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NVIDIA GeForce 461.81 Hotfix addresses seven bugs

22 hours ago
NVIDIA has issued a new hotfix driver, these are published on the company's customer help page. The new GeForce 461.81 Hotfix update is based on the recently launched GeForce 461.72 Game Ready driver.

In the past, hotfix release typically targetted a couple of bugs but recently we're seeing more and more hotfixes from NVIDIA that fix a long list of bugs. The new 461.81 hotfix has patches for seven issues.

Usually, I recommend skipping the Hotfix releases unless you experience one of the bugs listed below. In this case, the hotfix resolves some issues that may impact a lot of users. For example, NVIDIA has fixed a bug that can result in stuttering when you're moving around windows of desktop applications. Similarly, the green team fixed an issue that caused random flickering across the top of the display on some configurations with the GeForce GTX 1660 Super. There are also some game-specific updates, including a patch that reduces a stutter issue with Fortnite.
  • [Fortnite] Shader cache optimizations to reduce intermittent stutter on some PC configurations [3244272]
  • [GeForce GTX 1660 Super]: Random flickering may appear across the top of the monitor on some PC configurations. [3184254]
  • [Vulkan] Red Dead Redemption 2 may display pixelated black dots [3266614]
  • Some desktop applications may stutter when moving around the window on some PC configurations [3252200]
  • Enabling NVIDIA Surround with 4K HDMI 2.1 TVs may fail [3184849]
  • [Rocket League] Matches may take longer to load [3244324]
  • [Detroit: Become Human] Game may crash when launched with Image Sharpening enabled [200667092]

Samsung SSD 980 is a cheaper PCIe 3.0 alternative for the PRO

23 hours ago
Half a year ago Samsung introduced the SSD 980 PRO and now the firm is rolling out a cheaper SSD 980. It's best not to confuse the two as there are major differences in the specifications. The SSD 980 non-PRO is a PCI Express 3.0 based M.2 model that offers about half the maximum sequential read/write speeds of the PRO version. The lack of PCI Express 4.0 is the bad news here.

With the SSD 980, you're getting a disk capable of delivering read speeds of up to 3500MB/s and write speeds of up to 3000MB/s. For comparison, the SSD 980 PRO is capable of doing up to 7000MB/s reads and 5000MB/s writes. Random read/write IOPS has also been cut in half, Samsung claims the SSD 980 can do up to 500,000 random reads (4KB, QD32) and up to 480,000 IOPS random writes (4KB, QD1).

Another key difference versus the 980 PRO is the use of a controller without DRAM cache -- this makes the model a bit cheaper to produce too. The good news is that the SSD 980 uses the same 136-layer 3D NAND TLC flash memory as its faster brother. A lot of newer mainstream M.2 SSDs are switching to QLC -- but that's not the route Samsung is taking here.

Samsung SSD 980 arrives on March 30 -- preorder prices are already here

Samsung is expected to announce the disk later this month and retailers are already uploading pre-order pages that list a shipment date of March 30, 2021. Tom's Hardware checked some prices and concludes the SSD 980 does not look very competitive versus existing disks. At least not at the current price level.
Based on data from (via, Samsung's 980 250GB drive costs €70, the 500GB version is priced at €90, and the 1TB model carries a €150 price tag. Meanwhile, Samsung's 970 Evo Plus 250GB can be obtained for €54, the 500GB flavor is available for €74, whereas the 1TB version can be bought for €144.
Samsung 980 SSD

NVIDIA marketshare climbed to 82% in Q4 2020

23 hours ago
The first half of 2021 may go down in the history books as one of the worst times ever to build a new gaming PCs. Especially GPUs are a big problem, it's very frustrating having to hunt down a GPU that isn't sold for a price that is absolutely bonkers. Supply constraints are part of the problem, but it's especially sky-high demand that's causing the current market situation.

While it may seem like little volume is pushed around the channel, this is not the case. Last quarter, NVIDIA achieved $5 billion in sales for the first time in the company's history. About half of this consisted of GeForce revenue. Now there's a fresh report from Jon Peddie Research that sheds some light on the total PC GPU market. The firm takes a look at both the discrete market as well as the integrated graphics market.

PC GPU market up 20.5% sequentially and 29.1% year-over-year

Massive growth was seen in the final quarter of 2020. Usually, the fourth quarter is flat versus the third quarter. Including CPUs with integrated graphics, total GPU sales rose 20.5 percent quarter-over-quarter in Q4 2020, and 29.1 percent versus the same period in 2019. The overall PC market increased by 30.25% quarter-to-quarter and increased 35.76% year-to-year.

