Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 22:36:38 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
ASUS isn't the only motherboard maker with PCI Express 4.0 for its 400-series motherboards. AMD's stand on this is that they don't want 300/400-series motherboards with PCI Express 4.0 support and that they will ensure that future AGESA microcode updates block this. This means that if you want PCIe 4.0 to stay enabled, you will be locked out from future updates that may fix bugs, enhance performance, or fix CPU security vulnerabilities.
However, some 400-series motherboards have what it takes to deliver PCI Express 4.0 support and now Biostar is the second motherboard maker to defy AMD by pushing out BIOS versions that enable PCI Express 4.0 on some of its 400-series motherboards:
The updated BIOS lets you use PCI-Express gen 4.0 graphics cards on the topmost PCI-Express x16 slot, and the M.2 NVMe slot that's directly wired to the AM4 SoC. The expansion slots that are wired to the chipset are still restricted to PCIe gen 2.0. You will need a 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor for PCI-Express gen 4.0.
Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 12:34:29 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
If for some reason you're still using the Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update, prepare to be forcefully upgraded to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. The former release hits the end of its support lifecycle on November 12 and Microsoft will force users to upgrade to the latest version between now and then in a phased rollout.
The Inquirer writes users of Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update will receive a window to update the operating system. The upgrade message can be deferred for a maximum of 35 days, after that it will not be possible to further delay the upgrade.
It appears quite a lot of machines are still running Windows 10 Spring 2018 Update:
As Microsoft explains: "Keeping these devices both supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health."
If it hadn't been for the blessed 1809, this would probably not be news, but given that it has been suggested that less than a quarter of machines have made the update from 1803, this is going to affect a lot of users:
"Based on the large number of devices running the April 2018 Update, that will reach the end of 18 months of service on November 12, 2019, we are starting the update process now for Home and Pro editions to help ensure adequate time for a smooth update process."
Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 10:22:03 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Gavin Thomas, principal security engineering manager at Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), suggests it may be time to move away from legacy languages like C and C++. While these programming languages are still widely used, even by Microsoft, Thomas points out that from a security point of view, it would be wise to switch to something more modern with memory security guarantees.
Thomas observed the majority of vulnerabilities fixed and with a CVE assigned are caused by memory corruption bugs, which is something that can be prevented via programming languages that are safer to use.
The Register notes that while Microsoft had bad experiences with rewriting the Windows shell in C# and Windows Presentation Foundation (Project Longhorn for Windows Vista), the solution may be Mozilla's Rust:
"If only the developers could have all the memory security guarantees of languages like .NET C# combined with all the efficiencies of C++. Maybe we can," wrote Thomas.
The language he has in mind is Mozilla's Rust, designed for system programming with an emphasis on speed, memory and thread safety, and other security features.
The post also suggests Microsoft Security Response Center will do more efforts to lecture internal developer teams to move away from unsafe legacy languages and try out modern alternatives.
Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 10:07:57 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD CTO Mark Papermaster announces the company has joined the CXL (Compute Express Link) consortium. This is a new CPU-to-device interconnect standard that builds upon PCI Express, it's intended for data centers. Interestingly, CLX was cooked up by Intel, but it's an open standard that also receives support from Alibaba, Cisco, Dell EMC, Facebook, Google, HPE, Huawei, and Microsoft.
Compute Express Link (CXL) is an open industry standard interconnect offering high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity between host processors, systems and devices such as accelerator cards, memory buffers, and smart I/O devices. Designed to address the increasing demands of high-performance computational workloads, CXL targets heterogeneous processing and memory systems across a range of high-performance computing applications by enabling coherency and memory semantics between processors and systems. This is increasingly important as processing data in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning requires a diverse mix of scalar, vector, matrix and spatial architectures across a range of accelerator options.
Since 2016 AMD has played a leadership role in driving three other new bus/interconnect standards, CCIX, OpenCAPI and Gen-Z. Like CXL, these three efforts are driven by the need to create tighter coupling and coherency between processors and accelerators, and better exploit new and emerging memory/storage technologies in open, standards-based solutions.
While these different groups have been working to solve similar problems, each approach has its differences. As a long-standing supporter of open standards, we’re excited to join CXL and the possibilities presented as we work with other ecosystem leaders to address challenges we face as an industry.
Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 10:04:01 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD has pulled the AMD AGESA 126.96.36.199ABA microcode because bugs in the code caused PCI Express stability issues on motherboards. Motherboard makers were under a tight schedule to roll out this BIOS update, which provided insufficient time to do proper testing. Therefore, the bug only popped up after AGESA 188.8.131.52ABA was made public.
