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+ - AMD Launches Carrizo Mobile APU With Excavator CPU Cores, Integrated Southbridge->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: AMD previously only teased bits of detail regarding their forthcoming 6th Generation A-Series APU, code named "Carrizo," as far back as CES 2015 in January and more recently with AMD's HSA (Heterogenous System Architecture) 1.0 spec roll-out in March. However, the company has officially launched the product today and has lifted the veil on all aspects of their new highly integrated notebook APU. Carrizo has been optimized for the 15 Watt TDP envelope that comprises the bulk of the thin and light notebook market currently and it brings a couple of first to integrated notebook chip designs. AMD's Carrizo APU is the first SoC architecture to fully support the HSA 1.0 specification, allowing full memory coherency of a shared memory space for both CPU and GPU up to 32GB. It's also the first integrated chip to include full support in hardware for H.265/HEVC HD video decoding and finally, Carizzo is also the first AMD APU to have a full integrated, in silicon, Southbridge controller block. So, with its CPU, GPU, memory controller, Northbridge, Southbridge, and PCIe 3.0 links, Carrizo is truly a fully integrated System On A Chip. The company is claiming a 39% CPU performance lift (combination clock speed and IPC) and up to a 65% in graphics, versus their previous generation Kaveri APU. AMD notes laptops from major vendors will begin shipping in the next few weeks.
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+ - In Advance Of Upcoming Steam Summer Sale, Valve Introduces Steam Refunds

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner writes: Despite all of its competition, Valve's Steam service remains the most popular digital PC game store around. While Steam does do a lot of things right, it can sometimes stumble in the worst of ways. Look no further than April's Skyrim mod debacle as a good example. Well, just as Valve fixed up that issue, it's gone ahead and fixed another: it's making refunds dead simple. While refunds have been possible in the past, it's required gamers to jump through hoops to get them. Now, Valve has set certain criteria, and if it's met, a refund will be granted, no questions asked — a definite step in the right direction.

+ - Intel Adopts USB-C Connector For 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3, Supports USB 3.1, DP 1.2->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: The high speed Thunderbolt intereface standard, which is used for everything from hyper-fast external storage solutions to external graphics cards, has been slow to take off. You can blame the high-priced Thunderbolt peripherals and the uber-expensive cables (at last when compared to your garden variety USB cables).For most people, USB 3.0 is "good enough" and making a huge investment into the Thunderbolt ecosystem has been reserved for those in the professional video editing arena. However, Intel is looking to change all of that with Thunderbolt 3. Thunderbolt 3 once again doubles the maximum bandwidth, this time jumping from 20Gbps to a whopping 40Gbps. While that is impressive in its own right, the truly big news is that Thunderbolt 3 is moving away from the Mini DisplayPort connector and is instead adopting the USB-C connector. As a result Thunderbolt will also support USB 3.1 (which is currently spec'd at 10Gbps) and can optionally provide up to 100W of power (in compliance with the USB Power Delivery spec) to charge devices via USB-C (like the recently introduced 12-inch Apple MacBook).
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+ - GlowBowl Lighting Makes Your Tinkle Twinkle At Night-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: It's definitely not as creepy as Tony The Toilet Buddy from Better Call Saul, this latest Kickstarter project is definitely puts the "whiz" in gee-whiz. GlowBowl is an LED-light for your toilet that is seems to be aimed at males, because females probably won't have a use for such a product (and probably think it's too childish to boot), that bathes your toilet water in seven selectable colors. The GlowBowl simply attaches to your toilet bowl like any garden variety toilet fresher and serves as a night light so you don't have to sear your retinas with the fancy pants LED lighting in your overhead bathroom fixtures during late night pee runs. And if you simply can't settle on one single color for your last night "exit stream," there is a carousel mode that will cycle through all seven colors every four seconds.
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+ - NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 Ti Costs $350 Less Than TITAN X, Performs Similarly

Submitted by Deathspawner
Deathspawner writes: In advance of the rumored pending launch of AMD's next-generation Radeon graphics cards, NVIDIA has decided to pull no punches and release a seriously tempting GTX 980 Ti at $649. It's tempting both because the extra $150 it costs over the GTX 980 more than makes up for it in performance gained, and despite it coming really close to the performance of TITAN X, it costs $350 less. AMD's job might just have become a bit harder.

+ - NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX 980 Ti, Titan X Performance For A Lot Less->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA lifted the veil on the GeForce GTX Titan X's closest sibling today, announcing the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Like the Titan X, this card is driven by NVIDIA's most powerful, single-GPU, though a few things have been tweaked to bring its price point down to more approachable levels. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti has a base clock of 1000MHz and a boost clock of 1075MHz, the same that are found on the higher-end GeForce GTX Titan X. While the GM200 GPU on the Titan X is packing 3072 CUDA cores, 192 texture units and 12GB of 7GHz memory, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 2816 CUDA cores, 176 texture units and 6GB of on-board memory. Peformance-wise the GeForce GTX 980 Ti offers about 95 percent of the perf of a full-fledged GeForce GTX Titan X, but at roughly $350 less gamers can't go wrong, if they want to save a few bucks and still get top-end performance.
