Microsoft revealed its its Windows 10 device event that its HoloLens Development Edition will go on sale for $3,000 in Q1 2016. The HoloLens is an untethered device that doesn't require a PC, a phone or even wires. The software giant demonstrated the device with Project X-ray, a new video game where the user battles against holographic robots using a gun controlled by an anolog stick.
Myerson claimed that "HoloLens is the only device that mixes holograms into our world", touting mixed reality entertainment.
Given the elaborated and impressive demonstration of the Project X-Ray game, featuring weapons, shields, enemies, as well as other capabilities of the HoloLens, and whatnot, it will be quite interesting to see how many people are interested in buying the Development Edition of the device for $3,000, which will start shipping in 2016.
Microsoft's Terry Myerson revealed today at the firm's hardware event that Windows 10 is now running on over 110 million devices. He also shared that 650 billion web pages have been viewed via the company's new Edge browser.
Windows 10 has been installed on more than 110 million devices since it was released on July 29th. That sounds like pretty good progress considering that Microsoft said it hoped to reach 1 billion devices "within two to three years" at the company's developer conference in April.
On top of that, Microsoft's Terry Myerson said that 650 billion web pages have been viewed on Edge, the company's newest browser, and users have streamed 120 years of gameplay from Xbox systems to Windows 10 devices.
Continuum for phones
In related news, Microsoft also announced its bringing its Continuum feature to phones. This feature will enable you to connect your Windows 10 smartphone to a larger screen, and use it like a PC. This will require the Microsoft Display Dock, this little squarish device connects to your phone via USB Type-C and features a HDMI and DisplayPort for interfacing with your screen plus three USB ports for accessories.
The new Windows phones
The big stars of the event were the new 5.2" Lumia 950 and 5.7" Lumia 950 XL, which start shipping in November for $549 and $649, respectively. Special features include adaptive antenna technology, octacore and hexacore processors and tablet-class liquid cooling.
bequiet! rolled out its new Silent Base 600, a more compact version of its Silent Base 800.
The Silent Base 600 will be available in orange, black and silver models with pricing of around $109.90 (109.90EUR) for the regular version and $119.90 (124.90EUR) for the windowed version.
The case measures 495mm x 230mm x 493mm (L x W x H) and accepts a Mini-ITX, Micro-ATX or ATX form factor motherboard. The chassis is made from steel with 0.7mm thick steel side panels and an ABS plastic front and covers.
Unlike many new cases, the Silent Base 600 still supports 5.25" drives, there's room for three of them. The interior has room for three 3.5" disks, three 2.5" SSDs, seven expansion slots, six fan mounting locations and support for a watercooling radiator of up to 240mm.
The focus is on low noise, the side panels and front panel are insulated with noise absorbing foam and the HDD, PSU and fan mounting locations feature anti-vibration decoupling.
be quiet! expands the successful case series with the Silent Base 600, offering a more compact version of its silent debut case. The new model contains all known features of its larger counterpart. The Silent Base 600 provides excellent cooling performance with whisper-quiet operation and represents an alternative case solution for low-noise, high-end systems.
As with the Silent Base 800, be quiet! opted for an innovative design for its new case model, inspired by the motto "Form Follows Function". This means the new model combines excellent cooling efficiency with perfect air circulation, which ensures a whisper-quiet operation. The basis for this is a pair of pre-installed, decoupled Pure Wings 2 fans. These quietly transport the air out of the case with their nine airflow-optimized fan blades. Thanks to its integrated 3-step fan controller, users can adjust the ratio of noise production to cooling performance by themselves. The 3-in-1 air vent on the side panel can be used to adjust the air circulation as needed. The Silent Base 600 case includes mounting points for five additional fans and can accommodate third-party water cooling solutions.
The front and side panels are equipped with insulation mats. The combination of high-quality steel and the U-shaped edges on the side panels form a stable and robust construction. Since the hard drives and the power supply are decoupled from the housing, they will not cause any unwanted vibrations.
