Posted on Sunday, July 15 2018 @ 18:49:42 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel recently pushed out version 220.127.116.1194 of its graphics driver. This new release is the recommended driver for Warhammer 40K: Gladius - Relics of War, Defiance 2050, and Banner Saga 3.
Kiss diplomacy goodbye
Warhammer 40K: Gladius
Relics of War*
become an Ark* Hunter in
discover the fate of
the Vikings in
Banner Saga 3*
be the last person standing in
with Intel® UHD
Graphics 620 or better.
In addition, this driver is
BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle*
Lust for Darkness*
The Awesome Adventures of
with Intel® Iris Pro Graphics or better
Besides game optimizations, there are also some new features:
Improved Thunderbolt stability
Performance optimizations and playability improvements in The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit*
WebGL improvements in the Chrome web browser
As well as some bug fixes:
Graphics anomalies may be observed in Dota 2 (using the Vulkan* API) and other Vulkan apps while in full screen
Color anomalies while minimizing and restoring the high dynamic range content (HDR) playback window on 7th
Generation processors or higher
Video images may be corrupted and not rendered correctly when using Adobe* Creative Cloud products
Posted on Sunday, July 15 2018 @ 18:42:09 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Industry sources spoke to the press and revealed that Samsung is planning to significantly increase its NAND flash memory capex. The South Korean electronics giant will invest about $6.4 billion this year, and the figure is expected to rise to about $9 billion in 2019. Among other things, Samsung will primarily focus on scaling up 3D NAND output at its Pyeongtaek, South Korea and Xian, China fabs.
Samsung will focus mainly on scaling up its 3D NAND chip output in Pyeongtaek, South Korea and Xian, China, according to the report. The industry leader's planned huge spending is believed to be an effort to defend its dominance in the market.
Meanwhile, with its recent announcement of its fifth-generation 3D NAND memory chips, Samsung will be at least two years ahead of its competitors in technology, the report indicated.
All major NAND flash makers plan to ramp up 3D NAND flash production capacity over the next couple of years. It seems the pendulum is going to swing the other way. NAND may get a lot cheaper in the near future if the market will indeed shift to an oversupply situation.
Posted on Sunday, July 15 2018 @ 18:37:26 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
MSI uploaded BIOS version 7B58v151 beta for its Z370 Gaming M5 motherboard. What makes this update interesting is that the changelog reveals it adds "support for new generation CPU." No further details were shared, and MSI doesn't recommend updating to this beta version unless it is necessary.
Presumably, the update adds support for at least some of the upcoming 9000 series CPUs from Intel:
Intel has already leaked their upcoming 9000 series of processors, which offers up to six processing cores with their i5 series branding, lacking any i7 listings under the code name "Coffee Lake (6+2)" with the six identifying core count while the 2 signifies the unit's number of graphical processing units.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 12:31:15 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Pricing obtained via Digikey backs up the claims that GDDR6 will not be significantly more expensive than the currently used GDDR5. Of course, these prices need to be taken with a grain of salt, as the cost paid by those who order in large volumes will be significantly lower than the prices quoted below.
PC Games Hardware reports GDDR6 chips with a capacity of 1GB can be obtained via Digikey for 20.78EUR (12Gbps), 21.64EUR (13Gbps) and 22.51EUR (14Gbps).
This compares to 20.01EUR for a 1GB GDDR5 chip clocked at 8Gbps, and 18.88EUR for a 7Gbps version. Basically, the difference between 7Gbps GDDR5 and 14Gbps GDDR6 appears to be just 20 percent at the retailer level, while there's not even a five percent difference between 8Gbps GDDR5 and 12Gbps GDDR6.
How much video card makers pay for these chips is a mystery, but this is an indication that cost will not be a problem for widespread GDDR6 adoption.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 12:19:39 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Gartner published its quarterly PC sales report and notes Q2 2018 was remarkable as shipments grew for the first time since Q1 2012. Sales of computers have been in a downward spiral for quite some time now, so it's interesting to see they grew 1.4 percent to 62.1 million units in Q2 2018. The growth was driven by an uptick in business demand, which was offset by lower sales to consumers.
