The reality is that NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture and the GeForce GTX 980 pretty much prove we’re not going to get much more performance out of 28nm manufacturing. However, a pair of 980s do get within striking distance of our ultimate goal, and it’s easy to suggest we’re probably just one generation off of having a perfect 4K gaming experience with dual-GPU, and two generations off of single-GPU. 2015 is going to see both GPU vendors finally graduate from 28nm, and if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say the 4K performance problem will largely be solved before the year is out.
Enter 2013. Some group of engineers at MediaTek must have gotten their hands on an Adderall prescription or something because in just one year— one single year— they were suddenly producing 28nm quad-core processors. Although they were celebrating their 1 Ghz single-core chipset and swimming in the fast network speeds of 3G just a year earlier, they were now producing multi-core chips with HSPA+ support as if they were born for it. Suddenly, MediaTek was now starting to be seen as a very legitimate potential threat to other semiconductor manufacturers. The obscure Taiwanese company went from producing years old technology that was long forgotten in the West to producing SoCs that were exceeding all expectations. Over a period of just six months, their GPUs tripled in clock frequency. A month later, their CPUs went up 40% in clock frequency too. But that was just the start.
Eight-core chips? Who the ____ wants or even needs that?
Then, almost out of no where, MediaTek went from chasing old technology to literally breaking records and leading the way for innovation. It was something that was expected for some time, just as a novelty, but no one was delivering on it. All of a sudden the underdog, MediaTek, jumped up and took the lead. Just one month after improving their last round of quad-core chipsets they decided to really make themselves stand out as more than just a follower. Introducing… the MT6592. The 2 Ghz octo-core processor with the Mali-450 GPU clocked at 700 Mhz. The smartphone world threw their hands up in amusement, amazement, disdain or blatant disgust— depending on who was reading the news. MediaTek, however, was celebrating their engineering achievement.
Intel will reportedly bring new chips to market based on the company’s upcoming 10nm process technology in early 2017. The news came via Taha Khalifa, Intel’s general manager for the Middle East and North Africa region.
Nvidia has held a press event before the opening of the International CES in Las Vegas, hoping to make an early impact. CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the opportunity to show off his firm’s latest mobile chip, the Tegra X1. Nvidia doesn’t hold back when talking about this chip referring to it variously as a “mobile super chip,” claiming that it offers “over one teraflops of processing power,” and that the 20nm Tegra X1 represents a “giant step,” towards a revolution in visual and parallel computing.
Samsung has developed a fingernail-sized device with enough memory and storage for high-end smartphones. This ePoP, or embedded package on package, combines 3GB of LPDDR3-1866 memory with 32GB of eMMC storage. Those components are typically separate, but Samsung has squeezed them into a 15 x 15 x 1.4 mm package that’s small enough to stack on top of an SoC.
LG Display is touted to deliver what they call as the “true flexible” Plastic OLED screen to everyone later this July. It seems that there has been various flexible displays already, seen in the LG G Flex 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, but there must be steps made forward into the future – with word that G is working on mass producing Plastic OLED screens that will offer a unique bending radius of 1.18”.
Of course, apart from being able to perform such acrobatic twists and turns, these new Plastic OLED displays are shatter-proof. Their imaging parameters happen to stay within 60lm/W efficiency, 75lm (807 nits) peak brightness output, 3000K in color temperature, and CRI over 85. It might not be too accurate in terms of its color, but perhaps new modifications and improvements made to the technology will change things in the long run.
Last year, users discovered a problem with Samsung’s 840 EVO SSD that caused dramatic slowdowns when reading older data. Samsung attributed the issue to an algorithmic error in the management routine that tracks the status of cells over time. A firmware fix and accompanying Performance Restoration utility were issued in October, and they seemed to do the trick. However, new evidence suggests that the problem persists.
A couple of TR readers (thanks Horia and Richard) pointed me to recent entries in the original Overclock.net thread complaining of slow read performance. Those reports come from drives running the supposedly fixed EXT0CB6Q firmware, and they prompted me to test an EVO I’ve been saving for just such an occasion. The results don’t bode well for the TLC drive.