Despite its smaller dimensions of 495 x 230 x 493 millimeters (L x W x H) in comparison to its larger sister model, the Silent Base 600 provides a spacious interior and enough room for current and future high-end components. The HDD cage can be installed at different positions according to user's requirements, in order to accommodate graphics cards of up to 413 millimeters. It's possible to install CPU coolers with a maximum height of 170 millimeters. The air intake filters on the front, bottom and side panels can easily be removed and cleaned.
be quiet! allows professional cable management, creating an attractive appearance and tidy interior thanks to its generous pass-throughs at the appropriate positions in conjunction with silicon rubber grommets. This is particularly important for those who opt for a Silent Base 600 with the well-known, double-glazed and therefore extremely sound-absorbing side window.
The be quiet! Silent Base 600, as well as the window version, is commercially available now in three colors: Orange, Black, and Silver. be quiet! offers a three-year warranty on the case.
Market research firm DRAMeXchange reports spot pricing of DDR3 4GB memory chips fell 3 percent, from $19 in August to $18.5 in September. The drop occurred in what is usually seen as the peak season for laptops, and it's blamed on Windows 10's inability to drive PC replacement demand. It is not just PC DRAM that is impacted, DRAMeXchange reports shipments of smartphone and server DRAM are down as well, and notes this is seriously eroding the margins of DRAM suppliers.
Pricing is expected to fall further into H2 2016:
Looking ahead for the next couple of quarters DRAMeXchange "expects price decline in the DRAM chip market to become more severe than the current slide," all the way to half way through next year. A steeper slide could happen "if the global economy continues to stagnate". Furthermore we might get stronger price competition between the three dominant suppliers – Samsung, SK hynix and Micron. It is thought that Samsung could puts pressure on competitors by moving to 18nm technology first, giving it a buffer for price cuts and offering more attractive memory with better power efficiency and higher densities.
AMD announced it's teaming up with Dell to supply Oculus Ready PCs with AMD GPUs. Pricing of these VR-ready systems will start at $999 but no specifics were shared.
?AMD today announced a collaboration with Oculus and Dell to equip Oculus Ready PCs with AMD Radeon™ GPUs, starting at $999USD. 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.”
In March, AMD announced an initiative to deliver the ultimate VR experience for developers and users enabled through AMD LiquidVR™ technology. AMD LiquidVR™ enables low-latency VR performance that maintains reliable comfort during your VR experience, and plug-and-play compatibility with VR headsets. AMD GPU software and hardware subsystems are a major component in making AMD LiquidVR™ a reality and in turn allowing for developers and content creators to enable a life-like presence in VR environments.
“For nearly 20 years Alienware has been a leader in performance and innovation for PC gaming; virtual reality is the next frontier and we plan to innovate and lead in the same way, with the same passion,” said Frank Azor, Co-founder and General Manager, Alienware. “Partnering with the performance of AMD graphics and the innovation of Oculus provides an incredible opportunity for Alienware to deliver something awesome for our users.”
Besides Oculus Ready PCs from Dell and its Alienware division, there will also be models from ASUS, with prices starting at $949. For a good VR experience, Oculus recommends a PC with Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater, NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater and 8GB RAM or greater.
As leaks from Edward Snowden revealed European user data stored by US companies is not safe from surveillance that would be illegal in the Europe, the European Court of Justice decided to invalidate the transatlantic Safe Harbour personal data protection agreement.
The implications of this are still unknown but it could cause a major headache for US-based companies as they may now face scrutiny from individual European countries' data regulators and could be forced to host European user data somewhere in Europe rather than in the US:
Here are the main points:
Individual European countries can now set their own regulation for US companies' handling of citizens' data, vastly complicating the regulatory environment in Europe.
Countries can choose to suspend the transfer of data to the US — forcing companies to host user data exclusively within the country.
The Irish data regulator will now examine whether Facebook offered European users adequate data protections, and may order the complete suspension of Facebook's transfer of data from Europe to the US if so.
We'll have to wait to see how this plays out. The consequences for deep-pocketed companies like Facebook and Google may be small but I'm afraid it could be a major headwind for small businesses and startups.
NVIDIA is rolling out new gaming bundles for its GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX 970 cards. The new bundle includes Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Rainbow Six Siege. We do not know the exact details but this likely applies to select cards from select vendors, it expires on 1/5/2016 or until supplies run out.
Both Ubisoft titles are sponsored by NVIDIA and will likely feature some exclusive NVIDIA technologies. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will release on PC on November 19, 2015, while Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege on December 1, 2015. So far there’s no word of whether the offer will extend to other GeForce models, like the GTX 980 Ti and the GTX Titan X, but given that most of Ubisoft’s biggest titles were offered with the high-end NVIDIA GPUs in the past, the offer should extend to those as well. The soon to be announced Far Cry Primal, could serve as another potential bundled title for NVIDIA, but a release window was not detailed yet.
