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TweakTown News Posts - Page 59

AMD Zen-based Naples CPU: 64 threads, 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 12, 2017 2:28 am

AMD already has me excited over their Ryzen CPUs for consumers and gamers, but the Zen architecture is also going to do big things in the high-performance server market - starting with Naples.

 

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Naples is AMD's high-end server part based on the Zen architecture that AMD is touting as an 'optimized GPU server platform' thanks to its 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes, allowing for 4-6 'direct attached GPUs'. This means it can take 32 x NVMe devices, and 4 x graphics cards - all on a 1U rack. This same 1U rack will sport 2 x InfiniBand EDR interconnects for super-fast data communication between the storage, and server systems.

 

As for specs, we're looking at up to 32 Zen CPU cores with 64 threads of performance, 64MB of L3 cache, a base clock of 1.4GHz and a turbo clock of 2.8GHz. A dual-CPU version of Naples would rock a massive 64/128 CPU cores/threads with some ultimate performance, especially when you throw Vega-based graphics cards and NVMe-based storage into the mix.

Continue reading 'AMD Zen-based Naples CPU: 64 threads, 128 PCIe 3.0 lanes' (full post)

TweakTown's Best of CES 2017 Awards

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: TweakTown | Posted: Jan 12, 2017 1:05 am

CES 2017 - This year, the Consumer Electronics Show was a massive overload of technology unveilings, announcements, teases, and more. There has been so much unveiled that it would take weeks to disassemble and dissect all of it - but this is why we have our 'Best of CES 2017' awards, and this article. Below we list the products and tech that were lucky enough to get our award.

 

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Let's kick things off with the CPU and GPU side of things:

 

CPU: AMD has impressed not just us, but gamers and consumers throughout the world with their next generation Ryzen CPUs. We're looking at 16-threaded CPUs that should hopefully come in at half the price of Intel's competing processors, offering new technologies like SenseMI - a self-overclocking, self-adjusting processor that learns how you use your system and predicts your next movement. Expect much more from us here at TweakTown on Ryzen in the coming weeks and months.

 

GPU: You have to hand it to Radeon Technologies Group, the upcoming Vega GPU architecture is beyond exciting. High Bandwidth Cache. HBM2 technology. The Vega GPU architecture itself. We're looking at 4K 60FPS performance in games like DOOM with all the graphical bells and whistles turned on. AMD is returning to the high-end in a very, very big way.

Continue reading 'TweakTown's Best of CES 2017 Awards' (full post)

Dell begins shipping GTX 1050-powered XPS 15 laptop

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Laptops | Posted: Jan 12, 2017 12:33 am

Dell's new XPS 15 laptop is one of the best 15-inch laptops you can buy, featuring Intel's new Kaby Lake-based CPUs and a 1080p 60FPS-capable GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card from NVIDIA.

 

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The company has just two variants of its new XPS 15 shipping now, with the higher-end models coming soon. For now, there's two variants that both feature the same Core i7-7700HQ processor. The first has its 15-inch display with a native 1080p resolution, while you can opt for the 4K display - and higher price.

 

Dell has XPS 15 models starting with the Core i3-7100H, 8GB of RAM, 32GB SSD/500GB HDD storage and the beautiful 15.6-inch 1080p InfinityEdge display, right up to the Core i7-7700HQ, 32GB RAM, 1TB PCIe-based SSD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB of RAM, and a 4K touch-capable InfinityEdge display.

Continue reading 'Dell begins shipping GTX 1050-powered XPS 15 laptop' (full post)

Woody Harrelson joins 'Han Solo' spin-off cast

By: Ben Gourlay | More News: Celebrities & Entertainment | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 11:54 pm

With the first 'Star Wars' spinoff 'Rogue One' a bona fide hit which is expected to soon cross the billion dollar mark worldwide, Lucasfilm have now turned their attention to the next stand-alone feature which will revolve around the legendary "stuck up, half-witted scruffy-looking nerf-herder" (not to mention all round cool guy) Han Solo. Today they've confirmed the casting of Woody Harrelson for the film, in a somewhat interesting choice.

