow GTX 660 Ti, 650 Launch

NVIDIA will expand its new generation of graphics processors into cost-effective price points with the launches of GeForce GTX 660 Ti, GTX 660, and GTX 650, in the August-September time-frame. According to a DonanimHaber report, the products the three are replacing, the GeForce 560 Ti, GTX 560, and GTX 550 Ti; will closely follow launches of the new GPUs. When a product discontinuation notice for a particular product is issued, distributors are set a last day for placing orders for it.

After fulfilling the last orders, the product's status is changed to End of Life (EOL). To consumers, this news comes as a heads up, if they plan to buy any of the three SKUs on the chopping block, at their currently-attractive prices. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti is available on US retail website for as low as $179.99 (after rebate), the GTX 560 goes for as low as US $149.99 (after rebate), and the GTX 550 Ti for as low as $114.99. One can also deduce that NVIDIA will have healthy inventories of the new GPUs on launch.

Intel Discontinues Xeon 5500 "Tylersburg" Platform

After last week's launch of the Xeon "Romley" platform, which replaces the Xeon 5500 "Tylersburg" platform, Intel has a retirement plan ready for the latter. Tylersburg was introduced in 2009, based on Intel's Nehalem architecture. Intel introduced product change notification (PCN) documents that detail these plans. The following models will be discontinued:
  • High-end: W5590, W5580, X5570, X5560 and X5550
  • Mid-tier versions: E5540, E5530, E5520, E5507, E5506, E5504, E5503 and E5502
  • Entry-level versions: L5530, L5520 and L5506
September 28, 2012 is set as the last date of orders for these chips. After this date, Intel will work to clear the last orders, and the products will attain end-of-life (EOL) status. Small stocks will still be held to honor any warranty claims.

Sandy Bridge-E Benchmarks Leaked: Disappointing Gaming Performance?

Just a handful of days ahead of Sandy Bridge-E's launch, a Chinese tech website, (Google translation) has done what Chinese tech websites do best and that's leak benchmarks and slides, Intel's NDA be damned. They pit the current i7-2600K quad core CPU against the upcoming i7-3960X hexa core CPU and compare them in several ways. The take home message appears to be that gaming performance on BF3 & Crysis 2 is identical, while the i7-3960X uses considerably more power, as one might expect from an extra two cores. The only advantage appears to come from the x264 & Cinebench tests. If these benchmarks prove accurate, then gamers might as well stick with the current generation Sandy Bridge CPUs, especially as they will drop in price, before being end of life'd. While this is all rather disappointing, it's best to take leaked benchmarks like this with a (big) grain of salt and wait for the usual gang of reputable websites to publish their reviews on launch day, November 14th. Softpedia reckons that these results are the real deal, however. There's more benchmarks and pictures after the jump.

EOLIZE Announces New SVD-NC11-02 Mini-ATX Chassis

German brand EOLIZE expands its portfolio by announcing a value for money Mini-ITX Case. EOLIZE SVD-NC11-02 aims for private and corporate customers who are looking for solid and reliable NAS Server as well as Home Server chassis. It has much in common with a Barebone chassis and can be used as such but additionally offers features such as two Hot Swap Modules.

Both Hot Swap Modules are located behind the decently designed front door and are able to fit two either 3,5 inch (8,89 cm) or 2,5 inch (6,35 cm) drives such as HDD or SSD. One further 2,5 inch sized HDD/SSD may be mounted inside the SVD-NC11-02 Mini-ITX chassis. This drive can be used as a system drive to install an appropriate Operating System and necessary Software. Additionally one 5,25 inch (13,3 cm) bay is located in the front giving enough space for a DVD, CD or Blu-ray drive as well as other commonly used bay accessory. SVD-NC11-02 Mini-ITX chassis is furthermore equipped with an I/O panel in the front offering two USB 2.0 connectors, one Mic and one Audio-out connector.

20 Intel Processors Reach EOL in H2 2011

It is curtains for as many as 20 Intel processor models in H2 2011, according to a slide detailing the product lifecycle of Intel processors in the market. The 20 models will reach EOL (end of life) stage of their market-life. When a product is marked EOL, Intel stops taking orders for it from OEMs and channel vendors, clears outstanding orders, and stops its production. Intel will honor warranties on those products in accordance with its warranty policies.

Up for EOL are the socket LGA1366 Core i7-970, socket LGA1156 Core i7-880, Core i7-875K, Core i7-870S, Core i5-760, Core i5-750S, Core i5-655K, Core i3-530; and most socket LGA775 processor currently in the market. LGA775 models include Core 2 Quad Q9650, Q9550/Q9550S, Q9500, Q8400/Q8400S, Q8300; Core 2 Duo models E8600, E8500, and Pentium E5400. Several other products are marked PDN (product discontinuation notification), a stage that precedes EOL, which formally notifies OEMs and channel-vendors that they should place their last orders (and so they should choose quantities wisely).

AMD to Retire Phenom II X6 by December

With its latest generation of client processors just a stone's throw away (into the mist, since there's still uncertainity surrounding the actual launch dates), AMD is preparing to retire its current front-line client processors, the six-core Phenom II X6. A company slide talking about "desktop processor longetivity" shows all current Phenom II X6 models, including 1100T Black Edition, 1090T Black Edition, 1075T, and 1065T, are scheduled for "end of life" (EOL) in Q4 2011, at the very latest by December. When a product reaches EOL, the company stops taking orders from distributors for it, clears outstanding orders, and stops its production. The company will continue to honor any warranty claims in accordance with its warranty terms and conditions.