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 62.1 million units in the second quarter of 2018, a 1.4 percent increase from the second quarter of 2017, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This is the first quarter of year-over-year global PC shipment growth since the first quarter of 2012.
All regions experienced some growth compared with a year ago. While the results are a positive result for the PC industry, Gartner analysts said this sign of market stability is not enough to declare a PC industry recovery just yet.
"PC shipment growth in the second quarter of 2018 was driven by demand in the business market, which was offset by declining shipments in the consumer segment," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "In the consumer space, the fundamental market structure, due to changes on PC user behavior, still remains, and continues to impact market growth. Consumers are using their smartphones for even more daily tasks, such as checking social media, calendaring, banking and shopping, which is reducing the need for a consumer PC.
"In the business segment, PC momentum will weaken in two years when the replacement peak for Windows 10 passes. PC vendors should look for ways to maintain growth in the business market as the Windows 10 upgrade cycle tails off."
With the completion of Lenovo's joint venture with Fujitsu, three out of four PCs were shipped by the top five PC vendors in the second quarter of 2018. With the inclusion of Fujitsu’s PC shipments due to the joint venture (a formation of Joint Venture with Fujitsu), Lenovo was in a virtual tie with HP Inc. for the top spot in the second quarter of 2018 based on global PC shipments (see Table 1). All of the top five PC vendors experienced an increase in worldwide PC shipments in the quarter.
HP Inc. had its third consecutive quarter of year-over-year PC shipment growth. HP Inc. maintained steady growth across all regions, except the U.S. In the other regions, its shipment growth well exceeded the regional averages. Lenovo experienced its highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015.
While Dell's competitors have shown PC shipment declines periodically in the past two years, Dell's shipments did not decline during this time because of its strong focus on growth areas, especially in the commercial segment, as well as cutting off unprofitable businesses.
In the U.S. PC market, the industry returned to growth after six consecutive quarters of shipment declines. In the second quarter of 2018, U.S. PC shipments totaled 14.5 million units, a 1.7 percent increase from the same period last year (see Table 2). HP Inc. continued to be the market leader in the U.S., but Dell closed the gap, as Dell's U.S. PC shipments increased 7.2 percent.
"In the U.S., business PC demand was particularly strong among the public sector as the second quarter is typically PC buying season among government and education buyers," Ms. Kitagawa said. "Desk-based PC growth was attributed to continued high usage of desk-based PCs in the U.S. public sectors. Mobile PCs grew in the U.S., but strong Chromebook demand in the education market adversely affected PC growth. Overall, Chromebooks grew 8 percent in the U.S., but Chromebooks are not included in the PC market statistics."
PC shipments in EMEA reached 17.4 million units in the second quarter of 2018, a 1.3 percent increase year over year. In Western Europe, demand was strong for business PCs in Germany and the U.K. Eurasia, which includes Russia, remained the growth region in EMEA. While the second quarter is usually a slower quarter in terms of PC demand, several countries, such as Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, continued to see increasing consumer demand.
PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totaled 21.3 million units, a 0.1 percent increase from the second quarter of 2017. India, Indonesia, Thailand and other emerging markets in Asia showed improvement in the commercial segment due to demand for replacing aging PCs and upgrading to Windows 10. In China, PC shipments declined 3.6 percent year over year as some business procurements have been postponed to 2019, and the consumer market is saturated.
These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner's PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 11:27:50 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The GPU market is pretty boring right now as we haven't seen the introduction of something exciting for quite some time now. NVIDIA's Pascal still reigns supreme, and the rumor mill is conflicted about when the next-gen GPUs from the green team will hit the market.
The AMD situation is probably even more confusing. The current lineup may get a refresh of some sorts but it doesn't look like we'll get anything new until the launch of Navi in 2019. And based on the latest rumors, Navi will not be a high-end chip but a successor to Polaris.
AMD does have its 7nm Vega 20, but at the moment there's no indication about a gaming variant of this part. The official roadmap brands this as a part for the machine learning market, but there are some fresh rumors now with a dose of specifications and speculation.
