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Samsung SSD 970 Pro and EVO start shipping in two weeks April 24, 2018 - 16:26
Google aims to become much larger in hardware April 24, 2018 - 15:54
NVIDIA AI tool fills gaps in photos in a realistic way (video) April 24, 2018 - 14:35
7nm production to spike TSMC profit to a record this year April 24, 2018 - 12:39
Civilizations on Super-Earths may be stuck there April 24, 2018 - 11:48
TEAMGROUP and ASUS debut T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance DDR4 April 24, 2018 - 10:27
Laptop makers blame NVIDIA for lack of systems with Kaby Lake-G April 24, 2018 - 10:14
Can you trust PC gaming benchmarks? (video) April 24, 2018 - 09:57
Razer buys an online payment service April 24, 2018 - 09:50
IoT chips keep 200mm wafer fabs running at full capacity April 23, 2018 - 14:09
AMD Combat Crates aim to give gamers a chance against cryptocurrency miners April 23, 2018 - 13:47
AMD adds Ryzen 5 2400GE and Ryzen 3 2200GE energy-efficient APUs April 23, 2018 - 13:26
Intel shuts down its wearables-designing New Devices Group April 23, 2018 - 11:46
Dell looking at 3:2 screens for future XPS laptops April 23, 2018 - 11:21
Windows 10 Lean aims to cut gigabytes of fat April 23, 2018 - 11:07
TSMC reveals more info about its 7nm nodes April 23, 2018 - 10:59
Tt eSPORTS Iris optical gaming mouse has fancy RGB lights April 21, 2018 - 09:38
Alibaba buys a chip design firm April 21, 2018 - 09:34
Gigabyte adds AORUS Z370 motherboards with 32GB of integrated Intel Optane April 21, 2018 - 09:27
AMD Ryzen 7 2800X will depend on Intel's response April 21, 2018 - 09:18

The Mailbox - reviews and news from other tech sites
Roccat Khan AIMO 7.1 Gaming Headset April 24, 2018 - 19:00
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 (ZB601KL) - Everything You Need To Know! April 24, 2018 - 16:45
Samsung 970 EVO 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD April 24, 2018 - 16:11
Samsung SSD 970 Pro And 970 EVO: Faster, More Endurance Than The 960 April 24, 2018 - 16:04
MSI GS65 Stealth Thin: MSI's Best Laptop Design Yet April 24, 2018 - 09:16
WD My Passport Wireless SSD 500GB April 24, 2018 - 08:05
KitSound Voice One Smart Speaker April 23, 2018 - 14:38
Antec HCG 750W Gold Power Supply April 23, 2018 - 11:21
ASUS ROG Strix H370-F Gaming Motherboard April 23, 2018 - 10:18
BIOSTAR Racing Z370GT6 LGA1151 Motherboard April 22, 2018 - 16:59
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X – the CPU that does all the work for you April 22, 2018 - 16:59
Gigabyte Aero 15X v8 April 22, 2018 - 14:11
Dune HD PRO 4K Premium Compact Media Player April 21, 2018 - 20:19
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Processor April 21, 2018 - 08:23
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck RX570 April 21, 2018 - 08:22
HyperX Alloy Elite RGB Mechanical April 21, 2018 - 08:22
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X April 20, 2018 - 19:57
Akitio Thunder3 10G Network Adapter April 20, 2018 - 17:50
Rad Rodgers April 20, 2018 - 12:02
CORSAIR K68 RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard April 20, 2018 - 09:01

Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 16:26:05 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Samsung raises the bar with its new SSD 970 Pro and SSD 970 EVO NVMe SSDs. The new M.2 form factor models are faster than the 960 series and offer higher endurance. Both feature Samsung's 64-layer V-NAND flash, the Pro uses MLC memory while the EVO uses TLC, in combination with the Samsung Phoenix SSD controller.

The 970 Pro is offered in 512GB and 1TB capacities. It offers up to 3500MB/s read speeds, up to 2700MB/s write speeds, and up to 500k random read/write IOPS. The 970 EVO ships in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacities. It has up to 3500MB/s reads, 2500MB/s writes, up to 500k random read IOPS, and up to 480k random write IOPS. All models feature a five-year warranty.

Availability is expected on May 7. Samsung didn't share exact pricing of all models but mentions the 970 Pro starts at $329.99, while the 970 EVO starts at $119.99.

