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AMD Talks Zen 3, "Raven Ridge," and More at Reddit AMA

AMD, at its post-Ryzen 7 launch Reddit AMA, disclosed some juicy details about its other upcoming socket AM4 chips, beginning with the rest of the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 "Summit Ridge" processor roll-out, and a little bit about its 8th generation socket AM4 APU, codenamed "Raven Ridge." To begin with, AMD CEO Lisa Su stated that "Raven Ridge" will also be sold under the Ryzen brand. This would mark a departure from the less-than-stellar A-series branding for its performance APUs. "Raven Ridge" likely combines a "Zen" quad-core CPU complex (CCX) with an integrated GPU based on one of AMD's newer GPU architectures (either "Polaris" or "Vega").

The range-topping Ryzen 7 series will lead the company's lineup throughout Q1, with six-core and quad-core Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3 series launches being scheduled for later this year. Our older reports pinned Ryzen 5 series rollout for Q2, and Ryzen 3 series for the second half of 2017. This is likely also when the company rolls out "Raven Ridge" initially as mobile Ryzen products (BGA packages, which will likely also be used in AIOs), and later as desktop socket AM4 parts.

Swiftech to Launch Custom Water Block for AMD's RX 480

Rouchon Industries Inc., dba Swiftech, is reportedly bringing to market a custom water block for AMD's RX 480. According to reddit user CBwardog, who spoke with a company representative, the water block is expected to come in an Acetal + Nickel package, bearing a price-tag of $99.95. No official announcement from Swiftech at this time, though it is expected that the water block will become available for sale to end-users worldwide through the usual channels in a mere three weeks.

Source: Reddit

GeForce GTX 680 Can Be Flashed to GTX 770?

No you can't, but read on. When we learned that NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce GTX 770 uses a GPU not unlike the GeForce GTX 680 in specifications, we overlooked one possibility, that it uses the same exact chip, the GK104. We assumed that NVIDIA could release a new ASIC codenamed "GK114" or "GK204," which features higher energy-efficiency, and GPU Boost 2.0.

A Reddit user claims that a simple BIOS flash of the GeForce GTX 680 could turn it into a GeForce GTX 770. The BIOS ROM image, which probably works with reference-design GTX 680 boards was posted, along with a GPU-Z screenshot of a "GeForce GTX 770" obtained this way. The BIOS runs the card at 1059 MHz core, 1125 MHz maximum GPU Boost, and 1752 MHz (7.00 GHz GDDR5-effective) memory, yielding a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s. The BIOS file can be found here (try it at your own risk). We tested the BIOS with some of our own GTX 680 cards, and found it to be nothing more than a modified GTX 680 BIOS (for increased clocks) with a modified driver INF file that makes the GeForce driver display a different model name. The BIOS just has made-up clock speeds that could run on some GTX 680 cards, but could be unstable on most.

We created four additional GPU-Z screenshots to serve as evidence that just by modifying the INF file, you can make the card appear as anything you want. The string from the INF file is used in Windows for display purposes only; the graphics driver does not use it for anything else; certainly not feature detection.

When your GTX 680 manages to be stable with the new BIOS, the higher clock speeds obviously work to get you that 5-7 percent performance increment. Third-rate companies often get away selling rebranded fake graphics cards in developing markets using this method. For example, they buy cheap GeForce 210 cards and sell them as GT 630 for twice the money. Even between officially rebranded NVIDIA graphics cards (such as GeForce 8800 GT to 9800 GT), the device ID is changed, so there's no reason why NVIDIA won't do the same with the GTX 770. In conclusion, this "GTX 770" mod is nothing more than a combination of a custom GTX 680 BIOS that adds higher clock speeds, and a custom INF file that changes the card's name string. Shuttered: One Month 'Black March' Media Boycott Slated For March 1st

Yesterday, the website of MegaUpload was shuttered for good by the US Department of Justice over copyright infringement aka 'piracy' and various criminal charges (see the domain seizure graphic). This was done regardless of the many non-infringing files that people were also using it for, so for anyone that had their only copy of a file on the site, this is very bad news. It's also arguably even worse news for the site's operators, as they have been arrested and face extradition from New Zealand to the USA for criminal trial, all their assets seized, including all the domain names and computing infrastructure to run them, plus many personal belongings of very high value, such as fancy cars like Maseratis and Rolls-Royces and huge 100 inch TVs to name just a few.

However, this story, isn't really about this and we have linked to reports below which cover this in great detail (hot beverage recommended). MegaUpload was one of the biggest file sharing sites out there and in fact, one of the biggest sites out there, period. This means, that an awful lot of people all around the world have very much noticed its sudden demise (especially those with their only copy of a file, because they didn't bother to back it up, tsk) and are met with that highly unwelcome Department of Justice graphic, instead. Hence, the chances of an almighty backlash against this shutdown not happening are slim to none. In fact, Anonymous have already hit the websites of the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA & HADOPI (French three strikes) and others in retaliation, with likely much more to come, which is good or bad, depending on one's point of view and how effective one believes it will be.

The GoDaddy Boycott: It Worked

The GoDaddy boycott over their support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation, which took effect today, appears to have worked. The initial fallout over GoDaddy's support for it, resulted in a furious backpedal and then a bit of dirty tricks to stop customers leaving. However, this backpedal stopped short of actually criticising it. The boycott, called by a user on Reddit and aided by Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, appears to have focused GoDaddy's mind on what's right and what's wrong. They have finally given us that criticism of SOPA that they should have made in the first place, as CEO Warren Adelman, said in this statement:
We have observed a spike in domain name transfers, which are running above normal rates and which we attribute to GoDaddy's prior support for SOPA, which was reversed. GoDaddy opposes SOPA because the legislation has not fulfilled its basic requirement to build a consensus among stake-holders in the technology and Internet communities. Our company regrets the loss of any of our customers, who remain our highest priority, and we hope to repair those relationships and win back their business over time.
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