Peter "Shamino" Tan from ASUS commented that the company was under a tight schedule to push 184.108.40.206ABA out as BIOS updates, and didn't have the time to properly validate it. "We just got told to pull (was undergoing validation prior) 1003 ABA version," he said, adding the root cause of the problem being "that PCIE speed of BXB-C downgraded from gen4 to gen2,..." He comments "so its not surprising that bugs emerge since the source has hidden bugs that only gets unraveled with thorough testing. combine that with trying to get firmwares out in a tight time frame, kinda damn if you do (release firmware quickly) and damn if you dont (dont release firmware quickly) situation."
Posted on Friday, July 19 2019 @ 09:58:40 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
EE Times writes the latest talent war in the IT industry centers around safety experts. The site reports NVIDIA hired Riccardo Mariani, Intel's former chief functional safety technologist, as its vice president of industry safety. This is a new position at NVIDIA and the goal here is to create “an overarching safety view across multiple domains and technologies.”
EE Times interviewed Mariani by email. He told us, “Among the multiple offers received, I selected Nvidia for its strong commitment on safety and recognized presence in safety critical automotive and embedded markets.”
He noted “the well-defined and established safety process and culture” already established at Nvidia. Asked about his mandate, he said, “I will drive safety alignment across business units (Auto, Robotics, IoT, etc.), developing cohesive safety strategies and cross segment safety processes, architecture, and products allowing work to be leveraged across our hardware and software platforms.”
He added, “I will also support the existing team in evangelizing key safety elements, both internally and externally, with customers, partners, regulatory agencies, government, etc.”
Mariani worked at Intel for three years, since the chip giant's acquisition of Yogitech in 2016.
Posted on Thursday, July 18 2019 @ 15:45:36 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Corsair has two new DDR4 products today. First up, the company presents 32GB Vengeance LPX DDR4 memory modules. These ship in clockspeeds of 2400MHz and up to 3000MHz and are offered in single-channel, dual-channel, quad-channel, and octo-channel configurations.
Additionally, Corsair also has a new TUF Gaming VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 memory kit in 16GB capacity (8GBx2). The pricing of both modules can be found in Corsair's webshop.
CORSAIR®, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the addition of 32GB modules to its range of VENGEANCE LPX high-performance DDR4 memory, allowing PC builders to equip their systems with more DDR4 memory than ever before. VENGEANCE LPX has long been a premiere choice for custom PC builders looking for high frequencies and ambitious overclocks, and that tradition continues with the launch of 32GB modules – the first time that such a capacity of premium DRAM has been made widely available to consumers in a standard size DDR4 module.
The new modules feature the same craftsmanship and quality that CORSAIR customers expect from the VENGEANCE LPX name. Thoroughly tested for wide compatibility with most current DDR4 motherboards, designed for high-performance overclocking with a pure aluminum heatspreader, and available in multiple colors to match your system’s look, VENGEANCE LPX 32GB DDR4 modules set the standard for enthusiast memory. Launching in frequencies of 2,400MHz and 2,666MHz in kits of 1x, 2x ,4x and 8x modules, or 3,000MHz in kits of 1x and 2x modules, you’ll be sure to find a configuration to fit your custom PC and take its memory capacity up to 128GB on mainstream 4-DIMM slot, and up to 256GB on high-end desktop 8-DIMM slot motherboards.
Today CORSAIR also launches its new TUF Gaming VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 memory in 16GB kits (8MBx2). CORSAIR is proud to be a partner in the ASUS TUF Gaming Alliance, with premium RGB memory sporting the signature TUF Gaming aesthetic, guaranteed for compatibility with any TUF Gaming motherboard.
In addition, all CORSAIR RGB DDR4 memory is now compatible with ASUS Aura Sync RGB motherboard control. Using an easy-to-install Aura Sync plugin alongside CORSAIR iCUE software, users are now free to choose whether to control their RGB memory’s lighting through ASUS Aura Sync, or CORSAIR iCUE software. Users can find the required plugin and installation instructions at CORSAIR.com.
Posted on Thursday, July 18 2019 @ 14:05:26 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
VideoCardz noticed that MSI confirmed during its Insider webstream that its first custom-design Radeon RX 5700 series video cards will ship towards the end of August. The image below reveals the final design of the Radeon RX 5700 MECH, this card will have a cooler with a black/grey design, and not a red/black color scheme as was shown earlier this month.
The actual RX 5700 XT Mech design can be seen below. The cooler is based on Ventus series. An educated guess would be that there won’t be a VENTUS RX 5000 card at this point, at least not with the same design as MECH.
MSI also mentioned that its Radeon RX 5700 GAMING cards will not be available until September.
Posted on Thursday, July 18 2019 @ 13:58:31 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
ASRock shows off its Radeon RX 5700 Challenger series. These cards feature a custom-design dual-fan cooling solution and have a metal backplate. The Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC graphics card features with base/boost/game GPU clock at 1515/1675/1725MHz, while the , Radeon RX 5700 XT Challenger 8G OC graphics card provides base/boost/game GPU clocks of 1650/1795/1905MHz. ASRock did not announce an availability date nor pricing. Presumably, we can expect these cards in August.
