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NVIDIA and Atos Team Up to Build World's Fastest AI Supercomputer

NVIDIA today announced that the Italian inter-university consortium CINECA—one of the world's most important supercomputing centers—will use the company's accelerated computing platform to build the world's fastest AI supercomputer.

The new "Leonardo" system, built with Atos, is expected to deliver 10 exaflops of FP16 AI performance to enable advanced AI and HPC converged application use cases. Featuring nearly 14,000 NVIDIA Ampere architecture-based GPUs and NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200 Gb/s InfiniBand networking, Leonardo will propel Italy as the global leader in AI and high performance computing research and innovation.

Ubisoft Updates Watch Dogs: Legion PC System Requirements

Ubisoft has today updated the PC system requirements for its Watch Dogs: Legion game. Set to release on October 29th this year, we are just a few weeks away from its release. With the arrival of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3000 series Ampere graphics cards, Ubisoft has decided to update the official PC system requirements with RTX-on capabilities. The inclusion of raytracing in the game requires a faster CPU, as well as an RTX-capable GPU. At 1080p resolution, you need at least an RTX 2060 GPU to play with high settings, and raytracing turned to the medium, including DLSS. Going up to 1440p, Ubisoft recommends gamers to use at least an RTX 3070 GPU for very high preset, raytracing on high, and DLSS set to quality. If you want to max everything out and play with the highest settings at 4K resolution, you will need an RTX 3080 GPU.
Watch Dogs: Legion Watch Dogs: Legion PC System Requirements

Microsoft Introduces Surface Laptop Go, New Updates to Surface Pro X and New Accessories

The idea of working and learning from home, which at one point felt temporary, has for many of us started to feel more permanent. Even as some people in cities around the world return to work and schools in person, many others have found themselves reorganizing homes to create makeshift offices and classrooms. Whether your commute is across the house or across town, the PC continues to play an integral role in keeping all of us connected to our work, school, and lives - and each person in the household needs one.

As we continue to expand our Surface family of devices with the new Surface Laptop Go and updates to Surface Pro X, our goal is to design a Surface for every person, work style and location. To give every person in your household or organization a laptop that's not just something you need to use, but something you want to use. A virtual office you want to be in, a virtual classroom that engages you to learn, a place you can play your favorite game or watch a movie - with a bright vibrant screen, a fluid and comfortable keyboard, high quality cameras and mics, and the versatility of touch screens.

XMG Announces DJ 15 laptops with Intel 10th Gen Core U-Series CPUs

For years, MacBooks have been the de facto standard for digital DJ setups. Apple's recent product iterations, however, have left much to be desired in terms of professional connectivity - using industry standard DJ equipment with a MacBook requires the purchase of expensive and impractical adapters or hubs. XMG responds to the DJ community's growing demand for a functional, reliable alternative by releasing the DJ 15 - the first ever laptop designed, optimised and tested specifically to meet the needs of professional DJs. Weighing in at a mere 1.6 kg, this machine features a 15" non-glare Full HD IPS display and a wide array of standard ports. An entirely bloatware-free Windows 10 Pro installation, perfectly tuned to the DJ 15's hardware components, ensures ultra-low, stable DPC latency out of the box, even running off battery with WiFi and Bluetooth activated. On top of that, XMG offers unique and highly specialised support - by DJs, for DJs.

Intel Partners with Heidelberg University Computing Center to Establish oneAPI Academic Center of Excellence

Intel and Heidelberg University Computing Center (URZ) today announced that they have established oneAPI Academic Center of Excellence (CoE) at UZR. The newly established CoE has a goal to further develop Intel's oneAPI standard and enable it to work on AMD GPUs. This information is a bit shocking, however, Intel believes that the technology should work on a wide range of processors, no matter the vendor. The heterogeneous hardware programming is the main goal here. In a Twitter thread, an Intel employee specifies that Intel has also been working with Arm and NVIDIA to bring Data-Parallel C++ (DPC++), a core of oneAPI, to those vendors as well. That should bring this universal programming model to every device and adapt to every platform, which is a goal of heterogeneous programming - whatever you need to program a CPU, GPU, or some other ASIC, it is covered by a single API, specifically oneAPI.
UZR
URZ's work as a oneAPI CoE will add advanced DPC++ capabilities into hipSYCL, which supports systems based on AMD GPUs, NVIDIA GPUs, and CPUs. New DPC++ extensions are part of the SYCL 2020 provisional specification that brings features such as unified shared memory to hipSYCL and the platforms it supports - furthering the promise of oneAPI application support across system architectures and vendors.

