Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 18:13:00 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
One of the controversial stories of the past couple of weeks is the news about the NVIDIA GeForce Partner Program. NVIDIA claims this program is transparent and advantageous to gamers, but HardOCP suggests it will hurt consumers and may border on being illegal.
We may be starting to see the ramifications of the GPP. Forbes writer Jason Evangelho reports it looks like Gigabyte and MSI signed up as new AMD GPU products from these two firms are no longer part of the firm's respective gaming brands. The author also backs up HardOCP's statement that no one in the video card industry is willing to talk about this program.
When viewing the MSI products page for AMD GPUs, however, their "Gaming X" branded Radeon cards are conspicuously absent. All that remains are reference versions of Polaris 500 series and Vega cards, or MSI's "Armor" lineup. That's beyond interesting.
This week Gigabyte released one for the Radeon RX 580. It is simply called "RX 580 Gaming Box." No AORUS branding is present on the box or the product itself. It's the only perceivable difference. Is this the beginning of that exclusive alignment? Maybe, maybe not. It's not strong evidence, but it is evidence. And more will come.
Well, to be fully transparent, I am not sure we are currently in a position to do any follow-up as NVIDIA has gone dark on GPP along with nearly every contact we have in the industry on this topic. Certainly we struck a nerve. Like the OEMs, I guess cutting off $ hits home.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 17:02:27 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Raijintek showcases the Zofos EVO, a new tower case with support for motherboards as large as the E-ATX form factor.
ZOFOS EVO – Design Art in its best by RAIJINTEK – New Gaming chassis , Silent Gaming. ZOFOS EVO series, an EE-ATX chassis, is the World’s first case for all RGB lights controlled synchronously by M/B, including 8port control hub and remote controller. ZOFOS EVO also Superior features include such supports to install 10×3.5”+3×2.5”HDD or 13×2.5” HDD, Sound insulation cotton on the side/ front /top panel (Silent version), tool-free for easy installation, a max CPU cooler height up to 190mm, a max VGA length up to 430mm and 300mm ATX / EPS PSU compatibility and extreme efficient cooling and Airflow. ZOFOS EVO supports maximum 7 fans including 3×120mm/140mm fan optional (2pcs 120mm pre-installed) at the front (240/280/360/420mm radiator of 60mm thickness), 3×120mm fan or 2×140mm fan optional on the top (240/280/360mm radiator of 60mm thickness), and 1×120mm (140mm fan option) pre-installed (RGB fan - Window version ; Black fan - Silent version) at the rear. ZOFOS EVO - a Timeless design case, and perfect for Enthusiasts, Modders and High-end Workstation machines.
The case is sold in Europe for 159.90EUR (tempered glass edition) and 164.90EUR (silent edition). You can check the specifications over here.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 15:59:43 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
ThermalTake send over details about its View 37, a new mid-tower ATX case with a gull-wing window that provides an excellent look at your hardware. The case is offered in two versions; the full bling-bling RGB Edition and the somewhat more modest Riing Edition. Pricing and availability is unknown.
Thermaltake, a leading premium gaming tower manufacturer, announced the immediate availability of Thermaltake View 37 RGB Edition and View 37 Riing Edition Mid-Tower Chassis. Constructed with a gull-wing window panel for internal components show-off, the View 37 Series delivers a sleek look to complement its excellent cooling. View 37 RGB Edition is preinstalled with 3 built-in Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fans, a Riing Plus RGB controller and a PCI controller to deliver 256-color RGB illumination and unparalleled ventilation. More custom RGB lighting possibilities are permitted thanks to its light synchronization with enthusiasts’ favorite RGB motherboard brands: Asus AURA SYNC/ Gigabyte RGB Fusion/MSI Mystic Light Sync-enabled motherboards. As to View 37 Riing Edition, it features 2 built-in Riing 14 LED Blue fans to illuminate and dissipate heat more properly. The duet doesn’t disappoint when it comes to cooling potential and flexibility, with its ability to accommodate up to 8 case fans, including up to two large 200mm fans at the front.
Speaking of hardware support, View 37 Series has ample room for up to seven 3.5” or eleven 2.5” HDDs, plus “8+2” expansion slots. It supports CPU coolers up to 180mm in height, VGA lengths up to 410mm, PSU sizes up to 220mm in length, and the latest AIO/DIY liquid cooling solutions. It is designed to embrace the diversity of a gaming station with stylish statement and options and make PC enthusiasts’ next rig like no other.
Exclusively “Tt LCS Certified”
Tt LCS Certified is a Thermaltake exclusive certification applied to products that pass the design and rigorous hardcore enthusiast standards that only the world’s best LCS chassis are held to. The Tt LCS certification was created so that we at Thermaltake can clearly convey to power users and enthusiasts which chassis are built and tested to be best compatible under extreme liquid cooling configurations. This ensures you get the best performance, compatibility and features.
