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AMD Resolves Linux Marginality Performance Issue on Newly Shipped Ryzen CPUs

We've brought to your attention how AMD's Ryzen architecture was encountering a bug that prevented it from successfully performing certain tasks under Linux. The issue, to which Phoronix was the first website to call attention to, was later confirmed by AMD, with a further remark from the chip designer that EPYC and ThreadRipper weren't affected by it.

AMD has now solved the Ryzen issue at a silicon level, and new revisions of the CPUs should be clear of the problems. Phoronix's Michael Larabel has confirmed that the new processor passes the previous insurmountable, crash-prone workloads with flying colors, so all in all, AMD delivered a swift response to the issue. The company is also doing good for itself in that it is open to replacing previous-batch CPUs that are affected by the issue, through a contact to its Customer Care department.

Source: Phoronix

BIOSTAR Offers Intel Crypto Mining Motherboards - Full ethOS Mining OS Support

BIOSTAR proudly announces an exclusive partnership with ethOS, a 64-bit Linux OS; giving miners the simplest possible way to set up a mining rig. This comes as great news for anyone who wanted to dabble with mining, but was not sure how. With the ethOS mining OS, there is no need to install drivers, configure Windows or compile software, while BIOSTAR crypto mining motherboards are tried and tested with the ethOS mining OS, making it as simple as boot and mine. Get ready to collect your Ethereum, Zcash, Monero and many other gpu-minable coins.

BIOSTAR Mining Boards with Intel B250, B85 and H81 Chipsets
BIOSTAR crypto mining motherboards (including previous generation chipsets in B85 and H81) continue to win high praises for easy-to-use, long-term stability under heavy usage and high return on investment. BIOSTAR mining boards with Intel chipsets supports 12 to 6 graphics cards, the models currently available are: BIOSTAR TB250-BTC PRO, BIOSTAR TB250-BTC+, BIOSTAR TB250-BTC, BIOSTAR TB85 and BIOSTAR H81A. Whether you are a pro, mainstream or newbie to mining, one of these will fit the bill.

AMD Confirms Ryzen Marginality Performance Issue Under Linux, TR and EPYC Clear

An issue on AMD's Ryzen performance under certain Linux workloads, which caused segmentation faults in very heavy, continuous workloads on the Ryzen silicon (parallel compilation workloads in particular) has been confirmed by AMD. Tests like Phoronix's Test Suite's stress run quickly bring the Ryzen processors to their knees with multiple segmentation faults. While this problem is easy to cause under very heavy workloads, the issue is virtually absent under normal Linux desktop workloads and benchmarking,

AMD also confirmed this issue is not present in EPYC or Threadripper processors, but are isolated to early Ryzen samples under Linux (AMD's testing under Windows has found no such behavior.) AMD's analysis has also found that these Ryzen segmentation faults aren't isolated to a particular motherboard vendor, but are problems with the processors themselves. AMD encourages Ryzen customers who believe to be affected by the problem to contact AMD Customer Care. Some of those who have contacted customer care about the segmentation faults have in turn been affected by thermal, power, or other problems, but AMD says they are committed to working with those encountering this performance marginality issue under Linux. AMD will also be stepping up their Linux testing/QA for future consumer products.

Sources: Phoronix, AMD Confirms Ryzen Issue - Phoronix

Steam Survey Update: It's All About Quad-cores, NVIDIA and Windows 10

An update to the Steam survey results is always worth noting, especially with the added, tremendous growth Valve's online store service has seen recently. And it seems that in the Steam gaming world at least, quad-core CPUs, NVIDIA graphics cards, and Windows 10 reign supreme.

Windows 10 64-bit is the most used operating system, with 50.33% of the survey. That the second most used Windows OS is the steady, hallmark Windows 7 shouldn't come as a surprise, though it does have just 32.05% of the market now. OS X has a measly 2.95% of the grand total, while Linux comes in at an even lower 0.72%. While AMD processor submits may have increased in other software, it seems that at least in Steam, those numbers aren't reflected, since AMD's processor market share in the survey has decreased from 21.89% in February to just 19.01% as of June, even though the company's Ryzen line of CPUs has been selling like hotcakes. Quad-core CPUs are the most used at time of the survey, at 52.06%, while the next highest percentage is still the dual-core CPU, with 42.23%.

