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Latest news on DV Hardware - Older stories
NAND prices unexpectedly dropped almost 5% in Q4 2017 January 15, 2018 - 15:13
The mining effect: GPU availability and pricing worsening again January 15, 2018 - 14:35
Intel working on Arctic Sound and Jupiter Sound GPUs January 15, 2018 - 14:11
AI bests humans in Stanford reading comprehension test January 15, 2018 - 13:57
be quiet! teases Dark Rock 4 series HSFs with dark ceramic coating January 15, 2018 - 11:41
NVIDIA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to get more efficient Max-Q version January 15, 2018 - 10:55
Cherry shows Low-Profile MX RGB switches January 12, 2018 - 21:47
PC sales down for six straight year in 2017 January 12, 2018 - 14:52
AMD clarifies Meltdown and Spectre impact January 12, 2018 - 13:42
MediaTek aims to become an edge AI enabler January 12, 2018 - 13:33
Phanteks Eclipse P350X mid-tower has RGB highlights for $69.99 January 12, 2018 - 11:14
Phanteks Eclipse P300 to be offered in three color combos January 12, 2018 - 11:01
Phanteks shows off new RGB LED series January 12, 2018 - 10:42
Phanteks teases new RGB-free Glacier watercooling blocks January 12, 2018 - 10:39
Phanteks shows off $19.99 toolkit to build PCs January 12, 2018 - 10:35
Phanteks Revolt PSUs can power two systems January 12, 2018 - 10:30
Intel: Meltdown and Spectre fixes causing reboot issues on some systems January 12, 2018 - 10:21
Intel CEO makes a security-first pledge January 11, 2018 - 15:23
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 features Intel 8th Gen Core with Vega January 11, 2018 - 15:15
Cooler Master MasterKeys MK851 has pressure-sensitive WASD keys January 11, 2018 - 14:32

The Mailbox - reviews and news from other tech sites
Noctua NF-F12 & NF-A14 Industrial PPC Fan January 16, 2018 - 10:49
Tt eSports Shock PRO RGB January 16, 2018 - 09:20
Acer Predator X34P Monitor January 16, 2018 - 09:19
Thermaltake Toughpower Grand RGB 1200W Power Supply Unit January 16, 2018 - 09:19
ADATA XPG SX6000: Benchmarking A ~$50 USD 128GB NVMe SSD January 16, 2018 - 09:19
Phison E8 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD Preview January 15, 2018 - 23:45
Cherry MX Board 3.0 January 15, 2018 - 22:42
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 & NH-L12S Low-Profile CPU Cooler January 15, 2018 - 22:18
Here Is The Best Of CES 2018 January 15, 2018 - 19:55
The Case Mods and Builds of CES 2018 January 15, 2018 - 14:07
Scythe Mugen 5 PCGH CPU Cooler January 15, 2018 - 08:55
Why Building a Gaming PC Right Now Is a Bad Idea, Part 1: Expensive DDR4 Memory January 15, 2018 - 08:55
ECS Z370-LIGHTSABER LGA1151 Motherboard January 13, 2018 - 20:56
SilverStone SFX SX500-G 500W Power Supply January 13, 2018 - 09:38
ASRock X299E-ITX/ac Intel LGA 2066 Motherboard January 12, 2018 - 14:52
6-core/12-thread Core i7 for $200, i7-5820K Revisited January 12, 2018 - 09:38
Nitro Concepts S300 January 12, 2018 - 09:37
PowerColor Red Devil RX VEGA 56 8GB HBM2 January 12, 2018 - 09:37
Dobot Rigiet Gimbal January 11, 2018 - 22:09
Corsair Hydro H150i Pro RGB CPU Cooler January 11, 2018 - 20:00

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 15:13:33 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Relief for the high pricing of SSDs could be in sight sooner than expected. Previously, analysts and investors expected prices would continue to rise or remain high for at least another year, but that idea got dashed by a sudden price drop in Q4 2017.