 

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According to the official 'Star Wars' website, the Hollywood veteran has joined the cast in an unnamed role, but which is said to be a mentor character. Late in 2016, the studio confirmed that Alden Ehrenreich had been cast to star as Han Solo in the upcoming film, which will be directed by 'The Lego Movie' and '22 Jump Street' duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Ehrenreich last stole the screen in the Coen Brothers 2015 comedy 'Hail Caesar!'.

 

The as yet 'Young Han Solo film' film is expected to hit screens in December 2018.

Intel reacts to Ryzen: adds HT to Kaby Lake Pentium CPUs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 10:28 pm

AMD launched an offensive late last year with the massive reveal of Ryzen, and had a more detailed tease at CES 2017 last week - but now, Intel has seemingly reacted by adding Hyper-Threading technology to some its new Kaby Lake-based range of Pentium processors.

 

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Not all of the new Pentium CPUs will receive HT, but TechPowerUp reports that the list includes the "Pentium G4620 (3.7GHz base frequency and integrated graphics HD 630, $93) and G4600 (3.6GHz base frequency, $82), both at 51 W TDP; G4560 (54W TDP at 3.5GHz and integrated HD 610 graphics, $64); and the Pentium G4600T (3GHz, HD 630, $75) and G4560T (2.9GHz, HD 610, $64) slot in as the low power Pentium offerings with a 35W TDP".

 

But now that some of the new Pentium processors feature Hyper-Threading support, how will Intel make consumers see a difference between the Core i3 models? The company Advanced Vector Instructions 2 (AVX2) extension set, which is mainly used for database processing and video editing - so Intel is hoping there is still a market for a slice of consumers who will buy a HT-enabled Pentium processor over the slightly cheaper Core i3.

 

The pricing is also a little cheaper, with the new Kaby Lake-based Core i3 processors having a $50+ premium over the new Pentium chips, but will the performance be much better? Well, the new Core i3-7100 and Pentium G4620 are only 200MHz apart and with AVX2 being the only difference, why would you pay more?

Nintendo Switch is perfect fit for VR and AR, says dev

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 9:33 pm

Thanks to its dual form factor and dynamic hardware scaling, the Nintendo Switch console and handheld hybrid is a perfect conceptual fit for VR and AR. In fact, one VR/AR dev goes so far to say the Switch is a "fit made in heaven."

 

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Stephen E. Dinehart IV, a confirmed Nintendo Switch game developer, has recently posted up an interesting read on Nintendo's history and how the Switch is the next major evolution of the company's brand. In this post, Dinehart, who may be or may not be developing an AR/VR game for the Switch, says that the console-handheld hybrid is a perfect fit for the emerging mixed-reality platform.

 

"It only seems natural with the launch of Nintendo's new platform The Switch, a modular HD game console, that VR would be on the product roadmap. Given the right specs, ones yet disclosed, there's no reason VR peripherals wouldn't show for the system and just maybe something more. As a Nintendo and VR/AR developer I can't say much, but I can say the fit is one made in heaven.

 

"In fact, Nintendo was the first into the 3D market, dare I say VR/AR, with their Nintendo 3DS - still the best selling video game console of all time.

 

"Nintendo has arguably always been ahead of the curve starting with the global game boom of the late 1980's. With R&D periods that span decades and the launch of a new powerful console, the Nintendo Switch, it's only natural that one of the first players in the home VR market would once again stake its claim.

 

"Now as part of the Nintendo team few moments in my life as an emerging tech developer have filled me with so much anticipation - this is one step in evolution you won't want to miss."

Continue reading 'Nintendo Switch is perfect fit for VR and AR, says dev' (full post)

Understanding Microsoft's lack of third-party exclusives

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 8:18 pm

Gamers are concerned about Microsoft and the Xbox brand as a whole. They're concerned that Project Scorpio might not have too many games that leverage its high-end hardware. Now that Scalebound has been cancelled, Xbox gamers are doubting Microsoft. But how did a single game's cancellation cause this?

 

 

In the video above, I explain what's happening with the Xbox division, and why Microsoft isn't necessarily courting too many third-party exclusives these days. The Xbox brand we knew has evolved; it's changed, and it's no longer its own facet of Microsoft. Instead, the Xbox brand now bleeds over into the company's unified approach--a unified family of hardware that's tethered to the same flexible, scale-able Windows 10 operating system.

