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AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT to be met with a flood of RTX 3060s?

1 day ago
There haven't been a lot of GPU launches over the past year as manufacturers didn't want to spread limited resources over too many SKUs. According to the rumor mill, AMD will start shipping its Radeon RX 6600 XT next month, the first new desktop model since the Radeon RX 6700 XT's launch in March.

NVIDIA to have a flood of RTX 3060 series cards?

If YouTuber Moore's Law is Dead is to be believed, NVIDIA has prepared for this by stockpiling large quantities of its GA106 GPU. Allegedly, NVIDIA will start shipping lots of GeForce RTX 3060 cards by the time AMD's Radeon RX 6600 XT hits the market. Supply of the Radeon RX 6600 XT is said to be decent, better than recent launches, but not high enough to meet demand.

Personally, I find this a bit hard to believe. Given the GPU shortages, it's kinda hard to imagine that NVIDIA is wilfully stockpiling GPUs. It just doesn't make a lot of sense from a business perspective.

MLiD also claims that NVIDIA is still shipping a lot of GPUs without cryptocurrency mining limiter. According to him, NVIDIA's add-in board partners are still able to get large quantities of non-LHR GPU dies:
"You know now that you mention it Tom, the overwhelming majority of our arriving [GeForce RTX] 3070 stock is non-LHR. Last week I thought this was just the last remaining stock... but now it's late July, and most of our arriving 3070s remain as non-LHR models. The majority of upcoming deliveries are non-LHR as well".

"Keep in mind that we are buying these dies from NVIDIA, and they are different from the LHR dies. So NVIDIA has to be mindful of what is going on, and letting some AIBs drag their feet more than others. LHR might be the standard for every SKU eventually, but we (AIBs) are going to drag this process out if they let us...". Source: Moore's Law Is Dead, Transcription via Tweaktown


RDNA3 taping out soon?

There are also some wild rumors about AMD's next-gen GPU architecture. TweakTown picked up rumors from Twitter leaker KittyYYuko. Following reports about an imminent tape out of NVIDIA's Hopper, there's speculation that AMD's Navi31 will tape out soon. The Navi32 tapeout is expected to follow as early as Q1 2022.
MCD is similar to the MCM (Multi-Chip Module) design that NVIDIA will use with its next-gen Hopper GPU, and the chiplet-based technology AMD uses on its various Zen-based CPUs. The latest info on the next-gen RDNA 3 architecture is that Navi 31 will be an MCD (Multi-Compute Die) design and taping out "soon" according to leaker @KittyYYuko, with Navi 32 possibly taping out in Q2 2022.
After the tapeout, there's still a long road to the actual product launch.

Seagate 20TB PMR HDDs to ship before year-end

1 day ago
Seagate logo
Storage firm Seagate provided an update about its HDD roadmap. In an earnings call with investors, CEO Dave Mosley confirmed that 20TB HDDs using conventional PMR technology will hit the market this year.
We expect to begin shipping 20 terabyte PMR drives in the second half of this calendar year. -- CEO Dave Mosley
Seagate is also working on 20TB disks based on SMR and HAMR technology. 20TB HAMR-based HDDs are already shipping, albeit in low quantities. According to Seagate, the laser-based HAMR isn't cost-efficient enough until 24TB and above.

SMR is a shingled version of PMR, it allows greater storage density but has a bad reputation among computer enthusiasts because of performance issues.

One typo bricked systems with Chrome OS 91.0.4772.165

1 day ago
GOOGle logo
While Microsoft has had its share of buggy Windows 10 updates, the company isn't unique in this regard. Google is having quite a bit of issues with its Chrome OS 91. After CPU utilization and Linux app problems with earlier releases, Google now rolled out a problematic update that bricked Chromebook devices.

One single typo equals a lot of trouble for users

Shortly after the rollout of Chrome OS 91.0.4772.165, lots of reports starting hitting the web about bricked Chromebooks. A nasty bug broke the authentication system, causing Chrome OS to reject passwords on the login screen.

Android Police reports the root of the problem is a small typo in a conditional statement in a method used by the authentication system. A Google developer accidentally forgot to add a second "&" in the source code. This bug broke the decryption system and made it impossible for Chromebook users to login.