Reuters reports the pricing of high-end flash memory chips, which are commonly used in smartphones, fell almost 5 percent last quarter. Analysts are now revising their forecast, and lowering their growth forecast for the big memory makers.
Last year’s explosive growth gave chipmakers cash to reinvest and boost output, analysts said. The supply of NAND flash memory chips, in particular, will grow 43 percent this year, up from last year’s 34 percent, causing prices to drop by about 10 percent, brokerage Nomura estimates.
The DRAM market on the other hand is unlikely to see similar relief. Supply of DRAM chips is seen as much tighter. Prices are expected to soar another 9 percent due to shortages.
(comments?)

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 14:35:19 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Towards the end of 2017, it looked like the GPU market was normalizing but in recent days things have dramatically worsened for gamers. Intensifying demand from the cryptocurrency market is resulting in fewer video cards hitting retail shelves, which in turn drives up prices. The US is hit pretty hard and Europe is following.

German tech site ComputerBase tracked the evolution of video card prices and concludes there's been a big increase since December 4, 2017. As is to be expected, especially AMD GPUs are hit hard. Pricing of popular AMD cards is up 24 to 58 percent, depending on the model. With exception of the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the price of NVIDIA's cards soared 10 to 20 percent over the same timeframe.

logo

An increase in component costs explains part of the price spike, but most of it seems to originate from strong mining demand. ComputerBase heard from a trader that the delivery situation is expected to remain tight until at least the end of March.

The site also picked up word that AMD is still not providing enough Vega GPUs to its partners. Similarly, NVIDIA is said to be cutting back Pascal GPU production to make room for its next-gen GeForce GPUs, which are expected in Q2 2018. Some other PC components, like PSUs with a capacity of 1000W or more, are also very hard to find due to strong demand from the cryptocurrency segment.

In the US, things are even worse as major retailers are now selling GeForce GTX 1070 cards for $940. Suffice to say, it's pretty bonkers to pay these prices if you're a gamer.


(comments?)

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 14:11:13 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
intC logo
Some very interesting Intel news leaked over the weekend! Ashraf Eassa, the Intel expert at The Motley Fool, learned the codenames of two upcoming Intel GPUs.

The big news of late 2017 was Intel's announcement that it would integrate AMD Radeon RX Vega class graphics on a multi-chip module (MCM) with its Kaby Lake-G processor. Aimed at the laptop market, this exclusive product aims to compete with NVIDIA's mid-range offerings. We haven't seen an official confirmation yet, but word on the street is that this product was made at the request of Apple.

However, the Intel chip with Vega graphics is a bit of an admission that the chip giant's own graphics solutions simply aren't powerful enough for today's market. To fix this mess, Intel revitalized its graphics efforts and hired former AMD Radeon guru Raja Koduri as Chief Architect.

Now we learn that Intel's 12th Gen discrete GPU is codenamed "Arctic Sound". This chip will connect to the CPU via Intel's EMIB interconnect, similar to the current Kaby Lake + Vega implementation. Eassa also learned that the 13th Gen discrete GPU is codenamed "Jupiter Sound".

No further details were provided. Intel's Kaby Lake processors feature Gen 9.5 graphics so Arctic Sound and Jupiter Sound shouldn't be expected before the early 2020s. These things take time.
(comments?)

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 13:57:23 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Machines are getting better and better at tasks that were once the exclusive domain of humans. The latest example is reading and comprehension, Alibaba and Microsoft have independently developed an artificial intelligence (AI) agent that outranks humans in a Stanford University reading and comprehension test.