In the overall graphics market, Intel gained big:
AMD’s overall unit shipments increased by 6.4% quarter-to-quarter, Intel’s total shipments rose by 33.2% from the last quarter, and Nvidia’s decreased by -7.3%.
JPR does note that desktop graphics add-in boards decreased by 3.90 percent versus the previous quarter, so the growth described above was driven by desktop PCs and laptops with integrated graphics. Jon Peddie also points out that GPUs will soon be obsolete for Ethereum -- and says it's foolish to invest in discrete GPUs for crypto today:
Jon Peddie, President of JPR, notes, “Factors influencing the robust sales of AIBs in the past two quarters have clearly been increasing growth in gaming, and the need to outfit home offices due to COVID. There has been speculation that there might be a renewal in demand for AIBs due to crypto mining. Anything is possible, but the power consumption of AIBs greatly diminishes the payoff for crypto-mining. Ethereum, the best-suited coin for GPUs, will fork into version 2.0 very soon, making GPUs obsolete. A person would be very foolish to invest in a high-end, power-consuming AIB for crypto-mining today.”

NVIDIA gaining share in discrete GPU market

Zooming in on the discrete GPU market, NVIDIA managed to increase its marketshare in Q4 2020. The green team owned 82 percent of the market, up 2 percent versus Q3 2020. AMD accounts for 18 percent of the video card maret;

NVIDIA gained marketshare in Q4 2020

Miners are getting custom GeForce RTX 30-based laptops

1 day ago
Weeks ago, reports popped up that cryptocurrency miners had turned to buying NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series laptops in bulk. Availability issues of desktop cards, as well as high pricing for the little inventory available, have made laptops a valuable target for some miners. Reports hit the web with photos of hundreds of RTX 30-based laptops mining coin.

Laptop OEMs are making cheaper mining laptops with RTX 30 series GPUs

Citing a report from DigiTimes, Tom's Hardware reports miners are having a massive impact on the gaming laptop market. Originally, laptop shipments are expected to slip quarter by quarter in 2021, but now it looks like crypto mining demand will keep volumes high;

The report notes some industrial-scale miners are in direct negotiation with laptop makers. For mining purposes, they need only a GeForce RTX 30 series GPU, and not all the other expensive components that go into a gaming laptop like a beefy CPU, a big and fast SSD, and a good screen.

This results in custom GeForce RTX 30-based mining laptops -- which further reduces the price gap between a discrete video card and the "gaming" laptop.
Some cryptocurrency miners have reportedly asked manufacturers to combine RTX 30 series graphics with budget components to further reduce that price gap. They aren’t planning to play games with the systems so why pay for other high-end parts?
A couple of months ago, mining on laptops seemed ludicrous, but given how warped the desktop GPU market is right now, it seems this activity is a lot bigger than we thought. I said it before and I will say it again: it really saddens me to see this. It's such a big waste of resources.

Mining on laptops

AMD Mobility Radeon RX 6000 on the way

Gamers (and miners) will have a bit more choice soon as new models are on the way. Together with the paperlaunch of the Radeon RX 6700 XT, AMD announced its mobile Radeon RX 6000 GPUs will hit the market soon. The firm didn't provide an exact launch date. It's believed the first RDNA2-based laptop GPUs will be based on the Navi22 chip. Supply is expected to be low.

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti gets hash rate limiter

1 day ago
With everything that's going on in the world right now, and what chips being in major short supply, it seems GPU roadmaps change even more than usual. There are still some SKUs missing in both AMD's and NVIDIA's current-gen GPU lineups -- partly because it doesn't make sense to release even more chips in a time when you can't even fulfill the demand for the high-end models.

As I covered yesterday, the true retail pricing of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 30 series is far above the official MSRP. Since the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060, prices have come down a little, but they're still way above January levels. With exception of the RTX 3090 flagship, most Ampere-based video cards are selling for 250 to 300% of the MSRP.

GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti to limit Ethereum mining performance

With the launch of the GeForce RTX 3060, NVIDIA took measures to make the chip less attractive to cryptocurrency miners. The RTX 3060 GPU is the first GPU to feature an anti-mining algorithm, when it detects Ethereum mining it nerfs the hash rate -- which makes mining less profitable.

NVIDIA hinted this anti-mining algorithm would be expanded to other, new video cards and there's a rumor right now that the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti could be next in line. Twitter leaker kopite7kimi reports and VideoCardz writes it will also be applied to the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti.

According to the latest leaks, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti will get a GA102 GPU with 10240 CUDA cores. Originally, the plan was to equip the chip with 20GB GDDR6X memory on a 320-bit memory bus -- but this plan has changed to 12GB GDDR6X with a 384-bit memory bus. The 12GB GDDR6X is reportedly clocked at 19Gbps.

The launch date of the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti has already been changed three times. Originally, the 20GB card was supposed to launch in December. Now the goal is to launch the 12GB edition in April.