Fortunately, there's already a new update to resolve the problem. Users can be reassured that Chrome OS 91.0.4772.167 is safe to install.
Chrome OS 91.0.4772.167 is now available on the update server, which should finally close the curtains on this serious issue. With the new build, Chrome OS should be able to decrypt your user account and sign you in, allowing you to access your important files.
Instructions on how to resolve the issue can be found over here. If you installed the update and are stuck on the login screen, or your device is bootlooping, an intervention may be needed. The link has information on how to proceed.

The bug reveals Google's quality control of Chrome OS releases is far from perfect. It's kinda astonishing that this bug slipped past three developers channels and got rolled out to millions of users.

Grab Verdun for free via Epic Games Store

2 days ago
Another free game to kill hours during hot summer nights. Epic Games Store is giving away Verdun, a realistic World War I shooter. This squad-based multiplayer first person shooter was released six years ago. It uses the Unity engine and is set in 1916, during the Battle of Verdun in France.

The PC version of Verdun received mixed or average reviews, with a Metascore of 70 on Metacritic. Gamers can expect a lot of mud, trenches, and death. You can get your free copy via this link. The game is free until July 29th, 2021. Once you've claimed the game it will be yours to keep forever.

Intel Q2 2021 results beat estimates once again

2 days ago
INTC logo
Intel's second-quarter earnings report has hit the web. The chip giant's sales hit $19.6 billion last quarter, flat year-over-year. On a non-GAAP basis, revenue came in at $18.5 billion, which is 2 percent higher than the year before and $700 million more than Wall Street consensus. Non-GAAP net income was $5.2 billion, 6 percent higher than a year ago, while non-GAAP earnings per share rose 12 percent to $1.28 percent. That's 21 cents per share better than consensus.

Datacenter chip sales did better than expected, despite being down 9 percent year-over-year. Intel's Data Center Group sold $6.5 billion worth of products, over half a billion more than analysts' predictions. Revenue of the Client Computing Group rose 6 percent year-over-year to $10.1 billion.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the semiconductor industry. The digitization of everything continues to accelerate, creating a vast growth opportunity for us and our customers across core and emerging business areas. With our scale and renewed focus on both innovation and execution, we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on this opportunity, which I believe is merely the beginning of what will be a decade of sustained growth across the industry,” said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. “Our second-quarter results show that our momentum is building, our execution is improving, and customers continue to choose us for leadership products.”
Intel's estimates for the current quarter are also higher than consensus. The firm predicts it will pull in non-GAAP revenue of $18.2 billion and $1.10 per share, versus consensus of $18.12 billion and $1.02, respectively.

For the full year, Intel is increasing its non-GAAP revenue guidance to $73.5 billion, versus prior guidance of $72.5 billion. Full-year non-GAAP EPS is expected to hit $4.80.

NVIDIA Hopper multi-chip-module GPU close to tapeout?

2 days ago
NVDA logo
Word is going out that NVIDIA's Hopper GPU is close to tapeout. The source of this news is Greymon55, a new Twitter account of a leaker who previously leaked AMD roadmaps. Hopper has been under development for quite some time now, it's NVIDIA's first shot at creating a multi-chip-module (MCM) design. If the chip is close to taping out, this means it could hit the market around mid-2022.

It's not for gaming

We still know little about Hopper. It's believed this architecture will be made on a 5nm node from TSMC. The GPU architecture will be quite different, it's rumored to get two dies with 288 streaming multiprocessors. That's 2.6x more than the Ampere-based NVIDIA A100. At least in theory, and if NVIDIA gets the scaling right, this could result in a performance uplift of a factor of three.

Hopper will compete with the Intel Xe-HP/C and AMD CDNA2 GPUs. The first product with Hopper may be the NVIDIA H100 datacenter card.

NVIDIA's roadmap for the gaming GPU market is still clouded in mystery. The Ampere-based RTX 30 series will likely get some sort of refresh before the firm introduced the new Ada Lovelace-based generation. It's unlikely that the latter will hit the market before Hopper.