Lenovo Announces the Lightest ThinkPad Ever - ThinkPad X1 Nano

Lenovo is very excited to unveil the latest addition to our premium X1 portfolio, ThinkPad X1 Nano. The lightest ThinkPad ever at just 1.99 pounds (907 g) breaks new ground for performance and functionality in an incredibly featherweight package. Lenovo's first ThinkPad based on Intel Evo platform and powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors, the X1 Nano delivers supreme speed and intelligence while maintaining outstanding battery life. Stunning visuals are delivered through a narrow bezel 13-inch 2K display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, and four speakers and four 360-degree microphones enhance the audio-visual capabilities. For a truly immersive user experience, the X1 Nano supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. State of the art connectivity is provided by WiFi 65 and optional 5G will deliver higher bandwidth capability and drive new levels of always on always connected efficiency and collaboration in a new hybrid working world.

Lenovo today is also delighted to announce that the world's first foldable PC, ThinkPad X1 Fold, is available to order and will ship in a few weeks. A pinnacle of engineering innovation, the X1 Fold offers a revolutionary mix of portability and versatility that defines a new computing category enabled by Intel Core processors with Intel Hybrid Technology and made possible by Intel's Project Athena innovation program. Blending familiar functionality that we all know from smartphones, tablets and laptops into a single foldable PC device that will forever reshape the way you work, play, create and connect. With optional 5G, you can trust that your connection speed is more secure and optimized where available and that you are better protected with ThinkShield security features. Find out more how ThinkPad X1 Fold is pioneering a new category: A Game Changing Category

MonsterLabo Announces The Beast

MonsterLabo, a maker of fanless PC cases, today announced its latest creation - The Beast. Featuring a design made from glass and 6 mm thick aluminium, the ATX case is resembling a design we usually could see only from the folks like InWin. The whole chassis is actually made up of two 3 KG aluminium heatsinks that feature ten 6 mm copper heat pipes each. All of this is used for heat dissipation and the case can accommodate up to 400 W of TDP in passive mode. When two 140 mm fans, running at 500 rpm, are added the case can cool more than 500 W of TDP. The Beast measures at 450 mm (L) x 380 mm (W) x 210 mm (H), making it for one large and heavy case. It supports graphics cards up to 290 mm in PCB length and is fully capable of supporting the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series "Ampere" graphics cards. Pre-orders for The Beast are starting on October 9th, with an unknown pricing. You can expect it to be a high premium over 349 EUR price of The First case. Pre-orders will be shipping in Q1 2021.

Brawl Without Limits in WWE 2K BATTLEGROUNDS - Available Today

It's time for players of all skill levels to lace up their boots and step into the ring: WWE 2K Battlegrounds is here! Developed by Saber Interactive and available now for the PlayStation 4 system, the Xbox One family of devices, including the Xbox One X and Windows PC via Steam, Nintendo Switch system and Stadia for $39.99, WWE 2K Battlegrounds brings fast-paced action and an assortment of power-ups, special moves, unconventional melee items and interactive environments to take the brawl to the next level. Players can take on the challenges alone or compete with friends and family on the couch or online in cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes.

"We're excited to add WWE 2K Battlegrounds to 2K's growing portfolio of WWE and licensed sports properties, and to offer yet another way for gamers to enjoy WWE video game action," said David Ismailer, President at 2K. "This arcade-style brawler offers a completely different experience from our WWE 2K simulation franchise and WWE SuperCard collectible card battling game, that we're confident fans will enjoy."

SiFive To Introduce New RISC-V Processor Architecture and RISC-V PC at Linley Fall Virtual Processor Conference

SiFive, Inc., the leading provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions, today announced that Dr. Yunsup Lee, CTO of SiFive, and Dr. Krste Asanovic, Chief Architect of SiFive, will present at the technology industry's premier processor conference, the Linley Fall Virtual Processor Conference. The conference will be held on October 20th - 22nd and 27th - 29th, 2020 and will feature high-quality technical content from leading semiconductor companies worldwide.

"Industry demand for AI performance has skyrocketed over the last few years driven by rapid adoption from the data center to the edge. This year's Linley Fall Processor Conference will feature our biggest program yet and will introduce a host of new technology disclosures and product announcements of innovative processor architectures and IP technologies," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst and conference chairperson. "In spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, development of these technologies continues to accelerate and we're excited to be sharing these presentations with a global audience via our live-streamed format."