Fans of curved, ultra-wide displays may soon be able to get one with Nvidia’s variable refresh mojo. According to TFT Central, Acer is developing a curved 34-incher with support for G-Sync refresh rates up to 144Hz.
The Predator XR341CK will reportedly have a 3440×1440 resolution, and there may be more than one version. The site also mentions possible variants with a lower 2560×1080 resolution and fixed refresh rate. A FreeSync unit doesn’t appear to be in the cards, though.
There’s no word on the panel technology behind the rumored displays. LG already offers a curved 34″ IPS display with a 3440×1440 resolution, but that monitor tops out at only 60Hz, so the underlying panel probably isn’t fast enough for the Predator. Support for higher refresh rates is fairly rare in IPS territory, making TN tech a more likely candidate. That said, we’ve yet to see a curved display based on TN tech.
If Acer’s curved Predator does exist, we should learn more about it in the spring. Mass production is set for the second quarter, TFT Central says, and availability should follow soon thereafter.
Online backup provider Backblaze made headlines last year with a reliability study based on over 25,000 mechanical drives. Unlike previous publications in this vein, the report listed failure rates for specific makes and models. The data confirmed a lot of the anecdotal evidence that suggested Seagate drives were less reliable than the competition. Now, there’s a new dispatch with updated stats through the end of 2014.
The most interesting trend pertains to 3TB units. Drives with that capacity suffered higher failure rates regardless of the manufacturer, and there’s a familiar face in the spotlight.
South Korean conglomerate Samsung has begun to mass products what is deemed to be the first of its kind in the industry – and I am referring to 8 gigabit (Gb) GDDR5 DRAM, and the mass production will be based on the company’s leading-edge 20-nanometer (nm) process technology. Just so that everyone will be on the right footing, GDDR5 happens to be the most widely used discrete graphics memory worldwide, which is saying something.
Specially designed to see action in graphics cards for PCs and supercomputing applications, not to mention for on-board graphics memory in game consoles and notebook PCs, discrete graphics DRAM would be able to deliver an extensive amount of bandwidth so that it can process large high quality graphically-oriented data streams. Thanks to the rising popularity of 3D games alongside Ultra HD video content, Samsung foresees a future where high-performance, high-bandwidth graphics memory would be in demand.
Joo Sun Choi, Executive Vice president of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics, shared, “We expect that our 8Gb GDDR5 will provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with the best graphics memory solution available for game consoles as well as general use notebook PCs. By expanding our production of 20nm-based DRAM products including the new GDDR5, we will meet increasing global customer demand and take the lead in accelerating the growth of the premium memory market.”
Samsung’s new GDDR5 DRAM will deliver outstanding bandwidth, where it merges a mere eight of the new 8Gb chips to achieve a similar density as that of the 8 gigabytes (GB) required in the latest game consoles.
I’ve just been witness to what feels like a modern-day technological miracle.
A Samsung smartphone has just been recharged from being nearly out-of-juice to full capacity in less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
The Israeli start-up behind the demo, Storedot, has shown off a similar feat before.
But a previous demo posted online eight months ago involved a battery many times thicker than the handset itself as well as an outsized charger – making the tech impractical for real-world use.
This time round the phone involved is no bigger than normal, and the charging dock is pretty slim-line as well.
Running a pair of them in RAID they were able to hit 816.1MB/s sequential read and 817.8MB/s! These numbers are well beyond what SuperSpeed USB 3.0 is capable of, as well as exceeding the limits of a single drive.
LAS VEGAS—Router company D-Link has announced a set of new high-performance home routers, and they look rather exciting.
Boasting four, six, or eight antennas and armed with a bright red angular body, they resemble giant robot bugs, or perhaps oversized Swiss Army knives that’ll take your finger off if you handle them wrong.
The six antenna AC3200, available now for an eye-watering $309.99, can operate at up to 600Mbps over 2.4GHz, and twin 1.3Gbps channels at 5GHz when used with 802.11ac adaptors. Four gigabit Ethernet ports provide wired connectivity (with a fifth for upstream WAN links), and it sports both USB2 and USB3 ports for media sharing. A 1GHz dual core processor powers it all.