Microsoft hypes up next-gen Windows 10 -- massive and incredible

1 day ago
Windows logo
Over the past two decades, Microsoft succeeded in making Windows a very stable operating system. In the early days of Windows XP, it was common to see a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) several times a month but nowadays it's very rare to encounter a full system crash. One of the biggest perceived issues of Windows right now is that the user interface is dated and not streamlined enough. For example, when you dig a little deeper in the operating system, you're bound to come across various different user interface styles. Just below the surface you have all the modern stuff, but a couple of layers later you can still find Windows XP era remnants.

Microsoft: Next generation of Windows is incredible

Speaking at the digital-only Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft product chief officer Panos Panay hyped up the next major Windows 10 update. Panay referred to it as the next-generation of Windows -- and called it "incredible" and "massive". No further details were revealed about the next-gen Windows though. It's rumored that Microsoft will lay out its vision for the future of Windows at a separate event.

Windows 10's user interface overhaul is codenamed project "Sun Valley" and it's expected to be rolled out in Fall 2021, probably around October/November. Windows Latest provides an early look at the new Start Menu, which incorporates rounded corners and Fluent Design.

Windows 10 Sun Valley Start Menu

Rounded corners are one of the cornerstones of Sun Valley. The Start Menu "floats" -- it is visually separated from the taskbar. This is a style that will also be used for other UI elements like Jump List, Taskbar context menu, Action Center, and more. Other than this, Sun Valley will deliver improved pre-installed apps, a redesigned Action Center, a new app switching experience, new context menus, an improved dark mode, and new touch, gesture, and multi-tasking controls.

Windows 10 21H1 Update nears completion

But before we get the big Fall update, we'll see a minor Spring release. Usually the Spring release of Windows 10 is the biggest update of the year -- but this time Microsoft switched things up.

This year's Spring update will fix some bugs, offers some stability improvements, and has enhancements for Windows Hello and Group Policy editor. Basically, nothing to really get excited about.

More forced updates are on the way

On a related note, Microsoft also announced it will force upgrades to Windows 10 20H2. This applies to users running versions of Windows 10 that are no longer supported, such as Windows 10 version 1903. The software giant uses machine learning-based algorithms to automatically update machines with compatible hardware -- without explicit user permission.

To avoid a forced update, users of older Windows 10 versions are recommended to manually update to Windows 10 20H2. The next version of Windows 10 to hit the end of service is version 1909, support for that build ends on May 11, 2021. Windows 10 version 2004 is next in line, with support ending on December 14th, 2021.

MSI MPG CORELIQUID K All-in-One watercoolers pack 2.4-inch LCD

1 day ago
After adding RGB LED to everything, the newest trend in watercooling is to integrate an LCD display into the waterblock. There are already several of these products on the market and the newest is the MPG CORELIQUID K Series from MSI. These new All-in-One watercoolers are based on the Asetek 7th gen pump technology, they feature a 2.4" LCD display, evaporation proof tubing, MSI Torx 4.0 fans, and ARGB LED lighting. The LCD can display system status information, text, and images. MSI offers the cooler in a 240mm and 360mm variant.

As computing processors become more powerful and hotter, a reliable cooler is needed to help sustain peak performance. Introducing MSI’s latest liquid cooler, the MPG CORELIQUID K Series. This eye catching and stunning liquid cooler will be your best choice for its dependable cooling performance. The MPG CORELIQUID K Series is available in 360mm and 240mm radiator sizes to meet the needs of gamers who need a choice of specifications.

Supreme Cooling Performance
The MPG CORELIQUID K Series features MSI’s exclusive and renowned TORX FAN 4.0, capable of generating concentrated airflow for rapid heat dissipation through the radiator. Another fan, a 60mm TORX FAN 3.0, has been cleverly placed and hidden inside the water block. The TORX FAN 3.0’s dispersion fan blade design accelerates airflow around the CPU socket and increases the effectiveness of heat dissipation around the motherboard’s power solutions.

The MPG CORELIQUID K Series has been carefully designed for a complete and direct user experience. Introducing MSI’s exclusive G.I. (Gaming Intelligence) mode, which intelligently detects the temperature of the CPU and reacts to it. The radiator fans, water block fan, and pump can all have their speed adjusted automatically within different usage preferences. Alternatively, each fans’ speed can be manually controlled.

2.4” LCD
The MPG CORELIQUID K Series also features a 2.4” LCD panel, capable of displaying a variety of graphics including images and text. It is capable of displaying the current hardware status of your system, providing a quick glance at how the system is performing.

In Partnership with Asetek
Working with Asetek, the global leader in liquid cooling solutions for gaming PCs and DIY enthusiasts, MSI achieved new feats with the MPG CORELIQUID K Series. This premium liquid cooler’s operation is now quieter compared to the previous generation of liquid coolers, and design improvements from Asetek result in both enhanced permeation resistance and increased durability.