970 Pro
-Samsung Electronics America, Inc., today introduced the Samsung 970 PRO and EVO, the third generation of its industry-leading consumer solid state drive (SSD) lineup. Having led the market with the first consumer-focused NVMe SSD in 2015, Samsung continues to push the performance barriers with this latest generation of SSDs that are built for tech enthusiasts and professionals so that they can enjoy higher bandwidth for intensive workloads on PCs and workstations.

“Samsung has led the NVMe SSD industry since its inception, and the company continues to define the latest standards of consumer storage with unprecedented performance of the 970 PRO and EVO SSDs,” said Un-Soo Kim, senior vice president of Brand Product Marketing, Memory Business at Samsung Electronics. “The 970 series sets a new bar in all aspects for the NVMe SSD market with groundbreaking performance, superior reliability and best-in-class capacity.”

The Samsung 970 PRO and EVO are designed based on the M.2 form factor standard and with the latest PCIe Gen 3x4 lane interface. The 970 series maximizes the potential of NVMe bandwidth, delivering unparalleled performance for processing large volumes of data, including 3D, 4K graphics work, high-end games and data analytics.

The 970 PRO enables sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of up to 2,700 MB/s, while the EVO features sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and sequential write speed of up to 2,500 MB/s. The sequential write speeds represent an enhancement of up to 30 percent over the previous generation, thanks to Samsung’s latest V-NAND technology and the newly designed Phoenix controller. The 970 EVO, in particular, utilizes the Intelligent TurboWrite technology, which uses a large buffer size of up to 78GB to enable faster write speeds.

In addition to the advancements in performance levels, the 970 PRO and EVO deliver exceptional endurance and reliability. Featuring a five-year warranty, or up to 1,200 terabytes written – 50 percent higher than those provided for the previous generation – the 970 PRO and EVO are built to last. The Dynamic Thermal Guard technology safeguards against overheating by automatically monitoring and maintaining optimal operating temperatures, while a heat spreader and new nickel-coated controller further lower the SSD temperatures.

The 970 PRO and EVO also provide greater system design flexibility for the high-performance computing systems. Offering a variety of high capacity options in a compact M.2 form factor – including the single-sided 2TB EVO model – the 970 series enables convenient storage expansion across a wide range of computing devices.

The 970 EVO will be offered in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB8 capacities, and the 970 PRO in 512GB and 1TB capacities. The 970 PRO and EVO will be available for purchase worldwide starting May 7, 2018, with manufacturer’s suggested retail prices starting at $329.99 and $119.99 USD, respectively.


Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 15:54:54 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
TSMC logo
Speaking to investors during the firm's first-quarter earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai revealed his company is still a couple of years away from achieving its ambition in the hardware market. No specifics were mentioned, but Pichai explained Google is still two to three years away from achieving the sort of scale it wants to hit. Last quarter, "other revenue" made up $4.35 billion of Google's revenue, up from $1 billion a year ago. How much of this is hardware-related isn't known as the figure also includes other sales, like the Play Sotre.
Part of Google’s long term hardware plan includes “scaling up our go-to-market strategies in the US and internationally so we can drive adoption,” he added.

The CEO estimated it will take two to three years for the hardware segment to grow to the level where Google would like to see it, but did not elaborate on what targets the company is aiming for.

In Q1 2018, Google’s hardware segment made up just a fraction of Alphabet’s total revenue, which grew 26 per cent year-over-year to $31.1 billion. The vast majority ($26.6 billion) of Google’s earnings once again came from advertising revenue, driven by mobile search.
Via: MobileWorldLive

Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 14:35:51 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers from NVIDIA present the results of a new deep learning algorithm that can reconstruct photos in a very realistic way. It's like a super-advanced version of Photoshop's Content Aware Fill, it can be used to reconstruct a corrupted image, or to remove content and fill in the resulting holes.
The method, which performs a process called “image inpainting”, could be implemented in photo editing software to remove unwanted content, while filling it with a realistic computer-generated alternative.

“Our model can robustly handle holes of any shape, size location, or distance from the image borders. Previous deep learning approaches have focused on rectangular regions located around the center of the image, and often rely on expensive post-processing,” the NVIDIA researchers stated in their research paper. “Further, our model gracefully handles holes of increasing size.”