SteelSeries Launches Arctis 9 Dual Wireless Headset for PC and PlayStation

SteelSeries, the worldwide leader in gaming and esports peripherals, today announces the newest member of the award-winning Arctis line - the Arctis 9, a high performance, dual wireless gaming headset for PC and PlayStation. The Arctis 9 will be compatible with the PlayStation 5 at launch. The Arctis 9 features SteelSeries' proven ultra-low latency 2.4GHz lossless wireless connection for high fidelity audio, so gamers can enjoy a lag-free gaming experience on both PC and PlayStation. Like the Arctis Pro Wireless and Arctis 9X, the Arctis 9 also features a simultaneous Bluetooth connection to mobile devices for calls, music and VoIP chat while listening to game audio with lossless 2.4GHz clarity.

The Arctis 9 continues the Arctis family tradition by using the same Discord-certified microphone and critically acclaimed signature Arctis soundscape as the rest of the Arctis line. The ClearCast microphone uses a bidirectional design for superior noise cancellation and natural-sounding clarity, while the signature Arctis soundscape emphasizes both subtle and critical in-game sounds, allowing gamers to hear every in-game detail.

NVIDIA to Acquire Arm for $40 Billion, Creating World's Premier Computing Company for the Age of AI

NVIDIA and SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) today announced a definitive agreement under which NVIDIA will acquire Arm Limited from SBG and the SoftBank Vision Fund (together, "SoftBank") in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to NVIDIA's non-GAAP gross margin and non-GAAP earnings per share.

The combination brings together NVIDIA's leading AI computing platform with Arm's vast ecosystem to create the premier computing company for the age of artificial intelligence, accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets. SoftBank will remain committed to Arm's long-term success through its ownership stake in NVIDIA, expected to be under 10 percent.

Sony Reaffirms Intent To Bring First-Party Titles to PC

Sony surprised many when they announced plans to bring Horizon Zero Dawn to PC earlier this year as it was a major first-party exclusive released for the PlayStation 4. While Microsoft has consistently been bringing first-party titles to PC, Sony had been keeping their major titles PlayStation exclusives. In Sony's latest financial report they confirm their intentions to bring further exclusives to PC to improve profitability. What games Sony plan to bring to PC is currently unknown but may well be older PlayStation 4 titles which have dwindling console sales.
Sony
We will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability.

a-XP is a Crazy AMD Ryzen Thread Ripper Portable Workstation with up to 64 Cores

If you are addicted to LAN parties and are a prosumer interested in purchasing a portable workstation that is a complete beast, then look no further. Media Workstations, a maker of all kinds of workstation PCs, has today launched a uniquely designed portable workstation called a-XP. Alongside its unique aesthetics, the PC is packing some serious hardware. At the heart of the machine, there lies AMD's Ryzen Thread Ripper 3990X CPU. With 64 cores and 128 threads, this makes the PC equipped with a huge CPU horsepower capable of handling any workload on the go.

Besides the speedy CPU, the chassis packs up to 256 GB of DDR4 2933 MHz memory, which is disturbed in 8 DIMMs of 32 GBs. There are options for two SSDs, and one HDD, which can go up to any capacity you specify. For GPUs, Media Workstations offers anything from NVIDIA GeForce RTX and Quadro RTX to Tesla GPUs. If you are crazy enough you can even put two of GPUs for workloads that benefit from dual-GPU setup. Be sure to check out the Media Workstations website for additional configuration details, here.
Media Workstations a-XP Media Workstations a-XP Media Workstations a-XP Media Workstations a-XP

EA's Move to Steam Makes its Games the Most Played on the Platform

EA has recently decided to break away from the exclusivity of its games on Origin game launches and started to offer some games on Valve's Steam gaming platform. The move has turned out to be quite substantial for EA and Valve just reported some big news. Out of the top 20 best-selling games on Steam for the month of July, EA games accounted for eight of them. This rather massive share is all thanks to the new markets EA opened themselves to. Without a doubt, Steam is still the world's biggest gaming platform, so it was a smart move to expand the availability of games to it. The financial gains follow as well. EA saw a massive 74% surge in PC revenue it is a quarterly report, all thanks to expansion to Steam.

Steam Updates Pricing Restrictions to Combat VPN-based Exploitation of Regional Pricing

Steam has updated their purchase and pricing restriction in wake of continued abuse from users exploiting regional price-differences via VPN. You may have read about this recently following the availability of PS4-exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn on the PC platform, with the release being priced differently by the publisher according to the purchase region of its respective users. However, one way users found to circumvent these restrictions and purchase games at a lower price was to use a VPN service and appear as if they were connecting from one of the lower-priced regions. This prompted a price-hike for Horizon: Zero Dawn in those exploited regions - sometimes by as much as 389%. Such was the case for Argentina, where the game, which was originally being sold for ARS$539,99 ($7,47) got its price hiked to ARS$2100 ($29,06). The game was being sold in US-based stores for $39.