Custom-design AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT cards from ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and PowerColor

1 day ago
AMD logo
AMD paperlaunched its Radeon RX 6700 XT yesterday and now we have some more information about the custom-design cards from the firm's add-in board partners. The Radeon RX 6700 XT is supposed to hit retail shelves on March 18th, it's the first Navi 22-based video card and it offers 12GB GDDR6 memory. Performance is expected to be somewhere between the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 -- we should learn more once reviews hit the web two weeks from now.

The reference card is priced at $479 but it's unknown how many of these will be sold via AMD's webshop. Shortages are still a massive problem -- so I would expect to pay a lot more if you can get your hands on a card.

One thing that's new with the Radeon RX 6700 XT launch is that there will be no delay between the reference card and the custom-design variants.

GIGABYTE Radeon RX 6700 XT series graphics cards

Gigabyte will have two cards on March 18th, the Radeon RX 6700 XT GAMING OC 12G and Radeon RX 6700 XT EAGLE 12G.
The GIGABYTE WINDFORCE 3X cooling system features three unique blade fans, alternate spinning, composite copper heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU, 3D active fans and Screen cooling that work together to provide efficient heat dissipation. The middle fan spins in reverse to optimize airflow for heat dissipation, enabling more efficient performance. These cooling technologies keep the graphics card temperatures low at all times, resulting in higher and more stable performance.

WINDFORCE fans utilize graphene nano lubricant, which can extend fan life by 2.1 times, delivering nearly the lifespan of the double ball bearing while providing quiet operation. RGB fusion 2.0 allows users to adjust the color of the lights and various special effects, and synchronize with other AORUS devices. Due to its ULTRA DURABLE certified components, advanced cooling technology and custom RGB lighting, GAMING OC is the best choice for performance gamers. EAGLE
EAGLE graphics cards also feature WINDFORCE cooling technology, 3D active fans, Screen cooling, and graphene nano lubricant, enabling optimal heat dissipation and computing performance. The design of the EAGLE graphics card is inspired by science-fiction with mechanical materials, a transparent cover, and a bright logo. The graphics card includes an RGB light on the side, allowing users to adjust the color of the lights and various effects through RGB fusion 2.0, and synchronize with other AORUS devices.

Both GIGABYTE graphics cards use a multi-phase power supply, providing over-temperature protection and load balancing for each MOSFET and allowing the MOSFET to operate at a lower temperature. The ULTRA DURABLE certified chokes and capacitors provide excellent performance and longer system life. The metal back plate not only strengthens the overall structure of the graphics card, but also prevents the PCB from bending or sustaining damage.
GIGABYTE Radeon RX 6700 XT

MSI preps dual-fan Radeon RX 6700 XT cards

MSI is one of the only AIBs that puts the focus on dual-fan coolers for its RX 6700 XT series. Besides the reference card, the company will offer GAMING X and Mech 2X models. Final clockspeeds are still unknown.
GAMING series
MSI brings the GAMING series with the iconic TWIN FROZR 8 thermal design to the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card. Compared to the previous generation, the dual fan design has been improved with TORX FAN 4.0, binding fan blade pairs together with an outer link to focus airflow into the TWIN FROZR 8 cooling system. The heatsink features advanced aerodynamic and thermodynamic technologies for efficient heat dissipation, reducing temperatures while maintaining high performance. A new design emphasizes the dazzling Mystic Light RGB infused into the card. Gamers can easily control and synchronize LED-lit components with the upgraded MSI Dragon Center software.

MECH Series
The MECH series makes its return with the MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card, now enhanced with MSI’s acclaimed TORX FAN 3.0. The performance-focused MECH design maintains the essentials to accomplish any task at hand, whether it’s for play or for work. A powerful cooling system, reinforcing brushed-finish backplate and the solid industrial aesthetic make the MECH card suitable for any PC build.
MSI Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming X

Radeon RX 6700 XT Mech 2X

No Hellhound yet from PowerColor

Nothing new yet from PowerColor, the firm has only listed a reference-based card on its website. The firm did reveal a new product shot of a Hellhound series product, this could be a future Radeon RX 6700 XT series card. Same story over at XFX by the way, the smaller AMD AIBs need more time to finalize their custom-design Radeon RX 6700 XTs.

Radeon RX 6700 XT Hellhound

Three RX 6700 XT cards from ASUS

ASUS teases the designs of its ROG STRIX OC, TUF OC, and Dual RX 6700 XT video cards. As the name suggests, the latter is a dual-fan card, the other two have beefier triple-fan cooling solutions. Clockspeeds are still a mystery.
The ROG Strix Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card boasts an extroverted style that wraps up all of our latest innovations for air-cooled graphics cards. We start with a massive triple-slot heatsink that uses a dense array of fins run through with seven heat pipes for high heat dissipation potential. Heatsink and GPU meet using a baseplate finished with our MaxContact process for increased surface area and better thermal transfer from the GPU.

