Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 17:48:27 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sharkoon launched its S1000, this is a new series of low-budget cases with a Micro-ATX form factor. The focus here is on providing a decent price/performance, you get a tunnel for PSU and HDDs, some cable management features, removable dust filters, and a cableless front panel design. Pricing is 39.90EUR for the most basic version, for an extra 5EUR you can get the model with the acrylic side window plus a pre-installed 120mm blue LED fan.
With the compact S1000 and S1000 Window, Sharkoon introduces two new micro-ATX cases with an integrated tunnel for power supplies and hard drives. As a result, the power supply and hard drives are installed discreetly to the case bottom and out of sight. The S1000 Window version also offers an acrylic side window and a pre-installed 120 mm blue LED fan on the rear panel.
Fresh air is supplied through the side air intakes of the front panel, behind which a detachable dust filter is also provided. Another removable dust filter is located on the bottom of the case. Both case versions include a pre-installed 120 mm fan in the front. Suitable mounting holes are also provided for additional fans. Alternatively, despite the compact design, a 240 mm radiator can be installed with a total height of 5.9 cm including fan. To facilitate the installation of 280 mm radiators, the 5.25" drive bay is modular and, if necessary, easily removed. Located on the top of the front panel are the audio connectors for the microphone and headphone as well as two USB 3.0 ports. These are incorporated directly into the body of the case, thus allowing the front panel to be cableless removed. On the top panel of the S1000 Window is an additional, pre-installed dust filter, which is secured by magnetic fasteners, plus it is also possible to install up to three 120 fans or two 140 mm fans. With the S1000, the top panel is closed and a 120 mm fan is pre-installed on the rear panel, but without LED illumination. Another optional 120 mm fan can be installed to the side panel.
The S1000 has room for a CPU cooler with a maximum height of 15.5 cm; within the S1000 Window, the installed CPU cooler can have a maximum height of 15 cm. In both case versions, graphics cards can have a maximum length of 40 cm. The opaque tunnel offers enough space for decoupled mounting of a power supply with a maximum length of 24 cm. Inside the HDD cage, up to two 3.5" hard drives or two 2.5" SSDs can be decoupled mounted. The cage can also be slightly moved along the tunnel floor thanks to the oval whole cutouts and convenient thumbscrews, allowing more space for cabling. Air vents on the tunnel ceiling ensure optimal cooling of drives. Up to two 2.5" HDD/SSDs can mount to the back of the mainboard tray with help of two mounting brackets and attached thumbscrews. The cable management system with practical pass-throughs guarantees easy and discreet cabling.
The Sharkoon S1000 is now available for the suggested retail price of 39.90 euros from authorized retailers. The Sharkoon S1000 Window is also now available for 44.90 euros.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 10:36:56 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Will chips continue to scale or will physical barriers be hit in the near future? Tsai Ming-kai, the chairman of fabless chip designer MediaTek, said this week that he foresees Moore's Law will apply to two more generations.
In a November 21 talk with Alibaba's chief technology officer Wang Jian, Ming-kai remarked process technology may hit bottlenecks after moving to the 3nm node.
Tsai made the comments in a November 21 talk with Alibaba's chief technology officer Wang Jian. He said that along with the ever-advancing computing technologies and performance and the ever-expanding data flow, new business opportunities associated with solving human problems through data applications will emerge anytime and anywhere for those pursuing innovations and tech startups.
More at DigiTimes. This does't mean we'll no longer see performance improvements, but continuing on the same pace as in the past is getting harder and harder.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 10:27:48 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Not a lot of news today so here's a teaser announcement from Spire. The company uploaded a tiny photo of Supreme Pro, an upcoming computer case. This model has a separate PSU chamber and has "smart features". The product launch will follow soon.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 10:16:53 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Well this is pretty embarrassing. Microsoft just confirmed that the charger that ships with its Surface Book 2 isn't powerful enough to keep the device charged under all usage conditions. The software giant said that during long gaming sessions, with the Power Mode slider set to "best performance", the charger may not be able to provide enough power to prevent battery drain.
The "best performance" setting is recommended if you want to play games or are doing video editing, to ensure you fully utilize the potential of the onboard hardware of the Surface Book 2. The Verge points out some data about the power consumption and the maximum power delivery capacity.
It appears that the Surface Book 2 has been designed to supply 95 watts of power from the charger to the device, which isn’t enough to run the processor, graphics card, and all other hardware components at max. The processor alone draws 25 watts in high-power mode, and will even burst to 35 watts. Microsoft’s Nvidia GTX 1060 variant draws between 70 and 80 watts, bringing the total to 105 watts at peak. Microsoft works around this by aggressively throttling the Nvidia chip during games at “better performance” and “best battery” settings.
Overall, it does't appear this is problematic. The maximum peak power consumption of the device is about 105W, and the power delivery system supports reloading of up to 95W. The Verge crunched the numbers and said the battery drainage occurs at a rate of at least 10 percent per hour, depending on the game and load. This means you can game many hours at full performance before you fully drain the battery. So not a huge issue, but definitely funny.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 10:01:24 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Most of the tech giants of today are in the business of data so it's probably not a surprise that they capture as much as they can. Google is in the news this week as Quartz discovered that the search giant is keeping close tabs on users of its Android operating system.