Now, Steam is forcing currencies used on the purchase to match those of the country where the purchase is (apparently) being made. This means you can't pay in dollars a game that is priced in Argentinian pesos or any other currency. This move by Steam aims to keep pricing fair according to users' and countries' purchasing power, and aims to protect users with lower purchasing power from price-hikes derived from the exploitation of regional pricing. An Argentinian user, where the country's minimum wage is set at $233,55, now is protected from users with higher purchasing power being responsible for game price hikes that mean it costs them 10% of their minimum wage to get a single game from the Steam store. You can replace Argentina with any other country that saw its regional pricing being abused via VPN-hidden users who wanted to take advantage of the price difference. I can hear some Game of Thrones bells ringing in the distance.

Blizzard Confirms World of Warcraft Won't be Releasing for Consoles

Data miners have reportedly found a new piece of information about the very popular game World of Warcraft. Inside the game code for the new Shadowlands expansion pack, few data miners spotted support for gaming controllers, which lead to rumors that WoW is coming to next-generation consoles. With PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X coming soon, it is now a hot topic to see which games are coming to the new platform. However, Blizzard has issued an official response to those rumors saying the following:
We currently have no plans to bring World of Warcraft or Shadowlands to Xbox Series X. The platform was listed on the Brazil Ministry of Justice rating website in error, and the entry has since been updated to reflect that the game is coming only to PC
World of Warcraft Shadowlands

Epic Games Joins GOG in the Goal to Deliver Universal Ownership of Digital Goods

Today owning digital copies of games is a real struggle. There are are many platforms that offer games to be purchased, and some games are platform-specific. Take a look at Fortnite for example. It is only available on the Epic Games platform and launcher, so you have to download and sign-up to that if you wish to play the game. The PC platform is currently struggling with that problem as there is no unified store where you can purchase all of your digital copies of games. That is the main reason why Good Old Games, called GOG shortly, has decided to invite Epic Games and make a universal launcher for all storefronts.

The GOG Galaxy 2.0 is a new storefront that aims to give gamers the ability to "Install and launch any PC game you own, no matter the platform." With Epic Games joining the platform, it is a matter of time before others join. Some are still resistant, however. Steam and Origin are still not okay with that idea and they are keeping it to themselves. It is interesting to see the development of this, and in the meantime, you can check out GOG Galaxy 2.0 here.

PUBG Sells 70 Million Copies Ahead of Big Season 8 Update

The popular battle royale PlayersUnknown's BattleGround, called PUBG shortly, has managed to sell over 70 million copies across all platforms it is supported on, like PC and consoles. The huge achievement comes after two and a half years after the game was released, marking a huge achievement for battle royale type of games. The PUBG Corporation, makers of the game, decided to celebrate the new milestone with a release of a remastered Sanhok map. The new Sanhok map is redesigned from the ground up and the developer describes it as "leaner, meaner, and more deadly than ever before!". The new map will go live with the season 8 update, which is going live on July 22nd on Steam, and July 30th on consoles and Google Stadia.

GIGABYTE Subsidiary GIGAIPC Launches Industry's First 5G-Enabled Embedded Computing System

5G has been a trending topic in the recent times because of the big technological breakthrough and all the solutions that its major features will make a reality: Low latency, bigger bandwidth with higher frequency, and overall faster "real-time" connection.

With those features 5G will connect virtually everyone and everything together in a fast and reliable network through the air while protecting privacy and security issues, that will mean the era of real IoT: Smart cities and smart transportations; remote medical care and wirelessly connected Industrial devices, and high-quality video streaming, to say the least.

Halo 3 Now Available on PC via The Master Chief Collection

343 Industries today released a new update to its The Master Chief Collection, which includes all FPS Halo Games from Halo Reach through Halo 4 (which, in turn, covered two Xbox console releases in the original Xbox and Xbox 360). The new game, like Halo Reach, Halo: combat Evolved Anniversary, and Halo 2 Anniversary, has been ported to PC with most features one would expect. Performance-wise, the game runs pretty well, with an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti achieving 150+ FPS on 4K and maximum quality settings - which is to be expected considering the games' original September 2007 release, and the fact that like Halo Reach, it hasn't been remastered.