Three fans using our latest Axial-tech design push plenty of air through the heatsink at low noise levels for a chilly and quiet GPU. We carefully considered the role of each fan in the overall cooling design, refining their barrier rings and blade counts for optimal air dispersion through every part of the heatsink. A short custom PCB creates extra room for hot air to pass directly into the case’s airflow path through a cutout in the backplate, improving overall system temperatures. A pair of our exclusive FanConnect II headers allow gamers to tie case fan speeds directly to GPU temperatures for a rush of cooling airflow when the system needs it most. Finally, a zero-dB mode at idle and under light loads helps keep the system as quiet as possible.

Distinctive style comes standard on the ROG Strix Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card. A black-and-gray primary color palette enhanced with metallic accents broadcasts your ROG allegiance to the world while integrating seamlessly with elaborate case lighting schemes. The ROG Strix card also features a bold full-length addressable RGB LED strip on its left edge that’s compatible with Aura Sync for a striking light show that’s easy to coordinate with compatible peripherals.

As a finishing touch, the full-length metal backplate doesn’t just look good, in tandem with a large stiffening frame, it minimizes PCB flex when the graphics card is installed in your system. The TUF Gaming Radeon™ RX 6700 XT impresses with quiet competence

The TUF Gaming Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card exudes quiet competence with a new industrial design. Its triple-slot heatsink comes sandwiched between a monochrome, brushed-aluminum shroud and a full-coverage backplate, both of which are imprinted with subtle TUF Gaming graphics to clue close observers in to your preference for purposeful performance. An Aura RGB-backlit TUF Gaming logo lets users put a finishing touch of color on the system, or it can be switched off entirely for a stealthy rig.

The TUF Gaming Radeon™ RX 6700 XT’s style may be stealthy, but its clock speeds, operating temperatures, and low noise levels make a big impression. Three counter-rotating fans built with our latest Axial-tech design move more air through the massive 2.9-slot heatsink at a given RPM for better performance without increasing noise output.

Differing blade counts between the central and outer fans optimize airflow for each zone of the heatsink to keep every component’s temperature where it needs to be. A large cut-out in the backplate ahead of the short custom PCB allows more hot air to enter the case’s natural airflow path for even better cooling performance. Finally, with a zero-dB fan mode at idle, the TUF Gaming Radeon RX 6700 XT is as easy on the ears as it is on the eyes.

This card is built to take whatever you can throw at it during lengthy gaming sessions. Auto-Extreme assembly technology, used across our lineup, precisely places and solders components without human intervention to boost reliability and build quality. A 144-hour testing regime and extra-sturdy capacitors ensure out-of-the-box reliability and a long service life, and a strong reinforcement frame minimizes PCB flex when the card is installed in your system. The ASUS Dual Radeon™ RX 6700 XT puts big performance in a smaller package

The ASUS Dual Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card is built to go where larger cards can’t. Our larger Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics cards are designed for systems where card length isn’t a limitation, but we know that many builders prefer microATX or Mini-ITX cases. The Dual Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics is just the ticket for those who are planning more compact PCs.

The Dual Radeon™ RX 6700 XT’s cooling power starts with a pair of fans built with our proven Axial-tech design. Their focused airflow moves through a 2.7-slot heatsink enveloped by a clean black-and-white shroud with a subtle LED accent for a classy, eye-catching style. The fans can stop at idle to keep your system’s noise signature as unobtrusive as possible during light loads.

A full-coverage aluminum backplate embossed with subtle graphics and a polished stainless steel mounting bracket keep this card looking good from any angle, while our Auto-Extreme assembly process and 144-hour validation cycle ensure it will reliably keep the pixels flowing.
Radeon RX 6700 XT ROG STRIX OC

Radeon RX 6700 XT TUF OC

Dual Radeon RX 6700 XT

Quite a big post, but these are all the custom RX 6700 XT cards I could find.

AMD Ryzen 3000 gets Resizable BAR, Zen 4 almost ready and DLSS rival will be cross-platform

1 day ago
AMD logo
A quick recap of several AMD news items. First up, some good news concerning the company's Smart Access Memory Technology.

Resizable BAR support for AMD Ryzen 3000 series -- but only for 500-series chipsets

AMD deserves credit for being the first to market Resizable BAR. This is an optional part of the PCI Express specification, AMD decided to call it Smart Access Memory technology. It was presented to the general public alongside the first Radeon RX 6000 series video cards.