ADATA Updates External Hard Drive Range with HD710 Pro and New HD650

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today launched the HD710 Pro durable external hard drive alongside an addition to the best-selling HD650 range. The HD710 Pro improves on its HD710 predecessor by exceeding IP68 dust and waterproofing plus military-grade shock resistance. It enhances the safeguarding of stored data against accidents, damage, and the rigors of active lifestyles, and is available in four colors. The HD710 Pro offers up to 4TB capacity. The refreshed HD650 arrives in a stylish light blue over black color scheme, also providing 4TB capacity - a new milestone for unpowered USB external hard drives. Together, these two new USB 3.1 models bolster the ADATA external hard drive portfolio, giving consumers more choice.

South Korean Company Nayana to Pay $1 million in Bitcoin After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware has been seeing an increasing amount of interest in the tech world, motivated not only by the increase in number and severity of attacks, but also by the fact that some companies do elect to pay the demands. In this case, Nayana, a South Korean web hosting provider, announced it is in the process of paying a three-tier ransom demand of nearly $1 million worth of Bitcoin. This decision comes following a ransomware infection that encrypted data on customer' servers. The company said 153 Linux servers were affected, servers which stored the information of more than 3,400 customers.

The attackers initially asked for a ransom payment of 550 Bitcoin, which was worth nearly $1.62 million at the time of the request. After negotiating, the final amount came to 397.6 Bitcoin, which amounted to roughly $1 million at the time (Bitcoin is currently at $2744.56, so right now, those 397.6 Bitcoin are worth roughly $1.1 million dollars). The company has already paid two of the three payment tranches, and expects the decryption operation to take up to ten days due to the vast amount of encrypted data. If the data is liberated at all, that is, which can't really be counted upon, now can it?

Linux Raspberry Pi Devices Being Infected by Cryptocoin "Mining Malware"

If you have your Raspberry Pi setup and have never changed the default password on the standard "pi" user, it's probably time to do so. A new malware has come out that exploits the simple fact several users apparently have never changed this password. Once it installs itself, it exploits the recent rise in value on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin recently topped $3000 per BTC) to mine cryptocoins for the authors benefit. This not only uses almost 100% of your poor Raspberry Pi's limited CPU, but also makes it part of a "mining botnet" that nets the controller money, adding insult to injury. The malware also makes an anonymous proxy on your box, which needless to say is probably not a good thing.

QNAP Unveils the Industry-leading Thunderbolt 3 NAS: TVS-1582TU

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TVS-1582TU - a pioneering 19-inch rack-mountable Thunderbolt 3 NAS that is suited for moving vehicles and outdoor media editing environments. The TVS-1582TU includes four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two 10GbE ports, and can utilize its Thunderbolt 3 ports to have USB-C 3.1 Gen2 (10 Gbps) connections for high-speed data transfer and backups. The collection of high-speed connections provides an ideal 4K solution for SNG/OB van live productions in the fast-paced media industries.

"TV and film production and outdoor broadcasting require on-location recording and editing, and need their videos to be backed up immediately to prevent file loss," said David Tsao, Product Manager of QNAP, adding "The TVS-1582TU is designed for this environment, and its 19-inch rack form factor makes it especially usable for SNG/OB van live media production that requires frequent relocation."

Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE Linux Available from Windows Store

That's right, Microsoft could soon distribute Linux. Popular PC Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and SuSE, could soon be available through the Windows Store. Microsoft made this startling announcement at its Build 2017 keynote. The idea here is to make Linux distributions available to power-users who want to run the operating systems in virtual machines, or install the OS in a manner that lets you run Linux applications directly on Windows 10.

There are still limits to what you can do with Linux you get from the Windows Store. For starters, the OS can't be installed on the host machine, in say, a separate partition/volume, which you can choose to boot from, using a bootloader such as GRUB. The download also doesn't directly expose the .iso installer disk image of your Linux distro. It could still be useful for developers seeking a turnkey Linux environment instantly for development or testing, or for schools to teach Linux.

Source: The Verge

ASUS Brings "Tinker Board" Raspberry Pi 3 Competitor to North America

ASUS is bringing its higher-performing Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, the "Tinker Board" to markets in North America. Priced at a nice easy 54.99, ASUS touts the machines horsepower as being nearly double that of a Raspberry Pi 3 and says it is "capable of powering all of your projects from robots to media boxes to coding machine for budding programmers."

