Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 13:17:22 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Gibson Research issued a free tool that provides a very convenient way to check whether your system is vulnerable to the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities. After downloading it, the light-weight tool performs a check and provides text-based output. You can download it over here, it will immediately let you know whether you need further updates to protect yourself.
Protection from these two significant vulnerabilities requires updates to every system's hardware–its BIOS which reloads updated processor firmware–and its operating system–to use the new processor features. To further complicate matters, newer processors contain features to minimize the performance impact of these important security improvements. But older processors, lacking these newer features, will be significantly burdened and system performance will suffer under some workloads.
This InSpectre utility was designed to clarify every system's current situation so that appropriate measures can be taken to update the system's hardware and software for maximum security and performance.
While the software is safe, it appears the Windows Defender “SmartScreen” protection flags the tool is malware. You need to download it via a non-Microsoft browser like Chrome, Firefox or Opera.
Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 13:00:22 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
The first Windows 10 on ARM devices are expected this Spring. These devices feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and it's definitely exciting. These ARM-based devices will use hardware-assisted emulation to run the "full-fat" version of Windows 10, and are fully capable of running traditional x86 software. There is no need to recompile any software, Microsoft and Qualcomm claim everything will just run.
One of the major concerns centers around performance. Emulation is usually a lot slower than the real thing but Qualcomm is making bold claims. Bit tech noticed the firm said users should expect the same performance and battery life as would be on an Intel-based PC:
Qualcomm has been quick to reassure users that the efficiency of the translation engine is high: Speaking to Neowin, a company representative claimed that 'performance and battery life impact should be the same as it would be on a PC with an Intel processor' - meaning, if the claim can be taken at face value, the x86-to-Arm hardware translation engine is efficient enough to have no discernible impact.
Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 12:42:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
More details emerged about the Intel SSD 760p, an upcoming NAND flash based SSD that uses the single-sided M.2 2280 form factor. These models use the PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe interface and will ship in capacities from 128GB to 2TB.
Tom's Hardware found a datasheet that reveals the advertised performance figures. The higher the capacity, the better the performance. The 128GB version offers 1500MB/s read speeds, 650MB/s write speeds, and 100,000 random read/write IOPS. This climbs to 3200MB/s read, 1670MB/s write, 350,000 random read IOPS and 280,000 random write IOPS for the 512GB version. The maximum write speed of the 1TB and 2TB models is still unknown, but we do know these versions offer read speeds of up to 3200MB/s, 350,000 random read IOPS and 280,000 random write IOPS.
The site also learned that prices will start around $90 for the Intel SSD 760p 128GB, which is similar to the pricing of Samsung's 850 EVO 120GB. Initial availability is expected in early February.
Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:46:26 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
If you want a fancy gaming keyboard with RGB LEDs and don't need mechanical switches, the new Ozone Alliance may pique your interest. The Alliance keyboard comes with semi-mechanical CrossTech Blue Switches, RGB LEDs with 9 lighting effects and sound reactive technology, macro support, and 25 key anti-ghosting.
Ozone will ship Alliance by the end of the month, the expected retail pricing is 49.90EUR.
Alliance brings fresh new features to the hybrid keyboards category. With innovative technology that delivers advantages such as multicolored backlighting, semi-mechanical CrossTech Switches, and sound-reactive lighting effects.
"We had to end this myth that a hybrid keyboard is low quality. Alliance boasts such desirable features that it wouldn't surprise me to see it in the best competitive leagues," said Rojo Galvín, International Marketing Manager at Ozone Gaming
From a quiet room to the most frenetic competitive environments, with sound reactive technology the keyboard itself will program, configure, and run light effects based on ambient sound detected in real time.
Ozone Alliance brings you features such as multicolored lighting with 9 effects that will be shown at the pace of environmental sound, anti-ghosting in 25 keys in order to ensure the kind of performance and effectiveness demanded by any experienced gamer, alongside multimedia control and an extremely intuitive analogue configuration. All of these features are brought together within an attractive and antisplash (splash-resistant) design.
CrossTech Blue Semi-mechanical Switches
The feel of this keyboard gives you the sensation of using a mechanical keyboard. It's equipped with CrossTech semi-mechanical switches, designed to ensure optimal speed of response and accuracy, as well as a touch and durability very similar to mechanical keyboards.
Alliance is the keyboard that brings together all the features you've been looking for, and eliminates the uncertainty and indecision that can happen while you are choosing a new keyboard. Alliance is, simply, the perfect union.
Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:21:55 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Samsung kicked off mass production of world's first 16Gb GDDR6 memory chips! The 2GB GDDR6 memory runs at 1.35V, it's made on a 10nm-class process and offers a bandwidth of 18Gbps. The chips offer data transfer rates of 72GB/s, twice as much as 8Gb GDDR5 with a 8Gbps speed. Basically, this further reduces the need for HBM2 for high-end video cards.
Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, today announced that it has started mass production of the industry’s first 16-gigabit (Gb) Graphics Double Data Rate 6 (GDDR6) memory for use in advanced graphics processing for gaming devices and graphics cards as well as automotive, network and artificial intelligence systems.
“Beginning with this early production of the industry’s first 16Gb GDDR6, we will offer a comprehensive graphics DRAM line-up, with the highest performance and densities, in a very timely manner,” said Jinman Han, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering at Samsung Electronics. “By introducing next-generation GDDR6 products, we will strengthen our presence in the gaming and graphics card markets and accommodate the growing need for advanced graphics memory in automotive and network systems.
Built on Samsung’s advanced 10-nanomter (nm) class* process technology, the new GDDR6 memory comes in a 16Gb density, which doubles that of the company’s 20-nanometer 8Gb GDDR5 memory. The new solution performs at an 18-gigabits-per-second (Gbps) pin speed with data transfers of 72 gigabytes per second (GBps), which represents a more than two-fold increase over 8Gb GDDR5 with its 8Gbps pin speed.
Using an innovative, low-power circuit design, the new GDDR6 operates at 1.35V to lower energy consumption approximately 35 percent over the widely used GDDR5 at 1.55V. The 10nm-class 16Gb GDDR6 also brings about a 30 percent manufacturing productivity gain compared to the 20nm 8Gb GDDR5.
Samsung’s immediate production of GDDR6 will play a critical role in early launches of next-generation graphics cards and systems. With all of its improvements in density, performance and energy efficiency, the 16Gb GDDR6 will be widely used in rapidly growing fields such as 8K Ultra HD video processing, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence.
With extensive graphics memory lineups including the new 18Gbps 16Gb GDDR6 and recently introduced 2.4Gbps 8GB HBM2, Samsung expects to dramatically accelerate growth of premium memory market over the next several years.
Posted on Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:06:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
A week ago, news hit the web that the patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in Intel's processors cause unexpected reboots. At the time, it seemed the problem was limited to certain Broadwell and Haswell processors but now the chip giant confirms the updates also cause issues with newer processors.
Basically, the patches can cause issues with all of Intel's latest generations:
Intel confirmed that patches for the security flaws can cause higher-than-expected reboot rates in Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake processors, said Navin Shenoy, general manager of the data center group, in a statement on Intel’s website.
The Kaby Lake chips are the company’s most recent offering.
At the same time, Intel also disclosed internal benchmark figures that lay out the expected performance hit. The chip maker downplays the issue and says web servers can expect a slowdown of about 2 percent, while online transactions at a stock brokerage may show a 4 percent hit.
However, Intel acknowledges that certain use cases will get a much more severe performance hit. For servers that store large amounts of data and need to retrieve it quickly, the performance slowdown can be as high as 18 to 25 percent. That's an awful performance hit, not in the least because of all the effort Intel has been making recently to pump its big data efforts. Bundle that with unscheduled reboots and this is definitely a giant mess for Intel.
Posted on Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 13:09:35 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Here's a kickass project from Mr Creative, the video below teaches you how you can make a car racing game from cardboard. It doesn't serve a whole lot of purpose, but it's definitely a great way to waste your time:-)
Similarly, the YouTube channel also has a video that shows you how to make a cardboard jet fighter game.
Posted on Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:22:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
be quiet! introduces the Straight Power 11. This updated model has a completely reworked PCB, with a wire-free design on the DC side, and promises lower noise than the previous generation.
The company sells the Straight Power 11 in 450W, 550W, 650W, 750W, 850W and 1000W editions for $109.90, $119.90, $129.90, $149.90, $179.90, and $214.90, respectively. For the European pricing, replace the dollar sign with a euro sign and subtract about 5 euro.
The entire Straight Power 11 series feature a five-year warranty.
be quiet!, the market leader in PC power supplies in Germany for eleven consecutive years*, announces its latest, most silent power supply, Straight Power 11. With its completely redesigned PCB, wire-free design on the DC side, an expanded power range with models up to 1,000 watts, and a modern topology using high-quality components, Straight Power 11 is a worthy successor to be quiet!’s premium power supply series.