HP printer driver bug spells trouble -- even if you do not have an HP printer

2 days ago
MSFT logo
A vulnerability in a 16-year old HP printer driver is rendering hundreds of millions of Windows computers vulnerable to attack. Not owning a printer from HP is no guarantee that you're safe, as this driver ships with Windows by default and can be loaded by unprivileged users. The bug is identified as CVE-2021-3438, it's rated as high severity as it could allow attackers to run code in kernel mode.

ThreatPost has more details over here:
According to researchers, the vulnerability exists in a function inside the driver that accepts data sent from User Mode via Input/Output Control (IOCTL); it does so without validating the size parameter. As the name suggests, IOCTL is a system call for device-specific input/output operations.

“This function copies a string from the user input using ‘strncpy’ with a size parameter that is controlled by the user,” according to SentinelOne’s analysis, released on Tuesday. “Essentially, this allows attackers to overrun the buffer used by the driver.”

Thus, unprivileged users can elevate themselves into a SYSTEM account, allowing them to run code in kernel mode, since the vulnerable driver is locally available to anyone, according to the firm.
So far, no attack in the wild has been observed but it looks like an interesting bug to chain together with other vulnerabilities to gain remote access to a system. HP is releasing a patched driver but the certificate of the buggy driver has not yet been revoked, which means it can still be used for bring-your-own-vulnerable-driver (BYOVD) attacks.

New World game reportedly bricking NVIDIA (and AMD?) GPUs

3 days ago
Strange reports are circulating on the web about GPUs getting bricked when playing the newly released closed beta version of Amazon's New World video game. Video cards getting killed by playing a regular game is something I've never heard before, but apparently, this MMORPG is causing quite a lot of havoc.

Is a bizarre bug turning video cards into paperweights?

Initially, reports seemed to come primarily from owners of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 video cards, but JayzTwoCents received reports that it's also happening with other video cards both from AMD and NVIDIA. Cards are reportedly overheating and hitting big power spikes.



There is some speculation that the bricking may occur due to very high GPU utilization in the game's menu screen. Amazon Games Studios claims New World is safe to play but is rolling out a patch to limit the menu screen's framerate to "further reassure players":
Hundreds of thousands of people played in the New World Closed Beta yesterday, with millions of total hours played. We’ve received a few reports of players using high-performance graphics cards experiencing hardware failure when playing New World.

New World makes standard DirectX calls as provided by the Windows API. We have seen no indication of widespread issues with 3090s, either in the beta or during our many months of alpha testing.

The New World Closed Beta is safe to play. In order to further reassure players, we will implement a patch today that caps frames per second on our menu screen. We’re grateful for the support New World is receiving from players around the world, and will keep listening to their feedback throughout Beta and beyond.

Design issue with the EVGA GeForce RTX 3090?

A lot of reports of bricked GPUs seem to involve GeForce RTX 3090 cards from EVGA. German tech blogger Igor's Lab speculates the bricking could be related to design choices made by EVGA:
As I was able to find out, it is not an area of the voltage converter that is affected by the failure, but the “Fan Control IC”, i.e. the chip for the actual fan control, which is said to be completely burnt out in the worst case. We do remember that EVGA is also working with various additional temperature sensors on the board to better adjust the cooling, based on my research at the time. This is also evidenced by submissions from the aggrieved parties who reported extreme fan whine. -- Igor's Lab
Out of an abundance of caution, it's probably advised to stay clear of New Worlds until this matter is resolved.

Phanteks expands AMP PSU lineup with 850W and 1000W

4 days ago
A minor announcement from Phanteks today as the company adds two models to its AMP Modular PSU series. Phanteks already offered 550W, 650W and 750W models, and now it's also shipping 850W and 1000W units for users who require more peak power output.

The AMP series has 80Plus Gold certification. It's a Seasonic-made design with fully modular cabling and a 120mm fluid dynamic bearing (FDB) fan.

The 850W model has a MSRP of $129.99 (129.99EUR) and the 1000W edition will set you back $149.99 (149.99EUR).
Phanteks is expanding the AMP series with a new 850W and a 1000W 80Plus Gold power supply. Powered by Seasonic, Phanteks AMP Series are high-quality 80Plus Gold Certified power supplies and are perfectly capable of driving high-end systems with new-gen power-hungry GPUs. The high efficiency and compact design of the AMP series provide up to 1000 watts in 140 mm housing and comes with modular, black, flat power cables to make installation easy and clean.