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+ - NVIDIA Launches GeForce GTX 980 Ti, A Lower Cost Titan X Alternative->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA lifted the veil on the GeForce GTX Titan X's closest sibling today, the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti. Like the Titan X, this card is packing NVIDIA's most powerful, single-GPU, though a few things have been tweaked here and there to bring the price point down to more approachable levels. The GeForce GTX 980 Ti has a base clock of 1000MHz and a boost clock of 1075MHz, the same that are found on the higher-end GeForce GTX Titan X. Whereas the GM200 GPU on the Titan X is packing 3072 CUDA cores, 192 texture units, 96 ROPs, and 12GB of fast 7GHz memory, the GeForce GTX 980 Ti has 2816 CUDA cores, 176 texture units, 96 ROPs, and 6GB of on-board memory. Peformance-wise the GeForce GTX 980 Ti offers about 95 percent of the perf of a full-fledged GeForce GTX Titan X, but at roughly $350 less gamers can't go wrong if they want to save a few bucks and still get top-end performance.
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+ - NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Reviewed: Gaming And Possibly The Ultimate 4K Streamer->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA officially launched its SHIELD Android TV set-top device today and it's sort of a "tweener" product, with far more horsepower than something like Roku or Apple TV, but on par with an average game console, and at a more affordable price tag of $199. What's interesting, however, is that it's powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC which features a Maxwell-derived GPU and eight CPU cores; four ARM A57 cores and four A53s. The A57 cores are 64-bit, out-of-order designs, with multi-issue pipelines, while the A53s are simpler, in-order, highly-efficient designs. Which cores are used will depend on the particular workload being executed at the time. Tegra X1 also packs a 256-core Maxwell-derived GPU with the same programming capabilities and API support as NVIDIA's latest desktop GPUs. In standard Android benchmarks, the SHIELD pretty much slays any current high-end tablet or smartphone processor in graphics, but is about on par with the octal-core Samsung Exynos in terms of standard compute workloads but handily beating and octal-core Qualcomm Snapdragon. What's also interesting about the SHIELD Android TV is that it's not only an Android TV-capable device with movie and music streaming services like Netflix etc., but it also plays any game on Google Play and with serious horsepower behind it. The SHIELD Android TV is also the first device certified for Netflix's Ultra HD 4K streaming service.
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+ - Duke Researchers Enable Graphics-Rich Cloud Gaming Without Eating Up Mobile Data->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Cloud gaming is a technology that's already here, but with high bandwidth requirements and data caps still a thing that mobile users have to contend with, there's room for improvement. Researchers at Duke University and Microsoft Research have been working together and what they've come up with is a promising new tool that could lead to console-like graphics on mobile devices with comparatively lower bandwidth requirements. The tool is called "Kahawai," which is the Hawaiian word for stream. What Kahawai does is task the mobile device — smartphone or tablet — with generating a rough sketch of each frame in a game, or a few high-detail sketches of certain frames. This takes some of the load off the remote server, which can then focus on filling in the missing pieces. By taking advantage of a mobile device's GPU to help with the load locally, less bandwidth is needed. This differs from conventional cloud gaming where the remote server does all the heavy lifting. Kahawai solves that problem through collaborative rendering. To demonstrate the technique, the researchers integrated Kahawai into Doom 3 and uploaded a video showing the experience. Running at 1Mbps, the version of Doom 3 using Kahawai was noticeably better looking than the version that relied on conventional cloud gaming methods.
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+ - Dell Precision M3800 Mobile Workstation Packs Thunderbolt 2, Quadro, IGZO2 Panel->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Dell recently revamped their M3800 model to better entice graphic designers, engineers, and other high-end users who often work in the field, with a true mobile workstation that's both sufficiently equipped to handle professional grade workloads and is thin and light to boot. Dell claims the M3800 is the "world's thinnest and lightest 15-inch mobile workstation" and at 4.15 pounds, it could very well be. In addition, ISV tools certifications matter for workstation types, so the M3800 gets its pixel pushing muscle from an NVIDIA Quadro K1100M GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Other notable specs include an Intel Core i7-4712HQ quad-core processor, 16GB of DDR3L memory, and a 256GB mSATA SSD. One of the new additions to the M3800 is a Thunderbolt 2 port with transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps that allows for the simultaneous viewing/editing and backing up of raw 4K video. Finally, the M3800 is equipped with a 3840x2160 native resolution IGZO2 display, which equates to a 60 percent increase in pixel density over a current gen MacBook Pro with Retina display. Performance-wise, the M3800 holds up pretty strong with standard productivity workloads, though as you can image it excels more-so in graphics rendering throughput.