The machine's specifications are certainly more capable than a Raspberry Pi 3, and being it is Linux based there will certainly be a plethora of community support for this device. Interestingly enough, Android Support is a bit behind (being only on Marshmallow at the moment), but ASUS has a pledge for Nougat support in place.

Specifications are listed below, and I have also kindly provided a link to the products amazon page for those interested.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VSBVQWS/

PS: Yes, I am aware this is not exactly "PC Hardware" but I felt enough of us might have some use for a cheap Single Board Computer to find this interesting.Source: HotHardware

Unigine Superposition 1.0 Benchmark Released

(Re)member that dazzling-looking Superposition benchmark from Unigine - the one that was supposed to have arrived late 2016? The one that apparently wasn't good enough for Steam? Well it has been released, and you can now gobble up all of those realistic graphics for yourself and your GPU of choice. Some standout features include the ability to scale rendering resolution all the way up to 8K, so... Go on ahead, click that link below, make your graphics cards scream, and elbow one another for the top result. I will be with you in a little while. Go on after the break for some more features and a little teaser on what the benchmark is all about.

Download Link: Unigine Superposition Benchmark 1.0Can I just say I love me some Nicola Tesla on the walls?

Microsoft Lifts "Spying" Components in Windows 10 for Chinese Government Version

Reports have started coming in that Microsoft has finalized its special, "non-spying" edition of Windows 10 for the Chinese government. In a joint-venture with China's own CTEC (China Electronics Technology Group), the Redmond-based company has apparently managed to deliver what they themselves thought impossible: a version of their operating system that doesn't spy on its users.

China's government previously banned Windows 8 and its derivatives, citing security concerns, and later launched an anti-monopoly probe against Microsoft. This meant that Microsoft was largely left out of China's huge state-backed enterprises in China - and one can imagine how lucrative a market this one is. Microsoft surely wouldn't be willing to allow such a chance of revenue to just jostle over to the Linux field, following the Chinese government's attempts to craft a custom OS (Kylin, which failed) and recent efforts with new NeoKylin initiative. Microsoft isn't willing to relent so as to what and how were features cut from their Windows 10 version that leads it to continue normal functions even without the heavily baked-in, essential, flaunted telemetry features. What is true, though, is that the company did say telemetry and data collection was so deeply embedded on their operating system that removing them would break it at a fundamental level which is, apparently, only the case if you don't have the money (or potential revenue) to pony up for a custom edition.

Source: The Verge

Vulkan Multi-GPU Support to be Available in Windows 10, 8.x, 7, and Linux

Vulkan is arguably the API which has garnered the most positive reactions from enthusiasts. Its implementation in Doom, for example, brought about incredible performance improvements in a game that not only looked and played great, but also performed amazingly well. Vulkan's support for other operating systems other than Windows 10 (where Microsoft still has a lot of ground to cover in acquiring enthusiast trust and interest) is one of its greatest selling points, and the API has been gaining ever more traction in the market, with some developers even going so far as to axe DX12 support in favor of Vulkan.

Now, Khronos Group has come ahead and clarified that "(...) the Vulkan multi-GPU specification is very definitely NOT tied to Windows 10. It is possible to implement the Vulkan multi-GPU extension on any desktop OS including Windows 7, 8.X and 10 and Linux." Khronos also goes on to say that they are aware that some developers are already baking Multi-GPU support into their games in various platforms other than Windows 10. These are sure to come as good news - the fact that Vulkan is platform agnostic is great for consumers and developers alike. And maybe this support - which still depends on developers to implement it - will bring about the shot in the arm that multi-GPU implementations sorely need.

AMD Sends Required Patches for Vega Support in Linux

AMD has recently sent out around a hundred patches, which amount to over 40 thousand lines of code, so as to allow developers to integrate support for its upcoming Vega GPU architecture under Linux. The new code is essential towards baking support for Vega under Linux, considering the many changes this architecture entails over AMD's current-generation Polaris 10 (soon to be rebranded, if sources are correct, to the new RX 500 series.) Also of note is the existence of seven different device IDs for Vega-based products, though this really can't be extrapolated to the amount of SKUs under the Vega banner. For now, that really is just a number.

AMD's Ryzen CPU Series will Need Modern Linux Kernel for Proper Support

So, it's not just Windows that will be pulling the "you need the latest version" card when it comes to Ryzen CPU support. Apparently, Linux will need kernel version 4.9.10 or better to enable a lot of features, SMT included. If you really want good support, the "newer the better" is generally the way to go.