Since then, Intel and NVIDIA have added support for Resizable BAR. Late last week, NVIDIA said the Resizable BAR BIOS update should be available by late March. The green team's GeForce RTX 30 series support the feature in combination with a wide variety of AMD and Intel platforms.

AMD's Smart Access Memory support was limited to the Radeon RX 6000 series in combination with a newer Ryzen 5000 series CPU, but this changes today thanks to the addition of Ryzen 3000 series support. AMD says AGESA enables Smart Access Memory technology on Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processors, only the Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 3200G are excluded. The only caveat is that you still need a 500-series motherboard, older AMD chipsets like the 400-series are not supported.

According to AMD, Smart Access Memory technology provides a performance boost of up to 16 percent across select video game titles. In layman's terms, the technique allows data to flow more freely between the CPU and the video card's memory. With Smart Access Memory, the data channel gets expanded, which removes a potential bottleneck.

Do note that Smart Access Memory does not always increase performance. In some video games, the technique results in performance regression. The benefit can be quite fickly, in some titles you can see gains at 1080p and lower performance at 4K -- or vice versa. This is why NVIDIA is using game profiles for Resizable BAR - to only enable it when there's an expected performance increase.

AMD: Zen 4 almost ready, Zen 5 in concept phase

AMD CTO Mark Papermaster provided some comments about the firm's future CPUs and GPUs at the digital Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference. Papermaster confirmed the Zen 4 design is almost complete and that Zen 5 is in concept phase.
And as you said, Zen 3 is incredibly exciting because it's taking the performance crown not only in multi-threaded where we already had a leadership position with our second-gen EPYC and our Zen 2-based products, but also in single thread. So, it's a very exciting time and we don't stop. There's -- Zen 4 is in completion phase and 5 is in concept design. And so it's really all about staying focused on road map, being there for our customers, listening to them, folding that in. And that's why we have hundreds of millions of Zen cores in the market today and growing demand for our products. - Mark Papermaster
Zen 4 will be made on the 5nm node and Papermaster talked about 6nm too, which is basically an enhanced version of TSMC's 7nm node. This seems to confirm rumors about a 6nm Zen 3-based refresh. It's rumored that the next AMD Ryzen desktop processors will be Zen 3-based "Warhol" chips and that the "Cezanne" laptop APUs will be succeeded by Rembrandt. It's still speculative, but perhaps both products will use the TSMC 6nm node. At least officially, AMD has yet to confirm a Zen 3 refresh.

NVIDIA DLSS rival from AMD will be for consoles too

NVIDIA's Turing GPUs delivered two major new features: real-time tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). With the arrival of its RDNA2-based Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs, AMD delivered initial support for ray tracing. AMD's ray tracing is still not as performant as the RTX of NVIDIA's Ampere generation -- but the gap will likely close with the next generation of GPUs.

But DLSS is something AMD still lacks in its GPU technology portfolio. NVIDIA's DLSS basically uses machine learning to provide higher performance. The first generation of DLSS wasn't that great, but DLSS 2.0 is definitely worth it. In fact, some games wouldn't even be playable at max settings without DLSS 2.0.

Yesterday's Radeon RX 6700 XT presentation contained no update about AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolutionl but there's a bit more information courtesy of Linus Tech Tips. Citing a new YouTube video, VideoCardz reports AMD will launch the technology "when it's ready." Linus Tech Tips also notes that AMD wants its DLSS rival to be truly cross-platform, it should work on the PC, Xbox, and PS5.

Not a lot of official information is available about FidelityFX Super Resolution. It's believed that AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution will be based on the Microsoft DirectML API, which could complicate matters if the firm wants to roll it out for the PS5.
Apparently, rather than rushing [FidelityFX Super Resolution] out the door on only one new top-end card, they want it to be cross-platform in every sense of the word. So they actually want it running on all of their GPUs, including the ones inside consoles, before they pull the trigger.

It would’ve been nice to have it ready by the time the cards launched, but as we saw with Nvidia’s DLSS 1.0 versus DLSS 2.0, it could be for the best. — Linus Sebastian, Linus Tech Tips
Either way, it seems we'll have to wait longer for the AMD version of DLSS. Last month there was a rumor the technology would be part of a big AMD Radeon Software driver update scheduled for this Spring -- but perhaps this isn't realistic anymore.

Sharkoon Elite Shark CA300T comes with four ARGB LED fans

1 day ago
Germany-based Sharkoon is one of those PC hardware brands that used to aim at the lower end of the market. Over the years, the firm has tried expanding into the higher-end market segments but overall I think it's still perceived as more of a lower-tier brand than more mainstream brands like Corsair, HyperX, or SteelSeries.

