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  Samsung CHG90 3840x1080 Monitor
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-10-2017, 08:44 AM - Forum: Video - No Replies

Neat monitor. It reminds me of the NEC CRV43 monitor.

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  Intel Is Getting Hostile Towards Qualcomm and Microsoft
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-10-2017, 08:39 AM - Forum: Software & Programming - Replies (1)


Quote:This powerful Qualcomm-Microsoft one-two punch is so potent that PC OEM heavyweights Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and ASUS have signed on to deliver Windows 10 notebooks and 2-in-1 convertibles powered by Qualcomm's chips.

Until now, Intel sat by [relatively] quietly while all of this unfolded, but the company today took the opportunity to get a bit passive-aggressive while announcing the fast-approaching 40th anniversary of the world’s first x86 microprocessor, the 8086. The majority of the press release reads like a trip down memory lane, hitting highlights like MMX technology, SSE and SSE2 SIMD extensions and AES-NI encryption.

However, it quickly becomes clear that this isn’t just some high-tech birthday commemoration — Intel shifts into serious mama bear mode, with significant legal posturing, touting its willingness to protect its “x86 innovations” and use its legal might to stop any entity that might infringe upon its four-decade-old x86 ISA intellectual property.
And this is where we circle back around to Qualcomm and Microsoft. Intel is clearly not happy about the potential competition that it will face from a new class of lightweight and power-efficient hardware that could adequately satisfy the needs of a large swath of PC customers, from notebooks to 2-in-1 hybrids and more. It's apparent that Intel feels its war chest of over 1,600 patents is likely being infringed upon with Microsoft and Qualcomm’s decision to make native support for ARM (with x86 compatibility) in Window 10 not only a possibility but a reality in retail-available products.
Intel goes on to say that Transmeta tried and ultimately failed in the marketplace, and has been dead and buried for a decade. The company then pivots, almost daring Microsoft and Qualcomm to challenge it by making Windows on ARM devices commercially available:
Qualcomm has provided the following official statement with regards to Intel's comments on x86 architecture:

Quote:Given our recent announcement with ASUS, HP and Lenovo, we found the blog that one of our competitors published on June 8 very interesting. We look forward to the launch of the always connected Windows 10 PC powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform later this year. As showcased at Computex 2017 in conjunction with Microsoft, the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform brings a true always connected PC experience with support for up to Gigabit LTE connectivity and all-day battery life for sleek, thin and fanless designs. This will change the future of personal computing.

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  SSDs Are In Danger
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-10-2017, 01:28 AM - Forum: General Hardware - No Replies


Quote:If you already own an SSD produced in the last five years, you may want to hold onto it. Next generation products will shoot for the moon on paper but fall well short of leaving the atmosphere. For the last decade we've watched the technology progress, but at the same time, meaningful growth has slowed or stalled due to cost-saving measures in NAND and controller technologies.
Yet over the last two years, the trend has been to slow performance to reduce costs. The more the technology is neutered, the closer to hard disk performance we see. On the controller side we've seen the number of processor cores and channels from each controller to the NAND flash shrink. On paper the new flash is faster than the old flash, so it's possible to achieve the same performance with fewer channels, but the larger die sizes also give us less parallelization. On the flash side, the move to more cost efficient 3-bit per cell (TLC) has delivered less sustained performance for heavy workloads that take longer to complete. Those are the same workloads early adopters chose flash in the first place.

SLC buffers, user-data in DRAM, and other technologies have hid many of the shortfalls of modern low-cost SSDs from many people, but power users can spot the difference between older and newer products. During this time, you still had an option to purchase higher cost MLC-based SSDs even though the number of products had declined. In the trailing end of 2017, however, those products will virtually disappear and you'll be forced to seek out alternatives.
MLC is on the chopping block and will be phased out of production for consumer-level products in the second half of 2017.

MLC had a great run. The technology made consumer SSDs affordable and was the springboard that made this storage technology possible for the consumer market. User demand for flash has forced companies to find new ways to increase bit output in the fabs to meet demand. The fabs have increased the production of dies, shrunk lithography, and increased density, but that's still not enough for 2017. TLC allows the fabs to increase bit output even more. The goal is to push the technology into more devices and increase market share over HDDs. The push for market share has decreased the divide in performance between flash and spinning disks.
When companies talk about upcoming 3D TLC, the word "endurance" always enters the discussion. Vertically stacked TLC does increase endurance over planar 2D TLC, but the gain isn't as high as you might expect. We had two engineers tell us at Computex that Micron 64-layer TLC carries between 1,000 and 1,500 P/E cycles using their testing models. The Micron 256Gbit (Gen 2) TLC is still early but it's not a good sign for users. Neither Toshiba nor Micron want to discuss endurance with us at the die level; all endurance talk comes at the device level, where powerful error correction technology plays a large role. Planar MLC devices didn't use LDPC, an advanced form of error correction technology, but the controllers did run less powerful BCH ECC. At this time, long endurance is a meaningless checkbox, like a used car sale person might list "has tires" as a feature. We were told Toshiba's upcoming BiCS FLASH has higher endurance compared to Micron's second generation 3D, for example, but the marketing language will be very vague on retail products. Don't expect anything greater than planar MLC endurance even with more powerful error correction that consumes more power.