The AMP series features a Hybrid Silent Fan Control that achieves optimal cooling with temperature- controlled fan speed and fan-less mode for silent performance. The AMP series is also Revolt Pro Link certified providing 100% compatibility, reliability, and stability to work directly with the Revolt Pro expandable PSU allowing you to power more. Do more with the new AMP series power supplies and stay worry-free with the 10-year warranty.
 Amp Modular PSU

Intel Core i9-12900K sample bests the Ryzen 9 5950X

4 days ago
AMD logo
Leaked benchmark results of a qualification sample of the Intel Core i9-12900K reveal the upcoming "Alder Lake-S" packs quite a punch -- at least when compared to AMD's current-gen CPUs.

High performance but high power consumption too

Twitter leaker OneRaichu posted scores of the Core i9-12900K. VideoCardz compared the numbers and concludes that in Cinebench R20, Intel's 12900K seems 26 percent faster in single-threaded and 11 percent faster in multi-threaded than AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X.

The sample of the Core i9-12900K scored 810 points in the single-threaded test and 11600 points in the multi-threaded edition. The bad news is that Alder Lake-S uses a ton of power, it may consume over 200W when it's operating at full Turbo frequency.
Raichu does not want anyone to jump to conclusions just yet. While Intel Core i9-12900K might indeed be faster than Ryzen 9 5950X in some benchmarks, the performance crown will heavily depend on workloads. However, both CPUs should be ‘well-matched’, the leaker claims. Furthermore, he claims that that the processor might reach as high as 200W in full turbo mode, which is to be expected as the processor allegedly features a PL2 value of 228W.
Alder Lake-S is expected to be released later this year. It's the first 10nm desktop processor from Intel and also the first mainstream x86 processor with a hybrid architecture. Alder Lake packs Golden Cove high-performance cores and Gracemont high-efficiency cores. Other novelties include DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0 support.

1 million nested directories can give you root access in Linux

4 days ago
Linux logo
Security researchers from Qualys discovered a very interesting security vulnerability that can most likely be exploited on most Linux distributions. The out-of-bounds vulnerability is identified as CVE-2021-33909 and allows an untrusted user to gain full root privileges.

The bug was likely discovered by studying the Linux kernel source code. Exploitation requires the creation of a massive, deep directory structure to trigger an out-of-bounds write. The latter can then be transformed into an arbitrary read and write of kernel memory, allowing full privilege escalation. The attack requires the creation of roughly 1 million nested directories, with a total path length of over 1 gigabyte.

Qualys claims it's an extremely reliable attack that can be performed in about three minutes. The biggest hurdle is that it requires about 5GB of memory and 1 million inodes.

How the exploit works:

1/ We mkdir() a deep directory structure (roughly 1M nested directories) whose total path length exceeds 1GB, we bind-mount it in an unprivileged user namespace, and rmdir() it.

2/ We create a thread that vmalloc()ates a small eBPF program (via BPF_PROG_LOAD), and we block this thread (via userfaultfd or FUSE) after our eBPF program has been validated by the kernel eBPF verifier but before it is JIT-compiled by the kernel.

3/ We open() /proc/self/mountinfo in our unprivileged user namespace and start read()ing the long path of our bind-mounted directory, thereby writing the string "//deleted" to an offset of exactly -2GB-10B below the beginning of a vmalloc()ated buffer.

4/ We arrange for this "//deleted" string to overwrite an instruction of our validated eBPF program (and therefore nullify the security checks of the kernel eBPF verifier) and transform this uncontrolled out-of-bounds write into an information disclosure and into a limited but controlled out-of-bounds write.

5/ We transform this limited out-of-bounds write into an arbitrary read and write of kernel memory by reusing Manfred Paul's beautiful btf and map_push_elem techniques from:

https://www.thezdi.com/blog/2020/4/8/cve-2020-8835-linux-kernel-privilege-escalation-via-improper-ebpf-program-verification
ARS Technica reports most Linux distros are rolling out patches as we speak.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 not arriving until September/October?