To prepare to train their neural network, the team first generated 55,116 masks of random streaks and holes of arbitrary shapes and sizes for training. They also generated nearly 25,000 for testing. These were further categorized into six categories based on sizes relative to the input image, in order to improve reconstruction accuracy.
More details can be read at NVIDIA. Definitely check out the video below, the output is pretty amazing.


Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 12:39:08 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
TSMC logo
Analysts predict TSMC will post record net income for 2018 as the foundry is ramping up its 7nm process. Two lucrative orders were won, including the production of Apple's A12 for the upcoming iPhone refresh and Qualcomm's next-gen smartphone chip. Still, revenue growth is coming in lower than previously expected, due to a slowdown of high-end smartphone demand and uncertainty surrounding the crypto market.
The sources said that TSMC will see its revenue ratio for advanced 7nm process hit a high of 20% in 2018, and may therefore post better-than-projected revenues and profits for the second half of the year and register an annual revenue growth of over 10%.

This is despite TSMC having lowered its revenue growth forecast for 2018 to 10% from the earlier projection of 10-15%, citing weaker-than-expected smartphone demand in the second quarter and growing uncertainty facing the cryptocurrency mining market.
More info at DigiTimes.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 11:48:28 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Since the discovery of the first planets outside our own solar system, astronomers have discovered thousands more. The number of planets in the universe is truly staggering, but there are no good estimates. Some studies point to a couple of hundred billion galaxies in the galaxy, while others say it could be about two trillion. Each of these galaxies likely contains an average of 100 million stars, creating a truly astronomical figure for the number of possible planets in the universe.

So far, a lot of the Earth-like planets we've found are Super-Earths. These are basically very large versions of Earth, and there appear to be a lot of them. Due to the thick atmospheres, these planets could be "super-habitable", as they offer adequate shielding from harmful cosmic rays.

The downside of living on a Super-Earth is that gravity is much higher. A new paper calculated that potential civilizations living on Super-Earth planets may not have access to space due to the much higher cost of reaching orbit. Launching large payloads into orbit is hard on Earth, but on more massive planets it gets exponentially harder due to the insane amount of fuel required to achieve the same feat:
To launch the equivalent of an Apollo moon mission, a rocket on a super-Earth would need to have a mass of about 440,000 tons (400,000 metric tons), due to fuel requirements, the study said. That's on the order of the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

"On more-massive planets, spaceflight would be exponentially more expensive," said study author Michael Hippke, an independent researcher affiliated with the Sonneberg Observatory in Germany. "Such civilizations would not have satellite TV, a moon mission or a Hubble Space Telescope."
Full details at Space.com.


Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:27:39 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Well this is quite a mouthful. TEAMGROUP and ASUS teamed up to create the T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance DDR4 memory. These new sticks feature a TUF-inspired design and are offered in 16GB and 32GB dual-channel kits, with frequencies ranging from 2400MHz to 3600MHz.
TEAMGROUP, the world’s leading memory brand, today officially announces the launch of the TUF Gaming Alliance certified T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance memory, which is strictly tested by motherboard leader ASUS. After the cooperative launch with ASUS ROG, T-FORCE DARK ROG has created a trend around the world. Now once again, with creativity and ingenuity, TEAMGROUP design team adds TUF’s unique military camouflage pattern on the heat spreader. T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance memory is definitely gamer’s best comrade on the battlefield of gaming or pursuit of extreme overclocking.

T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance has passed strict burn in test held by ASUS. With clock frequency of up to 3600MHz, it offers consumers an experience of high-speed performance and a hardware with unique style. The memory is both distinctive and eye catching. With complete coverage design, the area of the high efficiency forged heat spreader is extended to the top and the two sides to provide memory a complete coverage of protection and enhance the radiating performance, so the system is able to maintain a longtime stable operation. The appearance is designed with unique military camouflage pattern. T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance’s exclusive asymmetrical cutting is most suitable for gamers who love military style design.

T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance series supports Intel XMP 2.0. It is only one click away to experience the high-speed sensation of overclocking. It is not only energy saving but the low working voltage can also reduce the temperature and the heat generated to offer the high speed running memory a stable, longtime operation and to show a barrier-breaking performance.