Features of Thermaltake View 37 RGB Edition and View 37 Riing Edition Mid-Tower Chassis:
Enlarged Transparent Gull-wing Window Panel Design
Constructed with premium transparent top panel wrapping around to the side, View 37 Series ensures durability of the window and delivers a gorgeous view of the superb configuration inside.
3 Built-in Patented Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control Fans
View 37 RGB Edition Mid-Tower Chassis comes with three patented Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fans to offer high-static pressure, 256 colors LED ring, 12 addressable LEDs, compression blades and hydraulic bearing for a vivid illumination and ultimate thermal efficiency. To deliver a better RGB experience, the Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fan is a hardware/software controllable gear that the fan speed/light mode/color mode/light speed can be customized through the included Riing RGB Controller and PCI Controller or via Asus AURA SYNC/ Gigabyte RGB Fusion/MSI Mystic Light Sync. Making the fan light match your build’s style has never been so easy.
Software Controllable Lighting in Sync with Asus/Gigabyte/MSI Motherboards (View 37 RGB Edition Only)
Thermaltake has teamed up with enthusiasts’ favorite motherboard brands, Asus/Gigabyte/MSI, to give View 37 RGB Edition Mid-Tower Chassis even more illumination synchronization options. Just connect the Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fan to the built-in Riing Plus RGB controller and Asus AURA SYNC/ Gigabyte RGB Fusion/MSI Mystic Light Sync-enabled motherboards for the ultimate compatibility.
Built-in Riing Plus RGB controller (View 37 RGB Edition Only)
View 37 RGB Edition direct fan control:
The built-in Riing Plus RGB controller is a 3 port hub that offers direct fan speed/light mode/color mode/light speed control over the Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fans. There is also a built-in memory function to save the color applied and insure the same color selection every time you boot your PC.
View 37 RGB Edition fan control in conjunction with Asus/Gigabyte/MSI motherboard RGB software:
Connect Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fans with the Riing Plus RGB controller and Asus/Gigabyte/MSI motherboard RGB software to easily expand illumination synchronization options without the need to install any extra lighting controllers.
Built-in PCI Controller (View 37 RGB Edition Only)
Simply install the included PCI Controller on the outside of View 37 RGB Mid-Tower Chassis’s back panel and enjoy taking full control of the fan lighting mode/speed without the need of removing the side panel. Up to 2 Riing Plus RGB controllers can be connected to the PCI Controller at the same time.
To dissipate heat properly, View 37 RGB is preinstalled with three Riing Plus 140mm Hardware Control fans (two front fans and one rear fan) while View 37 Riing Edition is preinstalled with dual Riing 14 LED Blue fans (one front fans and one rear fan). View 37 Series enables users to build a complete high-end system with ample room for up to 8 case fans, and full compatibility with 420mm, 360mm, 280mm, 240mm, 140mm and 120mm radiators. Removable front fan filter, front panel filter and the power supply filter at the bottom provide excellent reduction against dirt and dust and gives better airflow.
Upgrade with Up to Two 200mm Front Fans
View 37 Series doesn’t disappoint when it comes to cooling potential and flexibility. It supports up to two 200mm front fans to guarantee high airflow and embraces the diversity of a PC case with stylish statement and options.
The fully modular tool-free drive cages to provide the ease of installation/removal and maximize the interior space for highly customizable layouts. The modular drive bay concept of “3+4” offers a good ratio for accessories and storage devices.
Guarantees outstanding hardware expandability thanks to the support for standard E-ATX form factor motherboards, a CPU cooler with maximum height 180mm, a VGA of up to 410mm in length without front fan, and a power supply with length of up to 220mm while there is still plenty room for accommodating multiple 3.5”/2.5” storage devices.
Riser GPU Support Bracket
Specially designed for dual GPU placement options, View 37 Series has the support for vertical graphic card layout with dual PCI-E slots design. Integrated riser GPU support bracket not only prevents the graphic card from sagging, but also helps to reduce the weight on the motherboard PCI-E slots.
Vertical Radiator View (VRV)
Turn the tides on traditional radiator mounting and bring out the glorious view of custom loop or all-in-one radiator applications with vertical radiator viewing. Supporting proper placement for 120mm and 140mm radiator applications up to 420mm in length, gain more compatibility when pairing up both CPU and GPU cooling solutions. Take on even more with custom loop options for enthusiast grade cooling, fitment and flow.
AIO/DIY Liquid Cooling Capable
View 37 Series supports all types of advanced AIO liquid cooling solutions and has the capability to house up to one 420mm DIY liquid cooling radiator fitment, either at the front or on the right side.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 15:37:17 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Seagate teases the Exos X14, a new 3.5" enterprise HDD. The special thing about this model is that it doesn't use HAMR, it's a helium-filled model with eight platters and a capacity of 14TB. Shipment start this summer.
Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX), a world leader in data storage solutions, today unveiled its 14TB helium-based ExosTM X14 enterprise drive at the OCP U.S. Summit 2018 in San Jose, Calif. The Seagate® Exos X14 delivers high performance and greater capacity for hyperscale data centers looking to efficiently and cost-effectively manage increasing amounts of data.
Enterprises across the globe face the daunting challenge of managing a massive increase in data volume as the world is expected to create 163 zettabytes of data in 2025, according to a study by analyst firm IDC and sponsored by Seagate. As the need for hyperscale and cloud storage rises to unprecedented levels, Seagate’s Exos X14 hard drive is a direct response to customer demand for increased enterprise storage capacity and efficiency.
By offering greater storage density in the same 3.5-inch footprint, Seagate’s Exos X14 drive is ideal for hyperscale environments. Enhanced areal density means Seagate can deliver higher capacity storage in a smaller package—a milestone for meeting the demand of increasing data center needs. The Exos X14 offers the industry’s lowest power consumption, smallest footprint, and best performance in its class, making the hard drive an affordable solution for data centers looking to maximize their storage capabilities while reducing complexity and operational costs.
“Our hyperscale customers want the best value in terms of total cost of ownership and that is mainly driven by capacity, power efficiency, enhanced caching, and predictable I/O,” said Sai Varanasi, vice president, product line marketing, storage devices at Seagate. “Exos X14 shines on all four fronts by delivering 14TB with leading sustained transfer rates and random I/O responsiveness optimized for hyperscale applications.”
To further meet the needs of global data centers, Exos X14 comes with built-in security, Seagate SecureTM, to encrypt all data without performance degradation. The new drive also features the United States government’s Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, Level 2 certification and the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CC) - an international computer security certification standard (ISO/EIC 15408). Other key features include 40 percent more petabytes per rack versus Exos 10TB drives, a 10 percent weight reduction versus air nearline drives, and a flexible design that delivers wider integration options and support for a greater number of workloads.
Baidu, the world’s largest Chinese search engine and leading AI tech company, evaluated Seagate’s new hard drive comprehensively. “Baidu attaches great importance to technological innovation and is committed to providing a better experience and service to our users and customers through technical innovation. Our data needs continue to expand as our customers become increasingly reliant on data-heavy applications, we need to work with industry partners to build sustainable storage solutions.” said Chao Liu, senior director, system department at Baidu. “Seagate’s Exos X14 has given us a cost-effective way to easily accommodate our growing storage needs.”
The drive is currently sampling to select customers and will be followed by production availability this summer.
The Exos X14 hard drive will be on display in Seagate’s booth #A14 at the OCP U.S. Summit 2018 alongside several other Seagate products that meet Open Compute Project specifications. Additional product demonstrations will showcase the Seagate Guardian Series portfolio, Nytro Q-Boost, HAMR-based drives as well as the Nytro® 5000 NVMe SSD. Furthermore, Seagate and American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) will demonstrate how the new AMI MegaRAC® Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) Firmware enhances manageability of Seagate’s enterprise Nytro 5910 NVMe SSDs. Seagate will also exhibit MACH.2TM Multi Actuator and HAMR technology with demonstrations conducted by Seagate and Seagate technology partners.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 14:52:45 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Market watchers report motherboard makers hope the new Coffee Lake processors from Intel and the second-gen Ryzen chips from AMD will boost motherboard demand. Since the start of 2018, shipments have been lower than expected. DigiTimes writes expectations are better for Q2 2018:
In addition to seasonality, consumers have been waiting for the arrival of new products from Intel and AMD - which will be available starting April, significantly undermining demand in the first quarter.
Gigabyte shipped around 3.2 million motherboards in the first quarter, lower than the 3.5 million units in the same quarter a year ago.
With Intel and AMD expected to launch a new wave of pricing campaigns for their new products, it is expected to stimulate upgrade demand from consumers in the second quarter.
Brand motherboard shipments remain a though business. Sales fell 15 percent year-over-year to under 13 million units in 2017, and are on track to drop another 10 percent this year.
Posted on Wednesday, March 21 2018 @ 12:51:15 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Hot on the heels of the DirectX Raytracing announcement from Microsoft, Futuremark shows off its 3DMark DirectX Raytracing tech demo. In the mail below, Futuremark says a new 3DMark benchmark test with DirectX Raytracing will arrive towards the end of the year.
DirectX Raytracing (DXR) is a new feature in DirectX 12 that opens the door to a new class of real-time graphics techniques for games.