Lower audible noise
The Straight Power 11 series uses be quiet!’s renowned Silent Wings 3 135mm fan with a funnel-shaped vent that simultaneously provides excellent airflow and reduces unwanted turbulence. A 6-pole motor and fluid-dynamic bearings create both an extremely low noise level and the lowest startup rotational speed in the market - under 200 revolutions per minute. This fan is extremely silent, making semi-passive solutions unnecessary and ensuring constant cooling at a low noise level. Since fans are not the only source of noise in a power supply, high-quality capacitors are used to prevent high-frequency electronic noise emission and noise induced by extreme load changes (like, for example, from modern graphics cards) is also minimized.
As an absolute innovation, Straight Power 11 has no cables inside the power supply’s body on the DC side, with all connections running directly through the PCB. As a result, there are no cables to obstruct airflow, increasing cooling performance. Other effects of its wire-free design include better signal quality and less signal disturbance due to lack of magnetic interference attributed to powered cables. These factors ultimately extend component lifetimes.
All Straight Power 11 power supplies are 80 PLUS Gold certified with an efficiency of up to 93 percent at 230 volts, and comply with ErP thanks to a standby power drain of under 0.12 Watts. When compared to previous models, improvements in voltage stability, voltage regulation and ripple were made. These high standards are achieved by combining superior key technologies like “LLC”, “Synchronous Rectifying”, “DC-to-DC” and exclusively using high-quality Japanese capacitors with a rating of up to 105°C.
Extensive feature set
To accommodate enthusiasts, Straight Power 11 includes fully modular cables to reduce clutter and improve chassis airflow. Completely removable cables also allow users to install the power supply and cables independently, increasing ease of use. Safety plays a very important role for be quiet! in the design process of all power supplies. Straight Power 11 implements all available safeguarding circuits, including over current protection (OCP), over voltage protection (OVP), under voltage protection (UVP), short circuit protection (SCP), over power protection (OPP) and the often overlooked, but no less important, over temperature protection (OTP).
Posted on Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:15:40 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Chinese keyboard maker Varmilo created the first keyboard with a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds design. The new Chicken Dinner keyboard is available with Cherry MX Red, Blue, Brown or Silver switches and comes with dye-sublimated PBT keycaps.
This is a real treat for PUBG fans, the keyboard features various game icons and even has the quintessential "WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!" phrase on the space bar. Varmilo sells the full-sized VA108M as well as a tenkeyless VA87M version.
Posted on Wednesday, January 17 2018 @ 11:06:07 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD has partnered with Enmotus to enhance the storage performance of systems with the Ryzen desktop processors. The two companies cooperated to optimize the Enmotus FuzeDrive technology for Ryzen. This technique is compatible with motherboards with the AMD B350, X370 and X399 chipset. Low-end motherboards with the AMD A320 are not supported.
FuzeDrive delivers performance benefits when you have multiple disks in your system.
Here's how it works:
First, the FuzeDrive software analyzes all of the storage hardware available on your system, from fastest to slowest: from DDR4 RAM, to 3D Xpoint NVMe drives, standard NVMe drives, SSD drives, and mechanical hard disks. During the setup process, it combines these disks into what your system sees as a single, larger disk. Unlike caching schemes, FuzeDrive™ lets you use both the SSD and the HDD capacity together as one large boot drive. For example, you can now combine a 128GB SSD and 2TB hard drive into a large bootable 2.1TB high performance FuzeDrive™.
Once installed, FuzeDrive™ intelligently and continuously analyzes your system, activating an ongoing process to make it as fast and responsive as possible. For instance, your Windows operating system boot files are moved to the fastest non-volatile storage to accelerate boot times. And as you use your PC from day to day, FuzeDrive™ notices what applications you run and automatically prioritizes the applications and data you use the most, so it’s accessed as quickly as possible from the fastest storage tier available. That means faster boot times, faster application and game load times, and a more responsive system.
And here are three possible scenarios in which you can use FuzeDrive:
Performance option 1: You installed Windows on a relatively slow mechanical hard drive. With FuzeDrive™, if you add an SSD or NVMe drive later, you will enjoy the speed of an SSD when you boot your PC, or load programs and data that you most often employ.
Performance Option 2: You installed windows on a fast SSD drive, but are running out of capacity. If you add a large mechanical hard disk, FuzeDrive™ will recognize that the programs you use most should stay resident on the speedy SSD, and move the data that is rarely accessed to the mechanical hard disk. This gives you the best of both worlds: high performance with large capacity.
Performance Option 3: For the fastest booting and storage, a large conventional SSD paired with bootable 3D Xpoint NVMe drive for incredible booting speed, application launch, and data access performance.
For certain use cases, the FuzeDrive technology can significantly boost the performance of your PC. Here are some benchmark figures from AMD:
So what's the bad news? This is not a free technology. AMD didn't license the software so you need to buy it yourself for $19.99.