Today there's a new case from Sharkoon that aims at gamers with a higher budget. The Elite Shark lCA300H is an ATX tower case with tempered glass side panels, a front panel made of polished aluminum, and four included ARGB LED fans. The model ships in Europe for 154.90EUR, Sharkoon offers a black and a white version.
Sharkoon Technologies is an international supplier of high-performance, quality PC components and peripherals. With the CA300H, Sharkoon now presents another PC case in the premium ELITE SHARK series. Like the other cases in the series, this sturdy ATX tower is designed for showcasing quality high-end hardware, and, with its generously dimensioned interior, it offers a wide variety of installation options.

Case with Impressive Design
From the outside, the case aims to impress with an overall appearance of sturdiness combined with elegance. The side panels are made of tempered glass, allowing an optimal view into the interior of the case. The top panel of the CA300H is made of metal, while the frame of the front panel is made of polished aluminum. The aesthetic highlight of the case is provided by the ornate geometrical pattern on the front panel, which is emphasized by the light of the addressable RGB LED fans which are installed behind it. The LEDs of all the fans, the I/O panel and further RGB components can be adjusted as desired via the addressable RGB controller.

RGB Illuminated I/O Panel on the Side of the Case
In addition to the striking front panel, the CA300H has another special detail to offer: The RGB lit I/O panel is not conventionally positioned on the top of the front panel but is located on the side of the case. This means that the controls and connections are within easy reach, especially when, for example, the tower is placed for showcasing on the tabletop. In addition to the common connections for audio and USB, the CA300H also has a USB Type-C port.

Effective Cooling Performance thanks to Constant Airflow
For a continuous airflow, three RGB LED fans in the front and one RGB LED fan at the rear of the case are pre-installed inside the CA300H. Moreover, the opened top panel, with its perforated cover, offers sufficient space for locating additional fans or a radiator. The three 120 mm RGB LED fans pre-installed in the front can also be replaced by larger ones with a diameter of 140 millimeters. As an option, an up to 420 mm radiator can be installed behind the front panel, while an up to 360 mm radiator can be installed under the top panel.

Showcase for High-End Hardware
The two tempered glass side panels of the CA300H allow an attractive presentation of the built-in hardware. On the right side of the case, the lower part of the glass panel is toned black. This conceals the inside of the power supply tunnel, so that nothing distracts from the general appearance. Nevertheless, SSDs with RGB elements or imposing HDDs can still come into their own. A hinged compartment, in which cables can be stowed and thus kept out of sight, ensures a tidy overall impression.

Spacious Interior
The interior of the CA300H is generously dimensioned and provided with a well-thought-out layout so that there is also room for complex systems. Graphics cards with a length of up to 42.5 cm can be accommodated in the casing and, just as easily, so can a 24 cm long power supply or a 16.5 cm high CPU cooler. In addition, up to seven 2.5" SSDs or up to four 3.5" hard drives can be installed in the case.
Sharkoon EliteShark CA300H

Acer expects shortages until Q3 2021 -- and how much does a GeForce card cost nowadays?

1 day ago
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PC maker Acer confirms that the shortage of PC components will be a problem for a lot longer than most of us had hoped. The supply and demand balance of a lot of products is terrible -- components like video cards for example are very hard to find unless you want to pay absurd prices. This situation has been going on for months and there are no signs things are going to get better anytime soon.

Acer CEO: Expect shortages until Q3 2021

Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen says shortages will remain until Q3 2021. He's talking about supply constraints that hit the production of laptops and desktop computers -- so this is more of a view from a PC maker's perspective.

DRAM prices are rising

In the same report, DigiTimes notes that prices of DRAM are expected to rise further in Q2 2021. The website cites Nanya Technology, which just reported sequential and on-year increases in February revenue.

What is the real price of a GeForce RTX 30 series card?

Video cards are one of the market segments where the shortages are noticed very hard. For many gamers, it's frustrating to see how little inventory stores have. Demand is a lot higher than what video card makers can bring to the market -- and unfortunately for gamers, the recent uptick in cryptocurrency prices further boosted demand for GPUs.

So suppose you really want to get a GeForce RTX 30 series video card, what is the price you should expect to pay? ExtremeTech has a nice chart from Michael Driscol. Below, you can see the median US pricing of the GeForce RTX 3060, RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3080, and RTX 3090. Prices skyrocketed in February across the entire RTX 30 series -- and started coming down a little around the RTX 3060 launch. At the moment, the median RTX 30 series video card sells for 250 to 300 percent of the MSRP. Not a pretty situation.
“The prices stopped going up exactly when the 3060 launched, so that can’t be a coincidence,” Driscoll told us. “Not a huge drop, but significant. For the increases, I have no way of confirming this, but I know many employers give out year-end bonuses in February, and people are starting to file and receive tax returns, which could be driving some of the price increase.”
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series auction pricing

ExtremeTech checked out some recently completed GPU auction on eBay and concludes that most new GeForce cards indeed sell for between $1,100 and $2,500.