Apple Discontinues the 20-inch Cinema LCD Displays

Apple on Thursday discontinued its 20-inch Cinema Display, reducing its external display offerings to just two options: the brand new 24-inch Apple LED Cinema model and the old 30-inch Apple Cinema HD display. The 20-inch has already been removed from Apple's online store. AppleInsider also suggests that the 30-inch Apple displays are next to go away.
With immediate effect, the following products are 'End of Life' (EOL); Apple 20" Cinema Display,
All backlog will be cancelled and there is no automatic order conversion.
Apple wrote in a worldwide bulletin to its sales and service channels.

Intel Updates Plans with Desktop CPU Lineup

Intel has updated its plans with the desktop CPU lineup across segments with some of the current products getting discontinued from manufacturing. The company will send product discontinuance notices (PDNs), documents sent to relevant firms in the industry, notifying them of a time-frame in which the company plans to stop production of a product. Some products are also slated to reach end of life (EOL). Along with this, there are also plans to bring in new products based on the current architecture.

Sources at motherboard vendors tell that by Q1 2009, the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 and QX9650 discontinue, with PDNs being issued. They will be totally phased-out by Q2. The company will also send out PDNs for four quad-core CPUs including the Core 2 Quad Q9450, ten dual-core CPUs including the Core 2 Duo E8300, three Pentium CPUs including the Pentium E2220 and the Celeron E1200 starting in November, and all products will phase out between the first and second quarters next year. Other highlights include:

Petition Started to Extend Windows XP Life; 75,000 Sign in Three Weeks

Infoworld started a Save XP petition on their website. The main goal of this petition is to get Microsoft to continue handing out Windows XP licenses beyond the June 30 deadline Microsoft put out. Fortunately for Windows XP diehards everywhere, an astounding 75,000 people have signed this petition so far. Infoworld plans on presenting this petition to Microsoft when they reach 100,000 signatures. If you have not already done so, I suggest you sign the petition if you feel that Windows XP should be around a little longer than June 30, 2008.

Intel to Phase Out Single Core Processors

Intel took on the mindset of "out with the old and in with the new", and their choice is reflected in their roadmaps. Starting in Q1 2008, Intel will remove their single-core offerings from the market by replacing them with superior dual-core models. The upcoming Celeron E1000 series will be the first entry-level dual-core processor to hit the market. The first dual-core Celeron, the E1200, is clocked at 1.6GHz, has an 800MHz FSB, a 512KB L2 cache, and will cost a mere $51 USD (in thousand-unit quantities). All of the E1000 series will be based on the Core 2 Duo micro-architecture, and will be 45nm parts.

Sony PS3 60GB Reserves Depleted

It's official: the 60GB version of the Sony PS3 is on it's way out. None of the SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment America) warehouses have any 60GB PS3 stock. Fortunately for Sony, all of the PS3s were going straight to retailers around the country, and were already paid-in-full. And while Sony has no idea how many of those 60GB PS3s are still on store shelves, Sony believes that there's still "ample supply left".

Sony Confirms 20GB PS3 as Discontinued

In response to earlier reports of the increasing market rarity of the 20GB PlayStation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment of America has officially confirmed that the less expensive variant of its console will no longer be offered in North America.
Due to the overwhelming demand for the 60GB model from both retailers and consumers, we have ceased offering the 20GB model here in North America
said Dave Karraker, senior director of corporate communications for SCEA. Sony has also indicated that the 20GB model, while discontinued, will still be supported by software and services, such as warranty.

Dell axes Axim series

After 5 years and generally very innovative PDAs at great prices, Dell has quietly removed the last Axim - the x51v from their website. The Axim is still a very high end product, featuring a VGA display, 3D system, 624MHz CPU as well as WiFI and Bluetooth. I had the pleasure of testing on such a device and am rather dissapointed to see them discontinued.

No next iteration of the PSP

Two weeks after Ray Maguire, the man in charge at Sony UK, told the world about a smaller and lighter PlayStation Portable he recently admitted Sony decided not to update its mobile gaming solution for now. In the interview with where Maquire spoke about Sony's recent change of mind he added they are instead focussing on the relationship between the PSP and the PS3. In general this interview, which is the second part already, is more related to the PlayStation 3. Maguire seems to be very talkative throughout the whole questioning - don't miss the first part if you are interested in the console market.

NVIDIA Terminates ULi Chipset Supplies

Maybe many of you know that ULi was acquired by NVIDIA in February of last year. Now in order to push its own chipset series into the lower segment of the mainboard market, NVIDIA decided to terminate the supplies of ULi chipsets to third parties completely. At the CeBIT 2007 show NVIDIA Corp. has demonstrated such solutions as MCP68 and MCP73, so the ULi solutions need to be removed from their way. Engineers that were involved into ULi chipsets development will now join the NVIDIA team working in the same field. So, it looks like ULi branded products are history now.

Nintendo officially ends Gamecube support

The new Nintendo console - the Wii - has been a huge sucess. A big selling point has been the fact that it can play Gamecube games. A Nintendo spokesperson has now mentioned that the Gamecube is no longer produced and that there are no more games in developement for the console. This also explains the diminishing selection of games and hardware at retailers. The remaining consoles will be sold to first time buyers until they are all gone.

UPDATE: Seems like Eurogamer has gotten confirmation from Nintendo UK that Gamecube support has not been axed. Catch up on all the details here at Eurogamer.

Gartner says "No more new Windows"

Super-analysts at Gartner have something to say about Microsoft and its Windows software. For those of you unfamiliar with the company, Gartner is the largest IT industry analyst firm in the world, and it got there for a reason - it's pretty good at its guesses.

Gartner estimates that Windows Vista will be the last Windows as we know it. The company predicts that it is too difficult and expensive to keep pushing box sales for new versions.

Perhaps a modular architecture, where you download updated versions of modules that piece together the OS, is on its way?
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