Operating below that version won't necessarily stop Ryzen from functioning as a CPU, but several notable features, most notably SMT, will be completely "broken" according to the article at Phronix.

Phronix notes that the fix landed in early February. It notes in the commit message:
After: a33d331761bc ("x86/CPU/AMD: Fix Bulldozer topology") our SMT scheduling topology for Fam17h systems is broken, because the ThreadId is included in the ApicId when SMT is enabled. So, without further decoding cpu_core_id is unique for each thread rather than the same for threads on the same core. This didn't affect systems with SMT disabled. Make cpu_core_id be what it is defined to be.
So there it is, for you techno-wizards. Apparently, microcode actually is relevant to support features, and Microsoft's claims have some degree of merit.

Source: Phronix

NVIDIA Unveils New Line of Quadro Pascal GPUs

NVIDIA today introduced a range of Quadro products, all based on its Pascal architecture, that transform desktop workstations into supercomputers with breakthrough capabilities for professional workflows across many industries. Workflows in design, engineering and other areas are evolving rapidly to meet the exponential growth in data size and complexity that comes with photorealism, virtual reality and deep learning technologies. To tap into these opportunities, the new NVIDIA Quadro Pascal-based lineup provides an enterprise-grade visual computing platform that streamlines design and simulation workflows with up to twice the performance of the previous generation, and ultra-fast memory.

"Professional workflows are now infused with artificial intelligence, virtual reality and photorealism, creating new challenges for our most demanding users," said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. "Our new Quadro lineup provides the graphics and compute performance required to address these challenges. And, by unifying compute and design, the Quadro GP100 transforms the average desktop workstation with the power of a supercomputer."

Steam and Linux on the PS4 - AMD's "Bonaire" GPU Register Reference Found

While trying to hack the PS4 in order to make it run Linux (in a bid to get Steam and possibly other programs running on the PS4's hardware), hackers hit a snag: they couldn't get the PS4's GPU to display any kind of output or process any kind of graphics. Like any good researcher would, when hit with a snag, the hackers turned to scouring the Internet in hopes of finding any kind of documentation that could help them harness the PS4's Pitcairn-based GPU.

AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Pro Drivers Information Also Leaked

Other information to surface from WCCFTech's leak on the upcoming Radeon Software Crimson ReLive drivers, is its dual nature, for both consumers and professionals. The Radeon Technologies Group is seemingly on a crusade to bolster AMD's software support recognition with customers, and that naturally extends towards the professional side of the equation as well.

As such, the first immediate feature to be introduced is AMD's Pro Renderer, a physically-based rendering engine that enables production of photorealistic images, with both plugin and native integration support from the big names in professional workflows, such as Autodesk's 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, and Blender (just to name a few), along with game-engine integration and support through the Unity Engine and Stingray. LiquidVR support is also headed for professionals, enabling professional VR workflows in design, engineering, animation, filmmaking, and VR game engines.

AMD Announces the Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Driver

AMD FirePro and Radeon Pro graphics empower content creators and designers at many levels, from casual makers and students all the way up to seasoned professionals and enterprise workstation users. It's not just hardware, though, that lets professionals unleash their creativity; powerful software is critical too, and today we are introducing the first of many Radeon Pro Software releases.

The Radeon Pro Software Enterprise Driver 16.Q4 is designed to address the specific needs of enterprise users and also will support the upcoming release of AMD's next-generation of professional graphics, the Radeon Pro WX series.

Microsoft Joins the Linux Foundation

On Wednesday, during its annual Connect(); developer event, Microsoft Corp. unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company's Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, cross-platform apps and services. Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie detailed significant steps Microsoft is taking to empower the ecosystem by giving developers greater choice in the tools they use - including joining the Linux Foundation as a Platinum Member to better collaborate with the open source community, welcoming Google to the independent .NET Foundation, and working with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to enable .NET developers to build apps for more than 50 million Samsung devices worldwide.

Guthrie also demonstrated a preview of Visual Studio for Mac, which enables developers to write cloud, mobile and macOS apps on Apple's Mac operating system using the popular development environment; a preview of the next version of the company's flagship SQL Server database with support for Linux, Linux-based Docker containers and Windows-based environments; and a preview of Azure App Service on Linux with support for containers.