 

The reality is that Microsoft is doing many different things, and has lots of moving parts. Conversely, Sony has made a bid to go all-in on the PlayStation brand. Microsoft doesn't have to, and isn't, taking this same approach. Microsoft is more interested in the long-term game: laying all these different seeds for its Universal Windows Platform that will unify all of its current and upcoming hardware. This is a non-traditional approach to gaming to say the least, and as a result, I think that gamers and the Xbox brand could suffer for it--at least when Microsoft's 4K "monster" Project Scorpio console is released in Holiday 2017.

Continue reading 'Understanding Microsoft's lack of third-party exclusives' (full post)

Plextor showcases new high-performance SSD fleet

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Storage | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 7:18 pm

CES 2017 - Plextor's new high-end memory fleet consists of some interesting solutions that will be armed with 3D NAND flash memory to ensure reliability, fast speeds across all protocols, and improved capacities.

 

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Among Plextor's new SSDs, the M8Se Series is the most eye-catching. The M8Se SSD Series now has a blazing fast contender that taps the NVMe PCIe Gen 3x 4 M.2 protocol to deliver amazing transfers of up to 2.45GB/sec reads and 1GB/sec writes, with IOPS up to 210,000 read and 175,000 writes. The M8Se Series leverages Toshiba's 15nm Super High Performance TLC NAND flash memory to expand capacities up to 1TB, with a 1.5 million MTBF rating and an onboard Marvell 88ss1093 memory controller for optimum reliability. This series comes in both HHHL and M.2 form factors.

 

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Plextor also showcased a rather interesting external SSD called the EX1 Series. The EX1's shock-resistant case is incredibly lightweight and ultra-slim for optimum portability, and leverages high-end flash memory across USB Type-C to deliver 550MB/sec reads and 500MB/sec write speeds. The EX1 Series comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities and has a wide array of uses from expanding PC memory, console memory, and even supports OTG capability with Android devices. The EX1 has a 5-year warranty and a MTBF rating of 1.5 million hours.

Continue reading 'Plextor showcases new high-performance SSD fleet' (full post)

Scion-32 hybrid melds desktop tower into a monitor

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 5:26 pm

CES 2017 - CES is all about pushing the forefront of technology to new heights with interesting prototypes and amazing builds; first we saw Razer's Project Valerie, which packs three 4K G-Sync displays into a laptop. Now E-BLUE has created the Scion-32, the world's first hybrid-tower monitor.

 

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The Scion-32 Hybrid Tower essentially melds a Mini-ATX build with a QHD display, with a mini tower on its backside that houses the components. The Scion-32 is touted as a flexible and modular custom-built "revolutionary all-in-one masterpiece unifies the mainframe computer with HD monitor, unleashing limitless gaming experience."

 

E-BLUE's hybrid-tower supports Micro-ATX and Mini-ATX motherboards, but we're not sure if it's compatible will full-sized desktop video cards or not. E-BLUE affirms the Scion-32 rocks enough space and ports for "multiple devices and USB connection," and features two storage slots--one each for a HDD and SSD.

Continue reading 'Scion-32 hybrid melds desktop tower into a monitor' (full post)

Wii U emulator breaks 4K resolution barrier

By: Derek Strickland | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jan 11, 2017 2:42 pm

Wii U emulator Cemu can now play the console's games at 3840 x 2160 resolution, which is more than four times the system's native 720p resolution.

 

 

The latest version of Cemu 1.70 allows users to play Wii U games like Bayonetta 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Super Mario 3D World in pristine 4K, provided they download the required 4K texture packs. Thanks to its lackluster and outdated hardware, the Wii U is only capable of rendering games at a max 1080p resolution, however most of its games are simply rendered in native 720p and upscaled to 1080p.

 

Cemu can break that barrier thanks to the flexibility of Windows and the raw might of dedicated desktop-grade video cards. In fact, Cemu itself is quite intensive and requires dedicated GPUs and barely runs on integrated Intel graphics. Enabling 4K graphics on Wii U games was quite a complicated endeavor, and required the Cemu dev team to actually patch the game code itself.

Continue reading 'Wii U emulator breaks 4K resolution barrier' (full post)

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