Intel Graphics driver fixes Outriders bug

1 day ago
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Over the past couple of years, and especially since the development of Xe became public knowledge, Intel has kicked graphics driver development into higher gear. Sometime later this year, we can expect the first Xe gaming GPUs. At the moment, we still have no idea what to expect from Intel. Some rumors suggest the chip giant will be able to take on the mainstream market -- others imply the most powerful Xe-HPG variants will be able to compete with the high-end models from AMD and NVIDIA.

But one thing is for sure. To deliver a good gaming GPU, you need not only the hardware but also the software side. Without good drivers, even the most powerful hardware falls flat on its face.

Intel Graphics driver

Yesterday, Intel published version of its Graphics driver. You can download this edition over here. The latest Intel graphics driver has bug fixes for Outriders, game loading time improvements for Death Stranding, and stability improvements for the DaVinci Resolve video editing software. For developers, there's now support for New Level Zero loader layer tracing API. Furthermore, the driver contains a long list of other bug fixes too.


  • Fix for crash seen when launching Outriders* on Intel® Iris® Xe Max graphics.
  • Game loading time improvements for Death Stranding* on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Stability fixes for DaVinci Resolve* on Intel® Iris® Xe Max graphics.


  • Game loading time improvements for Death Stranding* on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.


  • Crash seen when launching Outriders* on Intel® Iris® Xe Max graphics.
  • Performance bottleneck fix for 3DMark Mesh Shader feature test* (Mesh Shaders off) on Intel® Iris® Xe and Xe Max graphics.
  • Stability fixes for DaVinci Resolve* on Intel® Iris® Xe Max graphics.
  • Intermittent crash or hang seen in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege* (DX11), Cyberpunk 2077* (DX12) when starting gameplay on Intel® Iris® Xe and Xe Max graphics.
  • Intermittent crash or hang seen in Battlefield 4* when changing Anti-aliasing deferred settings on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Intermittent crash or hang seen in Hunt: Showdown*, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare* (DX12).
  • Black screen observed in Dirt Rally* when game play is switched to full screen using ALT + ENTER on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Minor graphic anomalies observed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare* (DX12) while game loading in cutscenes and during gameplay on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Minor graphic anomalies observed during gameplay in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt* on Intel® Iris® Xe and Xe Max graphics.
  • Corruption or crash seen in Talos Principle* (Vulkan) after changing game settings on Intel® Iris® Xe Max graphics.
  • Crash seen while starting new game in Crysis: Remastered* on 10th Generation Intel® Core™ processors with Intel Iris Plus graphics.
  • No Visual difference seen when changing Texture filtering in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands* (DX12).
  • Teamfight Tactics* game may disconnect when starting gameplay on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • LCD may show garbage during WMV movie playback with high CPU usage on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Brightness may not update as expected while adjusting brightness in Battery mode on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Flickering may be observed in PC screen mode only on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • System may not show output when connected through dock with multiple monitors on Intel® Iris® Xe graphics.
  • Black screen observed after unplugging dock with three monitors in combined mode

Google will stop using cookies to track every move you make on the web

1 day ago
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One of the big pieces of news of the day is that Google will stop tracking your web browsing behavior. It's not a big secret that Google, and many other advertising companies, try to track every move you make on the web to try to make as much money as possible.

In a new blog post, Google explains it's moving towards a privacy-first web. It's an industry-wide initiative, really. Mozilla has been working on phasing out support for third-party tracking cookies, Apple's Safari has similar features, and Chrome will stop support for these cookies in 2022.

Google has now clarified that when Chrome stops support for tracking cookies, it will not employ alternative user-level identifiers to track users as they navigate across the web.
People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising. And advertisers don't need to track individual consumers across the web to get the performance benefits of digital advertising.

Advances in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing and other privacy-preserving technologies offer a clear path to replacing individual identifiers. In fact, our latest tests of FLoC show one way to effectively take third-party cookies out of the advertising equation and instead hide individuals within large crowds of people with common interests. Chrome intends to make FLoC-based cohorts available for public testing through origin trials with its next release this month, and we expect to begin testing FLoC-based cohorts with advertisers in Google Ads in Q2. Chrome also will offer the first iteration of new user controls in April and will expand on these controls in future releases, as more proposals reach the origin trial stage, and they receive more feedback from end users and the industry.

This points to a future where there is no need to sacrifice relevant advertising and monetization in order to deliver a private and secure experience.
Overall, it seems like a good thing for consumers as privacy on the web will increase. Google is confident technology has evolved so much that it no longer needs to track users individually to provide good results to advertisers. Basically, Google is already so big and dominant that it can rely on other methods to identify your interests and needs. This will likely come at the detriment of smaller competitors -- which will struggle to adapt their business models.



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