The Intel SSD 600p is a very good indicator of the performance users will see in future . The drive features 3D TLC paired with a low-cost NVMe controller. In our reviews of the series we found the performance to be better than any SATA SSD ever shipped for most users, but the sustained write performance is lower than even mainstream SATA SSDs with MLC flash. Most users will see a performance increase in daily use software like Office, games, and other regular applications that mainly read data from the drive.

If your workload involves write intensive tasks, then next-generation SSDs with TLC NAND and low-cost controllers will be a step backwards even if you use the advanced NVMe protocol. Compounding the issue is the rise in HDD performance. This year we measured several hard disk drives with 200-250MBps sequential write speeds and several more TLC-based SSDs with only 50-100MBps in the same workloads.

You can drive your car with three wheels, but what happens when you only have two? The problem with low-cost SSDs is the controllers. We've already talked about the number of channels to the flash, but the processing power has shrunk as well. Phison still has controllers with 4 cores on the roadmap, but Silicon Motion, Inc. and Marvell moved to dual-core controllers, and we've yet to see high-performance models on the release schedule with more cores. In contrast, Samsung's Polaris controller has five cores, with dedicated roles for each.

Background activity takes a lot of processor clock cycles and two cores is just not enough to keep performance high. Most consumers purchase smaller SSDs and then use much of the available capacity. This causes the flash processor to work harder to manage the data on the drive. You will get higher performance with a larger drive using less space on the flash. The other option is for controller designers to build products with more cores that can run the background activity without a significant effect on foreground performance. Companies need to mask native TLC write performance better or lose customers who are willing to pay more for a superior product.

More cores means more heat, and that's a bigger problem for small M.2 devices with less circuit board area to help cool the controller. We've seen a few NVMe SSDs, even in the M.2 form factor, ship with heat sinks to take up the slack and increase surface cooling area. In our testing we found it doesn't take a lot of aluminum to keep temperatures in check, but it does require some effort to incorporate the additional hardware. A little bit really does go a long way.

The more we test Intel's Optane Memory the more we like it. At this point we would recommend Optane Memory (the cache NVMe SSD) paired with a 7,200RPM hard drive over a 1TB TLC SSD. And we're not the only ones to notice the performance benefits; Seagate has a large campaign on social media promoting Optane Memory.

Just to make it clear, the hard drive companies are promoting Optane Memory in order to sell hard drives paired with the technology to deliver a superior user experience. It's not clear if Intel pitched in ad dollars, but Optane Memory has brought HDDs back into the storage conversation. Many of us moved hard drives to a cold storage role as secondary disks or for NAS appliances, but the empire strikes back.

Another option comes from the second-hand market, where lightly used enterprise SSDs sell for pennies on the dollar. This has always been an option for power users but we expect to see more users to take a look at EBay before buying retail...New enterprise-class SSDs cost significantly more than consumer TLC-based SSDs, but the prices are often less than you may imagine. Newegg, CDW, and Amazon carry these products, and you can often find products two or three generations removed from the current one at attractive price points. You aren't getting the latest enterprise technology, but the products are often superior to consumer SSDs selling today.

Many of the next-generation SSDs we've seen so far were designed to decrease costs. Performance is a secondary objective. The fabs will force 3D TLC on users and push for lower cost controller designs that further reduce performance in mixed and sustained workloads. If the controller designers don't push back with more efficient products we expect a revolt from power users, gamers, and enthusiasts. That revolt will come in the form of Optane paired with spinning disks or used enterprise products purchased for workstation use. 3D TLC leaves a big hole at the upper end of the market where profits are higher than the low margin race to the bottom the inferior products target.

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  Cooler Master Heat Column Concept CPU Cooler
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-09-2017, 10:40 AM - Forum: General Hardware - Replies (1)

I know that Dave will be interested in this.

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  PCI Express 4.0 Specfication Released
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-09-2017, 03:17 AM - Forum: General Hardware - Replies (1)


Quote:PCI-SIG also teased the upcoming PCIe 5.0 specification. Penciled in for 2019, PCIe 5.0 will push the available bandwidth to 32 GT/s. One application that the consortium has in mind is high-end networking, where the architecture can serve up 128 GB/s of bandwidth operating at full duplex.