The test consists of over 100,000 questions and is considered one of the world's most authoritative machine-reading gauges. To score well, machine learning agents need to process large amounts of data and provide precise answers to queries. Humans score a typical 82.304 in this test, which is slightly lower than the 82.44 achieved by the model created by Alibaba’s Institute of Data Science of Technologies.
“That means objective questions such as ‘what causes rain’ can now be answered with high accuracy by machines,” Luo Si, chief scientist for natural language processing at the Alibaba institute, said in a statement. “The technology underneath can be gradually applied to numerous applications such as customer service, museum tutorials and online responses to medical inquiries from patients, decreasing the need for human input in an unprecedented way.”
A day later, an AI model from Microsoft did even better and scored 82.650. However, Stanford ranks the Alibaba higher than the Microsoft one because it scored a higher F1 score, which isn't disclosed. The scores listed above are the exact match (EM) values.
(comments?)

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 11:41:20 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Over at CES 2018, be quiet! showed off its new line of Dark Rock 4 processor coolers. TechPowerUp uploaded some photos and details. The Dark Rock 4 series heatsinks have a dark ceramic coating, which not only adds style but also improved heat dissipation. Furthermore, another change to the heatsink design is the inclusion of small dots to increase the total surface area.

First up we have the Dark Rock 4, this model features a single aluminium fin array with six 6mm thick heatpipes that dissipate the heat from a copper base. Airflow is provided by a 135mm SilentWings fan an be quiet! gives the Dark Rock 4 a rating of up to 200W TDP.

Dark Rock 4

If your cooling needs are higher, you can opt for the Dark Rock Pro 4. This version has two fin stacks and a total of seven 6mm thick copper heatpipes. Airflow is provided by a 120mm SilentWings 3 fan in the middle plus a larger 135mm SilentWings fan. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is rated at up to 250W.

Dark Rock Pro  4

Both coolers start shipping in Q2 2018. Pricing is unknown.
(comments?)

Posted on Monday, January 15 2018 @ 10:55:48 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVDA logo
Rumors are spreading about another Pascal-based video card for the laptop market. The source is NVIDIA itself, as the recently released Linux display driver version 384.111 includes support for the unreleased GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with Max-Q Design.

The Max-Q lineup features tweaked GPUs that offer higher energy efficiency than the regular models, at the cost of somewhat lower performance.

It's believed that this new offer from NVIDIA is intended to compete with the Intel Kaby Lake-G + Vega combo. Intel claims the RX Vega M GH is faster than a GTX 1060 Max-Q so the GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q seems to be a competitor for the RX Vega GL with 20 CUs.
(comments?)

Posted on Friday, January 12 2018 @ 21:47:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Cherry showcases its new MX Low Profile RGB switches. As the name suggests, these are mechanical witches with a low height, they're suitable for laptops as well as for flat desktop keyboards. The new design is 35 percent flatter than the standard Cherry MX switches and promises a similar typing feel. The switches have an initial force of 40 cN and an actuation force of 45 cN.
Key benefits:
  • Engineered and Made in Germany
  • CHERRY MX Low Profile RGB Red switch: Without pressure point, linear light actuation switching function with a defined force of approx. 45 cN without contact feedback
  • Designed for use with SMD LEDs (RGB or single colour)
  • More consistent lighting throughout the keycap due to optimized switch design
  • Option to use all 16.8 million RGB colours in high luminosity (scope of supply does not include LED)
  • SMD LEDs directly mounted on the circuit board for cost-efficient, fully automated production
  • High-precision mechanical switch with very low operating point tolerance
  • World exclusive CHERRY Gold Crosspoint technology
  • Short bounce time for high switching frequency (such as for fast typing)
  • Self-cleaning contacts
  • Switch resistant to dust and dirt
  • Over 50 million keystrokes with no loss of quality guaranteed
  • MX Low Profile RGB
    (comments?)

    Posted on Friday, January 12 2018 @ 14:52:13 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
    Research firms IDC and Gartner published their latest reports about the PC market. The latter reports global PC sales fell for the sixth straight year in 2017, down 2.8 percent year-over-year to 262.5 million units. Gartner writes fourth-quarter sales were down 2 percent to 71.6 million units, marking the 13th consecutive quarter of dropping PC sales.
    "In the fourth quarter of 2017, there was PC shipment growth in Asia/Pacific, Japan and Latin America. There was only a moderate shipment decline in EMEA," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "However, the U.S. market saw a steep decline, which offset the generally positive results in other regions.

