Das Keyboard announces the Gaming Sling, a guitar case like carrying case for your gaming peripherals. Temporarily priced at $75 instead of $119, this new product lets you travel to LANs in style. The Gaming Sling has a rugged, padded and weather resistant design and features enough room for a gaming keyboard, a mouse, headphones, Ethernet cables, flash drives, DVDs, etc.
Weather resistant materials, reinforced corners and sides, YKK zippers, and generously-padded and durable nylon rip-stop all come together to make the Das Keyboard gaming sling your gaming gear's number one defense against damage on the go.
More than just high utility, organizational chops, and rugged durability, the Das Keyboard gaming sling was born with looks to match its performance, boasting clean lines, a modern design, and the highest quality materials.
Dedicated, internally-padded compartments for keyboard, mouse, and headset
360-degree external padding for added drop protection
Over at the EEE International Magnetics Conference (InterMag), Seagate showed off a Business Storage 8-Bay Rackmount NAS loaded with eight prototype HDDs featuring heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) platters. The HDDs worked in RAID configuration and ran continuously for three days performing various workloads, showing the company is inching a bit closer to commercial shipments.
Seagate didn't reveal much information about its HAMR-based HDDs but noted disks will start shipping to select customers by 2017, with full production slated for 2018.
Seagate did not disclose any details about the HAMR-based hard drives. What we do know about them is that they use industry-standard Serial ATA-6Gb/s interface and can work with modern network area storage devices, which means that their power consumption and heat dissipation is comparable to those of today’s HDDs. The company already has appropriate electronics (e.g., controller chips, firmware, etc.), motors, read/write heads and other hardware necessary to build HAMR-based drives. Moreover, the demonstration shows that Seagate’s HAMR hard disks are already compatible with the company’s software. Finally, the drives not only work, but can be actually used for demanding workloads.
HAMR will enable big increases in areal density of magnetic platters, enabling platters with 2TB of storage capacity per square inch and then up to 4TB or even 5TB per square inch as the technology matures. This will enable enterprise-class six-platter HDDs with capacities of 40TB to 50TB and consumer disks with capacities of 25TB to 32TB.
Micron CEO Mark Durcan promised investors during the company's earnings call late last week that the firm is making good progress to close the technological gap with Samsung. Durcan explained Micron is confident it can make a speedy switch to a 16nm process and that it can deliver a high bit density on this process.
Market leader Samsung started mass production of its 20nm DRAM in March 2014 and is expected to produce almost 60 percent of its total DRAM output on this process by the end of 2015. As the third largest player in the DRAM market, Micron is currently playing catch up with Samsung. Micron didn't start trial production of its 20nm DRAM until Q4 2014 and only recently began revenue shipments of such memory to its customers. Most of Micron's memory is still made on 25nm and 30nm processes, putting it at a cost-disadvantage versus Samsung.
Full details at KitGuru.
“We are currently shipping early production in 20nm DRAM and will continue to ramp throughout the remainder of this year,” said Mark Adams, president of Micron, during the company’s quarterly conference call with investors and financial analysts. “We are expecting bit crossover in the first half of calendar 2016.”
While Samsung has clearly won the 20nm race against other DRAM makers, Micron hopes that it will be able to close the gap with the market leader with its 10nm-class node, the 16nm fabrication process, the company revealed this week. The transition to 10nm-class process could be more important than it sounds.
“We absolutely expect to close the gap with Samsung as we move to 16nm, both in timing and in terms of overall deployed bit density in the market,” said Mark Durcan, chief executive officer of Micron Technology.
Micron also confirmed it recently started shipping 20nm GDDR5 memory chips, presumably with a capacity of 8Gb.
During the company's quarterly earnings call, Micron president Mark Adams revealed that the firm will be launching its first TLC NAND based solid state disk in the second half of this year. The memory maker has apparently solved its challenges with TLC and is moving full steam ahead with the adoption of the triple-bit-per-cell NAND, vowing to put it in 50 percent of its SSDs by the end of fiscal 2016 (which is late August, 2016 in the normal calendar year).
Apparently, Micron, which typically uses controllers from Marvell with its own custom firmware, has managed to achieve desired levels of reliability and performance with its TLC-based SSDs. Since the company this week reported results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2015, expect Micron to unveil its first SSD with triple-level-cell memory in the coming months.
Analysts from DRAMeXchange believe that 45 per cent of NAND flash memory produced by the end of the year will be TLC thanks to the fact that the type will be used in mobile, consumer and SSD applications.
TLC enables the creation of cheaper flash storage but performance/endurance issues with TLC-based SSDs from Samsung have sparked controversy about the reliability of these disks.
The launch date of Windows 10 is coming closer and closer! On July 29th, Microsoft will be rolling out this free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. With just one more month to go, The Register asks itself whether Windows 10 is ready enough to prevent another debacle.