The PCIe 4.0 specification still needs to undergo a final IP review, but the PCI-SIG claims that the interconnect is ready to go. Prior to the publication of the spec, the SIG had already been doing compliance testing with a variety of its members, and it claims that a number of 16 GT/s solutions have already been worked out. Perhaps we'll see products using the new spec make their way to shelves sooner than later.

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  AMD Has No Regrets About Getting Rid Of GlobalFoundries
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-08-2017, 11:36 PM - Forum: General Hardware - No Replies


Quote:AMD, on the other hand, doesn't regret spinning off GloFo. Speaking at Merrill Lynch Global Technology and Investment Conference, CTO Mark Papermaster said, that going fab-less has helped AMD focus on chip-design without worrying about manufacturing. Production is no longer a bottleneck for AMD, as it can now put out manufacturing contracts to a wider variety of foundry partners. Its chip-designers aren't limited by the constraints of an in-house fab, and can instead ask external fabs to optimize their nodes for their chip-designs, Papermaster said. 14 nm FinFET has added a level of standardization to the foundry industry.

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  Console Backwards Compatibility Is Almost Never Used
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-08-2017, 08:35 PM - Forum: Gaming - No Replies


Quote:A brace of news reports this week highlighted an interesting scenario in console world (and arguably for PCs as well, though I’ll address that separately). First, Sony executive Jim Ryan was openly dismissive of backwards compatibility as a major focus or feature for the PS4, noting that few console players actually took advantage of the feature when it was available and that it wasn’t seen as important within Sony.

“When we’ve dabbled with backwards compatibility, I can say it is one of those features that is much requested, but not actually used much,” said Ryan, in an interview with Time. “That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

Second, a report from Ars Technica on how Xbox One and Xbox 360 users actually use their devices was released. The report includes information on how they gathered their data and the caveats to how it should be treated. But the bottom line, for our purposes, is that Ars’ information backs up what Ryan said, 100%.
I say “we” above, because I’m susceptible to this myself. One of the things I like most about the PC ecosystem is that games are, broadly speaking, backwards compatible over periods of decades, if not longer. Utilities like DOSBox and dedicated communities devoted to retro gaming have kept even most early PC titles playable. Sometimes they require more hoop-jumping than others, and there are a handful of games that simply can’t be emulated with the full graphics and sound capabilities they enjoyed on their original platforms. But generally speaking, PCs are great at backwards compatibility in ways that consoles simply aren’t.

And yet — for all the value I put on backwards compatibility as a theoretical feature, if I’m being honest, it’s not a feature I use very often. I’ve recently been playing through the survival-horror game Dead Space, which dates back to 2008, and has an amazing issue I’ve only just discovered: If you unlock the game’s frame rate from the 30fps it specifies with V-Sync enabled, you can also cut your level and save-game load times from 20-30 seconds to 2-3 seconds (values are approximate and scale with your unlocked frame rate).
Here’s my guess: It’s not about the games, it’s about the memories. I loved each of the titles above, and most of us take pains to save the things that had meaning to us, even if we don’t take them down off the shelf and look at them often. I want to know that I can fire up an ancient EVGA adventure game to show it to friends as the game that got me hooked on gaming, or to share the same experience with a loved one. And robust backwards compatibility does help ensure that if you happen to come across an amazing title for an older platform, one that you intended to play but never quite got around to, that you can still experience it.

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  Jay Pinkerton Leaves Valve
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-08-2017, 09:05 AM - Forum: Gaming - Replies (1)

He was the guy who wrote the Team Fortress 2 "Meet The..." series. This comment says it all:

Quote:Valve doesn't care about narrative games anymore, they just want to push their store, do some VR, and rake in all the Dota 2 and CS esports money they can get.

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  Ad Infinitum: WWI Horror Game
Posted by: womanstun - 06-07-2017, 10:30 AM - Forum: Gaming - No Replies

This game looks so damn good. I am so excited to play it, horror games will never go out of style. 
This reminds of Slenderman.

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  The Return Of GPU Cryptocurrency Mining
Posted by: SteelCrysis - 06-07-2017, 05:55 AM - Forum: Video - Replies (10)


Quote:As a result, demand for AMD graphics cards is straining and suffocating supply, and it could be that NVIDIA will go the same route, should recent optimizations continue. It would seem that both companies understand the strain this puts on general customer who really just want to play a game with their graphics cards, but are finding pricing and availability an insurmountable challenge. Both companies are thus reportedly working on specialized editions of their graphics cards specially geared for cryptocurrency mining. These would apparently eschew any gaming capability, and likely display output connectors as well, which are unneeded for mining farms. NVIDIA is said to be prepping a special edition GeForce GTX 1060 with their GP106-100 GPU, and AMD is rumored to be working on some adaptation of their Polaris graphics cards as well. Sources point towards only 90 days warranty on these NVIDIA GTX 1060 cards, which will also be cheaper than gaming models, and be distributed by add-in board partners.

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