The site found out that Google receives data about your location and your movement, even if you've turned off location services, haven't used any apps, and haven't even inserted a SIM card. This is because since the start of this year, Android started collecting data of nearby cellular towers, and this information is send back to Google.
When confronted with the findings, Google claims this data was never used or stored. A Google spokesperson promised this feature will be turned off by the end of this month:
The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. They were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz. By the end of November, the company said, Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable.
“In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery,” the Google spokesperson said in an email. “However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID.”
Quartz says it's not clear how this data could be used to improve message delivery, but notes the privacy threat is pretty clear as addresses of cell towers can be used to pinpoint a user's location. In rural areas this triangulation works out to an approximation of a quarter-mile radius, but more accurate pinpoints are possible in urban areas.
Posted on Wednesday, November 22 2017 @ 09:49:03 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
With Thanksgiving approaching the news stream will probably dry up a bit this week as a lot of people have left the office. Today we have news about a new EVGA GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N Hydro Copper video card, this is a new single-slot flagship model that costs a whopping $1,249.99.
As the naming suggests, this version is equipped with a Hydro Copper waterblock. The card has 10+3 phase power, has some RGB LEDs, comes with the EVGA iCX technology, features nine thermal sensors and has a pair of side-mounted 8-pin PCIe power connectors.
By default, the card runs at 1582MHz base clock and 1695MHz Boost. However, EVGA guarantees this version can hit a frequency of at least 2025MHz.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 16:15:58 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
There are a lot of ways to cool computer chips. The more commonly used techniques include passive cooling with just a heatsink, active cooling with a heatsink+fan or watercooling. I always found immersion cooling to be one of the fancier ways to cool a computer, the concept has been around for a long time but it's not really suitable for the mainstream market as there are a lot of downsides. But it looks really cool, when executed properly it gives stunning visuals.
PC Perspective reports Allied Control had an immersion cooled mining rig on display at the SuperComputing 2017 conference.
You can view it in the tweet below, it's a two-phase immersion cooling system with a water cooled condensor coil and the 3M Novec fluid. Novec is a non-conductive fluid with a boiling point of just 41°C. This fluid costs over $100 per liter and needs to be hermetically sealed so it's easy to see why this isn't going to go mainstream. But still, it looks extremely cool!
Nick Knupffer (@Nick_Knupffer) posted a video (embedded below) of the cooling system in action cooling a high end processor and five graphics cards. The components are submerged in a non-flamable, non-conductive fluid that has a very low boiling point of 41°C. Interestingly, the heatsinks and fans are removed allowing for direct contact between the fluid and the chips (in this case there is a copper baseplate on the CPU but bare ASICs can also be cooled). When the hardware is in use, heat is transfered to the liquid which begins to boil off from a liquid to a vapor / gaseous state. The vapor rises to the surface and hits a condensor coil (which can be water cooled) that cools the gas until it turns back into a liquid and falls back into the tank. The company has previously shown off an overclocked 20 GPU (250W) plus dual Xeon system that was able to run flat out (The GPUs at 120% TDP) running deep learning as well as mining Z-Cash when not working on HPC projects while keeping all the hardware well under thermal limits and not throttling. Cnet also spotted a 10 GPU system being shown off at Computex (warning autoplay video ad!).
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 15:41:50 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Some details about Toshiba's HDD roadmap have been made public. The company recently started shipping 9th generation perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) based HDDs, this is a 1TB model with a 2.5" form factor and a thickness of 7mm. This new generation enables 2.5" platters with a capacity of 1TB and 3.5" platters with a capacity of 1.8TB. It will allow Toshiba to launch 14TB HDDs in 2018.
According to SDK, 9th generation PMR media for 3.5” hard drives will have capacity between 1.5 and 1.8 TB. Typically, platters of the same generation produced by SDK, Seagate, and Western Digital have similar areal density with some minor differences. Therefore, we can expect the 9th gen PMR technology from the aforementioned HDD makers to feature similar capacities. Showa Denko plans to start mass production of its 9th gen PMR 3.5” media in early 2018, but, neither Seagate nor Western Digital (who produce their leading-edge platters in-house) have announced their timeline for similar discs. Typically, production schedules for advanced media also tend to be very similar for various makers, but we do not have any official data in hand right now.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 14:36:55 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
When you're talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning, the name that keeps popping up is NVIDIA. The graphics chip designer created a competitive advantage in this market as its GPUs and the ecosystem it created around its chips are ideally positioned for this new wave of innovation.
However, China is aiming to become the world leader in artificial intelligence and the country's Ministry of Science and Technology is pouring a lot of money in this market. In particular, the ministry has outlined 13 transformative technology projects with a 2021 deadline.
Wired reports one criterion for a project specifically targets NVIDIA, as it calls for the development of a chip that offers 20x the performance and energy efficiency of the two-year old NVIDIA Tesla M40 GPU. One of the goals here is to ensure China has a domestic supplier, as the country does not want to rely on foreign chips for sensitive applications like military technology.