QNAP Announces Cost-efficient TS-x31P NAS Series

QNAP Systems, Inc. today released the TS-x31P NAS series, including the TS-131P, TS-231P, and TS-431P. Powered by an AnnapurnaLabs, an Amazon company Alpine AL-212 dual-core 1.7GHz processor, this series provides a high-performance and secure private cloud NAS solution tailored for home, SOHO and workgroup users. In addition to basic requirements such as file storage, sharing and backup, the TS-x31P series supports value-added cloud-based note-taking app, centralized email account management, contacts management, and abundant multimedia applications.

"A cost-efficient and reliable NAS solution is undoubtedly a key investment for small businesses and organizations to improve workflow efficiency; whereas home users generally like simple and practical storage devices with real-time data accessibility that helps create a modern digital home," said Dan Lin, Product Manager of QNAP. "The TS-x31P is designed to fulfill such user needs to ensure data security and to bring a comprehensive business and multimedia experience," added Lin.

Logitech Introduces Its First Ever Silent Mice

Today Logitech announced the Logitech M330 Silent Plus and the Logitech M220 Silent Wireless Mice, the first quiet mice ever developed by Logitech. The M330 Silent Plus and M220 Silent mice deliver the same precision, durability and "click" feel without the noise. "We live in a social world, whether you work in a shared space or at home, but sometimes silence really is golden," said Anatoliy Polyanker, global portfolio and brand director at Logitech. "That's why we created the M330 Silent Plus and the M220 Silent mice. Our engineers studied the sources of noise made by a computer mouse and created ways to reduce the decibel level without sacrificing quality."

With the M330 Silent Plus and the M220 Silent you can work quietly without compromise. These mice provide the traditional click feel, but with over 90 percent noise reduction. And with Logitech Advanced Optical Tracking, they are ultra-precise and work on almost every surface. Both the M330 Silent Plus and M220 Silent provide a wireless connection up to 33 feet away thanks to a plug-and-forget nano receiver, and the mice work with Windows, Mac , Chrome OS or Linux -based computers with no hassle. Plus, they have received the Quiet Mark seal of approval from the Noise Abatement Society.

QNAP Partners with Canonical to Enhance NAS with Ubuntu OS

QNAP Systems, Inc. has announced today a partnership with Canonical. The partnership will provide an advanced platform for the development of services and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) using both Ubuntu and QTS operating systems. Canonical and QNAP will cooperate to provide, promote, and enable the creation of an ecosystem of IoT applications across home, SMB, and enterprises.

QNAP leverages its NAS operating system, QTS, with its built-in, mature, and comprehensive virtualization platform and further, integrates the Ubuntu operating system to provide a complete and familiar software development platform for software developers. Users are able to enjoy simultaneously the wide variety of apps from the QTS App Center, and diversified services available on Ubuntu.

NVIDIA Talks Vulkan, Supports it on "Kepler" and "Maxwell" GPUs

NVIDIA talked Vulkan in its latest GeForce blog post, announcing that your GeForce GTX graphics card already supports the "industry forged" API. NVIDIA is offering Vulkan hardware-acceleration on its "Kepler" and "Maxwell" GPU architectures at this time, and on Windows 7 and above; PC Linux, and Android. NVIDIA is all praises for Vulkan's low-latency and high-efficiency pathways, which streamline the process of drawing graphics.

Vulkan makes its big mainstream debut with a major update to "The Talos Principle," by Croteam (the people behind the "Serious Sam" franchise). This update adds a Vulkan renderer to the game, and ships later today. NVIDIA has an driver ready with the Vulkan API, which you can download from here. Maintained by the Khronos Group, Vulkan is a successor to OpenGL, although it's built from the ground up, with a major chunk of its code being contributed by AMD, from its Mantle API.

Source: NVIDIA Blog

AMD Zen Architecture Supports Up to 32 Cores per Socket: Leaked Linux Patch

AMD's next-generation "Zen" x86-64 CPU micro-architecture will support up to 32 cores per socket, according to leaked Linux kernel patch on LKML. We know from older reports, that AMD clumps groups of four cores in subunits it calls "Zen quad-core units." Not to be confused with its current "module" design, a quad-core unit is a group of four completely independent cores, which share nothing other than an L3 cache. TechFrag used this bit to deduce that the "Zen" architecture is scalable up to eight quad-core units per socket, or 32 cores per socket.

Source: TechFrag
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