4 days ago
AMD logo
Yesterday there was a rumor about the AMD Radeon RX 6600 series launching on August 11. Coreteks now claims this is not true, at least the part about the Radeon RX 6600 being available next month. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is expected next month but it appears the Radeon RX 6600 (non-XT) will not launch until September or October. Of course, it's also possible that both sources are correct. For example, AMD could paperlaunch both cards in August and not ship the Radeon RX 6600 until one or two months later.

AMD Navi24 set for an end-of-year release

Due to the GPU shortages, the rollout of new products has been pretty slow. AMD hasn't launched a ton of RDNA2-based products yet, even the Radeon RX 6700 (non-XT) is still missing despite the Radeon RX 6700 XT launching four months ago.

Coreteks claims there's still a Navi24 on the horizon -- but this part won't hit the market until the end of this year. Navi24 will be the lowest-end offering in the Radeon RX 6000 series, it will succeed the Radeon RX 5500 lineup.



Radeon RX 6600 XTs are circulating

There's some more evidence of the AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT being close to launch as VideoCardz spotted photos of an unidentified Radeon RX 6600 XT video card. The photos were published on Chinese forums, they reveal a card with a budget-class dual-fan cooling solution and an aluminum fin array. Benchmark scores are also out, but of a test that isn't widely used outside China. Ludashi benchmark scores show the Radeon RX 6600 XT may trade blows with the NVIDIA GeForce RX 3070 Ti.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT in the wild

Microsoft DirectStorage API will support Windows 10 too

5 days ago
MSFT logo
The biggest shocker of Microsoft's Windows 11 reveal was that the new operating system will only run on newer computers. PCs with a processor from a generation that's deemed too old or without TPM 2.0 support will not be able to run Windows 11. The implication here is that millions of devices will have to stick it out with Windows 10. The latter will receive support until October 14, 2025.

Windows 10 gets more than just security updates

Later this year, Windows 10 will get the 21H2 Update, which will add a couple of minor new features. Now the good news is that Microsoft is preparing more new features for Windows 10, including support for DirectStorage! This is a technique that promises to optimize I/O and result in much faster loading video games, with more detailed, expansive worlds.

Earlier this month, it was believed that DirectStorage would be a Windows 11 exclusive. Fortunately, this is not true. HotHardware writes there's already a DirectStorage Developer Preview with support for Windows 10 version 1909 and newer.
Over the years, as games became more advanced, so too did the graphics, leading to longer load times and other issues. However, thanks to SSD and PCIe technology developments, gaming PCs can have storage solutions that offer significantly more bandwidth than previously possible with legacy hard drives. However, these modern games also generate a plethora of I/O requests that can bog down modern storage, as existing APIs “require the application to manage and handle each of these requests one at a time first by submitting the request, waiting for it to complete, and then handling its completion.”
It will be interesting to see some benchmarks. According to Microsoft, Windows 11 will still be better because it has additional storage stack optimizations.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 series to be out on August 11?

5 days ago
AMD  logo
I can't remember the last time I heard about FUD Zilla but now the site is back on the frontstage with a rumor about AMD's upcoming mainstream cards. The website's sources claim AMD will launch the Radeon RX 6600 and the Radeon RX 6600 XT on August 11th.

Pricing is still a mystery

The pricing of these Navi 23-based cards is still a mystery but there's some hope that there could be decent launch volume. According to earlier rumors, there will not be a reference model from AMD, you will only see custom-design models from the firm's add-in board (AIB) partners.

The Radeon RX 6600 is expected to feature 1792 streaming processors and 4GB or 8GB GDDR6 memory, while the Radeon RX 6600 XT should get 2048 streaming processors and 8GB GDDR6 memory.
In case you missed it earlier, both the XT and non-XT versions of the Radeon RX 6600 should be based on Navi 23 GPU with up to 8GB of GDDR6 memory and a 128-bit memory interface. The Radeon RX 6600 XT is expected to max out the Navi 23 GPU and pack 2048 Stream Processors, while the non-XT version should end up with 1792 Stream Processors.

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