[CES 2015] When it comes to gaming machines, Alienware is a name that is worth checking out if you do not want to have any kind of compromise. This time around, Dell’s Alienware has revealed the presence of the Alienware 15 And 17 Windows-powered laptops, where regardless of which particular model that you decide to pick up, both of them will sport the latest gaming technologies – and this would include the optional Intel Core i7 quad-core processor and NVIDIA GTX 980m graphics chipset for additional gaming firepower as you are on the move.
Not only that, these new laptops will also play nice with the innovative Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Getting your game on as you travel is going to be a whole lot lighter now, especially when you take into consideration how these two models are now 20% thinner compared to their predecessors, without compromising on performance. The graphics cards have been enabled with 100% wattage in order to deliver maximum graphics performance as and when required, and heck, even the Intel Core i7 models can automatically overclock whenever you plug the laptop into the Alienware Graphics Amplifier.
Do take note, however, that these portable gaming machines will be a wee bit more pricey as opposed to regular business laptops, as the Alienware 15 and Alienware 17 will be available from today onward for $1,199 and $1,499, respectively. And those happen to be the starting price points, since you will always have the option to customize them accordingly
Today’s keyboards use digital controllers, and Cherry says their debounce delay is 20 ms on average. The company’s RealKey technology uses an analog controller that’s able to shorten that delay to just 1 ms. The graphs above show how the two systems differ. (Use the buttons underneath to switch between them.)
RealKey’s analog mojo has another advantage. Because every key and key combo produces a discrete analog signal, ghosting “simply does not happen,” Cherry says. In other words, no matter how many keys are pressed at the same time, the controller won’t fail to register some of them, nor will it register incorrect keystrokes. Some current mechanical keyboards already implement anti-ghosting countermeasures, but as I understand it, RealKey should make those obsolete.
Thin is in—and has been for quite some time in the laptop industry. Now, Lenovo is trying to break records in the weight category. The company says its new LaVie Z lineup includes the world’s lightest 13.3″ notebook, the 1.72-lb HZ550, and the world’s lightest 13.3″ convertible, the 2.04-lb HZ750.
Gigabyte’s Waterforce cooler is designed to be strapped to the top of your case and, thanks to the magic of closed-loop liquid cooling, to keep three hot-clocked GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards chilly. It looks impressive in press shots, and it looked doubly impressive on the CES show floor today.
Two new models have been added to Asus’ growing stable of gaming monitors. The most exciting is the ROG Swift PG27AQ, a 27″ unit with all the right buzzwords: G-Sync, IPS, and 4K.
The Tegra X1 is NVIDIA’s newer mobile chip, sporting a 64-bit CPU with eight cores as well as a 256-core Maxwell GPU. NVIDIA says that the X1 offers more than a teraflop of processing power and that it’s twice as powerful as its Tegra K1 predecessor. The Tegra X1 can also do 4K video at 60 frames per second.
In addition to beating the Tegra K1 in terms of raw performance, the Tegra X1 also bests it in energy efficiency. NVIDIA says that according to the GFXBench 3.0 benchmark test, its Tegra X1 is twice as energy efficient as the K1.
Acer is showing off some great new monitors at the Consumer Electronics Show 2015. The 27-inch XB270HU gaming monitor happens to be the first with NVIDIA’s G-SYNC technology. It has got another up its sleeve which boasts another world first. Acer XG270HU is the world’s first gaming monitor with an edge-to-edge frameless 27-inch display with 2,560×1,440 pixel resolution and a 144Hz refresh rate.
The fact that it is an edge-to-edge frameless display means that the viewing area is maximized and this provides a seamless viewing experience particularly for multi-monitor setups. Smooth rendering of actions and dramatic transitions is provided courtesy of a 1ms response time without any ghosting or smearing effects.
XG270HU has HDMI 2.0, DVI and DisplayPort 1.2 in a body that’s made out of post-consumer recycled ABS plastic with a bold orange strip running along the bottom horizontal frame, which also outlines the base stand.
Acer EyeProtect is also built into this monitor to reduce eye strain and “potential long-term damage to eye health” by heavy users like programmers and gamers. This brings the flicker-less technology which zaps screen flicker with a staple supply of power. The ComfyView technology reduces reflection from light sources on the non-glare panel.
The XG270HU is going to be available globally, Acer is going to commence shipping from March this year.
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