The Ministry of Science and Technology document lays out 13 “transformative” technology projects where it wants to put government money in coming months, hoping for delivery by 2021. One is to invent new chips to run artificial neural networks, the form of software propelling the AI ambitions of Google and other tech companies.
One criterion for the project refers specifically to Nvidia: the ministry says it wants a chip that delivers performance and energy efficiency 20 times better than that of Nvidia’s M40 chip, branded as an “accelerator” for neural networks. Now two years old, the M40 is not Nvidia’s latest and greatest chip, but is still used in AI projects.
Posted on Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 14:27:05 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Jon Peddie Research published its quarterly report about the graphics chip market. This report covers discrete video cards and integrated graphics solutions, for the report that focuses exclusively on discrete GPUs we'll have to wait a bit longer.
The conclusion after studying the data from Q3 2017 is that graphics chip sales increases 9.3 percent from last quarter, but are down 3.3 percent year-over-year. Desktop graphics sales increased 2 percent while notebook graphics sales fell 6 percent. Jon Peddie says desktop graphics solutions did well thanks to gaming and cryptocurrency demand.
The biggest gainer was NVIDIA with a 29.53 percent quarter-over-quarter increase in shipments. AMD saw its shipments rise by 7.63 percent while Intel saw a 5.01 percent spike. Overall I'm not really a fan of this report, I prefer the discrete GPU report from JPR as it's a much more apples-to-apples comparison. It's pretty interesting though that NVIDIA gained so much marketshare last quarter, you can check out the charts below. It does look that Vega didn't really make a dent in NVIDIA's armor.
The desktop gain is attributed to gaming and cryptocurrency. That helped AMD and Nvidia gain market share.
This is the latest report from Jon Peddie Research on the GPUs used in PCs. It is reporting on the results of Q3'17 GPU shipments world-wide.
The third quarter is typically the strongest from the previous quarter in the seasonal cycles of the past. For Q3'17 it increased 9.3% from last quarter, and was below the ten-year average of 9.52%.
AMD’s overall unit shipments increased 7.63% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments increased 5.01% from last quarter, and Nvidia’s increased 29.53%.
The attach rate of GPUs (includes integrated and discrete GPUs) to PCs for the quarter was 144% which was down -1.28% from last quarter.
Discrete GPUs were in 39.55% of PCs, which is up 4.18%.
The overall PC market increase 10.31% quarter-to-quarter, and decrease -2.06% year-to-year.
Desktop graphics add-in boards (AIBs) that use discrete GPUs increased 29.05% from last quarter.
Q3'17 saw an increase in tablet shipments from last quarter.
As mentioned, the normal seasonality has re-established itself in the PC market, albeit in a slowly declining way.
GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market, since a GPU goes into every system before it is shipped, and most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for Q4’14.
The Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was once again the bright spot in the market in the quarter.
The quarter in general
AMD’s shipments of desktop heterogeneous GPU/CPUs, i.e., APUs, increased 7.1% from the previous quarter. AMD's notebook APU shipments were up 2.2%. Desktop discrete GPUs increased 16.1% from last quarter, and notebook discrete shipments increased 5.2%. AMD’s total PC graphics shipments increased 7.6% from the previous quarter.
Intel’s desktop processor graphics shipments increased from last quarter by 5.0% and notebook processors increased by 5.9%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 5.0% from last quarter.
Nvidia’s discrete desktop GPU shipments were up 34.7% from last quarter; and the company’s discrete notebook GPU shipments increased 22.4%, and total PC graphics shipments increased 29.5% from last quarter.
Total discrete GPUs (desktop and notebook) shipments for the industry increased 23.3% from the last quarter, and increased 11.7% from last year. Sales of discrete GPUs fluctuate due to a variety of factors (timing, memory pricing, etc.), new product introductions, and the influence of integrated graphics. Overall, 5-year forecasted CAGR is now -5.8%, which is down from -4.5% last year.
Ninety nine percent of Intel’s non-server processors have graphics, and over 66% of AMD’s non-server processors contain integrated graphics; AMD still ships integrated graphics chipsets (IGPs).
Graphics chips (GPUs) and chips with graphics (IGPs, APUs, and EPGs) GPUs shipments are a leading indicator for the PC market. At least one and often two GPUs are present in every PC shipped. It can take the form of a discrete chip, a GPU integrated in the chipset or embedded in the CPU. The average has grown from 1.2 GPUs per PC in 2001 to 1.44 GPUs per PC.
JPR’s detailed 81-page Market Watch report will provide you with all the data, analysis and insight you need to clearly understand where this technology is today and where it's headed.
Our findings include discrete and integrated graphics (CPU and chipset) for Desktops, Notebooks (and Netbooks). It does not include iPad and Android-based tablets, or ARM-based Servers, or x86-based servers. It does include x86-based tablets, Chromebooks, and embedded systems.
GPUs are traditionally a leading indicator of the market, since a GPU goes into every non-server system before it is shipped, and most of the PC vendors are guiding cautiously for Q4’14. The Gaming PC segment, where higher-end GPUs are used, was a bright spot in the market in the quarter.