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+ - AMD Details High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) DRAM, Pushes Over 100GB/s Per Stack->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Recently, a few details of AMD's next-generation Radeon 300-series graphics cards have trickled out. Today, AMD has publicly disclosed new info regarding their High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) technology that will be used on some Radeon 300-series and APU products. Currently, a relatively large number of GDDR5 chips are necessary to offer sufficient capacity and bandwidth for modern GPUs, which means significant PCB real estate is consumed. On-chip integration is not ideal for DRAM because it is not size or cost effective with a logic-optimized GPU or CPU manufacturing process. HBM, however, brings the DRAM as close to possible to the logic die (GPU) as possible. AMD partnered with Hynix and a number of companies to help define the HBM specification and design a new type of memory chip with low power consumption and an ultra-wide bus width, which was eventually adopted by JEDEC 2013. They also develop a DRAM interconnect called an "interposer," along with ASE, Amkor, and UMC. The interposer allows DRAM to be brought into close proximity with the GPU and simplifies communication and clocking. HBM DRAM chips are stacked vertically, and "through-silicon vias" (TSVs) and "bumps" are used to connect one DRAM chip to the next, and then to a logic interface die, and ultimately the interposer. The end result is a single package on which the GPU/SoC and High Bandwidth Memory both reside. 1GB of GDDR5 memory (four 256MB chips), requires roughly 672mm2. Because HBM is vertically stacked, that same 1GB requires only about 35mm2. The bus width on an HBM chip is 1024-bits wide, versus 32-bits on a GDDR5 chip. As a result, the High Bandwidth Memory interface can be clocked much lower but still offer more than 100GB/s for HBM versus 25GB/s with GDDR5. HBM also requires significantly less voltage, which equates to lower power consumption.
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+ - A Look At GTA V PC Performance And Image Quality At 4K->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series has been wildly successful for many years now, offering some of the edgiest story lines, game play tactics and objectives the gaming industry has ever seen. With psychopathic main characters, you are left in the depraved communities of Los Santos and Blaine County, to walk a path few would dare choose in real life. And it's rather entertaining of course, that you're tasked with leaving a virtual world worse off than you found it, consequences be damned. But what does it take to run GTA V at 4K (3840X2160) resolution? This article takes a look at that, as well as how it scales over multiple NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPUs, along with some screen shots that look at image quality at Ultra HD resolution. It's safe to say one strong, high-end GPU will get the job done, but two in SLI or CrossFire are better of course, if you want to max out all IQ settings.
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+ - Intel NUC5i7RYH Broadwell Mini PC With Iris Pro Graphics Tested->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: In addition to ushering in a wave of new notebooks and mobile devices, Intel's Broadwell microarchitecture has also found its way into a plethora of recently introduced small form factor systems like the company's NUC platform. The new NUC5i7RYH is a mini-PC packing a Core i7-5557U Broadwell processor with Iris Pro graphics, which makes it the most powerful NUC released to date. There's a 5th-gen Core i7 CPU inside (dual-core, quad-thread) that can turbo up to 3.4GHz, an Iris Pro 6100 series integrated graphics engine, support for dual-channel memory, M.2 and 2.5" SSDs, 802.1ac and USB 3.0. NUCs are generally barebones systems, so you have to build them up with a drive and memory before they can be used. The NUC5i7RYH is one of the slightly taller NUC systems that can accommodate both M.2 and 9.5mm 2.5 drives and all NUCs come with a power brick and VESA mount. With a low-power dual-core processor and on-die Iris Pro 6100-series graphics engine, the NUC5i7RYH won't offer the same kind of performance as systems equipped with higher-powered processors or discrete graphics cards, but for everyday computing tasks and casual gaming, it should fit the bill for users that want a low profile, out-of-the-way tiny PC.
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+ - MediaTek Goes For Smartphone Bragging Rights With 10-Core Helio X20 SoC->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: MediaTek introduced the first true octa-core mobile processor back in 2013 at a time when most flagship Android smartphones were packing quad-core processors. Today we're learning that, just as today's Android flagships have come around to octa-core CPUs (HTC One M9, Samsung Galaxy S6), MediaTek is preparing to launch a 10-core mobile processor later this year. The MediaTek Helio X20 (MT6795), which is built on a 20nm process, will feature 10 cores bundled into three distinct groupings, aka a "Tri-Cluster." There will be two, quad-core groupings of processors that will handle low-power tasks (four 2GHz Cortex-A53, four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53). The final grouping will include a dual-core, 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 that will handle all the heavy lifting when high performance is required. MediaTek U.S. marketing chief Mohit Bhushan states that the Helio X20 can "run more power efficiently without losing any performance" and can be up to 30 percent more power efficient than ARM's typical big.LITTLE arrangement.
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+ - You've Got Mail: Verizon Scoops Up AOL For $4.4 Billion->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: We learned this weekend that AOL's dial-up business still has over 2 million customers who pay on average just under $21 per month for service. Regardless of how strange that seems to those of us that salivate over the prospects of gigabit Internet, folks are still clinging to 56k modems are adding millions to AOL's bottom line. However, also recall that AOL has a massive digital advertising platform with a heavy focus on the mobile sector and also owns a wealth of popular web destinations including Engadget, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post. With this in mind, it shouldn't be too surprising that Verizon has offered AOL a marriage proposal. Verizon is acquiring AOL for an estimated $50 per share, which brings the total value of the transaction to $4.4 billion. Verizon is banking on the deal to boost its rollout of LTE wireless video and over-the-top (OTT) video. AOL will also strengthen Verizon's position in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.
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