The site notes that while the desktop side of Windows 10 seems fairly solid, the quality of the preview builds has not always been reassuring. For example, there are still some issues with the new app platform and some sites do not work correctly with Edge. Overall it seems Microsoft will be having its hands full to ensure it can deliver a smooth launch on July 29th as having another poorly perceived launch would be terrible for the Windows brand.
Questioned on this matter of Windows 10 readiness, Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore said in April that the core OS was just about done, the shell 85 per cent done, and apps only 65 per cent done.
He also noted that preview builds were "in a rough spot" because Microsoft is still merging work from various teams, implying that it can all come together at the last moment. Recent builds of Windows 10 Mobile have improved dramatically, but until a final or near-final Windows 10 PC build is in our hands, we will not know the extent to which the same may happen there.
Sources from the upstream supply chain told DigiTimes that laptop demand is coming in weaker than anticipated. While the industry previously expected things to get better in the second half of this year, it now looks like sales may be much worse than anticipated.
The site notes overall notebook shipments may decline to 160 million units this year, down around 5 percent year-over-year, and adds that conservative players expect the number may reach only 150 million units, which would be a double-digit decline versus 2014.
After having a weak first half, the sources said that they are still seeing weak orders from brand vendors for the second half as depreciation of non-US currencies and oil price drops have both caused overall consumer purchasing to stay weak. Although many vendors expect Windows 10 to trigger a PC replacement trend after its launch, some are concerned that the free upgrade is unlikely to help prompt consumers to replace their machines.
The sources noted that their brand clients have all been reducing their orders for the second half recently and this could seriously impact the notebook industry's overall performance in the second half.
Warner Bros. And Rocksteady issued a patch for the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight that promises to fix certain things that were broken, but this patch is not the performance patch that many are waiting on.
Here are the release notes of this initial patch:
Fixed a crash that was happening for some users when exiting the game
Fixed a bug which disabled rain effects and ambient occlusion. We are actively looking into fixing other bugs to improve this further
Corrected an issue that was causing Steam to re-download the game when verifying the integrity of the game cache through the Steam client
Fixed a bug that caused the game to crash when turning off Motion Blur in BmSystemSettings.ini. A future patch will enable this in the graphics settings menu
And here's a list of key issues the developers are working on right now:
Support for frame rates above 30FPS in the graphics settings menu
Fix for low resolution texture bug
Improve overall performance and framerate hitches
Add more options to the graphics settings menu
Improvements to hard drive streaming and hitches
Address full screen rendering bug on gaming laptops
Improvements to system memory and VRAM usage
NVIDIA SLI bug fixes
Enabling AMD Crossfire
NVIDIA and AMD updated drivers
Robert Cram took a look at the post-patch PC version and compared it with footage from the console version of Arkham Knight:
And here's the same comparison with the pre-patch PC version:
A couple of days ago KitGuru picked up rumors that NVIDIA is considering a price cut for its high-end graphics cards to increase the pressure on AMD.
The site believes the price cut may not be global though, while current pricing of the GeForce GTX 980 series is competitive enough in the US, it is relatively high in Europe and the UK. Perhaps the firm will focus its attention there to increase sales of its high-end cards.
Even though Nvidia has a substantial competitive advantage over its rival even after the latter introduced its new products, the company is considering ways how to improve sales its high-end graphics cards.
One of the ways to boost sales of GeForce products is to reconsider pricing of GeForce GTX 980 Ti and possibly GeForce GTX 970/980. Prices of GeForce GTX 980 Ti and GeForce GTX 980 are very competitive in the U.S., but in Europe and the U.K. they are pretty high. In a bid to make its GeForce GTX 980 Ti more popular, Nvidia may decrease its prices, at least in some countries, according to a market rumour.
If Nvidia changes prices of its GeForce GTX 980 Ti and GeForce GTX 980, AMD will have to reconsider prices of its Radeon R9 Fury X as well as Radeon R9 390X in a bid to stay competitive.
During a shareholders meeting, Nintendo explained it's revealing so little about its next-generation NX console is because the firm is afraid its competitors will steal its ideas. The Japanese gaming firm doesn't want to reveal its hand too early and plans to make a big announcement sometime next year:
During a shareholders meeting today, Iwata responded to a question regarding the transition between Wii U and 3DS and the forthcoming NX:
We can't talk about the NX. If we do, competitors may take our ideas and customers won't be surprised. This would not be beneficial for the company or its shareholders. The NX is new hardware, and will start from 0. However, the 3DS and Wii U have install bases. Immediately cutting off software for previous hardware upon the release of a new machine is inefficient. We will continue making 3DS and Wii software while preparing for the NX. We are prioritizing satisfying customers who purchased the Wii U.
A 3D artist named Aryok Pinera created a demo of how a Mario game might look like if it was developed using Unreal Engine 4. Looks pretty awesome but we doubt any of Nintendo's latest consoles could run something like this.
Here is Mario running in Unreal Engine 4, all the environment assets were taken from the Unreal marketplace, all the character actions were scripted using blueprints only, all animations were re-created from scratch as well as the PBR ready textures.