With strong research and development capability, TEAMGROUP has acquired the certifications of TUF Gaming Alliance and ROG Certified respectively. T-FORCE gaming memory is strictly tested by ASUS. With Asus motherboard, users can have the entire top gaming hardware at once to fully enjoy an extreme gaming and entertainment experience.
T-FORCE VULCAN TUF Gaming Alliance


The MSRP of the 2400MHz, 2666MHz, 3000MHz, and 3200MHz 8G x2 kits is $165.99, $167.99, $170.99, and $176.99, respectively.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 10:14:02 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel launched the Kaby Lake-G platform in January of this year. When first announced, it caused shock waves as it confirmed that Intel had made a deal with AMD to integrate one of the latter's graphics processors on a multi-chip module (MCM) with Kaby Lake. The weird thing is that almost nobody has jumped on this product, there are very few systems out there with Kaby Lake-G.

At the moment, there have been only four major products announced with Intel's Kaby Lake-G. This includes the Dell XPS 15 9575, HP Spectre x360 15 (2018), Intel Hades Canyon NUC, and the Chuwi HiGame mini PC. The latter two aren't laptops and the HP notebook isn't shipping yet. That leaves Dell as the sole provider of Kaby Lake-G laptops.

NotebookCheck did some digging and heard from three sources close to laptop makers that NVIDIA is responsible for keeping Kaby Lake-G at bay. Basically, it appears NVIDIA's GeForce Partner Program (GPP) forced other laptop makers to keep quiet about Kaby Lake-G:
This leaves HP and Dell as the only two notable manufacturers with overt Kaby Lake-G plans who also happen to be allegedly backing away from Nvidia GPP. Other major manufacturers like MSI, Zotac, Gigabyte, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, and others have been oddly silent about Kaby Lake-G. For a product born from an inconceivable partnership between two of the largest PC rivals in history, Kaby Lake-G should have received more attention or at least comments from OEMs everywhere.
Whether it's true remains to be seen, but it's odd that three of NotebookCheck's independent sources confirm the story.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:57:35 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
When enthusiasts pick a new CPU or video card, one of the main things they look at is how the part performs and what sort of price/performance ratio it has. Benchmarks are typically used to quantify these metrics, but can the hard data spit out by benchmarks be trusted? It's a question that pops up from time to time. In the past we've had plenty of stories of manufacturers cheating in benchmarks, or benchmarks that showed a certain bias. But other than this, a lot also depends on the settings or quality of the benchmark, as it doesn't always reflect real in-game conditions.

In a new video, DigitalFoundry takes a look at the current state of affairs, and ponders over whether typical in-game benchmarks are useful.


Posted on Tuesday, April 24 2018 @ 09:50:25 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
WCCF Tech writes Razer used some of the cash from its initial public offering (IPO) to acquire MOL Global. We had never heard about this firm before, but apparently it's a Malysian online payment processor. Razer bought a 35 percent stake last quarter and just got its hand on the remaining 65 percent or $61 million. MOL Global is one of the largest e-payment networks in Southeast Asia, but it seems a bit puzzling how Razer wants to integrate this into its gaming peripheral business:
The press release states that although the proposed merger is subject to the approval of MOL Global’s shareholders, Razer already has irrevocable undertakings from other major shareholders to vote in favour of the merger which will, when added to its existing 35% stake be enough to push it across the finish line. MOL Global operates one of the largest e-payment networks in Southeast Asia, having handled over US$1.1 billion in 2017. It seems unlikely that Razer is buying it to shut down everything except the zCurrency business so Razer investors can welcome a new business line to the ever expanding revenue streams of the firm, as well as better integration with its existing digital gamer currency network in the future, an aspect which serves to both drive gamer lock-in as well as habit tracking. For now of course, gamers continue to trust in the “For gamers. By gamers.” mantra of the company.


Posted on Monday, April 23 2018 @ 14:09:52 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Industry sources told DigiTimes that production capacity at Chinese and Taiwanese 200mm wafer plans is expected to remain tight through the end of 2018. With an expected increase in demand for chips for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, the production capacity is expected to fall short of demand by 2020. DigiTimes notes the uptick in 200mm wafer demand will be a boon to UMC:
Sources from Taiwan's IC design sector said that compared with TSMC, VIS and China foundry houses, UMC is in a better position to stand out in 8-inch wafer foundry business as it has fully depreciated the related equipment and can readily make profits for many years after landing orders. They indicated that UMC has a chance to see its market value expand 10-fold in three years, just as experienced by Yageo, as long as the company can dispose of its stakes in reinvested IC design houses and enforce an appropriate capital reduction.


Which one will you buy?

AMD Radeon RX Vega
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080


Votes 132

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