It's time to finish the fight (again). In the meantime, check after the break for some 4K screenshots of the game, which still holds up pretty well with a simple resolution increase.

Gartner: Worldwide PC Shipments Grew 2.8% in Second Quarter of 2020

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 64.8 million units in the second quarter of 2020, a 2.8% increase from the second quarter of 2019, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. After a significant decline in the first quarter of the year due to COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions, the PC market returned to growth as vendors restocked their channels and mobile PC demand increased.

"The second quarter of 2020 represented a short-term recovery for the worldwide PC market, led by exceptionally strong growth in EMEA," said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. "After the PC supply chain was severely disrupted in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the growth this quarter was due to distributors and retail channels restocking their supplies back to near-normal levels.

NVIDIA Bundling Death Stranding With RTX Graphics Cards

In a move that shocks no-one, considering the wealth of RTX features that Death Stranding will be supporting on PC, NVIDIA has announced it will be offering Kojima Productions' game with their RTX graphics cards. This offer is available for all RTX graphics cards, mind you, from the RTX 2060 all the way to the top of NVIDIA's RTX stack in the form of the RTX 2080 Ti.

The promotion includes both standalone RTX graphics cards and pre-built systems packing RTX graphics. The promotion starts from today and is valid for purchases through July 29th (you have until August 31st to redeem the digital game code), so if you're looking for a new graphics card ASAP and you're also looking for a beautiful walking simulator (though the game really does merit more than just that simplistic definition), you might want to jump on this opportunity.

Huawei Desktop PC with Kunpeng 920 Processor Teased and Tested

Huawei has been readying the entire new breed of desktop PCs with a custom motherboard, custom processor, and even a custom operating system. Being that Huawei plans to supply Chinese government institutions with these PCs, it is logical to break away from US-made technology due to security reasons. And now, thanks to the YouTube channel called "二斤自制" we have the first look at the new PC system. Powered by Huawei D920S10 desktop motherboard equipped with Kunpeng 920 7 nm Arm v8 processor with 8 cores, the PC was running the 64-bit UOS operating system, which is a Chinese modification of Linux. In the test, the PC was assembled by a third-party provider and it featured 16 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4 memory and 256 GB SSD.

The YouTube channel put it to test and in the Blender BMW render test, it has finished in 11 minutes and 47 seconds, which is quite slow. The system reportedly managed to stream 4K content well but has struggled with local playback thanks to poor encoding. Being that it runs a custom OS with a custom processor, app selection is quite narrow. The app store for the PC is accessible only if you pay an extra 800 Yuan (~$115), while the mentioned system will set you back 7,500 Yuan (~$1,060). At the heart of this system is eight-core, eight threaded Kunpeng 920 2249K processor. It features a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, has 128K of L1 cache (64K instruction cache and 64K data cache), 512K of L2, and 32 MB of L3 cache.

CD Projekt Red to Offer Free Cyberpunk 2077 Upgrades to Next-Gen Console Versions

CD Projekt Red has announced that their upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will be upgraded, free of charge, to a revised version in the wake of both next-gen console systems from Sony and Microsoft being released. This means that users who ordered (or will order) the game for current-gen systems will see their version be automatically upgraded to a next-gen one when they boot up their next-generation games console. This next-generation re-release of Cyberpunk 2077 will take advantage of the new consoles' much increased horsepower in both graphics and storage system terms.

The update, much like the game, will be ready "when it's ready". Only CD Projekt Red knows when it is hoping to release this update. We would think that a release next-year, after the entire planned DLC packages for the game are released, would be a great time to launch the updated version and re-release the game for next-gen systems as a "Game of the Year" version or a next--gen remaster. Of course, PC users don't have to fiddle with any of these upgrades - we'll be getting the games definitive version, including ray tracing support, on day one.

Apex Legends Coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch with Cross-Play

During Electronic Arts Play 2020 event, Respawn, the maker of popular battle royale Apex legends, has announced that Apex Legends is getting cross-play support. Not only that, but Respawn is now launching Apex Legends on Steam and Nintendo Switch platforms so the cross-play can be bigger than ever. Now, players that use either PC (Steam or EA Origin), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, can be brought together and play against each other. However, Respawn didn't just announce the cross-play support. Along with it, they have announced a new seasonal event called the "Lost Treasures Collection". In this event, players get a new game mode called "Armed and Dangerous Evolved". This game mode allows for new player abilities and resurrection of knocked out players. You can find more about it in the video below.
Apex Legends Lost Treasures Collection Event Apex Legends Lost Treasures Collection Event
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