The leading global motherboard, graphics card and small form factor PC manufacturer, ASRock, takes the lead in announcing the custom graphic card products – Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC series graphics cards, featured AMD's latest Radeon RX 5700 series gaming GPU and 8GB 256-bit GDDR6 memory, provides advanced gaming experiences to challenge the limits.
The Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC series graphics cards are powered by the new RDNA architecture, the heart of AMD's advanced 7nm technology process. RDNA features up to 40 completely redesigned "Compute Units" delivering incredible performance and up to 4x IPC improvements, new instructions better suited for visual effects such as volumetric lighting, blur effects, and depth of field, and multi-level cache hierarchy for greatly reduced latency and highly responsive gaming. The RDNA architecture enables DisplayPort 1.4 with Display Stream Compression for extreme refresh rates and resolutions on cutting edge displays for insanely immersive gameplay.
Based on RDNA architecture, the Radeon RX 5700 Series GPUs are capable to deliver superior 1440p advanced gaming experiences. Equipped with the latest 8GB of GDDR6 high-speed memory, and PCI Express 4.0 support, Radeon RX 5700 XT Challenger 8G OC graphics card provides base/boost/game GPU clock at 1650/1795/1905 MHz, and on the other hand, Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC graphics card features with base/boost/game GPU clock at 1515/1675/1725 MHz. Furthermore, Harness Asynchronous Compute, Radeon Image Sharpening, FidelityFX, TressFX, TrueAudio Next, and VR technologies enable for maximum performance and enhanced gaming experiences.
The Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC series graphics cards are specially designed with a long-life 10 cm dual fan, and 4 copper heat-pipe up to 8mm to enhance the heat dissipation effect. In addition, the RX 5700 XT Challenger 8G OC graphics card not only focuses on the outlook design, but also the ultra-high-quality aluminum alloy backplate to enhance the strutting of the graphics card.
The launches of Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC series graphics cards demonstrated ASRock's graphics card business is in full swing. In addition to the continuous growth of the motherboard business, the release of new graphics card products represents ASRock's goals toward the graphics card filed. ASRock keeps improving the quality to bring better products for customers. The core of the new generation RDNA display, ASRock Radeon RX 5700 Challenger 8G OC series graphics card is undoubtedly the one of the best choice among the brands.
Posted on Thursday, July 18 2019 @ 13:48:23 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sharkoon introduces the SKILLER SGM3, a new wireless gaming mice with a MSRP of just 39.99EUR. The device has an optical sensor with a 6000 dpi resolution and a 1000Hz polling rate. It features 2.4GHz wireless operation as well as the option to use it wired.
The model ships in black, white, grey and green editions.
Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of PC components and peripherals, offering performance at a reasonable price. Sharkoon now presents the SKILLER SGM3, its first wireless gaming mouse. In the wireless mode, the mouse is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which can be charged either wirelessly or through a USB cable. Along with the RGB illumination, useful features such as a DPI and battery indication are, of course, included.
Endless Gaming Fun
The SKILLER SGM3 is equipped with an optical sensor which has 6,000 DPI and a polling rate of 1,000 hertz. The default settings for the DPI levels, the mouse speed and the button assignments can all be changed as desired using the high-performance gaming software.
Practical RGB Highlight
The SKILLER logo on the top surface of the SKILLER SGM3 helps the user to keep track of things. The logo not only indicates the currently selected DPI level, but it also shows a warning if the battery charge is low. A specific illumination color for each DPI level can be freely chosen from a spectrum of 16.8 million colors. The DPI levels themselves can also be configurated as desired.
Wireless or Wired
For wireless operation, the SKILLER SGM3 uses 2.4 GHz frequency communication, which is realized via the supplied USB nano receiver. Alternatively, the gaming mouse can be operated through a cable connection. To do this, Sharkoon has also included a textile braided USB cable. Using a switch on the underside of the mouse, either one of the two operating modes can be effortlessly selected.
Whether for gaming or for work, the SKILLER SGM3 always provides an optimal grip thanks to the rubber surfaces on either side of the mouse. Moreover, the gaming mouse has a total of seven buttons which can all be reassigned with new functions through the gaming software. However, even without the software, all the mouse buttons will be recognized thanks to plug and play.
Hours of Gaming
The SKILLER SGM3 is equipped with a lithium-ion battery which guarantees hours of gaming enjoyment. The battery can be conveniently recharged either wirelessly or even during the game using the included USB cable. Monitor the battery level either in the software or thanks to the illuminated SKILLER logo, which blinks as soon as the battery reaches a critically low level.