    "The fourth quarter results confirmed again that PCs are no longer popular holiday gift items. This does not mean that PCs will disappear from households," Kitagawa said. "Rather, the PC will become a more specialized, purpose-driven device. PC buyers will look for quality and functionality rather than looking for the lowest price, which will increase PC average selling prices (ASPs) and improve profitability in the long run. However, until this point is reached, the market will have to go through the shrinking phase caused by fewer PC users."
    Gartner identifies HP as the largest PC builder, with a marketshare of 22.5 percent, up from 20.7 percent the year before. Lenovo is the second largest with 22.0 percent share, up from 21.7 percent in 2016, while Dell remains third with 15.2 percent, up from 14.7 percent. Apple is fourth with 7.6 percent, and ASUS and Acer share the fifth spot with each accounting for about 6.6 percent of global sales.

    Interestingly, IDC reports something different. This research agency found global PC sales were up 0.7 percent year-over-year to 70.6 million units. IDC says the market looks weak but somewhat recovering.
    Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desktop, notebook, and workstation) totaled 70.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2017 (4Q17), recording slightly positive (0.7%) year-on-year growth, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker. The results outperformed the forecast of a 1.7% decline in shipments during the quarter.

    The 4Q17 results further validate the view of a steadying, albeit still weak, traditional PC market, buoyed mainly by commercial upgrades and pockets of improving consumer PC demand. 2017 ended with an annual shipment volume of 259.5 million units, which represents a year-over-year decline of 0.2%. This makes 2017 the most stable year the market has seen since 2011.
    IDC's list of the top PC shippers looks similar to the one from Gartner. The percentages are a little different but the market positions are the same.
    (comments?)

    Posted on Friday, January 12 2018 @ 13:42:19 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
    AMD logo
    Due to some inaccurate reporting making the rounds, AMD send out a small blurb about how its processors are impacted by the recent CPU vulnerabilities. Basically, AMD is issuing CPU microcode updates for Spectre vulnerabilities, but the firm stresses that this is due to an abundance of caution. AMD says there are no known exploitation mechanisms for its chips.
    We have seen some initial stories with a couple of inaccuracies so want to make sure we are being perfectly clear.

    * There is no change to AMD’s position on our susceptibility to GPZ Variant 1 or GPZ Variant 2 (collectively called Spectre in many news reports).

    * The update in relation to Variant 2 is that even though Variant 2 has not been demonstrated to work on AMD products due to differences in our micro architecture, out of an abundance of caution we are making optional micro code updates available to further contain the threat.

    Again, to make it perfectly clear we have not changed our statement related to our susceptibility to Variant 2. Let me know if you have questions or need additional details.

    (comments?)

    Posted on Friday, January 12 2018 @ 13:33:07 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
    MediaTek logo
    EE Times took a closer look at MediaTek's efforts to prepare for the post-smartphone era. In particular, the Taiwanese chip designer is working on chips for data switches, automotive applications and AI processors for edge devices. MediaTek CFO David Ku told the website that his company aims to becoming a major player in AI chips for small devices like smart speakers:
    But MediaTek isn’t just satisfied with selling tablet chips for voice-assistant speakers like those made by Sony.

    In contrast to Amazon’s push for cloud-to-cloud services in its Echo devices, MediaTek sees possibilities in a hybrid model of “edge and cloud.” The race already focuses on adding more “intelligence” locally, so that smart speakers can separate human voices from non-humans, cancel music in the background, and recognize vocal patterns.

    Some of those building blocks for voice AIs are getting designed into smartphones, headphones and automotive platforms, he noted.

    (comments?)

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