Vega 20 will get 32GB HBM2 and will support the new PCI Express 4.0 standard. TweakTown picked up word that the new chip has a die size of 360mm², a 30 percent reduction versus the Vega 10's 510mm² size. The site speculates the chip could offer compute power of over 20 teraflops, but take this with a grain of salt:
Vega 20 could benefit from around 55% power savings over Vega 10, or GPU clocks can be cranked by up to 40%, which would also see the now 4-stack HBM2 drawing more power. This would drive the Vega 20 card with 32GB of HBM2 to 400W, or more.
AMD could use a moderate 20% gain in GPU clock speeds and reach 300-350W with a performance leap of 65% all while saving 30-40% on power consumption. This would allow AMD's new Vega 20 GPU to beat NVIDIA's current Tesla V100 in compute at 300W with around 20.9 TFLOPs compared to the V100 with 15.7 TFLOPs.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 11:12:30 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Google recently rolled out Chrome 67 and one of the new features in that release was Site Isolation, a technique that limits each renderer process to documents from a single page. This mitigation technique makes it more difficult for attackers to perform Spectre-like speculative execution exploits.
Unfortunately, the extra protection comes at a cost. Google Chrome team member Charlie Reis reveals the new security features will increase RAM consumption by an extra 10 to 13 percent:
All this sounds good, but it comes at a cost. Reis highlighted that Site Isolation will chow down on an extra 10 to 13 per cent total memory overhead in "real workloads", basically making the Chrome browser an even bigger memory hog than it already is. But Reis did say Google is working on optimising Chrome to it keeps its security but runs fast.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 11:05:47 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
TechPowerUp dug up details about Corsair's upcoming Hydro H100i series. It appears "zero RPM fan mode" will be the main selling point of this new lineup, as that's a feature Corsair doesn't have on its current models. Basically, this turns off the 120mm fans during idle mode, so you get lower noise output.
Pricing and availability is unknown. The current H100i has a MSRP of $129.99 but is currently selling for $99.99 via the Corsair webshop.
The pump-block of the H100i Pro looks similar to the H100i, with its silver-finish octagonal shape, and RGB LED ornament that can be controlled by Corsair iCue software. A pair of ML120 fans are included with this cooler, to ventilate the 240 mm x 120 mm radiator. Each of these fans spin between 400 to 2,400 RPM, pushing up to 75 CFM of air, with a noise output up to 37 dBA. The cooler will support most socket types, including LGA2066, LGA115x, and AM4.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 11:02:04 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Earlier this week, Synaptics did a joint presentation with AMD about some new biometric security solutions for the AMD platform. Interestingly, Synaptics revealed during the event that Microsoft is working on a new biometric security OS including Windows Hello.
Windows Central speculates the comment may refer to Microsoft's project Polaris, a modular version of Windows 10:
Built on an internal project called Windows Core OS, which aims to turn Windows into a modular OS, Polaris is said to focus on desktop, laptop, and 2-in-1 form factors. The goal of Polaris is to provide a shell that Windows users are familiar with, but while leaving behind legacy components in favor of UWP apps. According to our reporting, Polaris would still be able to utilize some form of virtualization to run Win32 programs. However, dropping legacy cruft would, in theory, allow Microsoft to create a more secure version of Windows 10.
According to the latest rumors, Polaris may see a 2019 release. But it's not known if this is the product Synaptics was referring to.
Posted on Friday, July 13 2018 @ 10:50:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Fujitsu is planning to mass produce its first NRAM in 2019. This nonvolatile memory uses carbon nanotubes, it's based on the Nantero NRAM DIMM design and it will be fabbed on a mature 55nm node. In its marketing presentation, Fujitsu claims the non-volatile NRAM has the potential to replace DRAM.
Fujitsu reminds us of the attractive qualities of NRAM:
NRAM uses carbon nanotube technology,
It offers faster write speeds,
And lower power consumption compared to rival tech.
NRAM is persistent, which is good for functionality and power saving,
These features will make it attractive in various applications such as big data, IoT Edge, authentication, networks and wireless.
NRAM can operate at high temperatures,
So it is good for automotive, industrial and IoT applications.
Will be interesting to see if it lives up to the hype, and how it compares to other tech like 3D XPoint.