Patriot announces the availability of its new Viper 4 3600MHz dual-channel DDR4 memory kits.
Pricing starts at $169.99 for an 8GB kit that runs at 1.35V with 17-18-18-36 timings.
Patriot, a leading manufacturer of computer memory, USB/flash memory, SSDs, and mobile accessories, today announced the extension of their Viper 4 series of DDR4 memory with a new 3600MHz dual kit designed for the latest Intel® Skylake core processor utilizing the 100 series platform.
Designed with a high performance custom heat shield structured to withstand the most taxing PC environments and provide continuous stable performance, the Patriot Viper 4 3600MHz dual kit clocks in with impressive timings of 17-18-18-36 while pulling 1.35V of power. The 3600MHz Viper 4 dual kit has become Patriot’s fastest kit since the release of the 3400MHz dual kit at the start of September. The ideal addition for PC enthusiasts looking to update their system, the Viper 4 3600MHz dual kit will deliver unparalleled performance for the ultimate gaming rig.
The Viper 4 series of Patriot memory was originally launched in January of 2015 and included 16GB and 32GB quad kits that ran at speeds of 2400MHz to 3000MHz pulling 1.2-1.35 volts. Patriot continues to expand their trademark line of memory, yet again, engineered faster for gamers, content creators and prosumers in mind by adding an 8GB (2x4GB) 3600MHz dual kit to their already impressive lineup Viper 4 dual kits.
"Our Viper 4 Line continues to reach new heights with our latest launch of the new 3600MHz kit paired with the new Intel® Skylake Platform." Said Les Henry, VP of Engineering at Patriot. "We will continue to prescreen each IC prior to building the modules to ensure stability and provide unsurpassed performance to our customers."
Compatible with XMP 2.0, the Viper 4 gives users the capability to easily overclock their system by using the predetermined memory profile while still having the option to manually edit the SPD in the PC bios. Backed by a lifetime warranty and Patriot’s superior customer service, the Viper 4 is hand tested for quality assurance and validated for system compatibility.
The Patriot Viper 4 3600MHz dual kit will be available worldwide on October 5, 2015 in stores and online at Fry’s Electronics, Newegg and Amazon for a starting MSRP of $169.99 in North America.
Enthusiasts uncovered some new information about AMD's Zen architecture by dissecting a recently released patch file. The information seems to suggest Zen will feature near double as much decoder, ALU, and floating-point units per-core than its predecessor. TechPowerUp notes a single Zen core could be described as a Steamroller module with just one big core instead of two, and with support for SMT.
In AMD's latest approach with "Zen," the company did away with the barriers that separated two cores within a module. It's one big monolithic core, with 4 decoders (parts which tell the core what to do), 4 ALUs ("Bulldozer" had two per core), and four 128-bit wide floating-point units, clubbed in two 256-bit FMACs. This approach nearly doubles the per-core number-crunching muscle. AMD implemented an Intel-like SMT technology, which works very similar to HyperThreading.
Micron announced the acquisition of Tidal Systems, a startup that developers SSD controller solutions. The company was founded in 2014 by Mike Lee and Dr. Cody Wu, both have an extensive background in the field and have created some of the most advanced NAND controllers in existence.
Lee wa part of Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD) and sold the company to SK Hynix, while Dr. Cody Wu was part of SandForce and is considered a pioneer of next-gen LDPC encoding and decoding. Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) is a sophisticated error correction method that comes in handy for dealing with TLC NAND flash memory, which suffers from higher error rates than MLC memory.
Tom's Hardware concludes this purchase will allow Micron to compete more effectively with Samsung as the company can now create all three major SSD components in-house.
Micron has desperately needed an in-house controller to combat the rise of Samsung in the consumer and enterprise SSD space. Without a controller under the Micron umbrella, the company was forced to rely on third-party SoC makers such as Marvell and Silicon Motion, Inc. to bring products to market.
Until now, Micron only made two of the three vital components needed to build solid-state drive products. That put Micron in a poor position to take advantage of in-house DRAM and NAND production, because the company still had to wait on component partners to release controllers and tune firmware for its specific NAND products.