We were thrilled to join Microsoft onstage for the announcement, which we followed with a presentation of our own work in developing practical real-time applications for this exciting new tech.
Accurate real-time reflections with DirectX Raytracing
Rendering accurate reflections in real-time is difficult. There are many challenges and limitations when using the existing methods.
For the past few months, we've been exploring ways of combining DirectX Raytracing with existing methods to solve some of these challenges.
Practical real-time raytracing for games
Raytracing is not a new technique, but until recently it has been too computationally demanding to use in real-time games.
With modern GPUs, it's now possible to use rasterization for most of the rendering and a smaller amount of raytracing to enhance shadows, reflections, and other effects that are difficult to achieve with traditional techniques.
Our DXR tech demo runs in real-time on current GPU hardware and, because it builds on existing methods, it was relatively easy to implement into our DirectX 12 game engine.
We are proud to be one of the first developers chosen to work with DirectX Raytracing, and we are excited about the opportunities for this new API.
I am happy to announce that we will be using DirectX Raytracing in a new 3DMark benchmark test that we hope to release towards the end of the year.
Posted on Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 21:38:43 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Last week CTS-Labs dropped a bomb on AMD by disclosing 13 vulnerabilities in the Ryzen and EPYC processors. There's still a lot of uncertainty about the details and severity of these vulnerabilities, especially because the bugs require administrative access to a system in order to allow exploitation. In a new blog post, AMD acknowledges the bugs and promises firmware patches.
On March 12, 2018, AMD received a communication from CTS Labs regarding research into security vulnerabilities involving some AMD products. Less than 24 hours later, the research firm went public with its findings. Security and protecting users’ data is of the utmost importance to us at AMD and we have worked rapidly to assess this security research and develop mitigation plans where needed. This is our first public update on this research, and will cover both our technical assessment of the issues as well as planned mitigation actions.
The security issues identified by the third-party researchers are not related to the AMD “Zen” CPU architecture or the Google Project Zero exploits made public Jan. 3, 2018. Instead, these issues are associated with the firmware managing the embedded security control processor in some of our products (AMD Secure Processor) and the chipset used in some socket AM4 and socket TR4 desktop platforms supporting AMD processors.
These updates are expected the coming weeks and should not lower performance.
Posted on Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 20:35:12 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Looks like Intel is bringing even more cores to the mainstream market. The company responded to AMD's Ryzen series by cooking up the Core i7-8700K, its first six-core gaming processor. Now VideoCardz came across evidence that the chip giant is working on an eight-core, sixteen threaded Coffee Lake-S processor. This chip is expected to be introduced alongside the Z390 chipset.
The 8-core Intel Coffee Lake S SKU might be part of 8th Gen Core, but it could also be part of 9th Gen core.
The leak shows an unrecognized CPU with 8-cores and 16-threads. The clock may be a base clock, but it could also be a misreading by the software. The testing platform is recognized as Intel Corporation CoffeeLake S82 UDIMM RVP, which is an engineering board.
Posted on Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 17:14:25 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
NVIDIA uploaded the GeForce 391.24 WHQL driver, this is the Game Ready release for Sea of Thieves. It also has support for NVIDIA Ansel in Pure Farming 2018, Q.U.B.E. 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II, and support for NVIDIA Highlights in Call of Duty: WWII, Dying Light: Bad Blood, Escape From Tarkov, and Tekken 7.
[HTC Vive][Oculus Rift]: The VR headset stops working after several launches of the
application or after resume from system Hibernate mode. [200395208/2048746]
[NVIDIA Freestyle]: NVIDIA Freestyle not enabled for supported games. 
[Media Player Classic Home Cinema]: When launching a video, the system stutters
[G-SYNC]: Alt-tabbing windowed games with G-SYNC enabled and V-Sync ON ingame
causes stuttering and drop in frame rate. 
[Firefox]: Driver TDR error may occur when using Firefox. 
[Notebook][Surface Laptop]:Blue-screen crash may occur when installing the driver.
[Volta GPU]: The display flickers continuously after disabling and enabling the GPU
using Device Manager, or when rebooting the system 
[GeForce GTX 1060][Rise of Tomb Raider]: Flickering/corruption occurs when
opening the in-game options UI. 
Posted on Tuesday, March 20 2018 @ 16:40:20 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
The latest interesting advancement in artificial intelligence is a new algorithm from Microsoft that can translate snippets of news as good as a human. The AI agent is capable of translating text from Chinese to English, at the same level as a professional human translator.
The team used a sample of 2000 sentences from online newspapers that had been previously translated by a professional. Not only did they compare the machine’s job with that of the human translator, but they also hired a team of independent bilingual consultants to keep an eye on the process.
Full details at Futurism. The next big step will be to train the AI translator on real-time news stories, to provide instant translation.